Page 1



A compliance loan is being offered to help the balance of productivity and the environment . page 23

A ‘Ewe 2’ strategy appears to be working in for a Wairarapa couple. page 27


opinion Dairy industry feels stuck between a rock and a hard place.

page 27

to all farmers, for all farmers

Tensions over soaring Fonterra share price sud es h k i ssu n

FONTERRA IS confident a raft of measures announced last week will ease farmer tensions over the soaring share price. The co-op has been under fire from some shareholders after its share price rose from a launch price of $5.50/share in November to $7.25/share. Young farmers planning to enter the industry and existing farmers wanting to lift their milk supply say they will struggle to stump up cash to buy additional shares and meet their share standard requirements. At last month’s Federated Farmers Dairy council meeting in Northland, delegates said some farmers were switching supply from Fonterra to other processors. Delegates described the high share price as untenable. Fonterra suppliers must own one share for every kgMS supplied to the co-op. Fonterra chairman John Wilson says this remains the co-op’s guiding principle. Wilson says he has empathy with farmers planning to grow milk supply. But he points out the share price is set by the market. He agrees for Fonterra to grow, it needs farmers to grow. But the share price is creating problems for young farmers; so is high price for cows and land, he says.

“Milk is the lifeblood of our cooperative and the five-point plan we have announced offers farmers more flexibility to buy shares to match production,” he told Rural News. The co-op last week announced a bonus issue of one additional share or unit for every 40 held in April this year.

It will also offer flexible contracts to give new and growing farmers more time and options to fully back their milk production with Fonterra shares. Wilson points out that under recent DIRA changes, independent processors can no longer get 250 million litres of milk from the co-op. So they will look

elsewhere, he says. “There will be lot of competition at the farmgate,” he says. Fonterra Shareholders Council chairman Ian Brown says the new measures will go “quite a long way” in addressing concerns about the share price.

Photo: Tony Hopkinson

REPOROA FARMER Kelvin Thomas was starting to feel the effects of the dry weather when Rural News visited him last week. “It’s the worst dry spell I’ve ever had in 25 years.” Thomas farms 176ha and is currently milking 500 cows – down from a peak of 550. He has been once-a-day milking for the last 10 days, when only two weeks prior he was milking every 16 hours. “The last few weeks there has been a dramatic change,” he says. “Eight weeks ago we were 35% above last season on a daily basis. Currently we are 5% behind.” More coverage on the growing drought around the country, pages 5-7.



to page 3

Dry till mid-March? p e t er bur k e

DON’T EXPECT much rain until mid-March says Phillip Duncan of Duncan, who supplies specialist forecasts to a number of major clients, including Fonterra, believes droughts will be declared in many parts of the country, but thinks they will be relatively brief. “Our take on the weather hasn’t changed since the end of spring. We are still predicting March will be dry to start with but we’ll gradually see rainmakers coming into the forecast. “One thing farmers can be positive about is we don’t have anything driving this dry weather in particular. We’ve had a series of big highs over us. It’s not like we’ve got El Nino which is forcing this weather on us - we are just stuck in a rut and eventually it’ll give way and the rainmakers will come back.” Duncan says it would be right to declare droughts given the conditions that have prevailed for several months. “It has been a dry summer for the upper North Island. December might have been fairly cloudy and we certainly had a lot of drizzle around Christmas, but there wasn’t a lot of rain then. Some places such as Horowhenua and Kapiti have caught some rain, but the rain has missed the rest of us.” According to Duncan, the most likely date for the country to get rain is March 11 or 12.

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march 5, 2013: Issue 533 

Rural News // march 5, 2013

news 3 issue 533

Wool offer finally gets over the line pam t ipa

News������������������������������ 1-19 Markets�������������������� 20-21 Agribusiness������������22-24 Hound, Edna������������������� 26 Contacts������������������������� 26 Opinion����������������������� 26-29

WOOLS OF New Zealand will now launch an international search for a chief executive having reached its required minimum target to kick off its strongwool marketing initiative. The capital raising closed last Monday bringing in 700 applications for shares totalling $6 million – well above the minimum $5 million required but short of the $10 million they hoped for. “We are still pleased with the result. What this has allowed us to do is get started with a committed group of growers with a pool of capital – the volume of

wool is very important at that 14.5 million kilos,” Wools of NZ chairman Mark Shadbolt told Rural News. “The significance of that is that’s in excess of double that assumed in the prospectus so it’s a pleasing platform to start with. “The first two jobs of the board are the appointment process of the chief executive and, secondly, at the same time to revise our financials that fit with the size of the company now we know the volume of wool and amount of capital.” Shadbolt says it’s a great day for the industry and Wools of NZ. “It has protected Wools of NZ and grower owner-

ship for the long term. And that will give our customers in the marketplace a lot of confidence that finally the ownership of Wools of NZ has been sorted out into a capital structure.” The chief executive appointment could take three to five months, but they hope to do it in a shorter time. “We need to cast the net far and wide – not only in New Zealand but internationally because it’s an international person that will be needed to run this company.” They will ideally be based in Christchurch. Shadbolt said it was nice “to move on from prospectuses and capital raising and get on with a significant opportunity for growers”.

Management����������� 30-34 Machinery and Products������������������ 40-45 Rural Trader���������� 46-47 Head Office Top Floor, 29 Northcroft Street, Takapuna, Auckland 0622 Phone: 09-307 0399 Fax: 09-307 0122 Postal Address PO Box 3855, Shortland Street, Auckland 1140 Published by: Rural News Group Printed by: PMP Print Contacts Editorial: Advertising material: Rural News online: Subscriptions: ABC audited circulation 80,767 as at 30.06.2012

Mixed response to plan from farmers ANDREW SWALLOW

FONTERRA’S CAPITAL giveaway has left some shareholders furious and came too late to stop others signing with competitors for next season. Claims by shareholders council chair Ian Brown that the five-point plan would be “welcomed by all Fonterra shareholder farmers,” further inflamed feelings. However others spoken to by Rural News were ambivalent about the move, or welcomed the attempt to ease the constraint on supply growth. North Canterbury shareholder, Peter Schouten, reckons it’s “a nil sum”. “It’s only 2.5% [of share capital]: I don’t think it will have a big impact on anything, including the share price.” With shares at over $7 the cost of increasing supply “would be a bit of a turnoff for some,” while others might be tempted to cash in and supply competitors, as would new conversions, he adds. TAF critic Leonie Guiney says farmers need to think through the long-term implications of the latest move, espe-

cially the parallel issue of units to offshore investors such CBA bank which holds 7% of the unit fund. “If we can’t stop our board doing regular share issues, it is simply a death by a thousand cuts of our co-operative.” She questions whether shareholders voting for TAF understood it would lead to unit traders effectively setting

the co-operative share price – “even though our board said it wouldn’t” – and the implications of a high share price on milk supply growth. “Fonterra’s intrinsic value is dependent on having access to most of the milk, and sensible allocation of our capital. This board is destroying farmer capital and claiming the opposite.”

fonterra's 5-point plan

• A bonus issue of one additional share or unit for every 40 held on April 12, 2013. • A further supply offer enabling Fonterra shareholders to sell the economic rights to some of their shares into the Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund. • A dividend reinvestment plan enabling shareholders and unit holders to elect to receive dividends in the form of shares or units. • Flexible contracts to give new and growing farmers more time and options to fully back their milk production with Fonterra shares. • New opportunities for winter milk supply contracts in the upper North Island to fuel Fonterra’s new UHT plant at Waitoa.

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WHILE THE high pressure system dominating New Zealand’s weather in recent weeks is giving livestock farmers drought-induced headaches, for cropping farmers it’s a welcome contrast to last season’s stop-start harvest campaign. Here, Neil Barton takes Raffles wheat in his Massey Ferguson 865 just south of Timaru. “It’s running pretty well, in excess of 10t.” Onshore breezes were necessitating some drying, but with half his wheat still in the paddock as of late last week he wasn’t waiting for the weather. “When we get to the end of Feb we start to panic a bit!”

Share tension from page 1

Brown is happy with the way TAF (trading among farmers) is unfolding. But he’s aware of concerns about the high share price and risk of cessations. He points out the TAF market is one-sided as only investors are trading units. Brown says things should improve when farmers start trading shares later this year. “We need share trading among farmers to kick in; it will happen, we need to give it time,” he told Rural News. Brown believes the new contract options will bring some relief for new and existing suppliers. “The proposals go a long way to ensuring enduring farmer ownership and control of Fonterra. The revised contracts will enable farmers to come into the co-op without the issue of share price acting as a hindrance and ease the path to farmers becoming fully share-backed suppliers.”

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4 news

Throwing fertiliser down the drain? a n d rew swallow

SUGGESTIONS THAT GPS-guided fertiliser

spreading will deliver “major savings” miss a swathe of more fundamental problems with nutrient application

in New Zealand, says a farmer with much expertise in the area. Professor Ian Yule’s comments in Rural News

Testing tightened - Ravensdown RAVENSDOWN GENERAL manager supply, Shane Harold, says physical specifications, testing programmes and supplier arrangements have been tightened over the past year. “As part of this process, we conduct tests on all mainline products before they are shipped and after delivery for both physical and chemical quality.” However, there are many aspects affecting fertilisers’ physical properties – hydroscopicity, handling, storage, etc – not to mention conditions when

spreading such as wind and humidity, he points out. “That’s why we have an established complaints procedure where investigations are carried out and root cause analysis conducted and recommendations followed… “We are always evaluating products, new technology and changes to our systems to improve the efficiency of fertiliser for farmers who continue to need access to fertiliser at lowest sustainable cost.”

(Feb 19) prompted South Canterbury grower Jeremy Talbot to fire off a list of more urgent matters to attend to. First is fertiliser spreadability, for which there’s no standard in New Zealand. “I tested samples of superphosphate from the two big players over a year and in my machine, which is one of the best available, the spreading capability varied from 15m to 44m for product of supposedly the same class,” Talbot told Rural News. In the past two years any farmer who has used Ammo 31 will have seen serious stripping in paddocks, he adds. “Even urea, from both companies, has had issues. Some samples have had up to 30% fines in them.” While he acknowledges Yule’s assertion that capability of some spreaders is part of the problem, such product variability

Even the best fertiliser spreaders can’t cope with some of the poor quality product supplied, says Jeremy Talbot, who’s researched the issue more than most.

makes a mockery of calls for more sophisticated machinery testing and regulations. The variability isn’t just between batches: it’s also between truckloads as more fines come from the centre of heaps in stores. “We haven’t got a hope in hell of being able to conform to all the looming environmental regulatory requirements if we don’t know how products will spread and/or how the rate will vary.” While the problems relate to both main suppliers’ products, for years he’s tried to get his cooperative, Ravensdown,

to address his quality concerns, going so far as to research the issues here and overseas, and provide solutions “on a plate.” “We even had 22t of New Zealand fert shipped to Denmark for official spreadability testing. They found our superphosphate was so weak in the granule and caused so much dust, it clogged the test centre’s air filters in one run!” He also helped develop a spiral drop system into stores so fines were more evenly spread, but Ravensdown abandoned its use six or seven years ago. Supplying the co-op with European spread-

ability test kits consisting of a sieve box and granule strength tester hasn’t helped either. “ The European standard is for granules to withstand a 6-8kg crushing force. Tests on Ravensdown super from Hornby and Ravensbourne found one to have a crush strength of 3kg, the other under 1kg. They’d said they were identical.” Talbot believes both co-operatives need to refocus on their core function of providing New Zealand farmers’ nutrient needs. “Not feed, drenches, agchems or Australia.”

Rural mergers prove popular TWO MAJOR developments in New Zealand’s farmer-owned co-operatives went through last week. In Invercargill, shareholders of CRT and Farmlands rubberstamped the merger of the two rural supplies co-operatives at a comfirmatory special meeting. Meanwhile, Ballance Agri-nutrients announced it’s taken full ownership of feed firm Seales Winslow and farm technology business Farmworks. The CRT/Farmlands merger means shareholders collectively will get a bonus share issue of $32 million from distribution of retained earn-


ings and unallocated reserves in the two co-operatives prior to merging. A further $8 million of interim bonus rebates relating to trading July– December 2012 will be paid in a 60/40 share/cash split. The nationwide farm supplies co-op will be called Farmlands and brings together 54,000 members, at least 1000 staff, and 47 North Island and 31 South Island stores. Combined historic sales were $2 billion/ year. Farmlands chairman and chair of the establishment board overseeing the merger, Lachie Johnston, says the board and management will

move quickly to ensure that merger gains, forecast at $18m/year by 2015, will be captured on behalf of shareholders. The merger took effect March 1. Ballance Agri-nutrients’ move steps up its shareholding from 51% in Seales Winslow and Farmworks to 100%. “Farm nutrients and technology are clearly two growing areas of the market and a natural fit with our core business,” says Ballance chief executive Larry Bilodeau. Seales Winslow will continue to operate as an independent company under the direction of Graeme Smith.


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Rural News // march 5, 2013

news: the big dry 5

Drought – it’s official! PAM TIPA

NORTHLAND WAS declared officially in drought last week and declarations for Waikato and Hawke’s Bay were pending as Rural News went to press. The Minister for Primary Industry Nathan Guy announced a “mediumscale event” in Northland as MetService said another anticyclone was due to settle across the country this week with “no significant rain on the horizon”. DairyNZ predicts milk production will be down 15% in the North Island for February accounting for $64 million less milk revenue to North Island farmers for the month – on top of $50 million less through lower milk prices. Federated Farmers president Bruce Wills says with widespread adverse conditions for agriculture there’s no justification for the high New Zealand dollar. Guy said the drought declarations were “recognition that we are now beyond what is a normal dry summer, and into an extreme climatic event”. how quickly the drought had come on, “The declaration of a medium-scale Buckley says. Good rain had fallen in event means that extra Government December and some in January but air and funding will now be available to coor- soil temperatures were warmer. Drains on dinate support through local organisa- his farm are dry that had never been dry tions like the Rural Support Trusts. In before and others were reporting the same extreme cases there will also be Rural about their own ponds. “Water is becomAssistance Payments (RAPs) available ing crucial in areas that rely on ponds,” he to farmers in severe hardship.” says. Head of the Waikato drought comFederated Farmers president Bruce mittee Peter Buckley, a farmer himself, Wills says dairy production is not just fallconfirmed to Rural News late last week ing in some key areas but starting to crash. they were on the verge of declaring a “When you put this effect on dairy drought. together with the way meat and fibre farmFeedback from farmers is that they ers have rapidly destocked over summer, are getting desperate. The Waikato New Zealand’s two leading exports are had been well set up for feed but that under the gun,” he says. will run out on average in the next four “It needs to be remembered that weeks. Some farmers have dried off and the North Island is now where most of are looking for support. New Zealand’s sheep and beef cattle are Buckley says farmers are worried located.”  about price spikes for hay, silage and He says very dry areas include North other feed. He has been told orders of Island’s East Coast, Waikato, Bay of Plenty No inmore individual palm kernel for March have not come and loading the top of the South Island. tags Taranaki, and there will not be much palm Easy kernel feed West Coast and even Southland were also 20-tag strips. Next tag until April. of concern. Horticulture was also starting auto loads when tagger is fired. Many farmers were caught out by to find things tough.

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Pictured, late last week, a Murchison Transport rig heading to Rangipo Prison farm – just south of Turangi – collecting lambs to take back to the South Island. Mark Coles of Ray Coles Transport – based in Mangaweka, south of Taihape – says he is currently “giving away” up to 10 unit loads of stock a day that he can’t handle – all out of the Taihape region. Photo – Bernard Lilburn

Milk flows run dry FONTERRA CHAIRMAN John Wilson says farmers are facing challenging conditions from the prolonged dry weather. He says not many farmers are thinking about increasing production or the share price; they are directing all efforts to getting through the big dry. “We are aware of the challenging conditions in some parts of the country,” he told Rural News. Until two months ago, milk production for 2012-13 season was 6% ahead of last season. But Wilson says lack of rain has affected milk production, now expected to be only 1% higher than the 2011-12 record season. He says milk production is growing in Southland and Canterbury where irrigation is common. But production is down in the North Island. The co-op has not changed its 201213 forecast payout range of $5.90 $6.00/kgMS before retentions for a fully shared-up farmer. Shareholders Council chairman Ian Brown says given the negative effect the weather has had on production over the past few months the council is comfortable with the announced forecast payout.

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6 news: The big dry Landcorp feels the burn PE TER BURKE

Landcorp says it’s been badly hit by the drought in the central North Island – on farms north-east of Taupo near Reporoa. Chief executive Chris Kelly told Rural News he expects dairy production to be down by as much as 60% in April and that milking may cease in that month. Kelly says he’s never seen the soil moisture so low. “We keep track of soil moisture conditions and I saw some figures the other day showing it’s really dry…. The mitigating circumstances are that the cows are generally in good order, because things were good until Christmas and we’ve got a bit of spare feed. But the soil moisture is as low as we’ve known it for many many years…. We’re starting to milk once a day we

are drying off some of our cows early.” No cows are being moved out of the region but they are shifting cows around their farms, Kelly says. “I was on one of the farms the other day and we‘ve got one not too badly affected so we are shifting some cows there. We have a lot of supplementary feed which is good because we had a lot of conserved feed going into the season and that has helped,” he says. Despite the extreme dry Kelly is confident they can manage their way through though production will be down on last year. Landcorp has a contract price for PKE, but Kelly says he wouldn’t be surprised if the spot market price was up given the present situation. Landcorp also has sheep farming operations in the area where the stock are affected as badly, if not

worse, as the cows. “The advantage with sheep is we just destock them. We’ve shipped eight or nine semi-trailer loads of lambs from the north to the South Island in the last month or six weeks and that will continue.” The interesting thing about the current drought Chris Kelly is the “suddenness and the extreme nature of it,” Kelly says. “We’ve just not had any rain to speak of for… nine weeks or more. We’re at the stage now where it’s as bad as I’ve ever known it. We had a good start to the season which helped and cow condition is good and that helps. But right now soil moistures are as low as I’ve ever seen since we began farming in

Those who can hold lambs will do well PAM TIPA

THOUGH THERE’S a rush for processing now, there’s a ‘big hole’ coming in the sheep meat market for farmers who can hang on until rain comes, says Beef + Lamb NZ director James Parsons. A meat company has told Parsons that there soon won’t be lambs left in the North Island. “So if you have stock and can keep feeding them, you are in the box seat. As soon as we get some decent rain across the North Island, things are going to turn around rapidly. But it will be too late for a lot of farmers unfortunately.” Parsons says some sheep farmers are accepting very little liveweight going on right now, knowing that if they’ve got stock on hand when it does rain “they will actually be in a good position because people will be wanting them. It’s just who can hold on the longest really.” Broadly speaking, the South Island has grass, the North Island is doing it tough. “That is affecting farmers in all the usual ways of dry weather conditions in the North Island: lack of feed which in turn drives a lot of things. There is a struggle

the area.” Kelly says Landcorp’s strategy is to keep the cows in good condition, with the objective of making sure they maintain a condition score of 4.5 or greater going into drying off. “The main thing is to protect those cows going into winter.” @rural_news

to get space at meat processors so they’ve dropped their prices.” Processors are booked up and it’s a challenge to get stock in. “A lot of guys have been caught out wanting to move stock but having to wait for space so that has been an even greater frustration. “The ones who acted early are in a stronger position because they have got in quickly but they got stock killed at lighter weights so it has been an unusual season. “A lot of farmers on the sheep side are killing lambs at lighter weight and getting caught out on a few that are underweight; some of them drop under that 14kg or 13.6kg depending on what company they supply. “Then you end up just about giving them away. That’s the end product of trying to get as many off the farm as possible. The problem is the store market is just terrible on lamb at the moment.” Parsons says farmers are doing a few things – a lot of them shipping to the South Island where there is grass. Dairy farmers have also started drying off and culling and that also affects the slaughter capacity and feed pricing – “the usual story of supply and demand”.




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Rural News // march 5, 2013

news: the big dry 7

Hawke’s Bay empty as the dry bites PE TER BURKE

HAWKE’S BAY is empty of stock says Bruce Wills, a local and the national president of Federated Farmers. He told Rural News convoys of semi-trailers and trucks have been taking stock out of the district, many to greener pastures in the South Island, some to meat processing plants down south because local ones can’t keep up with demand. Both the lamb and ewe kills in the North Island are 40% ahead of the same period last year, Wills says. “When you drive around parts of Hawke’s Bay you can go some distance and see no sheep and no cattle. Everything’s gone. It’s a bit heartbreaking in many respects, but what’s that’s telling me is that farmers are practising good management. “They have learned from previous droughts in 2008/09 when we had these sort of conditions. You don’t hang about and hope - you plan forward and are constantly matching feed supply to feed demand. If feed supply is not keeping up then in most cases what farmers have chosen to do this year is to de-stock or in the case of dairy, they are bringing in feed.”

Wills says he hasn’t had a single call from a farmer complaining about the weather. “Sure it’s hurting and it’ll have an impact on balance sheets, but farmers have got on and done what they need to do. It’s very heartening for me that people have responded really early. They have been de-stocking for months and have been planning forward,” he says. Wills says he talked to one farmer who’s been in the Waipukurau area for 60 years and he says he has to go back in his records to 1982/83 to find a time when there has been as little rainfall as there is now. “Some of the guys in Central Hawkes Bay haven’t had a decent rain since October 2012 and that’s what caught out some of those people. They didn’t have a very good spring and so they came into the summer period with low covers with the hope that it might be a decent summer, but of course it hasn’t been.” Wills is aware of the problems all around the country including, surprisingly, the West Coast of the South Island which hasn’t had rain for some time. He says one challenge of the drought is its patchiness. The odd rogue shower has given a percep-

tion of green to some areas and Wills thinks it could be another week or two before any drought is officially declared. The drought will have

a significant economic effect, he says. And adding to those woes, sheep prices are about a third less than one year ago. Many lamb weights are also lower. “A

good number of farms are down in income 20-30% from a year ago. As anyone knows, if you take a 20% hit in your income it takes a bit of adjusting to.”

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THE DROUGHT is starting to bite in many parts of Manawatu and Horowhenua says Federated Farmers Manawatu/Rangitikei provincial president and dairy farmer Andrew Hoggard. The situation is approaching that of 2008/09 and is especially bad in the Rangitikei district. In some parts of Horowhenua, close to the hills, the situation is not as bad as on the Manawatu plains. Hoggard says if it doesn’t rain in the next two weeks it will have quite an impact and he’s having to dry cows off. “I have got a plan and I am not at the stage where I am pulling my hair out. The challenge is if it goes longer because it will impact production. Even at this stage I am supposedly ahead for the season, just 1% ahead for the month but it’s all going to come crashing down and we’ll end being behind for the season.” Hoggard says the drought will have an economic impact on rural towns as some farmers close their cheque books. “The only good news is that Central Districts field days is a week earlier and that might mean it will rain.”

Rural News // march 5, 2013

8 news

Feds pressured over view on swaps

DCD scare blows over A PREDICTION made in Rural News on February 5 that the DCD issue will blow over in two weeks appears to have been correct. Tests in late February found no traces of DCD in milk collected from New Zealand farms after mid November 2012. The Ministry for Primary Industries says no traces of DCD were found in New Zealand milk after mid-November last year; about 2000 samples had been collected since June. “MPI and the New Zealand dairy industry have conducted voluntary testing of New Zealand dairy products to build a comprehensive picture of the presence of DCD in New Zealand’s milk supply,” MPI director-general Wayne McNee says. McNee says they released the core findings to be as open as they could with markets and customers, “despite

the fact the quantities of DCD found in our dairy products create absolutely no food safety risk”. Nearly 2000 samples of dairy products have been tested from all the major dairy companies. Testing has specifically targeted dairy products using milk collected during the New Zealand spring last year from the 5% of dairy farmers who used DCD on pastures. As expected, minute traces of DCD have been found in various dairy products already in the supply chain from a variety of companies. However, there remains no food safety risk; all traces have been well below the European Commission’s daily intake level for DCD. “Importantly, tests on products made from milk collected from farms after mid-November show no traces of DCD at all, ”McNee says.

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FEDERATED FARMERS is facing calls to do more for farmers affected by interest rate swaps. Rural News understands that some Federated Farmers dairy executives are unhappy with the board’s stance on the issue. Feds president Bruce Wills has come under fire for saying farmers should take responsibility for their own actions. Delegates at the Feds Dairy Council meeting, late last month in the Bay of Islands, called


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“It is fair to say we have received a number of inquiries from members and even non-members regarding swaps.” – Bruce Wills for greater support for affected farmers. Some described Wills’ comments as negative. A remit moved by West Coast dairy president Richard Reynolds saying the council did not support the board’s position on swaps, was passed at the council meeting. It urged the board to push for an inquiry. Reynolds says though farmers were responsible for signing swap agreements with banks, he wants a Commerce Commission inquiry into the way the product was sold. “Any inquiry should look at the pressure placed on farmers to accept swaps. Back then banks were coming to farmers telling them they had high equity and should borrow more.” Taranaki dairy president Derek Gibson says one farmer in his region was paying $7000 extra interest every month under the swap agreement. “The issue is causing concern among members and we are get-

ting calls from farmers. While we are not seeking financial help, we want an inquiry to look at the way banks were signing on farmers for swaps. Farmers believe they were duped.” Feds dairy chair Willy Leferink believes about 50% of dairy farmers have signed up for swaps. Wills said, in November last year, Fed’s had asked the Commerce Commission to look into swaps and how they were sold. “It is fair to say we have received a number of inquiries from members and even non-members regarding swaps. “Speaking as a former banker [I can say] swaps are incredibly complicated instruments. Certainly you only go into them after independent advice to ensure they are appropriate to your needs. The issue is less the product and more the way they were sold, hence [our request to] the Commerce

Fed’s president Bruce Wills.

Commission.” The swaps were sold in 2006-07 by some banks to farmers as insurance against interest rates – and hence floating-rate farm mortgages – rising rapidly, farmers say. But when interest rates dropped, the farmers who had bought the swaps were left locked in to high interest rates they could not escape without paying hefty break fees. Already heavily indebted, some farmers lost their farms because of the swaps. A Commerce Commission spokeswoman told Rural News it had received complaints. “We are making an assessment of the information received. No decision has been made regarding a full investigation.”



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Rural News // march 5, 2013

10 news

Fonterra fronts up to farmers p e t e r bu r k e

FONTERRA WILL this week hold the first of 50 meetings with farmer suppliers on the new Sustainable Dairying Water Accord. This partnership between the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) and DairyNZ replaces the Clean Streams Accord which expired last year. Federated Farmers fully supports the new accord and has signed on as ‘friends’. Regional councils, government agencies, fertiliser and irrigation industries and iwi are likely to do the same. The new agreement

covers riparian planting, nutrient management, effluent management, water use management and conversions. One of the specific promises in the new accord is that 90% of all dairy cattle on the milking platform will be excluded from waterways by 31 May 2014 and 100% by May 2017. The new accord will require farmers to better manage nitrogen and phosphorous though an industry wide monitoring and support system. They’ll also have to comply with regional council effluent rules and improve water efficiency in irrigation systems and around their cow sheds. Farmers doing conver-

“Farmers have done a good job in raising their game. Maybe that wasn’t a perception shared by some but I certainly think it is.” – Malcolm Bailey

Malcolm Bailey

sions will have to meet ‘good practice standards’. The chairman of DCANZ and Fonterra director Malcolm Bailey told Rural News the big difference is that all dairy companies are involved, whereas the old Clean Streams Accord was a Fonterra initiative supported by a number of other agencies – a critical point,

Bailey says. “Farmers have done a good job in raising their game. Maybe that wasn’t a perception shared by some but I certainly think it is, because over the life of the accord the rules farmers have had to work against changed significantly in becoming a lot tougher.” Bailey says all the companies agree on the direction of the new accord and the desired outcomes. Though each company

may handle things slightly differently the result will be the same. Fonterra and DairyNZ managers will front the Fonterra consultation meetings. The substance of the accord is not expected to change, but individuals’ ideas may improve the way it is managed, Bailey says. DairyNZ chairman John Luxton says the new accord will take effect from the start of this year’s dairy season and is

broader and more comprehensive than its predecessor. “All dairy companies and DairyNZ will be accountable for [the new accord’s] commitments and farmer uptake will be supported through supply contracts and support programmes,” Luxton says. The new accord refers to the need for farmers grazing dairy cows away from the milking platform to ensure they don’t get into streams. Luxton believes councils will before long require this as

a matter of course, posing problems to farmers, given that cows grazing off-farm in winter can be doing so on hilly country difficult to fence. The new accord is based on some proposals thrashed out by the Land and Water Forum (LAWF) as a ‘collaborative model’. Environmental groups have been consulted as part of the process. The accord will not replace rules set in place by councils, but in some cases it will be identical to such rules.

Almost everybody happy PRIMARY INDUSTRIES Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed the new accord saying it’s a step forward and shows the dairy industry is serious about improving its practices. “Annual reporting on progress and independent auditing will give this accord more transparency and accountability. It’s pleasing to see the dairy industry taking leadership on this important issue.” Federated Farmers has committed to the accord as a ‘supporting partner’. Dairy chair Willy Leferink says the new accord is different because there are commitments right across the industry to ensure improvements happen on farm. “Farmers are not only going to be involved in supporting change but will deliver it by meeting these targets.” Fonterra Shareholders Council chairman Ian Brown says the accord is a fantastic result and tangible conformation of the hard work done by farmers. But Forest and Bird says it’s disappointed at the number of farmers still mistreating waterways after a decade of the Clean Streams Accord. Spokesperson Kevin Hackwell says he hopes the lessons from that accord will be carried over to the new accord.

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Rural News // march 5, 2013

12 news Missed the boat? THE AUSTRALIAN dairy industry missed the boat to revamp its dairy industry like New Zealand did 10 years ago, says Murray Goulburn chief executive Gary Helou. Helou says the New Zealand Government’s decision to force the formation of Fonterra and follow it up with free trade deals has paid handsome dividends. But while New Zealand’s dairy

industry flourished, the Australian industry has struggled through a lack of ambition, he says. “In the last 1o years as a country, our milk production slipped from 11bL to 9bL. At the same time New Zealand lifted its production from 12bL to 19bL,” he says “Something happened in New Zealand but not here. I can only applaud what they did.”

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AUSTRALIA’S LARGEST dairy processor says farmers must stop blaming the supermarkets for poor farmgate returns. Murray Goulburn chief executive Gary Helou says processors must take the blame; they are guilty of failing to effectively market milk. He told the Australian Dairy Farmers Conference in Queensland last week that milk is being overtaken by water due to better marketing. “Just take a look at the level of innovation; water bottles are coming in all shapes, with handles and sprayers. “What have we done? When did you last see a sexy looking bottle of milk on the supermarket shelf? Let’s not blame Woolworths and Coles. It’s our fault.” Queensland dairy farmers are blaming the supermarket milk price war for lower farmgate returns. Coles upped the stakes in January 2011 when it cut the price of housebrand milk to $2 for two litres. Woolworths matched the move immediately. But speaking from Dubai via a video link, Helou told farmers the supermarket giants are important to the dairy industry and it’s wrong to have a go at them. “They are important to us and we must look after them; you can bash me and other processors.” It’s up to processors to imagine a better product to excite consumers to buy more milk, boosting returns to farmers. Murray Goulburn plans to introduce multipacks of long life

milk, similar to slabs of Coke and liquor available at retailers. According to Helou, Murray Goulburn, as the biggest processor in the country, is taking the lead in lifting the image of milk among consumers. But he warned the industry against focussing only on the domestic market and exporting surplus products. The days of exporting surplus after meeting the demand from Coles and Woolworths are over, he says. “Today’s consumers in emerging markets don’t want surplus.” He says Australian dairy processors have been to slow in overseas markets compared to major global players like FrieslandCampina and Arla who have established brands. Both FrieslandCampina and Arla have 20-30 staff working in Dubai, a hub in the growing Middle Eastern market. Murray Goulburn opened its Dubai office last week and has two staff there. To meet the growing demand from emerging markets in Asia and Middle East, MG also needs to invest in new technology or risk being sidelined by the likes of Fonterra. MG is spending A$200m to upgrade its manufacturing technology. “If we don’t do this, we might as well give the game away,” says Helou.

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Rural News // march 5, 2013

news 13

ASB’s rural head ‘Heer’ to help pa m t i pa

GLOBAL GROWTH opportunities for New Zealand agriculture will continue, says ASB’s general manager rural Mark Heer. This is one of his observations after five months in the top rural job at ASB. Heer has 25 years experience in the rural industry following graduating from Massey in 1984 with an agricultural degree. He then worked for the Rural Bank for 8-9 years in Whangarei and Dunedin, worked in rural valuation and was involved with the processing industry, an experience outside the farmgate but still in the rural sector. Prior to becoming general manager he was ASB’s national manager rural corporate, dealing with farm customers across the country and leading a rural team. “I see a lot of opportunity; global trends are positive for us because of increasing population and urbanisation particularly in Asia. The loca-

tion of that market to New Zealand is favourable geographically,” he told Rural News. “My observation is that growth opportunities will continue. I think the rural community has switched on to the fact that in to maximise those opportunities – getting that balance between productivity and environmental sustainability – is going to be important, and there are a lot of evolving regulatory requirements affecting that. “There are also great opportunities with irrigation; Otago, Canterbury, Wairarapa and Hawke’s Bay have some interesting initiatives in irrigation. Some of those initiatives open up great opportunities for increasing productivity in those areas.” Heer says before the global recession there was a significant swing towards dairy with a lot of land use change from sheep and beef. “That activity quietened down immediately post-GFC but we have seen some strength return to that market.

“We have recently seen some conversions completed and a few more new conversions have started – a bit of action and continuation of that growth in the dairy sector.” ASB’s rural market share is 14.3%, has increased by 1% in last 12 months and “we would

like to see that continue to grow”. On the issue of the dry weather, Heer, originally from Otago, says at least Southland is having a favourable year, but there have been a few challenging seasons when the boot has been on the other foot – when Southland

has struggled while the weather was favourable to the rest of the country. “But certainly it is a bit of a crunch time over the next few weeks,” he says. “The pressure is starting to build a bit more on feed and managing stock condition and keeping an eye towards feed levels and

animal condition going into winter and then thinking about next season.” @rural_news

ASB general manager rural Mark Heer says global trends are favourable.

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TAG AND slaughter levies that fund NAIT will fall 18% and 25% on March 8 subject to a consultation which closes March 1. NAIT chief executive Russell Burnard told Rural News the ahead-of-schedule cuts are possible because of a better than expected financial position. “The costs are slightly lower than budgeted but mainly it’s been a faster purchase rate of tags by farmers than anticipated.” Feds Dairy chair Willy Leferink says any cut is “very good news” but that dairy remains “hard done by” under the scheme given dairy farmers contribute 53.5% of the industry cost of the scheme, to beef ’s 44.5%, and deer’s 2%, yet get less value from it, given traceability is less important for grinding beef. Burnard says the short consultation period and implementation date is to get cuts included in tag prices before farmers start ordering for calving. “We’ve made it clear we expect [the 20c/tag cut] to be passed on and not just pocketed by the middleman or tag manufacturer.”

12/17/12 4:35 PM

Rural News // march 5, 2013

14 news

Ravensdown’s new boss keen to refresh strategy A N D REW SWA LLOW

RAVENSDOWN’S NEW chief executive Greg Campbell says he’s looking

forward to refreshing the farmer-owned cooperative’s strategy. Talking to Rural News – a month after taking up the reins from predecessor

Rodney Green, who had been in the role 17 years – Campbell said he wants to start with a clean sheet of paper. “Looking internally

as a company we have a very strong foundation: an experienced management team and a very motivated board of directors who in turn are driven by our

farmer members.… The staff are highly intelligent, a committed bunch of people looking to improve the productivity and livelihood of our farmer

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Greg Campbell

members.” Campbell says he’s “been all over” visiting Ravensdown sites and shareholders on both sides of the Tasman, and a number of key suppliers. “And I’ve been to Wellington a couple of times on top of that.” As a result, he says he sees Ravensdown’s technical capability, member loyalty and longevity as an organisation as its core strengths. The controversial expansion into Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia, has “been tough; there is no secret about that,” he adds. “We’ve got a wee way to go before we can say we’ve succeeded in Australia.” The cooperative’s operations there are “a key focus” and he says he “needs to do some work about our future there. All options are on the table.” The strategy review will look at how and where Ravensdown’s capital is employed, and what returns those businesses and assets generate. “The main one I’m talking about is Australia. There has to be an improvement there, there’s no denying it.” With the ever grow-

ing focus on environmental issues here, Campbell says helping members gain or retain a licence to farm will be crucial. As yet there are no plans to follow Ballance down the animal nutrition path, though it’s an area Ravensdown is “keeping a close eye on”, and the firm does have a toehold in that market in the North Island. “Fertilisers are our core products…. supplying good quality product at the best possible price and at the right time,” he stresses. The cooperative’s research and development spend and expertise reflect that, he adds. Further mergers and acquisitions will be “looked at on a case by case basis” but nothing immediate is in the pipeline. Campbell says he aims to be “as accessible as possible” to staff and members and since taking on the role he says he’s been “really encouraged by some of the emails and written correspondence from shareholders. I’ve been hearing from farmers that we need to get back to the basics.”


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Animal Health Board Movement Control Areas The Animal Health Board (AHB) has built on previous gains with further boundary reductions of its Movement Control Areas (MCAs). As of 1 March, some cattle and deer herds in parts of Tasman and Marlborough will see a reduction in the frequency, and age groups, of animals that require bovine tuberculosis (TB) testing. Nationally, more than 3750 herds will have their testing reduced, covering just under 1.3 million hectares.

MCAs were introduced to manage the risk of TB spreading through the uncontrolled movement of infected cattle or deer into areas clear of the disease. See the accompanying map for MCA details. Herdowners located within these control zones must ensure all cattle or deer over three months pass a pre-movement test within 60 days prior to any movement.

Biosecurity Act 1993 Notice of Movement Controls for Bovine Tuberculosis (TB)


Pursuant to section 131(2) of the Biosecurity Act 1993, the Animal Health Board Incorporated declares those parts of New Zealand described in the Schedule to this notice to be Controlled Areas for the purpose of enabling the limitation of the spread of bovine tuberculosis. Pursuant to section 131(3)(a) of the Biosecurity Act 1993, the Animal Health Board Incorporated gives notice that the movement of cattle and deer within the Controlled Areas is restricted and regulated to the extent of and subject to the conditions specified below.

Control Areas are listed below: Central North Island Southern North Island West Coast/Tasman North Canterbury/ Marlborough Coastal and Central Otago Pisa Catlins Hokonui Detailed maps and information on the location of properties within Controlled Areas are available from the Animal Health Board, freephone 0800 482 4636 or visit

Notice 1. Definitions In this notice, unless the context otherwise requires: “Herd” means: (a) a group of cattle, or deer, or cattle and deer, that is managed as one unit; or (b) a group of cattle, or deer, or cattle and deer, that is kept within the same enclosure or behind the same fence. “Herd of origin” means the herd with which a cattle beast or a deer is, for the time being, grazing. “Order” means the Biosecurity (National Bovine Tuberculosis Pest Management Plan Order) 1998. “Controlled Area” means an area specified in the Schedule to this notice. 2. Testing Prior to Movement From or Within Controlled Areas 2.1 No cattle beast or deer aged 90 days or more may be moved: (a) from any Controlled Area to a place outside that Controlled Area; or (b) within any Controlled Area from its herd of origin, or the place or establishment at which the animal is being kept to a place other than a place occupied by the owner or person in charge of the cattle beast or deer unless it has undergone, within 60 days prior to the date of movement, a negative test for bovine tuberculosis in accordance with the Order. 2.2 The restriction on movement in 2.1 does not apply where an animal is being moved directly to a place of slaughter. 2.3 Notwithstanding 2.1, an animal may be exempted from the requirement for a test in accordance with the Animal Health Board Operational Plan. 2.4 Where a herd is managed or kept on a property, or group of properties, divided by a boundary described in the Schedule, then the requirements to test cattle or deer described in 2.1 above apply to the whole herd. This declaration takes effect from 1 March 2013. Dated at Wellington this first day of March 2013 by Dr Stu Hutchings, Acting Chief Executive, Animal Health Board Incorporated.

Tasman and Marlborough Movement Control Area reduction Movement Control Area reduction

Movement Control Area

Special Testing Area Annual

Special Testing Area Biennial

Surveillance Area Triennial

General information Any animal moved in contravention of this notice may be seized by an inspector or authorised person and destroyed, treated or otherwise dealt with, if it is reasonable in the circumstances to do so. The Animal Health Board Incorporated may also recover the cost of testing for bovine tuberculosis pursuant to the Biosecurity Act 1993 and the Biosecurity (Deer and Other Testing Costs) Regulations 1998. Failure to comply with the requirements of this notice may result in prosecution under the Biosecurity Act 1993. If convicted, an individual will be liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years, or a fine not exceeding $100,000.00, or both. A corporation convicted of an offence is liable to a fine not exceeding $200,000.00.

Revocation The declaration issued on the 1st day of March 2012 in regard to movement controls for bovine tuberculosis and published in the New Zealand Gazette, 1 March 2012, No. 26, page 779, and in Rural News on 6 March 2012 is hereby revoked, with effect from 1 March 2013.

Summary of changes This declaration has the effect of revoking part of the West Coast/Tasman Movement Control Area and part of the North Canterbury/Marlborough Movement Control Area.

For more information visit To view our interactive map that shows whether you are in a Movement Control Area, Special Testing Area or Surveillance Area, simply enter any New Zealand address into the search bar.

TB Disease Control Areas Movement Control Area – annual TB testing – and pre-movement TB testing Special Testing Area Annual – annual TB testing – no pre-movement testing Special Testing Area Biennial – biennial TB testing – no pre-movement testing Special Testing Area Dairy – biennial TB testing – no pre-movement testing Surveillance Area Triennial – triennial TB testing – no pre-movement testing

0800 482 4636 Topographical information derived from LINZ and NZTA Crown Copyright Reserved. Detailed maps and information on Control Areas are available from the Animal Health Board.

Rural News // march 5, 2013

18 news

Sheep conference gains good feedback

An international congress for sheep vets attracted 475 attendees – more than half from overseas.

With a packed timetable over four days, Smart says they had almost 200 papers. “We had four plenary speakers. Each of the four days started with a plenary where they spoke to the whole congress – then it was split into three parallel streams apart from the last day Friday

when there were four parallel streams.” That fourth stream was working dogs. More than 300 papers were submitted by the scientific community to be considered for a session – some that didn’t make it were presented as poster displays. From the scientific per-

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spective, Smart says there was a major internal parasite section on Wednesday with AgResearch parasitologist David Leathwick as the plenary speaker on the topic ‘Sustainable Control of nematode parasite’. “He was excellent. Most of the world – certainly UK and Europe – need to catch up with New Zealand on this – their authorities over there do not even allow the registration of combination amthelmintics

gress was scheduled for the convention centre in Christchurch. But with uncertainty over the building’s future – it has now been demolished – Smart had to make an early call to shift it to Rotorua and reorganise. Part of the experience planned were pre-congress tours, one for the South Island and another for the North Island. With 40 delegates on each, the North Island conference was shortened to four days to end in Rotorua. Smart and his wife lead the 12-day South Island tour which started and ended in Christchurch. The congress was held once before in New Zealand, in 1989. The next one will be held in four years in Harrogate, Yorkshire. More from the conference pages 38-39


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THE CHIEF organiser of the 8th International Sheep Veterinarian Congress, held in Rotorua last month, says he has had nothing but positive comment about the four-day conference. And despite having to completely reorganise the major international event following the Christchurch earthquake, congress organisation committee chairman John Smart says they got more than expected. They estimated 300-450 would attend, but final numbers were 475 including about 250 overseas visitors. The congress is held every fourth year.

(drugs that expel parasite worms),” says Smart. “I was quite determined the conference attendees should be exposed to Leathwick who presented the latest New Zealand research showing combinations provided by far the best results in counteracting resistance.” Leathwick received the award for best plenary paper. Also of interest from the science viewpoint were several speakers on the new viral disease that’s emerged in Europe and UK in the last year called Schmallenberg virus. Smart says although it is highly unlikely it will come to New Zealand, it was interesting to hear from vets who have first-hand experience. “It keeps you slightly better informed, the odd farmer has asked me about it,” he says. Originally the con-


He attributes some of that to a marketing push in South America which had always had low attendance to the congress despite there being “an awful lot of sheep in some South American countries”. “This time 10 vets came from Brazil – the eighth biggest overseas group by country – and there were delegates from Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile.” All the feedback from the February 19-22 congress was “totally positive”, everyone saying it was one of the best organised congresses they had been to, says Smart. One sponsor, the Swiss company Novartis, emailed saying they found the conference brilliant from a sponsor point of view.



Rural News // march 5, 2013

news 19

They came, they saw, they listened, and they learned What they thought of the conference: Marie Noel, Quebec, Canada

FRENCH-SPEAKING NOEL said sheep numbers were much lower in Canada – “at my place I have just 3000 – it’s few compared to this place (New Zealand)”. “It is interesting to see what happens with a large population in this country because it’s a sheep country. It is very interesting to see the research and results – it will be helpful. But a lot of the time a product is available here but not in Canada. We dream about that.” She said New Zealand systems are what they aspire to. “We can’t do exactly the same because we have small pasture, and in winter sometimes our sheep are inside. But we can see what happens outside and it is very interesting for us.”

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BOWRON SAID there was such a huge range of topics, from sheep production to clinical studies, it was difficult to decide which sessions to go to. Attending her first international conference, Bowron said she had met other vets from Germany, England and around the world. She found meeting them and sharing information a major plus of the conference. John Southworth, Hamilton

SOUTHWORTH SAID it was an extraordinary conference, and organisers had done a wonderful job.” It was fantastic to have so many overseas visitors,” he said. The conference highlighted just how developed the research is in New Zealand compared to other sheep producing countries. Philip Tegtmeyer, Germany

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TEGTMEYER SAID the conference was wonderful in bringing together so many vets from around the world and the research that was presented. “I have to come half way around the world to get find out these things,” he joked. The networking with other sheep veterinarians was also extremely valuable. Tegtmeyer, a vet who works mainly with sheep but also dairy, said he spent time in New Zealand 10 years ago while training and would also be taking some time after the conference to look at dairy here.

12/21/12 10:42 AM

Rural News // march 5, 2013

Market snapshot Meat

lamb market trends

North Island Change c/kg


Lamb - PM 16.0kg

Last Week

Change c/kg

Last Week



c/kgCWT NI


P2 Steer - 300kg

Last Week

2 Wks Ago

Last Year












YM - 13.5kg PM - 16.0kg





P2 Cow - 230kg





PX - 19.0kg





PH - 22.0kg









M Cow - 200kg





Local Trade - 230kg






MX1 - 21kg





P2 Steer - 300kg





SI Lamb

YM - 13.5kg





M2 Bull - 300kg





PM - 16.0kg





P2 Cow - 230kg





PX - 19.0kg





M Cow - 200kg





PH - 22.0kg





Local Trade - 230kg

















$7.5 $6.5


NZ Slaughter

2Wks Ago

3 Wks Ago

Cattle NI






Cattle SI





Cattle NZ




Bull NI



Bull SI


Str & Hfr NI Str & Hfr SI

$6.5 $5.5




South Island 16.0kg M Lamb Price $8.5

5yr Ave Last Year This Year



3 Wks Ago

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Cows NI






Cows SI










Last Year 5yr Ave

NZ Weekly Beef Kill



60 40

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NZ Weekly Lamb Kill

900 750 600 450 300 150 0 Nov

Last Year This Year








$3.5 $3.0 Dec






2 Wks Ago



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Beef & venison prices are reported as gross (before normal levies & charges are deducted). Lamb & mutton prices are reported nett (after levies & charges are deducted). Note: Freight is paid in the North Island but not by all companies in the South Island.

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M re people on the ground,

Rural News // march 5, 2013

news BEEF

price watch WOOL PRICE WATCH Change



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Dairy cows coming out in big numbers

Indicators in NZ$

Farmgate prices for works cattle were still under some downward pressure last week with big numbers of dairy cows coming forward for slaughter. Dry conditions, particularly in the North Island, saw dairy farmers start to quit cows early. North Island kill rates are now 125% above last years levels and 90% above 5 year average levels for this time. Declining US imported beef prices are also pressuring prices here lower. On the positive side, the margin between US imported beef prices and the farmgate price is currently 15% above 5-yr average levels. This indicates meat companies have created some buffer in their margins which could start to help underpin prices at the farmgate. Last week larger meat companies in both islands held their schedules for bull and steer, while manufacturing cow prices continued to move lower.

Aussies firing beef into export markets Dry conditions across the ditch mean many farmers there are also pushing the offload button. As a result beef exports hit a record high in January. Over 55,000 tonnes of beef were exported - a 20% jump on historical Jan volumes. In comparison NZ exported 35,000t. Japan was the main receiver with the US, Korea and China rounding out the top four export destinations for Aussie beef in January. Prices will remain under pressure in key export markets with supplies running high.

LAMB Farmgate lamb prices finally stabilise Last week farmgate prices for works lambs held firm with major meat companies holding their schedules for the first time since late January. The most recent lamb kill estimates show numbers beginning to decline as the lamb kill runs out of steam after running at above average levels for the season to date. Meat companies have begun to concentrate of clearing the backlog of ewes. The mutton kill has taken off and is 20-25% above 5 year average levels for this time. Unfortunately the NZ dollar remains strong against the pound in particular. This, combined with the fact that meat company margins on lamb remain lower than typical, means there is a chance lamb prices could still go lower.

Store lamb market struggling Most North Island regions are desperate for some real rain so there has been little demand for store lambs recently – other than from South Island buyers. This has seen North Island paddock prices take a dive with most 26-32kg lambs selling at $1.70-1.75/kg last week although $1.60-1.65/kg is not unheard of either. Prices in the South Island have also been easing with plenty of North Island lambs boosting supplies. South Island prices have now dropped below $2/kg for the first time this season. The saleyards are also noting some pretty miserable results with store lambs averaging around $32/hd at Te Kuiti last week. Prices would have been worse at Stortford without a South Island buyer to underpin returns with most males (28-34kg) going for $1.65-1.80/kg. Feilding also followed the easing trend with 28-34kg males going for $1.651.80/kg although the heavier end were steady.

WOOL Wool market finds some stability Pricing at recent wool sales have been mixed but overall the market has managed to remain generally steady. The combined North and South Island sale on Feb 21 saw a good clearance rate of around 90%. Although some types of wool did soften, the bulk of the offering was firm or slightly higher in price. First lambs wool in the North Island comprised a third of the offering there. Prices were 5% higher for the 31-33.5 micron lamb wool, while the 27 to 30.5 micron wool was between 2% lower and 2% dearer compared to the previous sale. There was been good competition lead by Chinese, Australasian and Indian buyers.


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Rural News // march 5, 2013

22 agribusiness

francis wolfgram Finance Matters

NZ Dairy Market Product

Last GDT Auction

1 Mth Ago

3 Mths Ago


Whole Milk Powder (WMP) Skim Milk Powder (SMP)



Butter Milk Powder (BMP)






$4,033 $4,142



$4,282 $4,070

new zealand agri shares Prices Divdend as at Yield 25/2/2013

NZX Code



Livestock Improvement Corporation Limited (NS)




Sanford Limited




Skellerup Holdings




Delegat’s Group Limited




Fonterra Units




Hellaby Holdings




Heartland New Zealand



Milk production overall is trending slightly higher this season as Fonterra’s New Zealand milk collection is up 6.7% on last milk season. However, the dry weather is taking its toll especially in the North Island where production is now falling. Production growth has dropped significantly globally recently as well. This reduction in supply is starting to show through in global dairy prices including the local Fonterra Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction. The GDT Trade Weighted Index (GDT – TWI) for February 19 auction, which takes in all dairy products, was up 3.1% with a strong rise in the benchmark whole milk powder (WMP) price of 5.4% from the previous auction on February 5. This has seen a rise in the last three auction events for WMP of 15.6% for 2013. The skim milk price (SMP) only shows a rise of 1% from the previous auction, with a 5.9% rise since the start of 2013. The butter milk powder (BMP) price rose 4.1%, BMP is up 2.3% for 2013 despite a large price drop of -6.5% from the January 6 auction. Cheese was up 1.8% and is up 0.7% for 2013. Livestock Improvement Corp’s (LIC) share price remains steady at $5.60, after a favourable half year profit result on February 13. Sanford Limited has no major news to report, but has come off recent price highs. Skellerup Holdings price has slipped lately, half year result announced on February 21 came in mixed, net profit was down but a dividend of 3 cents a share was announced. Delegat’s Group is going strong this month backed up by solid half year results announced on Feb 26 with net profit up 31%. Fonterra Units have been holding steady, interim results will be posted on March 27 – which will be the next big date to look out for. Hellaby Holdings issued half year results on February 19 which were mixed, but a dividend of 5 cents per share was announced. Heartland New Zealand has had a good run recently, with a net profit of $10.7m for the half year – this is up $0.9m from $9.8m in the previous half year. This table and information is in no way a recommendation to buy or sell any share but a list of New Zealand agrishares that have the highest dividends. Please consult your financial advisor before entering into any sharemarket investment.

US Agricultural Commodity Prices Price This Price Last Change Issue Issue



Live Cattle





Feeder Cattle





Lean Hogs





Greasy Wool






USD/ Bushel





USD/ Bushel




US agricultural commodities, as a whole, slipped back during most of February. Wheat dropped to an eight-month low on speculation a snowstorm in the U.S. Great Plains will help ease drought conditions before crops emerge from winter dormancy. Hog prices are hovering near a three-month low, weighed down by sluggish U.S. consumer appetite for pork and fears that U.S. export sales are slowing. When restaurants and supermarkets experience weaker consumer demand, they typically seek lower prices for hams, pork chops and other cuts from pork processors. US corn inventories will rebound from their lowest levels and “strong foreign competition” limits exports in turn hurting demand for US corn. The weakness in placement demand from feedlots in the past three months has left the available supply of feeder cattle for the first half of 2013 up year on year for the first time in three years, the increased supply has driven down prices. Most cattle in the U.S. are sent to feedlots for final fattening before slaughter. Live cattle and feeder cattle prices however, have risen in the past few days due to supply chain issues created by the winter storms and the inability of transport to deliver beef to various parts of the US disrupting beef supply. This table and information is in no way a recommendation to buy or sell any share but a list of New Zealand agrishares that have the highest dividends. Please consult your financial advisor before entering into any sharemarket investment.

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Rural News // march 5, 2013

agribusiness 23

Loans offered to meet compliance PA M TI PA

ASB is showing “corporate responsibility” by offering a rural environmental compliance loan at low cost, says ASB general manager rural Mark Heer. ASB believes it is the first loan offer in New Zealand with a low cost funding option to assist farmers “get the balance right between productivity and environmental sustainability”. Offered for on-farm investment to upgrade environmental compliance systems, it is priced at ASB’s cost of funding with no additional customer margin applied. Loans are available to farmers for environmental compliance purposes up to $200,000 and over a maximum fiveyear term. Heer told Rural News he was “not aware of any other specific offerings to funds the effort towards getting the balance right between productivity and environment and certainly at a low-cost discounted rate”. It is at the bank’s floating bank rate, which at the time of talking to Rural News last week was 3.8%. While that changes daily it is “reasonably flat”. “There’s obviously a lot of positive global trends which would indicate there’s a great opportunity for New Zealand to increase the volume and the value of our exports in the agricultural area,” Heer says. “The increase in productivity potentially puts some strain on the environment and our view is there has to be a good balance between maximising productivity and balancing

that against sustainability of the environment. “This is an important issue for all New Zealand because it talks to the economic well-being of the country from an export volume and value point of view and also from the environmental point of view. All New Zealanders are stakeholders both from an economic and environmental point of view. “That’s the challenge; in the media, among industry groups and in the industry, there is a lot of conversation at the moment about getting that balance right. “The environmental regulatory environment is evolving, we see new requirements, different types of requirements coming in for the farming industry. It’s not just about what are the requirements of today, but what are the changing requirements going forward. “We’ve seen DairyNZ, Fonterra, Federated Farmers, Beef + Lamb in this conversation, be it effluent for the dairy industry or fencing of waterways. We want to be part of the solution. We feel a funding package at cost – there’s no profit in it for us – is just really about pitching in and helping provide a solution so farmers can meet and adapt to the requirements for environmental sustainability while maximising productivity.” Heer says it is an evolving space and ASB wanted to show some “corporate responsibility and get in behind it and look to provide an important part of the solution”. “The farming community is engaged with protecting the environment and making sure they pass

it on in good health; the will is there on behalf of farmers. “A lot of these initiatives do cost money so they need to be funded by trading income or by debt. And it is evolving; meeting the requirements in 2012 may be a bit different from 2013 and there may be different

requirements in 2014. It is an evolving element in running a sustainable farming business. “All farmers I talk to are engaged in getting this right so we want to get in and help in the most appropriate way we can which is to provide some low cost funding to help them with it.”

ASB is providing low cost loans for on-farm environmental compliance investments.

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Crop of the future? EVER HEARD of quinoa? (pron. keen-wah) The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has nominated 2013 as international year of the Andean origin cereal in recognition of its role in better nutrition, particularly in regions where food security’s a problem. It is the only plant food with all essential amino acids, trace elements and vitamins. It’s also resistant to drought, poor soils and high salinity, and grows from sea level to 4000m altitude withstanding temperatures from -8oC to 38oC, says the FAO. “This extraordinary grain has been a cultural anchor and a staple in the diet of millions of people throughout the Andes for thousands of years,” says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “Quinoa is now poised for global recognition.”

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Rural News // march 5, 2013

24 agribusiness

Sustainability – but what does it actually mean? “SUSTAINABILITY’ IS the dairy industry’s buzzword for 2013. It’s great to see the Feds, Fonterra and DairyNZ each acknowledging that sustainability is an important issue and developing strategies appropriate to their organisations. These three, together with other dairy companies and the Dairy Women’s Network, will launch a new Strategy for Sustainable Dairy Farming in a few months, which they say will guide the investment and activities

of the industry. These priorities, reviews and strategies are to be welcomed – as long as they ultimately benefit farmers. My question is what will the farmers’ strategy have to be? Will they have to go cap-in-hand to the bank manager for a larger overdraft to achieve the sorts of sustainability these organisations have in mind? Just what extra research will be needed, and can most of that research be done in a real on-farm situation?

One of the problems is that sustainability means different things to different people. To Fonterra it means, amongst other things, more milk and consistent supply. To DairyNZ it might mean

higher and consistent funding. To many farmers it probably involves higher and more consistent production. Given these different expectations and interpretations it isn’t surprising there is confusion about how farmers are actually going to achieve sustainability. For some it may mean a high stocking rate with feed supplies propped up by maize, PKE and lots of nitrogen. For others – in sensitive catchments – it probably means optimis-

ing Olsen P, low solubility tations. There are wide phosphate, limited N and variations in what people tight management of efflu- understand by them and ent treatment how they meaand disposal. sure them. The more The wise This is ones will be significant sustainable asking: what because, for option is the most farmers, susbecomes profitable tainability and approach? obvious when profit should There is be intimately a real danger profit is the linked. In fact, that the true measure. I am convinced intent of sustainable words like options have sustainability and profit to be measured in profit will be lost in the jargon terms and then manand different interpreaged to achieve maximum

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returns to farmers. Why make any change unless it is going to be profitable? The key to all this is how you measure profit. The best I have found – in over 50 years of searching – is: cents per kilo of dry matter eaten daily by stock. This may sound complicated, but it is actually straightforward and certainly the most accurate way of comparing management options. A simple example: you might be wondering whether to put on more stock and therefore using more fertiliser and/ or supplementary feeds, or less stock and doing them better with existing resources. Using your own farm data in new, innovative on-line software you can determine which option will be the more profitable. Not just today, but also next week, next month, next year, and forecast for several years after that. The more sustainable option becomes obvious when profit is the measure. I hope the new Strategy for Sustainable Dairy Farming takes this measure of farm profitability into account, rather than just tinkering with generic industry figures or indirect estimates like EFS. • Peter Floyd is the managing director of Cogent Farming Business Systems Ltd Tel. 0800433376 or 0275968796

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south island field days 25

Exhibitor numbers swell for final Lincoln Field Days WITH AT least 400 exhibitors signed up so far, the 2013 South Island Agricultural Field Days, Lincoln University Farm March 20-22, promises to be one of the most successful in the 60 year history of the event, organisers claim. Notably this event will be the last to be staged on the present Lincoln site. The event on the 35ha farm shows new machines working, to reinforce the relationship between farmers, service providers, scientists and technical experts. It is the only agricultural show in New Zealand to feature side-by-side demonstrations, with 80 - 100 tractors, headers, mowers, seed drills and

The theme for the 2013 field days is ‘Ag-Technology’, highlighting the fact that farming now sustains a world population of 6.5 billion people. other machines being put through their paces each day. “A point of difference for us is that our focus on demonstrations provides the opportunity for our sector to show New Zealand’s agricultural innovation in action,” chairman of the SIAFD organising committee Richard Westaway says. “However, space is now at a premium and we’re investigating the move to a larger site that allows us

to maintain our emphasis on demonstrations,” Richard says. A decision on the new location will be announced next month. Organisers report increased interest from the North Island and from other parts of the South Island,including Otago/ Southland and the Top of the South. There will also be two exhibitors from Australia. The theme for the 2013 field days is ‘Ag-Technology’, highlighting the fact

that farming now sustains a world population of 6.5 billion people. Lincoln University Farm is at the corner of Shands Rd and Ellesmere Junction Rd, 20km from Christchurch. Public opening hours are 8am 5pm.


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NZ’s oldest field days When South Island Agricultural Field Days (SIAFD), held every second year, was first held in Motukarara in 1951it was a one-day wonder that attracted about 1000 people. Now the event, held ever since on the Lincoln University farm, has grown into a three-

day event attended by at least 25,000 South Island farmers. SIAFD is one of the oldest and largest agricultural events in the South Island; going back 61 years, and focusing on opportunities to view machines in their working state and to reinforce the relationship

between farmers, service providers, scientists and technical experts. This year’s field days will the 61st and last time it is held at Lincoln University – as it has now outgrown the site – an announcement on a new venue will be made soon. The SIAFD will be held

at the Lincoln University Farm, corner of Shands Rd and Ellesmere Junction Rd, 20km away from Christchurch City on the 20-22nd March 2013. It is expected that about 400 exhibitors will attend, attracting 20,00025,000 visitors over three days.

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Rural News // march 5, 2013

26 opinion editorial


Getting elephants across mountains LIKE HANNIBAL getting 30-odd elephants across the Italian Alps (218BC), the dairy industry, plus ‘friends’, has succeeded in drafting a new agreement on how to prevent dairying from dirtying our fresh water resources. The new ‘Sustainable Dairying Water Accord’ has been a mammoth job, demanding the best technical, managerial and political skills. Huge credit to those who’ve brought it to birth after “a long time in gestation”, as Dairy Companies Association chief executive Simon Tucker put it. They worked with DairyNZ in this two-way partnership and Federated Farmers has signed to it as a friend. Councils are also part of the caravan – it’s ‘collaborative’, in the best spirit of the Land and Water Forum. Even the Greens and Forest and Bird haven’t been as churlish about it as they might have been. Now to keep this expedition on track. Since every party to the accord will have its own agenda – notwithstanding agreement on the common cause – there will need to be some prodding to keep the ‘herd’ in line. Several renegade beasts could cause panic at a bluff, putting at risk the whole: first, the few chain-dragging dairymen who just will not clean up; second, the empire-builder who bites off more than he can chew, intending to chew like mad, but choking -- he borrows too much, overstocks his land and pushes his staff to the edge; third, the lunatic on the ‘greenies’ fringe who won’t be satisfied until all the humans have been flushed out of New Zealand and the countryside returned to its primeval state. This latter character seems harmless, if nutty, but if he gets loose with a video camera when either a chain-dragger or an empirebuilder has a meltdown with his effluent system, the dairy industry could face a major irritant. What sort of irritant? A demand – which the likes of the Green Party and Forest and Bird would have to support – for compulsory sanctions against dairy farmers whose systems don’t meet the standards of the new accord. And there’s another elephant in the room, albeit still a calf: somewhere, somebody will be plotting to require dairy farmers to be licensed to farm. So the onus is on the dairy industry’s regulars to keep the renegades in check, reminding them they too are responsible for helping New Zealand’s dairy industry to be as good as it deserves to be, albeit a little less demanding of finite resources – including people.

RURAL NEWS HEAD OFFICE POSTAL ADDRESS: PO Box 3855, Shortland Street, Auckland 1140 PUBLISHER: Brian Hight .............................................. Ph 09 307 0399 GENERAL MANAGER: Adam Fricker ........................................... Ph 09 913 9632 CONSULTING EDITOR: David Anderson .......................................Ph 09 307 0399

“Maybe we could get Peter Jackson to tell the government he needs it to rain!”

the hound

Want to share your opinion or gossip with the Hound? Send your emails to:

Change of heart?

Too little, too late!

THE HOUND had a bit of a giggle at Fed Farmers’ meat and wool chair Janet Maxwell comments, in a radio interview with Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking, on the horse meat scandal in the UK. The Feds meat and wool chair was ebullient in her praise of the NAIT scheme. What made your old mate snigger about this comment was his memory of how the Feds have fought the NAIT scheme tooth-andnail from the get-go. Oh well, now it looks like the farmer lobby may have had a change of heart over the merits of NAIT.

DURING THE last week of February Fonterra and RD1 ran “the biggest fencing promotion RD1 has ever run,” according to its joint PR-blurb. Not only was the Feb 21 announcement of this promotion too late for many farmers to take advantage of it, but the date after which Fonterra suppliers were contractually obliged to ensure stock could not access waterways was December 1, 2012. Is this yet another case of the great co-op doing too little, too late, on a crucial environmental and industry public image issue.

TECHNICAL EDITOR: Andrew Swallow ................... Ph 03 688 2080 PRODUCTION: Dave Ferguson ........................Ph 09 913 9633 Becky Williams ........................Ph 09 913 9634 REPORTERS: Sudesh Kissun ....................... Ph 09 913 9627 Pamela Tipa ............................ Ph 09 913 9630 Peter Burke .............................Ph 06 362 6319 SUB-EDITOR: Neil Keating ............................Ph 09 913 9628 WEBSITE PRODUCER: James Anderson .................... Ph 09 913 9621

Fun police YOUR OLD mate is constantly amazed at what terribly dour and sad lives some people lead, especially those of the do-gooder persuasion. An excellent example was the recent wailing and gnashing of teeth by the SPCA at news that sheep piggyback races for children were making a welcome return to this month’s Gore A&P Show after a 30-year absence. This news sparked the clichéd howls of concern from animal welfare types who claimed it was ‘sending the wrong message’ to children. The Hound suggests the SPCA fun-police seriously need to get a life.

Some accidents do happen EVER BEEN to a conference where a speaker goes on and on and on and won’t stop? The Hound has learned a way of cutting that person off on cue. Unfortunately, this happened quite by accident at the recent Massey Fertiliser and Lime workshop. A keynote speaker was given a two-minute call to finish when suddenly the lecture theatre lights came on, the computer died and the screen behind him just rolled up. It was an ‘IT misadventure’ but it did serve as a warning to others about what could happen if they overran time.

Empire building? THE HOUND wonders what the brains trust at Fonterra must be thinking with reports it is planning to build a new $100 million headquarters on Auckland’s swanky waterfront. The dairy giant has sought expressions of interest from developers and property owners, saying it wants to move into the country’s best new building in about four years. The Hound can imagine just how happy dairy farmers will be to know the 900 suits they employ at Fonterra HQ are living in luxury while they milk up to their ankles in water and cow muck all day long!

NATIONAL SALES MANAGER: Ted Darley .......... Ph 07 854 6292/021 832 505

WELLINGTON SALES REPRESENTATIVE: Mark Macfarlane .Ph 04 234 6239/021 453 914

AUCKLAND SALES REPRESENTATIVE: Stephen Pollard ....Ph 09 913 9637/021 963 166

SOUTH ISLAND SALES REPRESENTATIVE: Kaye Sutherland Ph 03 337 3828/021 221 1994

TAURANGA SALES REPRESENTATIVE: Tony Hopkinson .. Ph 07 579 1010/021 949 226

ABC audited circulation 80,767 as at 30.06.2012

Rural News is published by Rural News Group Ltd. All editorial copy and photographs are subject to copyright and may not be reproduced without prior written permission of the publisher. Opinions or comments expressed within this publication are not necessarily those of staff, management or directors of Rural News Group Ltd.

Rural News // march 5, 2013

opinion 27

You can’t please the people all the time! j o hn luxto n

AMERICAN BASEBALL coach John Wooden, a man full of quotes, once said: “You can’t let praise or criticisms get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.” Those words are ringing in my ears after fronting – as a farmer and the chairman of industry body DairyNZ – the recent release of the new Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord. This new accord will replace the previous Clean Streams Accord that ended in 2012. We are now discussing the new accord with farmers before finalising for signing about mid-May. There was praise and criticism in the media of our new accord – and I got caught up in both. Commitment across the industry Dairy farmers are already doing a great deal to protect the environment. We plant trees, fence streams and protect wetlands. Plus we spend about $24m a year on ridding our forests and native bush of pests through the TBFree programme. The QEII National Trust, which helps private landowners protect areas with high conservation values, is under

pressure because so many farmers are seeking to protect land. About one in ten farming businesses is now protecting land under QEII covenants, as a way of preserving special areas without losing ownership. The trust is struggling to keep up with demand. Here was the dairy industry stepping up for the first time with an agreement that covered all dairy companies and had the support of the industry and central and regional government. Every dairy company has committed to sign the new accord. Together with DairyNZ and Federated Farmers we are now united as an industry on a comprehensive common set of industry goodpractice environmental standards that will apply to farms across the country. There are new areas covered like riparian management and new dairy farms, and new, tougher targets in some areas. We got support from the Minister for Primary Industries, regional councils and others including Ngai Tahu Farming. Predictable critics And the criticism came from predictable quarters. The Green Party and Forest and Bird focused on the lack of teeth as they saw it. We should have had

all companies sign up to compulsory sanctions for farmers who didn’t meet these standards, they said. We should have learnt the lessons of the previous Clean Streams Accord. But Fonterra, with 89% of suppliers, and other companies, have already signalled that the accord’s requirements will be reflected in current and future supply agreements. Fonterra’s experience has shown that sanctions are generally only needed as a last resort. A strong letter of warning is usually enough to prompt action. Company supply agreements are already an integral part of our dairy industry – but they alone are not the answer. From DairyNZ’s experience, concentrated support to farmers is also needed to bring about change. Doing it on a big scale DairyNZ has a programme of work planned including a 700-farm three-year research project underway in the Upper Waikato Karapiro catchment to test the support approach on a large scale. There, with funding from the Waikato River Authority, we will provide one-onone support to farmers to develop their own Sustainable Milk Plans. Dairy companies are partners in that too.

others think you are.” And I think the industry has shown great character with this latest accord. Ultimately that will also be reflected in our reputation. • John Luxton is chairman of DairyNZ.

I am quite happy to be held accountable by the public for whether we meet our targets in this new accord. But how we get there should be our decision. The Accord does not have to specify detailed sanctions. But what it does do is set out transparent and robust reporting on our progress and whether we meet our targets. That’s what matters to the public. Our reputation But as the quote goes, it is best not to get caught up in praise or criticism. Let’s just focus on what we have to do with this new accord and do it well. As another quote from John Wooden goes, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what

John Luxton

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Rural News // march 5, 2013

28 opinion Should somebody drop out of meat sector? I am watching with interest as numerous stock trucks cross the weighbridge at our Mainland Minerals fertiliser plant near Marton, lower North Island. On February 25, before midday, 10 units weighed in, all loaded for the South Island. Drivers tell me up to 26 units a day cross Cook Strait, mostly loaded with lambs. I’m told many of these lambs are returning to the North Island to be killed. This confuses me and gives rise to questions. There is a cost (up to $30 I’m told) to transport these lambs… but if there is such a huge margin in this stock, is something going awry in the meat industry? The meat operators moving this stock will still have a margin I’ll bet. It has been well documented that shareholders et al are disgruntled with the directors of the co-operative meat company Silver Fern Farms. If it were a publicly

listed company, it would be gone…. Questions have to be asked. 1: Is one company setting the schedule price and others are following suit? Full-page adverts placed in rural newspapers by Silver Fern Farms talk of taking initiatives and giving explanations on various issues. Agreed, a merger would need to command 80% of the kill to create an effective co-operative, but… the same company saddled with its huge debt is the biggest drawback to New Zealand farmer suppliers. Until this industry debt is sorted by all companies, will we continue to see the wild fluctuations in seasonal stock prices? 2: How much of every animal killed by SFF goes to debt servicing? Would this money not be better being in the suppliers’ pockets so they can reduce their debt, which in turn would increase efficiencies on their farms? It may also

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RD6 Palmerston North (Shortened – editor)

giving meat away JOHN MCCARTHY is quite right (Rural News , Feb 19): it is quite pointless for New Zealand farmers to invest money to increase efficiency yet again, when the dysfunctional structure of two competing cooperatives is going to give any potential profits away. One only has to investigate last year’s debacle when Cooperative A under mined Cooperative B in lamb and collectively gave away NZ$160 million of value and our potential profitability. Sure meat companies blame the market, recession in Europe, the dollar and competing meats in an attempt to

lay the blame somewhere else. But it’s getting harder for companies to pull the wool over sheep farmers’ eyes. If there’s 11,500 commercial sheep farmers left who haven’t yet converted to dairy farming, that $NZ160m represents $14,000 net profit per farm.  The result will be “the most efficient and most unprofitable” producers in the world giving our meat away at cost, while the supermarkets bank our profits. Dave Stanton Farmers for better meat marketing RD21 Hilton Geraldine

It’s a conspiracy ANOTHER RURAL publication recently ran a superbly presented two-page article on international ‘free’ trade agreements. Obviously, a promotion for the Trans-Pacific Partnership proposal. Also designed obviously to bring Kiwi farmers on side with it. What a wonderful buzz word is ‘free trade’. What journalistic genius to write knowledgeably about something being negotiated entirely in secret. This, almost certainly, would be modelled on the disastrous North American Free Trade Agreement. What would it take to get a farmer to purchase a breeding bull from a diseased herd managed by plausible owners, whose only aim was to make as much money as possible in every deal, with no regard for consequences? A catchy phrase wouldn’t work in that case. So why risk the whole nation, and particularly the rural sector, on similar shaky reasoning? John G Rawson Whangerei

wleferinkfedfarmers: Fed Farms is pleased to support this new dairying water accord and to all the ‘doubting Thomas’s who have piped up again – go jump in the 90% clean lakes! #upyoursgreenies jluxtondairynz: I don’t know why we bother. The dairy industry announces a significantly improved clean-up of waterways and the naysayers can’t wait to put the boot in. #hippiesdonotwash Yah for once we have a really good story to tell about dairy farmers cleaning up waterways. Now watch my highly paid PR team cock it up! #stilluseless nathguyminister: Look at me; only a few weeks into my new job and already I’ve broken droughts and cleaned up our dirty rivers! #amanofaction

esagegreenmp: The Greens love taking cheap shots at NZ’s dairy sector hence us calling the latest water quality plan the ‘Dirty Dairy Accord’! #wehatefarmersmore dshearerlabour: A large number of NZ dairy farms were recently sold to Swedish interests. However Sweden is close to Finland, my favourite country, so I’ll not make any protests about this like I did over Crafar farms being sold to the Chinese. #lovescandinavianotchina winstonfirstandlast: I’ve no problem with NZ dairy farms being sold to the Swedes. Better than it going to those slanty-eyed Chinese taking over our farmland! Those who don’t like this message can bugger off back to Wogistan! #itsbecausetheylooklikeus

jwilsonfonterra: Where am I? Where have I gone? Why has Henry put me in this closet and locked the door? Henry? Henry? #missinginaction

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fonterrapr: I recently resigned from PR company BBG, so I can be ‘embedded’ full time at the soon-to-be-built Fonterra $100M HQ, yet we still employ BBG for our PR work. Now watch our PR performance improve. What do you mean DCD issue? #asbadasever mshadboltwoolsofnz: Bugger me, I didn’t expect that to happen! Woolgrowers have actually coughed up the money so now we’ve got to come up with a magic plan to lift wool prices as we promised in our prospectus. #startpraying

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damienoconnormp: You may well scoff, but the cover-up over DCD and banks screwing farmers with dodgy swap deals is a direct result of Fonterra’s decision to implement TAF! #likeastuckrecord

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Rural News // march 5, 2013

opinion 29

We are all responsible for water quality james h o u gh to n

I GOT a chance to look through the Great New Zealand Science Project website the other night. Plenty was being said about what farmers should be doing about water quality. Much of it was the usual ‘blame-farming-not-cities’ comment, although there were also some interesting suggestions about getting people from towns and cities out to farms to contribute towards the funding and labour of fencing off streams. Until I added my two cents, nothing was being discussed about the need for urban areas to take responsibility for their share of waterway pollution. It would be great if more farmers could take a few minutes to go online and help dispel some of the myths about water quality. This website has been created to get feedback from the general population about what they would value in respect of government spending on scientific research over the next few years. I have asked for more research to understand nutrient pathways and more education for the general population on what everyone, rural and urban, can do to reduce pollutants reaching our waterways. We need to have a greater understanding of what is polluting all our rivers and I am interested in discovering more about the effects of urban sewage treatment on them. It would be good to have some definitive answers about what sewage-treatment processes

remove and what they do not and also look at where this treated waste ends up, which all too often is in rivers or in the sea. Perhaps part of the reason so few comments are being made in online forums by farming organisations is because of the huge amount of work being done to actually find solutions for our industry. One example is DairyNZ’s work on the Strategy for Sustainable Dairy Farming. This strategy for the industry is undergoing a complete refresh and overhaul, with some help from Federated Farmers Dairy, the Dairy Women’s Network and the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand. One of the main points to come from the review has been to reiterate that sustainability means getting all aspects of the industry working well. This ranges from the economic side of things, to the social and cultural aspects, as well as looking at how to minimise and mitigate environmental impacts. It is vital dairy farming’s first priority is to remain competitive on a world stage by producing safe, high-quality dairy products at a good, competitive cost. It is equally vital the industry is responsible for the wider environmental, animal welfare and people-related outcomes of dairy farming. Dairy farming must work for all New Zealanders. The strategy review is ongoing and those who are interested can have a look at • James Houghton is Federated Farmers Waikato president.

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Rural News // march 5, 2013

30 management

Pasture renewal promises profit AN D REW SWA LLOW

AN AGGRESSIVE regrassing programme could raise EBIT/ha from venison finishing nearly $1000/ha, judging by figures presented to a Deer Industry New Zealand focus farm field day last week. Even at a conservative 50g lwt/day better weaner growth

through spring, summer and autumn, the South Canterbury/ North Otago farmers heard how the resulting earlier finishing and consequently better prices promised a 96.9% return on capital deployed in regrassing (see table). “If these guys can shift that average growth rate up by 50g/ day they will bring forward average kill date by a month and

Venison finishing figures Annual growth Days to gain 44kg lwt* Ave kill date Ave price $/kgcwt Gross venison income Lambs finished/ha Lamb income @ $15/hd margin Gross income/ha Farm working expenses/ha EBIT/ha Return on $1000/ha to regrass

Old pasture 8000kgDM/ha 349 Mar 3 $6.80 $1449/ha $1449 $725 $724

New pasture 12000kgDM/ha 292 Jan 5 $7.80 $2213/ha 58 $866/ha $3079 $1385 $1693 96.6%

* Winter lwt gain 80g/day; spring, summer & autumn lwt gain 150g/day on old, 200g/day on new.



Before and after: old pasture in the foreground and a broadcast reseed with an annual behind. Inset: Nicky Hyslop

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a half,” explained Macfarlane Rural Business consultant and field day facilitator, Nicky Hyslop. Electronic Identification of weaners and consequent closer monitoring of weight gain has shown the field day property, Downlands Deer near Geraldine, that weaners on new pasture last month gained over 250g/day, while those on old did 120g/day. “That’s the sort of thing you need to see to give you the confidence to go out and spend on new grass.” But Hyslop also stressed: “it’s not just about chucking new grass at the system”; soil fertility, fencing, and water supply need to be in place to ensure extra growth potential is realised and harvested. “You need to make those investments ahead of your regrassing programme… there’s no point growing a truckload more feed if you’re going to let it get away on you.” Downlands is using a one year annual grass break to clean out old browntop and rush infested paddocks before going back into a mix of perennial ryegrass, clovers, chicory and plantain. Once established, pasture management should follow the dairy developed principle of the feed wedge, keeping a range of covers on paddocks from

1500kgDM/ha on those just grazed – “the residual” – to 2,800kgDM/ha at point of grazing. “That will a) maximise grazing quality and b) maximise regrowth.” Analysing Downlands’ operation – 260ha of 80% heavy, rolling paddocks in a reliable 1000mm/ year rainfall area – Hyslop acknowledged the relative risk of the venison schedule in finishing 1800 weaners/year, and rhetorically asked why not simply run more dairy heifers, given the farm already has 320 in the system. “You couldn’t take on more than 500: they just don’t have the same seasonal fit that venison does.” And if deer farmers focus on productivity, ensuring paddocks and livestock grow drymatter and liveweight to their potential, they would “be up there and out compete other options,” she maintained. DINZ venison marketing services manager Innes Moffat wrapped up the field day with a presentation on “surviving post crash Europe”, but for farmers, as Hyslop pointed out early in the day, productivity has to the focus. “Why do I keep going on about productivity? Because it’s the one thing you can really control.” @rural_news

Rural News // march 5, 2013


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‘Ewe 2’ a hit in Triplet transfer: it’s a concept that attracted about 100 people and raised a few eyebrows on a Beef + Lamb field day 20km east of Masterton recently. Peter Burke reports.

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32 management

ANDREW AND Gretchen Freeman aim to get every ewe to rear two lambs, every year, regardless of whether they drop one, two or three. It’s their Ewe 2 strategy, and it’s working. Their system is ‘triplet transfer’: a simple term that captures a major and complex management regime.

It started in 2011 when the Freeman’s were invited by Beef + Lamb NZ to become one of twelve demonstration farms around the country. The farms take on new approaches, aiming to break ground for the industry in terms of production and profit. They must be prepared to share results with other farmers

but for their trouble get some funding from BLNZ to support the areas of innovation. The Freeman’s 733ha farm, Ngahere, is 650ha effective. It’s typical Wairarapa hill country except not all their hillsides are brown at present, thanks to a regrassing programme they began about seven years ago. Mixes of chic-

Trial yields tips aplenty THERE WERE some good learning’s “The key step to encourage other from the triplet transfer trial (see main farms to take this on would be us story), says Freeman. For example, it producing a really strong blueprint was important to have plenty of water with a clear set of protocols of what the and dry matter in the shed for the system and key labour units need to do ewes, but ‘smellies’, scents, sweats and and what needs to happen at certain swearing were times – to take a lot of little help in of the guessing out bonding ewes and of it and help deliver lambs. success.” Good hygiene As for the forty or was critical, as was more lambs that did providing extra not bond with their colostrum for new mums during Result: well grown mothered-on triplet lambs before the project, the Freelambs in October. going to their new mans found there mums. High quality ewe-feed pre- and was a ready market for pet lambs. post-lambing was needed for ex-single “Our children kept three or four and ewes to milk-up rapidly: going onto plan- they were employed to help strengthen tain/clover there were some impresthe lambs as they came through and sive weaning weights for both lambs and facilitate sales through TradeMe and ewes. Next spring ewes will be offered on our farm website. There was a really pure red and white clover stands to try to good up-take with people from as far push the boundaries further. away as Wanganui and even Levin While the operation is labour intenbuying our lambs.” sive, Freeman believes it’s worth it and If a lamb they sold as a pet died they there are plenty of suitable staff availoffered a replacement. There was also able in spring to do such a job. the option to sell lambs back to the Free“There is not much happening on man’s once weaned, though only one farms at this time of the year. Not many person chose to do that. people are fencing, or shearing etc so “We’d like to see that side scale-up there should be plenty of good quality because there’s huge potential for more casual labour. Finding profitable opporpet lambs to be reared. It is also a small tunities to utilise existing farm labour in step in bridging the divide between town September was a key industry-level plus and country. I can see us selling well over for this project,” he notes. 100 pet lambs in the future.”

‘WE’VE USED IT HERE FOR 38 YEARS , IT GETS THE RESULTS.’ Barry Stoddart – Sheep and Beef Farmer, Central Hawke’s Bay

ory, plantain, red and white clover, Italian ryegrass and fescue stand out like oasis in the otherwise parched landscape. They run about 2500 ewes, buying in replacements and finishing about 8000 lambs. They also run circa 250 cattle, mostly bulls. Looking to do something different to grow their farm business and improve lamb survival rates they hit on a ‘triplet transfer’ system where triplets are reduced to twins, with the lamb removed transferred to a large-scale motheringon house of single-bearing ewes. Freeman says the idea was born out of the frustration of high loss rates in triplets no matter how he managed them. “I began by re-looking at the situation. I thought if people all around the country with better systems than us are not managing to succeed by making that third lamb stay on its mother, how could we do it differently? I started thinking ‘what if we grafted them onto the single mums en mass’.” While many top farms are trying to reduce triplet births and shying away from use of Androvax, the Freeman’s are embracing tripleting: they see it as the key to producing more liveweight per ewe at weaning. Ewes are mated to PollDorset/Texel cross rams or straight Texel. “The Texel has a strong link to survivability and we are wanting fast-growing

Rural News // march 5, 2013

management 33




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mum has already arrived at the shed and her lamb has been taken away from her for a short period and she’s waiting with no lamb. Then six hours later or the next morning, every single mum is presented with a new set of twins, and none of them are her own lamb. She may get a set of singles from other single mums or she may get two new triplets. The fact that she doesn’t get her own lamb back massively increases the acceptance rate of these foreign lambs. She can’t pick favourites: that’s the key.” It’s an approach similar to the nurse-cow system used by some calf rearers, he notes. Keeping removed single lambs out of earshot is crucial, says Freeman. They’re only brought back into the main shed when




a mob of single-bearing ewes – ironically a key part of the system – drafted off. As no one had done this on such a scale in New Zealand, Freeman was, to some extent, ‘winging it’, he admits. However, they received good advice from Hunterville vet Marty Walshe who’s been working with a similar idea on a smaller scale and provided useful basic data and ideas. The woolshed and covered yards were set up as the transfer station, with large pens for single-bearing ewes and 16-20 small pens. All lambs waiting to be mothered on were kept out of the shed to keep them out of ear shot of ewes. “So the ewe drops three lambs out in the paddock and elsewhere a single mum has lambed as well



Flashback to lambing: a ewe adopting her new “twins”.

they are ready to be paired with a ewe. Ewes are fitted with ram harnesses and tethered in pens so they can’t lie down making it easy for the lambs to drink. As soon as they’re drinking, there’s no bleating, and both single and triplet lambs proved very quick to accept new mothers. And while it took ewes 6-12 hours to accept the lambs, as soon as the ewe’s milk had passed through the lambs the ewes could smell this and in most cases lamb were accepted, he says. In this past season’s trial, the Freeman’s reared about 200 triplets and over 80% of the lambs given new mothers survived. The cost of rearing each lamb was $21, including labour (30%) animal health (23%) and feed and shed costs (47%). Another benefit was faster and greater weightgain by the two lambs left on the original triplet ewe. Next spring Freeman plans to rear 400 lambs on the transfer system, refining it further. It should return $23,000 profit, he calculates. But for both he and Gretchen, the system goes beyond profit. “I think we are doing something making sure the extra lambs we produce have a genuine chance of being saved and utilised. This is really important and is a key issue for us and in particular where the industry is going in terms of its genetic gain. A lot of ram breeders are getting feedback from their clients that they don’t want triplets and have reverted back to systems that really only focus on two lambs being born per ewe.


on the same day,” explains Freeman. “We bring the single ewes and lambs into the shed in batches of 10 – 20 (shed out daily) and put them in groups. The triplet ewe meanwhile has had her lambs and tried to look after all three in the paddock for the first 24 hours. Ideally on day two we go out there and retrieve the weakest one, bring that back to the shed and feed it cow colostrum for one or two feeds. “Meanwhile the single


prime lambs at all weights. The key thing in our system is to make sure we have lambs that are ready to go off mum prime. We often do a lot of lamb trading after Christmas and through the year so they need to be able to prime up rapidly.” The starting point to the triplet “trial” was injecting the entire ewe flock with Androvax. Scanning revealed 664 of 2500 ewes carrying triplets. Triplet-bearing ewes were split into three mobs, plus

Shed set-up: field day visitors see inside the Freeman’s shed.

Rural News // march 5, 2013

34 management

Ewe condition score key tool pa m ti pa

CONDITION SCORING tops a list of key actions to get the best from your flock, says a leading sheep consultant and vet. “At the end of the day you will be sick of hearing me talk about condition scoring,” Trevor Cook told a Beef+Lamb NZ

sheep production field day at Ahuroa, Northland. “It is the best tool you have to lift the performance of your flock.” Recognising the barrage of flock management advice farmers often face, he ran through key actions for coming weeks at the field day which was held on Daniel and Nicola Berger’s farm.

The difference between farms making $48 per ewe per year and those making $189 is not because of where they live, or the type of farm, “it is just those guys that do a whole lot of stuff better – the basics better,” he stressed. There’s a “clear set of things” that most affect the income, and it’s not a big list. In a breeding flock,

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number of lambs docked/ tailed is key. “I like to focus on getting as many lambs as possible at docking because that is how you make money.” Lifting scanning percentage 11% can give a huge lift in profitability and eliminating low condition score ewes is often the key to that, he says. “In my experience of North Island hill country flocks at any stage of the production cycle at least 15% of ewes are below [target] condition score.” Eye-metering isn’t good enough, he adds. “All of you will be missing at least 25% to 50% of low condition scores if you are using your eye…. “We have got some very good research data that shows us there’s a major production response from just focusing on condition score and lowering that

The number of ewes below condition score 3 at mating puts a ceiling on your scanning percentage, says consultant vet Trevor Cook.

below condition score to about 5% from about 15% (pre-mating)… I believe that should be the number one focus on every flock.” The return on allocating feed to lift light ewes is massive, “way more than anything else you can do on the farm,” he stresses. “The number of ewes below condition score 3 will put the ceiling on what your scanning per-

Manawatu example Cook points to the 2010 experience of the Manawatu BLNZ monitor farm as an example of the benefit of condition scoring, particularly in a summer/autumn dry such as now. Following a dry autumn, in what was a wet spring, many flocks that normally did 130% docked, did under 100%. “At the monitor farm we had an intense condition score programme and robust feed programme, and we had a record lambing at 132% - it had never done over 125%... “When I look back… we were very aggressive in setting up the winter and we used nitrogen to do that, the payback was just massive.”

centage is.” While no-one likes conditions scoring and it is time consuming, it can often be done with other operations, such as at scanning where the person pushing ewes into the scanning crate can be trained to condition score them in doing so, he suggests. A key date is 35 days before start of lambing. From that date the aim is to ensure ewes carrying multiple lambs do not lose any more condition. If they don’t get enough feed, not only do ewes go “sleepy” but lambs will be born dopey and the single biggest influence on survival from birth to docking is how quickly the lambs stand up. “A lamb which is born and suckles within 20 minutes has a 90% chance of being alive 90 days later.” While that’s a concern for the coming winter, if

there’s still an opportunity to lift light ewes to condition score 3 or better for mating, the return on that is about 45%, he says. In the run-up to mating, it’s important to remember the rams. “We know that whole production cycle of sperm starts eight weeks before that sperm is mature. Anything we do to put stress on that ram in that eight week window will put a block in the production cycle.” That eight weeks before mating are so important they should be highlighted on the calendar - “that calendaring is essential” – and be on the alert for any health issues, including pasture endophytes. For ewes, assuming they’re in adequate condition, the “20 golden days” are the 10 days before start of mating and first 10 days of mating itself.

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Rural News // march 5, 2013

36 animal health

Dairying dog training a big ask SHOULD DAIRY farmers and workers get pups to train? Through no fault of their own many haven’t had much to do with working dogs, or at least well trained ones, and they haven’t experienced firsthand a capable person and dog at work. They get a pup, usually poorly bred, and expect it to know what

to do. No one has ever shown them how to train a dog. Dog training isn’t easy, particularly if you don’t have sheep or good facilities, and most dairy farms have everything stacked against them to begin with. It is very hard training enthusiastic young dogs when there are only

cattle, and harder still when the fences just have a couple of wires and dogs can easily go wherever they want. I honestly feel most dairy farmers are better off buying, at the very least, partly trained dogs, but here lies a problem – a lot of doggy people won’t sell to dairy farmers. Why?

Because they have a rep-

utation of treating dogs poorly, due to ignorance. Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just telling you how a lot of people see it. Some dogs on dairy farms lead good lives, the average don’t. Occasionally I get dairy farmers coming to my training days, and it is great that they want to

learn, although a lot of what I teach is irrelevant to their requirements; however, they can go away with a simple method for teaching the basic commands to cover their needs – it is just a matter of sifting through the information. I’m often asked how to train a dog to follow cows down laneways. Dogs need to follow rather than push, and to not leave any stragglers behind; so firstly, every dog needs a stop command – ‘sit’ or ‘stand still’. After it has learnt the word and obeys the command, I suggest that each morning and afternoon, when you get the cows, give the dog a lesson. Put it on about a 10m length of thin rope attached to its collar; that way the dog can potter along behind the cows but if it tries to push them too hard or go up the side you can check it; you have control with the rope. Naturally you can’t do this if the dog isn’t interested in them. The ultimate would be if you were walking, but who does that nowadays? It will be tricky with a bike but if you do this, drive slowly, hold the end of the rope and let the dog wander along behind the cows. If the dog gets too keen,

stop it with ‘sit’. Give it a moment to settle before asking it to ‘walk’, allowing it to continue – steadily. The dog will eventually learn what to do and what not to do. When that is working well, I would introduce ‘careful’; this is allowing the dog to walk but if it gets carried away, give a gentle tug on the rope without actually stopping the dog, and say ‘careful’ instead of ‘sit’. That way ‘sit’ means stop still, ‘careful’ means slow. Don’t expect miracles; it takes time, consistency and patience on your part, and repetition for the dog to learn. When you think the dog has grasped the concept, drop the rope and allow the dog freedom to work but still dragging the rope, which will make it easy for you to gain control if he doesn’t obey a command. If that happens, act immediately: get off the bike, pick up the rope and give a quick jerk as you say either ‘sit’ or ‘careful’, whichever you originally asked for. • Anna Holland is teaching people dog training. For more information www. or Ph 07 217 0101 or annaholland@

A long line helps consolidate commands.

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Rural News // march 5, 2013

animal health 37

NZ-owned newcomer in drench market N E I L K E ATIN G

TWO YEARS into establishing Alleva Animal Health Ltd, Robert Holmes and Blair Loveridge see the business gaining traction with New Zealand veterinarians. The pair are pursuing what they see as a need for more local ownership of biotech businesses, including in animal health. “In animal health the number of locally owned companies has been dwindling – at least three of the major supply companies taken over in five years – Ancare, Bomac and Stockguard,” Holmes told Rural News. He and Loveridge left Ancare in the summer of 2011. That company had been sold to Merial and both men saw a more interesting and challenging future working their own patch. Holmes (B Econ., MBA, Masssey) had been 13 years at Ancare, three of them as chief executive of Ancare Scientific. He had previously worked six

years for MSD Agvet. Loveridge (MSc, Massey) had imbibed at least some of the animal health ethos from his father, a veterinarian. So far Alleva has filed ten patent applications, its directors buoyed by the knowledge they could not only take overseas formulations and tailor them to New Zealand needs, but also develop formulations here for sale overseas. “There are market needs and emerging animal threats not being well addressed – here and in other countries,” says Holmes. “We see these as opportunities. Antiparasitics, vaccines and antibiotics are standouts. And vets want best-in-class products. That puts us on our mettle. “Of course, you can plough a lot of time into identifying problems… underlying it all is the need to generate and sustain cashflow.” Now comes volume distribution and the company’s first product advertising campaign – “Something

we’ve been looking forward to,” Holmes says. “New Zealand farmers are welleducated and they’re Robert Holmes smart in adopting new technology. That fact encourages us to keep pushing ahead with our own systems for bringing out more products, chiefly for cattle and sheep, but also for the ‘cat-and-dog’ sector.” The company’s dual-active pouron, Boss, has been two years in development and available through vets for three months. Holmes is an advocate of vet-only distribution. “The best on-farm solutions aren’t just delivered in a box. Veterinarians bring local knowledge and skills that other channels just can’t provide. I am not sure farmers always appreciate that.”

Hat-trick of cattle products CATTLE VETS have been getting the Alleva product message for three months. Now it’s farmers’ turn. Three products are especially in view. Boss Pour-on (abamectin + levamisole) is a newly developed combination that, notably, uses a “novel” primary solvent system. Three things result, says Holmes: the active ingredients are more effectively transported

to skin level; reduced tendency to run off the back of the animal; enhanced dermal penetration. Efficacy levels are >99.9% against all worm species, as shown in worm count studies. The product kills endectocide-resistant Cooperia species and species resistant to benzimidazole drenches. It is also effective against biting lice, sucking lice and lungworm.

FE bolus for big cattle DOSING BIG cattle against facial eczema (FE) can now be done in one hit, says Agri-feeds, thanks to a new larger dose version of its Time Capsule bolus. “In the past farmers have had to dose larger cows with a combination of smaller Time Capsules and other zinc products to get full protection,” says Agri-feeds Marketing Manager, Debbie Schrader. The new Time Capsule is designed for 400-600kg liveweight animals and provides four weeks’ protection during high FE risk periods, and five weeks at other times. Facial eczema causes liver damage which can lead to serious health and production losses including reduced fertility and milk production. Schrader says don’t be fooled into thinking the hot dry conditions mean low FE risk. “Dead and dying pasture litter combined with heavy dews is a haven for the fungus which causes Facial Eczema. “Not all animals show physical signs and farmers may not be aware stock have a problem until it is too late,” she says. As of Feb 22, Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s monitoring report showed most sites as low risk.

Boss Injection combination for cattle contains levamisole phosphate and a “co-mectin blend” of eprinomectin and ivermectin. The product has very high potency at reasonable cost, Alleva says. It is a world first macrocyclic lactone/levamisole product offering both internal worm control as well as control of lice. The chosen combination helps address two critical issues: stability is

assured over its intended shelf-life when correctly stored under refrigeration; and injection site reactions are minimised by ensuring the active ingredients are quickly cleared from the injection site. Reflex Pour-on (abamectin) is a rapidly absorbed nil-milk withholding period formulation that exposes parasites to a pronounced plasma peak of abamectin.

in brief More winners with Coopers FOUR MORE farmers have landed major prizes in what is the third draw in Coopers’ Bumper Season promotion: Jason McKenzie, Geraldine gets a Gallagher weigh scale and data collector; Ian Woodhouse, Eketahuna, a Honda XR125 farm bike; Jennifer Sanders, Alexandra, a Stihl MS391 chainsaw and Brad Hazeldine, Cheviot, a Honda WB20 water pump. Coopers says the next draw, March 15, is “the big one”. While only one name will come out of the hat, that person gets to choose between a Gallagher Sheep Auto Drafter with weigh scale and tag reader and a Honda Big Red MUV four-wheeler for their prize.

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Rural News // march 5, 2013

38 animal health

Vets get hogget lambing message The International Sheep Veterinarian Congress was held in Rotorua last month with papers presented from around the world. Peter Burke caught up with a couple of New Zealand’s speakers and asked what they’d be talking about. OVER HALF New Zealand’s ewe lambs could go to the ram every year, earning more for farmers and country alike, says one of the country’s leading

animal scientists. Massey University’s Professor Paul Kenyon told the recent International Sheep Veterinarian Conference in

Rotorua 50-60% of ewe lambs could be mated and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t wean at 90%. Indeed, some farms are already achieving up to

120% lambing from ewe hoggets. “The farms that are achieving the high percentages are in good environments with good

topography and feeding.” While not everyone is going to achieve that, a heap of research in recent years has produced robust guidelines on how to go


To get better lamb numbers, focus on the factors you can easily control – the diseases that can cause major losses like toxoplasma, campylobacter, and salmonella. Vaccination helps you to both protect your ewes and increase the number of lambs born. A sheep performance vaccine plan for your farm will ensure you get the most benefit and most peace of mind.


Talk to your vet now about a sheep performance vaccination plan for your farm. For more information visit AVAILABLE ONLY UNDER VETERINARY AUTHORISATION. ® Registered trademark. MSD Animal Health Phone: 0800 800 543. SPV-414-2012.


about it even in more challenging environments, he says. “The information is out there should farmers chose to use it.” With some farms reaching a ceiling in how many lambs mature ewes can successfully rear, Kenyon argues more lamb crops from hoggets is a more likely way to increase individual farm and sector come. “We have to think smarter about how farmers can produce more lambs each year…We know that the average mature ewe lambing percentage has increased from approximately 103% in 1990 to about 120%. We also know that while this increase has been significant, current modeling suggests that the rate of further increases in lambing percentage is not going to be as great. This rate of gain will start to be limited by environment, topography and nutritional constraints.” In contrast, only about 35% of ewe lambs/year are mated and they average 55-70% lambing. Consequently they only account for 4-5% of the lamb crop. “So there is huge potential to increase our productivity in our ewe lambs.” Ways to avoid the traditional pitfalls of running rams with ewe lambs – variation in performance; ensuing problems as twotooths; reduced longevity – have now been well researched, he adds. For example, it’s been shown ewe lambs must be at least 40kgs before mating and, to get best results, should be teased before being put to the ram. “We also know that they should be gaining at least 130 to 150g/day during pregnancy and in that way they will produce a lamb at a good weight at birth and with good milk for lamb growth. “At the same time she herself will have grown through that pregnancy period so that she achieves a suitable 18-month breeding weight and you don’t get the dip in [two-tooth]

performance. You also don’t get the stunting effect and you don’t get a reduction in longevity.” Needless to say, scales are a key tool, but not every ewe lamb earmarked for mating must be weighed: a representative subset of say 50 should suffice. As for additional feed demand of pregnant ewe lambs/hoggets, it has to be allowed for but in practice there’s a cost benefit in

Paul Kenyon

doing so compared to running dry hoggets, he says. “For every seven pregnant ewe hoggets you have, in comparison to seven non pregnant ewe hoggets, the extra feed that you need through the winter through to early lactation is roughly equivalent to one mature ewe. I would argue that you need to look at your mature ewe numbers and drop them slightly if you have pregnant hoggets.” The practice won’t suit every farm and even where it does suit, Kenyon says not necessarily every hogget should be mated. But there’s no doubt ewe lambs are generally better grown today and achieve autumn liveweights well above the norm of 20 years ago, so there’s an opportunity for far more farms to give it a go. Overall, the aim is better productivity from a given level of feed. “We don’t want to get into the situation that many dairy farmers are in, and have been in the past, where they achieve higher production by chucking in more inputs. By chucking in more inputs you can achieve higher performance, but you have a greater risk if the value of your product comes down.” @rural_news

Rural News // march 5, 2013

animal health 39


How to plan for a successful season.


Massey’s professor Hugh Blair


Trials of sheep breeds

Androvax®plus is a vaccine that stimulates antibodies to temporarily block the release of eggs, meaning more eggs mature which are then released at the same time. The result is an instant increase in twinning percentages. For flocks with lambing percentages of between 100% and 145% the increase in lambs born is largely associated with increased twin lambs. Management strategies must be in place to ensure the farm can provide enough feed to grow the increased number of lambs at optimum rates, and for the extra ewes rearing twins to regain their liveweight before the next mating. Androvaxplus could help your farm. Ask your vet for more information.



 Increase lambing percentage by an average of 20%.  Effects last only one season, allowing you to tailor your management plan each year.  A return of $3 for every $1 spent on Androvaxplus in the 1st season of use. AVAILABLE ONLY UNDER VETERINARY AUTHORISATION. ®Registered trademark. MSD Animal Health. Phone 0800 800 543. SPV-418-2012

While New Zealand has devel“The big sticking point was that A PERENNIAL challenge for sheep breeders is knowing what market they by putting wool everywhere we actu- oped new breeds of sheep such as the are breeding for, a leading New Zea- ally affected the temperature con- Coopworth and Perendale, it’s also trol of the ewes, which meant their applied genetics to develop ‘strains land sheep geneticist says. Professor Hugh Blair of Massey reproductive rate was not as good as of breeds’, for example with facial University told delegates to the Inter- those animals that were open faced. eczema tolerance. Changes to the research strucnational Sheep Veterinarian Confer- Research by AL Rae, T S Chang, ence in Rotorua that the turnaround Morrie McDonald George Wick- tures in the 1980s and 1990s created time from making selection decisions ham and others at Massey in the late some issues in the breeding field as in ram breeding flocks to realising 1950s and ‘60s showed that those ani- the consolidation of MAF and DSIR into AgResearch coincided gains from those deciwith the introduction of sions on commercial farms breeds such as the Finnis about seven years. The “Then came such things as ish Landrace, Texel and problem is, no one really breeding values and away we Oxford Down. A change to knows what consumers of went – the rest is history. We research funding channels meat and wool will want didn’t start that well, but where also made it difficult for seven years out. scientists to get backing for While that’s the chal- we are now is that New Zealand the long-term work needed lenge facing ram breeders, for breed comparisons. The he says no farmer should makes very effective use of the result was farmers started be suffering from a lack of principles of genetics in our their own on-farm experilambs from their flock. He production systems.” ments. says if they are they should “Farmers would take change their breed or their mals with wool on the face and points two Texels, or three Finnish Landbreeder. In his paper to the conference, had poorer control over blood vessel race rams and they would cross them Blair talked about the history of constriction and dilation so when over groups of animals on their propsheep breeding in New Zealand and an animal had to lose body heat it erty and measure them, against in the progress and research made by couldn’t do so efficiently. So what their terms, the other purebreds they scientists over the past 100 or more Morrie in particular showed was that had on their property. And they would years. He says the objective all along if there was a small increase in ewe say – wow - the introduction of a half has been to improve farm profitabil- body temperature, you decreased Texel was great, or that it wasn’t. The the proportion of fertilised eggs that problem was we didn’t have conity, but that’s not always happened. trolled experiments… Farmers were “If we take the Romney sheep from would implant.” It’s a nice example of an unin- left doing it on their own and we had a what was delivered to New Zealand in the 1880’s to what we had by the tended outcome of selective breed- very mixed up phase though the ‘90s.” But by 2000, things were starting 1940s, it was quite a different beast. ing, says Blair. In that case, the advent Wool was king and so wool was on of weighing wool clips in the 1950s to settle down. “You had some major breedevery part of the animal - it was almost turned things around, scientists advoon its nose and its hooves. The price cating that to increase fleece weights ers through Hawkes Bay, Wairof wool was a pound a pound so it was farmers must measure and record the arapa, Manawatu and quite a number down in the South Island who had all thought that by making these changes performance of their flocks. “Then came such things as breed- infused a portion of genes from a varito the sheep that the farmer would be producing a whole lot more wool. In ing values and away we went – the rest ety of those exotics into their lines of is history. We didn’t start that well, sheep. fact they weren’t,” he explains. “They’re now marketing them The amount of extra wool from the but where we are now is that New ‘wooled up Romney’ compared with Zealand makes very effective use of under their particular brands. They open faced lines was negligible and the principles of genetics in our pro- are not being marketed [as] Romneys or Merinos or any other breed.” duction systems.” the extra wool created problems.

Lambing percentage is the most important driver of sheep farm profitability. With little or no control over market prices, you need as many tools to influence lambing percentage as possible.


Rural News // march 5, 2013

40 machinery & products

Massey adds four new models to range MASSEY FERGUSON has expanded its current MF7600 series tractors by adding four new models ranging from 140–175hp. Features include awardwinning technology and the latest fuel-efficient engines, the company says. The MF7600 can be specified with either the Dyna-4 and Dyna-6 Eco semi-powershift transmission or the Dyna-VT continuously variable transmission. All are equipped with the latest AGCO Power e3 engines with Generation 2 selective catalytic reduction (SCR). Across the range, the cab is said to provide great visibility, more interior space and greater comfort. Users can choose from three specification levels and new control options to match their requirements.


Highlights are as follows: • These four new models expand the range to eight models from 140—235hp, offering lightweight and versatile tractors ideal, typically, for cultivation, crop establishment, top work and haulage. • Choice of either Dyna-4 and Dyna-6 semipowershift or Dyna-VT continuously variable transmission allows users to select the most appropriate driveline for their applications. • Choice of Essential, Efficient and Exclusive specifications allow owners to choose the most suitable transmission and features for their needs. • Latest technology AGCO Power e3 engines with Generation 2 selective catalytic reduction reduce fuel consumption and exhaust gas emissions.

• Power management on Dyna-6 models boosts engine power by up to 25hp for field and road operations. • Enhanced cab comfort and visibility from new windscreen, slim bonnet and compact cooling package. • Multi-function command control armrests and options of new Multipad joystick and Multifunction Joystick. • Cab suspension choices of mechanical or the maker’s hydraulic OptiRide Plus. AGCO says Massey Ferguson pioneered the use of SCR systems in agriculture, and now the new MF7600 series tractors benefit from the latest Generation 2 e3 technology known to cut fuel consumption. The Generation 2 SCR system uses a diesel oxidation catalyser (DOC), which includes

the AdBlue dosing injector nozzle and fits under the bonnet. On Dyna-6 models, power management now automatically boosts power by up to 25hp for field and transport work. This provides higher output for a range of applications when conditions allow, taking account of PTO operation, travel speed and load. The MF7600 series can be equipped with either the Dyna-4, Dyna-6 semipowershift or the DynaVT continuously variable transmissions. Dyna-VT provides precise control of the forward speed, while minimising engine revs, which ensures the tractor always operates with optimum economy and efficiency. This is further enhanced by the dynamic tractor management (DTM) system, which automatically adjusts the

The new MF7600 series.

engine speed according to load. AGCO says Dyna-6 ECO is a “well proven, rugged and refined transmission” that offers completely clutch-less operation via the left-hand power control or righthand command control armrest levers. This provides a total of 24 speeds with six Dynashift (powershift) steps in four gears. The ECO feature allows the top speed to be achieved at lower revs, which also reduces engine noise and fuel consumption. ‘AutoDrive’ is an output-boosting standard feature that provides greater levels of gear changing automation to increase work rates and cut fuel consumption. A new cab structure has a curved front windscreen, increased visibility plus a new roof with two adjustable lights on

each corner. Inside, a slim dash and instrument panel improves forward visibility, the company says. This also moves with the steering wheel as it tilts and telescopes in and out to match driver requirements. Cab suspension choices are a straightforward mechanical system with coil springs and dampers, or AGCO’s hydraulic OptiRide Plus, which enables the operator to adjust the ride comfort level. New command control armrests are available with different multi-function joysticks, to match the model specifications. The new multipad joystick is standard on top specification tractors. This mounts at the front of the command control armrest and has a thumb button shuttle control as well as operating a range of other functions. Also new on

the top two models is the option of a multi-function joystick, which includes forward/reverse shuttle and gear shift buttons, and also provides hydraulic controls. A high level of automation is standard, including the integrated tractor control system (ITCS) with electronic spool valve management and wheelslip control. The maker’s Datatronic control centre display is standard on the Exclusive models and is an option on the Efficient range. All MF7600 tractors come ready to be fitted with the AGCOMMAND telemetrybased machine management system. In addition, AutoGuide offers integral full auto-steering capability and this can be supplied either as a factory-fit option or retro-fitted. www.masseyferguson.

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machinery & products 41

Combination baler is twoin-one two balers in one. That was the big selling point for me. “I do the soft-centre bales of straw for the chaffing business. The centre has to be able to breathe so I needed to make a big bale but with a soft centre. It’s easy to switch from one type of bale to the other. You do it all from the cab.” With a pickup width of 2.25m, the Tornado has variable baling and automatic wrapping. Bale diameter is 0.9 to 1.6m. The RPC 455 Tornado is designed to cut the time of baling and wrapping, Lely says, by cycling quickly. Day has made about 18,000 bales with his baler – a one-man operation. “It’s made the job faster and one person can do it on his or her own. When you’re finished baling, you’re finished. You don’t have to rush out and grab the wrapper and wrap them. It doesn’t block often, but if you get a blockage you can clear it from the cab.” Day says he appreciates the service by Lely New Zealand and his Invercargill dealer, JJ Limited. Alterations were made to adapt the baler to New Zealand conditions. “There were a few teething problems at the start, but JJ and Lely got behind it and sorted them out quickly. Some modifications have been done each season and last season they upgraded it to new specifications, free of charge. Tel. 07 850 4050

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A SOUTHLAND farmer/ contractor, Darrin Day, jokingly says his Lely Welger RPC 445 Tornado combination baler/ wrapper is smarter than he is, says distributor Lely New Zealand. But he likes its operating simplicity and says it has helped improve his baling business. Day is coming into his third season with the Welger RPC 445 Tornado. He uses it in all his farming and contracting operations. He and his wife Robyn run their operation from home at Five Rivers, northern Southland. The business involves farming, part-time contracting, a retail store at Lumsden and a chaffing business. The days live on a 270ha dairy grazing and deer fattening farm at Five Rivers. Robyn runs the rural supplies/hardware retail business called Hank’s Place. Day uses the Welger RPC 445 Tornado on his own property and for contracting. He has been contracting for nine years. The RPC 445 Tornado was new on the market when he started looking for a new baler two years ago and Day liked its features. “It has functions that in the dairy grazing and in the chaff business, I would’ve had to get two balers to do. This baler can do them in one. “It can do hard-centre any size baleage, and soft-centre any size straw. You’d normally need two balers for that but the Welger Tornado is really

Darrin Day says his Welger Tornado hard-centred grass bales and softcentred straw bales.


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Rural News // march 5, 2013

42 machinery & products

Customising makes job easier ga re t h g i l latt

CUSTOM SERVICE by sprayer/spreader firm Silvan is helping a Waikato/Bay of Plenty spraying contractor to pioneer a new way of fertiliser delivery. Gareth Copsey owns Copsey Contracting, an agricultural spraying business which four years ago began diluting and spraying urea – the first in his region to do this and one of the first in the country. “It was pretty slow at the start; it took a lot of convincing people to see the benefits but it has taken off in the last year.”

When spraying suspended fertilisers he uses a purpose built truck along with a crane trailer; this eliminates the need to use the farmer’s tractor to lift the bags which is inconvenient to the farmer. Urea or other solid fertiliser is loaded straight into the tank by the crane trailer while filling with water. The solution is mixed by the time the driver gets to the paddock to be sprayed. Machines are washed out at the end of every job. Copsey now runs an Isuzu with a 1200L tank for general herbicide and pesticide spraying and a Mitsubishi Canter with a 2000L tank.

With his engineering background, Copsey converted the Isuzu truck into a spray unit himself. Silvan supplied nearly all of the spray equipment, he says. “Most other companies want you to deal with resellers, but Silvan does everything.” The result is faster answers and better customer service, says Copsey. For example, when in 2010 he bought one of only two Arag Bravo 400 GPS units in New Zealand, and struck a problem with it, “Hayden Mills came to fix it at 8pm on a Sunday; you can’t get

better service than that.” Copsey says the unit is first-rate and allows for smart spraying, saving money for operator and farmer. “It will show you if you’re going over an area you’ve gone over before and will switch the sprayer on and off if [you do], to ensure everything is covered but not done more than once.” This is of extra benefit to customer with liquefying fertilisers already saving farmers money. “If you normally put on urea at 60-80kg/ha then you only need

25-30kg/ha to get the same or a better result.” Copsey says it is also possible to mix in other fertilisers or minerals to the mixture. The firm covers as far as the Coromandel with its suspended fertiliser operation and business is going so well that he is pricing a 4000L kit from Silvan which will be placed on a new Mercedes. Tel: 0508 745 826

Low rates, less leaching FARMERS COULD slash fertiliser bills if they chose to use a suspended fertiliser application method rather than a straight solid method, says Gareth Copsey, of Copsey Contracting. Copsey mixes fertilisers with water before applying and says the results are a better take-up by the plant and almost no nitrogen leaching. “In liquid form 95-98% of the fertiliser is absorbed by a plant in 24 hours. Compare that with powder where there is a 40% loss.” At $700 per tonne Copsey says farmers are saving $350 just by spraying it on. If you normally put on urea at 60-80kg/ha then you only really need 25-30kg/ha to get the same or a better result.” Copsey has seen the same results with numerous other fertilisers including Ammo, sulphur, DAP, lime, magnesium and Gibberellic Acid. “It’s usually pretty straightforward and gives good cover.” Tel: 07 333 1822



American made Cooper Tires guaranteed to last.


emember when washing machines and refrigerators lasted a generation? And tyres used to last for years too? Things were made to last back then. Now it seems things are made to wear out. The reason for this is original tyres fitted to new vehicles are made to the vehicle manufacturer’s price. The result may compromise on the tyres’ performance and life. Cooper Tires are better value. Tyre companies making aftermarket tyres exclusively for vehicle owners like you are still providing performance and longer life. Drivers choosing quality American made aftermarket tyres are finding they are getting a lot more mileage

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Comparison of Tread Depths. Dunlop AT22 (9.0mm), Cooper A/T3 (12.7mm)



Cooper tyres are only available at selected Cooper Tires dealers.

Cooper Tires - making tyres that last since 1920. While other 4WD tyres are being made lighter and cheaper, Cooper Tires are still being made strong with deeper tread. This means peace of mind, whilst giving more mileage and saving you money.

Cooper’s A/T3 utilises a balanced combination of technology, design and compounding to produce a tyre that will perform in nearly all types of terrain.

“When compared to the original tyres (Dunlop AT22) fitted to the Ford Ranger, the Cooper A/T3 has 12.7mm of tread depth - that’s over 29% more than Dunlop’s 9.0mm tread depth.”

That’s why Cooper are the only 4WD tyres in New Zealand with a mileage guarantee in writing that ranges from 50,000 to 80,000 km, depending on size and tread pattern.

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Rural News // march 5, 2013

machinery & products 43

New Holland opens up to visitors NEW HOLLAND has extended the customer centre at its Centre of Harvesting Excellence in Zedelgem, Belgium, a place for European and overseas customers to see a “distillation of the company’s illustrious harvesting heritage whilst celebrating cutting-edge technology”. New Holland employs 2500 people in Zedelgem, making it one of the region’s key employers. Zedelgem is the home of New Hol-

land harvesting products, boasting a century of harvesting milestones that have changed the way farmers bring in their harvests. The centre, sited beside the factory, is now enlarged to 3000m2 and is expected to welcome 5000 visitors annually. These typically include school parties keen to find out more about engineering right through to VIP customers and corporate clients.

New Holland says the centre “represents the final link in a 360° harvesting chain, with product development, engineering, testing, parts manufacturing and final assembly. This is complemented by a training centre, the commercial team for the Benelux market and now an industry leading customer facility.” Visitors can see the first European self-propelled combine harvester and world-record breaking machines. There

to see are multimedia presentations and a showroom containing 17 products. Key customers get to meet with New Holland brand experts or talk business in dedicated areas. They also can tour the factory. “This investment is testament to New Holland’s commitment to agriculture both in Europe and across the globe,” says Franco Fusignani, head of New Holland Agriculture. “We continually strive to improve

not only our machines, but also our relationship with current and future customers through an extensive contact programme of visits and targeted initiatives with farmers and contractors from all over the world.” Plant manager Niek Vanwynghene says, “Zedelgem is much more than a manufacturing facility; it is a concentration of expertise in the design, development and manufacture of harvesting equipment.”

Faster alerts to disasters and emergencies ALERTS TO such as floods, fires and livestock emergencies have stepped up a notch with Lert Info, says director Stuart Gunn. The service – free if you want only email alerts – was launched last November and is proving it’s worth in many situations, Gunn says. SMS and email alerts “take account of situations or events that could impact anyone,” Gunn says. Key features are speed and ability to target geographically down to suburb or small town size. They can send to 1600 specific locations individually. Anyone can register free and get emails only or pay a small annual fee to receive txt as well. Alerts are for tsunami, weather warnings (real time notifications also), Civil Defence messages, council messages, state highway closures, public health, police, power, rural fire and river flash floods. Members automatically receive alerts that match their location preferences when they occur. There are no additional txt charges. All messages are verified, factual and are from credible sources such as NZ Police, Civil Defence, Geonet, Weatherwatch, NZ Met Service, councils, public health authorities, etc. Lert Info also monitors other sources. To maintain high reliability, the moment Lert Info learns of a situation, it validates it and sends out an alert. Where possible a short URL to detailed information is also included. People can also go to the “info sources” link on the Lert Info site. Most members will get their texts within five minutes once sent, assuming the mobile networks are operating. Even when voice and PXT messages can’t get through, texts often can as happened in Christchurch in February 2011, Gunn says. Lert Info use dual SMS providers, one in New Zealand and the other in Australia (used by the Australian government and military) and the service can be run from computer, cell phone or tablet so is highly mobile. Key benefits of this service are that everyone with access to a cell phone, but no other source of immediate information, such as radio or TV, can now be advised far sooner. In some situations Lert Info could be the first and only source of initial information. The service is said to complement and improve on current communication methods. People can now make decisions earlier, possibly reducing damage to property, loss of livestock or even loss of life.

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Rural News // march 5, 2013

44 machinery & products

Pivot pulling-power proponents HOW MANY articulated tractors are there in New Zealand? Nobody really knows, but Mid Canterbury Vintage Machinery Club aims to get as many of them as possible into one paddock next month. “We’ve identified 26 in Ashburton District and we reckon we’ll get 20 to 25 of them,” says club president John Stewart. A few more will come from outside the district, he hopes, but the legalities

and logistics of bringing such monsters over the long, narrow SH1 bridges of the Rakaia to the north, and Rangitata to the south will likely limit their number. Fellow organiser John Hall notes recent fine weather has been in their favour. “We’re hoping everyone will be pretty much up to date.” The pivot machines will be part of the club’s annual Wheat and Wheels rally but this one’s special, hence the decision to do something a bit different,

says Stewart. “It’s the club’s 30th anniversary. That’s the excuse. We’re hoping it will be the largest display of pivot tractors ever seen.” They’re pulling out the stops with

other attractions too: vintage and classic tractors, trucks and cars; traction engines; chaff cutting; craft stalls. With areas for working displays as well as parades, the site stretches to 40ha. Among the vintage line-up will be host farmer Peter Butterick’s 1931 comb-fronted Sunshine header which he’ll have dusted down for the occasion. “It was the first header in Ashburton County with a motor,” says Butterick, whose grandfather bought the Sunshine

and used the horse-drawn machine – the Morris Commercial petrol motor only powers the cutter and threshing works – until about 50 years ago. “Last time we used it, it was going good,” recalls Butterick. The machine is in stark contrast to the brand new Case IH 9230 with 35-foot belt feed front he used to reel in his harvest this summer. Wheat and Wheels will be on Christys Road, Wakanui, April 13-14.

Takapau vintage expo – March 23-24 ALL THE hard work and planning is coming together for the Junction Vintage Machinery Expo organised by the Hawke’s Bay Vintage Machinery Club. It will be held at Takapau on March 23-24. “The venue is the property of Junction Winery owned by former All Black John Ashworth and wife Jo, at the junction of Byrne Road and SH2, 2km south of Takapau,” said organising committee chairman Neil Harrington. Ashworth has set aside 9ha for displays and an area for a parade ring. A different method of displaying the tractors and machinery will be used. Local tractor dealers will have two of their latest models, big and small, as a centrepiece and will be surrounded by a range of previous models. “I see it as a ‘then and now’ theme with visitors being able to compare and contrast where the latest model has originated.” A committee of eight has been working for 12 months. There are already entries from all around the North Island and some from the South Island. Displays will include stationary engines, at least six steam traction engines, vintage lawnmowers, shearing plants and chaff cutters. On an adjacent airstrip will be Tiger Moths and helicopter rides. Ploughing will be demonstrated using vintage tractors and implements and Clydesdale horses. Harrington says the committee recognises women are less interested than men in machinery, so there will be arts and crafts displays, tasting of Junction wines and boutique displays of local food and beverages. “Master Chef 2010, Brett McGregor, has agreed to come and will give cooking displays,” saysHarrington. 0274 475 710. 06 855 8501

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Rural News // march 5, 2013

machinery & products 45

Forester works well in the bush ADA M F RIC K ER

THE SUBARU Forester is so well suited to rural use, it is astounding Subaru spend so little promoting it to the rural market. The new version was launched recently in Queenstown and we were sent over some secondary roads that would have stopped lesser cars in their tracks. With 220mm of ground clearance and a suite of electronic traction aids, the Forester has genuine off-road ability, the limiting factors being tyre choice and driver courage. A one-button ‘X-Mode’ feature fitted to the automatic Foresters helps. It

centralises control of the engine, all-wheel drive, brakes and other critical components to maintain progress in sticky conditions. Hill Descent Control helps maintain a constant speed when the vehicle is travelling downhill. In bone-dry Central Otago, X-Mode was rarely needed, but it worked well. The new car has a more purposeful look than its bland predecessor, and makes much better progress, even with a CVT transmission – one of the better examples of the technology. Boxer engines are, of course, used across the range: automatic normally aspirated 2.5L Foresters produce 126 kW/5800 rpm and 235

Nm/4100 rpm. Quoted fuel consumption is 8.1 L/100 km – 12.9% more efficient than the old car. This is the engine most buyers will get (Subaru expects the $47,990 2.5i-Sport model to be the volume seller). It is smooth and willing and makes effortless progress in the low to midrev range. Push too hard and in true CVT fashion you’ll generate more noise than speed. Drive sensibly, keeping the revs in the sweet spot and you’ll be rewarded with acceptable speed and better economy. Equipment levels and fit-and-finish are a big step forward over the old car and with the exception of some hard plastics in

places, it feels like a quality product. A Land Rover Freelander is classier, but not worth the huge price premium over the Forester. Order the Premium model for $54,990 and you’ll get all the leather and equipment you could want or need. Handling and ride are impressive; it is a very assured car on any road surface. All models are roomier and more refined, with as much leg room in the back as the previous generation Outback, and boot space is good. Combine this prac-

At the top of the range sits the $59,990 Forester XT. Its 2L direct fuel injection motor is a development of the unit first seen in the BRZ and cranks out 177 kW and 350 Nm of torque. Hooked up to the CVT it is fast and effort-

less, but not in the furious way of the boy-racer WRX. The 2.0L turbocharged diesel wasn’t available at the launch but is expected in May. It will produce 108 kW/3600 rpm and 350 Nm/1600-2400 rpm and burn 5.9 l/100 km.

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Key X-Mode Controls At 40 km/h or less: • Engine Control Unit (ECU) - in low load range, the throttle opens slowly to avoid sudden torque changes and improves drivability. • Traction Control Unit (TCU) - AWD clutch pressure is increased by about 25%, controlling differential rotation between front and rear wheels, improving traction. • Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) - enhances limited slip differential (LSD) control. To improve traction on slippery road surfaces, it counteracts differential rotation between left and right wheels by accelerating brake boosting speed and delaying reduction of brake pressure when wheel rotation returns to normal. At 20 km/h or less: VDC also uses Hill Descent Control (HDC) to control brakes on steep hills, so vehicle speed can be maintained when neither accelerator nor brake pedals are pressed. Testing by Subaru indicates that with X-Mode, when two diagonally opposed wheels lose traction, the time to restore forward travel is cut by about half.

ticality with its compliant ride, smooth power, price and off-road ability, and you have the perfect car for rural families and rural service companies. Yet it will probably be promoted on billboards in Ponsonby, not Putaruru.

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Rural News // march 5, 2013


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Pest Free PRO for large homes, small offices & factories, etc to 400sq.m – STOP RATS with Pest Free $399.90 incl. GST Buy with confidence from authorised rural sales agent N + J Keating, and post. 70 Rimu Street, New Lynn, Auckland 0600. Tel. 09 833 1931 Pest Free Commercial (cell 021 230 1863); email for dairy TWO WAYS TO ORDER/PAY: sheds, 1) POST: cheque to N. Keating telling us the product(s) you want, grain mills, plus your name, address and telephone number. 2) INTERNET: direct credit ASB 12 3039 0893559 00 factories, (your surname as reference) PLUS telephone or email us, etc – $1800 saying which product(s) you want. incl. GST + post. BALE FEEDERS

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RuralNEWS to all farmers, for all farmers

March 5, 2013: Issue 533 

South Island Field Days March 20-22 Lincoln

demos on display

The following live demonstrations will take place during each day of the South Island Agricultural Field Days. 10.00am: Mowers 10.30am: Tedders and Rakes 11.00am: Balers and Wrappers 11.30am: Bale and Silage Feeders

12.00am Direct Drills 2.00pm: Ploughs & Primary Cultivators 2.30pm: Cultivators and Seed Drills 3.00pm: Miscellaneous items

6 Questions you should ask yourself before choosing your next forestry plant supplier...

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Final year at Lincoln THIS YEAR’S South Island Agricultural Field Days (SIAFD) will be the final year it is held at Lincoln University. Chairman of the SIAFD organising committee Richard Westaway says although a location for the 2015 event has not yet been secured, 2013 will be the final year the field days is held on the Lincoln University Farm site. “One of the reasons we have to move is we need a larger site to ensure we will always have the capacity for comparative demonstrations

as they are a major part of our event. “Each year we have about 80 exhibitors a day demonstrate machinery and equipment. In fact, we have more demonstrations than any other event in the country. It is a drawcard for farmers and contractors who get to see machinery and equipment in action in a real paddock, as opposed to viewing it in a sales yard,” says Westaway. SIAFD is held every second year and attracts 20,000-25,000 visitors. It has been held at a Lincoln

University Farm site for 32 years. “We are committed to moving locations and are on the lookout for the right site to hold the 2015 SIAFD and for future events,” says Westaway. He adds that land owners with suitable land options are welcome to approach the SIAFD executive committee. The South Island Agricultural Field Days, which has 400 exhibits spread over seven hectares is the longest running field days in the country, now in its 61st year.

STREAMLINE Oat Roller Crusher Senior All Grain Roller Crusher

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Rural News // march 5, 2013

2 south island field days

Temporary silos a way of handling bumper harvest A NEW way of handling grain could save grain farmers thousands and increase their mobility, says Farmgard marketing

manager Scott Capper. The company recently launched a temporary silo system called Grainstor, with which grain is blown


CROP STORAGE AND HANDLING SYSTEMS Visit us at the South Island Field Days Site 740-741 PMR GRAIN SYSTEMS work in the following fields – product storage, handling and drying, timber drive on ventilating floors, seed cleaning industry, milling and mixing equipment, electronic monitoring equipment including temperature, RH and grain moisture equipment. Dairy Feed Systems now available. PMR GRAIN SYSTEMS supply a full service from initial contact, site surveying, planning in drawings, machinery selection, supply of machinery, installation and commissioning.


GSI SILOS Flat bottomed or hopper. 10 tonnes to 10,000 tonnes. Can be fitted with stirrers and unload systems. Dairy Feed Systems now available.

Q-SAGE SEED CLEANING EQUIPMENT Q-Sage air screen cleaners can be supplied in a variety of sizes to suit application. Screen decks can be sized to accept existing sieves.

When the pressure is on to get your grain dry and moved, you can rely on PMR equipment to deliver year after year. Suppliers of: Driers, belt & bucket elevators, conveyors and intake conveyors.


• Manually or fully automatic systems • Master dust extraction – increased bushel weight and improved operating environment • Capacities from 10-40 ton • Mobile or static units • Tractor or electric drive

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CHC GAS HEATERS Available to match all sizes of fan units. Fully automatic gas fired, with computerised control. Single & double units available.

WAKELY ROLLER MILLS PMR are pleased to be able to supply the Wakely Roller Mill. Wakely Engineering have been manufacturing Roller Mills for the last 30 years and manufacture mills from 1.5tph through to 30tph plus.Visit our stand to view this product. Mr Wakely will also be on our stand to answer any questions.

Crop Storage Specialists

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Tel: 03 303 7266 Mobile: 0274 151 390 Email: Web:

into weatherproof bags using the EGS 900 grain bagger. These can then be left where packed, storing the grain safely for several years Once the grain is ready to be used, it can be removed ad hoc with a specially made extractor. Capper says the portable bagging system is costeffective compared to traditional grain silos. The 200 tonne capacity bags cost $1700. “You don’t have to transport it to a silo; bags can be laid in the paddock, which is fast, cost effective and time saving.” Capper says the entire system has been set up with ease of use and low capital costs in mind. The bagger only requires 45hp to operate to put 250 tonnes of grain into bags per hour. He adds that getting it out again is just as easy. The P-Ex Max extractor uses two small augers to draw grain out of the bag and into the main discharge auger along with two hydraulically driven rollers, which roll up the bag. The method of extrac-

tion doesn’t put any strain on the tractor, allowing smaller tractors to be used and larger machines to be freed up for other contracting jobs, says Capper. “It is an ideal machine for contractors because they can tow it around different farms and store grain wherever they want.” Bags can be emptied as quickly – at 180 tons/hr with a 75hp tractor, with operators able to seal off bags once grain has been taken out of them. The polyethylene bags ‘remember’ their original shape, allowing the fabric to draw back on itself, causing any oxygen to be expelled from the bag; the quality of the stored grain is therefore better than in a traditional silo, the company says. The bags stand up to the elements, Capper adds. “They are UV-protected bags, but tearing can happen if the operator is not careful.” He says the system is ideal for anybody producing or handling 150 tons of grain a year. Tel. 09 275 5555



Rural News // march 5, 2013

south island field days 3

Spreader serves many purposes ga re t h g ill att

A METALFORM Tow and Fert proved to be a multipurpose lifesaver for a Northland Dairy Farmer. Bradley Cranston milks 270 cows off a 270ha dairy and beef property 10 minutes north of Whangarei. He found himself without several key implements at the start of last season including a causmag duster and quad spreader and needed something to replace everything. Cranston says the Metalform Tow and Fert spreader was a good solution. “I bought it because it’s a bit more versatile than a normal spreader. I use it for a lot more jobs than just spreading fertiliser.”

three paddocks in a day and not do it for three days. It’s a much bigger spreader – 800L of product compared to a regular magnesium duster which can hold 100kg or so dusting powder.” While working out the correct combination of liquids to solids can be tricky, says Cranston, tools have been provided by the company to get the job right. “It’s got software to make sure I’m getting the application rates right and the scales are useful for accurately adding the correct amount of product…. You can put on a little less and get a better result. I put on about one third of what I used to apply.” Because of the Tow and Fert Cranston says he can now put on urea at 3-8kg/

“It’s got software to make sure I’m getting the application rates right and the scales are useful for accurately adding the correct amount of product….” ha on a more frequent basis instead of the bulk load of 30kg/ha that he previously put on. “I can spread fertiliser more frequently – twice rather than once. It is more cost effective and matches my way of farming. I try and look after the soil a lot more.” While most fertiliser goes on between spring and summer when ground conditions are dry, he has been using the Tow and Fert in the wetter months to spread minerals and other fertilisers. Cranston tows the spreader behind a Suzuki Jimny and says not only is the little utility vehicle able to handle the 1000L device, it doesn’t leave a mess in winter. “There were not many places I wasn’t able to get using the jeep, I thought I was going to have to put it behind the tractor for the hills.” Cleaning out requires only flushing clean water through the system after the unit had been used and Cranston says any blockage problems were

fittings, which makes it a tool-less machine to clip and unclip fittings for cleaning and maintenance. It’s really well put together like that.” Tel. 0508 747 040

The Tow & Fert made it possible to spread supplements on pasture quicker than a quad and a hopper.

Unwrap a Birthday Offer from Gallagher It’s our 75th birthday and we’re celebrating! Visit the Gallagher site at South Island Field Days to see our great birthday product offers and some very exciting NEW products. Be quick - we have limited stock!

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The mixer/spreader blends liquids and solids together with a patented system and then sprays them out in a 14-20m spread via a recirculating boom system. Fine ground lime flour is able to be spread at a mix ratio of 60% lime flour to 40% water and the company says the fertiliser mixer/spreader has an application rate of 50 L/ha at 25km/h with TF15 nozzles or 650L/ha at 5km/h with TF50 nozzles. Some of the tasks Cranston uses the spreader for on the 100ha platform include spreading magnesium ahead of cows, putting on seaweed, spreading fertiliser and planting grass seed. The fertiliser mixer/ sprayer has proved more efficient than several of the machines it was replacing, says Cranston. It allowed him to do more in less time. Cranston dusts paddocks with magnesium to supplement cow uptake, especially in spring. “With magnesium I could do

quickly solved by unclipping the pipes. “Blockages were very simple to deal with. I just unclipped connections, flushed the system out, flushed water back through the machine. Everything has Camlock


Rural News // march 5, 2013

4 south island field days

Technology the theme for 2013 event from Christchurch. Under the banner ‘Ag-Technology’ exhibitors will show the latest technology, equipment, machinery and ideas for nourishing earth’s inhabitants.

FARMING TECH­ NOLOGY and its ability to keep feeding the world’s soaring population will be on show at the South Island Agricultural Field Days (SIAFD), March 20-22 at Lincoln, 20km

‘Home-grown’ technology, machinery and products will take pride of place. The SIAFD is the only farming show in New Zealand to feature sideby-side demonstrations;

80-100 tractors, headers, mowers, seed drills and other machines will be put through their paces each day. The SIAFD has run every second year since 1951 when it was first held at

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Motukarara. Nowadays it attracts 20,000-25,000 visitors over three days. The SIAFD is a nonprofit incorporated society run by volunteers who are all farmers or work in the agriculture industry. Profits are reinvested in the local community through scholarships and grants. The event is run on the 35ha Lincoln University farm at Lincoln, about

Do you have the gear & training to treat this hoof safely & quickly? Fred Hoekstra, Qualified Hoof Trimmer & Instructor, offers professional advice on specialised hoof trimming equipment, training and service. You can also register your interest for training courses and sign up for our free monthly newsletter.

FREE Hoof Care DVD & hoof knife sharpen; PLUS great deals on crushes, claw blocks, knives and all the specialist gear. See you at Lincoln, site #623 - 624. Veehof is the exclusive New Zealand distributor of Demotec and WOPA specialist hoof care BEST RURAL BUSINESS 2012 equipment.

SILAGE SWEEPS & LOADER ATTACHMENTS We custom-build Silage Sweeps and a wide variety of loader attachments to suit your requirements – from large to small to fit beleboon, front-end and pivot steer loaders. Innovative design, high quality workmanship and materials add up to hard working, productive assets in your business!



25 Yukon Place, Hornby, Christchurch. • Ph 03-349 5325 email: • web:

FREE PHONE 0800 833 463

20km from Christchurch. Entry costs adults $10 incl. programme and parking;

children under 15 are free. Gate opening hours 8-5pm each day.

Awards aplenty for Lincoln exhibitors INNOVATION IS well-rewarded at the Lincoln field days. Agri-Innovation Awards include awards of merit for machines, implements or attachments, or for tools useful in farming or other forms of primary production. The field days organisers say award winners gain a lot of prestige and publicity and may use an award in their marketing. A prize will be presented to the marketers of the year’s most outstanding products in each of three classes: Kiwi made farm equipment, imported farm equipment, and farm aids/tools and inventions. An award of $250 for the best-run demonstration and commentary will be made. Safety and timing will be taken into account in judging the best performance. Demonstrations over the three days include tractors and implements including ploughs, balers and seed drills. Rural News Group sponsors a prize valued at $250 for the best large site, and a $250 prize will be awarded by the SIAFD committee for the best small site. These awards are to encourage exhibitors to erect stands that achieve the aims of the SIAFD – the effective promotion and sale of machinery, services and/or products. The winning sites will be those that attract a large number of genuine enquires, run demonstrations to attract attention, and are tidy and staffed efficiently.

Seed advice from forage specialists. talk to Seed Force at the South Island field days, site number 63

perennial species forage crops fodder beet legumes and herbs

Rural News // march 5, 2013

south island field days 5

Portable saw mills on display at Lincoln NEED TO recover timber from a remote place? The latest in portable sawmill technology will inspire you to do it, says Marlborough engineering firm Rimu Engineering, demonstrating its equip-

ment at the Lincoln field days.Managing director Greg Surgenor says Rimu has been in sawmilling since 1963 when the company first developed portable sawmills – rugged and reliable in remote

locations. The need was for mills easy to transport and set up, and accurate so that the sawn timber was of good quality. The Rimu mill takes one person 15 minutes to unload and set up, and it

can be operated by one person. Made of hi-tensile aluminium, the mills weigh no more than 300kg and can be towed on a trailer behind a car. Operator safety is assured; the blade guard is used to remove the sawn plank without the operator having to get in front of the blade. Rimu makes a basic mill suitable for smaller operators, and a contractor’s model to suit professional sawmillers. This is computer controlled with a hydraulic drive for accuracy and precision, and can be used as a stationary mill at a central site, or easily transported to remote sites by 4WD, quad bike or by hand.

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The sawmills are powered by engines up to 60hp, depending on the setup.

Surgenor says the portable mills are exported to Australia, Ireland, England, South Africa, Fiji,

Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Indonesia, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, and Mongolia.

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FENCING PRODUCTS TO SEE! ALL ABOUT FENCING SITE 14 TARAGATE – the ORIGINAL Multi Strand Electric Gate The preferred choice for over 20 years! – Taragate 4 Strand – Taragate 2 Strand – Taragate 4 Strand ‘Lifestyler’

CLIP-AWAY Gatebreak – the gold standard in gate handles – clips away on to the wire with unique second hook – extra heavy duty

SPACE-LINK – space your wire off the post – attaches directly to Taragate Doubler Dtm or Tarapin Insulator – simply the best outrigger on market today

Rural News // march 5, 2013

6 south island field days

Fencing professionals to show off their skills FENCING INDUSTRY professionals will show products and techniques in a new demonstration event – ‘All about Fencing’ – at Lincoln field days. The fence types being installed and their demonstrators are: electrics, Hugh Morrison; netting, Owen Petersen; post wire and Batten, Paul Van Beers; and rail work, Tony White. The objective is to bring all aspects of the New Zealand fencing industry together in a common area and demonstrate a combination of products and installation techniques. Exhibitors in the ‘All about Fencing’ area are restricted to those who supply the fencing industry with designs or manu-

factured products, and who either supply retailers or sell direct to the industry. Twenty two brands will be represented; a website (address below) lists all exhibitors. Timetabled demonstrations on technical aspects of fence line installation and product installation will take place over the three days. The timetable is in the SIAFD Programme or can be downloaded from the All about Fencing website. The Fencing Contractors association of NZ will be on site and will offer hospitality packages to members. Tel. 09 2928063

New Zealand’s oldest event


When South Island Agricultural Field Days (SIAFD), held every second year, was first held

Taragate Ltd

RD2 Hamilton, New Zealand Phone 07 843 3859 Fax 07 843 3952 Email Web


in Motukarara in 1951it was a one-day wonder that attracted about 1000 people.

Now the event, held ever since on the Lincoln University farm, has grown into a three-

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day event attended by at least 25,000 South Island farmers. SIAFD is one of the oldest and largest agricultural events in the South Island; going back 61 years, and focusing on opportunities to view machines in their working state and to reinforce the relationship between farmers, service providers, scientists and technical experts. This year’s field days will the 61st and last time it is held at Lincoln Uni-

versity – as it has now outgrown the site – an announcement on a new venue will be made soon. The SIAFD will be held at the Lincoln University Farm, corner of Shands Rd and Ellesmere Junction Rd, 20km away from Christchurch City on the 20-22nd March 2013. It is expected that about 400 exhibitors will attend, attracting 20,00025,000 visitors over three days.

Meet the team SOUTH ISLAND FIELD DAYS SITE 453 Come see for yourself why the Lely Forage Solutions range is becoming so popular in the South Island.


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Rural News // march 5, 2013

south island field days 7

Hot pink detectors on show ga re t h g ill att

BEACON HEAT Detectors will show new fluorescent pink self-adhesive Heat Seeker detectors at Lincoln, says managing director Jock Roberts. It’s easier to spot at mating time, he says. “It’s very bright and easier to see from a distance, down in the pit and in dim light.” The Heat Seeker requires only a few seconds of sustained pres-

sure to activate, and it uses an innovative channel and chamber system, says Roberts, which indicates how much a cow has been ridden, allowing better timing of insemination for improved AI results. “The channel and chamber system makes the activated detector more visible, and it gives a more accurate indication of the extent of mounting activity.” Roberts says the com-

Hoof myth busted “Stone bruises are the primary cause of lameness in my herd,” dairy farmers may be heard to say. It’s difficult to challenge the prevailing view, especially when it is so often repeated; but if you think logically about this, you’ll see why it simply cannot be so. First, an anatomy lesson: the corium is the skin that grows the hoof. When a cow is under stress, the corium, ligaments and tendons weaken which lets the pedal bone rotate in the claw. Viewed from below (photo), the back part of the pedal bone (blue outline) compresses the corium between the pedal bone and the sole of the claw. This results in a bruising at exactly that spot in the claw. It has nothing to do with standing on a stone. It is weakened live tissue, which we call laminitis. Now, evidence from the field: as a professional, qualified hoof trimmer I have viewed tens of thousands of hooves and I can tell you for a fact that there is a pattern of lameness that emerges time and time again. Have a look for yourself the next time you trim cows’ feet. Which claw has the most bruising? Which claw is usually the lame claw? Where on the claw do you find most of the bruising? How do you explain the same pattern coming back over and over again? If the problem was caused by standing on stones would you not expect a much more random pattern? Think about it – myth busted. Veehof Diary Services is the Ashburton Business Association Rural Business of the Year 2012. For hoof care training, equipment and advice, call the expert team free on: Tel. 0800 833 463

pany’s heat detection aids have sold well in New Zealand. They are now available through RD1, Farmlands, CRT, veterinary clinics and World Wide Sires. A distribution network in Auckland is speeding distribution. “These days farmers are demanding self adhe-

sive detectors easier and less messy than the traditional detector.” Heat Seeker is available in red, pink and blue, ideal for differentiating between pre-heats, mating heats and returns. Beacon Heat Detectors also has a range of scratchie detectors in

red, pink, yellow and lime green. “Farmers have their reasons for using particular detectors, and Beacon is the only company manufacturing three different types of heat detectors,” Roberts says. Tel. 0800 22 33 99


SUPER COMBY EX • Feeds pit silage • Round bales • Square bales • Electric Joy-Stick • Extension Bin

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Flotation tyres 400/60x15.5 Optional tilting elevator Self loading forks Extra capacity

• Level capacity 13cu/m • Loaded capacity 14.5 - 15cu/m • Extended capacity 15 - 17cu/m

Transpread • Uniquely shaped hydraulic twin spinner discs provide controlled accurate spread • Digital tachometer accurately reads spinner speed from tractor • Chain feed provides reliable constant feed to spinners • Stainless steel Hoppers, single and tandem wheel options available, floatation tyres, Hydraulic wheel drive and 3 speed gearboxes • Bin extensions & roll top covers

For your free catalogue please contact

Don 027 433 2212

Robertson Manufacturing PO Box 6 Hinds, Mid Canterbury Ph 03 303 7228 A/hrs 027 433 2212

Rural News // march 5, 2013

8 south island field days

Cultivators make short Grain Handling, Drying & Storage Equipment • Augers, conveyors, grain vacs. • Hopper bottom and flat bottom silos, unloaders, full drying silos c/w stirrers. • Grain carts/chaser bins – self unloading NEW PRODUCT RANGE Marston Grain Trailers

• Humidity controllers, ventilated drive on flooring • Gas burners, fans, ducting • Consultation and design See us at Lincoln Field Days Sites 756-7 781-2

RD1 Christchurch • Ph 03 318 8132 • Mob 0274 802 604

gare th g ill att

HUBBARDS cultivation equipment is extending the reach of Canterbury contractor Chris Swanson, doing earthworks and cultivation. His gear includes two-wheeled excavators, a Volvo truck and trailer, a grader, two loaders, two shingle crushers, a 140hp John Deere 6830, 160hp Case Puma, 180hp Fendt 718 and farm implements. He started seven years ago doing cultivation, much of it drilling with a 3.3m Austin roller drill set-up of ‘stump-jump’ harrows, a deep-V roller drill, harrows and a Cambridge roller at the back. “It was fantastic and ran 24 hours a day planting seed during busy times in spring, but I needed something bigger.” The bigger machine had to “fill the Austin’s shoes,” he says. “I was looking for something that did a good job, if not better than the Austin,” he adds. “The Hubbards has done that.” The specially designed roll-seedroll consists of paddles, leveling tines, a 6.3m roller, an air seeder, another roller and leveling paddles in the rear. Swanson says it halves the time on planting jobs with 6-7ha an hour being seeded. “I don’t have to run the seeder 24 hours a day now because I’m doing 6.3m instead of 3m.” The roll-seed-roll handles everything from lucerne and kale to grass. “The strike rate almost looks like seed was drilled in three ways. I think the coils have the biggest effect.” And as everything is built on the

same frame, Swanson says the device is surprisingly easy to pull, requiring only a little more power than the 90hp the Austin needed. “Leveling paddles

will pull anything up but I can run the roll-seed-roll behind a 140hp tractor without pulling it up, easy.” While Swanson is only doing R&D,







Rural News // march 5, 2013

south island field days 9

work of hefty jobs The specially-designed Hubbards Roll-SeedRoll machine; minus the levelling tines.

on this device he is so impressed he has ordered one for his business. “The only thing different with the one I ordered was that I got a bigger

seedbox.” Swanson also runs a Hubbards 820-5m chisel plough fully able to stand up to the conditions, he says.

With an adjustable breakout pressure of 350-750 pounds on tines, nylon bushed points and a 100 x100mm frame, Swanson says maintenance costs are low and ground is worked up well. The strong tines and frame become invaluable in his area which Swanson says contains almost every single soil type. “Where I’m based I can drive one way 10 min and find the best dirt in Canterbury, then drive 10 minutes the other way and find the worst.” Swanson says the chisel plough can stand up to tough conditions. “It’s well made… built for New Zealand conditions.” Hubbards has also helped out Swanson with his excavation business as well, by importing two Marston trailer frames on which they built forward and rear tipping trailers. “It is the ultimate tool for pivot ruts, which requires the operator to see where they are putting material.” When fixing pivot ruts the trailer tips forward and a hydraulic front gate opens up in one corner of the front deck allowing the operator to gauge exactly how much material they are putting into ruts. “You can see what you’re doing when you’re filling ruts.” The trailer also tips backward through a wider gate. Swanson says it needs a tractor to run but this works to his favour, especially in winter. “I use it a lot in winter when I’m carting materials with trucks; it gets too wet and they can get stuck.” Tel. 03 308 3539








Rural News // march 5, 2013

10 south island field days

4WD accessories built tougher IRONMAN 4x4, a “global power house” in 4WD accessories, has been 54 years in the business and now exports to at least 120 countries. It has agents across New Zealand. The Ironman 4x4

range includes bull bars, winches, suspension upgrades, diff locks, snorkels, recovery gear, lighting and camping accessories. They are available for most vehicle models and offer quality,

affordability and are built tough with extensive warranties. Ironman 4x4 have bull bars available for a range of vehicles from the early 1980s to the very latest 2012 model.

Its replacement winch bull bars are designed, engineered and tested in Australia. Premium grade materials and components are used to deliver comprehensive frontal protection and styling.

For Molasses Pricing and to learn how Conedose can increase productivity visit Site 473.

Incorporate minerals and supplements into Liquid Feeds

• Daily control of supplements and quantities fed • Hopper can blend up to one tonne of Liquid Feed at a time • Works in line with the Dairy Sheds’ existing feed system • Eliminates waste • Conedose can 100% add non soluble NZ owned supplements in importer suspension using air agitation e.g Mag Oxide, Lime Flour etc • Replaces Dusting

To learn more phone

Ironman 4x4 has three bar types available: the Black Commercial bar is in black steel with A frame triple loop design and has LED park and indicator lights; the commercial deluxe bar is of similar design but has a driving light as well as the park and indicator light incorporated into the section below the existing vehicle

They are UV resistant for long life and come with a 3 year warranty. headlight. These bars are airbag/winch compatible, have an aerial mount and mounting points for additional driving lights, tough polyurethane bumper pads and a tough powder coat finish; the Protector winch bar has a grey finish with polished stainless steel triple loop design and includes the driving and park light. Suspension kits and components with raised height, long travel and improved performance are available for most makes and models of vehicles. Ironman 4x4 shock absorbers are available in 35mm nitro gas or 41mm foam cell. These have longer travel and are strongly built. Leaf and coil springs are made from high quality SUP9 steel and are available in dif-

able risk of damage to vital components when using them off road. Ironman 4x4 underbody protection kits give enhanced protection from rocks, mud and debris. These kits are made from 3mm pressed steel, have easy bolt on installation with no drilling or welding required and are semi gloss powder coated . To reduce the risk of your engine taking in water and to increase the height of your air intake, Ironman 4x4 sell snorkel kits. These also give increased airflow, improve performance and are made from high quality polyethylene (LLPDE). They are UV resistant for long life and come with a 3 year warranty. Tel. 0508 IRONMAN


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ferent load ratings from ‘comfort’ to ‘extra constant load’. On average suspension kits give a 45-50mm lift for the range of vehicles giving good ground clearance and increased wheel articulation. All suspension carries a 2 year/40,000km warranty. With new age 4WD vehicles there is consider-

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Rural News // march 5, 2013

south island field days 11

Pen waterer keeps calves healthy GARE T H G I L L AT T

MILKBAR PEN waterers are helping a South Island farmer raise herd replacements. Reuben Allan milks 1650 Jersey-Friesian cross cows on a 470ha platform at Waimate, South Canterbury. The property is a four-seasonold conversion from a drystock farm. Allan started it to generate better and more stable earnings off the family farm. He rears about 500 heifer replacements each year to improve the herd’s overall performance in an eight bay 360m2 shed and says when looking for water solutions for raising calves he wanted something easy to maintain and keep clean, and something that could provide calves with their water requirements

without overloading them with disease. He installed eight Milk Bar pen waterer water feeders and will add more when he expands the calf

of the covered feeders and riverstone flooring, which Milk Bar staff suggested. “We haven’t had to worry about rotovirus or pneumonia or anything

“Calves are naturally inquisitive so they found the water pretty quickly.” shed from eight bays to 12. The 8L waterers are 575 x 330 x 275mm partly enclosed containers fitted with a float valve and piping. Milk Bar says the design eliminates most form of contamination and ensures calves can access clean water at all times due to smaller volumes of water in the water feeder. Large mobs of calves can lead to health problems, but Allan has only seen the odd case of scours in his replacement calves, Milk Bar says. He attributes this to the use

routine and there’s not much we have to do to them.” Allan is expanding the shed to 12 bays this season and says that he will be adding more Milk Bar pen waterers. Tel. 0800 104 119

like that. The calves always seem to be in good health.” And though the water feeder is covered, Allan says it didn’t take much for calves to find the water. “Calves are naturally inquisitive so they found the water pretty quickly.” Installing feeders required setting up waterlines and then clamping feeders to partitions with the built-on clamps. Allan says clean-up is also easy. “We just need to clean them at the end of the season. It’s part of the cleaning


Phone Office: 0800 4 SEEDS or 03-324 3951 or 0274-323 834 View 2013 info on our website

See us at the Lincoln Field Days Site 419 & 420

SPRAYERS & SPREADERS • Sprayers - 12volt, 3p/l, trailed • Sprayers - Fert & Mag

MEAL FEEDING • Herringbone • Stainless steel trays • Rotary • Workmanship guaranteed

PORTABLE YARDS • Holds 5 to 500 • Head bail • Loading ramp • 7 rail option

SPRAYING EQUIPMENT / WATER-BLASTER’S • Pumps • Spray Nozzels • Spray Guns • Hose Reels • Booms plus much more


• Strong • Sliding gate • Side opening gates • Vet gates • Floor for weighing

ROLLERMILL • Grooved Rollers • 5.5 kw Electric Motor • 5 tonne/ per hour

CONTACT: Steve Waters 027 640 1333 • Russell Crossen 027 445 4199 • Office: 03 347 3171 • Email: •

Rural News // march 5, 2013

12 south island field days Adding fizz to monitoring KEEPING AN eye on Coca Cola vending machines worldwide made headlines in the 1990s for a company that will exhibit at the South Island Agricultural Field Days to promote its farm telemetry systems. The company, as Harvest Electronics, Masterton, at the time used internet and cellphone technology – with power from solar panels – to monitor railway level crossings in New Zealand, sewerage systems in Australia, frost alarm systems in New Zealand, Australia and Italy, and shopping carts in North America. It achieved fame on winning a contract to monitor stock levels in Coca-Cola vending machines. Until 2000 it

developed products for the wireless monitoring of Coca-Cola vending machines and grew to be the largest wireless network of its type in the world with 60,000 vending machines online. Now it develops remote monitoring equipment, spurred by farmers needing to monitor and control equipment such as pumps, gates and irrigators. This automatically measures and transmits data from remote sources using GSM cellular networks and the Iridium satellite network. The wireless systems can be tailored exactly to the farmer’s needs. Irrigation and soil moisture, effluent use and weather are all able

to be monitored with Harvest Electronics’ products. At Lincoln, Harvest Electronics will display a travelling irrigator with its attached monitor which records GPS location, speed and pressure. If any of the set limits are breached, the pump is shut off and a text message automatically alerts the farmer. A base station configured as a weather station and a long range remote will also feature as part of the Harvest Electronics display. The compact, solarpowered and weather resistant wireless long range remotes can monitor several irrigation areas from one system and do not usually require towers or radio repeaters to run.

New Cambridge roller unveiled ORIGIN AGROUP will introduce, at this year’s South Island field days, a new range of DAL-BO XL folding Cambridge rollers which the company says complements the already proven Maxiroll models. Origin Agroup’s Dave Donelly says the Maxiroll has been a huge success with larger contractors and cropping farmers, but there has been a demand for a general economic version and the new XL models fit this criterion. The new XL rollers are fitted with large 55cm Cambridge rings with a narrow breaker ring fitted in between to minimise soil sticking in wet soils. Working widths of 6.0m and 8.3m with a narrow 2.5m transport width are available, priced from $28,900 + GST. An optional front hydraulic levelling cracker board is available to provide cultivation and levelling of the soil in one operation. Hatzenbichler broadcast seeders can also be fitted to the rear of the roller for a roll seeding operation. Tel. 07 823 7582


South Island Agricultural Field Days March 20th - 22nd 2013

A demonstrative fencing event combining industry best practice installation techniques with the application of machinery, tools and products on 4 fence line types Demonstrated by | Electrics – Hugh Morrison | Netting – Owen Petersen | Post, Wire & Batten – Paul Van Beers | Rail Work – Tony White

The following fencing industry manufacturers & suppliers are exhibiting within the ALL ABOUT FENCING event area

For further information please visit or contact

Rural News // march 5, 2013

south island field days 13 Rear-mounted mowers easy to hitch

Dipper keeps on and on

The central element is the hydraulic lower linkage arm that makes it easy to hitch up because the operator need no longer adjust the tractor’s linkage arms and the mower frame is always aligned in the right position. “In addition, this system optimises weight alleviation as well as pro-

NOVACAT DISC mowers newly available from Origin Agroup will be on their first public outing at the South Island field days. The company says the range includes 352, 402 and 442 models with working widths of 3.46m, 3.88 m and 4.3 m respectively.

viding excellent ground clearance (50 cm on the inside) for headland turns and transport on the road.” During transport the mower is pivoted through 90 degrees to the rear. The double-acting cylinder on the rear pivot also serves as collision protection. If the mower impacts an

obstruction it folds to the rear and the release pressure is increased. This system ensures that the mower is ideally protected against severe damage. Both new Novacat mowers feature hydraulic weight alleviation. A clearly visible pressure gauge is fitted to the mower frame and the

ground pressure can be simply adjusted if needed using a double-acting remote valve. Ease of maintenance is assured by safety guards designed to fold well clear to provide optimum access to the cutter bar for quick and easy knife changes.


the crt village is the place to be at the south island agricultural field days



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ELECTRODIP HAS been making and selling its ‘magic eye’ sheep dip for at least 23 years, some owners still using their original machines – some are said to have been in service for 20 years. “Many changes have been made over the years, mainly due to the feedback we get from our customers, to the point that the current model bears little resemblance to the original model,” explains Electrodip principal Martin Carey. “The main features remain the same, enabling the Electrodip to still provide excellent fly and lice protection.” But Carey points to new features that are making the job easier and safer: self-adjusting sides, galvanised construction, and extra jets and covers. So the unit can handle a greater volume of sheep easily. The Electrodip has also shown to have great resale value. As holdings increase in size, some owners are selling their old Electrodips and buying new ones for the new features, enabling farmers with smaller holdings to buy a secondhand Electrodip at a lower price. Owners are also using their machines to do preventative maintenance – including a lice-killing chemical in their fly dip. Piston-diaphragm pumps powered by Honda motors enable chemical to be jetted into a full fleece, the maker says. Says Carey, “Owning your own machine means there is no reliance or waiting on contractors, saving you time and money. Most owners with an average sized flock achieve a 30-60% return on capital investment when compared to other methods.”




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We look forward to seeing you at Lincoln for the South Island Agricultural Field Days, 20-22 March. 0800 278 583

Rural News // march 5, 2013

14 south island field days

Specialist pastoral advice on-hand PASTURE RENEWAL involves much more than just buying the seed, says Seed Force’s James White. The process is complex and involves a number of important factors. “Seed Force can help with the decision-making process by providing technical know-how and support, coupled with quality

seed varieties to suit a range of situations.” White says advice from a specialist proprietary seed company can be a real benefit. “Once you have determined your long term goals, you can get a range of advice, from what species will suit your situation through to a complete

management plan to help reach your desired outcome. The tips and advice you receive can help get the best return on your investment.” R&D is a major part of Seed Force’s business. The company uses the term ‘100% researched’ to describe the important role that research and

development plays in its business. “This ensures Seed Force products are thoroughly tested and trialled prior to release into the market,” White adds. “The Seed Force product portfolio spans a wide range of species – from annual crops, such as forage brassicas and cereals, through to perennial species such as lucerne, ryegrasses, cocksfoot and tall fescue.

“In addition to these primary species, the company can provide a range of component varieties, such as legumes and herbs, and specialist species, such as fodder beet. “Together with our retailer clients, we combine products with best practice management advice and on-farm support.” Tel. 0508 7333 36

Keeps fuel clean and safe

FUEL STORAGE Systems Ltd, of Ashburton, maker of Sebco tanks for diesel, waste oil and AdBlue, has launched a 1300L diesel station. The company says this springs from farmers and manufacturers saying they want to store smaller volumes of diesel in compliant, safe and secure tanks, with the features of other Sebco diesel stations. “We discovered operators with lower diesel usage have also upgraded to vehicles with a common rail engine, such as the farm ute or the family SUV,” says Ed Harrison, Sebco managing director. “These require clean fuel and the design of our bunding system virtually eliminates condensation; the inner vessel cannot rot or rust, so the fuel dispensed from the Sebco 1300 is as clean as it can be.” The Sebco 1300 is fitted with the same quality components as the Sebco 2300 and 4800, such as a choice between the Piusi Cube 56 (240 or 12 volt systems) offering flow of up to 56L/m. It has 4m of delivery hose with auto shut off nozzle – no risk of spilling while you fill. And it comes standard with a 5 micron water-separating clearcaptor filter. You can see inside the captor to check for accidental dirt ingress into fuel. All pumping equipment, hose and nozzle are located behind a lock up door and the whole unit is a neat and tidy way of storing diesel fuel. Sebco offers a 2-year warranty on pumping equipment, 5-year warranty on the rotomoulded tanks and offer a 25-year design life. Harrison says Sebco is now into its seventh year of production and has delivered hundreds of diesel stations to properties in New Zealand and Australia. “Sebco is committed to providing a smart storage facility for all farmers’ diesel requirements, and to also keep developing award winning tanks to further enhance security and safety around fuel storage on your property.” Tel. 027 308 2800

Rural News // march 5, 2013

south island field days 15

Northland research farm manager Jeremy Clark says the Fieldmaster mower makes topping a breeze.

Topping made a breeze GARE T H G I L L AT T

A FIELDMASTER GMM 230 Mower has made topping a breeze on a Northland research farm, says farmer Jeremy Clark, manager of the Northland Agricultural Research Farm. Its two 40-45ha farmlets near Dargaville are used to compare the economic value of a ryegrass farm against one relying on mulched kikuyu. The study, which discovered that mulching kikuyu with oversown Italian annuals is as commercially viable, if not more so, in Northland, is in its second phase. Clark says Fieldmaster representative Patrick Murray got in contact with him to offer the 2.3m rotary mulching/ topping mower. “We both saw the synergies so we gratefully accepted,” says Clark. According to Murray, the company was keen to work with the research farm due to its high visibility. “Because the Northland Agricultural Research Station is visited by many Northland farmers and their research and methods are of note to the region, Fieldmaster deemed it worthwhile to offer a loan trial machine – particularly to advertise the merits and versatility of the Fieldmaster GMM series machines.” The Fieldmaster 3 tier mulching

system can be fitted with a tungstentreated blade, which copes with abrasive conditions and to a high degree self-sharpens. “This is especially good in kikuyu, which needs cutting back at low height to control it and cattle will eat and do well on the fresh sugar rich regrowth.” The mower was delivered in October, a month when the kikuyu hadn’t started growing, and the farm has used it as a topping mower to maintain pasture quality over the entire property. “It hasn’t had to cope with the kikuyu stems or clumps yet, but I’m impressed with what I have seen so far.” The mower doesn’t tax the property’s 89hp Massey Ferguson 5355 tractor while topping and Clark says he is able to get more work out of lower revs. “The tractor doesn’t seem to be working as hard with the gear mower; we’ve been able to get more trips out of the fuel tank.” Besides being able to top pastures in 10-15 minutes less time than the previous mulcher, Clark says the rotary mulcher also does a better job. “The pastures come up better with the mulcher. They came up lush and green; the mower really did an outstanding job.” The mower’s three blade system

gives a cleaner cut and stays sharper longer, Clark adds. “The alloy means the blades are partially self-sharpening. These blades are awesome.” Murray says the Multicut rotary mulcher knives have three blades that cut in three heights and in two steps. The blades are designed to pulverise plant material with a lower power ratio. This is further assisted by downward pointing blades that cut close to ground level while creating a vacuum that mixes soil and plant debris for faster breakdown times. Northland and Waikato farmers have mentioned the mower’s capability to handle kikuyu, according to Murray, and the company wants to put that performance to the test. “Many of Fieldmasters’ Gear mower users indicate they can mow faster even double the forward speed, use half the fuel and still achieve a clean cut even spread that is considered the ideal result.” Clark says rainfall and a cooler start to summer have delayed major kikuyu growth, which would normally be happening around now. “It will be interesting to see how it copes with the big thick kikuyu clumps that are common around Northland farms during summer.” Tel. 0800 500 275

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Rural News // march 5, 2013

16 south island field days

Cultivator drill reduces crop establishment costs POTTINGER TERRASEM cultivator drills, sold throughout Europe and to New Zealand farmers,


Docking Chute See us at Sites 570 & 571


(362 537)

will be represented by a 6m model at this year’s South Island field days at Lincoln. David Donnelly, from Origin Agroup, says high input costs are driving farmers to look at better and smarter ways to help reduce costs, yet at the same time allow the possibility of increasing yields. Donnelly says a cultivator drill can dramatically reduce the number of passes required to establish a seed bed and can provide better

moisture retention and more even seed placement depth. This ensures seed is drilled at the critical moment when soil moisture and conditions are optimised and can result in better crop establishment and yields. To that end, Pottinger has developed its new Terrasem seed drills to deliver tillage, consolidation and seeding stages in a single pass at working widths from 3m to 9m with a 3.0m seed discs. This provides to set up a seed bed in transport width. a uniform consolidated front of large diameter Terrasem drills can seed bed for the seeding packer wheels which be used for minimum discs to accurately sow are then followed by the till, mulch drilling and double disc seed coulters. seed at a precise depth conventional sowing across the full working The Terrasem is said to on ploughed land. A key width of the drill. perform equally well in feature is their precise Terrasem drills deliver heavy or light soils with seed placement thanks large quantities of harvest accurate contour tracking to the parallelogramdue to a three-part design trash. guided double coulters The maintenance-free, which ensures perfect with trailed depth press ground tracking over the rubber-mounted 510 mm wheels. Each of the disc full working coulters is width. Unique guided by “A cultivator drill can to Pottinger is a hydraulic the seed rail pressure roller dramatically reduce the elements which to ensure number of passes required are mounted on accurate and a parallelogram uniform seed to establish a seed bed that follow placement and can provide better the contours depth. of the ground The moisture retention and unlimited operator can more even seed placement with freedom of adjust the movement depth centrally depth.” – David Donnelly upwards and a and can apply downward angle pressure of up to 4°. diameter discs loosen from 50 kg to 130 kg per The Terrasem drill the soil on the surface disc coulter with rubber is equipped with a cab providing a layer of fine mounting elements to terminal operating system provide optimum freedom structured earth at the which operates all the depth where the seed is of movement for each drilling functions and is placed followed by wide coulter unit. ISOBUS compatible with consolidation tyres to The drills are fitted a radar sensor-controlled re-compact the soil after with a front mounted seed flow metering. the front disc harrows; two-gang disc harrow to each tyre covers four provide pre-cultivation

Rural News 5 Mar 2013  

Rural News 5 Mar 2013