Page 1

security threats

handy companion

Our primary exports are at risk from border leaks. page 23

New milk monitor on show at Fieldays. page 36

Rural NEWS

riding the roller coaster MPI warns bumper seasons at an end.

page 12

to all farmers, for all farmers

june 19, 2012: Issue 517 

www.ruralnews.co.nz

Shocking land-grab a n d r ew swa l low

LANDOWNERS NATIONWIDE are being warned their property rights are under threat from national grid operator Transpower’s efforts to get buffer zones under power lines written into district plans. Transpower denies its actions infringe property rights but Federated Farmers representatives say it’s a “landgrab by stealth”. The issue has come to a head in recent weeks in the Western Bay of Plenty and Waimate districts during hearings on district plans. Transpower says it will seek similar provisions in every district where it has infrastructure. Five have already gone through. Transpower spokeswoman Rebecca Wilson told Rural News the ‘National policy statement on electricity transmission’ requires councils to include buffer zone corridors under national grid infrastructure and Transpower’s submissions are simply to ensure those are appropriate. But Federated Farmers disputes that. “They would say that,” says Miles

Anderson, a South Canterbury farmer with four pylons on his 217ha mixed crop and stock property. “But the national policy statement doesn’t take priority over existing regulations or over the Resource Management Act.” If Transpower’s proposed amendments are written into the district plan it would limit his use of a 64m-wide corridor across the farm. It would have a direct affect on 6ha of our best land. The more intensive your farm is, the more it will affect you.”

Anderson represented South Canterbury Federated Farmers Pylon Group at Waimate District’s plan hearing earlier this month. The group’s submission says Transpower’s proposed amendments to the plan are “an assault on fundamental property rights and will result in devaluation of properties and restrict the ability of landowners to utilise their land”. “We are also seriously concerned that the district planning process is being used by Transpower New Zealand (TPNZ) as a tool to avoid obliga-

Hamish Burgess and Luke Greenwood are pictured testing out an ATV at this year’s National Fieldays, held last week at Mystery Creek, near Hamilton. More Fieldays – pages 36-39

tions and responsibilities that it has with landowners.” Federated Farmers Bay of Plenty Te Puke branch chairperson Steve Bailey echoes that. “We have grave concerns that Transpower is trying to use the district plan to avoid negotiating individual easement agreements and pay compensation.” Bailey says buffer zones are unnecessary because the ‘Code of practice for electrical safety distances’ (COP) to page 3

Cheque books to close? p e t e r bu r k e

SHEEP AND beef farmers may not be too enthusiastic about reaching for their chequebooks in the coming year, a suggestion rising from the latest data from Beef + Lamb NZ’s economic service. The figures show a 2.4% rise in farm input prices for the past year. Though this increase is about half that of the previous year, cumulative increases over the past five years amount to 22.3%. The director of the economic service, Rob Davison, says in the past year fertiliser, lime and seed prices rose 7%, fuel 5.4% and feeding and grazing 5.9%. Local government rates were up 5.6%; during the past five years the cumulative increase has been 30.7% “Rates are a big factor because they are not tradable costs. The only way to pay those increases is by increasing farm profit, which could be by higher production or better market prices. The question is, are these rate increases adding extra value to the running of the farm?” Davison says sheep and beef farmers are conservative in their spending habits and these tend to be linked to income. With lamb prices coming off the boil and wool prices back people will be looking at expenditure pretty closely, he says.

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Rural News // june 19, 2012

issue 517

www.ruralnews.co.nz

Report questions TAF’s need milk supply and investment.” Some shareholders’ focus will shift to that of investors, creating tensions between groups within the cooperative with different investment profiles. The likely increase in share price will tax milk growth, inhibit entry to the cooperative, and incentivise exit. Those trading shares into the fund but retaining supply rights could find they are “locked in” as prices rise such that they cannot afford to buy their way out. Dividends paid to outside unit investors would be money lost to the dairy chain and for all the protection mechanisms Fonterra has proposed, van Bekkum doubts it could contain investor interest. He drives a bus though the cooperative’s selling points for TAF as outlined in the ‘What you need to know’ booklet, saying that rather than being an ‘easier to use’ method of buying or redeeming

andrew swallow

News������������������������������ 1-15 World������������������������� 16-17 Agribusiness����������������� 19 Markets�������������������� 20-21 Hound, Edna������������������� 22 Contacts������������������������� 23 Opinion����������������������� 22-25 Management����������� 26-29 Animal Health�������� 30-35 Machinery and Products������������������ 36-42 Rural Trader���������������� 43

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: editor@ruralnews.co.nz Advertising material: davef@ruralnews.co.nz Rural News online: www.ruralnews.co.nz Subscriptions: fionas@ruralnews.co.nz ABC audited circulation 80,879 as at 31.12.2011

news 3

A DUTCH cooperatives expert is questioning whether Fonterra’s farmers need TAF. In a report commissioned by a group of shareholders concerned at the lack of independent analysis of the proposal, Onno van Bekkum slams many of the arguments for TAF put forward by the board. While the 24-page report is a little long-winded and at times confusing, the concluding pages are damning. TAF is complex, both in concept and in language; it attempts to integrate conflicting principles of cooperative and stockmarket models, and shifts the board mindset towards satisfying investor demands with strategic focus on return on investment, rather than milk processed, he argues. “[It] looks at milk as a ‘cost’ factor rather than as a source of wealth creation [and] erodes the linkage between

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As for TAF leading to ‘a stronger cooperative’, it may lead to a business with a stronger capital base but that is not necessarily the same as a stronger cooperative. “But if TAF creates a stable capital base by solving the redemption problem, then this must be accepted as a valid argument. More TAF stories page 4

shares, it may well demand more from farmers. Farmers are already ‘in the driver’s seat’ and the three-year opt in/out periods do not require TAF to implement. Claims that share value will be set by the price farmer shareholders trade at also don’t wash. “No it won’t. The share price will effectively be set by the public market.”

Farmers under attack

sector. Farmers spoke of the challenges of managing immediate issues, such as weather, commodity prices and exchange rates, while also addressing long-term management and ownership issues. “One of the main concerns was succession – how to keep the farm in family hands, but in a way that is fair and ensures the future viability of the business,” Turley says. Around 90% of farmers surveyed considered their farm a family business, and 71% want to sell the business to the next generation. Progressive involvement of the next generation of family is favoured by 53% and 47% have family working for the business.

BUSINESS SUCCESSION is one of the most pressing long-term issues faced by farmers, according to the ANZ privatelyowned business barometer 20012. Simply handing over the farm to a son or daughter and retiring from the business is becoming increasingly problematic for many farmers,” says ANZ managing director agri and commerial GrahamTurley. “Today, like all New Zealanders, farmers are living longer so they want to ensure the farm is a sustainable business that generates an income long term.” The survey shows that issues of growth, planning, people and change were tightly interwoven in the agri

Onno van Bekkum’s report slams many arguments put up for TAF.

from page 1

already covers the safety issues, and Transpower already has a right of access to carry out maintenance on lines. “The zones should be deleted or reduced to only 12m total to be consistent with the COP, which already includes safety distances for buildings, earthworks or machinery working near lines. “Our submission also said landowners should have the ability to directly negotiate with Transpower rather than having to go through the council, which also should not be put to the expense and trouble of enforc-

ing someone else’s rules. This move will simply shift Transpower’s costs onto the local district council.” Federated Farmers’ senior policy advisor Nigel Billings says besides the “hard grind” of dealing with every district plan proposal as they come up, Feds is lobbying Government. “We’ve been to central Government repeatedly to try to get them to crack open the Public Works Act and Electricity Act and do something for landowners who are hosting the national grid infrastructure for free.” Editorial page 22

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Rural News // june 19, 2012

4 news

Fonterra admits no plan B for TAF SUDES H K I SSUN

WITH LESS than a week before a crucial second vote, some Fonterra shareholders remain concerned and uncertain about TAF (trading among farmers). And co-op chairman Henry van der Heyden says there is no ‘planB’ should farmers not deliver a clear mandate to proceed with the share trading scheme. But he adds sticking with the status quo is not an option. Van der Heyden is seeking “a clear mandate” from shareholders. While not prepared to predict the outcome of the June 25 vote, he remains confident of a resounding ‘yes’. “When Fonterra farmers face a big issue – such as the formation of the cooperative in 2001 and now TAF – they support the board’s recommendation,” he says. A round of meetings this month was attended by about 3500 farmers, a good turnout, in van der Heyden’s view. He attended six meetings – Edgecumbe, Putaruru, Rotorua in the North Island, and Methven, Geraldine and Ashburton in the South Island. Van der Heyden admits there is a degree of uncertainty and concern on TAF. The key issue remains 100% farmer ownership and control. Some farmers are questioning whether there was still a need for TAF, which is designed to remove the co-op’s redemption risk. The risk is real today, he says. “This year our milk production is

Speculation thwarted A FORMER dairy industry leader says TAF has been carefully crafted and customised for the needs and protection of Fonterra and should not be compared to models used by co-ops elsewhere in the world. “The [speculative or hostile] investor behaviour being described by people opposed to TAF requires two things: critical mass and voting rights; TAF allows neither,” says Tony Wilding, a former NZ Dairy Group and NZ Dairy Board director. “There can never be no risk in change, and equally that has to be balanced against the risk of doing nothing,” he says. Wilding believes outside investors buying units pose no threat. “If investors are unhappy they will take their money elsewhere as they now do daily in the sharemarket. In a fund of the size we are sanctioning – less than 20% of the company’s equity, with no votes for unit investors – that’s what they will do. “It is rather fanciful for some to lead us to believe they will go to the authorities and demand certain rights which they don’t have under this proposal.”

up 11%. Next year if milk production falls, we have to write out capital so the risk is real,” he says. Some shareholders feel retentions from milk payout is enough but van der Heyden says it’s investing capital in stainless steel, such as the new Darfield plant in Canterbury. Ashburton farmer and leading TAF critic Eddie Glass says if 30% of shareholders vote against TAF, it should be taken off the table. But if 75% support TAF, Glass believes his group will get behind TAF. Unanimity is very important for Fonterra, he says. “We have been asking for a second vote and we’re chuffed to get it. If 75% of shareholders support TAF, we will support it all the way. Unanimity is paramount.”

Glass and his group have sent out 7000 letters to shareholders stating why they should oppose TAF. They also hired cooperative experts to review TAF. The exercise has been bankrolled by Fonterra farmers and through donations, he says. Glass attended the meeting at Ashburton, so did Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings. He says the meeting was “very subdued”. Bay of Plenty anti-TAF lobby spokeswoman Donna Smit says farmer meetings in the region were well attended. The concerns of shareholders regarding 100% ownership and control of Fonterra was obvious by the depth of the questions asked, Smit says.

Mistrust unwarranted DAIRY INDUSTRY leader Dean Nikora is frustrated with mistrust shown by some shareholders towards the Fonterra Shareholders Council over TAF (trading among farmers). Dairy farmers will vote next Monday on whether to adopt TAF. Nikora, a former shareholders councillor, says mistrust is unwarranted, and Fonterra farmers should be showing confidence in their elected leaders to deliver 100% ownership and control. Nikora supports TAF. He cautions that while redemption risk is far from shareholders’ minds in a season when milk production is growing, it will return when milk volumes reduce for whatever reason. “If we don’t evolve the cooperative when the times are good, there will be no time or will to fix issues when we’re dealing with the challenges TAF is designed to help with,” he told Rural News. But Fonterra shareholders need to face TAF with facts, not emotions, he says. “I know the processes and the way council works. I know the commitment of the people that sit around the table.” The councillors have been intense for the last two years about doing the right thing for shareholders in respect of TAF. “I’m confident that councillors have been more exacting than anyone would have expected. If you sit on council you are intensely aware that you are representing your fellow farmers.” “Everyone knows that sustainable milk price is what is most important to farmers; it is also critical for the performance of our industry to be able to perform right through the supply chain.” Nikora says the recent attacks on the council by some disgruntled shareholders “got to a point which is somewhat insult-

ing”. “Some shareholders are not taking the opportunity to listen objectively and getting to grips with the situation. They should deal with facts, not emotion.” This is a huge decision for the cooperative and we need to deal with the facts, he adds. “We must question and challenge but we should also show respect to the people we elected into counDean Nikora labels some of the dissent over TAF as insulting.

cil by listening to what they have to say.” While acknowledging TAF has taken too long to take off, Nikora says it is the way forward for Fonterra. An overwhelming majority of councillors have supported the implementation of TAF, he says. The different views held by a few councillors are healthy for the co-op, he says, and debate over all the available information will have provided for very robust decisionmaking. But he insists there is a lot of misinformation being bandied around in the “emotionally charged” debate pushed by some shareholders. TAF has safeguards on issues of concern: the shareholders fund, control and ownership and farmgate milk price, Nikora says. “There are various levels of governance and at every point there is farmerelected representation.”

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Rural News // june 19, 2012

news 5

NZ’s future made in China – experts DEMAND FROM China will still probably keep the primary sector buoyant despite world volatility. That’s the key message from a number of industry leaders and economists at last week’s National Fieldays Economically the “world is a mess” and

ANZ rural economist Con Williams.

“Europe is in chaos” the Minister of Primary Industries David Carter told Rural News at the Fieldays. But China was still looking strong enough to keep up demand for our primary products, Carter said, a theme reiterated by other keynote speakers at a Fieldays KPMG Breakfast.

Media beat up PETER BURKE

TARANAKI REGIONAL Council and Fonterra director David MacLeod says in his region some urban waterways have potentially greater pollution problems than those in rural areas. His comments follow daily media carping about ‘dirty dairying’. He concedes there are problems in rural areas and the daily media tend to focus on the dairy industry. “It’s a bit of a tall poppy syndrome because the dairy industry has been so successful.” MacLeod believes society is becoming more aware of environmental issues and are ‘green’ in their outlook. “This has heightened over the last couple of decades so people are much more vigilant over what’s happening in the environment. There’s a heck of a lot of land in dairying that people can see, hence more people are vigilant of what’s happening in the environment and in particular on the dairy landscape.” But MacLeod concedes the dairy industry has a few farmers who have to lift their game. “It’s a huge industry and by far the majority of dairy farmers are excellent custodians of the environment. “Within any industry you can some find who don’t comply with the rules and the challenge is to get all… to lift the game of the few to produce better environmental outcomes.” The time has come to get tough with the “10% of laggards” not complying with the rules, he says. Federated Farmers Dairy Group Chairman, Willy Leferink says some of the stories about farmers breaching environmental standards is “historic stuff ”. It’s easy for the mainstream media to target a group such as dairy farmers; they are easy to identify because their animals are big, he says. But Leferink acknowledges there are some ‘ratbags’ in the dairy industry letting the side down.

Carter told Rural News that to say Europe was “in chaos” was not too strong, and the US was still subdued although he believed the latter would pull through. New Zealand also could be affected by the slowdown in China from 9% to 7%

GDP growth per annum, but he said this growth was still “outstanding”. As the Chinese people became wealthier their diets became more Westernised. They were now even drinking wine, and they were talking about New Zealand wine, he

said. New Zealand products were held in high regard everywhere in China. Fonterra chairman Henry van der Heyden told Rural News they were not seeing any change in demand from China at present and they still wanted “safe, high quality food”. Asked about its growth strategy in China should TAF (trading among farmers) be rejected by the shareholders’ vote, van der Heyden said it would be “really hard executing strategy” without TAF. At a presentation later in the day, ANZ rural economist Con Williams said

the Europe crisis was bringing some decentralisation of growth and this could provide opportunities for New Zealand produce and for FTAs (free trade agreements) in Asia. Although China was going from a “gallop to a canter” he said an example of continued growth was McDonalds talking about a new restaurant every day in China for the next five years. “Every burger has a slice of cheese in it. Traditionally Asia Pacific didn’t eat a lot of cheese, now McDonalds and food service is expanding in that part of the world they are eating a lot more cheese.”

Butter and cheese to China jumped 20% in the last year. Williams says the 13% price increase at the last Global Dairy Trade auction was driven by China and the Middle East. China now represented 20% of our lamb exports which was a huge shift over the last two years. This was only 10% of the value because China took cheaper cuts, but those cheaper cuts had tripled in value in the last couple of years. However Williams warned of ongoing volatility in commodity prices because the world situation was “very fluid”.

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Rural News // june 19, 2012

6 news

Conference tackles thorny issues Rents, pests, public access, problematic policies: Federated Farmers’ annual High Country conference covered a smorgasbord of controversial topics. Andrew Swallow reports. HIGH COUNTRY farmers have been urged to be more proactive in public relations and make sure their house is in order environmentally. “The take-home message for all of us is we need to communicate; we need

to have good news stories coming out of the high country,” Jim Ward, vice chairman of Federated Farmers High Country, told the section’s recent conference in Wanaka. “And when our city cousins come to visit, we

need to make sure they have a positive experience.” Ward’s comments were echoed by section chairman Graham Reed in his address, though he wasn’t able to speak in person owing to being snow-

bound on his North Canterbury property (see panel). “I heard a comment recently from a prominent politician that rules and laws will not endure and succeed without public support,” he wrote. “This

is a message that we as farmer advocates must acknowledge: be seen to be reasonable and doing a good job of looking after the land.” Strong public support for pastoral lessees would be “by far the best insur-

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shelved for the future.” The section’s committee report to the conference also touched on the issue, noting the proposed amendment to the Biosecurity Act “seems to have got lost in the great bureaucratic void following the submission process”. The proposed amendment could bind the Crown to regional pest management strategies. “We see this as a necessity if the Crown is to live up to its claim of being a good neighbour when it comes to pest control,” it stated. The amendment partially stemmed from the section’s approaches to ministers on Crown involvement in rabbit control.

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ance” against future political interference with Crown pastoral leases and the newly agreed rental system, as legislated for in the Crown Pastoral Land (Rent for Pastoral Leases) Amendment Act, he said. Speaking to Rural News, Ward also touched on the hot topic of wilding pines, saying DOC must increase its control efforts to prevent vast tracts of tussock turning to forest. “It is doing a great job in some places but it really needs to prioritise spending and nail things.... The explosion in pines is huge and if they don’t do something very soon it is going to get completely out of hand.” With no extra funding likely to come from the public purse in the current economic environment, prioritisation of spending is the key, he believes. “There are projects out there that should be

28/03/12 4:54 PM

WHILE MOST high country farmers are breathing a sigh of relief following the passing of the Crown Pastoral Land (Rent for Pastoral Leases) Amendment Act, those in the Mackenzie Basin face a new policy problem: District Plan Change 13. Feds’ national vice president William Rolleston brought the conference up to speed on developments to date, which saw farmers oppose development restrictions proposed in the plan change and, when passed by commissioners, appeal it to the Environment Court, as did several other parties. “There wasn’t one appellant that said the plan hadn’t gone far enough.” However, Environment Court judge John Jackson, a former head of Forest & Bird and a keen fisherman, took a different view, making an interim ruling declaring the whole basin an outstanding natural landscape. Rolleston noted Jackson’s definition of naturalness included the basin’s hydrosystem on the grounds water is natural, and areas of the invasive weed heiracium, on the grounds it’s green. It also restricted development based on one in ten thousand year flood risk, and would transfer a regional council responsibility – wilding pine control – to the district council. “As a ratepayer I’d be terrified by that... The fact he’s found it an outstanding natural landscape can’t be challenged. The only challenge we can make is that he’s overstepped the mark... It’s about the process, not if it’s the right scientific decision.” The District Council and Meridian Energy are among other appellants to Jackson’s ruling, which returns to court in August.


Rural News // june 19, 2012

news 7

Cap no restriction to farmer’s profit su d esh k issu n

MIKE BARTON isn’t allowed to increase his farm’s stocking rate, but he hasn’t given up on profitable farming. The Lake Taupo farmer is using his farm’s environment credentials to extract more value from beef produced on his property each year. Barton, who runs a 140ha beef finishing farm, is one of 105 farmers in the Lake Taupo catchment operating under a Nitrogen cap. He says farmers cannot increase stocking rate while talking about

limiting nitrate leaching. “For me the challenge has been extracting from the static amount of meat I grow each year....growing the value of meat, but not more meat,” he told the ‘Tools to Farm within Limits’ conference at Lake Karapiro last week. Barton says there’s no silver bullet to deal with capped farming. But he has been trialling beef from three farms in the catchment among consumers for a year. “Taupo Beef” is certified by the Waikato Regional Council for meeting environmental standards and is sold at

a premium in restaurants and butcheries in Taupo. It’s marketed as grass fed and free-range. Aged for a minimum of four weeks, it highlights the farm’s role in protecting Lake Taupo’s excellent water quality. Barton says the feedback has been outstanding and Taupo Beef is outselling conventional beef two to one. Chefs in Taupo are struggling to meet demand and Barton is looking for more farmers to join and build a business model that returns a premium to capped farmers.

Lake Taupo farmer Mike Barton.

He says consumers will pay a premium price “for the right story”. “This is the only space I can occupy as a capped farmer,” he says. However, there are challenges as capped farming will lead to rises in food prices. Barton questions whether consumers are prepared

to pay a premium price for environmentally friendly products. “The real test is how much consumers value water quality,” he says. “If limits are put on farming, food prices will go up.” Barton says any discussions on limiting farm emissions should include discussions on

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Protecting the lake MIKE BARTON is one of 105 farms operating in the Lake Taupo Catchment. Farms makes up only 20% of the catchment areas but emit 93% of the manageable nitrogen entering the lake. The 101 extensive sheep and beef farms leach nitrogen at 17kg/ha and the four dairy farms at 55kg/ha. Plantation forest and native forest leach 3kg/ha. The N cap on catchment farms is a cap on stock urine. It aims to remove

farm modelling and consumer reaction. But he agrees that capped farming is a reality that one day every farmer in New Zealand will face. “I’m a capped farmer and I require consent to farm. Right now I’m a unique, but many more farmers will be joining me over the next 10 years.”

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20% of manageable nitrogen by 2018. Barton says to remove 20% of N; about 28% of the catchment farmland needs to shut down. Barton says his farm has discontinued breeding cows based on gross margin per kg of N leached. There is no second wintering and adult cows are moved off as they leach 40% more than young animals. Spraying or cultivating for pasture renewal is also under review.

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Stock exclusion from waterways What Canterbury farmers need to know

Environment Canterbury has introduced new rules excluding stock from natural waterways in Canterbury to protect and improve water quality. The rules are: Livestock access to natural waterways is only allowed if there are no significant adverse effects, these include:

Recommendations for stock management We recommend everyone who manages stock should ensure they are kept out of natural waterways.

• • • •

Methods to reduce stock access to natural waterways include:

Heavy pugging in rivers, lakes, or wetlands Visible discolouration of water An increase in bacteria levels Any obvious evidence of faecal matter in waterways.

All intensively farmed stock are completely prohibited from entering natural waterways. This includes farmed pigs, dairy cattle, any stock grazed on irrigated land, and any stock grazing on winter crops adjacent to a natural waterbody or wetland. In addition cattle, farmed deer or pigs will be prohibited from entering waterways: • Within 1km of a river bathing site • Within 1km upstream from a community drinking water supply • At a salmon or inanga (whitebait) spawning site • In a permanently flowing reach of specified low-land rivers. Failure to comply with the new rules for stock access to natural waterways is likely to result in enforcement action, such as an abatement or infringement notice, or could even result in prosecution.

• • • •

New permanent fences The use of temporary fences New bridges or culverts for stock to cross waterways Avoid planting winter feed crops in paddocks with natural waterways.

Riparian planting absorbs nutrient runoff helping to protect water quality.

Fencing, even if only temporary, is the simplest way to restrict stock access to natural waterways.

Access for river maintenance Environment Canterbury’s river engineers need access to rivers for essential maintenance of flood and drainage schemes throughout Canterbury. If your property is within a river and drainage rating district and you are planning to erect a fence near a stream or river please contact us. We will put you in touch with the River Engineer for your area for advice and to ensure fences are located appropriately. Please call Customer Services on 0800 324 636 for more information

Where to get more information or advice If you would like to talk to someone about the new rules call customer services on 0800 324 636. More information on the new rules is available on our website: www.ecan.govt.nz/nrrp


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Rural News // june 19, 2012

news 9

Rural publishing pioneer’s work honoured Brian Hight

RURAL NEWS Group founder and publisher Brian Hight was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, becoming an Officer of the Order of New Zealand for services to agricultural publishing. Hight’s pioneering work began in the 1970s and continues today. Before he swapped farming for publishing, farming publications were largely public relations organs, subscription funded, for the agribusiness community and did not hold farmers’ interests as their priority. He sought to rectify this by launching Farm Equipment News in 1974, sending it free to all farmers on rural delivery mail runs. The paper’s revenue came only from advertising. Hight had to persuade the postmaster-general

of the day to allow access to the rural mail delivery service, something that demanded many meetings in Wellington. Farm Equipment News then quickly established a strong following among farmers and advertisers. Hight later launched Rural News and Dairy News, now leaders in their field. The path he opened has since been trod by other agricultural publishers and the farming community is now one of the best-served business sectors in the country in respect of free news and technical information. Others from the rural sector made Officers of the New Zealand Order of Merit include former Fonterra director Greg Gent, Morrinsville vet Ron Gibson and winemaker Clive Paton. Gent was honoured

for his services to the dairy industry and corporate governance, Gibson is credited with providing rural clinical experience for veterinary students and Paton was honoured

for services to viticulture and the environment. Lindsay Galloway was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Chatham Islands agriculture. Also similarly honoured

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To Russia with love by Sept A FREE trade agreement (FTA) with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan would be signed by September, says Trade Minister Tim Groser. Groser, recently in Russia for talks with trade officials and politicians, told Rural News he’s moderately optimistic of a deal. But he concedes he could be proved wrong as trade deals go backwards and forwards until they are finally signed. Tim Groser says he raised the idea of an FTA with Russia when he realised the mistake of focusing on emerging economies such as China and Asia. “I suddenly realised there were all these other economies such as Russia, Brazil, Turkey and the Gulf States offering New Zealand the same commercial opportunities as China and the Asian countries.” People think of Russia as poor country, but the average per capita income is US$10,000, says Groser. “Over the last eight years it’s been growing at an average rate of 6% -- not spectacular when you compare it with the likes of China at 10%, but it’s pretty damn good. “Russia is the largest country in the world in physical size and it imports 40% of its food which actually it should not.” Groser’s strategy has been to persuade the Russians to follow China’s example in doing a deal with a small pro-trade country – namely New Zealand. Russia has been keen to get into the WTO but he has convinced them an FTA with us would be a good parallel and a compatible strategy. Says Groser, “The one thing I have learned over the past 20 years is the importance of momentum. There are the usual sensitive issues about dairy and sheepmeat which need to be resolved. But I think with this last set of talks we’ve dug it out of a hole and a deal is doable.” – Peter Burke

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Rural News // june 19, 2012

news 11

Benefits coming from meat strategy PETER BURKE

THE CHAIRMAN of the Meat Industry Association (MIA), Bill Falconer, says he’s most encouraged by changes in the industry during the past 12 months. Nearly one year after the launching of the RMSS (red meat sector strategy), Falconer says it’s pleasing to see a lot of meat companies “piloting” ideas and ventures that in time could lead to bigger things. “We’re seeing a lot of

companies doing little things to change the game – to test the water, doing things a little differently. They are doing it in cooperation with farmers and we are seeing quite a bit of that, to see whether that will develop a confidence whereby companies and farmers can do something together on a major scale. “An example is what Silver Fern Farms is doing with farm IQ. That’s got a few hundred farmers in it now, all working to the

same objective of trying to breed meat to meet a market specification.” Falconer says other companies are doing similar things on that scale to test the water, to see whether these warrant significant investment on a bigger scale. What’s happened in the past year is what he’d expected, he says, though he admits he was uncertain as to how the call for change might play out. There has been change

because more people are aware of the need for things to happen in the industry. While change has been incremental, that’s not a bad thing, he says. “The more cynical commentators wanted a pan-sector strategy that we could switch on and within days suddenly everything would be transformed. That was not going to work. The principle reason is that if you’re going to do these things well it requires a fair bit of

Rewards from governance training PAM T I PA

THE FONTERRA governance development programme proved a rewarding experience for Kaipara farmer Ken Hames who says the expertise gained can be used to give back to the wider rural community. The Paparoa farmer bought his first sheep-andbeef farm at age 23 and 15 years later expanded into dairy. He now has a dry-

stock farm and an interest in two dairy farms in Wellsford with a total of 900 cows. He saw the governance programme – on which he embarked in 2008 as a relative newcomer (five years) to dairying – as an opportunity to learn and develop governance skills acquired as a farmer. The programme can be completed in ‘parcels of time’ he says, enabling the student to plan ahead around

other commitments. Some formal time is spent with Fonterra in ‘lectures’ and some is ‘homework’. “But you do need to make a commitment,” Hames says. “You build up skills in your own businesses throughout your lifetime and I saw this is an opportunity to firstly give back to the rural community.” Some who complete the programme will go on to serve on the Fonterra

board, but he says there is a wider focus for the whole rural community, which has many governance roles to fill. A prime example is local councils, also LIC, DairyNZ and electricity companies. Hames is now a director of Northpower, Whangarei, which also runs electricity operations in the Pacific Islands, New Zealand and Australia with 1000 staff.

Hard work, but worth it APPLICATIONS CLOSE June 28 for Fonterra’s governance development programme (GDP). Chairman Henry van der Heyden says it aims to develop governance capabilities and foster leadership skills. “[It] requires dedication and a

significant time commitment. There are high expectations and to be successful, you need to commit, but the benefits are worth the effort.” Established by the Fonterra Shareholders’ Council and board, the programme is now in its seventh year.

The work takes one year and includes residential courses. The GDP is open to all Fonterra shareholders. Anyone interested can contact the governance development committee secretariat Sarah Brindle on 09 374 9402 or email sarah.brindle@fonterra.com

MIA chair Bill Falconer.

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investment before they undertake it.” Falconer believes fragmentation of the market is a good thing and necessary in modern-day meat marketing. “The meat market is diverse, unlike milk, where powder of one form or another can go to multiple destinations. Every market for meat is different and every level within

the market is different. So lamb rolls for China are different from lamb racks for France.” Falconer also says the meat industry has become more sophisticated in its marketing with many companies selling branded products on both domestic and international markets. Much work is also being done to develop new markets.

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Rural News // june 19, 2012

12 news

Roller coaster ride for agriculture Dairying was white gold; lamb production was a rising star; beef, wool and forestry were ok; but horticulture had its challenges. That sums up the picture of the primary sector as seen by the Ministry for Primary Industry (MPI) in its annual ‘Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries’ (SOPI) report released last week. Peter Burke reports. While for most sectors the past year has been a good one, the ministry is warning farmers not to expect another bumper season in terms of production and prices. MPI deputy director-general policy Paul Stocks told Rural News that in general terms the outlook for the future is positive. But there are factors affecting the primary sector over which the ministry has no control – the weather, what’s happening in our markets and generally the global economic

situation, including the exchange rate. “We have got some petty adaptive farmers and they know what to do and they are doing it and our marketing positioning is really good. We have access to a much broader range of markets than even a decade ago. We see that with dairy which has moved away from North America and into China; and now OPEC is our second-biggest destination for dairy products which is fascinating and positive. At the recent APEC

meeting I was at, there was concern about world food security and that’s good for New Zealand.” For almost all the commodity groups in the report, much of the positive long-term future has the word ‘China’ beside it. Stocks says he’s thought a lot about this and believes there is only a low risk of New Zealand becoming too reliant on the Chinese market. The China situation today is different from what happened years ago when New Zealand

was locked into the UK market, he says. “We are much more attuned to market needs and have a very diverse set of markets to sell into which minimises the risk,” for example, markets such as India and Indonesia. The report predicts sheep numbers will decline by two million to 29.1 million by 2016, but it says the actual tonnage of export lamb will fall by only 2000 t to 275,000 t by 2016. The report also predicts that next season the amount of lamb avail-

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Ministry for Primary Industries Deputy Director General Paul Stocks.

Horticulture faces challenge THE SOPI report highlights challenges facing horticulture. Overall New Zealand horticultural exports earned $3.4 billion to 31 March 2012, up from $3.2 billion in the previous year. Kiwifruit and wine both earned $1 billion, but the outlook is not so rosy: returns are expected to remain static or drop slightly. While the volume and price of kiwifruit exports will be up in 2012, they will fall rapidly in 2013 as the effects of Psa kick in; the industry’s recovery will take

able for export will be 280,000 t. Lamb is described as a “star productivity story” because more and heavier lambs are being produced from fewer ewes. It notes the impact of scanning, genetic selection and better management practices as contributing to the gains coming at a time when the expansion of dairying has pushed sheep further and further into the hill country. The report says for the year ending June 2012 the schedule price for lamb will be a record 635 cents/ kg but will drop over the following four years to an average 627 cents/kg. Paul Stocks says a challenge for the sheepmeat industry is to ensure that as prices rise and sheep numbers fall, lamb doesn’t disappear off supermarket shelves. But cooperation by sheep farmers worldwide, to join forces and promote sheepmeat, is a positive development. The report notes New Zealand can do more to improve the link between customer requirements and production at farm level, but Stocks is full of praise for the efforts of many meat companies. “The meat industry has become increasingly sophisticated, and I think there’s been a bit of tendency for commentators to dismiss it by saying we have multiple companies therefore we have

another five years. The high New Zealand dollar is likely to dampen apple and pear exports for 2012, but with the dollar predicted to ease in the next five years, export earnings should lift. Demand is Asia is expected to drive the improvement. The report says the horticulture sector needs to develop strategies to lift market prices and reduce production and supply chain costs to ensure profitability.

China the key THE STRENGTH of the Chinese market remains critical for the forestry industry. China is at present New Zealand’s number-one market, taking 31% of total production. It’s our biggest market for logs and wood chips and number two for sawn timber. India’s demand for our forestry products is expected to grow over the medium term. Forestry, excluding newsprint, was worth $4.4 billion dollars to New Zealand, expected to rise to $5.3 billion by 2016.

fragmentation. There’s another way of looking at it which is to say we have multiple commercial strategies targeting different markets and doing it differently. That’s actually a real strength for New Zealand.” Another problem facing the sheep and beef sector is technology transfer. Stocks says it’s a priority for his organisation to try to find a way to get science applied on the farm. The gap caused by the departure of MAF farm advisors somehow needs filling, potentially by CRIs and universities. Strong wools are touted as another success story, thanks mainly to the growth of the Chinese construction industry and the corresponding demand for carpets. MPI predicts wool prices will weaken over the next two years due to weaker global economic growth but will strengthen again in the longer term. “With wool we need to target consumers who feel

that what they buy says something about them as much as about the product itself,” says Stocks. For farmers the outlook for wool is good. Beef offers some good opportunities, Stocks says, pointing to cattle numbers remaining static for the next five years and prices remaining high for the next twelve months because of the tight supply in the US market. But prices in 2013 are likely to decline because of increased exports out of Australia. Milk remains “white gold” vital to the New Zealand economy, the report says. It notes milk solids production in 2012 will reach 1.6 million tonnes – one million tonnes more than last year – and apart from a slight dip in the coming season it will continue to rise for the next five years. Stocks has a simple message for dairy farmers: “Make hay while the sun shines and use it to pay off your debt.”


Rural News // june 19, 2012

news 13

Rural broadband will still lag behind PAM T I PA

THE GOVERNMENT is creating a two-tier broadband internet service – one for urban and one for rural – which is of “huge concern”, says TUANZ (Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand) chief executive Paul Brislen. However a big opportunity for faster rural broadband will come when the Government switches all television from analogue to digital and the 700MHz spectrum becomes free, he told Rural News. The ultra fast broadband (UFB) project for urban areas now being rolled out will run at up to 100 megabits/second while the rural broadband initiative (RBI), also in

progress, is only 5Mbit/s, Brislen explains. This is still world class but not in the same league as the urban speeds. The fibre optic network for RBI is being laid by Chorus (the telco utilities company which split off from Telecom) to all but the most isolated schools and other public services such as libraries and hospitals, providing hubs for rural communities to access fast broadband. To extend further afield into more remote areas Vodafone has been contracted to build cellphone towers which will enable broadband to be provided cheaply in a 90-100km radius, Brislen says. Those towers will be part of a 3G (third generation) network, but if they

are upgraded in future to 4G this will enable far greater broadband speeds. Australia is currently rolling out 4G on the 1800MHz band. But Brislen says when New Zealand analogue television completely switches to digital next year the 700MHz band becomes free and this

could be used to run a 4G mobile phone and internet network. “This would be great for rural New Zealand as it would have really good reach and its broadband would then almost be on par with urban New Zealand,” Brislen says. He says if rural New Zealand really wants that

rolled out they should be pushing the Government. Tuanz is already lobbying on their behalf. “We are pushing the minister to include a requirement in the auction for this spectrum that bidders will get a discount if they roll out to rural New Zealand on par with urban areas,” he says.

He believes the RBI is most on track partly because there is less resistance to building cellphone towers in rural areas. “In urban areas there is always some guy in a tinfoil hat who thinks he is going to get radiation; there is always someone objecting.”

Commenting on a recent TV One story about Chorus being 50% behind on its schedule to lay fibre optics, Brislen says this is a long project, expected to be completed in 2020, but “you would expect them to be well ahead at this point”. He expects they will have caught up by the end of the project.

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Yes, Minister THE RURAL broadband initiative (RBI) is progressing well, says Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams. “Less than a year after work started, more than 17,000 rural households and businesses now have access to improved broadband or have broadband where there was previously no service.” Adams was commenting following a recent media report that Chorus is 50% behind on its contract to lay fibre optics for fast broadband. Chorus is contracted for fibre optics in Auckland and all the rural areas of New Zealand and Vodafone is building cellphone towers for mobile broadband to more remote rural areas. Adams says the urban project – Ultra-Fast Broadband – is also on track to meet its first-year targets. The figures reported recently simply reflect that the build speed increases over the first year, rather than happening at a consistent speed throughout the year, she says. A ministry spokesperson says during phase one of RBI, Chorus was contracted to provide fibre to 744 rural schools. Chorus is on track to meet its targets.

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Rural News // june 19, 2012

14 news Sheep rustlers pollute waterways PAM T I PA

SHEEP RUSTLERS are being blamed for dumping animal remains in Northland streams, putting water quality at risk and costing the region’s ratepayers hundreds of dollars a time in cleanup costs. Mike Nager, environmental monitoring officer for the Northland Regional Council, says in recent times there have been two

instances where sheep skins and heads have been dumped into a stream near central Kaikohe. Nager says the latest incidents follow a similar occurrence about 18 months ago, also in the Kaikohe area.  “Locals believe rustlers are stealing sheep for food, butchering them in secret and then attempting to dispose of what remains of the evidence in the stream. “Another possibility is that the

remains have been dumped by the sheep’s legitimate owner or owners in the mistaken belief they are able to do this legally.” Nager says some people incorrectly think it’s okay to dump such waste as they’re helping feed eels, an explanation council staff hear on a semi-regular basis.  He says regional council staff have reported the incidents to Kaikohe police, who say while they have not received any reports

Peter Moore says unmarked wires pose the greatest threat to agricultural helicopter pilots.

of sheep thefts lately, the rustling theory is plausible. Kaikohe police ask that anyone who has had stock stolen, or who knows anything about the dumped remains, contacts them on (09) 405 2960.  Nager says aside from the illegality of the apparent thefts themselves, the dumped remains pose environmental risks, with associated water quality and odour issues. 

Invisible killers PETER BURKE

GISBORNE HELICOPTER owner/pilot Pete Moore has started a campaign to tell farmers that their ‘lead-out’ wires to electric fences are threatening pilots’ lives – especially in hill country. Moore shows, in a simple brochure, what can happen if a helicopter hits a wire. Rural News reporter Peter Burke went on a flight with Peter Moore to see at first hand the dangers. Moore (38) was born on an East Coast farm and has flown helicopters since age 21. A large chunk of his 8500 hours flying has been agricultural. He says any ag pilot, especially those flying helicopters, will confirm unmarked wires are by far the greatest threat. Everybody will have had a few ‘incidents’ if not accidents. He admits to some frightening “very close shaves”. “It’s such a huge problem and it’s surprising no one does anything about it. I’ve talked to CAA numerous times and I’ve sent out brochures to farmers setting out the problem and some of them get it and some of them don’t.” Examples of killer wires can be found in the hills just five minutes flying time from Gisborne airport. Equipped with a camera I was determined to capture images of the wires. To my horror, in good conditions I had great difficulty seeing and getting pictures of the wires. They were not marked and in one case stretched across a valley about 18m above the farmland and did not follow any particular direction. Moore says in certain light situations you can’t see them. And marking the wires generally doesn’t work because even markers in some situations are not easy to see or are of poor quality “There are some wires [coloured] green, [but] against a green background you can’t see them. “Power lines we can’t do much about, but electric fence ‘lead out’ wires we can. It’s not a big mission for farmers to pull down the dangerous wires and attach them to the fence lines. It may only be a few hours work or at most half a day’s work, but it’s better than causing an accident and having someone die.” Moore also points out that when spraying thistle or gorse he’s operating as low as 3m. For the pilot such operations are “very busy”, requiring huge ‘inputs’ to fly the aircraft without having to worry about ‘killer wires’. Some farmers are ambivalent about wires on their properties and this attitude needs to change, Moore says. He has personally encountered wires 170m above a gully floor. “Most farmers are pretty good and want to provide a safe environment, but others just don’t see them. They drive under them every day on their quad bikes.” Moore believes farmers should be audited, as he is, to provide a safe working environment. He knows a lot of ag pilots who’ve pulled out of the industry because they have had one-too-many close shaves with wires.


Rural News // june 19, 2012

news 15

Top talent on show PETER BURKE

THE ROTORUA-based Kapenga M Trust is the winner of the 2012 Ahuwhenua Trophy for the best Maori dairy farm. It headed off two other finalists – Tauhara Moana, Taupo, and Waewaetutuki 10 Wharepi Whanau Trust, Te Puke. The trophy was presented by Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae at a glittering awards ceremony in Auckland which attracted 600 people. The Kapenga M Trust dairy unit consists of a 330ha property milking 998 Jersey/Friesian cross cows. Since 2008 production has risen from 241,442kgMS to 371,169kgMS although the herd has increased by only nine cows. The judges were impressed by the high milk production considering the relative steepness of the farm, converted to dairying in 1995. They also commended the development of pasture, cow genetics, the staff and the governance structure of the trust. Chairman Roku Mihinui told

Mihinui says Maori are consistently accused of being ‘touchy-feely’ because of their relationship with the environment. But Maori have always been like that. “If you look after Kingi Smiler (left) pictured with Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae at the awards ceremony evening in the environment, Auckland which attracted a crowd of 600. the environment will Rural News when he saw the farms look after you. Caring for the enviof the other finalists he thought ronment and making a profit are Kapenga M would be lucky to win quite compatible. We actually dry third place. He’s delighted at the off our stock earlier to allow the farm’s victory, partly attributable land and the cows time to recuperto the trust’s good working rela- ate before the next season.” Kapenga M Trust also won the tionships with the farm supervisor. “Secondly, our farm is on pretty Auhwhenua Trophy for the best hilly country and it was incred- sheep and beef farm in 2003. Sir Jerry Mateparae says the ible to grow our production and exceed the minimum Fonterra Ahuwhenua Awards highlight the and DairyNZ have set. The fore- strength of Maori interests in the sight of the earlier trustees in set- New Zealand primary sector and ting in place a strategic plan, and its contribution to the economic our having faith and confidence in base of the country. “It’s estimated the asset base ourselves collectively, that we were going to do alright, played a part in of Maori is $36.9 billion, almost a third of that being in the primary our winning of the award.”

industry arena. This means the Maori economy is a feature that has to be acknowledged. “Maori agriculture was once described as a sleeping giant. Everyone will agree the giant is now well and truly awake and its influence is being felt. The establishment last year of Miraka, the first Maori-owned whole milk powder plant near Taupo, speaks of how much this influence is evolving, and that’s how it should be.” Sir Jerry says Maori once dominated the agricultural sector, and the quickening regeneration of Maori capacity in farming with the Treaty settlements and other Maori investments presents an optimistic scene. “The Ahuwhenua Awards recognises that excellence demands more than short-term financial gains. It includes the need to protect the environment – investing in people and preserving the land for future generations. As a famous Maori proverb says, ‘Care for the land, care for the people and the future will abound’.”

We’re in it together

David Macleod

FONTERRA DIRECTOR and chairman of the Taranaki Regional Council David Macleod says Fonterra and Maori have similar goals in being committed for the long term. MacLeod has strong Maori connections to the dairy industry being on the management committee of Parininihi ki Waitotara which runs dairy farms in Taranaki. Speaking at the awards, Macleod described the Ahuwhenua Trophy as both Fonterra’s and Maori’s story in action. “Its about being successful farmers and stewards of the land. Each of the finalists is an inspiration today and throughout the year. We are extremely proud of the contribution our Maori farmers have made to the cooperative. We often talk about farmers being in this for the long haul and thinking a generation ahead. That also goes for iwi.” He says it’s important to accept the work of everyone who came before. “It’s that recognition of the past and focus on the future generations that’s going to hold us in good stead for what is clearly an exciting time ahead for all of us.”

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Rural News // june 19, 2012

16 world Follow-up coming on www.ruralnews.co.nz

Time to ‘walk the walk’ on food production UK farm leader says THE HEAD of UK’s farmer lobby says the time for talking about food production challenges has run out. NFU President Peter Kendall wants world farming leaders to work together to find solutions to the challenges ahead. He made the call this month at the World

Farmers’ Congress in Rome.   Kendall argues that focusing on long-term horizons and 2050 forecasts has allowed governments and other organisations to put off the big, sometimes difficult decisions that need making today. “Sustainable intensifica-

Tunnelhouses

NFU president Peter Kendall wants world farming leaders to work together on producing more and impacting less on the environment.

tion isn’t a new concept and from speaking to farmers from around the world we know and understand this is where our challenge lies. Put simply, we need to produce more and impact less. “What is less clear is that governments and global decision-makers have a proper understanding of what is needed, by whom, how and at what

cost. However, the World Farmers’ Organisation gives a voice to what needs to happen in the next five to ten years if farmers are to start addressing the huge production challenges that lie ahead.” Kendall sees three crucial requirements that will ensure farmers and growers continue to deliver. First, more investment

in science R&D, and essentially more emphasis on this work being transferred into tangible products, technologies and practices that benefit farmers and growers in the field. Second, a better functioning marketplace in which all players in the supply chain share the risks and rewards. “Third, a thriving agriculture sector needs to have effective regulation and policy frameworks that free its true potential rather than hinder it with burdensome red tape.” “These challenges are fairly well documented, so let’s talk about time scales. To really hammer home the point, as I see it, we have just 13 harvests before

we have 500 million more people needing food in Africa alone. “These are the challenges; working together is the solution. “At the NFU we are part of the Global Food Security programme working towards finding practical ways for farmers and growers to produce food using less land, fewer inputs and fewer natural resources. The UK’s Cross-Government Food Research and Innovation Strategy quotes lag periods of 15 to 25 years between research expenditures and widespread implementation at farm level. We must not underestimate that task. The time for just talking has run out.”

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THE WORLD Farmers Organisation brings together national farming bodies from across the globe to create policy and advocate on behalf of the members. Since the demise two years ago of the International Federation of Agricultural Producers, farm representation on an international scale has been at a crossroads. This has

led to ineffective representation for our farmers at key international forums, such as the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development, the OECD, the FAO and the World Organisation for Animal Health. Federated Farmers and Australia’s National Farmers Federation are members of WFO. NFF president Jock Laurie, says

a particular focus for both Australia and New Zealand will be helping to shape WFO policy on the sensitive issue of trade. “Farmers in Australia and New Zealand depend heavily on new market access opportunities and on removing distorting trade barriers, so this will be a key focus at the WFO,” Laurie says.


Rural News // june 19, 2012

comment/world 17

US and EU launch organics deal ORGANIC PRODUCTS certified in the US and the European Union are now fit for trade in both markets. The deal, effective June 1, opens a US$50 bil-

– doubling fees, inspections, and paperwork. The USDA says the deal eliminates these barriers, especially helpful for small and medium-sized

“This agreement provides economic opportunities for certified organic farmers and additional incentives for prospective farmers.” – Miles McEvoy, National Organic Program deputy administrator

lion market for both blocs. The USDA says the deal opens markets for US farmers and ranchers and will also boost jobs for those who grow, package, ship, and market organic products. Previously, producers and companies wanting to trade products on both sides of the Atlantic had to obtain separate certifications to two standards

organic farmers. During negotiations both parties did on-site audits of their respective programmes’ regulations, quality control, certification, and labelling practices to ensure compatibility. The US in July 2009 signed a similar partnership with Canada, and has begun negotiating similar deals with South Korea,

Taiwan and Japan. “This agreement provides economic opportunities for certified organic farmers and additional incentives for prospective farmers,” says Miles McEvoy, National Organic Program deputy administrator. “We look forward to working with our European Union counterparts to support organic agriculture.” The EU Commissioner for agriculture and rural development, Dacian Ciolo, says the agreement comes with a double added value. On the one hand, organic farmers and food producers will benefit from easier access, with less bureaucracy and costs, to the US and the EU markets, strengthening the competitiveness of this sector. “In addition, it improves transparency on organic standards, and enhances consumers’ confidence and recognition of our organic food and products. This partner-

ship marks an important step, taking EU-US agricultural trade relations to a new level of cooperation.” Although there are slight differences between the US and EU organic standards, both parties individually determined their programmes were equivalent, allowing the agreement. An exception is a prohibition on the use of anti-

biotics. USDA organic regulations prohibit the use of antibiotics except to control invasive bacterial infections (fire blight) in organic apple and pear orchards. The EU organic regulations allow antibiotics only to treat infected animals. For all products traded under this partnership, certifying agents must verify that antibiotics are not used for any reason.

The deal Covers products exported from and certified in the US or the EU only. All products traded under the partnership must be shipped with an organic import certificate, which shows the location of production, identifies the organisation that certified the organic product, and verifies growers and handlers did not use prohibited substances and methods. The certificates also allow traded products to be tracked. Both parties are committed to ensuring products traded under the agreement retain their organic integrity from farm to market.

ag twits Rural News’ irreverent and hypothetical look at what’s happening in the farming world

Top Bleats view all henryfonterra: Fonterra shareholders can be assured that a mere 50.1% vote will not be good enough to see TAF introduced. But on the other hand a whopping 50.2% majority will be considered a strong endorsement! #awinisawin ianbrownshc: As the independent voice of all Fonterra shareholders, my Shareholders Council unreservedly and overwhelmingly supports and stands alongside whatever you say Sir Henry. #rolloverandplaydead henryfonterra: In that case @ianbrownshc, give me the names of the dissenting voices on the SHC who did not support TAF. #vengenceshallbemine ianbrownshc: I can’t do that @henryfonterra, because this vote was in total confidence. But if you were to guess the names Couper and Reid you’d be on the money. #hangthemhigh damienoconnormp: I don’t want to be accused of being hysterical or alarmist, but the introduction of TAF will mean the end of the New Zealand dairy industry as we know it! #byebyefonterra dcarterminforprimaryindustries: God, I wish it was June 2010 again when 90% of Fonterra shareholders supported TAF and 56% of voters supported National! #slidingsupport ldowningfieldays: Yet another year of record sales at 2012 Fieldays™ by Fieldays ™ has encouraged Fieldays ™ to conduct an audit of Fieldays ™ by Fieldays ™ to show just how good Fieldays™ really is . #selfimportantcrap bwillsfedfarmers: Ciao. Some of us get the real tough jobs in life and swanning around Rome on behalf of New Zealand farmers is a really tough job. Arrivederci #wheninrome


Be ready for NAIT by 1 July The National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) scheme becomes mandatory for beef and dairy farmers, including lifestylers, on 1 July. Come 1 July, if you are in charge of cattle but have not got a NAIT number, you will not be able to move stock off-farm. You can still be ready before 1 July if you: • Get a NAIT number • Tag your animals • Register your animals with NAIT Once you’ve done this you’ll be able to meet the requirement to record movements of cattle in the NAIT system from 1 July onwards. Deer join the NAIT scheme on 1 March next year. Deer farmers can also get ready and are encouraged to check what they need to do on the NAIT website www.nait.co.nz.

Get a NAIT number

Every person in charge of cattle and deer at a given location must register with NAIT and get a NAIT number. A NAIT number is in addition to an Animal Health Board (AHB) number or dairy participant code. The quickest way to get a NAIT number is via the NAIT website at www.nait.co.nz. It’s a straightforward process and takes less than 10 minutes. Remember, any properties within 20km of each other where the same person is in charge of animals can be registered under the same NAIT number. Also, have your AHB herd number or dairy participant code handy, as doing so will mean you can electronically view the tag numbers associated with your NAIT number in the NAIT system. This will make it easier to register animals and to record animal movements from 1 July.

Purpose of NAIT scheme

The scheme will provide lifetime traceability of individual cattle and deer, enhancing New Zealand’s ability to respond more quickly if there’s a food safety event or a biosecurity threat such as a disease outbreak. In a situation like this NAIT’s capacity to provide a rapid containment response would enable trade to resume more quickly with less economic impact for farmers and New Zealand.

How the NAIT scheme works

KingSt10786_RN_ADVA

The NAIT scheme is about who is responsible for stock on a day-today basis rather than who owns the animals. The NAIT scheme will link individual animals to the person responsible for them, and their current location. This is done via the radio frequency identification device (RFID) ear tag in

Tag your cattle and deer

Newborn animals must be tagged with NAIT-approved tags within 180 days of birth or before their first movement off-farm. There is a three-year grace period for existing stock to be tagged with NAITapproved tags unless they are being moved off-farm. From 1 July 2012 tag all newborn calves with a birth tag. Use a traka tag for all existing animals to make them compliant to move. The mandatory requirement for an official Animal Health Board bar-coded secondary tag ceases from 1 July 2012, but you should not remove these tags from existing animals. You still need to use your AHB herd number or dairy participant code when ordering NAIT tags from your usual rural supplier.

Tagging exemptions

There are two main exemptions for tagging animals. 1. Calves less than 30 days old and going directly to a meat processor do not require NAIT tags as they are considered a low biosecurity risk and are not included in the NAIT scheme. For these calves continue to use the direct-to-slaughter tags currently issued by meat processing companies. 2. Animals which are considered by a farmer to be impractical to tag are also exempt from NAIT tagging requirements. This exemption only applies if the animal is tagged with an official AHB bar-coded primary tag and is being transported directly to a meat processor. For 2012/13 these animals will incur a levy of $13 per head (excluding GST) which will be deducted by the meat processor.

each animal’s ear and a central database which links each tagged animal to information about the person registered as responsible for it, and the location where the animal is kept. NAIT tags can be purchased from your local rural supplies company. Recording each time an animal moves from one location to another, and/or when the person responsible for it changes is how the NAIT scheme maintains lifetime traceability of animals. It’s necessary for this information to be kept up to date so the NAIT system can quickly provide details of where individual animals are and who is responsible for them.

Benefits of RFID technology

The RFID technology used by the NAIT system is an enabler for on-farm benefits for farmers who make a further investment in RFID systems in

Registering animals

From 1 July animals need to be registered with NAIT within one week of being tagged. Animals born after 1 July 2012 should be tagged within 180 days of birth. The registration process links animals to tags in the NAIT system so they can be traced. If you’ve got a NAIT number you can register animals online now at www.nait.co.nz.

Recording cattle movements from 1 July

NAIT legislation requires that when animals are sent to a location which has a different NAIT number linked to it, or the person in charge of the animals changes, this needs to be recorded in the NAIT system. For example, when an animal is bought, sold, sent for grazing or sent to a meat processor or saleyard. Animal movements to NAIT-accredited meat processors and saleyards will be recorded for you. For information about NAITaccredited organisations which can carry out some or all of your NAIT obligations, including animal movement recording, go to www.nait.co.nz. When an animal is received from a NAIT-accredited saleyard a movement still needs to be recorded.

Getting help

NAIT-accredited information providers will be able to handle many of your NAIT obligations for you. For a list of accredited information providers visit the NAIT website www.nait.co.nz.

addition to NAIT-approved RFID tags. Potential benefits include: • automated drafting of animals that meet pre-defined conditions • accurate recording of production details about individual animals so it can be used to support management decisions, for example: regularly weighing animals to sell at optimum individual weight tracking treatments recording breeding information measuring milk production {{

{{ {{ {{

This additional investment is not mandatory under the NAIT scheme, but can potentially have significant benefits. High performance HDX tags will be more suitable for these onfarm activities.

www.nait.co.nz | info@nait.co.nz | 0800 624 843

The quickest way to get a NAIT number is via the NAIT website at www.nait.co.nz


Rural News // june 19, 2012

Time for farmers to come off the sideline on TAF ANDREW FERRI ER

AS A keen ice hockey and rugby player, I have always been happier in the fray than on the sidelines, but a seat in the stands does give you a different perspective. You get to appreciate the run of the play more, and how one call can literally change the game. Knowing that, and having eight years in the fray as chief executive of Fonterra, I have a strong view that TAF (trading among farmers) will be a game changer for Fonterra farmers, and that view has only been strengthened with the benefit of watching from the sidelines. Why is it a game changer? Because with permanent capital, the co-op can finally deliver on all the dreams of its founders – New Zealand’s dairy farmers. Those dreams were to create a worldbeating cooperative which would bring strong, longlasting returns to Andrew Ferrier farmers. TAF is the final piece in the puzzle to deliver that. That is why I am puzzled that there seems to be a lot of nervousness creeping into the discussion. I have seen firsthand the years of work that has gone into TAF. That includes a huge amount of consultation with all stakeholders: with farmers, with the Shareholders’ Council, and even with the Government, to finally arrive at a solution that is in the best interests of farmer shareholders. You simply do not see that level of engagement, at all levels, in the corporate world, that Fonterra and its shareholders had with TAF. And that engagement resulted in overwhelming support for TAF just two years ago. It is critical this support continues. I remember well my first annual meeting as chief executive, just 10 days into the job, where I praised shareholders for their bold decision to create Fonterra – a critical decision designed to deliver a truly pre-eminent presence in the global industry, to bring long-term security to the milk price, and to create growing value for farmers above the milk price. I still admire the guts it took to make that call. And I believe farmers can still act

with the same decisiveness, while keeping control of their own destiny, to give Fonterra a much more certain chance to deliver on the aspirations of its founders. There is no need for emotion to overrule logic. Everywhere I look I see reassurance for those shareholders who are mulling over their decision. First, they can be genuinely reassured by the unanimous support of the board and the overwhelming support given to TAF by the Shareholders’ Council.

I can say that, because in eight years of dealing with council, one quality stood out for me. Each of those councillors was intensely loyal to the co-op and acutely aware of the trust shareholders put in them. That showed through in the enormous amount of effort put into their own due diligence on the issues before them. They would not have given their support without being totally convinced TAF was in the best interests of the cooperative and its owners. This obviously goes for the board members as well. Then there is the point about keeping the milk price intact. I was quietly pleased to see the Commerce Commission give its vote of confidence on how it is set. It’s a subject close to my heart because of the work we put in to refine and improve how the price was set. The latest review was one of five over the years, and each time the system to set the milk price has held up under great scrutiny. So it should – it is a very rigorous process. Again, this ought to give shareholders great comfort. I totally understand the value they put on the milk price and in making sure it can’t be tampered with. It is so fundamental to their individual farm budgets and

decisions that there can be no room for doubt. So I have to add my own perspective on the claims that external investors could attempt to manipulate the milk price to increase the dividends they would receive. I believe these concerns can be ruled out. People looking into buying units in the fund, and and Fonterra shareholders, will be looking for one thing: certainty in the rules governing the milk price. Both parties want to know that consistent rules apply and that they cannot be changed on a whim. The method for setting the milk price gives that certainty. If potential unit buyers don’t like the rules, they won’t join the game. Investors simply want to know that the rules of the game won’t change, and then they can invest on the merits of the performance of Fonterra. Sitting on the sidelines enables me to avoid the emotion of the fray, but it doesn’t diminish my belief in Fonterra and the importance of TAF to its future. Fonterra has come a long way and has the potential to go much further. The next step does need some vision and courage, but that is something I have never seen lacking in New Zealand dairy farmers. You don’t hold a chief executive job for eight years if you don’t care deeply about your business, and I care deeply about Fonterra. I can see that it is natural for some shareholders to be nervous about breaking new ground, but that can be more than offset by confidence in the process. Years have been spent getting this right. And it has been time well spent. Fonterra farmers now have a solution, which is not only truly workable, but it will make a significant contribution to strengthen the co-operative’s long-term future, its future performance and the returns to farmers. It deserves total shareholders’ support. I am cheering you on from the sideline. I want to see Fonterra emerge as the true winner it is, and all of its shareholders gain from being on that winning team. Keep the faith. Support the more than 10 years of effort to deliver your champion. • Andrew Ferrier was Fonterra’s chief executive from 2003-2011.

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comment/agribusiness 19


Rural News // june 19, 2012

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







































 

 







   













   

















































































   



















































































Last Year

This Year

 

 

 

 























  















 

 

 























 





  



















 

 

 

































 



















 

 

 































 

90%



 80%













 

 

















 

 



























  

 







 







 

















 

 







 





 

 

























 

 





 

 



 

  

 



 

Beef Market Trends

   













70%



60% 



  



 





 







 



   

 















 

 

 



























 

  



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Rural News // june 19, 2012 

Beef  Premiums paid on large lines 300kg cwt bull and steer prices were $4.20/kg and $4.10/kg last week. Extra money has been paid here and there to draw out cattle and for large lines. The cow kill is pretty much done and dusted, but there has been an increasing number of heavy cattle coming forward as farmers beat the wet winter months. Farmers are also looking to slaughter before NAIT comes into play on July 1st. In the South Island, the cow kill has pulled back sharply, kick starting a lift in prices. Last week, 300kg cwt bull was $3.95/kg on average while 300kg cwt steer was firm on $4.00/kg. The cold snap is likely to increase beef purchases in the coming weeks which will have local trade processors looking for supplies. US Beef Production tumbles US beef production continues to tumble, meaning more imported product will be needed over the remainder of 2012. This bodes well for our exports. The latest USDA cattle slaughter report picked up a 6% decline in April slaughter rates to 2.53m head. Heavier carcass weights offset some of this decline. Tight supplies and herd rebuilding intentions dropped beef cow slaughter by 6% between January and April. US cow slaughter is now expected to remain low through to October leading to a greater reliance on imported product from Australia and NZ and underpinning prices over the coming months.

Lamb Farmers wait for schedules to rise The lamb kill is dropping off, however plants are responding as they cut capacity in preparation for winter throughputs. Last week, 16kg cwt lamb prices in the North Island were flat on $5.46/kg (net). Farmers are anxiously waiting for schedules to rise, leaving many continuing to hold and pour more weight into lambs while they can. However the overseas market continues to be in dire straits which doesn’t paint a pretty picture for winter. In the South Island, more premiums are being paid despite little movement in printed schedules. Generally prices for a 16kg cwt lamb are averaging $5.62/kg (net). Winter contracts are in play at some processors with prices well over $6.00/kg. However the snow could put paid to this if kill rates lift.

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Mutton Renewed interest for ewes As the New Zealand lamb kill seasonally falls, there is renewed interest for ewes to fill the gaps. Mutton prices have been stagnant while lambs have taken priority, but there has been a recent lift in schedules as meat processors begin sourcing ewes. In the North Island, the mutton kill is tracking above last year’s levels with the last 6 weeks having an extra 7,400 head/week on average. The South Island mutton kill is tracking similar to last year’s levels. Beef and Lamb NZ estimated the mutton kill this season will be down 1.4m head to 2.9m in their mid season update, however mutton slaughter has already surpassed this by being 2.93m.

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Winter lamb contracts ahead of the pack  Those lucky enough to get in before the gates were closed  on the winter lamb supply contracts will be counting their  lucky stars. With the way most of our overseas markets  have tracked post Easter, there certainly isn’t a lot of      optimism about. Prices in our main markets have continued to dip, amid falling consumption rates as consumers continue to opt for cheaper proteins. iFarm’s June outlook for lamb doesn’t quite paint the same rosy picture as many of these winter   supply contracts do. The only saving grace looks to be the seasonal   tightening in supplies and hope that overseas demand will start to pick up   late winter. However the outlook rules out any chance of lamb prices   pushing above $7.00/kg this season.

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Get weekly market updates online now www.ruralnewsgroup.co.nz/markets


Rural News // june 19, 2012

22 opinion editorial

edna

Theft by another name A RATHER dangerous and insidious attack on farmers’ private property rights is currently being mounted by the state-owned utilities giant Transpower. The owner and operator of the national grid is attempting a surreptitious land grab by restricting building and landscaping work within 64m of pylon cables on the private property of rural landowners. It is doing this under the auspices of a proposed “corridor management policy”, which it wants to introduce nationwide via local councils’ district plans. Currently Transpower restricts some activities within 12m of its cables and this does not appear to cause many problems. But now it wants to extend that to 64m – meaning landowners will have to get consent to use their own land. With thousands of pylons running across farms throughout New Zealand, this 64m strip will see a huge amount of farmland forcibly commandeered without compensation. Transpower claims it is only protecting the nation’s assets and its main concern is safety. It also believes no compensation is required because its latest proposal simply updates a policy that has already existed for 10 years. It conveniently forgets that the bulk of its transmission assets are sited on land seized by the Crown, without reparation, under the Public Works Act, and there is no formal arrangement between Transpower and landowners. Councils around the country which contemplate incorporating into their district plans Transpower’s 64 m ‘corridor’, without compensating landowners, are in danger of legitimising and condoning theft. Farmers are stuck with pylons on their land and all they are asking is a fair and just arrangement between themselves and Transpower. To date, it has steadfastly rejected calls for redress for affected landowners. That is not fair in anyone’s language. Transpower needs to be brought quickly into line by its owner – the NZ Government. It should be instructed to negotiate with landowners in a meaningful and fair manner, rather than trying to undertake a covert land grab via local councils’ district planning process.

Clarification IN THE editorial in Rural News (June 5) about the TAF debate, headed ‘A long three weeks’, we claimed that Fonterra Shareholders Council chairman Ian Brown had said there was “unanimous support” for TAF among the councillors. Rural News accepts this was not the case and Ian Brown has never claimed “unanimous support” for TAF among Shareholders Council members, but rather “overwhelming support” for the proposal.

“I see you’re still loading lead shot – and too much of it!”

the hound PR-speak 101 YOUR OLD mate had to laugh at the response to a colleague by a Fonterra PR mogul asked to comment on the co-op downsizing its innovation centre at Palmerston North – with potential loss of about 40% of current research projects. This was a process to align the organisational structure with the ‘strategy refresh’. “We’ve just announced a new structure for our management team and key business units, and we’re now working through the other levels. It’s too early to discuss this in further detail.” Talk about being skilled in the art of saying nothing about something!

Save

Do as we say, not as we do

Death of disco

What’s in a name?

Arrogant suits

THE HOUND reckons Feds’ – need to heed their own sage advice. Late on May 29 the federation issued a media release headed ‘Getting our Gypsy Day act together”, with lots of sensible advice. However, its issue date made it too late even for most daily newspapers’ May 30 editions. So at best it would have been published on Gypsy Day itself – when the last thing a farmer on the move would have been doing is reading the paper. So who is it needs to get their act together?

MOST PUNTERS may believe the untimely demise last month of Donna Summer and Robin Gibb signalled the end of the disco era. But those of us who’ve been around agriculture a while – such as your old mate – reckon few will mourn the passing of Disco. No, not the big hair, bad music and clothing from the 1970s, but the Wool Board Disestablishment Co. When it was set up in 2003, it was expected to take two years. However, the work took almost a decade. Thank god the Disco era is over!

YOUR OLD mate reckons it’s a good thing the Ministry of Primary Industries isn’t a marketing organisation. Last week it released its annual report on the sector – previously known as the Situation and Outlook for New Zealand Agriculture and Forestry – aka SONZAF. It may not have been the best acronym, but most of us knew it. More importantly, it didn’t carry any negative connotations. Shame the same can’t be said of its replacement: SOPI (read ‘soppy’) – far from a good fit with the tough business of farming.

THE HOUND hears the suits from Transpower did themselves and their SOE few favours with their arrogant behaviour while presenting recently to hearings on the Waimate District Plan. Apparently Transpower’s Flash Harries turned up to the Waimate hearings presented, their case first and promptly left – not even bothering to listen to other submitters’ views or farmers’ concerns. Not a very ‘consultative’ approach one would have thought.

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Rural News // june 19, 2012

opinion 23

High risk security threats

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j oh n l a ncashi r e

THE GROWTH of our economy and our major primary biological exports are threatened by ongoing leaks in our borders to incursions of dangerous pests and diseases. There are many examples of the cost of biosecurity failures: The Australian fruitfly which threatens our $3 billion horticultural export industry; The Psa bacterium which could cost the kiwifruit industry $1 billion and dozens of jobs; The destructive varroa bee mite which requires a short term fix by miticide applications costing $50/ hive/year to control; The tomato/potato psyllid destroying tamarillo orchards, costing the industry $100 million; The clover root weevil. In addition, as pointed out by Minister of Primary Industries David Carter, the massive response to the recent detection of fruitfly will cost millions of dollars. Though Horticulture NZ chief executive Peter Silcock says it is not the time to cast blame, it is still critical that we find the reasons for these costly failures. Certainly the Government’s decision to randomly X-ray baggage rather than checking all items at international airports – driven apparently by the tourism sector and the perceived need to speed up passenger entry – must have increased the risk of pest incursions. Also, as Andrew Fenton, president of Horticulture NZ, has pointed out, the reduction in front line staff of 12% in four years, when passenger numbers have increased by 14 %, cannot be helpful. Further, two former biosecurity officers have said border screening shortcuts have increased the chances of pests such as the Queensland fruitfly entering the country. Andrew Coleman, of Biosecurity NZ, has responded by saying there are 280 staff at international airports and 180 staff monitoring import health standards in cargo and parcel mail. He also claimed the system was working because the fruitfly had been found .With respect, that’s a

ONLINE POLL Will you be voting in favour of TAF when the second vote is held on June 25? Yes ● No ●

The decision to randomly x-ray baggage rather than checking all items entering New Zealand via international airports must have increased the risk of pest incursions, claims John Lancashire.

bit late, and it is costing millions of dollars to search for other associated incursions. Of course no system can be foolproof but some recent policies can only increase the risk. Also, consider the marathon battle between the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) and the Pork Industry Board to allow imports of raw pig meat. The industry has already spent $ 1.4 million presenting its case and the High Court has recently ruled in favour of MPI although an appeal is an option. The problem here is that the scientific advice to the industry is that the proposed imports pose an unacceptable risk of bringing an extremely destructive disease – porcine reproductive respiratory syndrome (PRRS) – into the country. MPI director-general Wayne McNee has said “there is a very slight risk”. Is that acceptable? Unfortunately there are other pressures driving the New Zealand policy and they relate to the Government push for more free trade agreements. No doubt there is pressure from actual and potential free trade partners for the relaxation of imports of raw pig meat .And our pig industry is very small and presumably regarded as expendable by the Government. It is impossible to

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believe that if the threat was foot and mouth disease a statement “of a very slight risk” would be acceptable. The situation with Psa bacterium on kiwifruit and the varroa mite harming bees is different because the way these organisms got into the country is unclear. In the case of Psa, work at Otago University suggests the origin of the disease was probably China. There are several possibilities for the transfer of the disease via plant material, but importations of breeding material are strictly monitored through well developed quarantine systems. The possibility of transfer by pollen has been considered, but an earlier ministry opinion was that “the risk was slight”. As the disease has been causing severe damage to kiwifruit crops throughout the world for some time, it is unfortunate we have been unable to do the research that might have stopped this incursion. A relatively small investment in pre-border issues might have prevented the enormous costs and disruption now facing the industry and New Zealand. We know even less about the entry of varroa, though there is a fairly widespread view in the industry that an illegal importation of queens might have carried the mite. It appears New Zealand has

moved to a slightly ‘softer’ position on biosecurity. Certainly the old ‘precautionary principle’ – where restrictions remain in place if there is the slightest risk – has been dumped. The fact our apples were banned for 90 years from export to Australia because of an alleged risk of fireblight does suggest our near neighbour takes a much harder and more effective line than New Zealand. Australia does not have Psa, varroa or the two devastating pig viruses PRRS and PMWS. It appears neo-liberal moves in recent years by both major parties to less regulation and freer trade has meant we are taking more risks at a time of growing biosecurity threats. .The slight loosening of border controls has led to some expensive search and control measures with the painted apple moth and now fruitfly. In other cases – Psa being a current example – search and control measures have failed. A simple business case suggests a greater emphasis on offshore prevention and tighter border controls would be more effective and give substantial cost savings over the expensive clean-up required after an incursion has occurred. • John Lancashire is the immediate past president of the NZ Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Science.

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Rural News // june 19, 2012

24 opinion

Bees’ mighty problem hits Otago ABOUT THE time the country was congratulating itself for removing the threat of the Queensland fruitfly, a Varroa mite was found in Dunedin. This means no areas in New Zealand remain Varroa free. The Varroa mite is a parasite that destroys bee colonies by attacking the larvae and transmitting viruses to the adult honey bees. It was discovered here in 2000. It’s taken about 12 years

for the mite to spread from Auckland to Dunedin. At first was a forlorn hope by beekeepers that Varroa could be contained in the top of the North Island – or at least prevented from crossing Cook Strait. The Government at first got behind the containment effort, but when the mite was found about four years ago in Nelson and the West Coast the Government quit its programme.

My mate, a beekeeper for 35 years and an industry leader, says in recent years there was an acceptance the southward advance of the Varroa mite would be hard to stop. Take out Government

support and the inevitability simply narrowed down to when. However it actually took longer to arrive than expected which meant there were two or three seasons without the treatment costs. If there was a small plus for southern beekeepers it was watching how the northern beekeepers coped. There was no doubt survival came with extra work and costs. For those that hung on it was bees’ importance as polli-

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South Otago beekeeper Allen McCaw is preparing management strategies to cope with the Varroa mite that was discovered in nearby Dunedin recently.

nators in a wide variety of crops that added to their value. In the past horticulturalists and orchardists paid a minimal amount. However honey was now becoming a secondary product. He said bees’ role in pollination has never been fully appreciated. In the North Island the impact of Varroa is obvious – the feral bees aren’t there. Without sufficient numbers pollination isn’t done adequately and it’s now recognised this work is worth millions if not billions of dollars. To survive, beekeepers have had to charge more for bees used in pollination – and demand for hives has been increasing with crop diversification. There are several chemicals available to control Varroa but this action does nothing for our ‘pure

green’ image, especially for organic operators. Up north there is a worrying hint that the mites are becoming resistant to the more commonly used insecticides. Is the answer to Varroa the breeding of a resistant bee? My mate believes this is probably the only long term solution if potential devastation is to be contained. For those of you trying to get your head around a bee breeding programme, add artificial insemination. It seems AI has already begun, and on a good day at least 150 queens bees can be handled. Take away the size and it is just the same procedure as inseminating a cow or a sheep. The semen is taken from drones and placed in the queen. Catching drones is fairly basic: they can be

trapped inside selected hives and easily collected when needed. The operator squeezes them (I’m assured it’s a painless death) and collects the semen although hundreds are needed for each insemination. The tricky bit is actually inseminating the queens. You need a very powerful binocular microscope and specialized instruments. The real predicament is public apathy: few out there know or think much about the fate of the humble honey bee. Right now these underrated insects are being annihilated by a force they cannot fight alone. Human help is now essential but official funding support has been minimal, probably because beekeepers don’t have many votes.

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Rural News // june 19, 2012

opinion 25

Let’s get a firm mandate for TAF he n ry va n d e r h ey den

AHEAD OF the final vote on TAF on June 25, Fonterra shareholders want to be confident that 100% farmer control and ownership of our cooperative is fully protected. The special resolution we will vote on over the Fonterra shareholder’s fund is an important pillar in 100% control and ownership. Especially with the added reassurance in the formal risk management policy for the fund and the formal monitoring role for the Shareholders’ Council. The special resolution has three parts in relation to the size of the fund, with the changes proposed to be enshrined in our constitution. The first decreases the threshold on the size of the fund from 25% to 20% of total shares on issue. The second decreases the threshold on the number of dry shares on issue from 25% to 15% of total shares. The third puts a cap on how many wet shares a farmer can sell the economic rights to in the fund. This is limited to 33% of their minimum required holding. How does reducing the numbers increase the reassurance for farmers? Shareholders have said the fund size is absolutely critical. The board agrees. The fund has to be big enough to support the Fonterra shareholders’ market so that farmers have the flexibility to buy and sell cooperative shares when they need to at welldiscovered prices. Shareholders get that, but they were concerned that if the fund was too large, outside investors in it could try to wield influence, even without any voting power. We listened, and through the due diligence process, settled on a fund size policy. The fund will be about $500 million – or 8% of the shares on issue at the time TAF is launched, but the Board intends to manage the actual size of the fund at between 7-12% of shares on issue. To reinforce this, the board is proposing a change to the constitution to take the overall threshold for the size of the fund down from 25% to 20% of shares on issue. So why have a 20% threshold if we think

7-12% will do on a dayto-day basis? That 7-12% range is the ‘business as usual’ range, but the one thing that’s certain about farming is uncertainty. You can have a huge season one year – just like we’ve had – and you can have the real heart-breakers. Drought, prolonged flood damage or a disease outbreak can mean shareholders needing to free up some cash through their shares. On the other hand, a great season like the one we’ve just had means we all need to top up our shares to cover production. That 20% threshold provides this headroom. It enables the fund to ‘breathe in and out’ through the peaks or troughs. Because we’re in a business subject to volatility, shareholders will want to be reassured that this won’t cause the fund’s limits to be tested to breaking point. We’ve built in lots of cast-iron checks and balances, all set out in the due diligence report for shareholders. Essentially, if the actual size of the fund gets bigger than 12% of the shares on issue, the board has to take a range of actions. This can include buying back units to manage the fund size down. It also has to inform and consult with the Shareholders’ Council and keep them abreast of how the fund’s size is being managed down. All this happens if the actual size of the fund is going past 12%, or looks like it is heading towards 15% of shares on issue. That’s still well short of the 20% threshold. There are also provisions for action should the actual size of the fund ever go beyond 18% of the shares on issue, including a halt on trades and the calling of a special meeting of shareholders. What this means is that there is no danger of the fund getting out of control because the safety mechanisms kick in well before the upper threshold on the fund’s size is reached and shareholders have a say. With the fund’s upper threshold of 20% of shares, 100% farmer control and ownership is protected.

The third part of the Special Resolution is an added protection. Initially, the number of wet shares of which a farmer could sell the economic rights to the fund was going to be left to the board’s discretion, but we’re convinced a clear limit is the way to go. That limit is now 33% of a

shareholders’ minimum required shareholding. We think this also helps protect that traditional connection between supply and shareholding. As a special resolution, dealing as it does with changes to our constitution, a 75% vote is required from shareholders. The final vote on TAF, when

shareholders can tell the board to get it underway, is an ordinary resolution. As it doesn’t require a change to the constitution, the legal requirements are for a 50% vote. But let’s be clear – a 50% vote would not unify the co-op, and would not be enough for the board to go ahead with TAF.

The Shareholders’ Council vote in support of TAF was more than 80%. Based on past experience, shareholders usually come in pretty close to council on votes, because councillors are our farmers’ representatives. We have the Shareholders’ Council’s support, now we need it from

shareholders. A clear mandate will unite the co-op and enable us all to concentrate on making it strong, successful, and even more prosperous in the next ten years than it was during its first decade. We’re looking forward to that. • Henry van der Heyden is the chairman of Fonterra.


Rural News // june 19, 2012

26 management

Hill farmer’s winning Nigel and Ava Faram won Federated Farmers’ Gisborne/Wairoa Hill Country Farmer of the Year competition earlier this year. Peter Burke caught up with them on farm IF HE hadn’t been left a farm, Nigel Faram concedes he probably would have been an engineer. He and wife Ava have

lifted Parihohonu Station to incredible heights since they took over the farm

in 1961, a fact reflected in their winning Federated Farmers’ Gisborne/Wairoa

Hill Country Farmer of the Year competition earlier this year.

Breeding policy aims to maintain hybrid vigour.

Nigel Faram on farm at Otoke, inland of Gisborne.

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The station dissects SH2 near the tiny settlement of Otoko, about half way between Gisborne and Opotiki. It’s 750ha (672ha effective) of typical East Coast hill country: fertile sandy loam over various types of sedimentary rock. The farm was bought by Faram’s grandfather in 1892. His father, a teacher, took over in 1945, employing managers to run the farm and begin the serious development of the property. The wool price boom and advent of aerial topdressing in the early 1950’s were key factors. “It was a sea of manuka,” recalls Faram. “It wasn’t until the 1950’s when we started using phosphate seriously that we got good growth in pasture. Before that you could cut scrub and the

stuff would be coming up behind you next year and you’d have to do it again and again.”

tation and research. It’s not a one-off either: judges in the competition noted the consistency of perfor-

“If you want good stock performance you have got to do three things – feed your stock, feed your stock and feed your stock!” – Nigel Faram Today, the farm runs 7,300 stock units, split roughly half sheep, half cattle. Last year’s lambing was 153% for ewes, 93% for hoggets. He’s been lambing the latter for five years. Calving percentage from the 226-cow, mainly Hereford/angus herd, was 92%. The figures are impressive and come from years of hard work, experimen-

mance on the farm – especially in hard times such as drought. Faram says a diploma in agriculture at Massey in 1958/59 inspired him to take an innovative approach to farming and instilled in him the value of hybrid vigour. His first move was into Drysdales and Perendales. “When we started here


Rural News // june 19, 2012

ways 80-90% lambing was considered good. With some help from local vets we quickly got to 120% but couldn’t seem to get it any further.” Introducing East Fresian genetics – “long big sheep that produced milk like nobody’s business” – saw lamb weights take off, and got the % going up again. Falling wool prices prompted a move to Wiltshire’s to push lamb weights even more. “We worked out if we improved our lambing percentage by about 2% or the weight of each individual works lamb by 1kg, it equated to loss of wool in terms of income. The

Wiltshire was a real meat breed.” Suffolks have also been used. Now they’re into Coopworths to combat facial eczema. As well as the ongoing focus on hybrid vigour, he has a ruthless culling policy. Dry ewes at scanning are out, and often single scanners go too. This year’s mixed age ewes scanned 176% and two tooths 172%. But for all the tweaks to breeding policy, and other innovations, Faram has one key message. “If you want good stock performance you have got to do three things – feed your stock, feed your stock and feed your stock!”

Off farm work

management 27

Gone in 20 months garet h g illatt

GETTING BEEF calves off to a good start will maximise efficiency and reduce environmental risk down the track. That was the headline message from consultant, Chris Boom, to an over capacity audience at the first seminar in a new Beef + Lamb New Zealand and Sustainable Farming Fund project. The three-year ‘Finished in

20 Months’ project is looking for techniques to get beef cattle to finishing weights before their second Christmas. “Northlanders are some of the best puggers in the country… It does have a significant cost in the efficiency of our farm systems,” Boom told the seminar. Stocking rates, feeding rates and supplement use by eight high performance bull beef operators from the Far North to Wellsford

are being studied. Some of the operators are already rearing 550kg or heavier bulls in 16-20 months. Boom says one thing the revealed already is that stock that start heavy tend to do better in the long run. This is particularly evident on participant Lauri Copland’s farm, who has stock ready to kill by December. “Without those [heavier] weaning weights he would have really

struggled to have stock ready for that peak November - December period when prices were at a premium,” notes Boom. Some farmers involved in the project are using supplements and crops to guarantee animals get the best start possible. Phillip and Julia Leaf, Paparoa, feed Friesian weaner bulls a palm kernel mix to eliminate ryegrass stagger production losses and to page 28

Special MeeTing June 25 Trading among Farmers THeRe aRe FiVe WaYS TO VOTe You have until 10.30am June 23 to vote by: internet

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Or, you can vote in person at one of the Special Meeting venues on June 25. You’ll find all the information you need in your notice of Meeting packs and on Fencepost. no matter how you choose to vote, every vote counts. The farm’s bridge over State Highway 2.

Not all of Faram’s life has been on farm. At times he’s been ‘chairman of the board’ with managers running day to day operations while he’s worked elsewhere, such as a seven year stint from 1993 when he was assistant construction manager for Juken Nissho’s mill at Matawhero. “I had been a local district councillor since 1989 so knew quite a bit about the RMA. I got to meet and know one of the leaders in the forestry industry who asked me to come and put the mill together. He said he’d done his homework on me and wanted me down there. It was a fascinating experience and I spent $90 million in three years.” Faram’s engineering skills also helped him build a stock bridge over SH2, which bisects the farm. Today, he and Ava still employ managers and are strong on people management. They work with staff to achieve innovative goals. “I am not scared to discuss all the possibilities and different scenarios with my managers. I like to make sure they know what I’m talking about and understand the scene and then I’ll turn it so it’s almost their decisions to do that and that’s how it works. I come from a background of teachers so there’s probably a bit of psychology in there.” He likes them to explain what they’re doing on the farm, and encourages involvement in farm management seminars and field days.

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Rural News // june 19, 2012

28 management Project’s early finishing tips from page 27

increase animal size. Just 10% of the 470ha farm is flat and they’ve suffered higher than normal losses to ryegrass staggers and misadventure. “In our worst year I lost 42 calves out of 300,” admits Leaf. “That’s not a nice thing to have to say but I have to say that’s my background.” Last summer the bulls stock were split into five groups: one that got just pasture and four that got 0.8kg/head/ day or 1.6kg/head/day of a palm kernel and maize mix for either eight weeks or sixteen weeks. The Leafs managed stock rotation so all test mobs went over the same paddocks. Stock losses went from 13% to 1% in the year of the study. There were also marked gains in production.

Finishing tips • Design system to meet weight targets. • Don’t hold stock back at any point. • Start with good weaning weights. • Support calves during summer

Those fed 0.8kg/day for 16 weeks and 1.6kg/day for 16 weeks put on an extra 0.36kg liveweight/day and 0.32kg liveweight/day at a cost of $1.14 to $2.59/kg. Animals in the eight week mobs fared less well with gains costing $3.41/ kg and $3.37/kg. Boom says those results could have been even better in a year which wasn’t as favorable for pasture growth. Another project study hampered by the exceptional growing season for pasture was the role of chicory in a bull

beef system on the 354ha farm of John, Lurline and Peter Blackwell, Arapohue. The Blackwells buy 120 Friesian bull weaners at 100kg in July and finish them over two winters. They trialled two approaches with the crop: full cultivation for an annual, relatively high cost crop, and a low cost system where chicory was either broadcast or undersowed into the pasture. Undersowing and broadcast spreading cost $150/ha compared to $630/ha for full-cultivation. The low cost approach had a very low strike rate due to strong competition from pasture species, and provided no extra production over the straight grass diet. However, the Blackwells were able to graze 40 bulls on the high cost chicory crop compared to 24 bulls on a similarsized normal ryegrass paddock.

Project participant Phillip Leaf

Stock on the chicory also gained 1.12kg/head/day over the trial compared to an average of 0.73kg/head/day on pasture. Despite the higher cost of the crop, the cost per kg of liveweight gain was $1.59, making it highly economical in today’s climate, notes Boom. Besides providing more profit, more

use of crops and other management tools to finish stock sooner has other benefits besides providing more profit, he adds. “They’ve designed systems so they don’t rely on that late spring/summer at all,” says Bloom. “And they’ve diversified their markets so they can sell to the store market or to the works.”

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Rural News // june 19, 2012

management 29

Winter N warning “For example, when 20 kg N/ha is applied and an additional 200 kg DM/ ha of pasture is grown the response rate is 10 kg DM/ kg N applied.” Response is dependent on factors such as soil temperature, plant growth, soil moisture, deficiency of available N, and rate of N applied. Timing is a key consideration. “It is good to apply nitrogenous fertiliser when the pasture cover is between 1,500 to 1,800 kg DM/ha. This ensures that there is sufficient leaf area for photosynthesis leading

to good pasture growth.” Profitability of applying N depends on response and utilisation of extra feed grown. “ Therefore, N needs to be applied to fill genuine feed deficits. Anticipation of feed deficits and application of N fertiliser four to six weeks in advance is critical to filling these deficits with quality feed and getting the best economic response from fertiliser use.” Best responses occur on fast growing pasture, when other factors such as moisture and soil temperature are not limit-

There’s a greater risk of fertiliser nitrogen finding its way to waterways in winter.

ing. In winter, responses are lower and slower than at other times of year. Response rate also declines when rate per application exceeds 40kg N/ha. Excess nitrate in

groundwater will restrict the use of the water for drinking and can have other impacts on water quality, he warns. Lateral movement into streams and lakes can affect algal and plant growth, fish and

other animal habitats. “The bottom line is that avoiding or minimising N fertiliser application in late-autumn or winter reduces the likelihood of any direct leaching to waterways.”

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ties,” says Tikkisetty. “A property’s nutrient budget, combined with a feed budget, helps farmers understand whether they are using too much or too little fertiliser. From there, they can potentially manage costs better and reduce their impact on the environment by working out a pragmatic nutrient management plan.” A key term to understand is “response rate”. “This response rate is the amount of pasture grown in terms of kilograms of dry matter per hectare per kilogram of nitrogen (N) applied.

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BE WARY with nitrogen fertiliser on pasture over winter for economic and environmental reasons, says Waikato Regional Council sustainable agriculture coordinator Bala Tikkisetty. Winter applications generally are least effective at promoting grass growth and excessive drainage can result in nitrate leaching before plants take it up. “It’s important that farmers have clear information about the risks involved with winter nitrogen applications on their individual proper-


Rural News // june 19, 2012

30 animal health

Footrot gene marker ‘solid’ ANDREW SWALLOW

Favourable seasons for footrot in the high country have seen incidence increase.

CONCERNS THAT the footrot marker gene test isn’t working have been defended by the scientists behind its development. However farmers need to be aware of its limitations

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and be wise with the way they use it, they say. “It is probably the most well used gene marker we have in the New Zealand sheep industry,” consultant John Bates told Federated Farmers High Country conference in Wanaka. Bates was speaking in place of Lincoln scientist John Hickford who was snowbound in Christchurch. The topic was on the conference agenda following concerns raised at the Merino conference about levels of footrot being seen, even in animals that gene-tested as resistant. Bates said the problem was wet autumns and mild winters had favoured disease build up which, in the right weather “goes through the flock like wildfire often before there’s an antibody response.” The typical management reaction to an outbreak – treatment for example with a footbath – increased stress and could itself compromise an immune response, he added. Despite there being over 100 strains of footrot bacteria the gene test, which measures an animal’s ability to produce two antibodies to footrot causing bacteria, has proved reliable against them all. “It doesn’t matter what type the footrot is, you get exactly the same response: the gene marker works exactly the same.” While most of the early work in the marker’s development was with Merinos and Corriedales, a lot of work has been done with other breeds since, he pointed out. “We’ve found it (the marker) is not breed specific and works the same across all breeds.” However, there is a marked variation in how breeds score on the two, one-to-five scales used. Breeds which originate from environments which favoured footrot, such as the Romney which came from the coastal marshes of Kent, tend to have higher resistance than those that were rarely, if ever, subjected to a footrot challenge, such as the Merino, explained Bates. The best way to use the test as a tool for breeding is to use it to identify poor performers and cull those, rather than select for the best, he advises. “Try to get rid of the rubbish rather than breed for the ultimate sheep. In the case of the footrot marker, that means getting rid of your [score] fours and fives, rather than aiming for all ones and twos.” Experience shows sheep with an antibody score of five are twice as likely to get clinical footrot as those that score three, while an animal that scores one is half as likely to succumb as a three. Bates presented a table of consolidated results from about thirty progeny tests subjecting eight-month-old gene-tested animals to a “quite intensive” footrot challenge – six weeks on irrigated pasture, in autumn (hence warm), with one in ten animals introduced suffering from footrot. (see table). “The important point is that some animals that genetest as 1,1 still get footrot.” Also, the scores tend to be co-dominant, so a 1,4 performs more like a one than a four. Sickly animals or with poor foot structure are more likely to succumb. Whether or not the tool has a use for farmers would depend on their circumstances, he suggested. Those in wetter areas, or selling progeny to farmers in wetter areas, would be most likely to derive value from it. “We explain about 50%, possibly a bit higher, of the genetic variation [in footrot incidence]... We’ve done progeny tests on close to 10,000 animals now and this is solid.” Ram score % footrot* * range across about 1,1 0-10 1,2 7-19 thirty trials with eight1,3 10-21 month-old gene-tested 1,4 5-26.5 animals on irrigated pas2,3 10-26 ture in autumn and one 2,4 16.5-37.5 3,3 10-48 in ten animals a footrot 3,4 10-69.5 innoculator. 4,5 22-83


Rural News // june 19, 2012

animal health 31

Andrew Taberner and Rhys Williams with the needle-free injector.

Needle-free injection could have ag angle ANDREW SWALLOW

HOW GOOD would it be to inject sheep, cattle, or deer, without having to use a needle? Such technology could be available in the near future if a Star Trek-like design from Massachesetts Institute of Technology and Auckland Bioengineering Institute is commercialised. The needle-free device fires medicine through the skin at near the speed of sound using a tiny, ultra-high pressure jet. Crucially, from an agricultural perspective where mobs of animals need treating, the MIT/ABI design automatically reloads and can deliver many injections over a short period. “Jet injectors are not new but this is the first time that anyone has used

a highly controllable linear motor to precisely jet-inject, which allows the user to control drug injection speed and makes it possible to rapidly repeat injections,” says ABI senior research fellow Andrew Taberner. Jet-injections are less painful than needle shots as the hole is about a quarter the size; about the diameter of a human hair. The device, which has been likened to a Star Trek hypospray, uses a magnet and tiny piston to deliver a jet at 20 megapascals (200 bar). It could also be used for diagnostic purposes as it has a “drawback mechanism” to take liquid samples. Taberner told Rural News trials injecting through fleece, hair or fur haven’t been conducted but an applicator with a nozzle that is worked through to the skin prior to firing the

dose could be one solution. Dose depth can be set so either subcutaneous or intramuscular injections are possible. “One of the good things with needle-free is it’s very good at making vaccines available to the cells in the skin which trigger immune responses.” The prototype design delivers a 0.35ml dose but higher volume doses should be possible, says Taberner. An alternative to achieve higher volume doses would be multiple shots, which could be in the same site or various sites. “It’s not as if you’ve got to pull a needle out and stick it in again. You just lift it to another site.” A continuous delivery system is another option, so dose volume would be set by duration of injection.

Retiring prof sounds funding warning A SCIENTIST whose work helped spark a paradigm shift in thinking about animal health issues in sheep has retired from Lincoln University after 34 years. Professor Andrew Sykes joined the Canterbury institution in 1978 after 10 years at Edinburgh University’s Moredun Research Institute. While at Moredun he produced a breakthrough paper showing the importance of parasites in sheep nutrition and thrift. “Work was being done there on tooth loss, broken mouth and bone weakness in sheep,” he recalls. “The conventional wisdom was that the answer would lie in identifying and correcting mineral deficiencies. Based on medical work

with malnourished children in Africa, suffering from marasmus and kwashiorkor, I was drawn to the idea that a nematode parasite investigation might be more fruitful.” Sykes’ “youthful enthusiasm” gained him approval for a small experiLincoln Professor of Animal Science Andrew Sykes. ment, “which everyone believed would lead nowhere and conveniently ence invitations abroad, and, indirectly, a job as serve to shut me up.” Prof of Animal Science It didn’t. at Lincoln where he set “Astounding results emerged and suddenly the about shifting the institution from “agricultural dominance of the mineral college thinking” to “uniexplanation for animal versity thinking”, and with bone disorders was under it more rigorous scientific challenge.” The nematode parasite enquiry. Sykes’ work covwork won international ered mineral metaboacclaim with speaking lism, endoparasites and engagements and confer-

animals’ resistance to them. He also encouraged CT scanning to determine meat, muscle and bone conformation and ratios. Today, he says scientists need funding and research space, and the politicisation of science funding through outcome driven models does not provide this space. “The importance and relevance of research is not necessarily determined by particular time horizons. “Research done today may not provide a returnon-investment for 15 or 20 years. “There are numerous examples of this and I have always exhorted my staff to look at the longterm, the big picture.”

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Expo for pour-on application offshears on all breeds; up to 3 months on coarse wool breeds. Extinosad for saturation use through automatic jetting races, conveyor, shower and plunge systems on all breeds. For more information go to www.elanco.co.nz or call the Elanco helpline on 0800 352626. Elanco Animal Health, A division of Eli Lilly and Co (NZ) Ltd, 123 Ormiston Rd, Botany Junction, Auckland. Registered pursuant to the ACVM Act 1997. Nos A10205 and A8206.

E Nailed 39 x 3 02/12


2012 RURAL NEWS SURVEY OF TREATMENTS FOR INTERNAL PARASITES OF PRE-LAMB EWES Company

Available through

Active Ingredient (s)

Concentration

Ingredient Dose Rate

Formulated Dose Rate

W’Holding Safety Period (Meat) Margin

Ovicidal

Exodus Long Acting Injection

Merial Ancare

Veterinary Clinics

Moxidectin

20g/L

1mg/kg

1ml/20kg

91 days

5x

No

mature immature

Genesis Injection

Merial Ancare

Veterinary Clinics

Abamectin

10mg/mL

0.2mg/kg

1mL/50kg

28 days

5x

No

mature immature

Ivomec Injection

Merial Ancare

Veterinary Clinics

Ivermectin

10g/L

0.2mg/kg

1mL/50kg

35 days

10x dose rate

No

mature immature

Dectomax Injection

Pfizer Animal Health

Veterinary Clinics

Doramectin

10mg/mL

0.2mg/kg

1mL/50kg b.w.

35 days

15x dose rate

No

mature immature

Cydectin Injection

Pfizer Animal Health

Vets, OTC outlets

Moxidectin

10g/L

0.2mg/kg

1mL/50kg

28 days

10x dose rate

No

mature immature

Cydectin Long Acting Injection for Sheep

Pfizer Animal Health

All outlets

Moxidectin

20g/L

1mg/kg

1mL/20kg

91 days

5x dose rate

No

mature immature

Eweguard, Eweguard Plus Selenium, Eweguard Plus SeB12

Pfizer Animal Health

All outlets

Moxidectin Plus 6 in 1 vaccine

5g/L

0.2mg/kg

1mL/25kg

49 days

10x dose rate

No

mature immature

Concur Sheep Himin

Bayer NZ Ltd

Allied Farmers, CRT, Farmlands

Oxfendazole, Levamisole

22.7g/L, 40g/L

4.5mg/kg, 7.5mg/kg

1mL/5kg

10 days

3x

YES

mature immature

Evolve Sheep Himin

Bayer NZ Ltd

Allied Farmers, CRT, Farmlands

Abamectin, Levamisole, Oxfendazole

1g/L, 40g/L, 22.65g/L

0.2mg/kg, 8mg/kg, 4.53mg/kg

1mL/5kg

21 days

3x

NO

mature immature

Saturn Sheep Himin

Bayer NZ Ltd

Allied Farmers, CRT, Farmlands

Levamisole, Abamectin

40g/L, 1g/L

7.5mg/kg 0.2mg/kg

1mL/5kg

21 days

3x

NO

ALLIANCE®

COOPERS

All major retail outlets

Oxfendazole, Levamisole, Abamectin

45.3g/L 80g/L 2g/L

4.53mg/kg 8mg/kg 0.2mg/kg

1mL/10kg

14 days

3x

YES

mature immature

CONVERGE®

COOPERS

All major retail outlets

Levamisole Abamectin

80g/L 2g/L

8mg/kg 0.2mg/kg

1mL/10kg

14 days

3x

YES

mature immature

SCANDA® Available in Plain and Selenised

COOPERS

All major retail outlets

Oxfendazole Levamisole

45.3g/L 80g/L

4.53mg/kg 8mg/kg

1mL/10kg

10 days

3x

YES

mature immature

Q-drench®

Jurox NZ Ltd

Selected resellers

Abamectin, Albendazole, Levamisole HCI, Closantel

1.0g/L Abamectin, 25.0g/L Albendazole, 40.0g/L Levamisole HCI, 37.5g/L Closantel

0.2mg/kg Abamectin, 5.0mg/kg Albendazole, 8.0mg/kg Levamisole HCI, 7.5mg/kg Closantel

1mL/5kg

28 days

3x

Yes

mature immature

Trokia™

Jurox NZ Ltd

Selected resellers

Abamectin, Albendazole, Levamisole HCI

1.0g/L Abamectin, 25.0g/L Albendazole, 40.0g/L Levamisole HCI

0.2mg/kg Abamectin, 5.0mg/kg Albendazole, 8.0mg/kg Levamisole HCI

1mL/5kg

21 days

3x

Yes

mature immature

Strategik Combo Dual Action Mineralised Sheep & Lamb Drench

Jurox NZ Ltd

Selected Retailers

Albendazole, levamisole

24g/L, 37.5g/L

4.75mg/kg, 7.5mg/kg

1mL/5kg

10 days

3x

Yes

mature immature

Bionic Hi Mineral Capsules

Merial Ancare

Veterinary Outlets

Abamectin, 160mg Abamectin, 4.62g Albendazole, Selenium Albendazole, 26mg Selenium, & Cobalt 120mg colbalt per capsule.

20µ Abamectin, 0.5mg Albendazole/kg/day

1 capsule 40-80kg

128 days

3 capsules Yes

mature immature

Extender 100 Capsules

Merial Ancare

Veterinary Outlets

Albendazole

3.85g/capsule

0.5mg/kg/day

1 capsule 35-65kg

Nil

5 capsules Yes

mature immature

Extender SeCo Capsules

Merial Ancare

Veterinary Outlets

Albendazole, Selenium & Cobalt

4.62g Albendazole capsule, 24mg Selenium, 118mg Cobalt

ABZ 0.5mg/day Se 0.24mg/ day, Co 1.18mg/day

1 capsule 40-80kg

Nil

5 capsules Yes

mature immature

Ivomec Maximizer CR (for adult sheep) Capsules

Merial Ancare

Veterinary Outlets

Ivermectin

160mg/capsule

20µ/kg/day

1 capsule 40-80kg

126 days

5x capsules

No

mature immature

Matrix Hi Mineral Oral Drench for Sheep

Merial Ancare

Veterinary Outlets

Abamectin, Oxfendazole, Levamisole

1g/L Abamectin, 22.7g/L Oxfendazole, 40g/L Levamisole, 0.5g/L Selenium & 2.2g/L Cobalt

0.2mg/kg Abamectin, 4.5mg/kg Oxfendazole, 8mg/kg Levamisole

1mL/5kg

21 days

3x

Yes

mature immature

Matrix Minidose

Merial Ancare

Veterinary Outlets

Abamectin, Levamisole, Oxfendazole

2g/L Abamectin, 80g/L Levamisole, 45.4g/L Oxfendazole, 1g/L Selenium, 4.4g/L Cobalt

0.2mg Abamectin, 8mg Levamisole, 4.54mg Oxfendazole/kg

1mL/10kg

14 days

3x

Yes

mature immature

Switch Hi Mineral

Merial Ancare

Veterinary Outlets

Abamectin Levamisole

1g/L Abamectin, 40g/L, Levamisole, 0.2mg Abamectin, 0.5g/L Selenium, 2.2g/L Cobalt 8mg Levamisole/kg

1mL/5kg

14 days

3x

Yes

mature immature

Cydectin Oral Drench Vetdectin Oral Drench

Pfizer Animal Health

Vets, OTC outlets

Moxidectin

1mg/mL

0.2mg/kg

1mL/5kg

10 days

> 10x dose No rate

mature immature

Startect

Pfizer Animal Health

Vets, OTC outlets

Abamectin Derquantel

1mg/mL 10mg/mL

0.2mg/kg 2mg/kg

1mL/5kg

14 days

3x

mature immature

Product

Parasite Maturity

INJECTABLE

(SeB12 vet only)

ORAL

No

e d i s r u o y Time’s on

MAL-CAPS 140 x 544mm Ad.indd 1


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YES

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ND

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TAPEWORMS: (Monziezia)

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FLUKES: (Fasciola)

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MITES (Psorergates ovis)

Chabertia

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BLOW FLY (Lucilla cuprina)

Oesphagostomum

★★★ ★★★

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Dictyocaulus

Trichostrongylus

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Cooperia

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Nematodirus

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Tric. Axei

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Strongyloides

Lungs

NASAL BOT Oestrus ovis: (Larvae)

Lge Intestine

Small Intestine

Haemonchus

Abomasum

★ ★ ★ - 95% to 100% efficacy ★ ★ - 75% to 95% efficacy ★ - 50% to 75% efficacy Blank- No registered claim N/S – Information not supplied N/D – No data N/A – Not applicable

COMMENT

ND

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Note 2 & 7

★★★ ★★★

Note 4 Note 8 Also effective against itchmite (Psoregates ovis) Note 3 & 4

★★

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Contains minerals Cobalt, Copper, Iodine, Selenium, Zinc. Contains minerals Cobalt, Copper, Iodine, Selenium, Zinc. Contains minerals Cobalt, Copper, Iodine, Selenium, Zinc.

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Triple combination oral drench for cattle and sheep. Contains Cobalt and Selenium. Dual combination oral drench for cattle and sheep. Contains Cobalt and Selenium.

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NO

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Contains minerals Cobalt, Copper, Iodine, Selenium, Zinc.

Note 2

Note 1 Also contains 5g/L Selenium 2.2.g/L Cobalt

Product Comment (INJECTABLE) 1. Effective against L3 stages. 2. Also for use in cattle & pigs, effective against itchmite and inhibited L4 stage Ostertagia. 3. Additives: contain antigens of 5 clostridial diseases and cheesy gland. Effective against inhibited stages of Haemonchus, Ostertagia and Trichostrongylus. 4. Non-irritant injection, prevents re-infection with Haemonchus contortus and Ostertagia circumcincta for at least 35 days and Trichostrongylus colubriformis for at least 7 days following a single subcutaneous injection. Use in sheep that have been vaccinated against footrot is not recommended. 5. Levamisole is a short acting drench. Also contains a 5 in 1 vaccine. 6. Also available with 1.25mg/ml Selenium 7. 1: Includes inhibited stages and BZresistant parasites. 2: 1st, 2nd & 3rd instars. 3: AIP Aids in Protection. 8. Injection site is high on the neck, at the base of the ear. Prevents reinfection with Haemonchus contortus for 91 days, Ostertagia circumcincta for 112 days and Trichostrongylus colubriformis for 42 days.

Product Comment (ORAL)

1. Aids in control of dags and blowfly strike in the breech area and reduces pasture contamination from worm eggs for at least 100 days. Effective against strains of H.contortus,O. circumcincta and T.colubriformis resistant to benzimidazole, levamisole and morantal drenches and strains of T.axei and N.spathiger resistant to benzimidazole drenches. 1.Effective against L3 stages. Effective against itchmite and keds. 2. Gives continuous protection against all major species of worms for at least 100 days. 1. Efficacy not yet established. 3. Prevents reinfection wth Haemonchus contortus for 35days and Ostertagia circumcincta for 21days The Rural News Pre-Lamb Ewe Internal Parasite Control Survey is compiled from information supplied by animal health companies. Although the information has been checked by our independent animal health advisor, Rural News accepts no responsibility or liability for inaccuracies. The efficacy classifications relate only to where no resistance is present. If a concern exists please contact a veterinarian.

Note 3 Also effective against itchmite (Psoregates ovis) Note 4. Also available with 0.5mg/ml selenium. Effective against adult and immature (L4) stages of sensitive strains of parasites including those resistant to levamisole, benzimadazole, macrocyclic lactones and closantel drenches and combinations of these. 2. Also controls itchmites

★★★

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12/06/12 10:23 AM


Rural News // june 19, 2012

34 animal health

NZVA backs IP protection calls THE NEW Zealand Veterinary Association is supporting calls for greater protection of animal health product intellectual property. In its latest Vets@Work

newsletter it points out Australia’s vets have three times the number of products available here, and quotes Agcarm chief executive, Graeme Peters, who says a lack of adequate

protection of intellectual property is a key reason for the difference. The New Zealand Index of Veterinary Specialities (NZIVS) shows 1175 individual veterinary product

registrations in New Zealand. In comparison, there are a total of 3376 veterinary products on Australia’s Public Chemical Registration System. Australia’s larger

Minority species such as goats and deer could benefit from greater product protection.

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market accounts for some of the difference, but New Zealand’s poor protection of regulatory data is a major contributing factor, says Peters. Australia offers eight years’ data protection for new medicines, with extension to 11 years if registrants add new uses, such as for minor species, to the label. New Zealand has five years’ data protection with no protection for new uses. The NZVA says greater protection will give vets a wider range of treatments, especially new products and products that are tested and approved for use on minor species such as deer and goats. NZVA deer branch chair, Adrian Campbell, says he’d welcome this.

Despite 40 years of farming the species, there are still relatively few medications registered specifically for them, he notes. “Deer farming is a small but long-standing industry so it would be good if suppliers showed more support by registering deer medications,” he says. Ethical Agents’ technical director, Dennis Scott, says New Zealand registration fees are also to blame for the lesser number of animal medications available here. “A levy based on turnover, similar to Australia’s, rather than a flat annual fee would help ensure smaller niche markets such as deer farming had species specific medications available.”

BLNZ revamps cattle trace and nutrition factsheets

It’s not luck. It’s NILVAX. It’s simple maths: the more of your lambs that survive, the bigger your return. And the way to make sure more lambs survive is through a quality pre-lamb vaccination like NILVAX®. NILVAX is a unique combination of 5-in-1 and levamisole that boosts ewe antibody production. That means more antibodies are available for lambs, even multiples who share colostrum, to give the highest level of clostridial protection – right through to weaning. More income through more lambs surviving? It’s not luck. It’s NILVAX. Ask for the gold standard pre-lamb vaccination at your local animal health retailer. ACVM Registration No: A3977. ®Registered trademark. Schering-Plough Animal Health Limited, 33 Whakatiki Street, Upper Hutt. Phone: 0800 800 543. PLMB-173-2012. Priority Partnership is a registered trademark of Nufarm Limited.

A COUPLE of new factsheets released from Beef + Lamb New Zealand aim to help ensure cattle trace element and energy requirements are understood. The factsheets are a blend of old Meat & Wool material, updated with new information, says BLNZ Central South Island extension manager, Aaron Meikle. “A lot of these things don’t change, like the areas of the coun- Aaron Meikle try that are short of selenium, so a lot of the content is a reminder of the basics,” he told Rural News. “Trace elements are often over-diagnosed, and the real problem is a more fundamental nutritional or internal parasite issue, so the idea is to give farmers the information to make sure they don’t get hit by a trace element problem so they can focus on the true cause.” Meikle compares the role of selenium and cobalt to a fire extinguisher or seat-belt: they very rarely affect an outcome, but when they do, the consequences of them not doing their job can be dramatic. The revamped Energy Requirement of Cattle and Trace Element Nutrition of Cattle factsheets are available to levy payers on request, as are similar factsheets for sheep. Tel 0800 233352 or e-mail theresa.brown@ beeflambnz.com


Rural News // june 19, 2012

animal health 35

Vets seek consistency in transport standards ANDREW SWALLOW

EXPECT MORE consistent and more explicit direction from your vet on transporting compromised livestock in the wake of a nationwide series of roadshows, says the Ministry of Primary Industries. “The purpose is to update and review New Zealand Veterinary Association guidelines and make sure consistent procedures are used by vets,” ministry adviser and vet Richard Wild told Rural News last week. “It’s part of a broader animal welfare project at the ministry, that by safeguarding animal welfare we’re safeguarding our [primary production] reputation. Fitness for transport is one of the major animal welfare points so we’re trying to get the veterinary profession aligned on it.” Roadshows were held last week in Oamaru, Milton and Invercargill following an earlier series of events, and they conclude next week in Gisborne and Waipukurau. “The number of large animal vets is about 800. Hopefully we’ll get to about half of those,” says Wild. The roadshows follow last September’s launch of the Animal Welfare (Transport within New Zealand) Code of Welfare 2011. It spells out that animals with any injury, signs of disease, abnormal behavior or physical abnormalities that could compromise their welfare during a journey should not be transported unless a veterinarian has declared them fit to do so. In-growing horns, inadequate body condition – below score 3.0 for dairy cows – and lameness, defined as able to bear weight evenly across four limbs, are included. While most farmers should be aware of such requirements, there is a small percentage that don’t get the message and need some education, says Wild. “A lot of the welfare

cases we [ministry vets at meatworks] see are about education. But about 10% of cases get referred to our compliance and response group for further investigation.” Typically that’s 60-70 cases/year, some of which result in prosecutions. All parties are sent a letter “highlighting what happened and the owners’ obligations under the Animal Welfare Act.” An attempt to contact owners by telephone is made, and the incident logged on an MPI database. Recurring incidents under the same owner will result in “a whole bunch of people on your doorstep,” warns Wild. Farmers, livestock agents and transport operators can expect greater promotion of the code through advertising and sessions at field days and conferences etc later this year. In the meantime, the message is don’t consider sale of an animal as the solution to a welfare issue. “Slaughter plants are not a dumping ground for compromised animals, and it’s not just cattle... They will be seen by a ministry vet and you are likely to get an educational letter, or if it’s a repeat or severe case, likely to get you referred to our compliance response people.” There are 200 ministry vets nationwide – at least one at every works. Wild stresses the aim should be timely intervention on farm to prevent animals ever being in a condition where they’re not fit to travel, but if in doubt about fitness for transport, contact your vet, he says. He or she may certify the animal as fit to travel, or recommend alternative measures to remedy the problem. In extreme cases that may be euthanasia on site and sale for petfood rather than live transport. The distances stock are sometimes carted contributes to problems. “One of the major messages to the vets going to the roadshows is that

the animal procurement system in New Zealand is very commercial and people buy and truck animals all over the place.... Vet certificates for transport need to make clear

directions to the owner that the animal is to go to this or that plant, and is not fit for transport for long distances.” • Copies of the transport welfare code and

Richard Wild speaking at a Federated Farmers function.

accompanying explanatory report are online at www. biosecurity.govt.nz/regs/ animal-welfare/codes/ alphabetically or by request from animalwelfare@maf. govt.nz

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Rural News // june 19, 2012

36 machinery & products/fieldays 2012

Putting farms on iPads FARMERS AND contractors looking for greater control during sowing or fertiliser spreading will be able to use an iPad or Android tablet thanks to a new mapping application developed by Precision Tracking. The Precision Farming app, launched publicly last Wednesday at National Fieldays, allows farmers who have their properties mapped with the Precision Tracking system download their farm map onto an Android tablet or iPad and then use information from that map to better manage their fertiliser and nutrient application. The application also has guidelines set up to help the farmer keep the tractor running straight.

Precision Tracking’s commercial manager Tim Yellowlee.

Information from each session in the tractor gets uploaded to the Precision Tracking cloud to ensure the data stays safe. Precision Tracking commercial manager Tim Yellowlees says the application has been in the works for the last six months and will have backing from a number of other applications. “Farmers will be able to get free updates through

iTunes or the Google Play store,” says Yellowlees. “We are also working with Bad Elf, who offer tools to improve the accuracy of GPS on tablets.” Yellowlees says there is a great deal of excitement about this product. “Most farmers we have talked to are exited about the iPad app.” Tel. 0800 GPS 001 www.precisiontracking. co.nz

Parlor Companion gives instant data DAIRY FARMERS will be able to fix milk quality issues faster and easier with a new milk monitor ‘tool’, says the marketer, BouMatic New Zealand Ltd. The company’s Parlor Companion is a cow-sidemonitor that instantly shows the milk yields, somatic cell counts, milking time and milk temperature of individual cows, supporting farmers’ fast herd-management decisions. New to New Zealand, the gear is said to have been around some time in the US. Bou-Matic spokesman Steve Bromley says farmers who have used the Parlor Companion appreciate the fast information. “Dairy farmers with herringbone sheds like getting the milk flows and somatic cell counts then and there,” says Bromley. The Parlor Companion

Steve Bromley.

can be connected to their herd companion which provides milking statistics on average milk yield, total milk production, cows milked and other data. This information can

be stored and collected for better herd management. Typical issues addressed may include: is milk production increasing or decreasing after the last feed ration change?; is

the production for cow 85 increasing?; when should I dry off cow 251?; cow 65 isn’t eating much; is her temperature up?; how long is it taking to milk cow 21? Tel. 09 306 8850

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Rural News // june 19, 2012

fieldays/machinery & products 37 More accurate measuring

JCB moves to Fastrac Finnish power POWERING ITS new Fastrac 8000 range with AGCO Sisu engines is a notable shift by the British company, it says. It previously used Cummins engines in its larger tractors. “We’ve committed to using Sisu engines long term, because of the company’s expertise in R&D and its experience in agricultural as opposed to plant machinery,” says Ed Roach, JCB sales and marketing manager. JCB’s Fastrac 8000 tractor range is now topped off by two new high-

power models with new engines, updated V-tronic CVT transmission and full GPS compatibility. The 282hp 8280 (1195 Nm torque) directly replaces the former flagship, the 8250. And the 310hp 8310 now heads the range as the new flagship machine and boasts 1310 Nm torque. Both models are powered by AGCO Sisu Power 8.4L engines with SCR emissions technology. Both come with stage 3B engines and a GPS-ready option to further

increase productivity. According to JCB, the tractors will be “able to operate at their full potential while delivering significant fuel savings”. Roach adds that they evaluated several engines in the new range but felt the Sisu motor provided the best efficiency using 10% less fuel – which includes the cost of the AdBlue – than their current set-up. The engines could also offer more horsepower options in the future and in cab noise has dropped by 5dB(A) to just under 69dB(A).

NEW BUCKET scales developed by RDS Systems better record keeping of crop and supplement usage. The company’s Weighlog Alpha 10 measures the angle and pressure exerted by front loaders, giving an accurate measure (by weight) of how much supplement is going into a feeder per load. RDS Systems spokesman Pat Dougherty told Rural News the device provides farmers with “incredibly” accurate data.

More life for irrigators A HYDRAULIC shut-off system for Spitfire irrigators reduces the risk of pipe blowouts and breakdown in the event of a machine having to be shut down. Spitfire managing director says he expects the development to help extend the life of the company’s irrigation systems. Though there are various automatic shut-off systems fitted to travelling irrigators that will prevent spreading if the unit gets stuck in one place, the way the shut-offs function is not kind to the irrigator or the irrigation infrastructure. “You’d have heard a washing machine thumping to a halt if it’s got an unbalanced load,” said Reid. “Well the effect is a little bit like that.” He says his company’s hydrau-

Paul Dougherty.

“We’ve been trialing it for a number of months and it stacks up very favorably against weigh stations.” Especially important, Dougherty says, is that this is the first such system to enable a down-

load information from the unit for viewing in Excel format. “This is something that farmers have been asking for and we are happy to get it to them. Tel. 06 374 6400 www.rdssystems.co.nz

MT800 TaNkER/MIxER A Mobile Mixer/Tanker built on a strong galvanized steel frame can carry and mix colostrum, milk powder or any other calf supplements that you want to feed out.

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Rural News // june 19, 2012

38 machinery & products

Brits love Kia Quality gear that is affordable THE KIA Sportage is Britain’s most satisfying car, says the UK automotive magazine What Car? In an extensive survey of British car owners the Sportage compact SUV is said to have outranked every other car in an online survey of 18,000 new car buyers. It delivering

the “very best ownership experience”. The Sportage trounced glitzy rivals Jaguar XF, Toyota Prius, Skoda Superb and the Mercedes Benz E-Class, the other contenders in the top five. The What Car? survey rates cars according to 66 ownership attributes, in

PRODUCTION ORIENTATED FARMERS... Are you suffering from:

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four main sections: vehicle appeal including performance, design, comfort and features (37% of the marks); quality and reliability (24%); ownership costs including fuel consumption, insurance and cost of service and repairs (22%); and dealer service (17%). It included vehicles registered between January 2009 and December 2010. The Sportage scored a ranking of 83.8% amongst those surveyed, making it the best compact SUV and best vehicle overall. Owners said in the survey, “It is better looking than other SUVs and less expensive than most”; “This is one of the best looking cars ever!”; “Am I going to trade mine in? I think not; friends, family, passers-by – they all love it”. Todd McDonald, general manager of Kia Motors New Zealand, said, “We get a lot of comments from New Zealand Sportage owners about the stylish design, comfort and performance. The Kia Sportage is available in 2WD and 4WD with either a 2L or 2.4L petrol engine or a 2L diesel, driving through a 6-speed sequential shift automatic transmission as standard. Prices start from $33,990.

NOW AVAILABLE... 5 OR 6 LEG MODELS

TRAILERS AND feed- Quality and affordable trailers - even with hydraulic lifts - are a speciality for Uni Engineering. out wagons reckoned “the cheapest on the market [are achieved] without sacrificing quality,” says the maker, Uni Engineering proprieter Harold Eggink. “We only sell direct to farmers so there is no middleman.” His business at Tirau, on SH1 south of Cambridge, has been manufacturing for 11 years. Prices include free personal delivery with a nominal charge of $1400 for trips to Invercargill and $600 to Kaitaia. “I have made several delivery runs back gates are hydraulically closed so as far south as Riverton,” Eggink says. if a machine is put into reverse acciHis byword “quality made afford- dentally the gate will automatically able” applies to wagons and trailers open. The models are 8-10m3, 10-12m3, made of new material – steel, hubs and stubs, tyres, rams and hydrau- 13-15m3, 15-18m3 and 18-21m3. lic gear boxes. They are finished with “The first number in each case a zinc oxide undercoat followed by is when the wagon is filled to ‘water enamel.Floors and decks are shiplap level’ and the second is if the wagon timber treated to H3 standard. is filled higher.” There are five models of feedout Each model is built to cope with wagons, all with side delivery using the higher loading and floors and elechains rather than belts. “We will vators are hydraulically driven. make front delivery models but I tell Optional extras include weigh cells clients there are more advantages to and brakes and all have swivel eye side delivery.” attachment. The wagons come with a All are bath tubshaped for total one year warranty. As an example of clearing and are fully welded. The the pricing, the 13-15m3 feedout wagon

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costs $28,400+GST. “Trailers are our speciality with their simple straight lines giving them strength and they are not over engineered.” Uni Engineering make seven models: the 3t, 5t and the 6t are on single axles; the 8t, 10t 12t, and 16t are on tandem axles. On the first three models the tail boards are manually operated; the rest have hydraulic operation. Steel floors are an option. Trailer pricing: the 6t model costs $13,950+GST and the 8t model $17,990+GST. A two year warranty applies.

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Rural News // june 19, 2012

machinery & products 39

Fieldays launch for fitting RX PLASTICS is set to launch its LD range of glass-reinforced nylon pipe fittings for farm irrigation, its largest yet, says designer and project engineer Chris Clay. National Fieldays will be the launch venue. One year of R&D, prototyping and tooling has gone into the project. This is the first time in the company’s history that such a major product development process has been undertaken, Clay says. The LD products are frost resistant, making them ideal for New Zealand conditions. “This range includes [at least] 100 new fittings, [involving] precision design, tool design, toolmaking, testing and manufacturing. We have been selling LD fittings into the marketplace for 30 plus years and we know the market well. “The sheer number of individual components meant we had to contract multiple tool making companies to carry out the work, and steel had to be bought to make the moulds, which combined make up tonnes of steel.” Manufacturing will be at RX Plastics’ Ashburton factory extending its existing capacity and making full use of other machinery installed there during the past few years. The rural heartland environment suited the development process, Clay says, the company making the most of the ideal field test environment on its doorstep.

“We are able to test our products in the real world, gain valuable customer feedback and ensure we are meeting the requirements of New Zealand farmers simply by working with our local farming community. “The approach has been highly successful with our well known K-Line irrigation and effluent ranges, and we are applying the same approach with the LD product range.” He says the decision to manufacture the range inhouse was made after several changes in the New Zealand LD fittings market among RX’s competitors. “Our customers are now able to buy the full range of irrigation pipe

and fittings from one manufacturer with our guarantee of quality and performance.”

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Rural News // june 19, 2012

40 machinery & products/vintage

Horses retired; drill and owner still working A DUNCAN horsedrawn drill dating back to the 1950s – and then it was second-hand – is still working on a Bay of Plenty, farm in the hands of a member of the original land-owning family.

But the horses are nowadays nowhere to be seen; the drill was hitched to a tractor in early times. Jim Harold, of Pongaroa, tells the story: “In 1945 the farm, comprising 350 acres, was tucked

under the Puketoi Ranges. My brother John and I well recall dad purchasing a 1948 model Fordson Major tractor in 1950. We marvelled at the way the spikes bolted to the rear wheels could make it go

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If you need to bale, we have the baler to suit your need. Exceptional capacity, exceptional density! Distributed by Tulloch Farm Machines Dealers nationwide Ph 0800 88 55 624 www.tulloch.co.nz

anywhere on the property. “Dad’s brother Hugh came and worked on the farm on his return from building airstrips in the Pacific Islands, where he had gained a lot bulldozing skills.

Pest Free Domestic for homes, garages, etc to 200sq,m – $159.90 incl. GST + post. Pest Free PRO for large homes, small offices & factories, etc to 400sq.m – $399.90 incl. GST and post. Pest Free Commercial for dairy sheds, grain mills, factories, etc – $1800 incl. GST + post.

The horse-drawn drill that broke in much of this Pongaroa, Bay of Plenty, property – as useful today as then.

“Together they built a number of dams on the three neighbouring properties Dad had bought, and subsequently the 950 acres was farmed as a single unit. “That Cat D2 did a huge amount of work, not least pulling a Clough single furrow swamp plough through our bullrushes. “About this time or perhaps the late 1950s dad bought the Duncan horsedrawn drill from a local contractor he’d employed from time to time. The hardwood drawbar broke in the 1960s and we replaced it with a metal drawbar. “The D2 pulled it all

over the farm and the drill was excellent on our steep country. The separatecompartment seedboxes kept the bulk seed in place and us kids used to ride on the footplate. “In 1972 John and I bought a neighboring farm and with our father farmed the 1650 acres as a three-way partnership. In those days it carried 6700 stock units before mum and dad retired to Ohope in 1982. Then and John and I ran the Romagnola Cattle Stud on the property for 14 years until selling the stud operation in 1992 to a Brisbane lady. “John and I dissolved our partnership in 1992 and I downsized the

farm to 950 acres before recently selling 400 acres.” Meanwhile he uses the old drill for pasture renewal – sowing brassicas, turnips, swedes and winter kale. And if time allowed he would do more than the 14 acres per annum currently drilled. “Every item on the drill has a specific part number and I still have the seed setup chart that came with the drill. It’s dated 1912-1928 but we don’t understand the significance of those dates. “It might be an old drill, but it still does a good job.... It’s still my favourite and I use it at every opportunity.”

MG series Feeders

The MG feeders keep contamination from getting into the milk, meaning quality for calves. They are self-leveling and have a simple ‘click-andclean’ system so you can quickly wash out the tank and manifolds. With a variety of tank sizes and a range of 26 to 80 teats; it’s perfect for simplifying the whole feeding process on any sized farm!

available at


Rural News // june 19, 2012

machinery & products 41 Recycling pays off for competition winners TEN FARMERS and growers are $500 better off after recycling via the Agrecovery Rural Recycling Container scheme during a recent promotion. Th promoted recycling plastic agrichemical, animal remedy and dairy hygiene containers at 70 collection sites. Those recycling during March and April went in a draw for one of ten $500 vouchers. Ranging from Waipapa in the north to Ashburton in south, the winners included kiwifruit, citrus, potato and bulb growers, a vineyard, livestock farmers, a spray contractor and a biodiesel and oilseed plant. Sales and marketing manager Duncan Scotland says the draw was incentive enough. “We’ve not run a promotion like this before but recent reports of a lack of knowledge or motivation by many to use this free programme made us try something new and it

was clearly a success,” says Scotland. “We collected 26 tonnes of container plastic in the month after the promotion, the first month we’ve exceeded 20 tonnes since the programme began in 2007. “And we saw a jump in new members of [at least] 20% above our usual average, which means it was the push some needed to start recycling with Agrecovery.” During the promotion there was also a reported 60% increase in the number of unique visitors to the website. “It’s great to see more people looking into the recycling and recovery programmes we offer… [and] we saw an increase of nearly 400% on the viewing of some pages including the location of our collection sites, and the list of 56 supporting brand owners whose containers can be recycled for free.” Agrecovery allows free recycling of triple rinsed

Northland FD’s loses pioneer

plastic containers (1-60L) from 56 supporting brand owners. On-property collection may be available for high volume users. The collected plastic is recycled in New Zealand into underground cable covers. Agrecovery also recycles silage plastics, Fiber Fresh feed bags, bale net and crop protection

net, and it recovers large drums and unwantedchemicals. Tel. 0800 AGRECOVERY www.agrecovery.co.nz

Promotion winners Sam and Hannah Morrah at home at Ohineumeri Station in Central Hawke’s Bay with daughters Ottalie and Franca. – Photo courtesy of HB Today

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THE FORMER president of Northland Field Days, David Phillips, died June 6, aged 64. Best known for his involvement in the Northland Field Days, Dave Phillips joined the event committee in 1991, became president in 1994 and serving in that role for 18 consecutive years. A calm, quiet president, he was known as impossible to rattle, keeping his cool even when things appeared to be crumbling. Ross Newlove, a long-time Northland Field Days member, says Dave could get results with only a few words. “Theodore Roosevelt once said ‘speak softly and carry a big stick’. Dave never needed the stick. Everybody respected him so much they always did their best for him.” Under his calm, measured leadership the Northland Field Days went from 245 exhibitors in 1994 to hit milestones of 25,000 visitors and 500 exhibitors between 2004 and 2010. He was also the driving force behind the field days’ purchase of its own property in 2006 and was an active member until his death. The present field days president, Lew Duggan, says the Northland region owes a great deal to what Dave achieved as president. “The legacy Dave and his family leave is immense. He has had a positive and remarkable influence that will stay with most of us for the rest of our lives.” A talented mechanical engineer, Dave built a rotary shed on his farm, as well as trailers and other farm implements for many people around the district. Family was important to him, and he is survived by his wife Maureen, children Maree and Eli, Leanne, Mark and Mallika; grandchildren Top, Christine, Malachi, Isaiah, George, Te Tiale, Pim and Zachary, sisters Pam and Janice, and brother John.

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Rural News // june 19, 2012

42 motoring

Impreza switched on to switching off AS WITH most car makers now, Subaru is all about being ‘fuel-economy correct’. Its new all wheel drive Impreza is no exception and the model makes big gains in fuel efficiency through fuel-saving functions such as Auto Stop Start, a new generation Boxer engine with reduced reciprocating mass and Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT transmission. Official consumption figures are 6.8L/100km in the combined cycle, 22% better than the superseded Impreza automatic. The 6-speed manual consumes

A dual-active valve control system provides performance and efficiency gains, with an 18% reduction in piston weight, 20% reduction in connecting rod weight for major low and mid-range torque improvements. The motor is Euro 5 compliant. Impreza’s body is about 10kg lighter, but its bending stiffness has been increased by about 25%, evident in the tidy handling. The car also rides well and is impressively quiet for a car of this size – part of the overall impression of better quality enhanced by subtle fea-

7.1L/100 km (combined), 20% better than the outgoing 5-speed manual model. The Stop Start feature – which turns the engine off when the car comes to a complete stop then restarts as soon as the driver takes their foot off the brake – is disconcerting at first, but you either get used to it, or turn it off. The new third-generation Boxer motor produces 110kW at 6200 rpm and 196 Newton metres at 4200rpm. The long-stroke design delivers about 10% better fuel economy due to engine changes alone.

tures such as the more tactile nature of the interior surfaces of the Impreza. The Impreza line-up has four models. The 2.0i comes with the choice of Lineartronic (SLT) or 6-speed manual transmission, Auto Start Stop, paddle shift (SLT-only), steering wheel audio and cruise controls, climate control air conditioning, Bluetooth wireless technology, USB connection, multi-function display (fuel efficiency, temperature and clock), body coloured wing mirrors and door handles. The Impreza 2.0i-L adds premium multifunction display with reversing camera, dual zone climate control air

OT60 NEW FOR 2012!

This is truly a 60 teat feeder with our teats spaced so 60 calves can fit in with ease, wider than the OT50 it comes with an 800 litre tank and tandem axle as standard. Simple self cleaning system the OT60 LT will save you time and money feeding calves.

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RURAL NEWS also drove the Impreza’s nattier cousin, the XV, which ticks the ‘cross-over’ box for Subaru and gives it a product to compete with vehicles such as the Mitsubishi ASX and the successful Nissan Quashqai. The body and underlying mechanicals are the same as the Impreza and therefore very good, but the XV has been raised, giving it a useful 220mm of ground clearance, and gets funky alloys with big Geolander rubber plus cosmetic touches reminiscent of a G-Shock watch. Visually it works and gives character to the rather anonymous Impreza donor. On road, the changes to the suspension and wheels give it a harder ride and reduce grip during hard cornering and braking. The jiggly ride was a disappointment after the Impreza, but while less comfort-

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specification) upgraded speedometer, upholstery and trim; alloy pedals, chrome-type front fog light surrounds, chrometype door handle inserts, indicators in wing-mirrors, chrome-type fog light surround and rear garnish

(sedan-only), side skirts and 17-inch alloy wheels. The range topping 2.0iSL has in addition to the ‘S’ model factory fitted satellite navigation, electric sunroof, leather trim and power driver’s seat. The Impreza is priced from $34,990 for the 2.0i manual sedan and hatch.

Coming to a sand dune near you

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FROM $19,274 ex GST

able, it is not unbearable and somehow suits the ‘tougher’ image of the XV (‘tough’ is relative of course – this is no Hummer). Our off-road test extended to a blast through the sand dunes and the XV acquitted itself here superbly, the light weight, good ground clearance and gnarly tires giving it good beach-buggy capability. It should do equally well on farm tracks and back-country lanes if the driver respects the fact that this is essentially a road car.

New Can Am Commander BRP/Can-am SSV dealer team Poland Motors Ltd 343 Rodney Street, Wellsford (09) 423 7788 office@polandatv.co.nz

South Auckland Motors 231 Manukau Rd, Pukekohe 09 237 0490 sales@southaucklandmotors.co.nz

McIndoe Group Motorcycles 44 Waitete Rd, Te Kuiti (07) 8785026 parts@mcindoegroup.co.nz

Hewitts Motorcycles

27 High Street, Dannervirke (06) 374 7701 hewitts.mc@xtra.co.nz

Taranaki Motorcycles 337 Broadway, Stratford (06) 765 6942 taranakimc@xtra.co.nz

Dwains Service Centre

7 Northumberland Street, Tapanui (03) 204 8455 dwains@xtra.co.nz

Marlborough Trials Centre

53 Grove Road, Mayfield, Blenheim (03) 579 2500 montesa@trialsnz.co.nz

Hubbards Machinery

247 Alford Forest Rd, Ashburton (03) 3083539 ian@hubbardsmachinery.co.nz

The CVT transmission is the only sour note with both the Impreza and XV. Though it is the best of its type we’ve encountered, these transmissions are all about efficiency and not driving enjoyment. A manual gearbox in both cars would restore some of the fun and character that the appliance-like CVT robs from the cars. Personal gripe, and one that many drivers will think is neither here nor there. Prices for the XV start at $38,990.

Taranaki Motorcycles

337 Broadway, Stratford 06 765 6942

VOTe YellOW!

taranakimc@xtra.co.nz

Moto Shop

4 Chapel Street, Masterton 06 377 0443 mike@motoshop.co.nz

hORSePOWeR CAN-AM COMMANdeR CAN-AM COMMANdeR kAWASAki TeRYX 750 YAMAhA RhiNO 700 hONdA BiG Red 675

Hubbards Machinery

247 Alford Forest Rd, Ashburton 03 308 3539

Blue Red Dwains Service Centre 7 Northumberland Street, Tapanui GReeN 03 204 8455 dwains@xtra.co.nz Can-Am, Commander ian@hubbardsmachinery.co.nz

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The new option!

225-229 Hilton Highway, Timaru 03 688 7517

from $19,274 ex GST Can-Am SSV Lineu

stewartatv@vodafone.co.nz


Rural News // june 19, 2012

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MIT2497

If you’re quick, you can catch the best Triton we’ve ever built - the Limited Edition Triton Charger X 4WD. For a closer look at the features and exceptional enhancements inside and out, or to book a test drive, visit www.mmnz.co.nz. To see it in the flesh, come and see us at Fieldays or contact your Mitsubishi Dealer now on 0800 54 53 52. *Offer available at participating Mitsubishi Motors dealers until 31 July 2012 or while stocks last. Colour choice and availability is limited. Offer not available to Major Fleet, Lease, Rental or Government purchasers. Advertised price applies to manual model, is GST exclusive and excludes On Road Costs consisting of up to $950 which covers WOF, Registration, 1,000kms Road User Charges where applicable and a full tank of fuel. Auto option available, talk to your Mitsubishi Motors dealer for details.

Rural News 19 June 2012  

Rural News 19 June 2012

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