Page 1

management Making money in the hills... and on the flats. page 28

bee aware Wake up and smell the honey say Beekeepers Association. pages 35-36

Rural NEWS

Exports A potential shift in urban thinking is good news for New Zealand meat exports.

page 11

to all farmers, for all farmers

august 6, 2013: Issue 543 

www.ruralnews.co.nz

Growing cost of RMA P E TE R BU R K E peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

THE OUTGOING president of HortNZ, Andrew Fenton, has attacked regional councils for costing his organisation a third of its budget – costs that continue to mount. Fenton, head of HortNZ for eight years, says in direct costs alone RMA activities cost at least $500,000 annually and he expects this to “be in the millions” if things continue as they are. His remarks to the HortNZ annual conference were made while lawyers for his organisation were involved in a High Court appeal against Horizon Regional Council’s infamous One Plan. “What has happened at Horizons is the tip of an enormous iceberg of misunderstanding, misinformation and misguided decision-making being repeated around the country every day,

affecting growers and the commercial viability of their businesses. “Setting a precedent in the adjudication of the RMA has become an accepted method of leveraging regional strategy. This is dangerous for growers. Just think about it – one regional authority gets something through and the others say ‘that’s a great idea, we’ll do something too’ and so it escalates. Be warned, it will come to your region.” Fenton says HortNZ did not lightly

take the decisions to appeal the Horizons case in the High Court. “But after an enormous amount of anxiety, frustration and full scale debate amongst the board and staff, it was agreed that it was the right thing to do. It’s frustrating that we had to do this in the first place; we shouldn’t need to be paying all this money to defend our rights.” He says HortNZ finished the year 2012 with 43 different legal actions

around the country on RMA issues. “It has become our number-one activity and is the highest portfolio expense for HortNZ and it is growing every day. There can be no complacency over these industry-wide issues, which are critical to every one of our 5500 growers.” Fenton acknowledged it may sound like a battle cry, but growers need to defend their rights and be united against the threats posed by the RMA.

MPI recently increased the number of detector dogs that can sniff out up to 45 different odours and stop all sorts of biosecurity threats crossing our borders. Clara is one new recruit to the dog team and MPI Minister Nathan Guy chose her name. Clara and Guy were centrestage at last week’s HortNZ conference, in Wellington, where a demonstration of the dogs was put on for delegates. More from the conference and border security pages 6-8, 12.

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MIE gets hurry-up PA M T I PA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

Beef+Lamb NZ chairman Mike Petersen has given the Meat Industry Excellence group a hurry up on any proposals for industry restructuring. “We haven’t got a lot of time because next season is coming quickly and if there is going to be something tabled it needs to be tabled within the next two or three weeks,” he told the Beef+Lamb NZ Scene and Herd conference call last week. Petersen says farmers need to interview the companies they supply their livestock to. “I am still surprised that farmers will send $1 million of livestock to a company without interviewing them or the marketing and procurement managers to understand whether they are right for their business. I would demand an interview with every one of them before entering into a contract for a $1 million of supply.” Petersen says Beef+Lamb has funded a proportion of the Meat Industry Excellence group’s costs and will provide funding on any proposal put forward to make sure it’s in the best interest of farmers. “We need to see a proposal that is going to happen, that is going to get underway. We see limited value in funding a whole lot more analysis of industry restructuring if we haven’t got the buy-in from the participants themselves.” We won’t be rushed – Page 4

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Rural News // august 6, 2013

news 3 issue 543

www.ruralnews.co.nz

News������������������������������ 1-16 World������������������������������ 17 markets��������������������� 18-19 agribusiness����������� 20-22 Hound, Edna������������������� 24 Contacts������������������������� 24 Opinion����������������������� 24-27 Management����������� 28-31 Animal Health�������� 32-36 Machinery and Products�������������������37-41 Rural Trader���������� 42-43

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Fonterra payout good news sudes h kissun sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

FONTERRA FARMERS will use the latest payout windfall to improve cashflow and catch up on farm investment, says co-op chairman John Wilson. Lower payout last season and the drought took its toll on many Fonterra farmers, Wilson says. This time last year Fonterra was forced to reduce its forecast payout by 25c to $5.25 as milk powder prices on GDT hovered about US$2600/tonne. This caused cashflow problems onfarm, Wilson

says. “Then came the drought and farmers were really challenged,” he told Rural News. “A higher advance rate provides our farmer shareholders a strong start to the season and the opportunity to grow their own farming businesses. There is a lot of catch-up required in farm as investment.” Fonterra last week lifted its 2013-14 forecast payout by 50c to $7.50/kgMS and announced a dividend of 32c/share, amounting to a forecast cash payout of $7.82/kgMS. At the beginning of the 2013-14 season on June 1, Fonterra expected dairy prices to remain at or near current levels.  However, supply constraints in Europe and China during the northern hemisphere spring have contributed to an increase in dairy prices of 3% over the past two months.  Milk powder prices are hovering about US$5000/tonne. In addition, the New Zealand dollar has weakened against the US dollar. These factors have contributed to our updated forecast,” says Wilson. And with supply tight and demand holding up, Wilson expects prices

Printed by: PMP Print Contacts Editorial: editor@ruralnews.co.nz Advertising material: davef@ruralnews.co.nz Rural News online: www.ruralnews.co.nz Subscriptions: subsrndn@ruralnews.co.nz ABC audited circulation 80,857 as at 31.03.2013

to remain at “elevated levels” for the rest of the year. “Further out it will be a supply/demand issue that will determine dairy commodity prices.” Westpac economist Nathan Penny agrees there’s an upside risk to the payout in the coming months. Supply/ demand and the dollar are the key factors, he says. Westpac predicted a forecast payout of $7.40/kgMS, based on a higher production forecast. Penny believes Fonterra’s most recent forecast for annual production growth sits at 2%. “We are more bullish and predict 5% growth. More milk production means more downward pressure and this may explain some of the 10 cent forecast difference.” Penny says the higher advance rate will be good news for farmers recovering from the drought. Federated Farmers Dairy chairman Willy Leferink says the higher forecast payout and advance rate are great news after a disappointing back end to the last season. “Given this time last year payout forecasts were being pared back, seeing it go up is a huge relief.” Leferink’s advice to farmers is “bank the gains and run a prudent operation”. “As we know from the drought there may still be some climatic surprises to come. “Drought was a major factor behind farm debt growing to about $51.7 billion.  It means much of the forecast, if it sticks, will go back into paying down these credit lines.” Economists estimate the increase to the forecast payout represents a $3.6 billion boost to the economy, or about 1.7% of gross domestic product.

MPI takes the blame for mess The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has admitted that its mistakes led to thousands of tonnes of meat being stranded on wharves in China. A review into how MPI handled the matter shows that the ministry made mistakes when changing the templates used for certifying meat exports to China. These errors resulted in “delayed acceptance of these exports”, according to the acting MPI director general Scott Gallacher. “The mistakes were compounded by a failure to appropriately escalate an emerging issue internally, or to Ministers, once delays to exports began. This review identifies a series of learnings, which we are immediately acting on. It’s clear MPI needs to lift its game with China.” Gallacher says MPI is implementing 25 management actions, which will be completed by July 2014. These include developing an MPI China strategy, investing in more staff and more training to strengthen relationships and understanding between MPI and key Chinese regulators. “We’ll also be renewing efforts to double the resourcing for MPI’s market access team in Wellington from 8 to 16, developing a new issues management system in partnership with the meat industry and improving processes for the identification and management of risks to trade issues, and the escalation of emerging risks internally and to Ministers,” Gallacher added. He says trade with China has tripled in the past five years and the review makes it clear of the need for an improved approach to how MPI works with China and “we are committed to achieving that”.

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Rural News // august 6, 2013

4 news

Don’t rush us – MIE pam tipa pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

THE POSSIBILITY that lamb may prices may top $100 will not take the heat out of the reform process, says Meat Industry Excellence (MIE) head Ross Hyland. But he has brushed off a hurry-up from Beef+Lamb NZ chairman Mike Peterson, who told a B+L conference call last week something needs to be tabled within the next two or three weeks because the next season is coming. But Hyland told Rural News that MIE won’t be rushed and it’s not the timing but the detail which is important. Hyland says the meat companies themselves have been talking about

such things as procurement tradeable rights. Obviously procurement will be a major issue again with a falling volume of lambs and suggestions prices “may be north of $100 a lamb”. “Is that going to mean the heat goes out of the reform? I don’t think so. Processors, key politicians and key stakeholders now understand there has to be change. “The debate now is how that change evolves. Because of the different ownership models of the industry processing sector that is an extremely challenging ask.” Hyland says MIE isn’t just about next season. “MIE is about the next generation – the current crop of farmers’ kids, and their great-grandkids and

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the structure of New Zealand Inc, and how we can ensure the primary sector has a balanced portfolio of exports and not simply milk products. “We are taking a much wider view. We are not into industry good; MIE is focused on the meat sector and particularly the sheep industry because obviously the beef sector, although competitive, remains a commodity [producer] and it’s largely been offset by the growth of dairy anyway. “The real issues are procurement and capacity and if we can fix those two, we will see where the ownership models go in time. “When you’ve got overcapacity of 40% in the market and you’ve got a shrinking supply base, you don’t have to be Einstein to understand things have to give.” Asked about a suggestion that MIE may put up candidates for meat company boards, Hyland says that has not come from

the executive. “There’s bound to be farmers out there who think in those terms, but from our point of view we will get counsel on that while we are seeking advice and clarity to ensure whatever MIE does is supported by professional processes. “We plan to remove the emotional debate because if we are to be credible across the sector with farmers, processors, traders and politicians we have to stand as a professional organisation.” Hyland says he has heard a couple of comments that MIE has gone quiet. “We’ve gone quiet for a good reason: we are working on good quality systems, processes, getting structures in place to ensure this is a long-term gain MIE is prepared to play.” He says more information may come forward by the end of the month, but there is no strict time schedule on that.

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It’s quite a privilege andrew swa l low andrews@ruralnews.co.nz

CENTRAL CANTERBURY farmer and company director Murray Taggart says he feels “quite privileged” to be appointed chair of meat processing cooperative Alliance. Taggart’s appointment was announced late last month and takes effect October 1 when incumbent Owen Poole retires after nearly six years at the helm as an independent director. Taggart is also due to retire from the board by rotation this year but will be seeking re-election, he says. Given the current angst about the future of the meat industry, in particular the sheep sector, it seems likely he’ll be challenged for his seat. It’s a situation he’s familiar with having lost to Meat Industry Action Group nominees Mark Crawford and Jason Miller in 2007, only to oust Crawford in 2010. “I have no idea whether I will be challenged,” Taggart told Rural News last week. “All I can do is hope we will be judged on the things we can influence, rather than on the things we can’t influence.” Taggart says it wouldn’t be appropriate for him to comment on company policy or the state of the meat industry while Poole is still in the chair but he did outline his career to date. After graduating BAgSc at Lincoln University he worked for ANZ Bank for seven years before going farming in 1990. “I always wanted to farm but didn’t have enough money initially.” He still farms the first 193ha he bought at Cust, between Oxford and Rangiora, and has leased and bought further blocks nearby to farm 457ha today. Irrigation was added in 1999 through the Waimakariri scheme, bringing an intensification of operations from sheep plus a couple of paddocks of crop to cropping 300ha with a ewe flock and lamb and cattle finishing on the remainder. He was a Nuffield Scholar in 1996 and a regional recipient of an FMG Rural Excellence Award in 2006. He gained an Alliance board seat in

2002, prompting him to resign as Federated Farmers Meat and Fibre national chairman after two years in that role. “I was heavily involved in the reforms of meat and wool boards.” That included chairing the industry stakeholder group which oversaw the now infamous McKinsey report on the wool sector. Reflecting on the state of the wool industry today, he says the problem is wool remains an “industrial raw mate-

Murray Taggart

rial” competing on price with other industrial fibres such as nylon or cotton. “It’s very easy to sit there and blame industry structures but the price movements in wool are no different to in the meat industry: supply and demand is still a major factor.” To clear the way for the chairman’s role with Alliance he’s resigned directorships with CRT and Southern Farms, but remains on the board of Ballance Agrinutrients. Poole signalled his retirement during last year’s round of shareholder meetings. He was chief executive of Alliance 1995-2005 and was appointed to the board in 2008.  Alliance’s board has nine directors, six elected by farmer shareholders and three independents appointed for the commercial skills they bring to the board.

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Rural News // august 6, 2013

news 5

New Food HQ a magnet for innovators organisations and to serve government stakeholders in a more joined-up way.” A NEW food science hub The aim of Food HQ is is to be set up at Massey help double New Zealand’s University’s Palmerhigh value food exports to ston North campus, with $60 billion per annum. hopes that private comMeanwhile, Science panies will choose to clusand Innovation Minister ter there. Steven Joyce will judge the ‘Food HQ’ is a colsuccess of FoodHQ by the laboration between number of priMassey, Fonvate compaterra, AgResearch, “Food HQ is about a nies attracted Plant and Food, to join. He told the Riddet Insticultural shift towards at the tute, the Bio Combeing highly collaborative guests launch that it merce Centre and and taking on the world has his supthe Palmerston port, but he had North City and as opposed to taking a clear of vision Manawatu District on each other. The of how to meacouncils. sure its success. The aim is to idea is to minimise the create a unique competitiveness between need“We more ‘food hub’ on the organisations and to serve private sector Massey campus site, for greater government stakeholders companies on the site and collaboration in a more joined-up way.” I’m a strong between the believer in founders. Food that. You’ve HQ has a 12-year got Fonterra and that’s “As well as developing time horizon during which fantastic and you have new infrastructure, Food about $250 million is a few others which is expected to be spent to get HQ is about a cultural good, but you need more shift towards being highly it running to its potential. investment from private collaborative and taking The partnership has on the world as opposed to sector companies big and been run loosely for a small. That will really time; Food HQ formalises taking on each other. The create the innovation that idea is to minimise the that collaboration. The gets things humming.” competitiveness between project will involve new P E TE R BU R K E

buildings for AgResearch which last week said it plans to move more staff there. Project manager Mark Ward told Rural News the aim is food innovation and getting more formal collaboration by the thousands of scientists working in food technology.

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Scoop for the 2 Steves THE TWO Steves – Massey vice chancellor Steve Maharey and Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce – were among the first to sample a new formulation of ice cream developed by staff and students at Massey’s Institute of Food Nutrition and Health. Initially it was thought that a Singaporean student working on the project had got the quantities for an additive to the mixture wrong, but as luck would have it she was right. The result was a winner and so the brand Scoop was created. It took about a year to fully develop the delicious ice cream to its present state.

Yes, it was bad! Peter Burke

NIWA SCIENTIST Dr Brett Mullan says the country may expect more droughts like the recent one. Mullan was one of a NIWA team that reported on the drought to MPI. The report says what most suspected: the recent drought was one of the worst ever, certainly the worst since 1945-46. And it was one of the most widespread, only Horowhenua and parts of the lower South Island escaping its effects. The drought was caused by the

general southwards movement of high pressures down over New Zealand, Mullan says. “We can see from pressure records that this has been happening for the last 100 years. There is quite a strong trend towards high pressures in the summer across New Zealand. We also expect more of that in future from the climate models as C02 builds up and the climate warms.” Similar droughts have struck before, but this last was especially bad. High pressure systems are known to move across New Zealand

in summer without causing drought, depending on conditions in spring and where the highs are centred, Mullan says. “On this occasion they were centred very much in the Tasman Sea and this kept the anti-cyclonic flow over New Zealand.” Despite the severity of the recent drought Mullan says farmers need not take drastic action. They should do the obvious such as conserving water or planting grass species that handle droughts better. Climate Change report see p12


Rural News // august 6, 2013

6 news: hortnz conference Biosecurity getting better – Fenton P E TER BU R K E

No risk impossible – Minister PETER BURK E

BIOSECURITY MANAGEMENT has improved hugely, says HortNZ’s outgoing president, Andrew Fenton. Under the new Minister for Primary Industry, Nathan Guy, there’s been a step-up in MPI’s performance in this area, Fenton says. Fenton has formerly been highly critical of the present government’s approach to biosecurity, openly clashing a year ago with then Minister of Primary Industry, David Carter. But Fenton now says there’s no doubt Nathan Guy is taking the issue seriously, with increased spending on new technology and more dog detector teams. The system is now one of the best in the world, he says. Reflecting on his eight years leading HortNZ, Fenton says his major achievement has been creating the new organisation and successfully bringing together the

various groups that make it up. “Unity is what keeps the representation together and makes it influential. It’s the unity of growers that government recognises and it’s the one major advantage we have.” The price growers get for their produce is still the biggest challenge facing members, Fenton says. He warns if growers don’t make money they won’t be farming for long. “There is [a lot] of pressure on retail, not just from supermarkets, but all retailers. They want the best value and – of course – the consumer wants the cheapest and best produce. “So you’ve got a demand from

the consumer, as well, that the product has to be cheap…. [Consumers] have to recognise that to eat fresh fruit and vegetables they need to have profitable growers.” Fenton says growers also need to indulge in some fresh thinking and look at ways they can add value to their products by developing new varieties. “It’s not about producing the same product year in, year out and putting it on the same market year in, year out. It’s not about more volume; it’s about more value,” he explains. “There’s got to be smart thinking and growers have got to be the ones to lead that.” @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

PRIMARY INDUSTRIES Minister Nathan Guy says it’s simply impossible to eliminate all risk of a biosecurity incursion into New Zealand. But he told delegates to last week’s HortNZ conference that overall New Zealand has a world-class biosecurity system. Even if all trade and travel into New Zealand were stopped, the risk of a biosecurity breach could not be guaranteed and the challenge is to manage risk. “To illustrate our challenge, let me provide some context: about 175,000 items cross our border each day, and we receive about 10 million travellers a year. It is simply not possible, for example, to do an exhaustive search of every item, in every container, in every consignment that arrives in New Zealand. So what we need to do, and what MPI does, is work smartly to manage risk at every level of the biosecurity system and to provide the best level of protection.” Guy says claims of cuts to biosecurity operations are wrong. Funding in this area has doubled since 2000 and a major programme is underway to improve the exist-

ing system. “Late last year, we recruited 45 quarantine inspectors. In January, we recruited another 11, and we are in the process of recruiting another 30. MPI’s biosecurity detector dog programme has also Nathan Guy expanded its operational capacity, with 34 teams now active nationally.” Guy told conference-goers that 11 new x-ray machines will replace existing ones at Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown airports. A new x-ray image trial at Melbourne Airport, which enables bags to be checked before they arrive in New Zealand, is working well and may be extended to other airports. Guy also praised HortNZ for its “constructive engagement” on biosecurity issues and says he’s excited about horticulture’s plans to boost productivity and increase exports.

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Rural News // august 6, 2013

news: HortNZ Conference 7

Slick produce marketing for the new age P E TE R BU R K E

A WORLD expert in food marketing likes New Zealand’s ‘100% pure’ brand and reckons it works well for tourism and food. David Hughes, emeritus professor of food marketing at Imperial College, London, told Horticulture New Zealand’s annual conference in Wellington last week that the New Zealand brand fits well with China, where food integrity and safety is a big issue. He says New Zealand can deliver on that brand proposition and while we are not alone in this, it puts us in a small, elite group of countries that can. Hughes says China is not a panacea for New Zealand and we must ensure a good balance of markets – including emerging markets such as China. However, he believes food quality and safety is a competitive advantage and that in Europe there will be a recalibrating of prices, which will mean consumers will end up paying more for produce. But he says supermarkets will still use price as a means of gaining market share. Getting a bargain is becoming fashionable and supermarkets and consumers are looking for deals. “It’s now fashionable to be a scrimper and saver and there are programmes on radio and television every night showing how to be a smart shopper. So we are being trained to be smarter. In part this is linked to the recession

and partly to guilt – people saying we shouldn’t waste food. In fact, we throw away a third of fresh food.” It’s been said the recession and tough times cause people to eat out less and spend more time in the kitchen. But the latter is not true; ‘convenience’ food, in whatever form, is still a huge driver, Hughes says. “While you may be preparing a meal at home, essentially what you do is ‘bolt together’ ingredients pre-prepared by the supermarket, which has effectively taken the labour out of meal preparation. That’s a challenge for us in fresh produce, because it means we need to add more value in our packing sheds or somebody else will just do that.” UK supermarkets have set up shelf space devoted to ‘nites in’, where consumers can readily buy a range of ingredients including such things as wine to conveniently and quickly produce a ‘home meal’. “What the supermarket is saying is we want to take the business from the movies, the theatres and from the food service sector, because you can do it all at home. At the supermarket you can download the film, buy the popcorn and buy the ‘big night in’ package. It saves you money and what’s more you’ll have fun.” – More HortNZ Conference coverage p12

‘Pick and click’ the way ahead PROFESSOR HUGHES says ordering on the internet or phoning orders to supermarkets in the UK is becoming more common. It’s called ‘pick and click’. “Take my younger son with three children. His wife does pick and click at 10 o’clock on a Thursday night and when she drops the kids to school the next day she goes past the supermarket and picks up the ready-picked and packed groceries.” Technology is being widely used in supermarkets around the world to ‘reward’ regular customers. Hughes says when he walks into his local supermarket the microchip in his loyalty card is instantly recognised and as he shops he may receive special personal offers of bargains on his smart phone.

Prof David Hughes

“For example, I might like peaches and on a given day they could offer me a special deal on these available to no one else in the store.” Technology at the supermarket till is also huge. “Tesco works out whether

you would have paid more or less at its direct competitor. If they calculate at the till you paid, say, 5 pounds more at Tesco, they give you a coupon right there for that 5 pound difference. It’s sexy, sophisticated technology.”

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Rural News // august 6, 2013

8 news: Hortnz conference

Key focus on Korea – PM peter burke peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

PRIME MINISTER John Key says the New Zealand horticultural sector is well placed to capitalise on a new trend that’s emerging among consumers – the desire to eat food that’s healthy and nutritional. Key was guest speaker at HortNZ’s conference dinner last week, where he presented the Bledisloe Cup to the ‘grower of the year’. He told delegates consumers are not eating food because they have to or to entertain themselves or others. Many consumers, especially ageing ones, want top-quality food and New Zealand can supply this. “Not only do they trust our food implicitly, they know the taste of it is magnificent and they know what they are buying is healthy for them. “Manuka honey is great example. There is a massive market for manuka honey in Asia among consumers who want to eat that product because they believe it will be good for their long term health.” Key, recently returned from Korea, says

Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are critical for the expansion of New Zealand’s agricultural and horticultural sector. He hopes to settle an FTA with Korea, where tariffs significantly disadvantage New Zealand primary exporters, especially kiwifruit growers. “New Zealand sells $1.6 billion of products to Korea each year, but we pay $200 million in tariffs. Korea on the other hand sells about the same volume of goods to New Zealand and they pay just $5 million. There is a clear unfairness in that.” Key says Korea is a market New Zealand should care about because it has 50 million consumers with an average income the same as New Zealanders’. For comparison, many Chinese are wealthy but the per capita income in China is much lower than in Korea. “If we get an FTA with Korea it will save your industry tens of millions of dollars and you’ll have a good market to sell into.” Key says the horticultural industry is critically important to New Zealand and it’s a well-run industry which has never been afraid to grasp new technology.

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The battle of the Bledisloe LORD BLEDISLOE, governor-general of New Zealand in the 1930s, did much to encourage excellence by donating trophies. These include the Ahuwhenua Trophy for excellence in Maori farming and of course the cup for the annual rugby duel with Australia. He also donated a cup for hor-

ticulture, which PM John Key presented at this year’s HortNZ conference. Before presenting the cup to this year’s recipients – Joe and Fay Gock of South Auckland (pictured) – Key mused that the Aussies would never win it if the competition was for tomatoes because he claimed the Aussie fruit don’t taste anywhere

near as good as New Zealand’s. “We’ve lived a lot of places in the world – including the US, UK and Singapore,” Key said. “My wife’s favourite fruit is tomatoes and it’s a fact New Zealand tomatoes are packed full of taste and a fantastic product,” he says. [See more on the Gocks on page 12]

Opportunities for wheat AND REW SWA LLOW

BURGEONING DEMAND for wheat in South East Asia could mean a brighter future for New Zealand’s hard-pressed cropping farmers, judging by the comments of a milling sector expert to a Foundation of Arable Research meeting late last month. Former international flour miller, now consultant, Nasir Azudin told growers and industry delegates gathered in Ashburton how rapid economic and population growth in Indonesia, Vietnam, the Phillipines, and Malaysia means demand for wheat is set to soar. Even if New Zealand can’t find niche

markets for its wheat in those countries, their demand will draw wheat from Australia, competing with demand from New Zealand mills suggesting the domestic market here could firm. Azudin says the number of flour mills in Indonesia alone has jumped from 14 in 2010 to 21 now, with a combined capacity of 8.5mt/year of wheat, and that will jump another 2mt/year next year. Per capita consumption of wheat in Indonesia is just 21kg/year, compared to about 150kg/head/year in Australia and New Zealand. With a population of 250m, just a 2kg/head/year increase in that wheat intake equates to an extra half million tonne demand.

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Rural News // august 6, 2013

news 11

Resurgence of complementary seasonal supply pam tipa pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

A POTENTIAL shift in trendy urban thinking from ‘buy local’ to ‘buy best-in-season’ is good news for New Zealand meat exports, says Craig Hickson of Progressive Meats. It would help accelerate what he sees is a resurgence of selling New Zealand seasonal meat exports in a complementary arrangement with

“There has been New Zealand meat company representation in Europe for many years and still is. There are customers who have specifically British lamb during their peak and New Zealand as their alternate.” Northern Hemisphere supply. A recent discussion with a US long-term industry person, who also inclines to alternative lifestyles, showed a transition from buying local to

buying best-in-season. “That was California where they tend to lead some of the thought-process fashion trends in the world,” Hickson, Progressive Meats’ founder and managing director, told

China wants whole lambs MEAT COMPANIES are getting queries from the Chinese about the supply of whole lamb carcases, Hickson confirmed. And he used the example of the Merino clothing company Icebreaker to illustrate why this was not necessarily a bad thing. He was answering a question about the risk of what has happened in other manufacturing industries such as clothing, where value-added opportunities have gone offshore because of lower labour and operational costs. Progressive Meats, and no doubt other meat companies, received daily inquiries from China, recently about whole carcases or carcases cut in a simple way. Risks needed to be covered by not having all eggs in one basket. But with processing there were two chief things they wanted to hold to: supplier relationship and customer relationship.

“If I use the analogy of Icebreaker – they have got the supplier relationship, in Merino wool suppliers, and they’ve got the brand and customer relationship. They get it manufactured in the most efficient and least-cost manner to enable them to service the needs of their customers.” If some of our meat processing was to occur in China in future, in principle he wasn’t opposed to it. “But I would want to ensure we had the relationship with the customers so we were in control of the value chain.” However, earlier Hickson said a characteristic of the “voracious” Chinese market is they tend to value different cuts from a carcase at much the same amount. So that’s been a huge benefit because we have been able to sell the lower value cuts closer to the average carcase price to China, but still get top prices for the better cuts in other export markets.

the Beef+Lamb NZ Scene and Herd conference call. “We can never be local in terms of supply but we certainly can be best in season. I see a resurgence in this area where we have complementary supply in different hemispheres.” Complementary supply was actually the genesis of our industry back in 1882 when all carcases went to

England, until they joined the European Union, he says. Hickson, who added a Welsh meat plant to his business portfolios in 2012, said Welsh lamb is already being used for complementary supply into UK and Europe. “There has been New Zealand meat company representation in Europe for many years and still is. There are customers who have specifically British lamb during their peak and New Zealand as their alternate.” But using complementary northern/southern hemisphere seasonal

the farmgate, but when it leaves the meat companies, it was in many different forms and cuts for many different markets.

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supply was trickier in North America where the lamb population was lower. And from a marketing point of view you have to weigh up the disadvantage of putting an alternative brand or company from yours in front of customers, Hickson says. Beef+Lamb NZ chairman Mike Petersen said the complementary supply might work for some cuts but not for others. For some premium markets and some cuts, New Zealand supply was year-round. Hickson says farmers see a whole carcase leaving

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Rural News // august 6, 2013

12 news

60 years of innovation recognised with award AN ELDERLY Chinese couple, Joe and Fay Gock, who among many things pioneered an innovative system for storing kumara, are this year’s HortNZ Grower of the Year. The pair were presented with the award – the Bledisloe Cup – by Prime Minister John Key at HortNZ’s gala dinner last week.

Joe and Fay, both born in China, have been commercial growers near Mangere, Auckland, for 60 years. During that time, they have been regarded as two of the most innovative commercial growers in New Zealand. In the 1960s – in conjunction with the then DSIR – the Gocks developed a system of

storing kumaras which reduced the loss from rotting from 60% to under 1%. They also developed seedless watermelons and were the first people to put stickers on individual fruit to distinguish them from other competitors. The Gocks were also noted for the rhubarb

they grew, which is regarded as a difficult crop to grow. Joe and Fay Gock are also renowned for their work within the Chinese community and feature in a book about Chinese growers called ‘Sons of the Soil’. Ben James, of Hastings, was named Young Grower of the Year.

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New ‘Raine’ begins THE NEW president of HortNZ, Nelson fruit and berry grower Julian Raine, says he’s looking forward to his role and the challenges ahead. He told Rural News he stood for president because he felt he could offer something to horticulture and the respective product groups and fruit and vegetable grower associations that make up the organisation. Like his predecessor, Andrew Fenton, Raine Julian Raine sees the big challenge as the Resource Management Act, and the cost of doing business in New Zealand. Other challenges include getting enough good quality labour, biosecurity, country-of-origin labelling and getting the 22 product groups and HortNZ to work in sync. Raine was raised on his family’s sheep and beef and dairy farm and he still runs this. “Unfortunately, Nelson is more known as a horticulture region than a livestock region; so when I came out of university I felt I should be more upto-date and in tune with the crops that grow well in Nelson,” he says. He’s been a grower for 30 years and has apples, kiwifruit, boysenberries, blackcurrants and hops on his property. He’s a former director of the NZ Boysenberry Council and chair of the Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust and a trustee of the Massey-Lincoln Agricultural Industry Trust. Raine says his first priority in his new role will be to oversee the completion of the ‘future focus’ report and dealing with the action points which come out of this. – Peter Burke

More floods, winds and storms coming peter burke peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

THE GOVERNMENT’S chief science advisor says farmers can expect more flooding and high wind events. Sir Peter Gluckman has just released a detailed 20-page report on climate change, which updates scientific thinking on the subject and sets out the implications of climate change for sectors including land-based industries. Gluckman says the science of climate change is complex and evolving and can be difficult for lay people and policy makers to ‘navigate’. He says in the medium term (30 – 40 years) New Zealanders, in particular farmers, will have to devise new strategies to adapt to the “expectation and frequency” of extreme events. The report warns farmers to expect more frequent severe flooding and high wind events, and with greater extremes which will affect yield and quality of produce. It also says because of the decrease in frosts, pests are more likely to survive and new exotic pests and diseases may become established. And wetter conditions in winter and spring will likely encourage “pathogen proliferation”. In regards to horticulture, the reports suggests that as the climate changes it may be possible to grow some crops now confined to northerly regions further south. This may include some grape varieties. Arable farmers will find the yield and quality of broadacre crops affected, but on the other hand warming temperatures may increase the number of growing days. Pastoral farmers may see the grass grow faster in spring, but in summer and autumn, grass growth could be reduced because of droughts. Farmers may have to shift to fastergrowing but lower-energy grass species and away from higher energy-providing traditional ryegrass.


Rural News // august 6, 2013

news 13

Synlait’s launch milks strong market support su d es h ki ssu n sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

CANTERBURY MILK processor Synlait’s successful listing could be a sign of things to come. Stockbroker Grant Williamson says it shows confidence in the dairy sector and should open the eyes of other shareholders of private companies in the sector. Williamson, a director of Hamilton Hindin Greene in Christchurch, expects private companies to look at listing shares following Synlait’s NZX debut. Synlait began trading on the NZX last month. Launched at $2.20, the share price jumped to $2.80 on July 24 before retreating to $2.64 last week. Demand for Synlait shares was high; most investors ended up with fewer than they sought. Williamson says some of his clients also had to

settle for fewer shares. “Not everyone got what they wanted but it was a very successful listing and there was a lot of demand for shares,” he told Rural News. Williamson says Dutch co-op FrieslandCampina’s 7.5% stake meant a good chunk of shares on offer were out of reach for most investors. John Penno There were fewer shares left for other potential investors, he says. He says Synlait’s decision to spin out its farming business and concentrate on milk processing was a good move. “Remember that some years ago Synlait failed to get enough investor support to float its shares. It’s a different beast today. The farms are a

GDT turns five GLOBAL DAIRY Trade (GDT) last month completed US$10 billion in cumulative sales since its inception five years ago. GDT director Paul Grave says it will mark its 100th trading event next month, confirming its role as “a neutral, trusted market place for dairy products around the world”. “Currently we are trading over 900,000 MT of dairy products annually,” he says.

GDT offers nine product categories to 800 bidders from all over the world. The sales platform was launched by Fonterra, which offers milk powder, cheese and butter. Other sellers are Euroserum, the world’s largest producer of demineralised whey powder, Indian dairy co-op Amul, Australian co-op Murray Goulburn, Dutch co-op Arla and DairyAmerica.

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separate business and the demand for dairy products globally means investors like putting their money into dairy processors.” Synlait’s launch followed the float last November of Fonterra TAF (trading among farmers) where investors can buy units in shares and receive dividends from the co-op. But Williamson says apart from being dairy processors, there shouldn’t be too many comparisons between Synlait and Fonterra. “Fonterra is s fully fledged dairy processor and pays a dividend; Synlait has indicated it won’t be paying any dividends for some time. Synlait is going through a growth phase. So they are two different beasts.” The company raised $75 million new capital which will pay down debt and access funding for growth initiatives. Three overseas companies are major shareholders: Bright Dairy of China holds 39.1%, Japan’s Mitsui & Co 8.4%, and FrieslandCampina 7.5%. Managing director and co-founder of Synlait Milk John Penno says it is clear many investors see it as a strategic asset in the New Zealand dairy industry and an opportunity to invest in a business clearly committed to creating more value from milk.

The 2013 PGG Wrightson / Ballance Agri-Nutrients ‘Cash for Communities’ scheme raised $50,000 for rural community funding. The four month scheme, which closed at the end of May, saw PGG Wrightson and participating suppliers contribute $1 per tonne of Ballance Agri-Nutrients fertiliser bought and $1 per $500 spent on selected agri-chemical or seed products to schools and charities selected by farmers who bought through the rural retailer.

At least 1700 farmers registered for the scheme earmarking funding for 175 rural community organisations. About $22,000 will go to rural schools, rescue helicopters will get $12,000 and St John $14,000. Stephen Guerin, PGG Wrightson general manager retail, said the success of the scheme reflected a “genuine commitment by farmers and suppliers to support organisations needing assistance to survive in rural communities”.

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Rural News // august 6, 2013

14 news

No more shonky electrical jobs su d es h ki ssu n sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

THE DAYS of getting electrical work done without a compliance certificate are over. Legislation introduced last month requires electricians to hand their customers a certificate of compliance or an electrical safety certificate when the job is finished. The Electrical Contractors Association of New Zealand (ECANZ) warns

farmers and homeowners they could face problems insuring or selling properties if they cannot produce a certificate. ECANZ chief executive Neville Simpson says anecdotal evidence suggests a lot of electrical work is being done by unlicensed persons. He says rural dwellers may sometimes find it expensive to call out electricians, preferring to do the work themselves. “The problem is that insurance companies will

knock back claims where compliance certificates are not provided,” he told Rural News. “Also, when selling a property, farmers will be required to produce compliance certificates for all electrical installations.” Simpson says there’s also a serious risk to life and property if electrical work is done by unlicensed people. Electricians have always been required to provide a certificate of compliance or safety cer-

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Legislation now requires electricians to hand a certificate of compliance of electrical safety certificate when a job is completed.

cate depending on the risk level of the work, and if they don’t offer you should be asking for one.” Simpson says anyone planning electrical work should ensure the electrician they plan to engage is licensed, before work begins, and keep a copy of the certification once it is completed. @rural_news

$10,000 guarantee ECANZ MASTERELECTRICIANS (ME) branded members issue the organisation’s branded certificate of compliance which also carries a $10,000 workmanship guarantee. Customers not satisfied with a member’s work can ask ECANZ for support in resolving the situation. ECANZ has a membership of 1250 electrical contracting businesses. Members are required to demonstrate and carry a minimum of $5 million public liability insurance to operate under the organisation’s ME scheme.

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HUNDREDS OF #buybritish banners are springing up all over the UK countryside. Launched by farmers and growers, the campaign aims to get the British public to buy more local food. NFU says banners are being erected at or near prime locations so as many people as possible can see them in the hope they will throw their support behind British farming and 200 farmers and growers are backing the scheme. NFU president Peter Kendall says the banner campaign has been

extremely popular with farmers and growers taking up the challenge of urging the public to buy British. “It’s an incredibly simple but effective way of using their land to promote the campaign itself and the good work they do on-farm so they can ensure more British food ends up on more British plates.” The #buybritish campaign has been timed to coincide with the Trust the Red Tractor initiative, a food assurance scheme started by farmers, food producers and retailers.

Richard Cattell, head of marketing and communications for Red Tractor Assurance, says the campaign is an excellent way to get people thinking about where their food comes from. “Now more than ever it’s important to know the food you are buying comes from a trusted source,” he says. “The banner campaign will enable us to tell the British public why it is important to trust the Red Tractor in an eye-catching and memorable way.”

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Notice of Election 2013 Board of Directors Election of TWO (2) Directors Invitation for Candidate Nominations In October two member elected Directors retire from the Board of DairyNZ Incorporated. DairyNZ therefore invites registered members to nominate candidates to fill the two vacancies. All members of DairyNZ (farmers paying a levy on milksolids to DairyNZ) are eligible to stand for election. An information pack outlining Director attributes and nomination requirements can be obtained from the Returning Officer. Nominations must be received by the Returning Officer by 12 noon on Friday 30 August 2013.

Elections If more than two nominations are received an election will be carried out by postal, fax and internet voting using the STV (Single Transferable Vote) voting method. Votes will be weighted by annual milksolids production. Voter Packs will be posted on 17 September 2013 to all registered levy payers. Voting closes at 12 noon on Wednesday 16 October 2013. The DairyNZ Annual Meeting will be held in Taranaki on Thursday 17 October 2013 at 1.30pm. The AGM venue details will be confirmed in the voter pack to be sent to all members. Election results will be announced at the meeting. For further details contact the Returning Officer as below. Anthony Morton Returning Officer – DairyNZ Inc 0508 666 556 elections@electionz.com

Rural News // august 6, 2013

16 news

Science excluded from land farming debate peter burke peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

SCIENCE IS being excluded from the debate over land farming in Taranaki. That’s the claim of Taranaki Regional Council’s director of environment quality, Gary Bedford. Land farming is a practice where biodegradable waste including small quantities of hydrocarbons adhering to mud and rock cuttings Before... from oil drilling is integrated back into the soil on farms to naturally degrade and co-incidentally to improve fertility. It has been done mostly on dairy farms in Taranaki. But,under pressure from enviNotice of Election ronmentalists, Fonterra says it Board won’t collect milk 2013 from any new of Directors farms that adopt this practice. The Election of TWO (2) Directors co-op confirmed to Rural News that Invitation for Candidate Nominations it is certain there is no food safety In October two member elected Directors retire from the Board of DairyNZ issue in respect of land farming. But Incorporated. DairyNZ therefore invites registered members to nominate Fonterra says to thefillhigh testcandidates thecost twoofvacancies. All members of DairyNZ (farmers ingpaying the land underlies its decision. a levy on milksolids to DairyNZ) are eligible to stand for election. An information pack outlining Director Bedford says land farming has attributes and nomination requirements candone be obtained from for the 12 Returning been in Taranaki years Officer. Nominations must be received by the Returning Officer by 12 noon on Friday 30 August 2013. and the process is a “robust and sci- waste land paddocks, usually cov- 10,000 oil wells per year in Alberta, Elections entifically environmental sound” ered in blackberry or very sandy whereas we have had about 600 and lacking fertility. the scrub way of handling waste from drilling. If more than two nominations are received an election willOnce be carried out by wells in Taranaki in 150 years. postal, fax and votinghave using the STV (Single Transferable Vote) voting “And conditions in Canada are has been cleared away, the land is “All sorts ofinternet allegations method. will the be weighted annual milksolids production. Voter much harsher than in Taranaki. the topsoil is removed been madeVotes about practice by flattened, Packs will be posted on 17 September 2013 to all registered levy payers. which are not consistent with the and waste is applied, usually in the They have very thin soils which Voting 12that noon on Wednesday 16a October 2013. The DairyNZ are frozen for up to six months as form of de-watered slurry. facts. As closes a resultat of pressure Annual Meeting willabe held in TaranakiStrict on Thursday October apply 2013 at opposed to our rich volcanic soils consent17 conditions Fonterra has made ‘marketing’ 1.30pm. The AGM venue details will be confirmed in the voter pack to be and temperate climate, which make and degradation of waste is closely decision not to pick up milk from sent to all members. Election results will be announced at the meeting. it much easier for the hydrocarbons monitored by the council. any new land farm sites.” For details contact Returning Once Officerthe as all below. clear is given, nor- to degrade.” Hefurther says this now raisesthe quesAnthony Morton Bedford says the Canadian scitions about land farms because mally in about 18 months, the top Returning DairyNZ they are onOfficer dairy –farms andIncthe soil is replaced and grass seed and ence is very robust, but the coun0508 666 556 farmers concerned have been get- fertiliser are applied to re-establish cil has been, and is doing, further elections@electionz.com research to ensure the ecological ting much better production. “The pasture. Bedford says good science state of soils on land farms is safe. way I see it, Fonterra has been put into a position where this decision underlies this process, including He says a Crown research institute Farmers Weekly 13x3 has nothing to do with science or excellent research from Alberta, is now doing more research for the Canada, where this work is exten- council and an agricultural scienenvironmental performance.” Bedford says typically a farmer sive – “far greater than we’ve seen tist, Dr Doug Edmeades, is doing has made available his scrubby in Taranaki. They deal with up to work on the productivity gains

... After

made on land farms. He says the only negative effect found so far is compaction of the land by tractors used to prepare the ground for the waste material. Bedford says farmers are unhappy about Fonterra’s decision because they have lost a tool to improve their pasture. Farmers are also unhappy about the ill-informed comments made in the media. The problem how is what to do with the waste, Bedford says. “There are only two options: bury it deeper, safe but silly because you are not solving the problem; or look at going to a landfill, which is a waste of expensive landfill space. “Land farming means you are solving the problem and [enhancing things for] the farmer.”

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Rural News // august 6, 2013

world 17

Farmers aim to keep chemicals out of terrorists hands SU D ESH K I SSU N

AUSTRALIAN FARMERS are backing a Government initiative to prevent potentially dangerous chemicals falling into the hands of terrorists. A new national code of practice containing tips for businesses to assess and prevent chemical security risks has been welcomed by the National Farmers Federation (NFF). The code, launched last month by Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus, highlights security gaps where chemicals could be taken and misused by terrorists. Australian authorities have identified 96 chemicals of security concern. Of these, eleven have been identified as being particularly high-risk because they can be used to make homemade explosives. These eleven chemicals are the subject of the voluntary code. Three chemicals – hydrogen peroxide, nitric acid and sodium azide – are used in the dairy industry. Potassium nitrate is used by fertiliser manufacturers. NFF chief executive Matt Linnegar says farmers rely on having access to safe and effective chemicals as they help control pests, weeds and diseases. “There are strict laws governing the handling, use, transport and storage of chemicals on farms, and the NFF has worked with the Government on this initiative to ensure it aligns with the existing tight regulatory arrangements for agricultural chemicals.  “This is not about making it harder for farmers to access chemicals, but rather about farmers keeping an eye out for anything suspicious and reporting it to the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400,” says Linnegar.

As part of development of the code, the Australian Government has assessed a number of chemicals of security concern, many of which are important to farmers, helping them to sustainably produce food and fibre. “As one of the largest users of chemicals in Australia, farmers already play a crucial role in ensuring they monitor the security of chemicals on their farms, including keeping them stored in dedicated, lockable storage areas,” says Linnegar. “Farmers are also encouraged to report anything suspicious, including unauthorised access to private property and any chemical theft, to the authorities.  “Farmers, like all Australians, can play a role in helping to keep the country free from terrorism.” Dreyfus says the code is for importers, distributors, transporters, universities, farmers, hardware stores, pool chemical suppliers and any other sector using these chemicals. “We have worked with industry to develop a voluntary code that can be incorporated into existing security management procedures,” he says. “We all want to make sure that Australia remains a safe and resilient country.  Good security is good for business. Not only does it protect valuable stock, it also helps keep Australians safe.”

demark of Zoetis Inc. or its subsidiaries. ACVM Registration No. A3585, A6926. *Based on number of doses sold in NZ. Market Research data on file.

Aussie Chinese meat exports grow product. “Along with increased lamb slaughter and production in AusAUSTRALIAN SHEEPMEAT tralia, the ongoing strong economic exports to China during the 2012-13 conditions and growth in China are financial year leapt 91% to a record expected to lead to a further increase 69,860 tonnes, boosted by a more in lamb exports in 2013,” MLA says. than five-fold year-on-year lift in Chinese sheepmeat imports mutton exports to 35,867 tonnes. during the first eleven Meat and Livestock Ausmonths of 2012-13 increased tralia also reports lamb ship91% year-on-year to 165,324 ments during 2012-13 also Australian chilled beef tonnes. Its imports in improved, up 38% year-onexports to China have the first five months of this year to 33,993 tonnes. year rose 110% to 99,972 Beef and veal exports increased over the last 10 tonnes. to China for the fiscal year years, with the volumes Australia’s imported soared 1093% year-on-year sheepmeat market share in to a record 92,279 tonnes, during the first six months China increased for the first making the Asian giant the of 2013 reaching the highest five months of 2013 to 39% fourth-largest single export at 39,379 tonnes, but New destination after Japan, the volume yet, at 8890 tonnes. Zealand accounted for 58% U.S. and South Korea. of the total over that period Total volumes of 62,421 tonnes to China during the first six and improving infrastructure, com- with 57,652 tonnes. New Zealand was China’s largest months of this year exceeded the bined with rapid urbanisation in total annual shipments for 2012 of China, there is reportedly increas- supplier during 2012-13, the annual ing demand for imported red meat shipments rising 90% to 91,340 32,906 tonnes. Australian chilled beef exports to from a wider area of China,” it says tonnes, accounting for 55% of the imported sheepmeat market. China have increased over the last 10 in a new report. New Zealand has the advanDemand for Australian product years, with the volumes during the first six months of 2013 reaching the is also helped by a declining national tage of a free trade agreement with highest volume yet, at 8890 tonnes. sheep flock in China and the need China that puts the Australian trade MLA says Australian sheep meat for imports to substitute for local at a disadvantage. ALAN HARMAN

shipments to China in the first six months of this year totalled 40,607 tonnes, with lamb accounting for 17,864 tonnes and mutton 22,743 tonnes. MLA expects the demand to continue to grow. “On the back of the strong growth in personal income


Rural News // august 6, 2013

beef market trends

Market snapshot Meat c/kgCWT

North Island

South Island

Change c/kg

Change c/kg

Last Week

Last Week

Lamb - PM 16.0kg

+5

5.28

+5

5.23

Steer - P2 300kg

+5

4.52

+5

4.20

Bull - M2 300kg

+3

4.40

+2

4.05

Venison - AP 60kg

+5

6.75

+3

6.90

BEEF PRICES

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

South Island 16.0kg M Lamb Price $6.5

$5.5 5yr Ave Last Year This Year

$4.5

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

2 Wks Ago

Last Year 4.20

5.26

5.21

5.61

4.37

4.30

PM - 16.0kg

+5

5.28

5.23

5.63

P2 Cow - 230kg

n/c

3.60

3.60

3.60

PX - 19.0kg

+5

5.30

5.25

5.65

M Cow - 200kg

n/c

3.50

3.50

3.50

PH - 22.0kg

+5

5.31

5.26

5.66

Local Trade - 230kg

+5

4.52

4.47

4.20

Mutton

MX1 - 21kg

+5

3.10

3.05

3.35

P2 Steer - 300kg

+5

4.20

4.15

4.00

SI Lamb

YM - 13.5kg

+2

4.05

4.03

3.95

M2 Bull - 300kg

$3.5 May $4.5

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

5.23

5.18

5.66

+5

5.23

5.18

5.68

n/c

3.10

3.10

3.10

PX - 19.0kg

+5

5.23

5.18

5.70

M Cow - 200kg

n/c

2.95

2.95

3.00

PH - 22.0kg

+5

5.23

5.18

5.71

Local Trade - 230kg

+8

4.20

4.12

4.20

n/c

2.88

2.88

3.20

Change

3 Wks Ago

MX1 - 21kg

NZ Slaughter

Estimated Weekly Kill 2Wks Ago

Mutton

Last Year 5yr Ave

1000s

Estimated Weekly Kill Change

2Wks Ago

3 Wks Ago

Last Year 5yr Ave

Cattle NI

-

0.0

0.0

15.9

18.8

#DIV/0!

0

0

119

Cattle SI

-

Lamb NI

0.0

0.0

4.4

3.8

#DIV/0!

0

0

60

61

Cattle NZ

-

Lamb SI

0.0

0.0

20.3

22.6

#DIV/0!

0

0

179

192

Bull NI

-

Lamb NZ

0.0

0.0

1.8

2.3

-

Mutton NZ

#DIV/0!

0

0

34

45

Bull SI

0.0

0.0

0.2

0.3

Str & Hfr NI

-

0.0

0.0

9.8

10.7

Str & Hfr SI

-

0.0

0.0

3.2

2.3

Cows NI

-

0.0

0.0

4.3

5.8

Cows SI

-

0.0

0.0

1.0

1.1

Last Year

450

This Year

300 150

NZ Weekly Beef Kill

80

0

Last Year

60

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

This Year

Export Market Demand Last Week

Change May

Jun

Jul

Change

Aug

Sep

Last Week

2 Wks Ago

2 Wks Ago

Last Year 5yr Ave

UK Leg £/lb

n/c

1.82

1.82

1.37

1.74

NZ$/kg

-7

7.66

7.73

5.90

8.43

Demand Indicator - UK Leg Price Last Year 5yr Ave

95CL US$/lb

+2

1.93

1.91

2.06

1.82

NZ$/kg

-4

5.28

5.32

5.66

5.29

Demand Indicator - US 95CL Beef

South Island 300kg Steer Price

131

NZ Weekly Lamb Kill

600

Export Market Demand 5yr Ave Last Year This Year

+5

PM - 16.0kg

P2 Cow - 230kg

0 Apr

$4.0

Last Year

4.47

20

North Island 300kg Bull Price

+5

YM - 13.5kg

2 Wks Ago

4.40

SI

NI Lamb

Last Week

4.52

40 $4.5

Change

c/kgCWT

+3

1000s 5yr Ave Last Year This Year

$4.5

$3.5 May

+5

Last Week

M2 Bull - 300kg

NZ Slaughter

$5.5

$3.5 May

Change

P2 Steer - 300kg

North Island 16.0kg M Lamb Price $6.5

LAMB PRICES

c/kgCWT NI

lamb market trends

£2.50

Last Year This Year

£2.00 £1.50 £1.00 May

$2.20

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

$4.0

$2.00 $3.5

5yr Ave Last Year This Year

$3.0 May

$8.5

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

$1.80 May

5yr Ave Last Year This Year

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Jul

Aug

Sep

Change % Returned NI

+1%

82.8%

81.8%

75.95%

75.1%

% Returned SI

+1%

76.3%

75.2%

69.8%

69.6%

Last Year 5yr Ave

Procurement Indicator - North I.

70%

$8.0

Last Year

80%

This Year

Jul

Sep

Procurement Indicator - South I. Last Year This Year

$7.5

5yr Ave Last Year

$6.5

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

3 Wks Ago

% Returned NI

+1%

69.8%

68.6%

97.4%

70.0%

% Returned SI

+2%

67.9%

66.2%

98.2%

69.4%

Last Year 5yr Ave

110% 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% May

Last Year This Year

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Procurement Indicator - South I. 105% 95% 85% 75% 65% 55% 45% May

Last Year This Year

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

70%

Venison Prices

This Year

$6.0 May

2Wks Ago

80%

60% May

$7.0

Change

Procurement Indicator - North I. 3 Wks Ago

Oct

South Island 60kg Stag Price

Oct

2Wks Ago

90%

$6.5

$8.5

Jun

Procurement Indicator

$7.5 $7.0

Procurement Indicator

This Year

North Island 60kg Stag Price

$8.0

$6.0 May

Last Year

60% May

Jul

Change

Sep

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

Last Week

2 Wks Ago

Last Year 5yr Ave

NI Stag - 60kg

+5

6.75

6.70

7.40

7.78

SI Stag - 60kg

+3

6.90

6.87

7.45

8.08


Rural News // august 6, 2013

news

price watch WOOL PRICE WATCH

BEEF

Change

25-Jul

18-Jul

Last Year

Coarse Xbred Indic.

-2

4.61

4.63

3.67

Fine Xbred Indicator

-6

5.07

5.13

4.58

Lamb Indicator

-4

5.25

5.29

4.72

Mid Micron Indic.

-24

7.74

7.98

8.85

Lack of kill drives cattle prices higher

Indicators in NZ$

Local trade prices are starting to lift more consistently with a lack of supply developing. Last week local trade prices were mostly around $4.45-$4.50/kg in the North Island and $4.20/kg in the South. Competition is also heating up for 300kg export steer with prices keeping pace with the local trade market. The recent price lift is solely procurement driven with the kill still dropping sharply through July. While US imported prices are moving in the right direction, this was largely offset by the dollar lifting over US80c last week. Meat company margins on beef are below average for this time as they chase harder for limited supplies. With processors already paying above the odds, the seasonal lift in prices into the spring is likely to be more limited than usual.

Wool Indicator Trends

600

CXI

550

Gaps starting to appear in lamb kill

300 Jul

Sep

Nov

Jan

Mar

5245

5230

3553

+25

5750

5725

3491

+3

6208

6205

Cheddar

3491

+27

5529

5502

4488

Dairy Prices Trends SMP But.

WMP Ched.

Oct

Dec

Feb

Apr

Jun

Whole Milk Powder Price (NZ$) Last Year

6,000

This Year

4,000 300 May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Overseas Price Indicators Indicators in US$/kg Coarse Xbred Indicator Lamb Indicator

3,000 May

25-Jul

Last Year

18-Jul

+2

3.67

3.66

2.92

-1

4.04

4.05

3.64

n/c

4.18

4.18

3.76

-14

6.17

6.31

7.05

Indicators in US$/T

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

CXI

Last 2 Wks

Prev. 2 Wks

Last Year

+63

4150

4088

2850

+75

4550

4475

2800

+63

4913

4850

2800

+75

4375

4300

3600

Change

Butter Skim Milk Powder Whole Milk Powder Cheddar

Wool Indicator in US$

500

Jun

Overseas Price Indicators

Change

Fine Xbred Indicator

Dairy Prices in US$/Tonne

FXI

LI

SMP .But

5,500

450

WMP .Ched

4,500

400 350

3,500

300 2,500 Aug

250 Jul

Sep

Nov

Jan

Mar

May

Coarse Xbred Indictor in US$ Last Year This Year

450 400

Oct

Dec

Feb

Apr

Jun

Whole Milk Powder Price in US$/T

5,500

500

5,000

Last Year

4,500

This Year

4,000 3,500 3,000 Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

2,500 May

CURRENCY WATCH vs. NZ Dollar

Last Week 2 Wks Ago 4 Wks Ago Last Year

0.90

0.807

0.791

0.779

0.802

Euro

0.607

0.602

0.597

0.653

UK pound

0.524

0.519

0.510

0.512

0.75

Aus dollar

0.873

0.861

0.840

0.770

Japan yen

80.06

79.22

76.68

62.78

0.70 May

Euro

0.64 Last Year

0.60

This Year

0.56 May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Peter Young Hawke’s Bay

Sep

Oct

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

US Dollar

Oct

Last Year

0.85

US dollar

0.68

Jeremy MacAvoy Ashburton

+15

5,000

400

250 May

Bill Hodgson Dunedin

Whole Milk Powder

7,000 Last Year This Year

With store lamb prices jumping at key North Island sale-yards in the last week the paddock market has been generally quiet as it adjusts to a new level. Levels of demand for quality lambs have become stronger with good pasture and crop growing conditions in many areas. Recent sales at Stortford and Feilding put buyers on notice. While there were decent numbers of lambs offered (4,500 at Stortford and 11,000 at Feilding) there has also been strong benches of buyers. Both sales last week had 30-34kg males selling at around $2.70/kg with lighter lines up to $2.80/kg. Ewe lamb prices were more mixed up sold up to $2.80/kg at 28-32kg. The South Island market is more subdued but prices have also been up at some saleyards recently. Prices are typically in the $2.40-$2.50/kg range.

Andrew Wood Palmerston North

Skim Milk Powder

3,000 Aug

May

Coarse Xbred Indicator

500

300

Dairy prices in Australasia moved higher again over the last 2 weeks. Milk production is at seasonal lows and this is matched by lower product supplies. Stock levels are generally trending down which is positive for price. The gDT event in mid-July also saw prices lift by an average of 5% across all products and contracts. Whole Milk and Butter Milk Powders were up 7.7% and 4.8% respectively while Rennet Casein prices eased by 5%.

Last Year

4,000

350

350

Dairy prices move steadily higher

Prev. 2 Wks

5,000

400

Store lamb prices lift

DAIRY

Last 2 Wks

Change

Butter

7,000

LI

450

550

The number of lambs coming forward for kill has been steady and well matched with capacity in recent weeks. North Island kill numbers stabilised in June with the monthly total only 2% lower than in May. The June kill was also on par with last June and only 6% below 5 year average levels. The lamb kill in the South Island in June was actually slightly higher than usual – running 2% above last year and 5yr average levels. But now reports suggest that gaps are just starting to now appear in supply and this is likely to increase upward pressure on farmgate prices. A pretty kind winter to date, particularly in the North Island, means that farmers have options in terms of holding lambs for longer.

Indicators in NZ$/T

6,000

Mid Micron Indicator

LAMB

FXI

500

US beef market improving, challenges remain US imported beef prices continue to show some slight upside with 95 & 90CL prices both moving up in recent weeks. US domestic prices for 90CL have also been moving higher. Demand from US end users is generally seen as improving. Reduced availability of imported product is also having a positive impact on prices. But there are still some key factors that are likely to limit the potential upside for imported prices. Firstly, there are still significant stocks of beef in the US. The latest USDA cold storage report shows that stocks of boneless beef at the end of June were 8% higher than last year. While it’s positive that pork stocks are down 5%, this is offset by the fact that chicken stocks are up by 3%. Secondly, competition from chicken is also set to continue. The USDA is forecasting that chicken production in the US for 2013 will be up on last year by 3%. This increase would put downward pressure on chicken prices and make it more competitive compared to beef.

DAIRY PRICE WATCH

This Year

0.80

UK 0.58 0.56 0.54 0.52 0.50 0.48 0.46 May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Pound Last Year This Year

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct


Rural News // august 6, 2013

20 agribusiness

New head expecting better times pam tipa pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

THE BETTER payout and lift in farmer confidence is likely also to mean a better season for contractors, says the newly elected president of the Rural Contractors Association, Steve Levet. Last year the whole industry was hit by drought on top of a lower payout and is still in recovery. Levet was elected president in June and is ready to lend his weight to initiatives the 470-member association has underway. These include lobbying government on seasonal workers and trying to attract the brightest young people to all areas of agriculture, including contracting. About three quarters of his rural contracting work comes from dairy farms and that would be true for most contractors, says Levet. He is an Albertlander – a descendant of the first settlers of the Wellsford area north of Auckland – and last year he was chairman of the Albertlanders’ 150th anniversary. He is also the cousin of Gordon Levet, the renowned Romney sheep breeder.

Levet farms 62ha and in the last three years has reared calves – 210 last year and 150-200 this year. He is doing straight Friesian bulls and has 85 in the shed at present. With two fulltime workers for the contracting business, the farming operation gives his staff work through winter. He does fertiliser spreading with a 4WD truck and a trailer and trailer spreader and has a six-wheeler for general cartage, does seed drilling, hay baling and has a 12-tonne digger for earthworks such as dams, house sites and roads. He also does cultivation; he bales hay but doesn’t do silage. He has been contracting in his own right since 1980 and a member of the contractors’ organisation since 1986. Members can get premiums on insurance and fuel, benefit from networking among members, advice on legal and council issues and the organisation lobbies government on issues pertinent to the industry. It also provides advice to members on health and safety and employment with prototype employment contracts available. The association has one paid part-time staff member

chief executive, Roger Parton. “Every year at conference we always have a session on employment,” says Levet. “It always provokes good interaction, because everybody through the course of the year has an employment issue with somebody. The goalposts for employing people are constantly on the move.” Typical of their activities in support of members is helping a Bay of Plenty contractor in a battle with the council which wants to restrict his activities. “We’ve been actively engaged in fighting Western Bays over consents for his yard,” he says. It’s the type of case which could set a precedent for other councils to follow. The association also lobbied government over the recent changes in agricultural transport regulations and helped win some “common sense” concessions. The association is also keeping a watch on government moves on health and safety and lobbying to make it easier to obtain return visas for seasonal experience contractors who work both in hemispheres.

Steve Levet, Wellsford, has been elected president of the Rural Contractors Association.

Best and brightest wanted STEVE LEVET is also on a mission to encourage the young people into the industry “We want to highlight to schools and educators [the good prospects in] agriculture today. Long gone are the days when you put the halfwits in there. It’s no longer ‘you’re not performing, you go farming’. Agricultural contracting is the same. The machinery we’ve got is highly sophisticated and expensive and you’ve got to be computer literate to drive a tractor these days.” Agricultural contracting can become a career pathway, with young people initially working for a contractor then starting their own business. And academic qualifications are also available through InfraTrain, meaning young people can study while working, to gain a qualification. Parents whose sons want to go into agricultural contracting are often pleased to find out qualifications are available. Qualifications also look good on a CV and will help in gaining work in the northern hemisphere.

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Rural News // august 6, 2013

agribusiness 21

francis wolfgram Finance Matters

NZ Dairy Market Product

GDT Auction 1 Mth 3 Mths 16/07/2013 Change Change

Change in 2013

NZD/Tonne

Whole Milk Powder(WMP)

$6,432

7.8%

-8.8%

55.2%

Skim Milk Powder(SMP)

$5,806

6.6%

-6.1%

36.7%

Butter Milk Powder(BMP)

$6,137

10.8%

3.5%

30.9%

CHEESE

$5,690

-1.7%

-4.6%

27.8%

Trade Weighted Index (GDT- TWI)

$6,139

6.0%

-8.1%

42.7%

THERE WAS a three week break between auctions from July 16 to August 6. The results of the auction on July 16 show the predicted turnaround in prices after some soft auction results of late. Fonterra confirms the FY13 forecast cash payout to farmer shareholders of $6.12 remains unchanged but overall returns have been revised up thanks to high overall 2013 auction prices and the fall in the New Zealand dollar. Internationally dairy values are to stay firm for now, according to reports from the US Dairy Export Council, but Chinese cuts to infant formula prices, and hefty levels of advance purchases could pose a threat to values. Milk supplies are still fundamentally short after a poor start to 2013 production. Milk production in the top five exporters Argentina, Australia, European Union, New Zealand and the US fell some 2m tonnes, or nearly 3%, year on year in the March-May period because of weather upsets. Northern hemisphere output was constrained by cold springs in many countries.

CORN HAS fallen sharply as large US corn sowings have made it through peak pollination without too much poor weather. The early sown crops in the south have begun harvest and talk is of huge yields leading to pressure on prices from a spike in supplies. Price This Price Last Change If the weather continues to be favourable towards Issue Issue corn growth and development, we can expect a record large crop to be harvested and declines in $2.775 $2.694 2.989% price. Hog prices have plummeted 11% over the three week period we’ve covered on speculation that $3.364 $3.341 0.696% cooler weather in the US Midwest may raise animal weights, increasing pork supplies. The Midwest $1.870 $2.105 -11.187% has had cooler-than-normal conditions, temperatures ranging from 17.7oC to 26.6oC; hogs eat less $10.47 $10.470 0.000% during hot weather showing the connection between weather and price. Cattle supply problems go the $4.748 $5.028 -5.579% other way as the lack of supply after the cull during last summer’s drought have left the market short of $6.523 $6.635 -1.696% stock; that and the demand for beef in the US being at an all-time high has led to price rises.

US Agricultural Commodity Prices Commodity

Units

Live Cattle

USD/Kg

Feeder Cattle

USD/Kg

Lean Hogs

USD/Kg

Greasy Wool

USD/Kg

Corn

USD/ Bushel

Wheat

USD/ Bushel

rural news agri shares index Code

Company

Prices as 30/07/2013

Prices as at 8/07/2013

Change

Change in 2013

ALF

Allied Farmers

$0.016

$0.018

-11.11%

-46.67%

ATM

A2 Corporation

$0.660

$0.630

4.76%

22.22%

DGL

Delegat’s Group

$4.050

$4.070

-0.49%

37.76%

HNZ

Heartland Bank

$0.86

$0.83

3.61%

26.47%

FSF

Fonterra Shareholders Fund

$7.490

$7.380

1.49%

5.75%

FFW

Foley Family Wines

$1.350

$1.350

0.00%

12.50%

LIC

Livestock Improvement Corp.

$6.05

$5.80

4.31%

12.04%

PGW

PGG Wrightson

$0.330

$0.310

6.45%

-28.26%

SAN

Sanford Limited

$4.690

$4.700

-0.21%

10.35%

SEK

Seeka Kiwifruit Industries

$1.900

$1.850

2.70%

111.11%

TEN

Tenon Limited

$1.260

$1.400

-10.00%

51.81%

WEL

Wool Equities

$0.120

$0.120

0.00%

9.09%

TUR

Turners & Growers

$1.650

$1.600

3.12%

0.00%

RNAI

Index Total

30.426

30.058

1.22%

16.70%

NOT A lot of activity in New Zealand agrishares. Tennon has slipped away slightly as their recent strong run comes to an end. However, the company, which supplies wood products to the US housing market, is still up over 51% this year. PGG Wrightson pushed 6.45% higher and Livestock Improvement has shown good gains up 25 cents to $6.05 and up 12% for 2013. Fonterra units have remained very flat and after a strong first half of the year have settled into a more stable range about the $7.30 - $7.60 level. This table is a list of shares linked to New Zealand’s rural industry and is in no way a recommendation to buy or sell any share. You should seek the advice of a trusted financial advisor before entering into any sharemarket investment.

HAVE YOUR SAY!

Join the conversation on the new BASF website blog. Make your opinions known. Discuss matters that interest or concern you. Register now for the BASF Blog at: www.agro.basf.co.nz

You must make a comment to be in to win. Closes 30th August 2013. BSF 7733 07/13


Rural News // august 6, 2013

22 agribusiness

Avocado rivals join forces PA M TI PA

TWO FORMERLY fierce rivals in avocado exporting say their successful collaboration could signal the way forward for other export industries. The forecast for Australia earnings this season have jumped 20%, from $40m to $50m, for the newly formed avocado exporter Avoco. Now representing about 75% of New Zealand avocado growers, Avoco is a collaborative venture

after decades of “fierce rivalry yet mutual respect” between New Zealand’s two biggest avocado export companies, says an Avoco director Alistair Young. Southern Produce Ltd, Bay of Plenty, and Primor Product Ltd, Auckland, put aside their long-standing commercial competitiveness to form the joint venture company to export to Australia, the biggest export market for avocado. They also now represent about 75% of

“The interests of the New Zealand avocado industry and its growers are best served by a unified entity focused totally on getting the best orchard-gate return for growers.” exports to that market. This bold move could signal the way forward for other export industries, they say. “We have realised it makes complete sense to work as a partnership against foreign compet-

itors rather than fight among ourselves,” says Young, who is also a Southern Produce director. “The interests of the New Zealand avocado industry and its growers are best served by a unified entity focused

totally on getting the best orchard-gate return for growers.” Primor Produce director and general manager John Carroll says growers demanded they perform better as an export industry. Avoco was able to revise its forecast earnings upwards at its first board meeting in June. The two companies are also collaborating in all other export markets under their Avanza commercial arrangement.

ag twits Rural News’ irreverent and hypothetical look at what’s happening in the farming world Top Bleats view all johnpennosynlait: Who says foreign investment is a bad thing for New Zealand agriculture? Thanks to the Japanese, Chinese and Dutch investment in Synlait this New Zealander has done very nicely! #instantmillionare jwilsonfonterra: Hey @johnpennosynlait, we’re extremely jealous as we’d have loved to have listed on the stock exchange. But thankfully TAF has made a few of us Fonterra farmers rich as well! #betterthanlotto damienoconnormp: I knew it; all my fears have proven to be correct! I’m pretty sure there were never any earthquakes in Wellington until TAF was introduced. #theskyisfalling thatguynathan: Hey @damienoconnormp take a chill pill. There is more chance of David Shearer staying on as leader of Labour Party than Fonterra ever listing on the stock exchange. #deadmanwalking richardyoungmie: Our Meat Industry Excellence group has already led to a revolution in the NZ meat industry with rumours that the big meat companies are now ‘talking’ to each other! #stunningachievement opoolealliancegroup: Hey @eiongardensff our “We’ll be back to you with something in a couple of months” diversion to the MIE group is starting to run out of steam. What now? #pressureison

Big, small, bale it all!

eiongardensff: Yeah @opooelalliancegroup; bugger it, let’s do lunch somewhere public in Wellington and they’ll think we are ‘talking’. #longlunch opoolealliancegroup@eiongardensff: Nice. I’ll invite Affco and Anzco along as well, tip off the media that we are ‘talking’ and Bob’s your uncle. #tooeasy mpetersenbeef+lambnz: Well done Wills and Kate on the new royal addition. Must have been that lamb chop Wills had when he last visited NZ. But as any sheep farmer knows, singles are just not good enough these days! #oneheirandonespare waynemcneelic: I just want to let all my old colleagues at @MPI know that I’m missing working at the ministry about as much as Kevin Rudd misses Julia Gillard! #cannotblamemeanymore

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Rural News // august 6, 2013

24 opinion editorial

edna

Change the record THE NEW dairy industry accord designed to clean up waterways has been hailed by industry, councils and farmers, but it has drawn only lukewarm support from environmental groups. The accord sets national environmental benchmarks for dairy farming, covering stock exclusion from waterways and riparian, effluent, nutrient and water use management. It also sets out new industry standards for conversions of land to dairying. Most of the nation’s 13,000 dairy farmers are covered by the accord, which has the support of Fonterra, Open Country, Tatua, Synlait and Miraka and industry body DairyNZ, while Federated Farmers and 15 regional councils have signed on as ‘friends’. Many from the local government and the regulatory sector describe it as an excellent mechanism for environmental improvements, unlikely to make farmers’ lives difficult farmers or to bankrupt them. It draws on the consensus approach to water management implemented by the Land and Water Forum. The accord is not perfect and the last-minute decision by Westland Milk Products not to be a partner is a blow. Hopefully, Westland’s issues can be sorted quickly as an ‘all-in’ method by the dairy industry to water quality management is far better than a piecemeal, company-by-company approach. Despite this hiccup, the accord is another positive step forward for the dairy sector and water quality in New Zealand and a long way ahead of where it was 10, 15 or even 20 years ago. But you wouldn’t know this listening to the typically negative response from Fish & Game NZ. It described the new accord as a “mixed blessing” that did not contain enough positives for the lobby group to sign up to. It says while it is heading in the right direction, progress was far too slow and the public expected more. Fish & Game has an important role as an environmental watchdog. However, incessant and negative carping about the dairy sector makes it sound like a dog that barks and chases car tyres, but not much else. These animals usually don’t stay around long and unless Fish & Game changes its obvious anti-farming modus operandi, it too will come across as all yap and no substance. Federated Farmers Nelson spokesman Martin O’Connor summed up its response well when he said the lobby “was never happy and ignored the fact farmers had spent huge amounts on environmental compliance in recent years.” As O’Connor adroitly added: “… It’s hard to farm green, when you are in the red.” That’s something Fish & Game would do well to recognise.

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“That’s crazy! – what do dogs know about politics?!”

the hound

Want to share your opinion or gossip with the Hound? Send your emails to: hound@ruralnews.co.nz

Lizard madness

Who’s paying?

More greenwash

MANY A farmer has come a gutser courtesy of RMAwielding council minions. However rural folk might be heartened to hear they are not alone. An old mate of the Hound, who lives in the bushy fringe of Auckland, has had similar problems. His application to subdivide his small bush block into two sections was met with a condition: he had to pay a herpetologist (a lizard expert, nothing to do with nasty diseases) to come and count all the native geckos on his property. If the population density exceeded a certain level, he would be required to relocate them all.

YOUR OLD mate notes the Meat Industry Excellence (MIE Group) has made much of being a grassroots farmer lobby agitating for meat sector reforms. The Hound reckons a part of MIE’s success and/or resonance with farmers is this grassroots feel and that its members are dipping into their own pockets to fund it, etc. So the Hound was surprised to see MIE has now engaged Christchurch PR company Convergence to run its media work. This old mutt is told such PR work does not come cheap and would be interested to know who is paying for it.

THE HOUND was unsurprised to see Green MP and former paid mouthpiece of the organic lobby Steffan Browning latching on to the latest claims by the doomsayers at Pesticide Action Network Aotearoa New Zealand, saying that New Zealand rivers are full of pesticides and we are all going to die. The only problem for the likes of Browning and his fellow organic acolytes is that research proves this is just greenwash. Stanford University research shows data from 237 studies aggregated and analysed that determined organic foods are no safer or healthier than non-organic foods.

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Two-faced A MATE of the Hound reckons the Aussie-owned and controlled publishers of a weakly (sic) rural publication are hypocritical with their stance on palm kernel (PKE). As the Hound’s mate says, the Aussie publisher is only too happy to run front page stories quoting Greenpeace New Zealand campaigner Simon Boxer and helping promote the eco-terrorist organisation’s campaign about how bad and evil PKE is to the planet. However, the Aussie publisher is more than happy to take money off the same ‘evil’ purveyors of this product and run full page colour adverts promoting the use of PKE.

What’s in a name? YOUR OLD mate was pleased to see such a generally positive reaction, from most quarters, to the dairy industry’s recently launched upgrade of the Clean Streams water accord – the ‘Sustainable dairying: water accord’. One exception was the negative lot from Fish & Game whose main complaint appeared to be its name: “…It is not a good start when ‘Clean Streams’ has been removed from the title of the sector’s supposed commitment to reducing its impact on the nation’s waterways,” the outdoor lobby whined in a media release.

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Rural News // august 6, 2013

opinion 25

Rural residents the poor cousins of urban-focused councils of the conjugation was to bring rates from sparsely populated (read voterDESPITE SMILING Auckland Mayor poor areas, which lacked the numbers Len Brown’s frequent TV utterances to object effectively) into voter-rich that the city is of one mind and moving urban areas to help pay for expensive united towards a rosy future (centred urban projects. We can get a fair measure of the on an underground rail tunnel near Queen Street), the schism between regard in which Auckland Council holds its rural population Auckland’s parts has from the $420,000 never been greater. Northland is per annum funding for Recently, the Governrural seal extension—a ment and the Auckland predominantly generous one kilomebureaucracy agreed to rural, less tre per year—versus spend $10 billion-plus on $1+ billion a year for the 4km downtown rail prosperous major urban transport tunnel, a second harbour than much of that are as crossing and new motorthe country and projects relevant to most rural way links in urban Auckresidents as condoms land – though I’ve heard could benefit are to eunuchs. In rural up to $60 billion over substantially areas, the main issue two or three decades from better is always sealing local mentioned! roads. At the same time, links with our With a budget of a reply to a letter was largest city; $3 billion a year, Auckpublished in the Rodney land Council could Times by Auckland yet Auckland seal all its rural roads Transport spokesman, Council cares in five years and barely Mark Hannan. It read in notice. part: “Across the Auck- only about its Slightly off topic land region there are own downtown but not irrelevant, 868km of unsealed roads with an estimated cost transport issues. American friends just hired a camper from to seal of $347 million. The present seal extension programme a major company to discover it’s forfunding identified in the long-term plan bidden to drive on any unsealed road, is $4.2 m over 10 years or an average of surely an impediment to the enrichment of rural NZ by tourism! $420,000 per annum.” Auckland Council would love to Vast rural tracts, from the Firth of Thames to north of Wellsford, were cancel what the Left disparagingly refers forcibly married to urban Auckland in to as the “holiday highway” from Puhoi 2010. This rural hinterland constitutes to Wellsford, if only it could get its hands about 75% of Auckland’s area. The point on the money for urban transport. WA RRE N J U DD

A N E W A P P R OAC H T O T R AC T O R H I R E

Northland is predominantly rural, less prosperous than much of the country and could benefit substantially from better links with our largest city; yet Auckland Council cares only about its own downtown transport issues. However, roads in rural Auckland are really just the edge of a larger concern.  The new Auckland is now large enough to arm-wrestle central government. All other local territorial authorities are pipsqueaks in comparison. Hence many are now looking at possible amalgamations to become large enough to regain influence with central government.  Because most amalgamations would

be based around cities, we’re likely to see the progressive disenfranchisement of rural populations with respect to local government, because as with Auckland’s rural roads, populous urban interests will always win over rural concerns. This matters because local government sets most rules for the obstacle race that governs our lives, much more so than central government. So, cityfocused planners will set the rules for large tracts of rural New Zealand. For instance, planners loathe rural subdivision as much as the Greens hate GM, and the minimum subdivision size over outer Auckland is proposed to be

150ha. Forget subdividing off a small block to fund your retirement when the kids want to take over the farm! However, bureaucrats love bush remnants and streams so I doubt that it will be long before they all have to be fenced, which means dams (think resource consents), pipes and troughs to water stock, with culverts and bridges for vehicles!   Expect similar nonsense to become widespread if local body amalgamation proceeds. Is there a solution? Unbundling the Auckland monster seems preferable to creating more of them. • Warren Judd is the former editor of NZ Geographic and a farmer in the Rodney district north of Auckland.

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Rural News // august 6, 2013

26 opinion

Striking the right balance on debt FARM DEBT levels are incredibly high. These have increased in the past year to at least $50 billion. On dairy farms this amounts to $20/kgMS, making the most indebted farmers vulnerable to bad weather, price falls and cost rises. A leading head of rural banking says that much of the debt is investment in expanding production, irrigation, more stock, new dairies, etc so it’s ok. Well, he would say that wouldn’t he! He didn’t mention that interest rates may well go up soon, and that will put the top 10 – 20%

of indebted farmers in dire financial straits. I am concerned that some farmers are being encouraged to make ever greater capital investments just to increase production. Let’s face it, the dairy companies want more production, the Government wants more production, and the banks are happy to lend. None of them has to live with the stress of farming and they all get paid no matter what. When was the last time any of them took a salary cut because of a drought?

There is a feeling among some industry advisers that a herd of fewer than 300 cows is no longer sustainable or profitable. This is nonsense – profitability depends on individual circumstances. However, farmers with smaller herds often feel pressured

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to expand production and ask me whether they should buy out the neighbour or increase carrying capacity by using more fertiliser and bought-in supplementary feeds. Detailed analysis of their situation may show that reducing herd size reduces costs and income but maintains profit. I could quote a number of examples of farmer members who have downsized their operations to achieve a better return for their efforts. As a bonus there is a

significant reduction in stress; ask their wives and they will tell you. Getting the right balance between business debt/workload/ profit and personal/family/ community life is the key to satisfaction. Of course not all increases in farm debt are bad and some will lead to greater profit. The question is how can farmers determine whether any investment will be profitable? Certainly not by studying historical tax accounts or plugging rule-of-thumb figures into a bank’s cashflow spreadsheet.

The quality of management decisions depends on the quality of information being used. In my experience farmers who have kept accurate records of rainfall, soil temperature, pasture covers and production data over a number of years are in the best position to forecast the profitability of any change. Assessing each ‘what if’ in terms of profit per kg of dry matter eaten by stock gives them the best handle on what they should do. This approach will help answer questions such as: Should I build a herd

home or reduce debt? Do I need help from a stock nutritionist? How much debt can I afford? Should I graze store lambs or dairy heifers? Should I reduce debt or take a decent holiday? The answers will help you strike the right balance between a profitable business and a sustainable lifestyle. • Peter Floyd is the managing director of Cogent Farming Business Systems Ltd www. profitfocusedfarming. com tel. 0800433376 or 0275968796

Don’t blame farmers, Keith IT’S A bit rich for Silver Fern Farms chief executive Keith Cooper to say farmers did not take notice of market signals for the 2011-12 season (Rural News, July 2) and therefore were responsible for the ‘home grown’ volatility . Is he now suggesting because we accepted the schedule price at the time, set by the meat processing companies, that we were the cause of the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars to their balance sheets? He goes on to say: “The markets aren’t volatile; we caused the volatility by the way we mucked around with the supply profile to the market.”

An email from SFF chairman Eoin Garden sent to suppliers October 19, 2011 includes the statements “Economic conditions are very topical in Europe”; “this time it appears customers have stable credit facilities, people are still eating so the supply chain is functioning.” And “On balance one can only be positive about sales revenues across all species all products this coming year, providing it’s the right specification.” Then in the SFF Market Update for lamb dated November 18 2011 it says “The current market conditions coupled with current FX rates calculate to a schedule payment of 700 cpk by Christmas and then

around 650 cpk mid-February at the conclusion of the 2012 Easter shipments to Europe.” These were the ‘ signals’ we as farmers took notice of. This does not sound like the “markets aren’t volatile” as Keith Cooper is claiming. More like SFF took their eye off the ball during the Christmas New Year period and did not adjust their schedule accordingly. I look forward to the 2013-14 season and the market signals so I can plan when to supply my lambs, for an optimum return which the end customer can afford. S W Brannigan [Abridged] (via e-mail)

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Rural News // august 6, 2013

opinion 27 Let the real truth be told! IN REGARD to ‘Need to decipher truth from fiction’ by Jacqueline Rowath (Rural News July 16), a few things may be of interest to your readers. Rowarth has discredited the Albrecht soil balancing system but failed to give any evidence in her opinion piece. We have subscribed to the Base Cation Saturation Ratios (BCSR) for the past 20 years and, contrary to her beliefs, we have found that in practice there are ideal ratios. It is relatively inexpensive and the quality and quantity of produce is better than those who subscribe to sufficiency only. We are rural contractors and farmers, and about 20% of clients subscribe to the same theory (ie BCSR). It is evident they have significantly higher levels of grass, grain and seed production than those using mainstream fertiliser. I challenge Prof Rowath to demonstrate how sufficiency fertiliser can deal with excesses of nutrients, pests and disease, microbiological activity, drainage, droughts, pollution, previous crop residue breakdown, soil structure, water porosity, stock and human health. Given the correct ratios of cations and anions and trace minerals in the soil, most of the above problems can be addressed without resorting to pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics and, in human health, medicines and surgery. It must be remembered that soils are chemical, which affects the physical properties of soils, which affects the biological properties. All of these combine to give us a dynamic living environment which gives plants, animals and people the right to live with good health. A good example of this is: if the Mg is 3 times the K in the soil you will not get hypomagnesimia in cattle. Also if the K is twice the sodium you will not get bloat. If the calcium is over 60% and less than 70% you will get proper insoak of water with rainfall and capillary action as it dries out. Modern problems like Psa in kiwifruit and clover root weevil can all be solved using BSCR. If we use modern fertiliser practices such as fine particle suspension, we can balance our soil relatively cheaply, addressing the trace element issues at the same time, without spending any more money than anyone else. Prof Rowath should be careful about discrediting a system without providing adequate information because she is in a position of influence. Steve Mackenzie RD1 Blenheim

BCSR theory does have some merit Re Jacqueline Rowarth’s ‘Need to decipher truth from fiction’ (Rural News July 16) and her criticism of Albrecht’s Base Cation Saturation Ratio (BCSR) theory used to assess soil fertility. Although Sufficiency Levels of Available Nutrients (SLAN) such as MAF QuickTest units has shown to be a better predictor of crop responses internationally than BCSR theory, I have found considering the ratios of calcium,

magnesium ratios were important for legumes in particular, but not that critical for grasses. My own observations on clients’ farms over the past 24 years is that where magnesium is being applied along with calcium based lime, the clover content of pastures improves when magnesium has been shown to be low in the base saturation. However, rather than being completely dismissive of BCSR, Professor Rowarth and Dr

Edmeades, whom she quotes in her article, should advocate for trials to be done here in New Zealand with grazing animals, particularly System 1 dairy cows, and looking at their production and welfare as the final arbiter as to which approach is best. I think they may be surprised at the results. Robin Boom Agronomic Advisory Services 91 Lindsay Rd RD9 Hamilton

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A QUICK re-read of the column in Rural News (July 16) will reveal that it was a summary of history, current debate, and a peer-reviewed review of research by Peter Kopittke and Neal Menzies published in the Soil Science of America Journal. In my investigation for the column, I failed to find independent research supporting the BCSR system that had been published through peerreviewed scientific channels. Farmer testimonials, anecdotes and assertions are not the same thing as data from randomised and replicated trials where direct measurements are taken. As the column reported, “in the majority of cases yield increases are due to associated crop management practices” (rather than any specific system such as the BCSR). Science and understanding moves forward with critique that is substantiated with data rather than simply asserted; vested interest and conflicts should always be declared. I have worked on farms since 1974. My doctoral research was in nutrient cycling, following an agricultural science degree majoring in soils and environment. My research is not sponsored by commercial firms, I take no speaker fee for the talks I am asked to deliver for industry and society, and I give columns for publication without charge. My gain is in the satisfaction of using science to assist understanding, not in remuneration. Prof. Jacqueline Rowarth

magnesium, potassium and sodium in over 400 farms useful in reducing metabolic issues such as bloat, milk fever and grass staggers. My contention is that it is not an ‘either-or’ situation, but both SLAN and BCSR should be used as the latter helps keep the mineral balance correct for the animal that eats the grass. New Zealand soil scientist Andrew Carran reported over 20 years ago that calcium and

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Rural News // august 6, 2013

28 management

Making money in the hills... P E TE R BU R K E

HILL COUNTRY farmers should put their efforts and energy into increasing lambing and calving rates, rather than trying to finish stock. Meanwhile finishers should focus on daily liveweight gain and maximum return on feeds. That’s the message large-scale finisher Roger Dalrymple, Bulls, gave a recent BRIG (Beef Returns Improvement Group – see panel) seminar near Hunterville, Rantikei. “The one thing that hill country farmers can influence most is their lambing percentage and if they increase this from say 110% to 130%, their returns will skyrocket,” Dalrymple says. “Too many of them focus on things which take them away from

increasing their lambing percentage. In my opinion, their goal must be to optimise lambing percentage.” A key issue for hill country sheep farmers is to quit lambs before feed is insufficient to maintain both lambs and capital stock. “The capital stock must always be the priority and their feeding regime should not be compromised.” On hill country, cattle should be seen as a means of eating excess grass in spring and late summer, grooming pasture to ensure ewes are well fed. A key point is to get calving date right so cows are well fed without affecting feed supply for ewes with lambs at foot. Buying one- and twoyear-old cattle to match demand to spring grass

supply is another option but again, they must not be allowed to affect feed supply to breeding ewes, which are the key money makers for the business. A distraction for some farmers is a person that many regard as a friend – the stock agent, he adds. While agents have a place, too many farmers’ decisions are driven by agents, effectively using them as advisers, instead of focusing on the farm’s key driver of improving lambing percentage, he believes. “They listen to their stock agent and ask what the market is doing. In reality the market is irrelevant to a certain extent. It’s more important to get the timing [of lamb sales] correct and looking after their capital base for lambing percentage.” One of Dalrymple’s key

messages is to know the value of feeds. Some farms don’t and in effect, sell their grass too cheaply, he warns. “My entire focus is on cents per kilogram of dry

matter. All of my budgeting on the farm including feed budgeting and my gross margins are based around what I actually sell my grass for through my animals. The dairy indus-

try sells it through milk; we sell ours through meat, or wool. But it all comes back to a cents per kg of DM produced off every hectare on the farm. Some things stack up better than

others and you don’t know that until you actually know what you are selling your grass for through your lambs, steers or maybe deer.” Feed quality in terms

Finishers and breeders should stick to their niches, says Roger Dalrymple.


Rural News // august 6, 2013

management 29

and on the flats of metabolisable energy (ME) also needs to be taken into account, as does cost of production of different feeds, he adds. In his feedlot he uses a nutritionist to produce feed blends to ensure animals get the best possible diet to gain weight quickly. A mixer wagon, as opposed to a basic silage wagon, is needed to blend the different feed elements. “The best feed is the feed you grow on the farm and the next best option is to buy locally because the transport costs are lower and the chances are you’ll have a better idea of its quality as opposed to buying it sight unseen from another part of the country. “If you buy feed, don’t wait until others start buying it. Get in early and essentially ignore what others are doing. When you do feed out aim for zero wastage by having a system, such as a feeding trough which minimises wastage.” Dalrymple developed his own feeders to do that, now marketed as ‘Flexifeeders’. One version is semi portable, the other fully portable. As a finisher of 35,000 lambs and up to 6,000 cattle, he says hill country farmers should have a clear understanding of his

About BRIG BRIG stands for Beef Returns Improvement Group, a Rangitikei initiative established in 2010 with the aim of improving profitability of beef farming in the area, without compromising other enterprises, such as sheep. It is administered by a committee of six farmers and two rural professionals and has three years’ partial funding from Beef + Lamb NZ. See www.brig.co.nz. farm’s key driver which is the ability to grow animals fast and well. If he can get a lamb to put on 270g/day as opposed to 170g/day, then his profits take off. When buying lambs the first thing he looks for is healthy ones. “I only want to buy a lamb that can grow from day one. They must be alert, not obviously stressed or have things like pink eye or runny noses or sore feet. Their drenching should be up to date and we don’t want lambs with lots of wool on them: the time spent shearing reduces growth rate. “We are selling meat, so lambs bred from terminal sires and with hybrid vigour are our first choice when buying. It also helps us if the lambs are of a similar weight range. Even lines are key.” The same applies for cattle: even lines reduce bullying and larger mobs where the social order is already established are preferred.

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Electronic Identification (EID) of stock is a tool many more sheep and beef farmers could be using to their advantage, Dalrymple believes. “Some of us are using it, but by and large it is a totally unused technology that every hill country farmer should be using. It doesn’t mean putting a tag in the ear of every lamb – one in 20 would be fine.” Monitoring those animals’ growth rates will give a good indication of mob, feed, and paddock performance, he explains. “To me it’s a fantastic tool that over time provides invaluable data that leads to better management and increased farm profitability.” The days of just looking over the fence to compare farm performance are gone, he adds. Having accurate data on his computer showing grass covers and weight gain means he’s able to assess different pastures’ productivity. Slower uptake of technology in sheep and beef compared to dairy reflects, in part, lower returns and it’s something of a chicken and egg situation, he believes. “To get that money coming through we’ve got to start getting farms to perform…. There is great technology out there - we are just not using it.”

That’s what works out here.

Well-mixed optimal feeds fed with zero waste makes for fast finishing.


Rural News // august 6, 2013

30 management

Woodchip wins stand-off study GA RE T H G I LLAT T

WELL MANAGED woodchip is the best stand-off for cow care judging by the findings of a Dairy NZ research project. Agresearch scientist Karen Schulz presented the results of the three month trial at a recent field day at Fonterra’s Jordan Valley farm, Northland. During the trial 80 pregnant non-lactating cows were split into groups and allocated to one of four different standoff surfaces for eighteen hours/day, and pasture for the remainder of the day. After four days of this on-off regime, they had a week on pasture with researchers continuing to record lying times as well as signs of leg health, walking gait and dirtyness. Cows were twice as likely to lie down on the woodchip stand-off pads as they were on concrete, and towards the end of the four-day stand-off period on concrete they were only lying on the pad for just over an hour at a time. “Cows were choosing to lie down in the paddocks instead and in extreme cases will actually graze while they are lying down,” notes Schulz. Cows on 12mm and 24mm rubber matting stand-offs lay down for roughly

Concrete: not suitable for a stand-off, DairyNZ research found.

half the time of those on the woodchip surface. They also tended to get dirtier than those on concrete or woodchip surfaces. Schulz says the total lying time for the cows on the 12mm rubber mat did not reach recommended lying times and should therefore not be used for prolonged stand-off purposes. “Well managed wood is the best surface for stand-off pads as cows on woodchips rest more and have a reduced risk of lameness. Concrete areas should

important deter- pads at the end of the winter. “Cows at the end of that period were minant of the success of the lying down and were comfortable: that’s structure was the excellent management.” Staff had replaced shavings three investment of drainage under- times and ripped pads once to assist neath,” notes drainage. “On our own farm we ran tests on Glassey. Stand-offs on how long we could go without replacFonterra’s Jordon ing surfaces and it worked out to be 50 Valley Farm are days…. You really need to replace mateheavily used, rial at least once a year and you will Chris Glassey, DairyNZ 600 cows going probably need to keep material on hand on them for 18 if you intend to use pads intensively.” Farmers involved in the trial sughours/day for 10 weeks during winter, gest digging a hole in pads at the end of when the area gets 300mm of rain. Glassey says this was by far the winter to work out how much material heaviest use of all farms researched yet needed replacing and what the state of stock were still willing to lie down on the pad is, adds Glassey. never be used for stand-off.” DairyNZ Farm systems specialist Chris Glassey says while woodchip stand-off pads are the best of the uncovered options it’s with the caveat of good • Stockpile material for start of winter. design and maintenance, including replacement of the woodchip. Effective • Replace base at least annually. drainage is key to their longevity and a • Avoid overstocking. revisit of farms that were involved in • Dig holes to assess management required. a trial with such stand-offs eight years ago found only one third were still using • Keep winter and calving areas separate. them. • Avoid feeding out on pads where possible. “The guys who were said the most

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Rural News // august 6, 2013

management 31

Ram tests extended to hill country a n d rew swa llow andrews@ruralnews.co.nz

ARE THE best rams on the flat still the best rams when run on hard hill? Changes to the Central Progeny Test mean lambs born this spring will provide independent data on that question following two hill country farms’ addition to the three low country properties used historically. “The reason it’s been expanded is to increase its relevance to sheep and beef farmers,” Beef + Lamb NZ genetics manager Mark Young told Rural News. Young says the move, which to date is being funded by BLNZ, reflects the greater proportion of the national flock now run on hill. “Some people think that the sheep that rate the highest on low country are not the same as those that rate highest on hill country. Technically it’s called a genotype by environment interaction.” The two new properties are Koromiko Farm, Wairarapa, which is leased and run by Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre, and EGL Pastoral’s Onslow View, Central Otago. “This is a very exciting project to be involved in and, if at the end of the project results show us whether top performing rams do or don’t perform better or worse on hill country, that’s a priceless piece of information

for farmers to know,” says Taratahi’s sheep and beef manager Paul Crick. “The results can only be good for our industry.” Koromiko is 840ha of flat, rolling and steep land crossing the Maungaraki range. Some 1200 ewes are involved in the three year CPT trial, some served with semen from top industry dual purpose rams. At EGL Pastoral’s Onslow View, about 800 of the 10,000 Perendale and Wairere Romney ewes run on the 3000ha property will be used for CPT work. “They’ll lamb on improved hill country at 2200 feet,” EGL owner Grant Ludemann told Rural News. “We’re always happy to try new ventures and this is a great opportunity to see some of New Zealand’s best genetics crossed with our stock and to see how they perform on our country.” Ovita will record maternal and terminal traits, though the emphasis will be on maternal, so it will be three years before meaningful results start to come through as ewe lambs born this spring will need to lamb as twotooths before a full data set is available. The farms will record traits such as ewe liveweight and condition; estimated dates of conception; lamb numbers, weaning weight, sex, date of slaughter, yield grade and health status.

Results from the 2012 CPT matings at Woodlands in Southland, Poukawa in Hawke’s Bay and Ashley Dene in Canterbury are due out this month. Contact Beef + Lamb NZ

Extension of the CPT will allow environmental influence to the assessed, says BLNZ’s Mark Young (inset).

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FEDERATED FARMERS and the NZ Shearing Contractors Association are to release a “quick fix” guide to reducing foreign object contamination of wool. “Inattention is seeing everything from press bars, clothing, fertiliser bags, cell phones and even a tennis ball ending up in bales of wool,” says Feds’ Meat & Fibre spokeswoman Jeanette Maxwell. The guide will be an online graphic which can be downloaded, printed, and posted in woolsheds. Under the heading Keep Calm and Shear On, five tips are listed: • A clean shed sets the scene • One press, four bars – any missing? • Open and empty wool packs before use • Only wool in bales.  Only newsprint with bin bales. • Hang it, store it or lose it – leave no clothing or other items lying around.

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Rural News // august 6, 2013

32 animal health

Breeding guru calls it a day A SCIENTIST who revolutionised the application of animal genetics in breeding programmes in the sheep, beef and deer industries is retiring after almost 40 years. As lead breeding scientist for Landcorp, and subsequently Focus Genetics, Dr Geoff Nicoll headed the largest animal breeding programmes in the world, responsible for about 500,000 ewes, 70,000 beef cows and 65,000 hinds. “I’ve been fortunate enough to have the best job in the world,” says Nicoll. “No one else has had the same level of resources that I’ve had at my fingertips.” Nicoll overturned old mind-sets of breeding to produce champion animals by breeding to raise whole flock or herd perfor-

mance using sires with the best combinations of fertility, growth, meat yield, fleece weight and disease resistance. He says the pinnacle of his career was introducing CT scanning to animal breeding programmes. “Everyone thought Geoff Nicoll we were mad. But the CT scanning enabled us to measure the amount of meat on the live animal. We didn’t have to kill it which was brilliant. Suddenly we could select for meat yield in live animals and use them in the breeding programme.” Landcorp lead the world in using CT scanning in sheep and deer

breeding resulting in unprecedented genetic gains, he says. Another highlight was developing the composite terminal sire breed, Lamb Supreme. “We’ve been able to take the best genetics and develop animals that are commercially beneficial for the country.” Collection of large volumes of performance data meant breeding was scaled-up to new levels. “When I first started it was difficult to see evidence of genetic improvement. We just had to work on a gut feeling that we

were doing the right thing. But when I saw the first set of properly analysed genetic trend results I realised we’d been right. I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face.” Gaining farmer acceptance that the techniques deployed were working was also a challenge at first, as farmers were resistant to change, he adds. “But they’re now seeing the benefit of superior genetics…. I’ve witnessed first-hand a huge change in farming. There is now a good combination of genetics and management on farms because farmers can see the value in the science.” Nicoll’s career’s taken him around the world showcasing New Zealand’s animal breeding model, and there is nowhere which has a suite

CT scanning sheep has been a breeding breakthrough, says retiring Focus Genetics’ breeder, Geoff Nicoll.

That was then: Nicoll at work in the 1980s with an early Apple computer.

of breeding programmes on a par with Focus Genetics’ scale, he says. “We have a unique

coordinated approach to the development of genetics in a commercial operation.”

Focus Genetics chief executive Gavin Foulsham says Nicoll will leave a big gap in the animal breeding industry, and congratulates him for his “significant contribution”, in New Zealand and worldwide. “He leaves behind a strong legacy that we look forward to building on.” Nicoll’s staying on part-time to assist Focus in “up-skilling” another animal breeding scientist, he adds.


Rural News // august 6, 2013

animal health 33

TB cases prompt comms questions

Stock movement appears the most likely cause of TB clusters in Taranaki and South Canterbury dairy herds.

andrews@ruralnews.co.nz

RECENT CASES of TB in surveillance only areas are prompting questions not only about how they occurred, but the communication between TBfree New Zealand and farmers in those areas. Since Christmas, six dairy herds have been confirmed with the disease in Taranaki and two in South Canterbury at Rangitata. While TBfree refuses to release numbers of animals involved, Rural News understands dozens of animals have been culled in both areas as a consequence. TBfree says immediate neighbouring properties were notified in line with national policy, but some farmers near – but not neighbouring the Rangitata cases – feel they should have had some official communication as to what was happening in their area. “Every farmer in the area should be made aware what’s going on,” one told Rural News. TBfree says it sent letters to 85 landowners in the area, including neighbours and those with properties where it is sur-

6 June 2013 20 June 2013

veying wildlife for infection. Those letters went out at the end of May. Last week, the operation was “over 70% compete with 594 possums, 6 ferrets captured but no post mortem results to date.” A spokesman says the challenge with communication about cases is “to balance the need to know and not unduly affect a farmer’s livelihood during what is often a highly stressful time. Specific details are confined to those assisting with the management of the infection and supporting the farmer and his or her family.” Federated Farmers Dairy and Sharemilker representatives in South Canterbury had received no information about the Rangitata cases, which are likely the first in that area for over a decade. “It seems to be one of these things that’s a bit of a taboo subject,” local Feds Dairy chairman Ryan O’Sullivan told Rural News. “It’s a bit silly really because the more we know about it, the more we can do about it.” Many younger farmers in the area would have had no experience of TB in their careers and

with most farms having C10 status there’s a real danger of complacency, he believes. “We need to get a better handle on what’s an appropriate level of communication.” Asked how it ensures livestock managers are informed of developments with the disease, TBfree told Rural News it sends newsletters to contacts for testing (herd owners), circulates national communications and advertises. It also updates TBfree committees and industry groups. A decision on holding farmer meetings or making further communication in the Rangitata area will be made once investigations have been completed, it said. The first case in the area was confirmed in April and the second in May. To date, no additional testing of herds in the area has been undertaken as a result of the cases. The need for this will depend on the outcome of current investigations, says TBfree. No movements of animals have occurred from the initial property since TB was identified but some controlled movements have been made

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from the second property with the receiving property notified of restrictions required when receiving animals from a risk herd. TBfree says it would only change the status of the recent outbreak areas from Vector Free only if it is believed there is an

established infection in wild animals, specifically possums. To date, wildlife tests in Taranaki have come back negative while results from Rangitata are awaited. “It is most likely that the infection in the Rangitata herds is movement related. The herds which

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The two infections are believed to be linked, but further tracing is required to confirm that. TBfree says there are currently 14 infected status herds in its Canterbury region, down from 170 in the mid-1990s. to page 34

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Rural News // august 6, 2013

34 animal health

Tail-breaking case timely reminder SPCA COURT action against a Waikato farm worker who harmed 200 cattle, including breaking the tails of 40, has been applauded by industry bodies. Federated Farmers, DairyNZ and the New Zealand Veterinary Association say breaking tails is unacceptable

stockmanship and the case is a reminder to employers and staff alike. “Employers need to have their eye on the ball and make it clear they don’t tolerate this type of behaviour,” says Feds Dairy Waikato chairman, Chris Lewis. At this time of year staff handling “moody”

Feds Dairy Waikato chairman, Chris Lewis.

cows separated from calves, and heifers experiencing first milkings need particular skills, he adds. “Employers need to remind staff of the proper way to handle cows in these situations, so she doesn’t present a danger to herself or the staff.”

DairyNZ’s team leader for animal husbandry and welfare, Nita Harding, says the key is to work with cows, not against them. “Going into the farm dairy is a routine procedure and cows will easily comply if they are treated well. It’s all about understanding

how a cow interprets the world around her and then managing her appropriately.” For challenging situations, DairyNZ’s Early Response Service (call 0800 43247969) offers confidential support where animal welfare may be at risk.

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FEDERATED FARMERS Dairy national chairman, Willy Leferink, says the Taranaki, South Canterbury and other recent cases of TB (see p33) are a wake-up call, particularly to those in areas apparently at Willy Leferink least risk. “People forget very quickly,” he told Rural News. “I don’t think Mid Canterbury has had a case as long as I’ve been living here.” TBfree New Zealand says implementation of the NAIT tracing system is improving its ability to identify and carry out testing on TB risk animals. “We believe this is already a substantial benefit of the NAIT scheme and can only improve further as more [NAIT] data becomes available.” However, it should be acknowledged that there’s a risk with any animal movement, be it to or from grazing, or a purchase or sale. To assess that risk, it recommends: Requesting and viewing ASD form(s) before buying or grazing animals Using ASD form question two responses about place of birth to assess relevance of C status Using questions 6.0-6.8 to assess risk of importing TB. Ensuring herds, animals bought in, or any imported for grazing, are registered with TBfree New Zealand and NAIT. Before grazing animals or sending animals to grazing, assess risk of the area animals are coming or going to, and any testing requirements. Inform agents acting on your behalf what your TB requirements are, eg only stock from C8 or higher, and not from Movement Control Areas.

in brief NAWAC changes loom REVISION OF the Animal Welfare Act 1999 is likely to result in “significant changes” to the way the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) operates, says committee deputy chairwoman, Karen Phillips. NAWAC last month released its 2012 report, highlighting the workload advising on the Act reforms, an animal welfare strategy, and the three welfare codes released during the year put on the committee. NAWAC is an independent advisory committee to the Minister for Primary Industries, established under 1999 to advise the Minister on animal welfare matters and to develop codes of welfare. A copy of the annual report is at www.mpi.govt. nz in “publications”.


Rural News // august 6, 2013

animal health 35

Beekeeper body calls for action The National Beekeepers Association has nominated August as Bee Aware Month. Here and on page 36 Andrew Swallow and Alan Harman report on initiatives here and latest developments overseas.

Schools videos to mark month In preparation for Bee Aware Month the NBA invited primary schools to create videos showing the importance of bees and how to help them survive. A team of three from Stonefields School, Auckland, won the competition; Limehills School, Invercargill’s entry was second and Opua School, Bay of Islands, was third. NBA chief executive Daniel Paul says all entries were of a very high quality but the Stonefields’ entry, produced by pupils Mia des Forges, Natasha Shumilova and Maya Cosford, was a stand out. “The quality of the messages, research and animation used in the video were exceptional, especially from 8 and 9 year olds.” Stonefields won a van load of gardening products worth $1500 from Palmers Gardenworld, which was presented last week. Limehills used dance and animation in their video and won $1000 worth of Palmers products, while Opua School did a rap and receive $500 worth of gardening products. The videos are online as follows: Stonefields School: http://vimeo.com/70075238   Limehills School: http://youtu.be/kQTU7R4b4Dk Opua School: http://youtu.be/Ju2Eut4EWkI

more bee-friendly plants and use of bee-friendly sprays. It also wants to undertake a first ever nationwide bee health survey to find out what’s really happening to bee populations. “The varroa mite is one of the biggest threats facing our bees. It has spread throughout the country and we desperately need to contain this dangerous pest,” says Paul. All wild bees have been wiped out

by the mite, he maintains, and the NBA is calling for donations to help fund the fight to research and find a solution to the problem. Other threats he highlights are pesticides, including neonicotinoids, and lack of nutrition for bees. The NBA says bees account for over $5 billion of New Zealand’s economy through crop pollination and honey production.

Organic NZ repeats call for neonic ban SOIL & HEALTH – Organic NZ has repeated its call for New Zealand to follow Europe’s lead in banning neonicotinoid pesticides, and upped the ante saying “saving bees means saving ourselves.” “Humanity is hugely dependent on bees for our food, and we poison them at our peril,” said spokeswoman Debbie Swanwick in a newsletter last month. “We urgently need to switch to sustainable, organic farming methods that are kind to bees, to us, and to the whole ecosystem.” In April Europe placed a two-year ban on three neonicotinoid pesticides which, according to Soil & Health’s newsletter, “permeate every cell of plants making them poisonous. Birds, earthworms and other wildlife are thought to be affected too. “ Neonicotinoids are not limited to agricultural use but are in many home use products and those used by pest control professionals, it adds.

“Bee populations are in decline worldwide,” says Swanwick. “In the UK alone honeybee populations have halved in the past twenty five years. This could take us on a journey to a destination we never thought possible and one worthy of a Darwin award. The harsh reality is that humans may be responsible for our own extinction because we didn’t fight hard enough for our survival.” At the time of the European ban National Beekeepers Association president Barry Foster told Rural News it wasn’t necessarily looking for a ban on neonicotinoids here but wants more attention paid to the impact of all systemic pesticides on bees, at all stages of the insect’s development. At present, only effects on adult bees are assessed, and in some cases adult bees are a lot less sensitive to pesticides than larvae or queens. While these are hive-bound, foraging adults can bring traces of chemicals into the hive on their bodies and/

or in feed. Foster also notes combined effects of sub-lethal doses of pesticides plus viral pathogens or parasites such as varroa isn’t fully understood. Agcarm, the crop protection industry body in New Zealand, said the EU move was an example of politicians making decisions that should be left to regulators, and “a bleak day for the crop protection industry, farmers and growers in the EU.” New Zealand’s EPA, “to its credit”, was not run by politicians, it added. “There is no evidence of neonicotinoids causing problems for bees in New Zealand. Just because the EU bans something it doesn’t mean New Zealand should follow suit,” said chief executive Graeme Peters. Neonicotinoids, such as widely used seed treatment Gaucho, are approved for use in New Zealand as seed treatments for forage brassicas, cereals, pumpkin, squash, maize and potatoes.

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GOVERNMENT NEEDS to wake up and smell the honey. While not putting it quite so bluntly, that’s the National Beekeepers Association’s message announcing August as “Bee Aware Month”. “The government is considering allowing honey imports into New Zealand from various countries but honeys from around the world can bring in a range of pests and diseases that would pose significant biosecurity risks for our bees,” says NBA chief executive Daniel Paul. In some countries bees are dying in huge numbers but while there have been some concerning casualties in New Zealand so far things aren’t as bad as they are overseas, he says. “We need to do all we can to help protect our bees to stop the situation getting worse. “Not only do bees contribute billions of dollars to our economy, most of our food depends on pollination by bees, as do our gardens. A world without bees is just too terrible to imagine.” The NBA has expanded what was a “Bee Week” last year to a “Bee Month” of initiatives this year highlighting the insect’s role in New Zealand. It is encouraging planting of

WHAT CAN HAPPEN


Rural News // august 6, 2013

36 animal health

US research reveals fungicide risk andrew swal low

NEWLY PUBLISHED research by the US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) adds weight to the consensus multiple factors are driving honey bee colony declines. It found bees consuming pollen tainted with some commonly used fungicides were more likely to succumb to gut parasite Nosema (see sidebar) than those given clean pollen. “Honey bees that were fed pollen that contained the fungicide chlorothalonil… were almost three times more likely to become infected when exposed to the parasite Nosema, compared with control bees,” says study author  Jeff Pettis, research leader of ARS’ Bee Research Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. The fungicide pyraclostrobin (as in Comet) was found less frequently in the pollen samples, but also increased bees’ susceptibility to Nosema infection. The pollen samples were collected from honey bees pollinating apples, watermelons, pumpkins, cucumbers, blueberries or cranberries. The pollen was analysed to determine how much fungicide, insecticide, miticide and/or herbicide the bees were exposed to while pollinating each of the six crops.

Pollen was found to be laden with up to nine pesticides.

In many cases, the pollen that bees brought back came primarily from plants other than the targeted crop. Some pollen samples contained very few pesticides, but the average number seen in a pollen sample was nine different pesticides, which could include insecticides, herbicides, miticides and fungicides. However, fungicides were the most frequently found chemical substances, and chlorothalonil, which is widely used on apples and other crops in the US and New Zealand, the most common among those. The most common miticide was fluvalinate, which beekeepers use to control varroa mites. Neonicotinoid insecticides were only found in pollen from bees foraging on apples. “Our study highlights the need

to closely look at fungicides and bee safety, as fungicides currently are considered safe and can be sprayed during the bloom on many crops,” says report co-author Dennis van Engelsdorp with the University of Maryland. “We also need to better understand how pesticides are getting into the hive. Clearly it is not just from collecting pollen from the crops that bees are being used to pollinate.” Pettis says the findings, published last month in online journal Plos One, provide new information useful in understanding the myriad problems affecting honey bees in the United States, including colony collapse disorder, dwindling honey bee colonies, and other health problems in managed bee colonies.

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BEEKEEPER ACTION against neonicotinoid pesticide use in the United States and Canada continues to grow. Last month a new expert Bee Health Working Group in Ontario, Canada met for the first time while in the US bee protection groups are appealing a recent pesticide approval. Ontario’s BHWG is a response to increased hive losses. Made up of beekeepers, farmers, agri-business representatives, scientists, and federal and provincial government agency staff, the group will produce recommendations to mitigatie potential risks to bees from exposure to neonicotinoids, as used in corn and soybean crops. Ontario has 3,000 registered beekeepers managing about 100,000 colonies producing honey worth C$25 million to the province’s economy. The provincial government is also working with the University of Guelph on research projects to support the health of bees and other pollinators. The Ontario Beekeepers’ Association says the province experienced heavy losses of colonies this spring, anecdotally even greater than those

experienced in 2012. These new reports of bee kills demonstrate what appears to be a longer term decline in bee population as a result of the continued use of these highly toxic pesticides, it says. “As a member of the group, we will help our crop farmers find alternatives to toxic neonicotinoids,” association president Dan Davidson says. “However we must enact a ban before the next planting season. Our industry simply cannot sustain these losses. Allowing the status quo to remain would spell tragedy for the bees.” The group met for the first time last month and is to provide recommendations by spring 2014. Meanwhile beekeeping organisations in the United States have appealed approval of a product in a new sub-class of neonicotinoids. Sulfoxaflor, made by Dow AgroSciences, has been approved for use on barley, wheat, strawberries, cotton, canola, nuts, beans and grass grown for seed. The National Pollinator Defence Fund, American Honey Producers Association, National Honey Bee Advisory Board, the American Beekeeping Federation, and three bee-

keepers are seeking changes to Sulfoxaflor’s label, the way pollinators’ value is assessed, and the risk assessment process used by approval body the Environmental Protection Agency. “Our country is facing widespread bee colony collapse, and scientists are pointing to pesticides like Sulfoxaflor as the cause,” says lawyer Janette Brimmer of public interest law organisation Earthjustice. “The effects will be devastating to our nation’s food supply and also to the beekeeping industry, which is struggling because of toxic pesticides. This lawsuit against the EPA is an attempt by the beekeepers to save their suffering industry.” Beekeeper Jeff Anderson blasts the EPA’s approval as Sulfoxaflor’s label carries no enforceable protections for bees, he says. “There is absolutely no mandatory language on the label that protects pollinators. Further, the label’s advisory language leads spray applicators to believe that notifying a beekeeper of a planned application, absolves them of their legal responsibility in FIFRA (Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act) to not kill pollinators.”


Rural News // august 6, 2013

machinery & products 37 Bale feeder suits all types gareth gil l att

Made for both fun and work garet h gillatt

FIELDAYS VISITORS were treated to a preview of the all-new Yamaha side-byside – the 3-seat, 686cc Viking. It suits recreation and work, says Yamaha Motor New Zealand marketing manager Ollie Sharp. “The Viking has been developed with work and play in mind… carrying more personnel, more gear (272kg in the tray), towing more (up to 680kg) and being safer to operate, making it well suited for New Zealand’s demanding farming conditions.” The engine is the same as in the Yamaha Rhino, but the maker has revised the engine ‘mapping’, increased the compression ratio, added new cam profiles and a new single exhaust port to increase power output and torque. The result is said to be more low-down grunt and pulling power and better fuel efficiency. Sharp says passenger comfort and safety also got close attention and the Viking is one of a few “true” three-person side-by-sides available. Each passenger has a three-point seatbelt, overhead and front grab bars and feet braces.

“A lot of thought went into how many seats the Viking should have; two, three and four options were considered. It was eventually decided to go with a staggered three-seater where a single row of seats would provide increased tray space and load capacity. “The three-seater layout allows complete ‘walk-through’ capability with the centre passenger set back to create space between the driver and right-side passengers.” Handling and stability are optimum because of the maker’s Ultramatic gearbox – a variant of the common CVT system. It has a clutch design that maintains tension on the drive belt to engage engine braking from maximum speed down to 5km/h, Sharp says. “The major benefit… is that it reduces the need for frequent use of the disc brakes when slowing down, and allows the driver to control deceleration primarily by using the accelerator pedal without locking up the wheels.” Yamaha Motor expects its first shipment later in the year.

A NEW trailed, round-bale feeder that suits UTVs and utes gives the operator the same level of control as with a tractor, says the maker, Reese Agri. Director Rob Baan says his company’s Agrispred Bale Bug feeder suits people feeding out round bales with side-by-sides or 4WD utes. Tractor-mounted bale feeders do worrying damage to pasture during wet winter and spring months, Baan says. “If they damage pastures you have to roll and seed them, introducing a whole lot of work.” Unlike other trailed bale buggies intended for UTVs or 4WDs, the Bale Bug is self-loading and has its feed-out mechanism and loader

actuated by a wireless remote control. It can feed out from either side. “It has its own power supply and doesn’t rely on tractor hydraulics.” A heavy duty chain (5 tonne breaking strain) and Kohler-

designed hydraulic motor enable the machine to handle any type of bale; the only limit is the device towing it, Baan says. Tel. 06 357 9323 www.reeseagri.com

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Rural News // august 6, 2013

38 machinery & products

No more old tyres for silage stacks TONY HO P K I NSON

A THROW away remark – “there has to be a better way” – by Toni Johnson while helping her father place tyres on a silage stack cover, led to one of the best innovations at National Fieldays. Aqua Anchors are either 14m or 16m long and 75mm or 65mm sections of lie-flat hoses hermetically sealed at both ends and filled with water. They lie over and around the edges of silage stacks to hold the cover in place and keep the crop from the elements. They replace traditional tyres. A patent is pending. “I am only 48kg soaking wet so lugging tyres and getting splashed by all

the vile accumulated water and debris, like everyone else who has covered stacks, got me thinking,” said Toni.

Using a flexible hose (12mm garden) with a Hansen 25mm trough fitting, the water goes through a socket with

“I am only 48kg soaking wet so lugging tyres and getting splashed by all the vile accumulated water and debris, got me thinking.” Working with her Dad, Alan, who has a mobile carpentry business and his friend Dave Saunderson, another builder, they came up with Aqua Anchors. They are laid across the stack empty then filled with water. “We believe 14m or 16m lengths will cover most stacks and if the stacks are smaller the hoses can be doubled around. And they are UV treated,” said Dave.

a non-return valve into the Aqua Anchor. With a manifold several anchors can be filled simultaneously depending on water supply. Normal supply should fill each Aqua Anchor in five minutes or less. The fitting pops from the socket when the Aqua Anchor is filled. “We recommend that after filling a little water is removed to allow for expansion in the heat of

the day,” said Alan. If the Aqua Anchors are accidently run over by a tractor or vehicle the socket will pop out and is easily replaced. After the entire crop has been fed out the Aqua Anchors are drained by holding the non-return valve open with a stick or small bolt. They can then be rolled and stored. One Aqua Anchor roll 75mm x 16m weighs 9kg empty and 88kg full (or, full, the same as 10 tyres and empty, one tyre). Price: 14m rolls of 75mm and 65mm, $29.95+GST and freight; 16m rolls of 75mm and 65mm, $34.95+GST and freight. Tel. 0800 NO TYRES www.lagoonltd.com

Toni Johnson fills water into Aqua Anchors.

No pests, no chemicals TYRES ON silage stacks are an eyesore for the rest of the year. They collect rain, harbour mosquitoes and leach chemicals into the soils and waterways.

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Rural News // august 6, 2013

machinery & products 39 Bring your horse to school CHRISTCHURCH’S RANGI Ruru Girls’ School says it will be the first central city school in New Zealand to offer students a dedicated equestrian programme. “The new 2014 programme will provide students with access to horses as part of the school programme – an unprecedented opportunity,” says the school’s director of equestrian Pippa Young. “Whether it’s a love of horses, a way to follow a career path in the equestrian industry or to develop riding skills, the NCEA-linked equestrian programme provides opportunities that haven’t been available before.” Young says students who live outside Christchurch and have horses will be able to ride them regularly rather than just during school holidays. And those keen to learn to ride or interested in horses, but who don’t own a horse, will now have access to one. “There will be regular lessons and training days together with master classes from visiting experts. Girls will have access to riding resources that might not otherwise be available to them. For girls keen to become riding judges or gain skills in equestrian administration, access to experienced tutors and mentors will also be key elements of the programme,” Young adds. The programme includes agist-

ment arrangement and transport to the horses. “Our students will be able to link their equestrian skills and interest in animals with academic achievement. For those keen to pursue a career in the equine industry, enjoy their riding or compete at any level, this programme will provide girls with an advantage in a competitive field.” Year 12 student Anna Robertson says she has benefited from the riding support offered at Rangi Ruru and is excited about the equestrian programme. “It will help me with my career plus I get to spend time with my horse and become a better rider.” www.rangiruru.school.nz/ equestrian

Close to the real thing! NEW ZEALAND’S second-largest maker of calf milk replacers (CMR) produces them at one of the few plants approved by MPI for quality milk powder exports. The company is Milligans Feed Ltd, whose CMR is “formulated by nutritionists to provide calves with a blend of milk proteins and fat levels to stimulate and encourage the maximum growth potential of the calf and made from 100% dairy protein”. “Because it is as close to the real thing as a product can be, calves are able to easily digest the milk and take up a full amount of goodness from it,” says Joseph Paton, Milligans Agrifeeds sales representative. It’s a good recipe using the best quality milk powders and is generated by our animal nutritionists to enhance growth

potential.” There is also a Multi Milk Replacer (MMR) produced at Milligans blending plant in Oamaru. Paton says while it meets the essential high standards required for exporting, the MMR is formulated to suit New Zealand lamb breeds and conditions. “It encourages lambs to develop and gain a kickstart into life…. [proven] in field trials and through

feedback from farmers”. It is formulated for lambs but also suits fawns, foals and other animals. The company’s full range includes feed for cattle, sheep, deer and other stock, with quality pellets and meals. Milligans can customise mixes in consultation with nutritionists and customers to their specific requirements, using quality grain, bran, pollard, fats, proteins and

dairy products. Milligans is a privately owned company in production since 1896 in Oamaru and has always used the best local ingredients and resources, Paton adds. The company’s storage warehouses, food ingredient blending plant, cheese shredding/ blocking, and milk powder blending plants are based along with its head offices in Oamaru. Specialised food products are blended and packed onsite then marketed across New Zealand, Australia, Asia and the US using the company’s product brands. The company has a food distribution business in Auckland to service the North Island. The South Island and international markets are serviced from Oamaru. www.milligans.co.nz

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Rural News // august 6, 2013

40 machinery & products

Tractors and gear shipped to tiny Pacific nation

PRODUCTION ORIENTATED FARMERS... Are you suffering from:

• Surface ponding of pastures? • Hay & silage being tramped into pasture and wasted?

Pugged paddocks can reduce pasture growth up to 60% DON’T PUT GOOD FERTILISER ON COMPACTED SOIL WHICH CAN’T ABSORB IT If your soil can’t support 15cm root growth and good worm population check for compaction. You could need aeration. In dollar terms, what would 20% production increase mean to your yearly turnover?

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POWER FARMING Wholesale has just despatched a large consignment of tractors and equipment to Tuvalu, in the South Pacific. The shipment included 10 Kioti DK551 tractors with ROPS - eight of them fitted with front loaders – and spares and equipment. It was part of an aid package to the Tuvalu Government funded by the European Union. Tuvalu – formerly the Ellice Islands – is collection of nine atoll and reef islands, directly north of New Zealand, midway between Australia and Hawaii. It has about 10,000 people and is at severe risk from rising sea levels associated with climate change. European Union aid goes to infrastructure development, especially reliable water supplies, effective sanitation and waste management, coastal protection and the provision of renewable energy. The tractors were trucked from Morrinsville to Auckland and loaded into three containers for shipping to Fiji, then to barges for the 1000km voyage to Tuvalu. Ross Nesdale, Power Farm-

A line-up of the machinery Power Farming has sent to Tuvalu.

ing’s marketing manager says the Korean-built Kioti tractors were chosen for the contract because of their reliability, strength and versatility. “The DK range are serious tractors with the strength to handle a lot of heavy work, but still nimble and compact enough to work around a yard. They have optimised combustion, 4-cylinder turbo diesel engines that are reli-

able and economic. “These are solid no-frills products that are easy to maintain, so they’re the ideal machine for Tuvalu.” Nesdale believes Power Farming’s reputation for service, product support, its long history – now over 60 years in the industry – and it being one of the largest suppliers of tractors and farm machinery in Australasia, were the reasons it was

chosen to fulfil the contract. Power Farming’s training manager for New Zealand and Australia, Mark Daniel, will travel to Tuvalu to train locals to run and maintain the equipment. Power Farming has In recent years shipped tractors and agricultural machinery to Fiji and Samoa, and it is currently organising to send tractors to Pitcairn Island.

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MORE GRAPEVINES for your fence outlay: that’s an offer from Strainrite, whose new vineyard strainer-post anchor has tested to 5.0 tonnes. The usual vineyard strainer tests at only one tonne, says Strainrite manufacturer Robertson Engineering. Owner Brian Collins says, “With a normal vineyard fence using a stay, the last 2m cannot be planted with vines because of obstruction by the stay. This may not seem much, but in a large vineyard it represents a lot of vines.”

The anchor consists of a tapered anchor pipe attached to an anchor rod with a ring at the other end to attach wires. The anchor is driven into the ground about 1m. The tapered shape enables it to push through hard and rocky ground with no prespiking needed. When the strain comes on, the anchor rotates and locks in place. Installation is easy and fast. All parts of the assembly are hot dip galvanised. Meanwhile, a new post wedge attached to the bottom of posts before they are driven into the ground are to stop lifting and

twisting. “They are a simple device ideal when posts are driven into dips or low points on a fence line where they are subject to lift and need special footings,” said Collins. The wedges are nailed to the lower section of the post and are driven in with their shape diverting soil, stone or other obstructions. The fencer decides how many to nail to the post, depending on the strain the post will come under. They are hot dip galvanised and likely to sell for $4.00 incl. GST. Meanwhile, Strainrite’s multiwire tread-in-steel post is ideal for

carrying multi-wire electric fences and can be shifted while the fence is electrified as it has a well-placed insulated section with a hand grip. It is built for carrying tape as well as electric wires. The angled clip at the top carries 40mm tape and the four clips are angled so tapes do not drop out when the fence is being shifted. The shaft is made of galvanised spring steel and the foot is pressed form steel shaped to give better ground retention. They retail at $36.00 for 10 and the price includes GST. Tel. 04 524 9032 www.strainrite.co.nz


Rural News // august 6, 2013

machinery & products 41 New tax app aims to ease IRD pain

Powerful, effortless ride mark mcfarl ane

A FIRM called Tax Management New Zealand (TMNZ) reckons it has made paying provisional tax easier than ever with its new Pay My Tax app. “Provisional tax can be a headache for taxpayers because it’s often difficult to predict what your final payment will be – especially for those who work in volatile markets or seasonal industries,” explains TMNZ’s Chris Cunniffe “If you don’t pay on time, the IRD charges high interest costs and late payment penalties. With the Pay My Tax app, taxpayers can shift the payment dates for their provisional tax to a time that better suits their business and avoid paying IRD’s interest or penalties.” Cunniffe says by leaving cash in the business for as long as possible, people can pay for the things they really need to do. By using the app, they can even pay the cost of financing their tax by credit card. The Pay My Tax app also helps avoid the high cost of borrowing to pay for provisional tax. The cost of using the Pay My Tax facility is low. Available from 5.4%, it’s less than the cost of a traditional business overdraft facility and it’s tax deductible. The new app is available for Android smartphones and iPhones and can be downloaded from August 12. Tel 09 520 8922 www.paymytax.co.nz

MITSUBISHI ALREADY had a great car on its hands with the smart little ASX. Sharp handling and easy to park; the small SUV with its modern design and high ride was already popular with city-goers. Usually powered by a 112kW petrol engine, recently New Zealand has been supplied with versions with the 2.2L turbo diesel we previously reviewed in the top-spec Outlander. An engine powerful enough to make that size vehicle get up and go was always going to be fun in a car that weighs 200kg less. It’s a bit of a rocket actually! Power arrives in huge dollops and as it is mated to a 6-speed auto (with sport mode if you want to use the paddles) it is pretty much always in the right gear to get up and boogie. It makes

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travel, any travel, so effortless. Plenty of power, huge torque numbers for a vehicle this size and yet only using 5.8L/100Km. I must admit, I failed in my attempt to

service stations. Inside my ASX Sport came with a host of luxurious goodies like electrically adjustable heated leather driver’s seat , a large colour

run it out of gas in the many days I had the ASX. With the 60L tank you should be well over 1000km before needing to visiting the pie and coffee shops we used to call

info and music screen, sadly without Sat Nav, and a leather-clad wheel with cruise and audio controls. The lower than usual compression of 14.9:1 means that in

addition to a lighter weight engine cabin clatter is kept to a minimum too. Smart use of leather and chrome accents make for a classy driving environment. Chrome is also used outside on the grill surround and mirrors, which automatically fold away when the vehicle is locked. Wheels are 17” on the sport model and 215/60 in size – offering good grip and modest noise levels. For farmers in remote locations, the ASX 4WD has a push button switchable 4WD option with diff lock if needed. Price: $41,990 for the slightly lower-speced LS model and $45,990 for the leather clad version, which also has better lighting options. Mitsubishi offers a 10 year powertrain warranty, a five year or 130,000km new vehicle warranty and five year roadside assist on all its new cars. Tel. 0800 54 53 52 www.mmnz.co.nz

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Rural News // august 6, 2013

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  

For all single, separated, divorced and widowed people. Over half our members find ‘someone special’ or their lifelong partner.

For Information Pack, contact... Country & City Contacts 0800 287 437 or Ph: 03-387 0794 or see our website www.countrycontacts.co.nz

LATEST STORIES ON www.ruralnews.co.nz BREAKING NEWS MARKETS & TRENDS COMPETITIONS MANAGEMENT STORIES MACHINERY REVIEWS AND MUCH MORE...

Advantage Plastics Rangiora call: 0800 668 534 or (03) 313 5750

Accomodates up to 4 dogs 6 individual air vents Removable centre board 2 lockable galvanised gates In-house drainage Fits all wellside & flatdeck utes (2 models) ❱❱ Raised floor for insulation ❱❱ Tie down lugs on each side.

      

 0800 766 737

STOP RATS • Pest Free puts 50Hz pulse along power cables • Rats and mice stress, dehydrate, exit • No harm to humans, pets, computers, etc. • Models to suit buildings/plant 200sq.m to 1000sq.m • NSW-made, patented, science proven • Used in ten countries • Two-year warranty • 100% 60-DAY MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE

GST $699 incl

NORTH ISLAND PRICE ONLY

Phone 0800 625 826 www.mckeeplastics.co.nz

New Zealand’s CHEAPEST Culvert Pipes! FREE joiners supplied on request.

300mm x 6 metre ................................ $410 400mm x 6 metre ................................ $515 500mm x 6 metre ................................ $690 600mm x 6 metre ................................ $925 800mm x 6 metre .............................. $1399 1000mm x 6 metre ............................ $2175 1200mm x 6 metre ............................ $3475 ALL PRICES INCLUDE G.S.T.

  

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

Culvert Pipes ONE STOP WATER SHOP

  

www.painfreeday.co.nz

NESTING IN HOMES, BUILDINGS, MACHINERY

TOP DOG BOX

❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱

 

• Lightweight, easy to install • Made from polyethylene

McKee Plastics, Mahinui Street, Feilding Phone 06 323 4181 Fax 06 323 4183 McKee Plastics, 231 Kahikatea Drive, Hamilton. Ph 07 847 7788 sales@mckeeplastics.co.nz www.mckeeplastics.co.nz

Phone

0800 625 826

for your nearest stockist

Joiners supplied FREE with culvert pipes


Rural News // august 6, 2013

rural trader 43 FLY OR LICE PROBLEM?

Rubber Safety Matting • ATV Carrier Mats • Exit/Entry Areas • Calf Trailers • Horse Floats & Trucks • Weigh Platforms • Bale Mats • Comfort Mats for Wet & Dry Areas • Utility Deck Matting

• The magic eye sheepjetter since 1989 Unique • Quality construction and options self adjusting • Get the contractors choice sides • Direct from the manufacturer • Efficient application and unequalled cost savings

Phone: 0800 80 8570

DOLOMITE

NZ’s finest BioGro certified Mg fertiliser For a delivered price call... 0800 436 566

WANT MORE BANG FOR YOUR PETROL BUCK?

TRY POWER PILL S 100% GUARANTEED You can check the value yourself.

Follow the instructions found in the packet

Visit http://tinyurl.com/kx4y959 Click: Go Shopping/Home Care

www.burgessmatting.co.nz

Phone 07 573 8512 • www.electrodip.com

FLYSTRIKE AND LICE ❖

Fantastic Penetration

NO ONE BEATS OUR PRICE • Make a big job quick & easy • Total body coverage, 2.5 litres/sheep

PPP Super Jetter

The ultimate in paint protection

DAIRYCOAT

• Faster, easier wash up! • Non toxic, Hygenically approved • Long lasting finish • Withstands pressure hosing • Resists deterioration from daily use • Can be applied to walls and floors Made in NZ – 10 year guaranteed

SPECIAL ACRYLIC

FENCE RAIL BLACK Amazing cover

59

$ FREE DELIVERY LITRE www.enviropaints.co.nz 0800 50 ENVIRO (0800 50 368476)

• Sheep & Beef Farms • Is drought a problem? • PPP have a cost effective solution for you • Storage silos from 6 tonnes upwards • Contact PPP • A trusted name in farming • Serving rural NZ for over 50 yrs

PER 10

14 Riverbank Rd, Otaki

SCARTT TT

Free Range & Barn Eggs SUPPLIERS OF:

• Nest boxes - manual or automated • Feed & Drinking • Plastic egg trays QUALITY PRODUCTS MADE IN EUROPE OR BY PPP

A trusted name in Poultry Industry for over 50 years ❖

“It’s p r good m etty ate!”

SAMPLE PHOTO WITH EXTRA’S

$10,990 +gst Phone 09 376 1035 www.percymotors.co.nz

BEST VALUED UTV IN NZ

FLEXISKIN RAINWEAR SALE! 40% OFF SALE ENDS AUGUST! ORDER NOW FOR CALVING & MILKING SEASON.

WATERPROOF, BREATHABLE

$80 valued at $200 $70 valued at $140 Please add $10 Freight per order

$100 $60 valued at $190 valued at $120


Tim Van de Molen

ANZ Agri Manager and Farmer 2013 ANZ Young Farmer Contest winner

Opening more doors, closing more gates. ANZ Agri Managers are dedicated to helping your farm reach its potential.

ANZ was awarded first place in the 2013 Canstar Cannex Agribusiness Award. ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited.

ANZ1093 - Angri Young Farmer – Farmers Weekly FP V4.indd 1

ANZ1093/TBWA

9/07/13 5:10 PM


Rural News 6 August 2013  

Rural News 6 August 2013

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