Page 1

NEWS

EXPORTS

The dairy boom slows but the outlook is positive for other sectors . PAGE 6

Kiwifruit demand in China is growing with demand outstripping supply. PAGE 16

RURALNEWS TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS

JUNE 17, 2014: ISSUE 563 

www.ruralnews.co.nz

Meat producers feel blue P E TE R BU R K E peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

DAIRY INDUSTRY success is demoralising sheep and beef farmers, says the KPMG 2014 Agribusiness Agenda, published last week. The annual snapshot of issues in the primary sector stems from interviews with 157 industry leaders. The report says calls for reform in the red meat sector in the past year have failed to engender action and “the dairy

boom is impacting the sheep and beef sector in ways that could never have been envisaged; most significantly it is ‘destroying farmers self-esteem’,” says the report author Ian Proudfoot. “The message came through that it’s a sector without a lot of confidence” for various reasons, he told Rural News. “These include the continuous conversions to dairying and comparisons of returns from dairy with those from sheep and beef.” Also for a long time “a lot of people have held differing views

on the future of the industry and [have been unable] to rationalise some of those differences.” During past year more sheep and beef land has been converted to dairying or dairy conversion to get better financial returns. But there is no quick fix for rebuilding belief among farmers, Proudfoot says. It requires a shift in industry culture which must be driven by everyone. Some cultural change has been facilitated: FarmIQ and the Red Meat Profit

Partnership are two positives. And the Meat Industry Excellence Group has raised issues confronting the industry. Another challenge is dealing with the “parlous state of the wool industry”; sorting this out is critical to rebuilding farmer confidence. But the report says the red meat sector must look beyond gazing jealously over the fence at dairying, stop infighting and focus on long term opportunities. • More on pages 12-13

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT MAYBE PRIME Minister John Key was taking advice about the election from the man who famously once said ‘bugger the polls’ and went on to win the government benches. Former PM Jim Bolger attended National Fieldays in his capacity as chancellor of the University of Waikato, a major sponsor of the show. John Key was there to do the opening honours. More from Fieldays pages 42-43.

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Agriculture not lowtech! ANYONE WHO thinks agriculture is some sort of low-tech industry has got it completely wrong, says Prime Minister John Key. Speaking at the opening of National Fieldays, Key pointed to New Zealand agriculture as very high-tech, as shown by the numbers of people who come from around the world to look at our farming practices, science and innovation and take our ideas to their marketplaces. “When I look at how New Zealand is evolving, it is summed up best by looking back to the 1970s when there were 70 million sheep,” Key says. “[Today there are] 35 million yet we produce the same amount of lamb meat. Why? Because we’re better at breeding twin lambs and improving their survival rate.” New Zealand must stay focused on food safety and maintain its great reputation for producing world class food, Key says. “We must continue to work and invest in our bio-sciences and testing to ensure every consumer worldwide, when they pick up a product from New Zealand, can feel enormous confidence it’s worth paying a premium for – over and above products from other countries.” – Peter Burke


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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

NEWS 3 ISSUE 563

www.ruralnews.co.nz

Let’s not fall asleep over China – Petersen PETER BU RKE

NEWS������������������������������ 1-17 MARKETS��������������������� 18-19 AGRIBUSINESS����������������� 20 WORLD������������������������������ 21 HOUND, EDNA������������������� 22 CONTACTS������������������������� 22 OPINION����������������������� 22-25 MANAGEMENT����������� 26-29 ANIMAL HEALTH�������� 30-36 MACHINERY AND PRODUCTS������������������ 37-45 RURAL TRADER���������� 46-47

HEAD OFFICE Top Floor, 29 Northcroft Street, Takapuna, Auckland 0622 Phone: 09-307 0399 Fax: 09-307 0122 POSTAL ADDRESS PO Box 331100, Takapuna, Auckland 0740 Published by: Rural News Group Printed by: PMP Print CONTACTS Editorial: editor@ruralnews.co.nz Advertising material: davef@ruralnews.co.nz Rural News online: www.ruralnews.co.nz Subscriptions: subsrndn@ruralnews.co.nz ABC audited circulation 81,232 as at 31.12.2013

peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

CHINA TRADE is lulling New Zealand into a sense of complacency, says the special agricultural trade envoy Mike Petersen. Speaking at KPMG’s business leaders’ breakfast at Fieldays, Petersen claimed that while China was everywhere being talked about by everyone as offering massive opportunities, it was time to ‘spead our wings’ and think more widely about other markets. New Zealand shouldn’t ignore China but must also look at other affluent

markets worldwide. Petersen says fixation on trade with China is not peculiar to New Zealand: it is worldwide. By 2050 beef consumption in that country will have risen by a “staggering 3500%”. “The free trade agreement we have with China is fantastic. But the reality is – looking at milkpowder imports into China – the amount of free quota access we get is used up by about January 17 each calendar year. “Then we are basically on the same footing as everyone else. What’s often misunderstood about FTAs is that they are not just about reducing the tariff

barriers to our access. To me they are more about opening minds than opening markets. What they do is signal that the business can plan and invest with confidence and can build a long, enduring relationship.” Petersen has just returned from the west coast of North America and says New Zealand should start to look more at markets there, eg San Francisco and Vancouver. “I saw there almost no New Zealand product and it’s an issue. We need to look around the Pacific Rim and not just into Asia, but also in those affluent markets that have the resources and

Fed’s new man has a plan PETER BU RKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

FEDERATED FARMERS incoming chief executive Graham Smith believes it can play a greater role in the context of science and innovation. He told Rural News at Fieldays that in the increasingly competitive world market there is more reason for Feds to embrace science and technology. Smith, formerly at AgResearch and chief executive of Environmental Science & Research, says he found the opportunity to work for Federated Farmers “irresistible”. He wants to connect farmers and scientists, important if New Zealand is to meet consumer demands in the next 15-20 years, this being the time it can take to develop new products or systems. “Part of my focus will be to engage with key policymakers

Incoming Fed Farmer’s chief Graham Smith.

regularly…. I’ve told some of them and they welcome that opportunity.” He plans to use the first six months to get out and meet farmers and other key people. “A chief executive in any new role has a narrow ‘window’ in which to ask dumb questions… but he must embrace the sector and he can’t do that from an office.”

Smith also expects the Feds’ managers to get out into the provinces rather than spend all their time in Wellington. He’ll work between Hamilton where he lives, and Wellington, but he plans to travel the country. His priority for board engagement is key issues rather than a scattergun approach. @rural_news

know what they are looking for.” Other options could be India, Indonesia, other South-east Asian countries, South America and the Middle East.

Mike Petersen

Green threat PRIME MINISTER John Key says if National was to lose the election it would have a dramatic impact on agriculture. He told Rural News at Fieldays that there is an unusual situation with the upcoming election. “Normally you have the centre right versus the centre left, but this time you have the centre right versus the far left. There is no doubt that Labour can’t form a government without the Greens and we know the Greens’ feelings when it comes to agriculture. You have already seen… they want to put a heavy impost on farmers through a carbon tax.” Key says that in the past Labour has accepted agriculture was the backbone of the New Zealand economy, but because of their need to form a coalition with the Greens they seem to be walking away from this. “The position is a worry for New Zealand. In the end, our argument will be that we believe we have delivered the right results over the last six years and we have a strong outlook. I guess we’ll encourage New Zealanders not to put it all at risk.”

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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

4 NEWS

Commodity not a dirty word – Groser SUD ES H K I SSU N sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

TRADE MINISTER Tim Groser says exporting high value commodities shouldn’t be seen as an “intrinsic problem”. Speaking at the recent Primary Industry Summit in Wellington, in the context of the Government’s aim to double the value of exports by 2025, Groser defended commodity products as being high value, high quality exports in high demand around the world. Adding value is also great provided costs are kept under control, he says. Groser noted primary exports have performed exceptionally well: for 50

years compound average growth has averaged 8.5%. To double exports in 11 years requires 5.5-7.5% annual growth. Primary exports have always been stellar, not only during the last few years and not only because of China, he says. “I defend pure commodity; these are high value, high quality exports in high demand internationally. “Why on earth would you see an intrinsic problem…. if you could then add not cost but more value on top? Everyone will agree with that but there is nothing intrinsically wrong with exporting quality, high value, safe commodities.” As well as being good

at producing commodities, New Zealand has also shifted up the value chain, eg in sheepmeat exports. In 1970 90% of New Zealand’s exports were frozen carcases; today these represent only 3%. Fonterra now also earns more from products not in the market until recently, Groser says. “So innovation is going on in these so-called commoditised exports. Obviously we encourage people to add value but you have to be sure you are adding value not just cost.” He also cautioned against pursuing “rinky dink” policy ideas which could be “extremely dangerous”. He says the idea of

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taxing log exports to China to ‘encourage’ further processing in New Zealand is “fundamentally dangerous”. New Zealand recently became China’s largest source of logs, replacing Russia. But an export tax has been suggested as a means of encouraging Chinese investors to process the logs in New Zealand into value-added products. Demand for logs from China is hurting the local sawmilling industry as forest owners export their logs rather than sell them to local processors. Russia’s log exports have dipped as a result of their imposing an export tax aimed at encouraging Chinese buyers to process logs in Russian timber

plants. Groser says he has tried to attract high quality Chinese investment to further processing of logs in New Zealand but with little success. “But [export tax] is fundamentally dangerous and exactly why we have become the largest supplier of logs to China…. The Russians [imposed a tax] designed to force Chinese companies to do further processing in Russia. It has been a disaster.” Groser says the target to double exports by 2025 is chal-

lenging but measurable. New Zealand grew its exports on average by 7.6% between 1990 and 2001, he points out.

“We’ve done that before. At the moment we’re not doing badly but it’s not good enough.”

Tim Groser

Fonterra’s man to MP PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

EX-FONTERRA EXECUTIVE Todd Muller says he would be keen on a primary industries role in a future National government. The National candidate in the safe seat of Bay of Plenty resigned as Fonterra’s group director of co-op affairs earlier this month to campaign fulltime. “Primary industries have been a core part of my life and if I get the opportunity to contribute to the primary industry sector… I would be delighted to put my hand up for it,” Muller told Rural News. But for now he is “working hard locally, working hard for the Bay of Plenty, earning their trust and support and delivering on that. If other opportunities come, so be it.” Muller has previously been general manager of Zespri and chief executive of kiwifruit and avocado post-harvest company Apata. He is a University of

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Waikato councillor and a director of Plant and Food Research and the Sustainable Business Council. He has been active in the National Party for 25 years and worked for Prime Minister Jim Bolger during the National Government of the 1990s.    Muller is promising a strong campaign in the Bay of Plenty, “getting out, listening to the community and understanding their expectations and aspirations and what they want from their local MP and sharing with them the strengths of the National Government, what they’ve done over the past six years and what they plan over the next three.” Locals tell him they are delighted a ‘local boy’ has been selected, he says. “They know my background particularly in Te Puna; our family has been there for the last 40 years. “Obviously I’ve had strong involvement in kiwifruit, then avocados and more recently dairy. The agribusiness background has been well appreciated and my senior commer-

Todd Muller

cial experience is well received. “This area is doing well under a National Government and… they are keen for National and John Key to stay in power.” Muller (45) and his wife Michelle have three children. He was born in Te Aroha and raised in Te Puna. He attended Tauranga Boys College and the University of Waikato where he graduated with a masters degree.

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NEWS 5 A NEW Waikato agri hub brings together nine organisations aiming at helping double primary sector exports by 2015. Waikato AgriHub includes AgResearch, DairyNZ, University of Waikato, NIWA, Landcare Research, Wintec, Lincoln University, Waikato Innovation Park and Hamilton City Council. Waikato University’s deputy vice-chancellor professor Alister Jones says “the university’s new strategies and initiatives to foster innovation in agri-tech will… help achieve [primary sector export] goals”. Other organisations are said to be interested in joining the hub, a platform for attracting investment to the region, Jones says. AgResearch chief executive Dr Tom Richardson says Waikato stands out as a growth region for the agribusiness sector, in which well-coordinated research could make a difference to regional and national outcomes in the next few years.

“Responsible dairying will make us more competitive. It’s not all about volume, it’s also about value.” On the challenge to double export earnings while maintaining the environment, DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle says economic and environmental benefits are not mutually exclusive. “Responsible dairying will make us more competitive. It’s not all about volume, it’s also about value.” The Waikato AgriHub, at the AgResearch Ruakura campus, is one of several the CRI last year said it would launch to work on different aspects of agrisector innovation. Other centres are forming at Palmerston North, Lincoln and Invermay, near Dunedin. The Ruakura campus is to work on farm systems, environmental science and dairying. The partners have four things in view: improving farming profitability and productivity while reducing the environment footprint, product integrity, developing talent and sharing infrastructure. Waikato University will work on the talent pool, AgResearch will lead product integrity and DairyNZ will lead the other two. The university will appoint an agritech innovation manager to further contact with the agri sector. An agri-tech seed fund will back agri innovations, and an agri-tech entrepreneurial fellowship will further innovation. Jones refers to these new links as supporting the university’s connectedness to help add value to agriculture. And it will “make it easier for industry to engage with the university”.

Co-ops comment on raw milk review ANDREW SWAL LOW andrews@ruralnews.co.nz

FONTERRA AND Westland look likely to submit on MPI’s latest review of raw milk sales, but exactly what they’ll be saying neither will disclose. A Fonterra spokesperson told Rural News it is imperative NZ’s food safety regulations are applied appropriately to raw milk to adequately protect consumers and engender confidence in the product. “We’ll be taking part in the consultation process.” Westland chief executive Rod Quin says the Hokitika-based cooperative “will consider

a submission”. “In general Westland is concerned… there is a much higher [food safety] risk for consumers with unpasteurised milk sales. Pasteurisation is a proven heat treatment that provides consumers with fresh, safe milk.” MPI’s handout notes that dairy processors, farmers, district health boards and scientists expressed strong concerns in 2011 about the high risk raw milk posed to public health. “These submitters supported stringent controls on sales if prohibition was not the preferred policy. Dairy processors were concerned about the dairy

industry’s domestic and global reputation in the event of a serious outbreak of foodborne illness.” Federated Farmers says it will submit on behalf of members and it invites members to input to “help inform our submission”. Dairy chairman Willy Leferink told Dairy News that Feds’ position at the last consultation was that raw milk sales from the farmgate should be permitted but with protocols to ensure, as far as possible, minimal risk. “There has to be a strict protocol for people to follow to [avoid the situation] in Australia where a lot

of people got sick [from drinking raw milk]… We don’t want to destroy all we’ve worked hard for.” The issue hit the headlines in New Zealand earlier this year when an outbreak of campylobacter in South Canterbury was blamed on raw milk from a Village Milk

franchise. In seven of the 30 cases reported consumers had drunk the milk but MPI could not identify the source of the bug. Submissions must be made by July 8. The 2011 consultation drew 1685 responses. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

6 NEWS

Dairy boom slows, but others sectors increase DAIRY EARNINGS are expected to dive during the next 12 months, but the outlook is positive for other primary exports. So says the Ministry for Primary Industries’ annual situation and outlook report (SOPI), which predicts a drop in dairy export earnings from $17.6 billion in 2013-14 to $15.8 billion in 2014-15 – as signalled in last year’s report and a surprise to no one. In the past 12 months, prices for New Zealand exports reached historic highs, much of the gain coming from rising demand in China, resulting in high commodity prices. Looking further out, MPI forecasts total export earnings from the primary sector to rise 8% from the present $37.6 billion to $40.7 billion by 2018, with dairy bouncing back and meat, wool and horticulture performing well. Exports from forestry will be virtually unchanged. Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says these new figures show the dairy and red meat sectors standing

out with good increases in price and production. “Dairy now accounts for 46% of total primary industry export value and 35% of total New Zealand merchandise export value. Meat and wool exports have broken $8 billion, fantastic considering last year’s drought. Exports are expected to increase by about 22% for the five years to 2018. “MPI also forecasts horticulture export revenues to surpass $4 billion in 2016, a major milestone for the sector. The recent National Horticulture Field Days in Hawke’s Bay was a great showcase of the potential of this exciting industry.” MPI chief executive Martyn Dunne says to 2018 the future for the primary sector is positive. But he concedes there are challenges, notably ensuring a strong long-term relationship with China. Meat and wool For once the news is good for sheep and beef farmers, MPI forecasting

exports in the sector to rise by 22% over the next five years. While export prices will rise, the steady decline in capital stock numbers is likely to continue due to dairy conversions, especially in the South Island. The declining beef herd, says MPI, is being offset by high volumes of cow beef and there is a suggestion that while prime beef volumes may be limited, that meat will be sent to markets where there are lower tariffs and higher prices. Some good news on the lamb front: the schedule prices are expected to move up to $6.15 cents/kg by 2018 and the total value of lamb exports is forecast to hit $3.24 billion by then. The report points to the exceptional growth in lamb and mutton exports to China, up 76% in the year ended June 2013. Wool prices are forecast to lift within constrained supply. Asian demand is growing and even European buyers are showing renewed interest. Most supply problems result from the drought last year.

The latest annual outlook report for primary industries is picking an 8% increase in returns for the sector to $40.7 billion by 2018.

Dairy Milk production will increase by a modest 2.3% in the coming year as a result of slightly more cows and better production. Similar modest growth in production is expected to continue until 2018, the end of the forecast period. MPI says the 10.2% drop in dairy prices in the coming year is due to lower prices, a scenario reflected in the lower forecast payout to farmers of $7.20/ kgMS in the coming season. But this is still well above the 10 year average of $5.90/kgMS. It also notes that by 2018 the value of dairy exports will be back to this past season’s high.

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Ag sector no dumping ground for dummies P E TE R BU R K E peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

BY 2025 the agricultural sector will need 50,000 more people than it now has and most will need a recognised qualification. Half will work in ‘advisory’ or ‘support’ roles in the primary sector. This summarises People Powered, a report from the Ministry for Primary Industries, co-funded by Beef + Lamb New Zealand and DairyNZ. Every sector will need more people, except for red meat, where 5100 fewer will be needed, but that sector’s formally qualified will need to increase by 11,400 to 37,400. ‘Support services’ will need huge numbers: farm consultants, transport and plant operators, scientists, engineers, IT specialists, etc, advising or serving the wider agribusiness sector. This will need 32,000 more people by 2025, all formally qualified. Dairying will need 2300 more workers by 2025, but better qualified. By 2025 the

dairy industry is expected to be employing 51,100 (48,000). But those with qualifications will rise 29,100 (20,800). The move to larger dairy farms is reflected in the forecast job numbers. The number of dairy farmers and farm managers will increase only slightly; 15% more non-farm managers will be needed. Sales will offer the biggest job opportunities – 20% more people. The arable sector will generate 4,700 more jobs by 2025, mostly in processing, sales and support. That’s 24% more jobs in the sector since 2012. Likewise, horticulture will offer 7800 more jobs, but for the more highly qualified. Horticulture embraces more science and technology; staff managing commercial growing operations are expected to need much higher qualifications – in many cases university degrees. Forestry will need 5300 more workers, all formally qualified, in support and sales, technical and trades. But MPI predicts a drop in the number of ‘forestry workers’.

NEWS 7 How to attract young people into the sector THE REPORT People Powered was launched by the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy at Massey University before a small group representatives of industry sectors groups referred to. People from each sector talked about how they are trying to attract young people into agriculture – school visits, scholarships, competitions for young people in farming, work experience, contact with careers advisors and better coordinated training. A telling statistic revealed by Professor Warren McNabb, AgResearch, showed that 40% the CRI’s scientists are aged at least 50. Other speakers said it was the same in farm consultancy. Guy concedes the sector faces a huge challenge to get the people needed. “The size of the prize is doubling our exports by $64 billion – that’s why this exercise has taken off. This report [begins to get] people onboard with government and we now know the size of the problem and we can start to address it. “The pipeline is there within government… for training extra

people. We have just have to get out ‘crop’ of consultants must have and sell the primary industry story better knowledge of ‘farm systems’. better than we have done.” “[There are] specialty areas and Guy agrees science has a that reflects the modern farm with problem in the its greater compleximany experienced ties, sophistication scientists nearing and scale. Dairy operaretirement. The tions in particular are primary indusrequiring increased tries must attract specialisation such our youngest and as animal nutritionbrightest. ists, irrigation scheme “We have a lot specialists and effluent of experienced specialists.” people involved in Macaulay says NZ Institute of Primary Indusprimary industries. try Management chief execupeople are needed tive Stephen McCauley says Yes they might who can integrate all the challenge is to train people be getting older, these specialist areas to be “work ready”. but their wisdom into a whole-farm is huge and we system. The chalneed their wisdom and experience lenge is to train people to be “work to rub off on young people. Hence ready”. Students graduating with the challenge is to get out there and university degrees are like people showcase this report and say we with restricted driver licenses: they want more people.” need experience and mentoring Guy admits many programmes before they are “work ready”. to attract young people into agricul“Farm systems have moved a ture have been uncoordinated. long way over the last 10 years and Stephen Macaulay, chief execu[universities neeed to be asked] tive of the NZ Institute of Primary ‘how have you kept relevant and Industry Management, referred to paced what’s actually happening ageing farm consultants. The next onfarm?’

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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

NEWS 9

Dairy boom far from over – experts SUD ES H K I SSU N sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

ARE WE seeing the end of the dairy boom? Dairy prices have fallen for eight Fonterra GDT auctions in a row: the average winning price at the last auction was 25% down from the February 4 peak. But let’s put things into perspective: whole milk powder was sold for US$3594/tonne at the last auction, much less than the US$1800/tonne recorded in July 2009 at the height of the global financial crisis. Skim milk powder fetched US$3863/ tonne earlier this month; it made its debut on GDT in April 2010, selling at US$2900/tonne. The downward pressure on prices results from increased milk production in the US and EU, two major milk producing blocs. Low grain prices and the high milk price are enticing farmers to produce more. With milk prices easing and profitability strained, the question is when will the US and EU farmers decide to slow down? Fonterra responded to the easing dairy prices by revising its 2013-14 farmgate payout to $8.40/ kgMS; the co-op also announced an opening forecast of $7/kgMS for the new 2014-15 season, starting June 1. Coincidentally, last season’s opening forecast was also $7/kgMS. Fonterra chairman John Wilson says commodity prices eased more than the co-op had expected, hence the 25c

Fonterra chair John Wilson says not too much should be read into one GDT auction.

ted the extent of the fall, particularly in whole milk powder, wasn’t expected. “There can be some volatility fortnight to fortnight between GDT events. Perhaps what we’re seeing is a bit of seasonality.”

happen only up to a certain price point: once prices fall to levels straining profitability, US and EU milk supply will cool, setting the base for another rise. Wilson says this shows

Wilson says not too much should be read out of one GDT event. Cheap feed supplement and high global prices are encouraging US and EU farmers to produce more milk. However, this can

the volatile nature of the global dairy market; demand from China and Asia remains strong but supply fluctuates depending on weather and profitability of farmers in the US and Europe.

AUTUMN INDENT ORDER NOW & SAVE! Guaranteed delivery date & pricing difference from last season’s payout. And he’s not ruling out the option of another drop. While farmers ended their season on May 31, Fonterra’s financial year runs to July 31. “So, there’s still a bit of water to flow under the bridge,” Wilson told Rural News. The co-op is disappointed to start the new season with an opening forecast of $7/kgMS, he says, but farmers aren’t surprised and understand the volatility in the global market. Farmers follow the fortnightly GDT auctions and commentary provided by market analysts. “We give our farmers the best available information. The price announcements we make are based on huge amount of analysis.” Wilson says $7 is the “best estimate” it can give farmers; how the supply/ demand factors play out remain to be seen. “The

only thing we can say for certain is that the $7 forecast price will either go up or down.” The last GDT auction, a week after Fonterra’s opening forecast announcement, saw the average trade weighted index down 4.2%. Federated Farmers Dairy chairman Willy Leferink says the drop was “a bit disappointing. I thought we’d turned the corner.” Fonterra’s opening forecast of $7/kgMS for next season looks vulnerable unless there’s a rally in markets or the New Zealand dollar falls. “At the current milk powder price and exchange rate it would go to under $6.50/kgMS,” Leferink says. Provided it was still above $6/kgMS most farms should still make a profit, he adds. Westpac senior economist Anne Boniface admit-

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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

10 NEWS

High Country chair blasts regulatory rules Biodiversity, pest control, and environmental regulation were key themes at Federated Farmers High Country section’s 2014 conference held in Queenstown earlier this month. Andrew Swallow reports. FEDERATED FARMERS’ High Country chairman Chas Todhunter has blasted the environmental regulation rolling out across the South Island as “bull dung”. “We’re told New Zealand has a crisis with water quality. It has, but the problem’s not nitrogen and phosphorus; the problem is bull dung. It’s being sent down from central Government in Wellington to the regional councils, and the councils are throwing it at farmers.” Several non-government organisations are getting in on the act, and many of the resulting regulatory requirements are misguided and/or out of proportion for the scale of the problem.

“Cattle standing in water is a spectacular example. If even the most rudimentary cost benefit analysis on this had been done it would have been thrown out at the first hurdle.” There should never have been a requirement in Canterbury’s Land and Water Regional Plan for high country rivers to be fenced, he claims. “Many of these issues would be a lot easier to solve if we could talk and listen to the people involved and they would talk and listen to us.” Fertiliser companies are unfairly being asked to provide a “free” service running Overseer modelling for farmers as demanded by regional councils. Cost-

ing the fertiliser representatives’ time at $150/hour, each farm’s Overseer modelling will cost about $2000. If a commercial consultant does it, the cost’s likely to be more like $10,000. “Yet for extensive operations with low fertiliser use there’s probably absolutely no benefit in running Overseer.” Todhunter believes regional councils, especially Canterbury’s, have got it badly wrong in their all-encompassing approach to implementing the Government’s National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management. Instead of burdening all farms with the substantial extra costs and bureaucracy the various regional plans are imposing, the focus should be on those farms that have real problems. “Regulate to prevent bad practice, but leave everyone else alone…. focus on those leaching over a 100kg of nitrogen per hectare and work with them to make a real difference.” Earlier in the conference, Feds’ High

Country section vice chairman, Simon Williamson, echoed Todhunter’s concerns. “We are well aware of the problem caused by nutrient leaching in some specific situations and support the need for control in these cases. Our concern from the high country perspective comes from Canterbury Regional Council imposing stringent rules on properties where the current farming practice is not creating a problem. “The proposals will be very costly for these properties, possibly jeopardising the sustainability of the farming business and we question whether these costs would be justified if a meticulous secFed’s High Country chair Chas Todhunter labelled growtion 32 analysis had ing central and local government regulations as ‘bull-dung’. been undertaken.”

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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

NEWS 11 National strategy for wilding pine COLLABORATIVE ACTION under four key principles is the way forward in wilding pine control, according to a draft strategy discussed at Federated Farmers’ High Country conference. The proposed strategy is for land managers, researchers, regulators and communities to work singly and together, keep costs in check, act when they need to, prioritise and coordinate. Delegates heard how this approach is working in the Queenstown Lakes District with the council, DOC, landowners and community groups contributing to controls. Helicopter and ground spraying is wiping out wilding forests while vanguards of volunteers are lopping off sprouting pines. Landowners harbouring seed sources are being encouraged to replace them with non-spreading species. “[Have] the right tree in the right place,” New Zealand Wilding Conifer Management Group chair and high country farmer Hamish Roxburgh stressed. Roxburgh warned that while landowners and farmers have a role to play, in his opinion 90% of wilding conifer problems stem from Crown-sponsored plantings, so to hold landowners responsible for clearing them now would be “reprehensible”. “A lot of wilding control is not to protect production, it’s to protect biodiversity,” he said. “The battle can be won but a huge amount of resource and will is required from all involved. Knowledge and passion is not really enough… the cost of control runs into telephone numbers.” Feds’ High Country committee member Andrew Simpson urged delegates to support the strategy, and stressed wildings are “every bit as big a problem” in the North Island as in the south. “Look carefully at the cost sharing part [of the strategy]. It ties in central and regional government. If adopted it would be a powerful tool. It would allow farmers to take on wilding control that would otherwise be unaffordable. “If we’re serious about wilding control we need to commit to a strategy. Sure, it’s going to cost us some money but the alternative is not good either. Wildings are already costing us a lot of money…. I believe we, as a community of farmers, need to adopt this document.”

It’s a RAP – or is it? EVER HEARD of a RAP report? If you haven’t and you’re likely to be buying land then it’s time you heard, judging by the case of a central South Island farmer presented at Feds’ High Country conference by solicitors Bridget Irving and Jan Porter of Gallaway Cook Allan. RAPs (recommended areas for protection), a DOC initiative of the 1980s, were meant to be shared with regional and district councils and, where appropriate, written into council plans. Ideally their existence would also have been added to LIMs (land information memoranda) regarding properties, but it seems most weren’t. Delegates heard how a RAP on a block of about 250ha by the Clutha River was key to Forest and Bird gaining an interim court injunction to prevent further clearing work by a

and Southland field officer Sue Maturin defended its approach. “We could have gone to see [the farmer] but in our experience that conversation goes nowhere and the ploughs go even faster.” While Porter said RAPs were difficult records to

find, Maturin said F&B has copies of all of them. “You can just ring DOC and get them.” Where Porter and Maturin agreed was on the lack of awareness of this particular RAP at the local council, as it never came to light during the sale of the property.

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Bridget Irving and Jan Porter.

young farmer who had recently bought the land. All but 8ha had already been disced but the midFebruary injunction prevented any further work including sowing winter feeds. “He had invested all he’d got in this property. For him financially everything was on the line here and he needed to get to the point of sowing it in time for winter,” Porter said. An urgent hearing

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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

12 NEWS

Election jitters unsettle primary leaders P E TE R BU R K E peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

NERVOUSNESS IS afflicting primary industry leaders for the first time in 50 years as they ponder who will win the general elec-

tion. This is a key finding of the KPMG 2014 Agribusiness Agenda released last week. Interviews with 157 business leaders disclose their “trepidation” as they await the election out-

come and its “influence [on] the future potential” of the primary sector. Their chief concern is Green Party policy agenda in a Labour-led coalition. KMPG head of global agribusiness Ian Proud-

foot says the election issue was “regularly raised” in all the firm’s conversations with industry leaders. He says agriculture must keep telling its story especially where policy

change could make an impact – immigration, foreign investment and sustainability. But for most voters agriculture won’t be an election issue, he told Rural News. “For 35 years

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we have had a left- or right-leaning government with reasonably consistent policy towards agriculture. “But… now industry leaders are concerned about two likely government scenarios: a coalition [in which] a strong Green and potentially a New Zealand First component creates… a government with a different attitude and approach to the primary sector.” The report also refers to a widening urban-rural gap, a perception encouraged by townie journalists who say or imply that farmers cannot be regarded as good stewards of the environment; meanwhile the industry itself is defensive and receives less media coverage. The report calls on farming to “proactively communicate” with urbanites. Proudfoot says farming within the limits of new regulations on water is a big challenge, and

that industry leaders are concerned at slow progress in getting new irrigation schemes underway. “Public concern that more water results in farming intensification and environmental deterioration” is throttling progress. Proudfoot says expectations that the economy will continue to grow even if primary production is cut back are incorrect; instead the returns from the primary sector will simply drop. Biosecurity tops the priorities of industry leaders; food safety is, for the first time, on their radar, ranked second; third comes securing high quality trade agreements; then investment in irrigation and water storage, market signals to producers and high speed broadband. Also in the top ten is the overall issue of data and developing future leaders.

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FARMER SUPPORT for the dairy milksolids levy is a “fantastic result,” says DairyNZ chair John Luxton. Based on milksolids production, 82% returned a yes vote, 7% higher than in the last poll in 2008. The percentage of yes voters (actual farmer numbers) was 78%. Eligible voter turnout was also up – 60%, or 68% based on their milksolids production. Farmers pay a levy of 3.6 cents/kgMS annually to fund DairyNZ “The result is a great credit to DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle and his team and a vote of confidence in their work,” Luxton told Rural News. “I was surprised at the turnout, but the fact it has gone up each time is a fair indication farmers have confidence in what DairyNZ is doing. When things are good, as they have been, there is always complacency in the democratic system. “But with a little nudging farmers have responded. It’s an indication of the cooperative nature of the dairy industry.” Luxton says the high yes vote is an indication of the industry’s dynamism. “Farmers are seeing an industry still moving forward. [The vote] is part of that moving forward and ensuring the R&D keeps going. As an industry we have challenges, but those challenges provide opportunities for us to build an even stronger and sustainable industry.” Luxton says the average farmer is paying annually just over $5000 in levy – “a fairly strong commitment to R&D” by each.


RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

NEWS 13

Youngsters seek ways to make a difference AGRIBUSINESS STUDENTS at The University of Waikato were asked by KPMG researchers what they saw as top priorities, says Ian Proudfoot. “A key message was that they are looking for a career where they can make a difference, which is incredibly positive for the primary sector,” he told Rural News. “How we are interacting with China they saw as important; they see regulation constraining their future in the sector because costs are adding uncertainty; and they are [concerned about] the wider image of the primary sector and how it attracts people and closes the gap with urban areas.” Attracting young people to careers in agribusiness is a key theme of the report. Young people don’t see agriculture as a ‘sexy career’. Proudfoot says initiatives aimed at publicising opportunities in the wider agribusiness sector lack

coordination. A new bureaucracy may be needed for this, though he hates the thought of it. The government is this year running a competition for young people for a marketing plan to encourage their peers to go into agriculture. But their take-up of farming careers does not depend just on telling them about it all, Proudfoot says, but rather on “how the sector reaches out and provides them with an inspirational experience”. “The perception is that the sector is not proactive enough in getting to people with a message that there’s a great opportunity in agriculture.” This is partly due to the many ‘older people’ in the sector – especially in science. But it is something of a twoedge sword. “We have a huge wave of retirements of senior scientists and capability due in the next 10 years,

KPMG head of global agribusiness Ian Proudfoot.

yet we have universities and CRIs working on a competitive funding model. “We are not thinking about how

to keep the national institutional science knowledge to make sure it gets captured and transferred to another generation.”

More R&D needed A RECURRING theme in the KPMG report is that NZ companies are not spending enough on R&D and that the science system remains dependent on government funding. It also points to an apparent failure by government to properly fund agricultural science, excusing itself with the ‘out’ that the industry is big enough to do it itself. The leaders lament the Riddet Institute losing its status as a Centre of Research Excellence despite its global reputation. Many question the wisdom of AgResearch’s massive reorganisation and they fear more good people will be lost when there is already a lack of ‘appropriately skilled’ people. For the first time, says Proudfoot, the issue of ‘data’ in the primary sector has been raised, including the need for faster broadband in rural areas. He says some research suggests that in cities broadband demand is driven by entertainment, but in rural areas it is driven by business, educational and medical use. Broadband has practical uses and values in the rural sector and it should be getting a higher priority. “People are now starting to realise that [significant] amounts of data are being collected especially from dairy farms. People need to be able to collect, manipulate and interpret that data to make good business decisions. “This reflects the trend we are seeing globally – the big data wave. It’s interesting to me that this is starting to show up as a key concern of people in the industry.”

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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

14 NEWS

Greens plan to tax farming more P E TE R BU R K E peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

THE GOVERNMENT has rebuffed the Greens claim that the country should not subsidise the dairy industry’s greenhouse gas emissions. Even the Greens’ own likely coalition partner Labour is concerned that

dairy farmers are being singled out. Green Party Leader Dr Russell Norman told Rural News that the industry is big enough and strong enough to pay its own way without being subsidised by taxpayers. His comments follow the recent release of the Greens climate change

policy in which they propose to charge dairy farmers $12.50 for every tonne of carbon dioxide they produce. But the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy has described this as a “mad cap scheme” – a tax for being successful. “The Greens plan for reducing emissions will

put farmers out of business. New Zealand is the most carbon efficient dairy and pasture based economy in the world and we are investing $45 million out to 2016 in the Global Research Alliance which is what New Zealand proudly set up,” Guy told Rural News. “A huge number of

countries have signed up to this and we are working on a lot of projects together to do with pasture based livestock systems, soil carbon and nitrogen cycling.” Norman says the country’s greenhouse emissions are expected to increase by 50% over the next 10 years. He claims

Nathan Guy has labelled the Green’s carbon tax proposal as ‘mud-cap’.

climate scientists say New Zealand needs to dramatically cut its emissions and that economists say the best and cheapest way is to put a price on greenhouse emissions. “Our policy… is $25 a tonne for everyone except dairy which is half that at $12.50 a tonne…. Emissions from dairy have doubled since 1990 so there needs to be price signal because currently there isn’t one. “As for sheep and beef, we have left them out for the moment because emissions from them have dropped significantly from 1990 and because they are economically vulnerable

at the moment.” Norman says the cost of the carbon tax is 8c/ kgMS which, based on the $8.40/kgMS payout is just 1% of the total payout. He denies the Greens are picking on dairy farmers and says they are treating them better than ordinary families. Labour agriculture spokesman Damien O’Connor says while he has yet to fully study the Greens policy, he is concerned dairy farmers are being singled out. He says if anything the proposal should be spread across the whole agricultural sector so as not to give distorted signals.

A mixed message?

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FARMERS WILL be confused by the Green Party’s decision to abandon “the world’s most stringent emissions trading scheme” in favour of a carbon tax, says Federated Farmers climate change spokesperson Dr William Rolleston. He says the Greens are sending mixed messages to the primary industries. While it is true that biological emissions account for half of our emissions, we must note that some 90% of the food we produce is exported, Rolleston adds. “Climate change does not end at New Zealand’s borders, yet New Zealand’s role as a net exporter of food in a world of increasing food shortage rates barely a mention. “Penalising our farmers for being the world’s most carbon-efficient will only reduce production and that production will be picked up by less productive farmers offshore. This apparent paradox is a concept the Greens are struggling to grasp: penalising New Zealand farmers will increase global biological emissions.” Rolleston says while the Greens say sheep and beef biological emissions will be initially excluded, that seems like a sweetener. It may be designed to drive a wedge between the farming sectors. “The reality is sheep and beef farmers would still pay what they are paying now under the ETS; making them pay later would only be a matter of twiddling the regulatory knobs. “As it stands, they are telling us ‘you will be taxed for being successful but given a break if you are less so’. “That is not a good aspirational message to send.”


RURAL NEWS // JANUARY 21, 2014

NEWS 15

Tunnelhouses

More to growing than ladders and spraying profitable industry. “Being able to attract, retain and grow talent is JOB VARIETY in horticulture and the critical. We need to plan for sucindustry’s attractiveness to young- cess and be developing people sters were among topics discussed at with the right skills and capathe National Horticultural Field Days bility.” Over the years, the strucin Hawkes Bay on June 5. Speaking at the ‘future industry’ ture of the industry has seminar, Horticulture New Zealand changed dramatically, he said. board member and apple grower Leon In 2001 there were about 1000 Stallard said, “Our industry is more growers, today there are fewer than just climbing ladders and sitting than 400. “Much of the structural on sprayers. While that’s what most people see the industry as, we offer a change has coincided with emerhuge range of jobs and careers.” Many different skills are required gence of the “to get fruit into the box at the right vertically intePipfruit NZ chief executive grated compatime,” he says. Alan Pollard. “As well as bankers who under- nies that grow, stand horticulture and aren’t fair- pack, store and weather friends, we need marketers ship produce. These are sophisti- and research, people management, who know about the protocol, the cated businesses and have opened finance, quality control... And international trade we need to get up a vast array of career opportuni- externally we need accountants, lawyers, bankers, logistics and ties and career progression. into the market.” “I get irritated when I see articles suppliers who understand our Attracting young people to horticulture is a major focus for the indus- about the industry where the focus industry.” Horticulture NZ president Julian try and developing partnerships with is solely on fruit picking and forklift Raine says as well as coordinating the driving. schools is part of that. “The industry offers far more Young NZ Fruitgrower of the Year Pipfruit NZ chief executive Alan Pollard agreed young people were than that: production, management, competitions around the country, needed to ensure a sustainable and logistics, sales and marketing, science Horticulture NZ offers scholarships through universities and industry training organisations. “People tend to think about the production side only but there’s a raft of supporting industries – advice and service industries, packing and processing – that we want to encourage people to come into.” PIPFRUIT NZ last year said it planned to become a NZ$10 billion export The Hawkes Bay A&P Society industry by 2020. hosted the event, attracting about “For the first time last year we achieved $500 million,” said Alan 3000 including as speakers Minister Pollard. “We contribute three-five times the revenue in economic value for Primary Industries Nathan Guy added to provincial NZ. The Hawkes Bay region benefited by about $1.7 and Massey University vice-chancelbillion in economic activity. That’s important in the provincial ledgers.” lor Steve Maharey. There are about 5500 growers of fruit and vegetables in NZ who VIVIE NN E H A L DA N E

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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

16 NEWS

Zespri makes sweet moves in China PA M TI PA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

KIWIFRUIT DEMAND in China is growing at 30% per annum with demand outstripping supply, says Simon Limmer, Zespri general manager, China and Hong Kong. The Zespri brand is

more recognised offshore than in New Zealand and more people overseas associate ‘kiwi’ with the fruit rather than the bird. New Zealand has high labour costs and expensive land compared to its competitors, primarily Chile which produces kiwifruit at a third or half

Simon Limmer says Zespri is the number one, most recognisable fruit brand in China.

the cost. Kiwifruit represents only 0.25% of global fruit production. Yet Zespri is the number one, most recognisable fruit brand in China today, says Limmer. It is number two in Spain and in the top five in countries including the

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Netherlands, Germany and Korea. Zimmer says these countries buy into the Zespri brand primarily for food safety, knowing New Zealand has quality processes which guarantee food safety. “The demand for our product in China is so enormous we are struggling to keep up. It’s a good problem.” Consistency in taste and health are both extremely important. “We know that kiwifruit is a ‘superfood’ in many respects. We are investing significantly in understanding what that means. We know about nutrient densities, we know about the digestive attributes… “But if you make claims about food attributes you’ve got to make sure

they’re backed by science. We are making progress in this area. It is the one point of difference about kiwifruit that’s really significant. It is a big driver of how the category grows in future.” About 42% of kiwifruit consumers eat it once a week or more, and those weekly consumers eat 90% of the volume. Health is one reason they are consuming it weekly. “Moving more people into this weekly consumption pattern will drive our volumes significantly,” Limmer adds. He says the Chinese middle class will reach 700 million in the next five years and they want safe, nutrient-rich products and premium brands which will impress neighbours. Growth in China, about 30% per annum,

Changing colour ACCORDING TO Zespri’s Simon Limmer, in New Zealand’s orchards a key change since Psa is that 60% of growers now grow both the Green and Gold crops. Previously, Green was at least 70% of the crop. However, the balance between Green and Gold will eventually reach 50:50, Limmer says. In 2011, before Psa hit, 110 million trays were produced and Zespri expects to return to that in 2018. “Maybe a bit further ahead; it’s going quicker than we anticipated.” The slightly sweeter Gold is more appealing to the Asian palate, whereas the European market prefers Green, but that is also changing. Gold is driving bigger orchard returns: in 2002 Green was the biggest crop returning $25,00030,000/ha; today the average return is $50,000/ha and the dominant driver of that is Gold.

has demand outstripping supply at present and South East Asia about 25% per annum. That is without focussing on big growth areas

such as South America and the Middle East. Those are quietly “simmering in the background but they are supply constrained at present”.

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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

NEWS 17

Nutrient budgeting a budding subject for growers VIVIE N NE H A LDA N E

NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT does and should involve horticulture as much as dairying, sheep and beef, growers heard at their recent National Horticultural Field days. Pertinent nutrient issues affecting the sector were discussed in ‘Step Change in Sustainable Nutrient Management,’ a seminar at the field days. “Nitrogen is currently a hot topic and decisions are being made that will affect all growers,” says Angela Halliday, natural resources and environment advisor, Horticulture NZ. The grower lobby is working with other primary sector groups on freshwater issues at a national and regional level. It is important for horticulture to collaborate with other groups such as Beef + Lamb NZ and Dairy NZ “so that when we go into regional council processes, we are not

all working against one another”. Ripe for further development in the horticulture sector is creating nutrient management plans that work with intensive cropping systems. At present they are lacking information. “As an interim measure we are working at a regional and grower level on codes of practice which focus on good and best management practices.” The most common nutrient budget system, used nationally, is Overseer nutrient budgets (Overseer), a farm-scale model that estimates nutrient transfers into, around and out of a farm including nitrogen (N) leaching losses on a longterm annual average basis. “Overseer is well developed for dairy, beef and pastoral systems. However, the model is not yet robust enough to accurately model most horticultural and arable systems,” Halliday says.

“Intensive cropping systems are complex and more research is needed into these farming systems to validate the model and ensure it is accurate.” So the industry has come up with a code of practice that can be used for consent purposes. It follows a risk-based framework (for vegetables) for good and best management practices and is verified by an independent consultant. It is now an alternative to Overseer, she says. Dr James Hanly, from the Massey University Institute of Agriculture and Environment, said Overseer is being adopted by many regional councils in new plans for assessing the effects of nutrient management. “The step change taking place is evaluating the impact of good practice on improving nutrient use efficiency and minimising nutrient losses on the wider environment.” This includes effects

HortNZ president Julian Raine says Overseer is a ‘blunt’ instrument.

of fertiliser applications, spray drift to waterways and neighbouring prop-

erties, surface run-off of phosphorous from soil and nitrogen leaching. Trouble is, cropping nutrient budgets are more difficult to model: they have complex rotations and a lot of plant-available nitrogen coming from organic matter. “Overseer has mostly been used for pastoral systems even though it has other models in it,” says Hanly Last year, The Foun-

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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

BEEF MARKET TRENDS

MARKET SNAPSHOT 







 

 

 

BEEF PRICES

 









































NI

Change

P2 Steer - 300kg

n/c

Last Week

2 Wks Ago

Last Year

4.65

4.65

4.32

















 



YM - 13.5kg

n/c

Last Week

2 Wks Ago

Last Year

5.91

5.91

4.96

PM - 16.0kg

n/c

5.93

5.93

4.98

3.50

PX - 19.0kg

n/c

5.95

5.95

5.00

3.38

PH - 22.0kg

n/c

5.96

5.96

5.01

MX1 - 21kg

n/c

3.65

3.65

2.90

YM - 13.5kg

+10

5.83

5.73

4.76

PM - 16.0kg

+10

5.83

5.73

4.78

2.90

PX - 19.0kg

+10

5.83

5.73

4.80

2.87

2.70

PH - 22.0kg

+10

5.83

5.73

4.81

4.30

4.00

+5

3.23

3.18

2.70

4.50

4.50

4.27

P2 Cow - 230kg

n/c

3.85

3.85

M Cow - 200kg

n/c

3.75

3.75

Local Trade - 230kg

n/c

4.65

4.65

4.27

Mutton

P2 Steer - 300kg

+5

4.15

4.10

3.95

SI Lamb

M2 Bull - 300kg

+5

4.05

4.00

3.80

P2 Cow - 230kg

+5

2.97

2.92

M Cow - 200kg

+5

2.92

Local Trade - 230kg

+5

4.35

Mutton

MX1 - 21kg

Slaughter 

        



NI Lamb

n/c

Slaughter



Change

c/kgCWT

M2 Bull - 300kg

SI



 

LAMB PRICES

c/kgCWT



LAMB MARKET TRENDS





  

  

  











 













 







 

















        



  

 

  



Change

 

















2 Wks Ago

Last Year

5yr Ave

+2

2.20

2.18

1.98

1.81

NZ$/kg

+6

5.71

5.65

5.46

5.37

 



















Change   

 



Procurement Indicator













Last Week

2 Wks Ago

Last Year 5yr Ave

n/c

2.18

2.18

1.80

1.89

NZ$/kg

+5

9.51

9.46

7.75

8.79

       

 











Change

2Wks Ago

3 Wks Ago

% Returned NI

+0%

76.2%

75.8%

71.4%

71.5%

% Returned SI

+0%

72.4%

72.0%

68.2%

73.0%

Last Year 5yr Ave



2Wks Ago

3 Wks Ago

Last Year

5yr Ave

 

% Returned NI

-1%

78.8%

79.6%

77.83%

76.2%

% Returned SI

-1%

70.1%

70.8%

69.6%

68.6%





UK Leg £/lb

  





Export Market Demand

Procurement Indicator



 





Last Week

95CL US$/lb







Change



Export Market Demand













 

 











 



 











 



















 











  



 











  

  









 





Venison Prices Change



 Beef  & venison prices are reported as gross (before normal levies & charges are deducted). Lamb & mutton prices are reported nett (after levies & charges are deducted).

Last Week

2 Wks Ago

Last Year 5yr Ave

NI Stag - 60kg

n/c

6.15

6.15

6.25

7.23

SI Stag - 60kg

n/c

6.20

6.20

6.45

7.50

Stock as security who would have thought


RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

NEWS

PRICE WATCH WOOL PRICE WATCH

BEEF

Change

05-Jun

29-May

Last Year

Coarse Xbred Indic.

+21

5.32

5.11

4.46

Fine Xbred Indicator

+19

5.63

5.44

5.10

Lamb Indicator

+12

5.41

5.29

5.07

-

-

-

8.56

Cow kill all but over

Indicators in NZ$

Cattle slaughter continued to operate on a hand to mouth basis last week with enough numbers to meet needs but not enough for processors to call comfortable. There are still remnants of cows being killed, both from NI and SI, but their days are definitely numbered. The coming weeks will see plants begin to close down for winter maintenance and a readying for the bobby calf season. In the SI the end of the cow kill saw a lift in beef schedules last week, and in the NI average prices are largely steady, however the upper end of the range is getting quite high as competition heats up. The capacity wind back will keep a lid on FOP’s through the winter.

China concerned about future beef supply There are signs that Chinese buyers are growing concerned about the availability of future imported beef supplies. Australia’s huge drought-induced slaughter combined with the recent reinforcement of HGP regulations has the Chinese questioning the ability of Australia to maintain existing volumes of beef. The second supply factor is the recent crackdown on the ‘grey channel’ trade between China and Vietnam. Tighter border security between the two countries has halted the vast flow of beef into China from US, India and Brazil. While Hong Kong is another unofficial entry point, this is reportedly harder to gain access through than Vietnam. China is therefore looking for ways to increase its official supply of beef. Reports indicate that NZ is also in China’s focus as another round of exporters have gained accreditation to export to the market recently. While NZ’s supply volumes are limited compared with Chinese demand, it appears every little bit helps, which can only benefit NZ.

Mid Micron Indic.



       











-18

4561

4579

5129

-77

4517

4594

Whole Milk Powder

5473

-178

4620

4798

Cheddar

6192

+106

5473

5367

5723



 

 



















  



 





 











Last Year

Overseas Price Indicators Indicators in US$/kg

05-Jun

29-May

+15

4.48

4.33

+13

4.74

4.61

4.03

+7

4.56

4.48

4.00

-

-

-

6.76

Fine Xbred Indicator

3.52





Last 2 Wks

Prev. 2 Wks

-100

3838

3938

4375

-188

3925

4113

4950

+50

4650

4600

4575

Change

Butter Skim Milk Powder Whole Milk Powder Cheddar

-50

3875

Last Year

3925

4100



 







 















  

   







 











vs. NZ Dollar

Last Week 2 Wks Ago 4 Wks Ago Last Year



0.850

0.850

0.865

0.799

Euro

0.622

0.625

0.625

0.604

UK pound

0.505

0.508

0.511

0.512



Aus dollar

0.911

0.913

0.923

0.836

Japan yen

86.98

86.33

87.92

77.71

 

Euro 







Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug









US Dollar



US dollar





 

                

CURRENCY WATCH

















Store lamb prices in the NI have eased back off their frenzied highs as many operators are full up. In paddock prices last week were around $2.70/kg for 32kg male lines and similar weighted ewes at $2.60/kg. Numbers through the yards pulled back slightly last week, but prices remained steady and in general were between 10-20cpk above paddock prices. SI prices paddock prices were between $2.65$2.75/kg for 32kg males and ewe lambs, although demand at auction has seen a lift and prices are up 10-20cpk on paddock prices. The first of the scanned in lamb ewes have come forward in some of the earlier lambing regions over the last two weeks. In general both the condition of ewes and scanning percentages have been good. Prices have been higher than the beginning of the market last year, but still buyable given the expected strength of the lamb market. $120$140/hd has been the range in the NI, depending on condition and scanning percentage and early SI prices sit around $100-125/hd.



Indicators in US$/T





 

 

Overseas Price Indicators

Change

Coarse Xbred Indicator



Wholemilk powder prices continue to move lower, albiet in light trading. Most available stocks are committed. Skim milk powder prices are lower as cheaper supplies from the EU impact the spot market. Cheese prices saw a lift as product availability is very limited. Dairy prices fell a further 4.2% at the June 3rd GlobalDairy Trade auction. The price for whole milk powder fell by 8.5%, whereas good demand for skim milk powder and cheese saw these prices rise by 2% and 8% respectively.







Steady demand for store lambs

Downwards trend for dairy products continues

Last Year

Skim Milk Powder



Mid Micron Indicator

DAIRY

Prev. 2 Wks

Butter





Last 2 Wks

Change



Lamb schedules start to lift After several weeks of holding steady both NI and SI lamb operating prices have started to lift in the last two weeks. As expected slaughter numbers into June have dropped away and a bit of encouragement is required to keep the numbers sufficient to meet exporter needs. Processors are at different stages depending on the number of shifts running. Some are actively looking for lambs and others are full on reduced shifts. Export prices in the NI are between $6.00-6.10/kg gross and in the SI they are between $5.80-$5.90/kg gross .



Indicators in NZ$/T



Lamb Indicator

LAMB

DAIRY PRICE WATCH



UK        

 











Pound

 











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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

20 AGRIBUSINESS

AgResearch moves on with reforms P E TE R BU R K E peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

AGRESEARCH CHIEF executive Tom Richardson denies claims that the organisation is “haemorrhaging scientists” as a result of a massive restructuring to locate most staff at campuses near Massey and Lincoln universities. Richardson told Rural News such claims have no basis in fact and AgResearch has low staff turnover. He says in the last three years staff “voluntary” turnover had not exceeded 10%. However, he concedes that in the next three-four years, as the restructuring takes effect, more people will leave. But he predicts other scientists will be attracted to new research facilities to be built at Massey and Lincoln. According to Richardson, the long lead time into the final changes taking effect, and some flexibility within that time frame, will help retain scientists

who might otherwise leave. He says having such a large window of time gives families more flexibility about when might be their best time to move. AgResearch will accommodate those who want to shift before the final move date in 2017, he adds. “But this is not going to work for all our staff. 24% of staff proposed for relocation are over 55 now and 10% are over 60. For some of those staff, moving at this stage of their careers is really tough and we are working with those guys and others for whom the move simply won’t work. “We know some people will leave and what we have to do is make the best use of this long window to make it work for as many of our people as we can.” AgResearch is now working on the plans for its new facilities and at Lincoln a collaborative approach has been taken with other partners, Richardson says.

AgResearch chief executive Tom Richardson.

“At Lincoln there are a large number of scientists and we’ve got a chance to do something different for on-farm agricultural science…. Lincoln’s facilities are in an appalling condition and we have a desperate need to rebuild. But rather than rebuilding in our own style and patches we committed over a year ago to the five core partners – DairyNZ, Landcare, Plant and Food, Lincoln and

AgResearch – investing in that campus in a joined-up way.” Richardson says the other hub at Massey also offers new opportunities with the emphasis on food, and the vet school with animal health and welfare work. “Increasingly we are hearing that [the emphasis] is not so much genetic science or nutritional science or animal welfare science, but how these things might roll up into a farm system that I as a farmer can do something about, especially given the new environmental drivers. “So AgResearch needs to pull together better so that when we go to farmers we’re not just talking about the latest forage or sheep genome, but rather we are thinking more systemically – does this work on a farm? The big message for us is collaborate much better across the sector because it needs to work on farm.”

Fonterra appointment FONTERRA HAS created a new management position, managing director global operations, and has appointed Robert Spurway to the role effective August 1. Spurway is acting director New Zealand operations in New Zealand Milk Products, responsible for overseeing milk collection, manufacturing and logistics. Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings says Spurway will lead the integration of the co-op’s global milk production capacity. “While our operations will remain predominantly New Zealand-based and our primary commitment is to our farmer shareholders, it is important to have more options about what products we make and where we make them. “We need an integrated approach to global manufacturing in markets where we have a natural competitive advantage and access to local milk pools.”


RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

WORLD 21

UK beef farmers face price crisis THE UK Government will hold a summit to help farmers reeling from a crash in the price of beef. Farming Minister George Eustice says a summit of farmers, ministers and others in the sector will tackle the issue. “We recognise the beef price is putting pressure on farmers at the moment.” The fear is that if the low prices persist, many smaller farmers in the West Country could quit the sector, causing a shortage of beef and depressing the livestock grazing economy and environment of the region. UK farmers want retailers to promote British beef and processors to offer longer term prices to allow producers to plan. The deadweight price for all finished steers has fallen to $7.03/kg, 82c/ kg less than one year ago when it was approaching a high in the wake of a scandal over horsemeat-contaminated products. And the liveweight price last month dropped to $3.51/kg, down 74c/kg in the same period. But while farmgate prices have gone down, the cost of beef on supermarket shelves has been creeping up, cutting the farmers’ share from almost 60% in May 2013 to 51.3% in March

this year. There is also concern about rising beef imports, particularly from Poland. NFU chairman of the livestock board, Charles Sercombe, says the whole industry must work together to ensure a sustainable supply of British beef and so that all parts of the chain receive a sustainable reward. Sercombe says the amount of Polish beef being imported is low, but there is little doubt that increases in volume and low consumer demand all over Europe has depressed farmgate prices. The horsemeat scandal led to retailers, processors and manufacturers temporarily sourcing beef closer to home. Import volumes from Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany and Poland dropped from March 2012 to 2013, leading to oversupply in the UK. But Sercombe says the NFU has worked to get the message out that this slight oversupply will not last and is already seen approaching an end. “Beef farmers nationwide are angry that a year after ‘horsegate’ the actions of meat buyers are leading to extreme price volatility and falling a long way short of the assur-

NFU’s action plan • Retailers must actively promote British beef on shelves. • Processors must work to outline longer term prices to allow producers to plan. • Any future changes in specification or the level of deductions for out-of-spec cattle must be justified and introduced with lead-in periods for producers and with better communication. • Retailers and processors should work with the NFU to help protect beef farmers.

ances of many retailers at the time that they would work closer with farmers.” Eustice, the MP for Falmouth and Camborne, says he has been struck by the number of farmers badly affected by the fall in the

farmgate price of beef. He hopes export markets for British beef could be opened up in countries outside the EU. “We are doing a lot to open up markets in Russia and China for British beef.”

UK farmers are urging retailers to promote British beef.


RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

22 OPINION EDITORIAL

EDNA

Farming fables fill the gap FOR 40 years farmers and the primary sector in general have been aware of a widening gap between urban and rural communities. Feeble attempts to address this have come to little: recent MPI and KPMG reports show suggest that the chickens – more appropriately super-hens – have come home to roost. The effects of years of not engaging effectively with city folk could deliver a killer blow to heartland New Zealand. Primary industry leaders now face an election that could put the Green Party in a position of real power, with dire consequences for the sector. The Greens have a strong constituency and the shenanigans of some National MPs and John Banks will have done John Key no favours. New Zealand has within a generation changed from having city folk with some rural connections to having a city populace who believe only fables about farming or, worse still, they don’t care a bit. Few young people, especially some of the best and brightest, see farming as a career choice. They’d rather be chefs, television presenters, film directors or – God help us – lawyers, rather than farm advisors or scientists. For years, agriculture has been as a place for ‘dummies’. But the MPI report shows new entrants to the primary sector will need formal qualifications, and all the more. With few exceptions, communications – call it public relations – from the primary sector has been abysmal and mostly reactive when it should be proactive. Having someone in the PR department of a government agency knowledgable about agriculture is now a rarity, compared with 30 years ago. Another more serious consequence of this is that corporate and/or institutional knowledge in the primary sector is aging and not being replaced or, in some places, simply not wanted. Call it, perhaps, a ‘youth cult’. Age? Experience? Yeah nah. People who believe in this cult may want to opt for youth and inexperience on the flight deck of an airliner needing to land on a tricky runway in a violent windstorm. Yeah right.

SOMETHING ON YOUR MIND?

GOT SOMETHING on your mind about the latest issues affecting our farming industry? Put your pen to paper or your fingers to your keyboard, and let our readers know what you think. Contact us by either post or email. Don’t forget to put your name and address. Note: Letters may be edited. Post to: Letter to the Editor | PO Box 331100 | Takapuna, Auckland 0740 | Email: editor@ruralnews.co.nz

RURAL NEWS HEAD OFFICE POSTAL ADDRESS: PO Box 331100, Takapuna, Auckland 0740 PUBLISHER: Brian Hight .............................................. Ph 09 307 0399 GENERAL MANAGER: Adam Fricker ........................................... Ph 09 913 9632 CONSULTING EDITOR: David Anderson .......................................Ph 09 307 0399 davida@ruralnews.co.nz

“OK! OK! – Gin traps are awful things – now please take it off!”

THE HOUND

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

1970s again

A must-read

THE HOUND sees the Taxpayers Union almost had kittens on noticing a PGP in this year’s Budget appeared in line for a massive rise in funding. Original Budget estimates clearly granted the New Zealand Sheep Industry Transformation Project 644 times more than in 2013-14 – up from $3.3 million to nearly $2.4 billion.   But an email from the taxpayer watchdog to the Minister of Finance’s office brought assurance that 1970s SMP policies were not about to rise from the grave. Instead it learned the figure had been mistakenly entered at a 1000 times more than intended and has been changed. No panic, kittens avoided.

SPEAKING OF the 1970s and 1980s, your old mate has been captivated by former Otago Daily Times farm editor Neal Wallace’s new book about how Rogernomics changed the face of NZ’s rural sector. Published by Otago University Press, When the Farm Gates Opened is a fascinating look back at the amazing changes thrust upon the country’s rural sector and farmers when the 1984 Labour Government took power and set about reforming the economy. The Hound was a young pup during these changes and suggests the book is a must-read for all who lived through these times.

TECHNICAL EDITOR: Andrew Swallow ................... Ph 03 688 2080 PRODUCTION: Dave Ferguson ........................Ph 09 913 9633 Becky Williams ........................Ph 09 913 9634 REPORTERS: Sudesh Kissun ....................... Ph 09 913 9627 Pamela Tipa ............................ Ph 09 913 9630 Peter Burke .............................Ph 06 362 6319 Tony Hopkinson ......................Ph 07 579 1010 SUB-EDITOR: Neil Keating ............................Ph 09 913 9628 WEBSITE PRODUCER: James Anderson .................... Ph 09 913 9621

Two-faced git! YOUR CANINE crusader almost choked on his dogroll when reading the latest hypocrisy from Stefan Browning. It seems the Green’s agriculture spokesman lodged a complaint about conflict of interest over a member of the panel chosen by the EPA that approved forest research agency Scion’s use of GM techniques. As the former mouthpiece for organic lobby Soil and Health NZ and vehement anti-GM campaigner before getting his cushy list MP role, surely if anyone has a conflict of interest it’s this failed hippy.

Dumb IN A classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face, the Hound reckons National Fieldays’ head office takes the cake. Every year this and other publications run big editorial promotions of the national farming showcase, giving it huge free exposure to farmers. Most of these promotions usually include a map of the Fieldays sites, for would-be visitors to identify exhibitors and their locations. The Fieldays organisation has in previous years provided the map ‘snag-free’. But not this year. Their brains trust applied strict conditions: NO exhibitors’ advertising around the map! Just how dumb are they?

Too much cream THE HOUND reckons it’s not only in the wallets where dairy farmers are creaming things these days. A recent health screening programme by DairyNZ, with the New Zealand Institute of Rural Health (NZIRH), over the last four years checked 2500 people working on dairy farms. No longer are dairy farmers trim and fit. Instead, they’re overweight and stressed and have high cholesterol, high blood sugar and blood pressure. Could it be time for more walking behind cows to the dairy shed, and less sitting on quads?

NATIONAL SALES MANAGER: Ted Darley .......... Ph 07 854 6292/021 832 505 ted@ruralnews.co.nz

WELLINGTON SALES REPRESENTATIVE: Mark Macfarlane .Ph 04 234 6239/021 453 914 markm@ruralnews.co.nz

AUCKLAND SALES REPRESENTATIVE: Stephen Pollard ....Ph 09 913 9637/021 963 166 stephenp@ruralnews.co.nz

SOUTH ISLAND SALES REPRESENTATIVE: Kaye Sutherland Ph 03 337 3828/021 221 1994 kayes@ruralnews.co.nz

ABC audited circulation 81,232 as at 31.12.2013 Rural News is published by Rural News Group Ltd. All editorial copy and photographs are subject to copyright and may not be reproduced without prior written permission of the publisher. Opinions or comments expressed within this publication are not necessarily those of staff, management or directors of Rural News Group Ltd.


RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

OPINION 23

Carbon tax will be taxing for the agriculture sector PRESIDENT BARACK Obama is implementing a carbon tax in the US to encourage businesses to clean up their act. In Europe, doing so worked well: primary energy consumption reduced by a billion tonnes between 1990 and 2010. The Green Party has announced a similar clean-up campaign for New Zealand, saying: “We will not allow households to continue shouldering the cost of pollution, as they currently do under the failed Emissions Trading Scheme. Polluters should pay for the damage they do, not households.” A tax of $25 dollar/tonne of carbon for businesses has been proposed, $12.50 for dairy cows and zero for other animals. Animals are being brought into the proposal because agriculture produces 46.1% of New Zealand’s emissions and its contribution has increased 14.9% since 1990; fuel and power contribute

42.2% and have increased 36.1% since 1990. Implementation of new technologies allows significant improvements to industrial emissions. They can also assist businesses with power use and fuel consumption. In contrast, for animals big reductions in emission per unit of output (milk, meat or fibre) have yet to be developed. Rumination and consequent production of methane is a biological process which has evolved. Changing biology takes time and the change might mean the resulting animal is not as efficient in production of milk, meat or fibre per unit of intake as it once was. New Zealand farmers produce animal protein for about 45 million people, and do so efficiently emissions-wise. This has been shown by researchers in New Zealand and overseas. Imposing a tax would reduce

viability, and this has already been reflected in the Green Party decision not to include sheep and beef in the tax despite them together generating 58% of the estimated agricultural emissions. In addition to this inconsistency is the overarching problem that liabilities are generally charged at the point (place) of the actual emission. For coal and oil this is not where it is extracted, but where it is burnt; for food production it is where the food is produced, and not where it is eaten.

Professor Tony Parsons, who has held the AGMARDT chair in carbon cycling at Massey University for the last five years, suggests that although at one level this is consistent, one does have to think how this distorts incentives. “Countries mining and exporting coal and oil (and so contributing to ultimately high emissions) are able to export the liabilities. Because someone else pays, there is little incentive for them to reduce the production of the major root cause of carbon emissions. “In contrast, countries producing and exporting food pay, while consumers overseas gain by avoiding their own emissions’ costs of food production.” Parsons suggest more incentives would encourage a faster shift to cleaner energy systems. “For food, however, there are far fewer alternatives and even fewer remedies. The policies and incentives

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in New Zealand should be aimed at encouraging research to find more alternatives and to support the difficult and complex research to improve on evolved biological resource use efficiencies.” Policies are created to influence and determine decisions and actions. Before implementation, unintended consequences should be considered. In this case, the result could be food production going to countries which don’t produce it as carbon-efficiently as New Zealand farmers. This would mean more carbon in the atmosphere – not less. New Zealand produces only 0.2% of the world’s emissions. The onus should be on helping everyone achieve greater efficiencies, including food producers overseas. It is up to everybody in agribusiness to keep explaining the facts. • Jacqueline Rowarth is professor of agribusiness, The University of Waikato.


RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

24 OPINION FARMERS ARE BIG PICTURE PEOPLE WE AGREE wholeheartedly with Dave Stanton: farmers are big picture, dynamic management people (Rural News, May 20). They are savvy business operators who understand the value of safeguarding New Zealand’s livestock industry.

Most farmers understand the big picture: New Zealand needs a traceability scheme for biosecurity and disease management purposes and to maintain access to export markets. The unfortunate lesson learned in the UK foot and mouth outbreak was that paper-

based record keeping cannot keep up with a disease that can be transmitted on the breeze. Our Waiheke Island hoax underlined the need to capture information about animal movements in a national database, not on the back of a cigarette packet at the local pub. There are transport

operators doing exactly as Mr Stanton suggests – investing in their business and training their staff to ensure clients’ animal movement records are accurately uploaded to NAIT. These customerfocused companies have grasped an opportunity and are creating a niche for themselves.

NAIT is now moving into the final year of its three-year transition. Farmers have stepped up and are tagging their animals. We continue to focus on education, where it is needed, and helping people understand how to meet their NAIT requirements. We all have a role

to play in protecting New Zealand’s primary sector. For farmers that includes keeping their NAIT records up-todate, tagging and registering their livestock and recording on- and off-farm movements. Farmers can choose to manage their own NAIT records, or appoint a delegate or

information provider to do so for them. Without robust systems in place our domestic and export suppliers will be whistling in the wind. Dr Stu Hutchings Group manager programme design and farm operations OSPRI New Zealand.

ag twits Rural News’ irreverent and hypothetical look at what’s happening in the farming world Top Bleats view all rnormangreen: We in the Greens believe in a smart, green economy. This means we are so green with envy about the success of the dairy sector we intend to introduce a carbon tax and then farmers want be feeling so smart! #wehatefarmers johnmcarthymie: Some within the farming sector have painted MIE’s drive for industry reform as negative. That’s unfair. We’re unashamedly positive that the meat industry is absolutely stuffed. #positiveaboutbeingnegative thatguynathan@johnmcarthymie: As minister my door is always open to any proposals for meat sector reform from MIE; notwithstanding that precisely at this moment I have one desk, five chairs and a filing cabinet propped up against the door. #yeahnah damienoconnormp: When I’m minister I guarantee that I and my coalition colleagues from the Greens, Mana, Internet, NZ First and Migillicuddy Serious parties will make an excellent job of restructuring the meat sector. #mmpinaction cenglishfedfarmers: Sadly, Federated Farmers, NZ farming and the country in general has lost an icon, a truly great man and a huge contributor to the rural sector… that is, they will next month when I step down from my role as Feds chief executive. Also, very sad news about the recent loss of Alistair Polson. #hugeloss jwilsonfonterra: I am a little confused by all the supposedly ‘informed’ comment on our forecast payout for next season. How in the hell is an opening forecast of $7 a bad thing? #givemeabreak jbankslastact: So the judge reckons that a fat, German fraudster and convicted criminal is more credible than Banksy. I guess there’s fat chance the same obese, German crook will bring me a mattress if I go to prison. #timetoquit krimdotcon@jbankslastact: Ve haf vays of making you pay. I vonder if my new best friend Hone realises exactly vhat I vant and vhat vill happen to him if I don’t get vhat I vant. #paythepiper honenomana: I hate all you rich, white mofos. Unless you happen to be a rich, white, fat German, convicted criminal mo-fo who gives me lots of your stinkin, rich, white mo-fo cash – then you are ok with me even if you like Nazi memorabilia. #amanofprinciple johnkeypm: So let me get this right: if I do an electoral deal with a political party to ensure a potential coalition that is a disgrace and gaming the system. But if my political opponents do a similar deal it’s MMP in action? #whatajoke davidjesuscunliffe: Be assured any government I lead will outlaw any such dirty, electoral deals – even though the only way I’ll ever lead a government is by doing such a dirty deal. #takingthepiss


RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

Agriculture loses a major contributor FEDERATED FARMERS former national president Alistair Polson died earlier this month, aged 58, after a short illness. The well-known Wanganui farmer was a respected member of the farming community. He had extensive experience in business management and farming politics, serving as national president of Federated Farmers from 1999 to 2002. In 2004 he was appointed special agricultural trade envoy for New Zealand, and in 2012 was elected chairman of the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust (NZFE). An agricultural science graduate from Massey University and a Nuffield Scholar, Polson also held directorships with two major meat companies. He farmed in the Mangamahu Valley near Wanganui. Feds current president Bruce Wills described him as “a great farmer and a truly great New Zealander who has been taken from us way too soon”. A past Nuffield Scholar who would

later chair the New Zealand Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust, Polson was an office holder at most levels of Federated Farmers, serving as Wanganui provincial president and later national president. He was also a Alistair Polson director of Waitotara Meat Company, PPCS (now Silver Fern Farms) and the Agriculture Industry Training Organisation (Primary ITO). He has been on the New Zealand Veterinary Council and the then National Animal Welfare Advisory Board. Polson chaired the NZ Landcare Trust for seven years and in 2012 became chairman of the New Zealand Farm Environment Awards Trust. In 2004, he was appointed New Zealand special agricultural trade envoy and continued in that role until

2013. “In Argentina, for the World Farmers Organisation earlier this year, South American delegates mentioned Alistair’s name with reverence. He was a noble man of true mana who gave his all for New Zealand,” said Wills. NZFE acting chairman Simon Saunders says Polson will be greatly missed by the trust and by the wider farming community. “Alistair made a massive contribution to New Zealand agriculture and he was a passionate and inspiring advocate for New Zealand farming. The trust and New Zealand agriculture have lost a valued leader and a great friend.” Polson is survived by wife Bo Polson and their children, Nick, Guy and Sarah.

OPINION 25 Wool and irrigation pioneer dies FORMER CANTERBURY farmer, Wool Board chair and founding chairman of the Central Plains Water (CPW) irrigation scheme Pat Morrison died late last month aged in his early 80s. In a long, distinguished farming career Morrison was awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship and AC Cameron Medal and recognised for his services to farming in the honours list in the 1990s. He served with Federated Farmers, Young Farmers Club and Malvern A & P Association and was a director of the BNZ. He served as chairman of the New Zealand Wool Board and New Zealand Wool Services International and was a chief opponent of a proposed landfill in the Malvern Hills. Morrison’s mix of business and farming skills and connections through agribusiness will be remembered. In April Morrison attended a func-

Pat Morrison

tion marking the start of the three-stage $375m CPW irrigation scheme. Attendees included Prime Minister John Key, Speaker of the House and former primary industries minister David Carter, his successor Nathan Guy and Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee. Work on the CPW scheme, between the Rakaia and Waimakariri rivers and eventually irrigating 60,000ha, has begun on the 17km headrace canal and bridges.

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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

26 MANAGEMENT

Commitment to deer clear A N D REW SWA LLOW andrews@ruralnews.co.nz

WHILE SOME deer farmers are questioning the species’ place in light of recent returns, others are still investing in the sector, as visitors to the Deer Industry Conference field day at Mt Hutt Station last month found out. “We are in a development stage,” host farmer Bruce Hood told the field day. Lower blocks are being sub-divided and the one remaining hill block which isn’t deer fenced is on the ‘to do list’. They’ve also invested in a new weighing system and crush, and are using DNA testing to check parentage of potential replacement hinds and stags. “My eyes were getting tired of looking through binoculars,” quipped Hood, who kept the field day flowing with wise cracks and self-deprecating humour. The DNA parenting is for on-farm selection: the station’s sales complex hasn’t seen an auction since the late

1990s. They need over a 100 breeding stags/year and over 90% are homegrown. AI, embryo transfer and a few buy-ins are helping increase the English influence for a hardier, possibly slightly smaller, hind while improving velvet weights. Velveting stag selections are, where possible, made with two-year-olds. “Some don’t mature early enough to select as spikers.” But the maximum they can carry to two years is 500, and this year they’ve only held onto half that number. “All the best stags have probably been killed as spikers!” Selection is “by eye”, breeding, and measurement of antler length and thickness. A quarter of the R2s are culled on weight and style too. Culling of mixed aged stags is on velvet cut, regrowth included, as well as condition and age. Total velvet production is about 8t/year. Fawning averages 85-88% from hinds put to stags. Almost all yearlings

are mated with surplus in-calf yearlings sold to “a ready market”. Yearlings are scanned, with an initial result of 87% this year. Hood told Rural News he expects that to improve to around 90% with a rescan of empties. Pastures are regularly renewed with Samson currently the main grass cultivar. Alternative pasture species plantain is showing promise but chicory’s been shelved. “We couldn’t keep on top of it. We could have had twice the stock on it in spring and summer but then we’d have to halve our numbers in autumn and winter.” With the exception of a silage chopper they run all their own cultivation, drilling, and forage kit. “We make as many bales as we’re allowed... It’s an insurance policy because you never know what the weather is going to throw at you here.” Winter feed crops include swedes, kale, rape and oats. Fodder beet has

Weaner hinds plus “guests” on Mt Hutt station.

been tried but the station’s location, at the mouth of the Rakaia valley, means there’s a high risk of windblow. “You saw that crop of fodder beet in the neighbours’ paddock? Well that was ours!” More seriously, Hood added they can see fodder beet’s potential, particularly if, by lifting and carrying, stags could be kept on back country longer. “But we just can’t get the yield equivalent to Swedes. If we could grow over 20t/ha, then certainly.” When they tried fodder beet weaners on it were the best performing mob for a couple of months, but then went off it, suggesting a limit to how long it can be utilised by deer. “They were eating flowering kale and

leaving the fodder beet.” Hood’s enthusiasm for the sector was clear during the field day, and his commitment evidenced by the revelation he’d turned down $2000/ha/year for dairy grazing on lower country. Nonetheless, the business hasn’t been immune to the tide of land use change, with a leaseblock across the Rakaia lost to dairy support. “We used to send 1000 [older] hinds over there.” Typically though, Hood later told Rural News that while there will be some impact on their stock numbers, “with all the development we’ve got going on hopefully we can keep close to that number. We may just need to cull a little earlier and harder here.”


RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

MANAGEMENT 27

Kikuyu or ryegrass a tough call GA RE T H G I LLAT T

NEITHER KIKUYU nor ryegrass looks like coming out as clear winner in a Northland trial to determine which pasture species best suits the region. Thirty people attended a field day on the Northland Agricultural Research Farm five minutes North West of Dargaville earlier this month where Agrispecialist farm consultant Rod Hodgson relayed interim results of the ongoing pasture trials. With six of a planned seven years’ work with the two species completed, results at this stage are still too close to call, he said. A three farmlet trial was established in 2007, two using kikuyu, one ryegrass. On one of the kikuyu farmlets mulching was used to maintain pasture quality, on the other stocking rate. As kikuyu is a summer grass, Italian ryegrasses were either sown or broadcast in autumn on the kikuyu farmlets to provide winter feed. Cows from each farm-

let have been milked separately and detailed records of production kept. Production off the stock-controlled kikuyu farmlet was the lowest in two of the three years, and while the ryegrass farmlet was the best in the first season (2008-9; see table) the mulched kikuyu farmlet was most consistent across the first three years. Hodgson was worried paddocks weren’t allocated as fairly as they could be in that initial phase of the trial so when the research continued in 2011-12, focussing on just mulched kikuyu and ryegrass, paddocks were reallocated to give a better balance of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ parts of the farm. Drought’s been a major factor in the trial since the reshuffle, with soil moisture levels just 5-10mm away from wilting point in both the 2012-13 and 201314 seasons. In 2012-13 management was unprepared for the dry on the kikuyu farmlet with no summer supplement ready, whereas on the ryegrass farmlet 13ha of turnips had been

planted. As a result profit on the ryegrass farmlet was $1249/ha compared to $918/ha for the kikuyu farmlet. Hodgson says the ryegrass farmlet’s production streaked ahead when the turnip crop could be grazed. “No type of pasture was growing: it turned into a summer crop versus no summer crop trial.” Managers put in a crop of turnips on both farmlets for the 2013-14 season with the ryegrass farmlet earning $4897ha while the kikuyu farmlet cleared $4761ha. Hodgson notes some forecasts are for an El Nino to develop and if next summer is as dry as the first two seasons then both farmlets could struggle. More immediately, early winter frosts have been a concern, with Kaipara district hit by several big frosts late last month and early this month, severely limiting pasture growth. While early winter is traditionally a tough time for the kikuyu farmlet as the kikuyu dies off and the

Rod Hodgson in a frost damaged kikuyu pasture with ryegrass paddocks in the background.

Italian ryegrass starts to grow, the frosts have killed off pastures quicker than normal with covers dropping to 2100 kgDM/ha, well short of the property’s 2500kgDM/ha target. “It’s going to be a tough four weeks that’s for sure.” What has come out of the study is that farms can be equally profitable with ryegrass or kikuyu-predominant pastures. “Farmers can make

keeping perennial ryegrass off the kikuyu farmlet has proved something of an impossibility and Hodgson suspects that kikuyu is responsible for as much as 30% of the ryegrass farm-

both systems work but if things go wrong with kikuyu systems they really go wrong,” Hodgson commented. Keeping the ryegrass farmlet free of kikuyu and

let’s pasture cover. However, he says there is some value in having a mixed pasture as it increases the chances of a grass type flourishing right through the year.

Initial milksolids/ha production Pasture/Season

2008-9

2009-10

2010-11

Kikuyu - stock only

1054kg

999kg

1150kg

Kikuyu- grazed and mulched

1087kg

1054kg

1230kg

Ryegrass

1174kg

984kg

1100kg

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Gorse on Banks Peninsula.

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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

28 MANAGEMENT

Techno Expo gets off to A N D REW SWA LLOW andrews@ruralnews.co.nz

AN INAUGURAL Technology Expo run as part of Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s Central Otago ‘Farming For Profit’ programme has been hailed a

success by organisers. The event, in Alexandra earlier this month, featured parallel presentations from a string of companies and organisations with products, services, and – in the case of Otago Regional Council – regu-

lations, which are set to change the way we farm. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the turnout,” BLNZ central South Island extension manager Aaron Meikle told Rural News. “Both seminars have been busy all day. I’d suggest TracMap’s Colin Brown talks variable and traceable fertiliser management.

there’s been well over a 100 people come through during the day.” A breakout area of trade displays allowed visitors to quiz exhibitors and presenters one-to-one outside the seminar sessions. TracMap’s Colin Brown was talking about how GPS systems can improve accuracy of, say, positioning break fences, irrigation, spray and fertiliser applications. At a basic level, the systems provide traceability of applications but the real production gains come by varying inputs to match environmental limitations such as topography and soil characteristics. “There are systems available now that allow you to put different amounts of fertiliser on different parts of a pad-

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Techno Expo: Beef + Lamb’s first event of this kind got off to a flying start in Central Otago.

dock or block depending on the slope and contour.” With a combination of common sense and targeted soil sampling a map of the farm can be compiled online showing what rates of which fertilisers need to go where.

The fertiliser contractor downloads that into his machine, be it truck, helicopter or aeroplane, and it automatically adjusts rates as it traverses the country. “You can get 30% more grass from the same amount of fertiliser, and

the added benefit is you’re only applying enough fertiliser to match need. You do it for productivity gains and cost savings but you actually get an improved environment as a consequence.” As a general rule, stock

Trials show biological matches conventional ANDREW SWA L LOW andrews@ruralnews.co.nz

TRIALS DATA presented to Federated Farmers High Country conference suggest that in certain circumstances some biological soil stimulants will produce greater responses than conventional fertilisers. Peter Espie of Agscience showed how a biological soil stimulant produced 25% more pasture where nitrogen wasn’t limiting, and a “biological urea with carbon round the outside” produced an average 43% increase. “These are two years’ results from a major dairy farm in the Maniototo. They Agscience’s Peter Espie. have really interesting implications for years of farming and there was still a profitability.” In another trial at Shortlands Sta- response. Exactly what the biological product tion, North Otago, pasture which had never had fertiliser produced 3tDM/ha tested is, Espie wouldn’t say, as that is in a season, but treated with the biologi- the intellectual property of the company cal product that jumped to about 4.5tDM/ retailing the product, however he did tell Rural News that the ha, on par with application contained the response to a Agscience’s trials about 12.5kg/ha of 500kg/ha application of superphos- have been submitted phosphate, much less phate and 2t/ha of as a paper to the New than the 45kg/ha of P in the 500kg/ha of super. lime. Zealand Grassland Applications for Espie stressed Sustainable Farming the biological prod- Association. Fund support for the uct is no “snake oil” but simply a formulation that stimulates trials have twice been turned down by the soil processes to access “sources of MPI. Agscience’s trials have been submitted phosphate and sulphur that would otheras a paper to the New Zealand Grassland wise not be available to the plants.” Challenged on whether the results Association and subject to acceptance were simply mining previously applied following peer review will be presented capital fertiliser he pointed out one at the Association’s annual conference site had never had fertiliser in 150 in November.


RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

MANAGEMENT 29

a flyer to mention the benefit of getting onto problems sooner. AbacusBio is working with the Bott in a Beef + Lamb New Zealand demonstration farm project with the goal of using the images it generates – live feed or recorded to computer for future use – to count stock. Gardyne believes that’s just around the corner, but another objective, drymatter assessments from the air, is probably still two or three years away. In contrast, variable rate irrigation has been available for several years now, making for more efficient management of soil water, and as a consequence, nutrients, as Precision Irrigation, AgriOptics and Hydroservices explained. Also in the nutrient

management space Otago Regional Council’s Bruce Monaghan followed up a presentation on Overseer by outlining what the council’s Plan Variation 6A will mean for farmers in the region. “By 2020 all properties will need to make sure they are meeting these [nutrient loss] levels,” he said of the three nitrogen loss tiers ORC has set: 30kgN/ha for most of the region; 20kgN/ha in certain sensitive catchments and 15kgN/ha around the main lakes. Other presentations covered the two fertiliser cooperatives’ farm mapping and recording systems: Smartmaps in the case of Ravensdown and AgHub from Ballance Agrinutrients. Canterburybased VantagePoint Solutions, Farmax and iAgri

Nadia Mclean of AbacusBio demonstrates a drone at BLNZ’s Techo Expo.

were also talking about the latest farm management software, as were MYOB and ICL Chartered Accountants, but from a farm accounting perspective. The farm management packages with meat company involvement – Farm

IQ (Silver Fern Farms) and Alliance’s Hoofprint – were also on the agenda, as were BLNZ’s own benchmarking services. Zoetis talked DNA parentage checks and gene marker technology, while Techion Group used the event to unveil a new con-

cept in worm management. Meikle told Rural News he believes use of the various technologies is reaching a “tipping point” with improving internet connections and increasing smartphone use facilitating uptake. Environmen-

tal regulations rolling out around the regions are another driver, particularly for mapping systems, he added. • More on Techion’s groundbreaking worm management development in Animal Health, p33.

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camps won’t require any fertiliser, gentle slopes that are grazed and get manure deposited will require maintenance applications, while steep country that gets regularly grazed but receives no dung or urine will need double the dressing. “Until now most hill country farmers have put the same rate across the lot.” The afternoon opened with a drone demonstration by AbacusBio using a Bott belonging to Southland farmers’ son Mark Gardyne, who’s making a business out of flying the Bott over farms and other infrastructure which needs checking. Gardyne’s dad, Neil, explained that on his farm using the drone to monitor stock, water troughs and other things has cut four-wheeler use 20%, not


RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

30 ANIMAL HEALTH

Insurance values a tricky topic A FARMER rang me recently wanting me to value, for insurance purposes, a working dog that had died. This is not the first time I have had such a request and it won’t be the last. My reply was the same as always: “Sorry, I can’t help. I didn’t know the dog.” But it is something that I have given some thought to, and it is clear that while I can’t give exact $ values, there is a need for written estimates, a guideline for insurance companies, from a person in the know. Hopefully this column and a follow-up article next month will help. It might be worth cutting out these pages, with the date intact, and putting them somewhere safe. If you ever need an estimate for the value of a working farm dog you will have something to refer to. Naturally, as time goes by, values will need adjusting for inflation. It is very hard to put a value on a working dog: like property, it is only worth what someone will pay, not what you think it is worth. Also, what one person will pay, another won’t. Supply and demand, location, and what motivates the buying or selling plays a big part in the price achieved as well. And yes, I am still talking about dogs.

One dog, let’s say on a dairy farm, that has just a couple of commands and only ever works in small flat paddocks, is worth just as much to the farmer who has him as the dog with a list of command’s that works on big steep country is to his owner. Neither of them would want each other’s dog but they are both valuable dogs in their own right. I think farm dogs are underpriced, but I don’t set the figure, the market does. The values given in the table are for dogs on today’s market. You will notice the wide range: there is a big dollar variation out there. Bloodlines, the dog’s nature, his working intelligence and stock sense, looks and conformation, faults and bad habits, and the degree of training and obedience, along with seller’s

expectations, all play a part in value. If I was an insurance company insuring working dogs I would insist each dog is micro-chipped. Besides the chip details, I would also need the age, sex, colour and breed/type recorded. When micro-chipping first came out and it looked like farmers were going to have to comply, I was furious, thinking it to be unnecessary and ludicrous. After hearing the following true story, I was of a different mind. A farmer was in hospital and his neighbour was feeding his dog. One day, the best one went missing (slipped collar?) and the dog ended up in the pound with no chip or tag. When the dog hadn’t been claimed in the given time frame it was put down. If nothing else it is a good idea to keep several clear close-up photos of each of your dogs, taken from different angles in case it goes missing. Next month I will go into more detail regarding the ‘dollar value’ of working farm dogs. • Anna Holland is teaching people dog training. For more information www. annaholland.co.nz or Ph 07) 217 0101 or annaholland@xtra.co.nz

Playing dead: Anna’s dog Billie’s only pretending, but what cover would you have if she wasn’t?

A guide to dog values

DOG TYPE VALUE RANGE Pups

8 to 12 weeks old: $0 to $500 3 to 12 months old, untrained: $0 to $1000 under 12 months with some basic training: $300 to $1500

Young working

1-2 yrs old, trained and able to complete certain tasks: $1500 to $3000

In prime

2-5 yrs old, work experienced and capable: $3000 to $6000

Mature

6-8 yrs old, experienced and capable but starting to slow: $1000 to $3000

Semi retired

8 plus years old: free to $1000

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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

ANIMAL HEALTH 31

Sheep genome benefits immediate PA M TI PA

THE INFORMATION obtained from sequencing and annotating the sheep genome has immediate use, breeding better sheep, cheaper and faster, says AgResearch principal scientist John McEwan. International scientists in 26 institutions and eight countries have sequenced the sheep genome and pinpointed some unique genes of the animal, outlined this month in a paper published in the journal Science. McEwan was one of three New Zealand researchers included in the 73 authors of the paper. Breeding programmes including Beef+Lamb New Zealand / AgResearch joint venture Ovita, have been progressively using aspects of the genome technology developed in the seven-year project. A major benefit of genome technology is its speed and effectiveness with pinpointing certain traits – such as those that develop late in life or are sex limited, says McEwan. “For something like ewe longevity or ewe

robustness on hill country it is ideal. You can only measure this on one sex and by the time you measure it [conventionally], it is too late anyway because you’ve made all the breeding decisions. You can’t measure it in ram lambs.” But if a genotype associated with such a trait is identified lambs can be tested for it at a young age to give a prediction of what they will be like for breeding to those traits, he explains. Besides offering a big time saving in making genetic gains, there’s a considerable cost advantage over progeny testing. McEwan is one of many people who were involved in sequencing the cattle genome who also worked on the sheep genome. That experience with cattle, and improved technology, saw the sheep genome completed for a fraction of the cattle genome’s $70 million cost. “It was about $3-5 million.” The sheep genome work started seriously in 2007 with a “rough copy” released in 2009. That was good enough to get 50,000

Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms out – so-called 50K SNP chips – and start using them in some aspects of sheep breeding. But every individual carries about 3 billion bases or units of heritability with

a SNP being a variation in any one of those bases between different individuals. “We have now got a really good version and we’ve got 30 million SNPs TO PAGE 32

THE LONG:

Long-acting clostridial protection – so you can vaccinate earlier and protect lambs for longer. If you’ve ever had lambs drop dead from diseases like Pulpy Kidney, you’ll know why clostridial protection is so important. 5-in-1 vaccination at pre-lamb dramatically increases lamb survival through to weaning. And the more antibodies they receive, the more protected they’ll be. NILVAX is a 5-in-1 that contains levamisole, which boosts the immune response in ewes, increasing the number of antibodies available to lambs through colostrum. This boosted protection results in longer-lasting protection for lambs and better protection for multiples that share colostrum from one ewe. Clostridial protection is one of the best things you can do right now to ensure more lambs survive through to weaning. Pick up NILVAX today from your local animal health retailer.

Hill country priority

THE SHORT: A short-acting drench.

ELE-01378-RN

BREEDING TRAITS for improved performance on hill country is likely to be a major focus of the New Zealand sheep industry in making use of the genome work, says AgResearch principal scientist John McEwan, reflecting on the growing proportion of the national flock that’s on such terrain. “Maternal traits will be much more important on that hill. The ability to rear twins repeatedly over time and longevity will be important. There will a shift to hogget lambing and you’ve got the usual challenges around growth rates, carcass composition and the ability to resist disease. “Obviously things like dags, fly strike, parasite resistance and facial eczema will become bigger problems down the track… as global warming puts more pressure on sheep farming. Also there are a bunch of traits important to sheep on a hill – the ability to forage, the ability to lamb and have twins on the hill with high survival rates.” He sees interesting developments in combining genomic technologies with other technology “tools” to accelerate the rate of change in sheep breeding. For example, flushing the best ewe hogget for eggs to create 20 to 30 embyros and selecting the best by genotyping for transfer into surrogate mothers. “Right now this technology is only being sniffed at round the edges by the dairy industry.” He’s also involved in another project, a Primary Growth Partnership using the higher density SNP chip to concentrate on eating quality with FarmIQ.

Agresearch’s John McEwan at work, one of three New Zealand scientists involved.

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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

32 ANIMAL HEALTH

Emergency provision retained P E TE R BU R K E peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

EUTHANASIA OF calves with a hammer has been banned in all but unforeseen emergencies. The ban came into force last Friday, June 13, following a review of the practice by the National Animal Welfare Advisory

Committee, prompted by footage aired on television and internet of calves being clumsily clubbed by a New Zealander on a farm in Chile. “We have a world leading animal welfare reputation and we want to be sure that we are living up to that,” said Minister for Primary Industry,

Nathan Guy, who called on NAWAC to conduct the review. “It matters to New Zealanders, to farmers and to our international consumers in some 200 countries around the world that we are doing everything right is terms of animal welfare.” NAWAC’s public con-

sultation on the issue received 357 submissions, mostly in favour of a ban, leading NAWAC to recommend that in all but special emergencies. Guy says he didn’t think use of blunt force trauma was widespread anyway but it was clear that there was a lot of support for banning the

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practice and with other methods available – captive bolt, firearm, or by veterinarian – moving promptly so MPI and DairyNZ could provide material to farmers at Fieldays made sense. The emergency provision in the new law allows a farmer to still use blunt force trauma in excep-

Be trained and competent, says Dairy NZ’s Rick Pridmore.

tional circumstances, for example, if they find a calf in a remote paddock that needs killing as soon as possible to limit its suffering. DairyNZ and the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand agreed blunt force should be reserved for unforeseen emergencies where better alternatives were not immediately available. “Most dairy cattle, including calves, are generally not slaughtered on farms by farmers anyway but are sent to processing facilities,” pointed out DairyNZ strategy and investment leader for sustainability, Dr Rick Pridmore. The amendment to the code of welfare makes it clearer what is an emer-

gency and what is acceptable practice when that situation arises. “Farmers need to be trained and competent – and that’s an entirely reasonable expectation.” Pridmore says DairyNZ is working with the Ministry for Primary Industries to ensure that training and support is available for farmers in alternative methods such as the use of a captive bolt. Executive director for the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand, Kimberly Crewther, says the change aligns with international research-based recommendations and will support New Zealand maintaining its reputation for high standards of animal welfare.

As good or better than cattle genome FROM PAGE 31

and an HD (high density) chip that’s about 600,000k and a really good annotation. That’s probably as good if not better than where the cattle genome is.” The original sequencing and 50K chip work in New Zealand was partly underwritten by Ovita which was particularly interested in improving on-farm, mostly maternal, traits such as lamb survival, maternal weaning weight, milking ability, adult ewe liveweight, parasite resistance, facial eczema resistance and number of lambs born. “We now have 22 traits that are commercially available for people to use.” Demonstrating such applied use of the technology is essential for publication in leading journals such as Science these days, McEwan says. Simply reporting a species’ genome “doesn’t do it.” “You’ve got to show

what you’ve done with the information you’ve got. The paper itself focuses on how sheep are different from other mammals. It concentrates on some genes that are expressed in the rumen and also how fat metabolism is changed in sheep relative to other mammals… If you are a sheep breeder this is important information. We need to know this stuff if we are going to improve productive traits in sheep over the longer term.” A cost benefit analysis has put the benefit of the Ovita project alone, using the low and medium density SNP chips (5K and 50K), at $200 million for the New Zealand industry over 15 years. McEwan says he agrees with the figure, but it depends on adoption rates and how well those benefits can be captured by farmers or breeders. New Zealand needs to keep up its leading role in sheep farming and genetics, he believes.


RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

ANIMAL HEALTH 33

Clever kit: Techion Group managing director Greg Mirams with the Fecpak G2 pack that subscribers will use to prepare samples and upload digital imiages for egg-counting.

World-first remote FEC test unveiled A N D REW SWA LLOW andrews@ruralnews.co.nz

FASTER, MORE accurate faecal eggcounts are the promise of a Dunedinbased firm that believes it has made a world-first breakthrough in worm burden diagnosis. Techion Group’s Fecpak G2 was unveiled to farmers for the first-time at a Beef + Lamb New Zealand Farming For Profit technology expo in Alexandra, earlier this month. The hardware plus subscription service – a bit like a mobile phone deal – allows users to submit samples for analysis over the internet without so much as a pellet of poo going in the post. “Basically you take a traditional dung test, look at it down the microscope and then put it online and a qualified technician reads the image of the sample,” explains Techion’s managing director, Greg Mirams.

For those who send samples away, it saves the time and cost of postage and risk of degradation of samples resulting from the delay between collection in the paddock, to preparation in a laboratory. “There’s also no danger of the courier losing them,” notes Mirams. For those who’ve been doing their own egg-counts, it provides an independent and auditable check that the farmer, who may only be looking at such samples a few times in a season, is getting counts right. “Effectively it takes away the fear factor of looking down the microscope and asking yourself do I see what I think I see: it’s a confidence issue for those who do their own samples,” he explained to Rural News. The Fecpak G2 results are returned online “within hours” and a farmer may opt to make them simultaneously available to his veterinarian, advisor

and other stakeholders in the business. Results can be graphed over time and with the images of each sample slide stored, as well as the results, the justification for drench use is auditable with images available for checking at a later date – if need be. With a growing focus on minimising drug use in food-producing animals worldwide, Mirams believes traceability and audit chains will be valuable to some customers. In due course, the aim is to be able to supply clients with results in realtime, so drenching decisions can be made with sheep still in the yards or preferably, says Mirams, before they’re even yarded. At present, the service is only available for sheep, but cattle tests will be added by the end of the year. Facial eczema spore testing is a possible extension of the technology down the track, he adds.

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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014 Abomasum

Haemonchus

Ostertagia

Tric. Axei

Nematodirus

2014 RURAL NEWS SURVEY OF TREATMENTS FOR INTERNAL PARASITES OF PRE-LAMB EWES Nilvax ® Selenised

Coopers

All major retail outlets

Levamisole and 5-in-1 vaccine

68g/L

1.25mg/mL

26-65kg = 4.0mLs, 66-80kg = 4.5mLs, over 81kg see Note 1

21 days

3x dose rate

No

mature ★ immature ★

★ ★

★ ★

★ ★

Paramectin® Injection

Jurox NZ Ltd

Selected Resellers

Abamectin

10mg/mL

0.2mg/kg

1mL/50kg

49 days

5X

No

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Exodus 1% Injection

Merial Ancare

Veterinary Clinics

Moxidectin

Moxidection 10g/L

0.2mg/kg

1mL/50kg

28 days

10x

No

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Exodus Long Acting Injection

Merial Ancare

Veterinary Clinics

Moxidectin

20g/L

1mg/kg

1ml/20kg

91 days

5x

No

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Product

Company

Available through

Active Ingredient (s)

Concentration

Ingredient Dose Rate

Formulated Dose Rate

W’Holding Period (Meat)

Ovicidal

Safety Margin

Parasite Maturity

INJECTABLE

Genesis Injection

Merial Ancare

Veterinary Clinics

Abamectin

10mg/mL

0.2mg/kg

1mL/50kg

28 days

5x

No

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

Ivomec Injection

Merial Ancare

Veterinary Clinics

Ivermectin

10g/L

0.2mg/kg

1mL/50kg

35 days

10x dose rate

No

★★★ mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★ 1 ★ ★ ★ 1 ★ ★ ★

1

Abamectin Injectin

Ravensdown

Ravensdown

Abamectin

10g/L Abamectin

0.2mg/kg Abamectin

1mL/50kg

28 days

5X

No

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Dectomax Injection

Zoetis

Veterinary Clinics

Doramectin

10mg/mL

0.2mg/kg

1mL/50kg b.w.

35 days

15x dose rate

No

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★ ★★★1 ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Cydectin Injection

Zoetis

All outlets

Moxidectin

10g/L

0.2mg/kg

1mL/50kg

28 days

10x dose rate

No

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Cydectin Long Acting Injection for Sheep

Zoetis

All outlets

Moxidectin

20g/L

1mg/kg

1mL/20kg

91 days

5x dose rate

No

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Eweguard

Zoetis

All outlets

Moxidectin Plus 6 in 1 vaccine

5g/L

0.2mg/kg

1mL/25kg

49 days

10x dose rate

No

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

ORAL MOXAM Sheep

Bayer NZ Ltd

CRT, Farmlands

Moxidectin

2g/L

2mg/ml

1mL/10kg

10 days

10x

No

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

MOXAM Sel Sheep

Bayer NZ Ltd

CRT, Farmlands

Moxidectin Selenium

2g/L 1mg/ML

2mg/ml

1mL10kg

10 days

10x

No

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Concur Sheep Himin

Bayer NZ Ltd

Allied Farmers, CRT, Farmlands

Oxfendazole, Levamisole

22.7g/L, 40g/L

4.5mg/kg, 7.5mg/kg

1mL/5kg

10 days

3x

Yes

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Evolve Sheep Himin

Bayer NZ Ltd

Allied Farmers, CRT, Farmlands

Abamectin, Levamisole, Oxfendazole

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

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

1mL/5kg

21 days

3x

Yes

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Saturn Sheep Himin

Bayer NZ Ltd

Allied Farmers, CRT, Farmlands

Levamisole, Abamectin

40g/L, 1g/L

7.5mg/kg 0.2mg/kg

1mL/5kg

21 days

3x

No

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

ALLIANCE®

COOPERS

All major retail outlets

Oxfendazole, Levamisole, Abamectin

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

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

1mL/10kg

14 days

3x

Yes

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

CONVERGE®

COOPERS

All major retail outlets

Levamisole Abamectin

80g/L 2g/L

8mg/kg 0.2mg/kg

1mL/10kg

14 days

3x

No

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

SCANDA® Available in Plain and Selenised

COOPERS

All major retail outlets

Oxfendazole Levamisole

45.3g/L 80g/L

4.53mg/kg 8mg/kg

1mL/10kg

10 days

3x

Yes

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Q-drench®

Jurox NZ Ltd

Selected resellers

Abamectin, Albendazole, Levamisole HCI, Closantel

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

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

1mL/5kg

28 days

3x

Yes

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Troika™

Jurox NZ Ltd

Selected resellers

Abamectin, Albendazole, Levamisole HCI

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

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

1mL/5kg

21 days

3x

Yes

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Strategik Combo Dual Action Mineralised Sheep & Lamb Drench

Jurox NZ Ltd

Selected Retailers

Albendazole, levamisole

24g/L, 37.5g/L

4.75mg/kg, 7.5mg/kg

1mL/5kg

10 days

3x

Yes

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Bionic Hi Mineral Capsules

Merial Ancare

Veterinary Clinics

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

20µ Abamectin, 0.5mg Albendazole/kg/day

1 capsule 40-80kg

128 days

3 capsules

Yes

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Extender 100 Capsules

Merial Ancare

Veterinary Clinics

Albendazole

0.5mg/kg/day

1 capsule 35-65kg

Nil

5 capsules

Yes

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

3.85g/capsule

Extender SeCo Capsules

Merial Ancare

Veterinary Clinics

Albendazole, Selenium & Cobalt

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

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

1 capsule 40-80kg

Nil

5 capsules

Yes

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

Ivomec Maximizer CR (for adult sheep) Capsules

Merial Ancare

Veterinary Clinics

Ivermectin

160mg/capsule

20µ/kg/day

1 capsule 40-80kg

126 days

5x capsules

No

★★★ ★★★ ★★★ mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★ 1 ★ ★ ★ 1 ★ ★ ★ 1 ★ ★ ★ 1

Matrix Hi Mineral Oral Drench for Sheep

Merial Ancare

Veterinary Clinics

Abamectin, Oxfendazole, Levamisole

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

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

1mL/5kg

14 days

3x

Yes

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Matrix Minidose

Merial Ancare

Veterinary Clinics

Abamectin, Levamisole, Oxfendazole

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

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

1mL/10kg

14 days

3x

Yes

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Switch Hi Mineral

Merial Ancare

Veterinary Outlets

Abamectin Levamisole

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

0.2mg Abamectin, 8mg Levamisole/kg

1mL/5kg

14 days

3x

Yes

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Abamectin Sheep

Ravensdown

Ravensdown

Abamectin

1g/L Abamectin

0.2mg/kg Abamectin

1mL/5kg

14 days

5X

No

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Combo Low Dose

Ravensdown

Ravensdown

Oxfendazole & Levamisole

45.3g/L Oxfendazole & 80g/L Levamisole

4.5mg/kg Oxfendazole & 8mg/ kg Levamisole

1mL/10kg

10 days

3X

Yes

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Combo Sheep

Ravensdown

Ravensdown

Albendazole & Levamisole

24g/L Albendazole & 37.5g/L Levamisole

4.8mg/kg Albendazole & 7.5mg/kg Levamisole

1mL/5kg

10 days

3X

Yes

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Moximax Sheep

Ravensdown

Ravensdown

Moxidectin

1g/L Moxidectin

0.2mg/kg Moxidectin

1mL/5kg

7 days

10X

No

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Trio Sheep

Ravensdown

Ravensdown

Abamectin, Albendazole & Levamisole

1g/L Abamectin, 25g/L Albendazole & 40/L Levamisole

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

1mL/5kg

14 days

3X

Yes

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Cydectin Oral Drench Vetdectin Oral Drench

Zoetis

Vets, OTC outlets

Moxidectin

1mg/mL

0.2mg/kg

1mL/5kg

10 days

> 10x dose rate

No

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Startect

Zoetis

Vet Only

Abamectin Derquantel

1mg/mL 10mg/mL

0.2mg/kg 2mg/kg

1mL/5kg

14 days

3x

No

mature ★ ★ ★ immature ★ ★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

PROUDLY AVAILABLE FROM YOUR LOCAL VETERINARY CLINIC. Merial is a Sanofi company. MERIAL NZ LTD. LEVEL 3, MERIAL BUILDING, OSTERLEY WAY, MANUKAU, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND | WWW.MERIAL.CO.NZ | BIONIC® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF MERIAL. REGISTERED PURSUANT TO THE ACVM ACT 1997 | NO. A9646 | ©COPYRIGHT 2014 MERIAL NZ LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NZ-14-BIO-104.

MAL_Bionic Brand Advert_2014_140x544mm.indd 1

N E W Z E A L A N D FA R M E R 1 0 0 D AY P R O T E C T I O N A


TAPEWORMS: (Monziezia)

MITES (Psorergates ovis)

FLUKES: (Fasciola)

KEY TO SURVEY

BLOW FLY (Lucilla cuprina)

Trichuris

Chabertia

Oesphagostomum

Trichostrongylus

Bunostomum

Strongyloides

Cooperia

Lungs Dictyocaulus

Lge Intestine

Small Intestine

NASAL BOT Oestrus ovis: (Larvae)

RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

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

COMMENT ★ ★

★ ★

★ ★

★★★ ★★★ ★★★ ★★★ ★★★ ★★★ ★★★ ★★★ 1

★★★ ★★★ ND ND

★ ★

★ ★

★ ★

★ ★

★ ★

Note 1: Nilvax dose rates: 20-25kg = 3.5mLs, 26-65kg = 4.0mLs, 66-80kg = 4.5mLs, 81-90kg = 5.0mLs, 96-105kg = 6.0mLs.

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Also registered for cattle (internal and external parasite control).

★★★ ★★★

★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Provides at least 35 days protection against Ostertagia circumcincta and Haemonchus contortus and at least 7 days against Trichostrongylus colubriformis

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Note 8 also applies

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

YES

ND ★★★ ★★★1

★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★ ★★★1

NO

NO

NO

NO Note 2

★★★ ★★★ ★★★1

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

ND ND

★★★ ND

★★★ ★★★

ND ND

★★★ ND

★★★ ND

★★★ ★★★

★★★

★★★

ND ND

ND ND

★★★ ★★★

★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ND

★★★ ★★★

★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

ND ND

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ND

★★★ ★★★

★★★

★★★ ND

ND ND

ND ND

★★★ ★★★

★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ND

★★★ ★★★

★★★

Registered for sheep and cattle

YES ND AIP 3

Note 2 & 7

★★★ ★★★

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

★★★ ND

★★★ ND

ND ND

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ND

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ND

★★★ ★★★

★★★

Note 3

★★★ ND

★★★ ND

ND ND

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ND

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ND

★★★ ★★★

★★★

Note 3

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

ND ND

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★ ★★★ ★★★ ★★★

★★

ND ND

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

ND ND

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

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

ND ND

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★

★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★

★★★

★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★

★ ★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

NO

NO

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

2 2

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★ 1 ★ ★ ★ 1 ND

★★★

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

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

YES

Dual combination oral drench for cattle and sheep. Available in Plain and Selenised.

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

Note 2

2 2

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

ND ND

★★★ ★★★ ★★★ ★★★ ★ ★ ★ 1 ★ ★ ★ 1 ★ ★ ★ 1 ND

★★★ ★★★1 ★★★

Note 1

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

ND ND

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

ND ND

ND ND

ND ND

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

YES

NO

NO

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

YES

NO

NO

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

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

Fully mineralised; contains minerals Selenium, Cobalt, Copper, Iodine & Zinc.

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★

Fully mineralised; registered for sheep and cattle.

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★

Mineralised; contains minerals Selenium, Cobalt, Copper & Zinc.

★★★ ★★★

★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★

★★★ ★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ND

★★★ ND

ND ND

★★★ ★★★

★★★

Fully mineralised; contains minerals Selenium, Cobalt, Copper, Iodine & Zinc. ★★

1. Effective against L3 stages. 2. Also for use in cattle & pigs, effective against itchmite and inhibited L4 stage Ostertagia. 3. Additives: contain antigens of 5 clostridial diseases and cheesy gland. Effective against inhibited stages of Haemonchus, Ostertagia and Trichostrongylus. 4. Non-irritant injection, prevents re-infection with Haemonchus contortus and Ostertagia circumcincta for at least 35 days and Trichostrongylus colubriformis for at least 7 days following a single subcutaneous injection. Use in sheep that have been vaccinated against footrot is not recommended. 5. Levamisole is a short acting drench Also contains a 5 in 1 vaccine. 6. Also available with 1.25mg/ml Selenium 7. 1: Includes inhibited stages and BZresistant parasites. 2: 1st, 2nd & 3rd instars. 3: AIP Aids in Protection. 8. Injection site is high on the neck, at the base of the ear. Prevents reinfection with Haemonchus contortus for 91 days, Ostertagia circumcincta for 112 days and Trichostrongylus colubriformis for 42 days. Product Comment (ORAL) 1. Aids in control of dags and blowfly strike in the breech area and reduces pasture contamination from worm eggs for at least 100 days. Effective against strains of H.contortus,O.circumcincta and T.colubriformis resistant to benzimidazole, levamisoleand morantal drenches and strains of T.axei and N.spathiger resistant to benzimidazole drenches. 1.Effective against L3 stages. Effective against itchmite and keds. 2. Gives continuous protection against all major species of worms for at least 100 days. 1. Efficacy not yet established. 3. Prevents reinfection wth Haemonchus contortus for 35days and Ostertagia circumcincta for 21days

Also contains 0.5g/L Selenium 2.2.g/L Cobalt

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ★★★

Product Comment (INJECTABLE)

Fully mineralised; contains minerals, Selenium, Cobalt, Copper, Iodine & Zinc.

The Rural News Pre-Lamb Ewe Internal Parasite Control Survey is compiled from information supplied by animal health companies. Although the information has been checked by our independent animal health advisor, Rural News accepts no responsibility or liability for inaccuracies. The efficacy classifications relate only to where no resistance is present. If a concern exists please contact a veterinarian.

★★★

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ND

★★★ ★★★

★★★ ND

★★★ ★★★

Note 3 Also effective against itchmite (Psoregates ovis) Note 4. Also available with 0.5mg/ml selenium.

★★★ ★★★

★★★

★★★

★★★

★★★ ★★★

Effective against adult and immature (L4) stages of sensitive strains of parasites including those resistant to levamisole, benzimadazole, macrocyclic lactones and closantel drenches and combinations of these. 2. Also controls itchmites

★★★

R S T R U S T B I O N I C S H E E P C A P S U L E S T O D E L I V E R B E T T E R R E S U LT S A N D A G A I N S T A L L M A J O R PA R A S I T E S .

11/06/14 1:45 PM


RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

36 ANIMAL HEALTH

US and EU move on pig viruses AL AN H ARMAN

High piglet mortality rates are hitting US production. PHOTO: SCOTT BAUER, ARS.

THE US Government has ordered mandatory reporting of a number of devastating pig viruses sweeping the country.

Meanwhile the EU, which has a 22 million pig industry, has imposed new tests on live pig and pig blood imports from North America. US Agriculture Secre-

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tary Tom Vilsack’s Federal Order requires pork producers, veterinarians and diagnostic labs to report suspected or confirmed cases of porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDv), porcine deltacoronavirus, (PDCoV) or other novel swine enteric coronaviruses. Farmers reporting cases are required, with a vet, to develop and implement herd management plans including testing to monitor herd virus status and effectiveness of control strategies. Up-to-date records of pig movements must be available to animal health officials. Those who fail to comply face civil penalties, revocation of veterinary accreditation and may have quarantine or other restrictions imposed. The EU’s moves follow an expert review of the PEDV epidemic North America and Asia which indicated North America’s epidemic is caused by two

viruses – an Alphacoronavirus also present in the EU, and a new deltacoronavirus that does not appear to occur in Europe. NZ Pork chief executive Owen Symanns told Rural News the viruses are not present in New Zealand and MPI has stopped imports of dried porcine blood as a precaution. “We don’t have these viruses and we certainly don’t want them. They’re causing quite a reduction in pig meat production in the States. I’ve heard there’s upto 100% mortality of litters.” Imports of fresh pork to New Zealand, which NZ Pork fought all the way to the High Court due to fears they present a pathway for Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) to establish here, are now taking place but fresh meat is not currently thought to present a risk with the coronaviruses, says Symanns.

NZ presenters aplenty at world TB conference FOUR REPRESENTATIVES of TBfree New Zealand will this week present papers at the 6th International M.bovis Conference, with at least one other New Zealander on the programme too. The conference “could almost be considered the Olympics of TB control,” says TBfree’s eradication and research manager Dr Paul Livingstone, who is among the speakers. Expert speakers from the United Kingdom, Australia, Europe and the United States, among others, will share their knowledge on bovine TB, says Livingston who delivers the closing keynote paper on the first day of the four day event, explaining how the number of infected herds here has been cut 95% since 1994, and how TB was eradicated from infected possum populations across 800,000ha since 2011. “Wild animals are the cause of around 70 per cent of new cattle and deer herd infections in TB risk areas…. The three-pronged approach of wild animal control, disease management and movement restrictions has made significant progress in our battle against TB. New Zealand’s tactics in managing the disease are considered world leading,” says Livingstone. AgResearch’s Bryce Buddle is another keynote speaker at the event, presenting a progress report on work to develop TB vaccines for cattle and wildlife. TBfree’s other speakers are Stuart Hutchings, group manager, OSPRI programme design and farm operations, Kevin Crews, OSPRI national disease manager and Jane Sinclair, OSPRI Northern North Island area disease manager.


RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS 37

New pasture tool in the pipeline A N D REW SWA LLOW andrews@ruralnews.co.nz

A NOVEL pasture meter jointly developed by English and Irish entrepreneurs was unveiled on the Enterprise Ireland stand at Fieldays. The Grassometer uses four optical sensors to gauge pasture covers as the operator walks the farm. Its developers believe it is more accurate and convenient than the Platemeter or C-Dax now sold. “The data is instantly transferred to your computer or smartphone as you walk the paddock and there’s no converting centimetres of pasture into kilogrammes of drymatter: it’s all done for you,” Sam Hoste, commercial manager of Monford Ag Systems, told Rural News. Mounted either on the leg or a probe for wielding from a farm bike, the device takes multiple triangulated-readings of pasture cover each time the foot or probe hits the turf. “There are four sensors and each one takes five measurements to give 20 readings used to give you one answer for that particular point,” explains Hoste. Answers are instantaneous and elec-

tronically recorded to build a picture of the cover as the operator crosses the paddock, either walking or placing the probe from a farm bike. “It can actually produce your pasture wedge for you on your smartphone as you go around the farm.” The device is controlled from the user’s smartphone with data stored in the cloud enabling remote access by, say, farm shareholders or senior managers. Triangulated readings compensate

for slopes and GPS positioning in the phone means every reading point is recorded. An audible ‘squelch’ on each reading is designed to reassure the user the meter is working. “If you do want to stop mid paddock and do something else you just hit pause.” But if the phone rings that doesn’t mean you have to stop doing the farm walk; calls can be answered without interrupting the meter-to-phoneto-cloud data transmission. If worn on the leg, a two-second calRealtime data is fed instantly to the user’s smartphone and stored in the cloud.

ibration on a hard level surface such as concrete or bare ground is required to check the height of the meter, but if permanently fixed on a pole that calibration isn’t necessary after the first use, says Hoste. “If it’s on a pole the height off the ground isn’t going to change.” Trials at the UK’s Harper Adams University and Ireland’s Lyons research centre found a prototype model more or less matched the Platemeter and quadrat test cuts for accuracy. The Grassometer was launched in

Four sensors triangulate readings to allow for slopes and enhance accuracy.

LAST CHANCE TO PURCHASE FIELDAY SPECIALS!

the UK and Ireland at the Grass & Muck event in May. Hoste says feedback from farmers was “positive with no negative comments”. A first batch of Grassometers is being made and should be available in July or August. In the UK distribution is by farm supply cooperative Mole Valley Farmers. Price is €1600. “You could order one on the internet for delivery to New Zealand but we are working on finding a distributor for it here,” says Hoste.

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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

38 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

Mixer wagons gain farmer support TWO MORE dairy farmers are extolling the benefits of BvL V-Mix mixer wagons, says the distributor, Webbline. The company quotes Ferdinand Vries and his partner Stacey Young, of Southland, and Andy Story, of Te Awamutu, as saying they haven’t looked back on the decision to move on from “normal” silage wagons. According to Webbline, Vries “hadn’t planned on adding a mixer wagon to the operation” when he erected a Redpath herd shelter to winter 450 cows on their farm at Wreys Bush, near Winton. “However in December 2013 we were having an issue with lack of fibre in the diet and the cows were very loose. Webbline hired me their demonstrator mixer for a week, from which I fed about 0.5kg of straw per cow, plus silage. The cows firmed up and at that point I decided a mixer was a wise investment”. And Story “purchased a new 20m3 BvL and haven’t looked back since.

Webbline says farmers like its mixer wagons.

“The auger and bin design are excellent. “Most recently we have been feeding some bales to young stock and the mix included three bales of balage, palm kernel and maize silage. “We are able to put in three bales one after the other with no issue and the BvL will process in no time. “This last season we have increased our milk production by 100kgMS/cow from 380-480kgMS. I can’t say that is solely because of the BvL, but it played an important part….

“We have noticed since purchasing the BvL that the cows just stand there and eat, whereas they used to fight and push each other around trying to get all the best bits of feed…. Feeding is a lot more even now and they clean up everything.” Webbline sales manager Glen Malcolm says as farmers aim to improve cow health and production they see effective, consistent feed mixing as the way ahead. Tel. 0800 932 254 www.webbline.co.nz

Volunteers get to work The executive has turned the propVOLUNTEERS ARE hard at work on the new site of the South Island Agricultural erty over to the SIAFD organising comField Days (SIAFD) near Kirwee, Canter- mittee, who will develop it from scratch. Rangiora dairy farmer Alastair Robbury. The 40ha property was bought as the inson, the organising committee chair, organisers foresaw a move from the site manages an 800-cow dairy operation. Many tasks remain to be done before leased near Lincoln University since 1951. The 2015 event will be on March next March, he says. “Machinery demonstrations and 25-27. The ‘green field’ site needs infrastruc- other agricultural technology have ture and facilities for 25,000 and more always been the primary focus of South Island Field Days. We will visitors. maintain this and will not Volunteers make Volunteers make expand to include crafts up the executive or lifestyle displays. committee which up the executive “To ensure we have governs the show a good crop for harvest and the organising committee equipment demonstracommittee which which governs tions we have organised manages each event. the show and a half-circle centre pivot Most are farmers, all irrigator. work in agriculture. the organising “We still need to orgaAgricultural committee which nise power and water supengineer David plies, laneways, fences, James, executive manages each culverts, storage sheds committee chair, event. Most are and a sound system.” referred to the farmers, all work Work will go on all “major effort” to year and early next, with find the new site in agriculture. working bees every week and the “big push” it will need to be ready for the first field to get things finished. Organising committee member days. “We had outgrown the Lincoln site, Daniel Schat, a 50/50 sharemilker on a and we examined six or seven venues family farm at Te Pirita, looks after combefore deciding on the Kirwee property. munication and publicity for SIAFD. It is a large rectangle and provides us a He’s looking for sponsors and partners. “Volunteers do most of the work but better layout. “We financed the purchase by com- we pay for services such as catering and bining revenue from previous field days traffic management. “We are now looking for partners to and a bank loan. The site gives us greater certainty for the future because it is half help us develop our new site’s infrastrucof an 82ha property, and we have the ture. In particular we need to put in laneways, remove trees and add fences.” option to buy the other half.”

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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

Ensure your production is no fluke

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS 39

Hay cradle suits stock of any height

Treatment of liver fluke should utilise a product which provides control over all stages of liver fluke, particularly early immature, those less than 4 weeks old. Effective removal of these early immature fluke stops eggs laying for an extended period of time. The younger the fluke are killed, the longer it is until there are adult fluke contaminating pastures with eggs, which means your production is no fluke.

GA RE T H G I LLAT T

Efficacy 4 weeks after experimental infection1 100 The height-adjustable feeder suits animals of any size.

age was the main motivation for adding a tray under the bale cradle, Roney says. This catches falling hay that otherwise would end up on the ground. Drainage holes in the

tray further prevent moisture from ruining feed. Roney says the feeder can cut wastage by as much as 30%. It is designed to hold any 1.2m wide round bale or medium square – hay or

silage. Bolts and fasteners are subset in the feeder so as not to injure operators. He expects the units to be popular in New Zealand, especially with dairy farmers raising young and

older stock. It will not be another implement “gathering dust between calvings,” Roney says.

Efficacy %

A HEIGHT-ADJUSTABLE hay feeder, appropriately set, suits animals of any size, says the maker Advantage Feeders. Managing director Gerard Roney says sales of the THF3 feeder, launched in Australia early this year, are now 300% higher than sales of the company’s superseded feeder, the THF1. “This ‘feedback’ speaks for itself,” he says. Seven height settings enable the user to set the cradle as low as 1200mm for calves and foals or as high as 1700mm for cows, bulls, horses and deer. Settings between these heights are used for weaners. The height-adjustable cradle isn’t the only improvement over former models: a 200mm lip is now fitted around the tray to allow its use as a meal feeder holding 200kg. The unit’s curved design ensures meal does not get ‘stuck’ in the middle of the tray. And the lip prevents meal from being wasted. The drive to cut wast-

50

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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

40 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

Recapturing farming’s most challenging times THERE’S A hackneyed saying that if you lived through the 1960s, you won’t remember them. (Attributed to the tendency for people in that era to use mind-altering substances.)

However, for anyone who farmed – or was associated with farming – in New Zealand during the 1980s it’s a time no one will ever forget. For those in the rural sector the election of the fourth Labour

Government and the unleashing of its economic agenda would have a major impact, much of it still felt almost 30 years later. These challenging times of major change are nicely encapsulated in

former Otago Daily Times farming editor Neal Wallace’s new book about how Rogernomics changed the face of NZ’s rural sector. Published by Otago University Press, When the Farm Gates Opened is a fas-

Outgoing PM Rob Muldoon.

cinating look back at the amazing changes thrust upon the country’s rural sector and farmers when the 1984 Labour Government took power and set about reforming the economy. The economic reforms launched by the 1984 David Lange-led Labour government changed New Zealand forever. Agriculture bore the brunt of those changes and became an historic reference point for the primary sector: a defining and pivotal moment when financial subsidies abruptly ended and farming learned to live without government influence, interference or protection. The changes were more

– are included: Rob Muldoon, David Lange, Roger Douglas, David Caygill, Jim Sutton, Peter Elworthy, Collis Blake and Jim Bolger, to name a few. This is a must-read for all who lived through these times, and even more so for those who did not. It’s an amazing reminder of how much the farming sector has changed in the past 30 years and should be a mainstay on bookcases nationwide.

sweeping and wide-ranging than anything farmers and farming had expected. Some adjusted, some did not. Thirty years on, this gripping and moving social history relates the story of a rural sector battered and bruised by rapid change. It traces the period building up to the economic changes by talking to political and sector leaders, and Incoming PM David Lange. the most important contributions ‘When the Farm Gates are interviews with those Opened: the impact of Rogmost affected. ernomics on rural New All the main players Zealand’, at major book during this time – many retailers. RRP $30. of whom have now died

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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS 41

Kiwi dairy technology on show in China long-term cost of maintenance.” Simplicity and productivity combine in the companies’ offerings, ideal for processors setting up new dairy operations, WMS says. The New Zealandowned company is noted especially for its Centrus strong but light rotary milking platform – reckoned five times stronger and only 20% of the weight of concrete. Hence its bearing and drive gear need less power and maintenance. WMS still makes concrete rotary platforms, called Orbit, and milking machines and other products. Afimilk’s automation systems supply milking data including fat and protein, and monitor animal health. The companies World Dairy Expo stand showed a segment of a WMS concrete rotary and a sampling of Afimilk products. Tel. 07 849 8755 www.waikatomilking. co.nz

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MILKING MACHINE maker Waikato Milking Systems and Afimilk, the Israeli maker of herd management technology, exhibited together last weekend (June 13-15) at the World Dairy Expo & Summit / China. The expo is promoted as the premier annual event in China’s dairy industry. This was the 12th such show, which rotates around large Chinese cities. WMS chief executive Dean Bell says the two companies jointly exhibited their expertise in supplying Chinese dairy processors complete large-scale milking systems, or high-technology products to get more out of their existing milking systems. “With Afimilk we provide total milking solutions… for large-scale intensive milking operations,” Bell says. “Our products are known for innovation, reliability and performance, and are robust and durable, reducing the

A rotary milking system from Waikato Milking Systems and Afimilk herd management technology attracted the attention of Chinese dairy operators at a recent expo in the city of Xi’an.

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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

42 FIELDAYS 2014

Blown away, but not deflated HIGH WINDS and rain challenged Fieldays organisers and exhibitors but did not dampen visitors’ essentially high spirits. Strong wind on Wednesday night blew down signs and damaged

were 5000 lower than last year at 21,353. ANZ managing director agri and commercial, Graham Turley, noticed a high level of confidence among site visitors. Farmers are looking to invest in

some sites. Many people in Waikato lost power. One woman had to make her children’s lunches by the light of her cellphone. Visitor numbers on the Wednesday

their farms, increase productivity and focus on sustainability. “If they’re looking to buy they’re saying ‘if I invest a dollar am I going to get a dollar-plus back?’ This means

they’ll be more disciplined and strategic in what they purchase. “Most people you talk to are happy and positive because they’ve had a good year no matter what sector they’re in.”

Rosie brings country to town NO RURAL vs urban divide here: young Hamiltonian Caleb Walker met his first cow – DairyNZ’s Rosie – during his visit to the MPI site.

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Big wagon on show CLAIMED THE largest single item of gear on show at Fieldays, this BvL feed mixer wagon (14.8 tonne, 46m3) distributed by Webbline Agriculture Ltd holds 20 tonnes. The wagon is said to be the first embodying a patent on vertical augers. These and the design of the tub make for fast mixing, the company says. This machine is going to a farm owned by Southern Centre Dairy Ltd, Winton, Southland. The 750ha milking platform runs 2400 cows averaging 600kgMS/cow production. Feeding out is done on three large covered feedpads. Tel. 0800 932 254 www.webbline.co.nz

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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

FIELDAYS 2014 43 Six-seater suits farm crowd NEED TO carry lots of people across your farm? Yamaha’s new Viking 6-seat ROV (recreational off-road vehicle) is expected to be here by August. Though adventure tourism is seen as the main use for the Viking, it’s also drawing interest from farmers with big properties and many staff, says Yamaha marketing and communication manager Ollie Sharp. “There are plenty of larger farms now with many employees.” The newcomer has a longer chassis than the Yamaha 686cc, 3-seat Viking, but the same components apart from electronic power steering.

SHANE AND Michelle Lawson from Okaihau, Bay of Islands, with daughter Amy and son Tommy, took in the best sights at Fieldays. The Lawsons, who run 300 dairy cows on their farm, spent two days “keeping up with what’s going on”. Shane was looking at milk cooling systems as he faces upgrading his operation due to recent regulation changes.

Tel. 09 265 6500 www.yamaha-motor.co.nz

A FARM angel kept track of Fieldays workers and volunteers – but no wings were in sight. It was a GPS tracking system fitted to Honda quads and utilities used to ferry people around the show and now being trialled on farms, notably by Landcorp. Blue Wing Honda’s Farm Angel system is the work of fleet monitoring and GPS tracking company Blackhawk Tracking Systems. The Hondas are fitted with a Blackhawk variant developed for off-road use, to show farmers where their workers are and to alert them to crashes. Brand manager Damien Smyth says his staff were easily able to show visitors what the Blackhawk could do: “We would point to the screen and say ‘a bike is about to go past our site’ and it would do just that.”

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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

44 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

Plastic eliminates rubber bacteria issues A SOFT plastic milking liner and tubing system on show at Fieldays helps cut the risk of bacteria and minimises cell counts in milk, says the developer, DairyFlo, Hawkes Bay. The company, part of Polymer Systems International Ltd, the liner and tubing system from thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) made by Bayer. Bayer MaterialScience New Zealand business development manager Justin Gleeson says the dairy industry has had a “huge problem worldwide for 50 years with the continued use of rubber liners and tubing in milking sheds”. “Bacteria enter via the porous rubber, and the

milk is exposed to lipids, cleaning and disinfectant agents and other chemicals.” DairyFlo general manager Eddie Crawshaw says using a plastic liner and tubing in dairy sheds is a better choice than rubber products for the environment, farmers and the livestock. “The benefits of plastic as opposed to rubber in the dairy shed are not only a more sustainable operation due to its recyclable nature, but [greater] cost effectiveness and time saving.” Polymer Systems International managing director Steve Crawshaw says liners and tubing are a natural progression for the

company from calf feeding teats it is already producing. “Modern materials such as TPE are replacing rubber in many applications. “For dairy farmers, replacing rubber with a soft plastic liner means they are changing the liners less frequently. Our testing and trials on farms have seen the DairyFlo liners last three times longer than the average 2500 milking lifespan of a rubber liner.” This saves money and time in a shed. The plastic is 100% recyclable, ending up in, eg surfboard ropes and playground mats. Some dairy shed matting is made from recycled plastic milk-

ing liners. The products will be shown in the Fieldays Innovation Centre. DairyFlo says its client Craig Alley, a dairy farmer in Central Hawke’s Bay, has trialed DairyFlo alongside his existing rubber liners for the equivalent of 5000 milkings. “A number of the rubber liners were breaking and so needed changing early on, whereas the DairyFlo liners came through the entire time trial unscathed,” the company reports Alley as saying. “My staff liked working with the DairyFlo gear because it was light to lift and the tubes didn’t get caught up in knots like the

DairyFlo plastic liners at work.

rubber is inclined to. The DairyFlo tubes also stay on

the stainless steel much better than rubber, which

can slip off, especially from the air tube.”

New-age liners, tubing • Resists microbes, lipids, cleaning agents and disinfectants. • Impact resistant, hygienic, easily cleanable. • High tear, wear, impact and abrasion resistance. • High strength and elastic properties even with minimal wall thickness. • Elastic memory maintains tension, minimising risk of leaky joints. • Transparent, allowing view of milk flow. • Kink resistance helps prevent tube blockage. • 10% lighter than rubber. • At least double the life of rubber liners. • Passed by AsureQuality; certified by FDA for milk contact.

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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS 45

Standalone shed helps to expand calf operation

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The 39x5m calf rearing shed is designed with both affordability and effectiveness in mind.

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A STANDALONE calf shed is enabling a North Waikato drystock farmer expand his weaner calf rearing operation. Bruce and Yvonne Cameron raise 350 cattle and 2000 sheep on their 340ha drystock farm in Glen Murray. They source 150 of their bulls as four-day-old calves, from one farm where all cows are vaccinated against rotovirus. Though they don’t carry breeding cows, they wanted to guarantee a consistent supply of calves and so turned to a four-day-old policy to underpin the farm’s bull-beef supply. Bought at 40kg and over from neighbouring dairy farmers, the calves are Friesian bulls and some dairy beef-cross; they arrive knowing how to drink milk and ready to grow. On arrival they go under cover for about five weeks then to grass with ready access to meal. Once weaned off meal at about 110kg they move into normal grazing for 18 months. They are sold at 500-520kg from January-April. Cameron first housed calves in his woolshed, laying down shade cloth, covering it with shavings then setting up 13 temporary calf pens. But light and air were inadequate and disposing of all shavings before shearing time was virtually impossible. “Wood shavings in a woolshed is not a good mix,” Cameron says. “Some would invariably get into the wool clip no matter how carefully we cleaned the shed.” Layout also posed a problem: the shed dimensions required clumping pens together, which slowed feeding. What was needed, he says, was a purpose-built calf rearing facility. Helped by Milk Bar reps, Cameron looked at many different calf rearing setups, finding one he liked – a calf rearing facility with riverstone floors at Waikeria prison farm, King Country. Milk Bar then helped with the design of a shed for him. Long, narrow layout, good airflow and low construction cost gave affordability and effectiveness. The 39 x 5m shed essentially works as a lean-to, Cameron says. The plastic roof has a 2m-wide section uncovered, admitting sunlight and air, helping keep calves contented and bedding free from bugs. Each pen is 7 x 3m and holds 10 calves. A solid fence isolates all pens. Setting up the pens so calves would be in clean, maintenance-free surroundings was important, hence river stones on the ground and Milk Bar waterers and birdproof meal feeders to cut risk of contamination and disease. Avian TB was a concern, potentially a problem at sale time, Cameron says. It can trigger false-positive TB tests and require blood testing to show proof of health. Once calves arrive on the property they are broken into groups of 10 and put into pens, where they stay for a little over a month. Ideally calves gain 0.6kg/liveweight/day while getting access to milk and meal, says Cameron. He weans calves off milk at 65kg. Important in early weaning is fast development of the rumen. Getting calves to eat 1kg/day of good quality, 20% protein meal is said to fast-track this. They eat no grass until they are weaned off milk. Calves get ready access to meal and are fed 3L of milk once a day. Cameron says he uses a higher ratio of milk powder to water when mixing calf milk. They get calcium bentonite to help digestion and prevent scours. Milk powder is mixed off-site and transferred to the calf shed with a mobile tank and pump, supplying two pens each time the tank stops. Feeding times are half those required to feed calves in the woolshed – 90 minutes vs 2-3 hours. Cameron has been raising a batch of 40 autumn calves to test the viability of sourcing calves in autumn. – Gareth Gillatt


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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

46 RURAL TRADER Chicken Litter

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RURAL NEWS // JUNE 17, 2014

RURAL TRADER 47 DOLOMITE

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Get it right and create a legacy for the future – ask your vet or rural reseller about EWEGUARD® now!

AVAILABLE NOW!

Zoetis New Zealand Limited. Level 3, 14 Normanby Road, Mt Eden, Auckland 1024, New Zealand. Tel: 0800 963 847, Fax: 0800 628 629. Eweguard and Cydectin are registered trademarks of Zoetis Inc. or its subsidiaries. ACVM No’s A7302, A9122 & A9659. *The DeWalt Handyman’s Pack prize draw competition runs from 1st May 2014 to 30th August 2014. For full terms and conditions visit www.winwithcydectin.co.nz. DeWalt is a registered trademark of Stanley Black and Decker Inc.

ZOE1180

...with Eweguard. The one shot vaccine and wormer.

Rural News 17 June 2014  

Rural News 17 June 2014

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