‘Drag ‘n drop’ grazing now a reality. PAGE 26
Move up to 70% less dirt.
Newly-elected Federated Farmers president aims to bridge the gap between town and country. PAGE 6
TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS JULY 4, 2017: ISSUE 633
Blame Canada! STAFF REPORTERS
A COALITION of international dairy organisations including the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) wants an end to Canada flooding world markets with subsidised milk. The 10 dairy organisations from NZ, Australia, Argentina, the EU, Mexico and the US want the abolition of Canada’s recently implemented ‘Special Milk Class 7’ policies. The coalition claims these policies are facilitating “the unfair export of highly subsidised Canadian dairy products onto global dairy markets,” while at the same time increasing Canada’s barriers to dairy imports. “The impact of these policies on international markets is already being seen. “Exports of low priced Canadian skim milk powder grew by 273% in the
first four months of this year,” explains DCANZ executive director Kimberly Crewther. The coalition has called on relevant trade ministers to pursue “all available avenues,” including WTO dispute settlement, to end Canada’s “new and harmful dairy policies”. Canada implemented its special milk Class 7 pricing policies in February 2017 to artificially lower milk ingredient prices for Canadian dairy
processors. These push Canada’s skim milk powder surpluses onto global dairy markets at low prices much below Canada’s cost of production. “Canada’s new dairy policies fly in the face of its international trade commitments,” adds Crewther. She says a WTO dispute case was successfully taken against Canada by New Zealand and the US in 1997. This resulted in a restriction on Canadian export of dairy products
Mobile meat data AgResearch chief executive Tom Richardson pictured with hand-held meat data gun displayed at the recent Agricultural Fieldays. Held up against meat, the gun provides its molecular characteristics. “Like a DNA fingerprint, it traces the meat from a supermarket shelf back to the farm,” Richardson says. “We can go around meat works, collect data and follow that through the killing chain to supermarkets and restaurants to validate what it has claimed.” – See more page 3
while that country maintained its subsidising system of dairy supply management. The international dairy coalition believes the new special milk Class 7 policies are an attempt by Canada to “circumvent previous WTO rulings”. “Canada cannot be allowed to take a pick ‘n’ mix approach to international trade rules when the ultimate result is economic harm to dairy producers in other countries,” Crewther says.
FARMERS ARE unhappy with Greenpeace’s latest attempt to protest against intensive dairying Federated Farmers says a report released last week by the lobby group titled ‘Sick of too many cows’ is another “misguided attack” on the primary sector. “This is Greenpeace doing a good job of what they do best -plenty of headlines and hyperbole”, says Chris Allen, Federated Farmers’ water spokesman. “Particularly disturbing is their accusation that irrigation and farming causes cancers and infectious diseases.” Allen says the latest Greenpeace attack smacks of desperation, “and leaves little room for constructive dialogue with no concrete language throughout the report”. The Federation also finds it ironic that the Havelock North water contamination outbreak is raised, yet it had nothing to do with dairy farming nor so-called industrial farming or irrigation. “It’s unfortunate they have not researched basic facts about irrigation and proposed schemes. For example, the businesses signed up to the Ruataniwha scheme are horticultural enterprises, arable and sheep and beef farmers. “There are no new dairy conversions among the 190 farmers signed up, and only one irrigator will expand an existing dairy farm by a mere 100ha.”
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RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
Sector set for sonic boom
ISSUE 633 www.ruralnews.co.nz
PETER BURKE email@example.com
NEWS�������������������������������������� 1-17 MARKETS���������������������������18-19 AGRIBUSINESS��������������� 20-21 HOUND, EDNA���������������������� 22 CONTACTS����������������������������� 22 OPINION����������������������������22-24
KIWIFRUIT IS heading towards being a major force in the New Zealand economy, a Waikato University report predicts. By 2030 it will almost triple its contribution to NZ’s GDP, from the present $2.6 billion to $6.14b, the reports says. And it will create 29,000 extra jobs. Most of
MANAGEMENT�������������� 26-28 ANIMAL HEALTH������������ 29-31 MACHINERY AND PRODUCTS�����������������������32-34 RURAL TRADER������������� 34-35 Report author Professor Frank Scrimgeour
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: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising material: email@example.com Rural News online: www.ruralnews.co.nz Subscriptions: firstname.lastname@example.org ABC audited circulation 80,580 as at 31.09.2016
this growth is due to the new Zespri cultivar SunGold, the report says. The report predicts that by 2030 the industry will be producing 253 million trays of kiwifruit – a 111% increase. Economics professor Frank Scrimgeour, who prepared the report for Zespri, says the kiwifruit sector is poised to grow massively, benefitting Northland, Bay of Plenty and the whole NZ economy. The growth spurt will be great news for Maori, he says. The report shows the number of jobs linked with the kiwifruit industry in Bay of Plenty will rise by 133 %, from the present 10,762 to 25,091; Northland will also enjoy a 133% rise in jobs to 886. Salaries paid to Maori from kiwifruit will rise from the present $22.1 million to $52m by 2030.
Notably, growth in the kiwifruit industry doesn’t just benefit a few orchardists, but many people right across the whole supply chain, Scrimgeour says. While the growth in Northland may look modest, in fact it is very hard to get that level of growth in other industries. But for kiwifruit, many regions in NZ would be impoverished. Scrimgeour says it’s encouraging to see Maori investing in kiwifruit because of the difference it will make in providing jobs for Maori in rural areas. “The most important message from the study is the value of new varieties of kiwifruit themselves. These have helped in the recovery from Psa and any new varieties complement production along the supply chain and in marketing. And they provide extra resilience. “At present, 40% of the revenue from orchards comes from the new cultivars, but by 2030 that will be close to 70%.”
Scrimgeour says this points to excellence in science and innovation long term. This saved the industry from Psa and it’s important it continues. Dr Bruce Campbell, of Plant and Food Research, says its plant breeding programme with Zespri is not for the faint-hearted. Every year some 100,000 seedlings go through the programme and it can take up to 20 years to finally get a variety that is commercially viable. A lot of science goes into such a breeding programme to produce a world class food, and scientists and industry working closely together yields good results. “There is trend internationally for science to make greater connection with people, communities and customers. The report shows a connection creating more economic value through that science, and environmental improvements and social benefits with a flow through to regional economies and Maori,” Campbell says.
Military cameras help red meat SUDESH KISSUN email@example.com
CAMERAS USED by the military are helping the New Zealand red meat sector produce premium lamb products. One camera, installed in a South Island meat plant, scans eight lambs a minute, collecting from 45 data points per lamb in a round-the-clock operation. The technology is not available anywhere else in the world; AgResearch needed special approval to get the military-grade camera into NZ.
Chief executive Tom Richardson says the technology has the potential to help farmers double their income. The camera looks through the surface structure of the meat, allowing scientists to study its molecular structure. “By looking at that you can tell things like the omega levels, fat levels, molecular bonding characteristics; scientists know these characteristics co-relate with eating quality,” he told Rural News. Richardson says the camera allows the processor to tell farmers the characteristics they like in the meat; farm-
ers then adjust their genetics and management practices to suit. “You capture a lot of value during the growing period; if you don’t capture it then, you can’t get it back by processing in many places,” he says. “The meat processor is willing to pay a premium for that because they will get a premium for that meat in the market. “That’s been the holy grail in dairy, but in red meat not so much; the holy grail for the meat industry is to identify the characteristics we want on the top 40 million people’s plates -and get there every time regardless of
weather and seasons; our complaints are not their problem.” Richardson says the camera helps confirm that farmers have hit the mark and enables premium payment. It also gives farmers better insight into why they haven’t met the mark, for example, animals were down on body condition or left too long on a fodder crop. Previous programmes used to collect a few samples from a few dozen lambs, costing millions of dollars. Now the industry gets the data real time and in all seasons, Richardson says.
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RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
Farmers’ social licence fast expiring – warning NIGEL MALTHUS
DAIRYING HAS a lot at stake as the world enters the fourth industrial revolution, says former DairyNZ chairman John Luxton. A dairy farmer, businessman and former National minister of agriculture, Luxton gave the opening keynote address at the 2017 South Island Dairy Event (SIDE) conference at Lincoln University. He says farmers’ social license to operate as in the past was now fast expiring. Rules and regulations requiring farmers to improve farm systems were becoming more and more complex. “Like 86% of Kiwis, I now live in the city most of the time, so I am well aware of how little knowledge most of the townies have about, first, where their food comes from and, second, the importance of what farmers contribute to our country.” Luxton says the world is entering a fourth industrial revolution with the emergence of new technol-
ogies and unprecedented advances principles to respond to the changes. First, farmers need to concentrate in fields including artificial intelligence, robotics, self-driving vehicles, 3D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, genetic engineering, energy storage and quantum computing. He sees volatility driven by new science as well as pseudoscience, the skillful use of new media and social media by single-issue activist groups, ‘the politics of envy’, and news media “favouring David over Goliath”. Documentaries no longer attract viewers, but reality shows do, and politicians are taking populist positions rather than considered ones. “Internationally this has been reflected in the votes for Trump and Brexit,” he said. John Luxton Luxton advocates four
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on systems rather than technologies for their own sake. Dairy had always had a systems approach as every farm was different in area, soil type and climate, stocking rates and feed quality. “Secondly, we must empower society to better understand the complexity of our farming businesses, and encourage farm staff to master relevant new technologies and act to counter a fatalistic and deterministic view of progress by some outsiders to dairying. We must try to keep ahead of others with our approach.” Third, Luxton believes dairy needs to work hard to prioritise its future by design rather than by default, with collaboration between all stakeholders to help integrate new transformative technologies. Fourth, he says, dairying
must focus on key values as a feature of new technology. “Technology that is used in a way that increases disparity, poverty, discrimination and environmental damage works against the future we seek. “Everyone who is not a farmer is not a farmer because [society has] farmers. We delegate the responsibility of feeding our families to a relatively small percentage of the country,” he added. For the future, Luxton says farmers need to reach out to the community to maintain their social licence to farm. “We are important to our urban cousins because our dairy sector still produces about one third of New Zealand’s exports, so is an important contributor to the living standards of all New Zealanders. “We often hear of growth in exports of meat, horticulture, wine, fish and forestry, but dairy still exceeds all other primary exports put together.” @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews
TAKING CONTROL THE THREE-DAY SIDE conference’s theme was ‘Controlling the Luxton says the things farmers control start with their people, the most important resource on the farm. They must be safe, work reasonable hours with holidays properly calculated and taken, and their families happy, well-housed and enjoying proper community support.
looks? Luxton asked. “We need to be sensitive to how other people see the industry.” Animal welfare is another area of public concern, but high stocking rates and poor cow condition seems now to be in the past. On dairy’s environmental record, Luxton says most farmers use less fertiliser than two or three decades ago, with production doubled but nutrient loss increased by just 10%. He presented figures from the 2017 OECD report into the New Zealand environment, showing high nitrogen loading in Waihora/Lake Ellesmere of about 6mg of nitrate per litre, but most major rivers, including
On health and safety, it is most important to create a culture that promotes safe practices and thinking. It is important a farm is wellpresented so as to create a good first impression for any visitors. “Are you proud of how your farm
the much-maligned Manawatu, recording only 0.5 mgN/L or less. He compared that with figures of 2.5 - 5mg for several European rivers and 6-7mg for the Thames. “Our water quality is still better than most countries, despite the noise of some critics. There’s always going to be some trade-off between the environment and our economy, as there is everywhere people live,” he adds. Luxton says water quality is as much an urban problem as rural. Wellingtonians are advised not to swim in their harbour particularly after rain in the Hutt Valley, yet there are only two small dairy farms in the whole Hutt catchment.
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RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
Kiwifruit case heads to court email@example.com
SCIENCE COULD be a key factor in the Kiwifruit Claim which heads to court on August 7, scheduled for a 13-week hearing. The claim seeks to hold the Government and the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) to account for the significant losses suffered by growers because of Psa. The kiwifruit claimants say MPI should never have allowed kiwifruit pollen into New Zealand. They claim the Psa outbreak in October 2010 would never have happened had MPI followed its own protocols under the Biosecurity Act regarding importation of pollen from China. Kiwifruit Claim chair John Cameron told Rural News the judge is very interested in ascertaining the scientific evidence behind it. “That is when the case will get particularly interesting. Certainly evidence is pretty forthcoming from our team. The evidence the Crown will put against it – that will be the interesting part of the case. “We are reasonably confident; we have had scientists from all over the world doing trials with us.” The claim is for $376
million to $414m, he says. The first plaintiff is Strathboss Kiwifruit Ltd and the second is Seeka Industries. Cameron says the claim also represents roughly 30% of the kiwifruit growers in Gold and roughly 20% of the Green growers. Cameron says the claim asserts that MPI was negligent about following its own protocols. They want to put that in front of the judge to determine whether there was a breach of duty of care. He says the Government will certainly fight and understandably so “because we intend to show exactly what happened and why”. Cameron says as a dairy farmer and an avocado grower, as well a kiwifruit grower, he wants assurance there is some accountability towards the primary industries of NZ. “If this brings out greater accountability and making sure they do their job… I think that is a very, very good result,” he says. “Personally I was lucky we had other portfolios and weren’t totally reliant on the kiwifruit industry. “But in saying that, others got very much exposed, dealt to or had to increase their mortgages to get through to the stage they are at now. They still have suffered
losses. Although you will hear in the media how well the kiwifruit indus-
try is doing, the reality is it comes at a price and those losses make it very
difficult for those individual growers to get part of the new Gold licences
because they are selling at $300,000/ha. There is generally just a continued flow-on effect. “Some had to get out altogether. Some were unable to join the claim because they were declared bankrupt and for them to be part of it they had to get bank authority and some never got it.” In a statement of defence on its website, the Ministry for Primary
Industries says it acted appropriately in its treatment of Psa-V as a biosecurity threat and acted in accordance with its international obligations and with scientific knowledge available at the time. MPI argues there is a statutory immunity from civil proceedings in regard to actions taken under the Biosecurity Act, and that applies to this proceeding.
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RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
New Fed’s boss aims to reconnect PETER BURKE firstname.lastname@example.org
THE NEWLY-ELECTED president of Federated Farmers has a key goal to connect with urban people and bridge the gap between town and country. Katie Milne, a West Coast dairy farmer and the first woman to head a farmer’s organisation in NZ, says she was elected because of her ability to connect with people. Her skills are in people and
engagement; that’s the message she has been getting from friends and colleagues within and outside farming. “They say I have a way of putting things to people who know nothing about farming so that they actually get it and understand it,” Milne told Rural News. “The reason I got into the federation in the first place was because... people were taking control away from me as a young farmer who’d just bought a farm.
WHO’S RUNNING FEDS? MANAWATU DAIRY farmer Andrew Hoggard is now national vice-president, while South Canterbury farmer Miles Anderson takes the national meat and fibre chair and Rick Powdrell steps aside. Waikato farmer Chris Lewis takes over as national dairy industry chair, and North Canterbury farmer Lynda Murchison is one of two board members-at-large alongside Chris Allen who was reappointed. The meat and fibre group is now
headed by Miles Anderson plus William Beetham,Wairarapa; Dan Hodgen, North Canterbury; Simon Williamson, High Country; Simon Mcatamaney, Otago; and Dave Wilson, Northland. The dairy group is headed by Chris Lewis, Waikato; Wayne Langford, vice-chair, Golden Bay; Jacqui Hahn, vice-chair, Waikato; Renee Rooney, West Coast; Stephen Crawford, Otago; and Richard McIntyre, Manawatu-Rangitikei.
“The Resource Management Act (RMA) had come in and I managed to understand what that meant for our farm. I got involved to make sure there was a voice for farmers, which is exactly what Federated Farmers is all about so it was a natural fit.” Milne wants to show urban people that farmers are not a threat to the environment as is commonly believed. She says many positive things are happening in the farming sector and she wants this showcased at all levels and in all sorts of ways. “I tweet pictures of the trout and fantails on my farm all the time to show people we can be trusted and we are living with their environment and enjoying nature and we love it so why should we be detrimental to it. “I have been in the social media vein of doing things because I think it is the way to connect with people – especially young people. Rural people and young farmers are all over social media so why shouldn’t we be there too?” Milne says farmers feel under threat, especially in election year when the anti-farming lobby is out
there trying to score points on farmers who they see as an easy target. She wants to change this. As part of this new connection, Milne wants to re-define people’s perception of agriculture and remind them that the food they consume is produced by farmers. She was in a restaurant and asked the waiter and chef what they thought farmers did. “The answer was very intriguing: working with the land and working hard in bad weather. Neither had worked out that [our purpose] is growing high quality food for them to turn into magnificent meals.”
Newly-elected Federated Farmers president, Katie Milne.
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RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
M&F boss wants balance
A ’COASTER AND GRASSROOTS FARMER KATIE MILNE sees herself as a grassroots farmer and a passionate one. She was brought up on a sheep and beef farm on the West Coast, but now she and partner Ian Whitmore farm 200 high BW jersey cows on their 100ha (eff) property at Rotomanu, near Lake Brunner in the Hokitika region. Here they have led in improving the lake’s water quality by helping initiate smart environmental practices. Over the years Milne has moved up the farming political ladder and now holds several governance roles. Some she will quit to focus on the Feds presidency and her deputy chair role at Westland Milk Products. Leadership and governance training has given her the confidence needed to contest the top job in Feds. “Last year I did the Breakthrough Leadership Course -- part of the scholarship I won with the Dairy Woman of the Year Award. A lot of those women inspired me to think harder about where you can go with your leadership; then when
the [Feds election] came closer people from all walks of life -- not just in farming -- asked me ‘have you thought about this big job that is up for grabs?’ ” Milne admits she found it hard to stand against her colleague Anders Crofoot, the vice-president and heir apparent to the presidency. But ultimately she was encouraged to toss her hat into the ring and offer her skills. It is yet to sink in that she has broken through a glass ceiling in becoming the first woman president of an organisation dominated for generations by men. Other women have served on the board, she notes. Also elected this year is the former North Canterbury provincial president Lynda Murchison. Many challenges will face Milne during the next three years, notably dealing with dairy and sheep and beef farmers at odds over water use, especially in Waikato. Sort this out will take time, but she hopes for an outcome acceptable to both sides.
NEW MEAT and fibre chair and Feds board member Miles Anderson says he’d like to see the mainstream news media take a more balanced line on reporting farming issues. Anderson recognises no one can dictate to journalists what to publish, he’d like to see more honest reporting. He plans to reach out to other primary sector organisations such as Beef + Lamb NZ, DairyNZ, HortNZ and the meat processors to change things. Anderson says it’s been a tough couple of years for his members. “We have had poor lamb and mutton prices until this year and of course wool is in a disgraceful situation, but the farmers are fairly confident. The big question is whether the current pricing is to do with procurement or is market-based,” he says. In his role as chair of meat and fibre, Anderson says he’d like to see a con-
tinuation of some of the projects set up by his predecessor, Rick Powdrell. These include a future-focused project looking at sustainable returns long term for the meat industry, and a
project in the wool sector. “We are also tied up in the water and nutrient debate and we have, I guess, been sidelined somewhat until now,” Anderson told Rural News. “This is because
a lot of us are low emitters and thought that we were not going to be part of the solution, but we are part of the solution because we are part of the problem,” he says.
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RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
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Retiring Fonterra director David Jackson (right) with board members David McLeod and Nicola Shadbolt.
Fonterra director to step down SUDESH KISSUN email@example.com
LONG-TERM INDEPENDENT director David Jackson will retire from Fonterra’s board in November. Jackson joined the board in 2007, chairing its audit and finance committee for 10 years; recently he served as chairman of the milk price panel and is also chairman of the nominations committee. Fonterra chairman John Wilson says chartered accountant Bruce Hassall will replace Jackson at the co-op’s annual meeting on November 2. Wilson paid tribute to Jackson’s contribution to Fonterra. “David has been an outstanding director of our cooperative and has made an invaluable contribution by combining his commitment to the highest standards of financial reporting with his strong personal values and leadership. “He has brought wide experience and sound judgment to the board as we worked through critical milestones in the development of our cooperative. “We are grateful for his hard work and the energy and commitment he brought to everything he did for Fonterra.” Jackson says he enjoyed his time “being part of the cooperative’s evolution into the global business it is today”. “I am proud to have served as an independent director of the cooperative which, uniquely for New Zealand, is both a key entity in the national economy and in the global dairy market. I firmly believe the cooperative has the right strategy and people to deliver the best possible returns for its farmers today
“I am proud to have served as an independent director of the cooperative which, uniquely for New Zealand, is both a key entity in the national economy and in the global dairy market.” and in the future. “The commitment of its farmers and staff to adapt to technology and innovation makes it an exciting organisation to be a part of. I will watch its continued evolution with keen interest, while devoting more time to my other personal interests.” Hassall will take over as chairman of the audit and finance committee once his appointment is ratified by shareholders. Hassall had a 35-year career at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), becoming chief executive of the NZ firm in 2009, retiring in 2016. He has extensive experience in financial reporting, information system processes, business acqui-
sitions, capital raising and IPOs of public and private companies. He has specialist industry knowledge of retail, agri-business, distribution and logistics, energy and manufacturing, here and overseas. Hassall has been a director of Fletcher Building, Farmers Trading Company (James Pascoe), Prolife Foods, BNZ and the University of Auckland Business School advisory board. He was a founding board member of the NZ China Council. Wilson says Hassall developed governance experience advising large NZ companies and cooperatives, working in corporate governance, auditing, financial reporting and internal controls.
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INTERIM FINANCE CHIEF FONTERRA HAS appointed an interim chief financial officer while it looks for a permanent appointee. Paul Washer has been appointed acting chief financial officer from August 1 to January 31, 2018. Washer will then become vice president commercial for greater China. Fonterra chief financial officer Lukas Paravacini has moved into his new role as chief operating officer global consumer and foodservice. Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings says Washer brings much expertise in his interim CFO capacity. “Paul has provided sound counsel and become a trusted leader in our business during his 15 years with Fonterra. “His strong relationships with the board, management team and the shareholders council will be an asset for us as we continue appointing executives.”
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RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
Venison hits sweet spot PAM TIPA firstname.lastname@example.org
VENISON IS hitting a ‘sweet spot’ of better prices, wider markets and reduced seasonality in prices, claims the industry. Venison prices have risen steadily in the last two years to an all-time June high of $9/kg carcase weight for quality stags. Data shows this has been about the peak price for the last three years. June is generally the low time of the year for prices. The highest prices are usually achieved when chilled product is sent later in the year to Europe for its peak venison season of autumn. Deer Industry NZ (DINZ) chief executive Dan Coup says a big drop in the number of deer being processed has undoubtedly played a big part in the strengthening of prices, but other factors are at work. “Whether it’s the emergence of paleo diets, new culinary trends or the new enthusiasm in Europe for summer barbecues, our farm-raised venison looks like the right product for the times,” he says. “The United States is now the single-largest market for venison, having recently overtaken Germany. This means the industry now has strong export markets in two of the world’s major currency zones.” Coup told Rural News the difference between the low season and the high season has narrowed in the last couple of years. “The other part of the story is that we were heavily reliant on continental demand and they only really consume in that one window -- their autumn. Now that demand is spread much more. They are still important
but we are getting much more demand out of other parts of the world at other times of the year. “The US is growing strongly at a time when overall supply is tight; that is the biggest part of the story. In the States they have a trend towards grass fed as a healthy option and lower fat and ‘exotic’.” DINZ perceives that producers are boosting production but Coup says this is always hard to tell in the meat industry. The number of females in the kill has reduced sharply over the last 12 months. As with all the meat industry, it takes time for people to gain confidence and decide to increase production. About a two year delay occurs until new meat comes onto the market. “But confidence is high and people are growing their herds.” John Sadler, Mountain River Venison, says “the holy grail of the venison industry ever
since I first got involved was to sell leg cuts into the United States. I think we are finally getting there.” Duncan New Zealand’s Glenn Tyrrell says they are reaping the rewards of 35 years of marketing. DINZ venison marketing manager Marianne Wilson says more chefs and consumers are making ethical purchasing decisions. They like the fact that NZ venison is pasture-raised, grown naturally without hormones, in a clean spacious environment. A recent visitor to NZ was Jan Kunz, Luiten Foods, an active partner in a Cervena venison marketing trial in the Netherlands and Belgium. He says he sold 20,000kg last summer, a novel time of the year to sell venison in Europe. Like the other partners in the Cervena marketing trial, Kunz is enthusiastically involved again this northern summer. This trial is part of Passion2Profit (P2P), a Primary Growth Partnership Programme between the deer industry and the Ministry for Primary Industries. Wilson says the trial, now in its third year, is starting to embed in the minds of chefs and their diners the notion that Cervena is ‘now in Deer Industry NZ chief executive Dan Coup.
MORE PROMOTION PLANNED
season’ in summer. “The fact that Tui Airlines, the second-biggest Belgian airline, has put Cervena on its summer menu for business class is a strong example of this.” Wilson says affluent consumers in Europe and the US are eating out more at premium casual restaurants where small plates and shared plates are fashionable. “This style of eating with less formality is good news for NZ vension and Cervena, as there is less risk for the consumer if they are trying something novel like a summer Cervena dish for the first time. It encourages experimentation.” The rise of paleo diets also favours venison. “High quality protein produced ethically is important to people following this way of eating and they are willing to pay for it,” she says. Then there’s the barbecue trend sweeping Europe. Kunz is working with Jord Althuizen, the barbecue world champion and owner of Grillmaster, a business selling barbecues and recipes. He’s been on the Grillmaster stand with Althuizen at rock concerts where there was “great demand” for Cervena from the massive audiences, he says. Silver Fern Farms general manager marketing Sharon Angus says she has noted a rise in the carnivore market -largely of males -- who love meat and barbecues. At the other extreme, Kunz is working with Chicks Love Food to promote Cervena. They’re two extremely popular Dutch food bloggers with a strong social media presence, including 100,000 Instagram followers. Growing sales of venison into new market segments, outside the traditional game season, have increased year-round sales of venison which is helping to flatten out seasonal variations in prices to farmers.
WITH VENISON production at its lowest in 20 years and less than half the level it reached 10 years ago, some may question why the industry is putting so much energy into promotion. “With farmers rebuilding their breeding herds, there will inevitably be an increase in venison production in the not-too-distant future,” says Coup. “All the exporters involved in P2P are developing year-round markets, which we will need when the kill reaches 350,000, up from the 280,000 forecast for the current year. We could reach that level by 2019.” Silver Fern Farms is expanding summer Cervena into Germany; First Light Foods has developed new markets in the US, Russia and the United Arab Emirates; Mountain River Venison is developing demand from high-end hotels in Shanghai and recently launched a range of new cuts into Sweden; Alliance Group is developing a new market segment in the UK; and Duncan NZ is continuing to build on its strong position in the US and is working on summer Cervena in the Netherlands and Belgium. “It is one thing to have fashions and trends going your way, but we also need to keep looking ahead; our exporters are certainly doing this,” says Wilson.
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RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
TPP with or without US worthwhile PAM TIPA email@example.com
WHILE IT is New Zealand’s preference to have the US in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), there is still value in the agreement without the US, says lead negotiator Martin Harvey. We would still
improve access for NZ exporters and lower tariffs in markets where we don’t now have free trade agreements (FTAs), Harvey said at a Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Mfat) briefing on current trade negotiations. “These are countries like Canada, Mexico, Peru
and importantly Japan -the world’s third largest economy. The regional nature of the TPP was also a key feature of why it was developed,” says Harvey. “It was meant to create – and we hope it still will – a common set of rules among a group of Asia Pacific economies
which currently account for 31% of our total goods exports and 31% of our services exports, so businesses have one set of rules they can follow in the region.” The other 11 economies in the agreement including NZ are talking about how to bring this agreement into effect
without the US. “Those decisions are going to continue [from now].... We hope a decision can be made on this by the end the year. “The TPP is an important building block of our trade strategy but it is not the only negotiation we attach priority to.” NZ is reviewing its
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Trade Minister Todd McClay is working with the 10 other TPP partners on a deal.
FTA with the Association of South East Asian Nations – ASEAN - and its closer economic partnership with Hong Kong. The Government announced in April 2017 that Singapore and NZ will develop an enhanced partnership including an upgrade of our existing bilateral FTA. Some positive signals have been seen for finalising the Gulf Cooperation FTA, the text for which was initialled in 2009, but recent developments in Qatar could complicate that. Tariff elimination on dairy into China is one issue NZ will be looking to progress in the imminent FTA update with that country. “A handful of sectors are yet to have tariffs eliminated; dairy is one of them,” NZ’s lead negotiator Brad Burgess says. “They are being phased out under the safeguards. That safeguard issue has been mentioned by the sector as a non-trade barrier they are facing into China so it is certainly an issue we will be looking at to see what we can do to progress it. “The safeguards on dairy expire under the current FTA; they expire in 2022 and 2024 so from 2025 all dairy products into China will be tariff free. “The question will be ‘is there anything we can do to improve that situation before then? But the FTA already delivers duty free access for dairy in a number of years.” Harvey, the lead nego-
tiatior for the European Union FTA, says all options are still open on dairy trade and negotiators will be “ambitious”. A scoping paper for the negotiations with the EU was released this month and referred to ‘sensitivities’ on agricultural products. “If you talk to someone in the EU on current tariff quota products they will only be talking about increased tariff quota access,” Harvey says. “But if you look at the scoping document there are a number of things we can use, e.g. extended trade phase out and tariff rate quotas; and if you make them big enough you have free trade.” Harvey says there is a range of options. “Our view is we will be ambitious; we would want the best access possible.” In an overview of trade negotiations, Harvey says the Government’s overarching strategy for trade is Trade Agenda 2030, launched in March. It sets the specific task of 90% of goods exported being covered by free trade agreements by 2030. It outlines four shifts in trade policy emphasis: urgently expanding our network of FTAs while maximising existing agreements; increasing the focus on tackling non-tariff barriers; including registration and certification requirements; increasing the focus on services, investment and digital trade; and assisting NZ businesses to succeed overseas.
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RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
Labour backs new agri food advisor PETER BURKE firstname.lastname@example.org
IF LABOUR were elected to govern it would appoint a chief agri-food advisor with status similar to that of the present chief science advisor to government, says the party’s spokesman on primary industries, Damien O’Connor. The idea was set out in KPMG’s recent Agri Business Agenda, but O’Connor claims such a proposal has always been a part of Labour’s policy.
Also, he says, a primary sector council would be formed of people with strategic vision to directly advise the cabinet. This group would provide some over-arching leadership in the agri sector. O’Connor says there is a reason why farmers’ messages are not getting through to the general public. Between politicians and industry leaders a lot of “ra ra and misinformation” is being put out. “Frankly some of it is bullshit and this confuses the public.”
NZ still doesn’t have a vision for agriculture and people don’t know where they are going, he says. “On the big issues of GM, land use, water quality and soil management we have to sit down and have an honest conversation. “It’s all political because of the election and that is not helping farmers who are also getting confused messages.” It worries O’Connor that a high risk exists of different sectors putting out
mixed messages -- such as horticulture right now on traceability. There is a risk that others opposed to this line will undermine horticulture’s story and such incidents make it hard to sell a true NZ story. “For some sectors there are too many players in the middle who pollute the messages that should be going from the customers to farmers and vice versa. It is in their interests as players to disrupt the messages that should go directly back from the mar-
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ketplace to the farmer because they are clipping the ticket. “Some sectors do really well, such as horticulture where the grower is producing something in a form that goes directly to consumers and they understand that connection. But this is not so in wool or meat and less so in dairy,” he says. However, O’Connor says that now Fonterra has traceability and payment for quality this helps connect farmers with the market.
8/06/17 3:33 PM
NEW ZEALAND farmer confidence and spending intentions jumped to record levels in the second quarter of this year, buoyed by improved commodity prices. Rabobank says its second quarterly survey for the year, completed in June, shows net farmer confidence rose to 54% from 27% in the March quarter, hitting the highest level since the survey began in 2003. Spending intentions were higher in all farm sectors: 40% of farmers expect to spend more in the next 12 months, up from 31% last quarter and also at a record high. Farmers in all agricultural sectors were more positive about the outlook for the agricultural Rabobank’s Hayley Moynihan economy in the June quarter, with 71% citing improved commodity prices as a key reason. Especially so dairy farmers, 77% of whom cited better commodity prices, while sheep and beef producers were at 66%. “Buoyancy in the pastoral sectors is underpinned by strengthened farmgate returns across the industries,” says Rabobank NZ general manager for country banking Hayley Moynihan. “Sheep and beef farmgate prices continue to hold steady at strong levels for beef and higher than first expected for lamb; and lower supply from NZ and other key export regions will underpin good returns over the coming months. “Dairy commodity prices continue to strengthen thanks to steady demand and lower supply and this has been recently reflected in strong opening price signals for the new 2017-18 season by many dairy processors.” At least half the farmers surveyed were anticipating the performance of their own farm business to improve over the next 12 months, lifting net confidence to 47%, the highest reading since late 2013. Sheep and beef farmers recorded the biggest rise in confidence in their own farm business performance, jumping to a net 41% from 2% last quarter, while dairy farmer confidence lifted to a net 61% from 54% and horticulturalists eased to 38% from 44%. “It’s unusual to have farmers from all NZ’s key agricultural sectors so confident about the outlook for their own business’s performance and this bodes well for the rural [and national] economy,” Moynihan added.
RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
Dark days turn golden SUDESH KISSUN email@example.com
THE KIWIFRUIT industry initially lost a billion dollars -- about one-third of its capital value -- to Psa, says Zespri chief executive Lain Jager. However, the industry has bounced back strongly; capital values have soared higher despite Psa lingering in orchards. Jager, who spoke at a recent dairy industry conference in Waikato, described the outbreak in late 2010 and the following few years as “pretty dark times”. He told the Smaller Milking and Supply Herds (SMASH) conference that the Psa bacteria which kills kiwifruit vines wiped out Zespri Gold kiwifruit; production slumped from 30 million trays a year to 10m trays. Owners of Gold kiwifruit orchards saw their land values drop from $600,000/ha to $80,000 - $110,000/ha. Jager says many kiwifruit growers were forced to find jobs to support their families. “During the whole period there was one bankruptcy and no one committed suicide,” he says. “There was a huge focus on R&D and collective pulling together of the industry.”
Tests done on Psaaffected kiwifruit showed the cheaper Green Hayward variety “pretty tolerant but the Gold variety intolerant”. However, Zespri Gold growers could not go back to growing the Hayward variety. “If you are a Gold kiwifruit grower, your income levels are much higher than the Green kiwifruit growers; you couldn’t go back to growing green… the financial case wouldn’t work,” says Jager. But the kiwifruit industry enjoyed “a huge dollop of good luck”. Another Gold variety developed earlier -- Zespri SunGold – was found to withstand the bacteria much better than the Zespri Gold variety. Backed by the banks, the industry planted 2000ha of SunGold kiwifruit. Jager says it worked “splendidly”. “The SunGold kiwifruit works well; it has a higher yield than the old Zespri Gold, bigger fruit and a broader taste appeal.” Jager says the kiwifruit industry realises that now it is obliged to farm in the presence of Psa bacteria. The industry has pulled resources together and the result is higher productivity from
“It was a real trial by were before Psa but that orchards since Psa. fire; we were either going should never undervalue While the higher to pull together or the the pain and struggle yields could be technical industry was going to people went through in -- the impact of Psa causpull apart. the Psa environment. ing stress in the vine and causing more floral behavior -- Jager says better orchard man❱❱ 2500 growers agement ❱❱ Median size of orchards- 3ha could also be ❱❱ Total revenues of $2 billion the reason. ❱❱ Earnings before interest and taxes -$20,000/ “Ironiha (Green kiwifruit), $80,000 (Gold) cally we are ❱❱ Land costs- $350,000/ha (Green), $700,000/ more posiha (Gold) tive than we
Zespri chief executive Lain Jager.
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RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
Avocado growers smashing it SUDESH KISSUN firstname.lastname@example.org
ONE OF the first projects approved under the Government’s Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) in 2000 targeted avocado orchard management. While the SFF project did not translate into instant success, the groundwork done many years ago is now bearing fruit for the industry. In 2000 the avocado industry was valued at $48 million with 2800 growers relying heavily on exports to the US. Today the industry is valued at $200m. SFF cash paid for the industry to hold discussion groups -- 1400 field days in 2001 and since. But Avocado NZ chief executive Jen Scoular says there were lots of discussions but “not
much agreement because there was so much difference in best practice on orchards”. Speaking at a recent function to mark SFF’s 1000th project, Scoular acknowledged that the “very ambitious” goals set under the first SFF project were not met on time. “But 16 years later we are successfully implementing similar programmes under PGP.” She notes that the industry was correctly cautioned about the need to share knowledge among a network of growers, scientists and industry leaders. “The avocado industry, perhaps, was slow to take up the advice but I can proudly say that like everyone’s favourite -- avocado on toast -- those goals set in 2001 are being smashed right
now.” Scoular points to “a lot of growing up ❱❱ Dairy- $32m of our indus❱❱ Arable- $22m try”. ❱❱ Water- $8.5m “[We ❱❱ Pests and diseases- $6.5m realise] collab❱❱ Meat and fibre - $16m oration drives ❱❱ Horticulture- $19m results; the avocado pie is huge… we agement; some growdon’t need to compete ers thought they had for someone else’s slice; the secret to successwe can just make the fully growing avocados slice bigger.” and did not want to share Scoular says the menthem,” says Scoular. tality among avocado But the mindset growers has changed. started changing when After the first round of the industry faced trouSFF-funded field days ble; the NZ dollar jumped and discussion groups to US70c and export in 2001, in a survey 18 receipts from the US months later growers slumped. After another were asked if they had 10 years of “ups and changed their orchard downs”, the industry’s management practices; value hovered at $60m growers had not. in 2013. “There was regional Ministry for Primary variation in orchard man-
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“[We realise] collaboration drives results; the avocado pie is huge… we don’t need to compete for someone else’s slice; we can just make the slice bigger.” Industry Nathan Guy says the SFF has paid $150m to date to the 1000 SFF projects. “The SFF supports the primary sector’s forward thinking and Kiwi ingenuity, which in turn helps keeps NZ ahead of the
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RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
UK support for EUNZ trade deal PETER BURKE email@example.com
BRITAIN IS probably New Zealand’s greatest supporter of it getting a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU). That’s the assurance from the UK’s High Commissioner to NZ, Jonathan Sinclair, who says as long as his country is a member of the EU it will support negotiations for an EU-NZ FTA, which he expects will start later this year. Sinclair says even when Britain leaves the EU it will still be a strong proponent of free trade. “Around the world there are not many countries like NZ, the UK and Singapore who are unabashed free traders,” he told Rural News. “We don’t know how the negotiations between the EU and UK will go and then what the NZ - UK arrangement will
be. But we do know that globally we have a common desire to push the boundaries of free trade and that’s where companies here in NZ can benefit from that push.” Sinclair says the very close ties between the UK and NZ help underpin a relationship that incorporates trade and other links. He says NZ gets a good deal from the UK in the number of Kiwis allowed into Britain on various work schemes. Regarding an NZ - UK FTA, Sinclair says many complex negotiations must be held with the EU. Legally Britain has to leave the EU by March 2019. “Until then the UK cannot negotiate with anyone else because the European Commission retains the ‘competence’ for free trade negotiations. But the UK and its closest friends have talked about what future
KIWI NOW TOP UK NEGOTIATOR Britain has hired New Zealand’s former trade head Crawford Falconer (right) as its chief trade negotiation adviser to manage the UK’s free trade deals once the country leaves the EU. The Department for International Trade (DIT) has appointed the former ambassador to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) because the UK has little experience in trade negotiations as for the past 40 years trade deals have been managed by Brussels. Falconer will be responsible for developing and negotiating free trade deals with countries outside the EU; striking deals with a range of countries covering specific sectors and products; developing the DIT as a “centre of excellence for negotiation and British trade”; and supporting the UK as a member of the WTO.
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will be first in the queue to negotiate a deal. But he says the UK government is grateful for the assistance and advice NZ has given them to set up a department of international trade.
trading relations might look like once we leave and that is perfectly legitimate.” Sinclair says no decisions have been taken on what a UK - NZ FTA will look like and whether NZ
UK High Commissioner Jonathan Sinclair.
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RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
18 MARKETS & TRENDS L amb - PM 16.0kg
LAMB PRICES n/c
Last Week 5.70
M 2 B ull - 300kg
P 2 Steer - 300kg
2 Wks A go 5.70
Last Year 5.45
S te e r - P2 300kg
5 .7 0
5 .7 0
P 2 Co w - 230kg
B u ll - M2 300kg
5 .6 5
5 .1 5
M Co w - 200kg
Ve n is o n - AP 60kg
8 .6 5
9 .1 0
Lo cal Trade - 230kg
M 2 B ull - 300kg
P 2 Co w - 230kg
M Co w - 200kg
Lo cal Trade - 230kg
South Island 16kg M lamb price
Last Ye ar
This Ye ar
10-Sep 10-Oct 10-Nov 25-Apr 25-Jun
South Island 300kg steer price
24-Jul Last Ye ar
24-S ep This Ye ar
South Island 60kg stag price
7.0 6.0 24-Mar
Last Year 220 687
24-May 5yr Ave
24-Jul Last Ye ar
This Ye ar
25 Jun Last Ye ar
UK Leg p/kg
Last Week 5.90
5yr A ve 199 615
Last Year This Year 150 $1.50 20-Mar 20-May 20-Jul 20-S ep 5-Jun 12-Jun 19-Jun 26-Jun 3-Jul 10-Jul 17-Jul 24-Jul 31-Jul 7-Aug 14-Aug 21-Aug 28-Aug 4-Sep 11-Sep 18-Sep 25-Sep 9-Oct 16-Oct 23-Oct 30-Oct 6-Nov 13-Nov 20-Nov 5yr ave Last Ye ar This Ye ar
Procurement Indicator -1.0 -0.9
2Wks A go 75.4 68.7
3 Wks A go 76.4 69.6
Last Year 77.8 72.0
5yr A ve 77.0 70.2
P rocu rement Indicator Procurement Indicator -- North North I.Island 95 90% 85% 80% 75 75% Last Year 70% This Year 65% 60% 55 0… 2… 3… 3… 3… 3… 3… 2… 3… 3… 3… 3… 3… 2… 3… 3… 3… 3… 3… 2… 3… 3… 3… 3… 3… 2… 3… 3… 3… 3… 3… 2… 3… 3… 3… 3… 3… 2… 3… 3… 3… 3… 3… 2… 3… 3… 3… 3… 3… 2… 3… 3… 3… 3… 3… 2… 3… 3… 3… 3… 3… 2… 3… 3… 3… 3… 3… 2… 3… 3… 3… 3… 3… 2… 3… 3… 3… 3… 3… 2… 3… 3… 3… 3… 3… 2… 3… 3… 3… 3… 3… 2… 3… 3… 3… 3… 3… 2… 3… 3… 24-Mar 24-May 24-Jul 24-S ep
Procurement Indicator - South Island
25 Aug This Ye ar
2 Wks A go 5.90
Last Year 5.40
5yr A ve 5.47 8.77
Export demand indicator - UK CKT leg
350 20 May
90 P rocu rement Indicator - South I. 85% 80% 75% 70 70% 65% Last Year 60% This Year 50 24-Mar 24-May 24-Jul 24-S ep 55% 19-Jun 26-Jun 3-Jul 10-Jul 17-Jul 24-Jul 31-Jul 7-Aug 14-Aug 21-Aug 28-Aug 4-Sep 11-Sep 18-Sep 25-Sep 9-Oct 16-Oct 23-Oct 30-Oct 6-Nov 13-Nov 20-Nov 0-Jan 5yr ave Last Ye ar This Ye ar
% Returned NI
2Wks A go 76.5
% Returned SI
3 Wks A go 75.9
Last Year 71.3
75 70% 65 60%
50% 55 11-Aug 24-Mar 11-Sep 11-Oct 24-May11-Nov 11-Dec 24-Jul 11-Jan 11-Feb 24-S ep 85 80%
Procurement indicator - South Island P rocu rement Indicator - South I.
75 70% 65 60% Last Y ear
50% 55 11-Aug 24-Mar 11-Sep 11-Oct 24-May 11-Nov 11-Dec 24-Jul 11-Jan 11-Feb 24-S ep 5yr ave Last Ye ar This Ye ar
Venison Prices NI Stag - 60kg
Last Week 8.65
SI Stag - 60kg
2 Wks A go 8.65
Last Year 7.70
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5yr A ve
Procurement P rocu rementindicator Indicator-- North North Island I.
Beef & venison prices are reported as gross (before normal levies & charges are deducted). Lamb & mutton prices are reported nett (after levies & charges are deducted).
% Returned NI % Returned SI
k 10 0Aug
250 20 Mar
3 Wks A go 241 735
Export indicator - US 95CL D edemand mand Indicator - US 95CL Beefbeef
North Island 60kg stag price
2 Wks A go 242 739
USc/lb 24-May 5yr Ave
Export Market Demand
S outh Island Weekly Lamb Kill
10-Oct25-Jun 10-Nov 25-Aug Last Ye ar This Ye ar
25-Apr 10-Sep 5yr Ave
% of export returns
10 Nov25 Aug
South Island w eekly lamb kill
95CL USc/lb NZc/kg 250 $3.00
10 Oct 25 Jun
10 25 SepApr
Export Market Demand
k 0 1025 Aug Feb
% of export returns
South Island Weekly Cattle Kill
4.5 4.0 24-Mar
S outh Island Weekly Cattle Kill
0 k 25-Feb 10-Aug
North Island 300kg bull price
Last Year 5.21 5.23 5.25 5.26 2.60 5.08 5.08 5.08 5.08 2.50
10 k 0 10-Aug 25-Feb
2 Wks A go 6.36 6.38 6.40 6.41 4.15 6.53 6.53 6.53 6.53 4.20
+10 +10 +10 n/c n/c +5 +5 +5 +5 n/c
Last Week 6.46 6.48 6.50 6.51 4.15 6.58 6.58 6.58 6.58 4.20
North eekly lamb N ort hIsland Islandw Weekly Lambkill Kill
North N ort hIsland IslandWeekly Weekly Cattle Cattle Kill Kill
Slaughter Thousand head
5.0 4.0 24-Mar
P 2 Steer - 300kg
North Island 16kg M lamb price
c/kgCWT NI Lamb YM - 13.5kg P M - 16.0kg P X - 19.0kg P H - 22.0kg M utto n M X1 - 21kg SI Lamb YM - 13.5kg P M - 16.0kg P X - 19.0kg P H - 22.0kg M utto n M X1- 21kg
S o u th Is lan d C h an g e L as t c /kg We e k +5 6 .5 8
No rth Is lan d C h an g e L as t c /kg We e k +10 6 .4 8
LAMB MARKET TRENDS
% of export returns
BEEF MARKET TRENDS
% of export returns
5yr A ve 6.83 6.82
RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
MARKETS & TRENDS 19
INTERNATIONAL BEEF: Imported
beef prices in the US continue to rally above expectations, underpinned by low Australian supply, the seasonal decline in NZ production and firm domestic prices. An interesting development in the US market has been the delisting of five Brazilian beef plants. These plants are no longer able to ship beef into the US market, with the reason for delisting uncertain at this stage.
has firmed again. The South Island market has drawn level with North Island prices, which is not at all common for this time of year. Southern farmers are showing little desire to offload lambs with good feed conditions and mild temperatures to date. Capacity is disappearing quickly in the North Island, but while this will help keep a lid on prices, it is unlikely to slow the inevitable upwards path. Supply of store lambs has dried up and demand is well in excess of the numbers available. This is likely to be a common trend in the short term, which is in keeping with the time of year. There’s middling interest in breeding ewes in the North Island. No-one seems prepared to pay much over $160, both in the yards and paddock. There’s more demand in the South Island, where the breeding ewe market is $10-$15 above the North Island.
VENISON: Venison schedules show no sign of slowing any time soon, despite significant pressure from currency. With the national kill at it's lowest for 20 years, the procurement competition in the market is intense. This is particularly notable in the South Island where the majority of deer are sourced.
WOOL PRICE WATCH
Overseas Wool Price Indicators
Co arse Xbred
Co arse Xbred
Indicato rs in NZc/kg
M id M icro n
Indicato rs in USc/kg
M id M icro n
Fine crossbred indicator
600 CXI FXI LI
450200 23-Jun 23-S ep 23-Dec 23-Mar WeekNo 42110 42124 42138 42152 42166 42180 42194 42208 42222 42236 42250 42264 42278 42292 42306 42320 42334 42348 42376 42390 42404 42418 42432 42446 42459 CXI FXI LI
Wool trends Woindicator ol Indicator Trends
SHEEP: The slaughter lamb market
crossbred indicator C oCoarse arse Xbred Indicator Last Year
23-Jul Last Ye ar
23-S ep This Ye ar
Lamb w ool indicator
the slaughter cattle scene. The backlog of prime cattle is being worked through, and these numbers should be current soon. With killing space being reduced, it is likely that stable pricing will continue in the short term, with processors using premiums to manage their activity. The high NZD continues to be a limiting factor to returns, and will prevent any serious lifts in the slaughter market. It has been a quiet period on the store cattle trading front. Some point to the milder weather enticing farmers to hold on to stock longer, others are adamant that the numbers are just not there to trade as we have seen in the past. Subsequently the market for these is firm, especially for R2 cattle, and is likely to continue to be firm in the short term.
BEEF: A steady market is emerging in
500 400 300
450200 23-Mar Dec 23-May 23-Jul Oct Feb Apr Jun 5yr ave Last Ye ar
Aug 23-S ep This Ye ar
Last Ye ar
23-S ep This Ye ar
OUR INSIGHT. YOUR EDGE.
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RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
Big kiwifruit growth plans for Maori PAM TIPA firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT 8% of total kiwifruit production comes from Maori orchards, and now there is an ambitious goal to get up to 20%, says Maori Kiwifruit Growers Forum chairman Tiaki Hunia. That growth can come in a number of ways, he told Rural News. It can come from new developments on bare land or from mergers or acquisitions, and a large proportion of Maori land is leased to outside investors. “At some point in time those arrangements will come to an end, so we are looking at what we can do to upskill and help the landowners so when their time comes they are ready to take over and manage the orchards,” he says. That’s just one aspect of the forum which has been created to advocate for the interests of Maori growers in the sector; it is a partnership between Maori kiwifruit growers, Te Puni Kokiri and Zespri. Hunia says they have “got things pretty tidy but it is not without its challenges. We know that, and we know we will have to rely on our partnerships and goodwill from a range of
groups and good information and support.” The genesis for the forum was in the Kiwifruit Industry Strategy Project which highlighted the needs of the growing Maori interest in the sector. Provision was made on the NZ Kiwifruit Growers Inc board for a Maori role and then discussions continued, culminating in the election of an executive committee in early 2017. There are 11 representatives covering the geographical regions where Maori orchards are now growing, from Tai Tokerau in the north, to a strong presence across the Bay of Plenty, on the East Coast and at the top of the South Island. Hunia says initially the forum involves the orchards but it has a holistic outlook. “So we’re looking at where Maori are across the industry currently, in terms of the workforce, where some of the gaps are, and what we can do to help and get more Maori right through the whole industry – in orchards, management, marketing and, who knows, ideally around the world being advocates and branding and marketing NZ kiwifruit.”
Forum chairman Tiaki Hunia and Minister Te Ururoa Flavell.
The forum has three or four key objectives. “One is training and professional development: looking at what are the courses, what are the programmes, who are the providers at the moment; where can the forum help support, where can we steer people into career pathways? “Information dissemination is a big focus for the forum: looking at what’s the latest trends in R&D, what are some of the market trends, where is
the industry going and where can we be placed to help support and enhance that. Also data – just understanding more about Maori orchards.” Upskilling the Maori landowners is another objective. They now have a “really exciting” partnership supported by Te Puni Kokiri for two years to help establish administration and bringing people together to run a hui, strongly supported by Zespri. “We can’t acknowledge them
enough in terms of having an industry body supporting our initiatives. We meet monthly; we do a lot with NZKGI, supported by Nikki Johnson (chief executive) and Doug Brown (chairman) and the team there has been fantastic. So these are really exciting times, but you can only go one step at a time. “Ultimately it is about the forum being able to demonstrate value to the Maori kiwifruit growers. We are adding value to what is available to every grower and [asking] what would help in two or three years in the discussion about financial sustainability of the forum. “It is an easier discussion to have if you can demonstrate clear tangible benefits.” Zespri chief executive Lain Jager says Zespri works for all kiwifruit growers to provide the tools and information they need to grow their businesses and Maori growers are an important and growing part of the kiwifruit industry. “This is supporting the development of a strong and cohesive ecosystem for Maori growers in the New Zealand kiwifruit industry,” he says.
RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
Dairy farmers dumping debt – bank of the way banks fund themselves is with term deposits, but with the fall-off in deposits they are having to go offshore for funds, which is more expensive and pushes up interest rates in NZ.”
Westpac’s Mark Stead
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MANY DAIRY farmers are taking advantage of this season’s better payout to regain some of the equity they lost in their farms during the previous two bad years. Westpac’s head of agribusiness, Mark Stead, says a lot of its dairy customers are volunteering to pay back some of the debt they incurred because of the two bad seasons, when many farmers were forced into new debt just to keep their businesses running. As well as paying back the banks, they will also have to pay back money they borrowed from Fonterra. “I think there is a proactive approach by the farmer base to get equity back into their businesses,” Stead told Rural News. “As a result of the last season’s downturn, they are volunteering a lot of free cashflow towards amortisation – given that all the banks have been supporting their customer
and rates are increasing. With low deposit rates, superannuitants have been looking at other asset investment besides bank deposits... equities and property. “The fact is that 75%
farmers and bankers are working together to find the best ways to deal with this. The other black cloud on the horizon is interest rates. “The interest rate environment is changing
base over the last two years. “Instead of playing catch-up capex, which is obviously a requirement, they are coming back to their banks and saying ‘you helped us through the last two years by capitalising losses; now we’d like to replenish some of the equity we lost’,” he explains. Stead says this optimism was also reflected at Fieldays, “with a sigh of relief... because of the lift in payout”. If the dairy payout had not risen Fieldays would have been very different, he says. But now people are far more optimistic and positive than a year ago. He says it appears most dairy farmers can now live with costs that equate to about $4.50/ kgMS and with the $6 payout there is some spare cash to repay debt or for operating or capital spending. But Stead warns that the turmoil of Brexit and Trump mean volatility will be the norm for the foreseeable future, so
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RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
22 OPINION EDITORIAL
Sailing away TO USE the latest America’s Cup parlance, the New Zealand primary sector is ‘up on its foils’ at present. According to the latest Rabobank survey, farmer confidence and spending intentions jumped to record levels in the second quarter of this year, buoyed by improved commodity prices. The survey, completed in June, shows net farmer confidence rose to 54% from 27% in the March quarter, hitting the highest level since the survey began in 2003. Spending intentions were also higher in all farm sectors: 40% of farmers expect to spend more in the next 12 months, up from 31% last quarter and also at a record high. Meanwhile, the bank reports that farmers in all sectors were also more positive about the outlook for the agricultural economy in the June quarter, with 71% citing improved commodity prices as a key reason. Especially so dairy farmers, 77% of whom cited better commodity prices, while sheep and beef producers were at 66%. “Sheep and beef farmgate prices continue to hold steady at strong levels for beef and higher than first expected for lamb; and lower supply from NZ and other key export regions will underpin good returns over the coming months. “Dairy commodity prices continue to strengthen thanks to steady demand and lower supply and this has recently been reflected in strong opening price signals for the new 201718 season by many dairy processors.” Add to this the rollicking performance of the horticulture sector – kiwifruit, apple and avocados to name just a few -- and the primary sector as a whole is looking good. However, any one of our industries’ very own nemeses (dare we say ‘Jimmy Spithill’?) -- such as currency, commodity price movements or lobbyists Greenpeace, Fish & Game or other activists -- could arise to attack our good fortune at any time. Farmers need to be prepared for these hiccups and ready to change tack. As Dairy NZ chief executive Tim Mackle warned dairy producers at last week’s SIDE conference: “Prices will fall again”. “Farmers cannot be complacent and must focus on costs because there will be a next time,” Mackle stressed. “The key message is this: it doesn’t need to be quite as difficult as last time if we maintain our costs, get our debt sorted and get on with it.” In the meantime, let’s hope our farmers and the wider NZ economy continue to enjoy the purple patch the primary sector now experiencing. Long may it last.
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THE HOUND notes that a legal case challenging the government over its ‘failure to tackle climate change’ was heard in Wellington last week. Hamilton law student Sarah Thomson challenged the government in court to “justify the way this country’s climate targets have been set”. According to the wannabe activist lawyer and likely next Green Party list candidate “the government’s response to climate change has been blasé and the target needs to be more ambitious”. Of course this case was too good an opportunity for yet another academic activist not to get involved: Victoria University climate scientist James Renwick was a key supporter. Funny how these academics and students are only happy to take expensive, useless cases to court when they are not paying the bills.
IT SEEMS your old mate was right on the money a while back when he smelt a rat between failed meat industry ginger group MIE and political backwater NZ First. The Hound at the time saw an unholy alliance between MIE and NZ First and the two groups’ failure to overturn the Silver Fern Farms and Shanghai Maling merger. Now, a couple of months out from the election, NZ First has announced its list of Winston Peters’ nondescript yes-men candidates – as usual – and who should pop up on this list but one Mark Patterson, the former MIE deputy chair. Winny’s lot has also named a couple of other ‘leading lights in the agriculture sector’ as candidates, but the Hound has never heard of them and is guessing they will remain just as anonymous after the election.
YOUR OLD mate has heard of the saying ‘pigs might fly’, but now reckons it should also refer to their bovine cousins actually lifting off. News is out about a Qatar businessman’s plans to airlift 4000 dairy cows into the isolated country to counter the effects of a blockade by its Middle Eastern neighbours. Qatari businessman Moutaz Al Khayyat says it will take up to 60 flights to fly in the bovines, which he bought in Australia and the US. The dairy cows will meet the demand for fresh milk and dairy primarily in Qatar’s capital Doha. The tiny, oil-rich Gulf state was plunged into a socioeconomic crisis early in June after neighbouring Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates blockaded the country, which they accused of supporting Islamist terrorist groups.
THE HOUND was delighted to see outgoing Feds dairy head and new national vice-president Andrew Hoggard have a crack at multinational, tax-dodging, political activist lobby Greenpeace. He criticised its recent smart-arse Twitter campaign against dairying and its attack on DairyNZ board member Ben Allomes for talking about school bullying of dairy farmers’ children simply because of their parents’ occupation. Hoggard says he’d invited Greenpeace members to visit his farm to see the issues he faces and discuss them, but they never took up his offer. “To me Greenpeace seems to exist for one reason only – to raise funds to provide employment for the people employed in it and provide them with trips to Italy so they can tweet from Rome.” Yip, couldn’t agree more!
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RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
Time farming moved on from low cost to added value FIELDAYS AT Mystery Creek in mid-June showcased New Zealand innovation, interaction and, in some cases, simply imagination. When the imagination was backed with evidence, facts and data, it transformed to a goal. That was the case for the KPMG Agribusiness Agenda released on the first day of the Fieldays. Titled ‘A Recipe for Action’, the 2017 Agenda said “NZ’s future is as an artisan, niche producer of premium quality, safe and sustainable food and beverages, fibre and timber products”. Lead author Ian Proudfoot is head of global agribusiness for KPMG. He suggests landmark celebratory events should be the focus for the future. This means NZ products on the plate, in the glass or on the body, in carpets or buildings -- when people want to treat themselves to the best. There is increasing evidence to support this belief. NZ’s historical success in the primary sector was based on low cost production systems and excess production capacity. Although we still produce more food than we can eat (KPMG estimates enough for 40 million people in total), competing in a global market is hugely challenging: other countries have various combinations of subsidies, and lower minimum wages, environmental compliance and welfare standards. Trying to compete in a low cost market has meant poor returns to producers. Fact. This year, however, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) estimates that exports from the primary sector will reach $38 billion. And more data, this time from the OECD, indicate that at 7%, NZ ‘added value’ in primary production is three times the OECD average. We need to do better in order to achieve returns that will allow
Bachelor of the Year. It is of note that many urban people talking with levy bodies were delighted to hear what is being done about the environment and hear the facts on nitrogen,
the primary sector to increase investment both onfarm in protecting the environment with new technologies, and in the processing and marketing companies in added-value innovation. In some cases future innovations might involve genetic technologies. The KPMG Agenda reports a global shift in the GM debate, with more focus on outcomes than the technology used to create them. In NZ, the realisation that orange – and some red and purple -- petunias created through genetic engineering have done no harm but have created bright splashes of colour in gardens, might assist in thinking. Examples such as the petunias are vital in creating understanding, particularly in rural-urban interaction. The KPMG Agenda reported that ‘increased rural-urban understanding’ now has 8th priority ranking, up from 23rd in 2016. As well as water, “a range of other matters contributing to the misunderstanding between the communities has been raised”. Among these are the fact that an increasing proportion of NZers were not born in NZ and lack traditional farm links, and the increased effectiveness of environmental lobby groups. Interaction between rural and urban communities has been enabled at Fieldays. The organisers have increased the mainstream media coverage and the ‘lifestyle’ components, as well as general interest – the tractor pull, kiwi’s best kitchen, Young Farmer debating and, of course, the Rural
greenhouse gas and food production in comparison with other countries. They were also intrigued by the technological developments and size and complexity of the gear involved.
More good news is that 79-80% of the respondents said ‘yes’ to the question ‘will agriculture be part of New Zealand’s future?’ posed by Nigel Latta and John Campbell two
days before Fieldays opened. KPMG’s Recipe for Action accelerates the sector towards consumers and markets, enabling a more prosperous future for us all. Given that we
all eat food, all NZers can and must be involved. • Jacqueline Rowarth is chief scientist at the Environmental Protection Authority @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews
RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
Horticulture’s stunning growth points to more export prospects IN 2015 horticulture’s combined domestic supply and exports, excluding wine, were worth $5 billion. The 2016 figures released recently show horticulture was then worth $5.6b: domestic supply rose by $200 million and exports by
$400m. (Data from Plant & Food Research’s Fresh Facts annual accumulated statistics.) Fresh fruit exports in 2016 increased by an impressive 35% over 2015. Outstanding performances were: • Kiwifruit $1.7b, up nearly $500m or 42% on
2015; kiwifruit export value now exceeds wine exports ($1.55b) • Apples close to $700m – up $130m or 23% on 2015 • Blueberries rose 50% on 2015 to $36.5m • Cherries rose 30% to $68m. Onions dominated
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the fresh vegetable export sector with a sizable increase of 38% from $81m to $112m. Overall, the vegetable export sector rose 4%; in that sector 60% of the value is a mix of fresh, frozen, dried or a vegetable preparation (dominated by peas, potatoes and sweet corn). Much of our vegetable sector supplies NZ’s domestic market with fresh and processed product and is valued at about $2b. It was not just the value of horticultural exports that increased; volume also rose, by 13%. The driver for the increase in value has been a combination of market mix, market conditions, varietal mix, fruit size better matching customer requirements and other similar factors. There is also a stronger emphasis on exports to Asia and away from our more traditional markets in the US, EU and the UK. The horticulture industry has a goal, set in 2007, to grow its collective annual value to $10b industry by 2020. This is looking more and more
In 2016 kiwifruit exports hit $1,7b, up nearly $500m or 42% on 2015.
achievable: the opportunity presented by Asia’s growing affluence will be a key driver of this growth. On the 2016 figures, Asia is 2.4 times more valuable than any other region, at $1.84 billion. There is also potential to export greater volumes to the EU when the free trade agreement is completed. The 2016 volumes place the EU -- at $615m -- as the fourth-largest export destination behind Asia, North America and Australia. The UK is now worth $126m, and it may present new opportunities because of Britain’s
intention to leave the EU (Brexit). Brexit and Theresa May’s disastrous election result caused the pound to lose value, making the UK a more desirable destination from a foreign exchange point of view. To effect Brexit, May will need a strong and stable government – which she lacks. She admits that Brexit may not be achievable because a comprehensive departure may devastate the UK economy. This is because for the UK to continue its all-important trade with the EU, it will need to abide by EU rules, otherwise it will be unlikely to
get any EU trade deals. So there is potential there for NZ to grow its exports, filling any potential vacuum left by the EU. Looking forward, the future for NZ horticulture exports looks positive, with new market opportunities opening up through the Government free trade negotiations, exports increasing in value and volume, and with potential for growth in Asia, the EU and the UK. • Mike Chapman is chief executive of Horticulture New Zealand @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews
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RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
‘Drag ‘n drop’ grazing now a reality NIGEL MALTHUS
THE IDEA of virtual fencing has been around for 20 years, but AgResearch believes its time has come and will soon start testing an Australian product. Farm systems scientist Warren King, of AgResearch Ruakura, says it has been watching the technology for years and now believes the eShepherd product from Melbourne company Agersens is “the real deal”. New Zealand’s Gallagher Group is a lead investor in Agersens, with marketing manager Mark Harris on the board. The system uses solarpowered collars on the livestock, GPS-enabled and connected by wireless to a farm’s base station.
Through a smartphone or tablet app the farmer can map and automate the movement of virtual fences to control stock movement and grazing. The collars train animals to keep away from the virtual fences with audio cues backed up by mild electric shocks. AgResearch and Agersens have agreed to a test of the system under NZ conditions. King says what sets this system apart is the CSIRO animal behaviour research which Agersens has licensed and is underpinning the software. “We can talk about the hardware, the technology, the GPS collars, the solar chargers, the speaker, the comms – all that sort of stuff,” King told Rural News. “But really, none of that by itself is spectacularly innovative. Getting
it all in a package like that could be done by a number of suppliers.” He says what sets Agersens out from anyone else with this technology is the IP (intellectual property) work done by CSIRO over the last 10 years or so, that controls the way individual animals are able to be trained, almost, with these collars. “It’s all too easy to get a hardware solution out there, but without a really good understanding of animal behaviour it’s a long way from being market-ready. “What do you do, for example, with an animal that is heading towards a barrier it clearly can’t see? And what do you do then if that animal chooses to ignore those signals and goes through
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Ian Reilly, chief executive of Agersens, with a prototype of the company’s GPS and wireless-connected collars. – PIC SUPPLIED.
that barrier?” King asks. “How then do you interact with that animal in a way that is compatible with best practice animal welfare but also with a really intimate understanding of animal behaviour?” Agersens founder and chief executive Ian Reilly calls it a tool to automate grazing, both on Australia’s large stations with few physical fences and, on a smaller scale, with the likes of break-grazing of fodder by dairy cattle. He says fencing off
waterways and environmentally sensitive areas would be important for NZ dairy farmers, to maintain their “social licence” to farm. “We expect that on installation you put all the collars on, install the base station and the app on your iPad, then you would map the farm, put in all the fixed fences and watering points and laneways and things that you might have,” he explains. “So in a mockup you’d literally drag
your mob of animals that you’ve assigned to one paddock and you drag’n’drop them into the next grazing paddock.” Reilly says dairy farmers would be able to use it to improve pasture utilisation and maximise their milk production. With motion sensors also contained in the collars, they would also provide basic health monitoring and early warning of problems. Agersens’ system has attracted interest around the world and King says
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AgResearch hopes to get hold of some pre-production units soon, before deciding its priorities in testing it in the NZ environment. “Some of the early thinking clearly is on dairy systems and breakfeeding of crops, where you are able potentially to provide a much better match between animal allowance and animal production – control that much more finely tuned than we are currently capable of doing and with far less labour.”
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RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
Station wins top environmental award PAM TIPA email@example.com
STAFF AT Landcorp’s Rangiputa Station in the Far North were “rapt” to have contributed to lake restoration work which won a Ministry for the Environment Green Ribbon Award, says farm manager Scott Hussey. “The whole team here (nine staff) are pleased because everyone had a bit to do with it – either fencing or pulling trees out or doing something,”
whole heap of non-native trees.” Through the council the iwi did the riparian planting. “No stock were getting in there anyway but we had a bit of sediment going in so we put in a couple of weirs to stop that.” They coordinated with the Northland Regional Council, which was the major driver, and the local iwi. The lake has considerable cultural significance.
“It looks a lot better for all of us because we are all driving past every day.” Hussey told Rural News. “It looks a lot better for all of us because we are all driving past every day.” As a highly sensitive dune lake only 10m off the road it is a “great one to beautify”. Local runanga Ngati Kahu, the Northland Regional Council, the Department of Conservation and Landcorp have all worked to protect the 6.9ha Lake Waiporohita on the Karikari Peninsula. Hussey says Landcorp gave a bit more land around the outside of the lake. “We pulled out an old sheep fence that was around the lake and put a new fence up; that gave it probably another couple of hectares. “We took away a
Rangiputa Station helped with barriers to stop people driving into the lake, as people were using it to wash boats, etc. They are now working on another project, Lake Rotokawau, which is scheduled to be fenced by the end of June. Anahera HerbertGraves, chief executive for Te Runanga-a-Iwi o Ngati Kahu, says Ngati Kahu is pleased and humbled by its award in the ‘Kaitiaki Leadership’ section, one of 10 categories in this year’s awards. Collectively, the awards judges considered almost 150 nominations from across New Zealand. Ironically, such is their dedication to the lake’s
GOOD WORK! FEDERATED FARMERS is delighted to see farmers’ environmental work being showcased and celebrated at the annual Green Ribbon Awards. Two initiatives involving farmers were winners: The Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust was honoured in the community leadership category, while Te Runanga-a-Iwi o Ngati Kahu was winner of the Kaitiaki Leadership category. In all, five farmer-led initiatives were 2017 finalists, underlining Kiwi farmers’ commitment to the environment and biodiversity. Anders Crofoot, Federated Farmers national vice-president, says this illustrates the great work being done daily as farmers and communities get together to resolve and better manage environmental issues. “You can expect to read and hear more about farmerled projects in the community. This is the future and the most cost effective and sustainable way to ensure our environmental targets are met without jeopardising provincial economies,” Crofoot says.
restoration, Ngati Kahu did not attend the Wellington awards ceremony as it clashed with riparian planting days that saw volunteers plant 3000plus natives at the lake over two days.
Herbert-Graves says Lake Waiporohita is a taonga, not just to local tangata whenua, but to all Northlanders and the Green Ribbon Award nomination recognises this.
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RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
Soil testing and fert spreading under GPS watchful eye Putting data to good use MARK DANIEL firstname.lastname@example.org
RAVENSDOWN IS getting ready to roll out a new set of pasture and benchmarking tools designed to enable smarter nutrient decisions by showing planned versus actual nutrient spending over time. HawkEye will integrate imagery from the air, nutrient input and pasture quality on the ground, and the status of the soil. The company notes that farmers need help to avoid drowning in a sea of data coming from sensors on irrigators, spreading trucks, soil tests and pasture scanning. The HawkEye information will offer a farmer insight into the state of a paddock and allow informed decisions.
For example, a map showing soil test results overlaid with the spreading history and the pasture response will enable better nitrogen efficiency. The result might be the use of less nitrogen and better understanding of target time and place of application. Using an open industry standard such as DataLinker, farmers will be able to export data and mapping elements to GPS or C-Dax devices. This will allow use of the system to forecast available feed, benchmark pasture production, and map and monitor spreading or spraying. Also, soil fertility, nitrogen efficiency and environmental performance can be addressed via 24/7 web access and the help of technical experts and field based agri-managers. www.ravensdown.co.nz
AERIAL SOIL testing technology and GPS-controlled automated variable-rate spreading are on trial on a well-known hill country station in the North Island. Tautane is the scene of joint research into raising production, under the flag of the Ravensdown Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) ‘Pioneering to Precision’ scheme. A map is transmitted to the plane, specifying blocks that do not need fertiliser. The computercontrolled hopper doors automatically cut the fertiliser flow when the plane is over those areas, and a map is produced that verifies spread and non-spread areas. A recent field trial at Tautane produced a variable-rate proof-of-placement map. Tautane is a 3374ha hill country station on the east coast of the North
Hayden Hape and Matt Smith at Tautane Station.
Island, owned by Ngāti Kahungunu. The iwi, in partnership with Taratahi agricultural training centre, joined the Ravensdown research farm network in 2014. Ngāti Kahungunu leader Ngāhiwi Toamona says important cultural values align with Ravensdown’s PGP technology. “Our ancestor Kahun-
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likes the combination of science with iwi values. “We say a good environment is good business. We have our own view of the world, which is pretty special, and we want those applications up with current practice.” Smith says the sensor’s ability to soil test down to 1 sq.m variablerate spread to 40 sq.m with proof of placement will transform hill country farming. “It will have a massive impact on productivity and sustainability. We’ll be able to know for sure that we’re not putting any fertiliser on sensitive areas or waterways – with proof. It may cost a bit more but I think the savings we’re going to make and ability to provide proof of placement is huge.” Ngāhiwi says his iwi wants this technology to become commonplace across all their land.
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gunu was an innovator and forward thinker so that’s where we want to be... sustainable and trading in the new world with sustainable practices. “We’re for progress and Ravensdown’s PGP programme is putting Māori back into the forefront of farming and innovation.” Matt Smith, Taratahi farm manager, says the scheme will have huge benefits for hill country farming. “Our first application using the technology allowed us to take out 347ha of sensitive areas and waterways and reallocate the fertiliser to other parts of the farm. It was a super-nitrogen mix, and you could see it was going where it was supposed to go – hugely beneficial to environmental sustainability.” Hayden Hape, iwi liaison, works with Smith and his wife Claire and
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RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
ANIMAL HEALTH 29
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LEADING-EDGE SCIENTIFIC and technological advances in precision agriculture will be the focus of an international three-in-one conference in Hamilton in October. The International TriConference for Precision Agriculture 2017 combines the 7th AsianAustralian Conference on Precision Agriculture – the first time it’s been held outside Asia – with the inaugural AsianAustralian Conference on Precision Pastures and Livestock Farming, and the Digital Farmers and Growers 2017. The conferences will run concurrently over October 16-18 with at least 20 presentations on topics including precision pastures and crop production, precision livestock farming including GPS-enabled stock management, robotics, sitespecific farming and data management. There will also be sessions discussing the application of precision agriculture along the value-chain and its role
No solvents. No lice. in environmental and resource management. The event will be hosted by the Precision Agriculture Association of New Zealand, whose chairman, Methven arable/dairy farmer Craige Mackenzie, says precision agriculture has applications in every aspect of the primary production value chain, “from hill and high country livestock systems, through to intensive arable and horticultural businesses and their respective processors and marketers”. Mackenzie says it will be a unique event with
three conferences in one. While the central precision agriculture conference will have a science focus, the other two will be “very much a practical two days”. “The scientific part, that’s fine, but we also need to make sure the precision ag techniques and technology are explained to the practitioners, the farmers and growers, horticulture and viticulture as well, so that people can get value out of it.” Mackenzie says the theme will be ‘farming within limits’ – how to
farm and produce to the best of our ability without impacting on the environment. The aim is to prove we can keep producing what we produce while hitting government targets, environmental targets, and financial targets for the producers, he says. “Those three things go hand in hand.” Two post-conference tours are also being offered, one in the North Island and one in the South, each visiting a variety of high-tech precision agriculture concerns. With a lot of interest already, especially out of
Asia and Australia, Mackenzie expects 250 and 350 attendees. Conference registrations are now open with early-bird registrations available until 10 July. https://precisionagriculture.org.nz/ events/7th-asian-australasian-conference-on-pa/
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RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
30 ANIMAL HEALTH
Nutrition beats genetics in productivity race WITH PROPER timing, nutrition can be a more powerful tool than genetic manipulation for controlling production, animal health and quality. This discovery arises from R&D by the US bio-
tech company Alltech, whose nutrition programme Epnix has been shown to yield increased carcase weight, dressed yield and ribeye area in large scale trials; and it has been seen to remove
antibiotics. Dr Vaughn Holder, research project manager with Alltech’s beef nutrition department, speaking at the company’s ‘One 17 Ideas Conference’ at its Kentucky headquar-
ters last month, discussed the trials conducted with the USA’s largest lotfeeder Cactus Feeders. Epnix stems from Alltech’s nutrigenomics and epigenetics research work and provides a
targeted nutritional approach to improving the carcase weight and performance of feedlot cattle independent of antimicrobial or beta-agonist supplementation. Nutrigenomics is the
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Vaughn Johnson says nutritional interventions specifically targeted to each stage of production, can achieve better health, improved performance and increased profitability.
study of how diet affects gene expression. Simply put, nutrigenomics looks at what a person or animal eats and studies how their body responds to it. In 2008, Alltech opened the world’s first fully dedicated nutrigenomics and epigenetics lab. It enabled the company to pinpoint the specific feed ingredients necessary to optimise lean tissue deposition. Through nutrigenomics, the metabolic pathways crucial to muscle growth have been identified, allowing researchers to observe what has changed (increased weight gain) and why it has changed (improvements in energy metabolism); this led to the Epnix programme, which looks at providing the right blend of nutrients at the right time to encourage an animal to express its genetic potential. It includes a proprietary blend of ingredients and organic trace mineral supplements. “Using nutritional interventions specifically targeted to each stage of production, we can achieve better health, improved performance and increased profitability,” Holder said. “Through feedyard trials with Epnix, we have seen increased carcase weight up to 6.35kg and significant increases in dressed yield and ribeye area. This increases profit per head and ultimately improves the producer’s return on investment.” Through its research, Alltech has been able to manipulate natural growth hormones and
insulin receptors – central to the way Epnix operates. “The technology conditions cattle to utilise finishing technology that will drive home feed efficiency, health, production and improved economics.” Alltech began its large scale commercial research with Cactus Feeders in 2014. They compared cattle on the Epnix programme with a control group on the Cactus Feeders ration. A second trial used the Epnix programme and removed antibiotics. The control group contained trace minerals from mostly inorganic sources plus monensin and tylosin. Epnix diets contained organic trace minerals, yeast and bacterial preparations, but not monensin or tylosin. Both groups were fed for 165 days. The group on the Epnix diet put on an additional 18kg of carcase weight, which Holder validated eight years of work. They also recorded a 70% reduction in respiratory disease. The group of cattle on the Epnix programme minus antibiotics showed added profit of $4/head compared to the standard ration. “For an operator like Cactus, that’s an additional $4m a year,” Holder said. “You’d never take antibiotics out of a ration unless you had the incentive to do so or were forced to do so, but the option is there.” • Alltech funded Stephen Cooke’s attendance at the conference. Ed.
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RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
ANIMAL HEALTH 31
E-learning for vets BAYER NEW Zealand recently launched VetSpace, a wide range of online training essentials for keeping veterinary clinics up-todate with new developments. Launched at the annual NZ Veterinary Association conference, it offers broad training in all aspects of veterinary practice – free of charge. It’s available to all NZ veterinary practices wanting to know the latest in product development, clinical information and business or retailing advice. Bayer NZ managing director Derek Bartlett says the VetSpace represents a new level of training for vet practices because it caters to everyone. “Many online training portals focus on new products or information for vets only. “We’ve taken it a step further and incorporated training modules for other vet clinic staff – the support staff, vet nurses, technicians and managers who are all an
Dr Lab Wilson
important part of keeping a veterinary business going. “We wanted to provide easy access to the most relevant information to enable vets to improve
their practices – technically and business-wise,” adds Bartlett. Courses cover information relevant to farm animal and companion animal vets and to mixed
vet practices. Well-known and respected industry vets, including learning and development specialist Dr Lab Wilson, have designed some of the courses. “Current thinking in learning and development circles recognises the value in training that allows busy people access to just-in-time learning in bite-size chunks. “VetSpace enables practice personnel to learn what they want, how they want and when they need it,” says Wilson. Keeping up-to-date is not only an ethical obligation, but is also essential in providing a high level of service and ensuring best practice standards are maintained, he says. VetSpace will offer about eight courses to start with and have new courses added regularly. These include sheep and cattle worm lifecycles, lungworm updates and updates on cobalt and selenium. http://vetspace.co.nz
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certain level of intensity over a period of time it sends an SMS text alert to a mobile one hour prior to calving. After calving, the sensor can be moved to the next cow. It is adjustable to any size tail. Moocall sensors retail for $435 each, which includes 12 months of service (including support and text messages). The device was first launched in 2015. Since then 23,000 sensors have been sold in 38 countries.
This growth looks likely to be accelerated after the product was selected to participate in the Pearse Lyons Global Agritech Accelerator run by biotech company, Alltech, this year. Moocall was one of 10 companies selected from 183 applicants (from 38 countries) to participate in the programme, culminating in a pitch to an audience of 3000 at the Alltech One17 Ideas conference in Kentucky last month.
It is the idea of Alltech founder and president Dr Pearse Lyons and was open to start-ups that have already raised funding and are ready to go to market. Moocall cofounder Emmett Savage said the resources and
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RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
32 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS
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Cultivation power POWER HARROWS have a place in cropping operations for producing seedbeds in difficult soil conditions or when farmers are working against the clock to beat the weather. The new HR 1040 R Series from Kuhn is aimed at broadacre farmers or contractors seeking to make the most of tractors up to 500hp. Two models, the 6040 and 8040, offer working widths of 5.96 and 8.05m respectively, and tip the scales at 4.6 or 5.4 tonnes. Those weights give some indication of the heavy-duty construction: the main trough is pressed from 8mm high tensile steel, oversized gears and bearings, and rotor shafts that have cold-rolled splines for superior fit and an extended service life. The soil-engaging elements, the blade holders and the blades are designed to keep the trough up out of the ground, and both employ profiles that reduce drag created by the soil to minimise power consumption. The blades themselves are 18mm thick and 300mm long and mounted into the blade holders with a novel quick release locking system. The transmission drive-line is made up
of one central and two lateral gearboxes, each monitored for speed and temperature by the standard Kuhn KTS.20 monitor. The central gearbox is fitted with an oil cooler and rated to handle 460 and 500hp on the 6040 and 8040 models respectively, while being filled with a synthetic oil to deal with higher operating temperatures but still offer excellent lubrication. The central gearbox is also positioned to the rear of the trough housing to help reduce PTO shaft angles, which can often be a problem when operating tractors with large rear tyre equipment. In operation, depth control of the 590mm mega-packer is controlled hydraulically, as is the setting of the levelling bar which helps to produce a fine tilth. The action of the latter is also helped by the ability to allow each of the power harrows to float independently while adapting to ground contours. Completing the package for New Zealand is a twin-wheeled, removeable transport kit which transfers weight from the tractor when the machine is in the folded position. www.kuhn.co.nz
TAKING BOTH the Fieldays Innovations Launch and the Locus Research Innovation Awards, the BioFume Ozone System shows early promise for cleaning and bacteria control. Central to BioFume is the thunderstorm ‘clearing -the-air’ chemical reaction brought about by oxygen molecules becoming ‘supercharged’ by electrical discharges during a lightning storm; this causes three oxygen molecules to combine to form ozone. Over time, the third molecule, which is not fully bonded to the others, breaks away and acts as a natural cleaner that when in contact with an odour (a volatile organic compound) reacts so as to oxidise the odour into a harmless, non-odorous substance. Ozone also acts as a sanitising agent, killing all bacteria, pathogens and viruses, including E-coli and MRSA. Said to be 3000 times more effective at bacteria destruction than chlorine, the process has no harmful effects and leaves no residues. Biofume Ltd of Mount Maunganui has developed a unit that harnesses this natural phenomenon and devel-
ops systems for horticulture and agriculture, including plant disinfection, water purification and bird deterrence. Ozone is said to have a positive effect on soil, as it appears to improve percolation, delivering more oxygen to root systems which promotes root mass and depth. It is also said to help release soil-bound nutrients, cutting water use by up to 15%, and fertiliser need by up to 30%. The Biofume ozone units are much smaller and more efficient than other similar units. They comprise an oxygen concentrator which purges nitrogen from the air and delivers a high-level oxygen stream to the
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ozone generator; the flow passes through a dryer to remove moisture, before going through a corona discharge system. This is in effect a lightning generator which discharges a high voltage arc, similar to the ignition coil in a car, causing concentrated oxygen to break down to ozone. In horticulture, for example kiwifruit, to kill bacteria or fungus a patented delivery system has the ozone delivery line plumbed into the suction side of the sprayer pump, where it is drawn in through a venturi for incorporation before it passes to the sprayer nozzles for
L OFFICIA R E T R O IMP
FOLDING GRASS FORKS • • • •
The above pictures show the effect before (top) and after (bottom) of the Biofume Ozone System at work.
application. This layout eliminates the need to ozonate a full sprayer tank of up to 2000L, and is a much smaller plant for the ozone generation itself. Ozone not only controls bacterial and fungal attacks, it also benefits plant health leading to increased growth rates and denser crop canopies. When ozone is used to repel birds it follows the principle of miners taking canaries down mines to detect noxious gases. In use, an ozone feed is fed to the highest point of a building such as a dairy shed or storage warehouse, from where it falls harmlessly to the ground. Large retail stores such as supermarkets are said to be reporting success with the concept. Likewise, ozone can be injected into a water source, where it kills fungus or bacteria by a cell-wall corrosion, effectively preventing them from reproducing and multiplying; this is ultimately the cause of water discolouration. This occurs 3125 times faster than treating with chlorine-based products. Trials by a large beetroot grower/packer in the Gisborne area have seen the device used for removing beetroot juice from the output of the washing plant.
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RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
MACHINERY & PRODUCTS 33
Move up to 70% less dirt MARK DANIEL firstname.lastname@example.org
THE INTRODUCTION of the Kverneland KultiStrip System by distributor Power Farming will “bring opportunities to farm environmentally and improve yields and profitability,” the company says. The system uses a one-pass cultivator-fertiliser machine which encompasses a strip-till system to reduce cultivation costs, aid plant establishment, improve soil condition and ensure yields. Strip tillage is an innovative method of preparing the soil for crops planted in rows, such as maize, beet, sunflower, canola, sorghum, soya, vegetables and hybrid corn. This method has been used for at least 20 years in North America and is now getting traction in Europe and Australia as environmental awareness increases. Given the pressure to improve the quality of New Zealand waterways, the Kultistrip should offer growers and contractors a tool to help limit erosion, particularly on sloping ground, which will keep regulators away from the farm. In strip tillage, only the soil where the crop will grow is disturbed, leaving up to 70% of the
paddock uncultivated, cutting tillage costs. The uncultivated soil between the strips, and the layer of residue that remains, help to prevent erosion while increasing water absorption and retention in the soil. Within the cultivated row, trash is removed and a fine seedbed offers the best conditions for young plants to establish. When creating the seedbed, fertiliser can also be placed near the plants for best utilisation. With less of a paddock being cultivated, there is a possibility of completing work during poor weather, or even planting earlier in a season to help bring harvest dates forward. Looking at the machine in more detail,
the rigid 3000, 4500 and 6000 models have working widths of 3, 4.5 and 6m, respectively, and have a heavy-duty mainframe. Alternatively, the 4500F and 6000F models have hydraulically folding frames which bring the units down to 3m wide and 4m high to meet transport regulations. Both rigid and folding designs of the Kultistrip can be fitted with an even or uneven number of rows, with a row width of 45-80cm. The 3m unit can be configured with up to six rows, the 4.5m up to 10 and the 6m up to 13 rows. The system layout of the Kultistrip initially has 520mm cutting discs cutting through the crop residues and opening the
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soil to a pre-set depth, before adjustable trash wheels remove the plant residues from the cultivated strip. Next, the tines work to a maximum depth of 30cm, with a choice of
three options for differing soil types. An adjustable striplimitation disc determines the width and shape of the cultivated strip as well as keeping loose soil within the strip.
Finally, a press wheel consolidates the soil using a rubber Farm Flex wheel or optional cage roller or V-press wheels for varying soil types. Fertiliser is placed in the lower levels of the
cultivated soil by the fertiliser coulter, as the soil is worked in one single pass. The cultivation tine and the fertiliser tube can be adjusted independently. Alternatively, the Kultistrip machine can be used with an effluent tanker to place liquid manures in the soil at a pre-determined depth. Product specialist John Chapman says “the Kultistrip system is multifunctional in that it allows operators to cultivate, deliver mineral or liquid fertilisers and drill in one pass. Then by utilising a strip-till approach it can reduce establishment costs and help reduce the environmental impact of traditional crop establishment systems”. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews
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RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
34 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS / RURAL TRADER BRING ON THE BLING! between industry, such as construction, airport and municipal, and the agriculture sector. Colour is one of the most popular upgrades, away from the standard production line red to white, black, silver, or metallic reds or blues. Adding metallic paint costs about $1500 more, although any colour will be considered, to date including champagne, gold and even Barby pink, with a price tag of up to $5000. Much of the Unlimited Studio work centres on upgrades not easily done on the production line, such as special wheel or tyre equipment, extra hydraulic tanks, or compressor and air line set-ups. Further upgrades cover electrical items such as enhanced lighting, superior sound systems, built-in fridges and even a breathalyser system. – Mark Daniel
MARK DANIEL firstname.lastname@example.org
SHANGHAI AUTOMOTIVE Industry Corporation (SAIC) is among China’s oldest vehicle makers, dating back to 1958. In 2016 the business made 6.5 million vehicles, making it the ninth-largest company of its type in the world, and a global top-50 company. Best known in New Zealand for its LDV vans, SAIC says it has a 20% market share of the light commercial sector. And now it is about to give the booming ute sector a shake-up with the release of its T60 model. A handsome vehicle with a big chrome smile in front, the T60 will be offered in a 4WD doublecab specification, manual or automatic transmis-
sion, and comfort or luxury trim. Power across the range comes from a VMMotori Euro 5 engine of 2.8L that delivers 110kW power and 360 Nm torque between 1600 and 2800rpm. The six-speed transmission has switchable 4WD, high-low as standard and the choice of two or three pedals. Obviously aimed at offering exceptional value for money, the T60 doesn’t cut corners on safety and delivers a long list of must-haves in the standard offering: parking sensors, rear view camera, cabin-wide airbag protection, blind-spot monitoring, driver fatigue warning system and electronic stability control to
name a few. It runs on 17-inch alloys and sports 245-65 rubber and has lots of presence with an overall length of 5.5m, width 2.15m and height 1.84m. This last number helps explain the cavernous cabin, which easily accommodates a 6-foot plus driver and similar sized passengers in the rear. The cabin uses plenty of good quality leather to create a refined feel in the luxury spec variant, which also have six-way adjustment and heating. And there’s push-button starting, climate air con-
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CUSTOMISATION IS a word referring to petrolheads’ pride and joy, but it seems the heavy metal addicts in the agriculture sector are also prepared to spend the dollars to pimp their rides. Finnish tractor maker Valtra, part of the global AGCO company, has led the way in this with a choice of colours for your steed, and their setting up Unlimited Studio three years ago has taken the art to even greater heights. In 2016, the division took the styling pen to 1000 tractors, and now that looks to double in 2017 to 2000 units -- about 25% of the expected build of 8000 machines. Fifteen technicians can work on up to nine tractors at any one time; a backlog to the end of the year means that a rework of the available space, and new staff, may be required. Looking at customer profiles, it seems there is a near 50:50 split
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RURAL NEWS // JULY 4, 2017
RURAL TRADER 35
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