Page 1

AGRIBUSINESS

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

Russia’s re-entry expected to boost global dairy prices.

Implement app a first.

PAGE 37

PAGE 20

MANAGEMENT Nitrogen diverted to milk yields means less excretion. PAGE 28-29

TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS AUGUST 1, 2017: ISSUE 635 

www.ruralnews.co.nz

Facts not politics! SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

LICENCED IMMIGRATION adviser Graydon Sharratt says facts, not politics, should drive good policy. Though it may be wishful thinking in an election year, he says, if the Government wants effective results in a growing economy, policy changes – especially on work visas – should be aligned to skills shortages in different industries and regions instead of hampering an industry such as dairy. Staff shortages in dairy farming are well documented and policy should align with this, the Hamilton owner of Greenstone Global Immigration Advisors says. “This way there is flexibility to change settings as the labour market changes; that is why the skills shortage lists exist,” he told Rural News. Sharratt isn’t surprised recent changes to immigration flagged by the Government haven’t gone down well in the South Island. Prime Minister Bill English last week confirmed that the proposed immigration crackdown will be watered down after a backlash from provincial bosses. English says the policy won’t be scrapped, just changed “around the parameters”. The Government announced in April an overhaul of the skills requirements for work visas as immigration heated up as an election year issue. The dairy industry has complained about the proposed changes especially to temporary visas. Dairying has been short of skilled workers for many

years and this appears to be worsening, Sharratt says. “It makes no sense to place unnecessary roadblocks to obtaining key skills from overseas when unemployment figures are near historic lows. This will merely constrain the economy from further growth if businesses and farmers cannot find New Zealand staff to support their growth.” Sharratt says the proposed changes catches virtually all dairy staff below farm manager level. This means the partners of a large portion of overseas staff will have no

work rights and their children will not be able to attend school as domestic students; and getting them into a oneyear cycle of visas will be unhealthy for the industry. “Replacing a trained, established worker in NZ (due to the proposed stand-down period) with another one from overseas (likely because of the prevailing skills shortages) makes no sense.” Sharratt points to the Federated Farmers remuneration survey of 2017 that shows 46% of dairy respondents found it “not at all easy” or “not very

WET, WET, WET

easy” to find employees. WINZ skills-match reports show consistently that NZers able to fill farming roles are unavailable. Sharratt says market shortages show clearly that the categories ‘herd manager’ and ‘assistant herd manager’ should be returned to the skills shortage list. All applicants who meet skills shortage list criteria should be allowed longer term visas, their partners to work and their children to attend school as domestic students, as they do now.

Soggy farmland, just south of Chamberlains Ford on the lower Selwyn River, south of Christchurch, a few days after the heavy rain during the July 22-23 weekend. The river is only slowly receding after bursting its banks at Coes Ford during the deluge. PHOTO: RURAL NEWS GROUP

UP SHE GOES, AGAIN FONTERRA CHAIRMAN John Wilson says the signs point to a good 2017-18 season. The co-op last week lifted its milk payout by 25c/kgMS, taking its forecast payout for the season to $6.75/kgMS. A forecast earnings per share range of 45 to 55 cents makes the forecast total available payout to farmers for the 2017-18 season $7.20 - $7.30/kgMS before retentions. Wilson says the lift in milk price reflects the ongoing rebalancing of supply and demand in global dairy markets. “We are seeing growing confidence onfarm across the country and with global demand for dairy strengthening the signs are for a good start to the season for our farmers and their rural communities, although following a challenging period of very wet conditions for some of our farmers,” says Wilson. “The increased farmgate milk price will be welcome news to farmers as they continue to invest in their businesses off the back of an improved 2016-2017 season, with the usual reminder to budget cautiously especially in the early part of the season.” Last season Fonterra paid its farmers $6.15/kgMS as the milk price; earnings per share stands at 45 to 55c.

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RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

NEWS 3 ISSUE 635

www.ruralnews.co.nz

NEWS�������������������������������������� 1-17 MARKETS���������������������������18-19 AGRIBUSINESS��������������� 20-21 HOUND, EDNA���������������������� 22 CONTACTS����������������������������� 22 OPINION����������������������������22-24 MANAGEMENT�������������� 26-30 ANIMAL HEALTH������������ 31-33 MACHINERY AND PRODUCTS���������������������� 34-38 RURAL TRADER�������������������� 39

HEAD OFFICE Top Floor, 29 Northcroft Street, Takapuna, Auckland 0622 Phone: 09-307 0399 Fax: 09-307 0122 POSTAL ADDRESS PO Box 331100, Takapuna, Auckland 0740 Published by: Rural News Group Printed by: PMP Print CONTACTS Editorial: editor@ruralnews.co.nz Advertising material: davef@ruralnews.co.nz Rural News online: www.ruralnews.co.nz Subscriptions: subsrndn@ruralnews.co.nz ABC audited circulation 80,580 as at 31.09.2016

Cow diesease potential ‘game changer’ SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

ANIMAL HEALTH experts are warning that the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis disease on a large South Canterbury farm could be “a potential game changer”. Massey University academics Richard Laven and Kevin Lawrence say farmers should be extremely concerned. “The disease is very difficult to control or eradicate and can be a major cause of production losses on dairy farms,” they told Rural News. Use of winter housing may encourage the spread of the disease; in the UK some dairy farms have gone bankrupt after contracting Mycoplasma bovis.

Laven is associate professor in production animal health and Kevin Lawrence a senior lecturer in pastoral livestock health at Massey. They say while the disease poses no risk to humans, there is a “real risk that the disease will spread and become a major problem in the New Zealand dairy industry”. Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) is investigating the outbreak; 14 cows have tested positive and about 150 cows on the 1000-cow property have clinical signs that indicate they may be affected. It is now tracing movements of animals on and off the property to ascertain if other properties are at risk. MPI director of response Geoff Gwyn says Mycoplasma bovis does not infect humans and presents no food

EARLY START! North Canterbury cropping and sheep farmer Roscoe Taggart isn’t pointing the finger, but suspects someone’s stray ram is responsible for his first lamb of the season – a good three weeks ahead of schedule. Taggart, a recent regional finalist in the Young Farmer competition, farms about 730ha in total, on both sides of the Inland Scenic route near Cust. He took over the management of the property from his father – Murray Taggart, the chairman of the Alliance Group – about five years ago. He says the farm is primarily a cropping operation. The farm’s 1500 breeding ewes fit in around the cropping, he says. The farm straddles the flood plain of the Cust River, which was underwater in the recent big rain and not suitable for cropping. – PHOTO NIGEL MALTHUS

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safety risk. There is no concern about consuming milk and milk products. The disease is commonly found in cattle globally, including in Australia, but was never detected before in NZ. The bacterial disease has serious effects on cattle including udder infection (mastitis), abortion, pneumonia and arthritis. Laven and Lawrence are backing MPI’s response, but say it is handicapped by farmers not recording their cattle movements through NAIT. “This will slow their ability to trace the spread of the disease and their ability to respond quickly, which will probably make the difference in the end. An additional worry is because of the long, slow chronic nature of the disease it is highly likely it has already spread at least locally.”

They are urging farmers who recently bought or leased dairy cows originating from Canterbury or Otago to be most vigilant. Affected cows will have unusual cases of mastitis (especially where all four quarters are affected and/or treatment is unsuccessful), late abortions with weak calves, arthritis in adult cattle (again non-responsive to treatment) and pneumonia in housed calves. Laven and Lawrence don’t think the outbreak will cause alarm among dairy customers overseas. “The disease is already present in many other dairying countries. But they may be more concerned that our biosecurity measures have not prevented the incursion of a major bovine pathogen.”

FONTERRA SPLASHES ON REPUTATION BUILDING FONTERRA IS tightlipped on the costs of its advertising campaign designed to improve its corporate reputation. Questions sent to the co-op last week remain unanswered. The weekly National Business Review says the campaign cost about $20 million, starting in May with the 4.31am series fronted by All Black captain Ritchie McCaw. The second stage -- online and on television -- presents farmer suppliers and their families telling what they do onfarm and visiting key mar-

kets to see how Fonterra products are enjoyed by consumers. Waikato farmer and Fonterra shareholder Bill Aubrey visits restaurants in Hong Kong, seeing cuisine prepared using Anchor Food Professional cream and Anchor butter. A video titled ‘From farm gate to dinner plate’ was loaded on YouTube last month, drawing over 750 views. On its website Fonterra says the story starts on the farm where New Zealand’s dairy cows turn lush green grass into pure, nutritious milk for diners worldwide. – Sudesh Kissun

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RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

4 NEWS

Ecan plan hits murky waters NIGEL MALTHUS

SEVEN PARTIES have lodged appeals against Environment Canterbury’s proposed Plan Change 5 -- the Nutrient Management and Waitaki Plan Change. The change was publicly notified on June 24 and is due to progressively take effect in various zones between now and January 2019. ECan says the plan change seeks to deal with the effects of land uses, particularly farming, on water quality at a region-wide level, and to ensure the effective management of water quality in the Waitaki catchment. It will apply in catchments not currently the subject of sub-region plans (such as Selwyn Waihora) and is expected to impact on about 5000 farms. However, several farming industry bodies criticised the plan, with Federated Farmers Mid-Canterbury chairman Michael Salvesen describing it as unworkable. Seven industry groups, including Federated Farmers, had lodged appeals against the plan change by the time the appeal period ended on July 21. The others are Barrhill Chertsey Irrigation

Ltd, farming conglomerate Dairy Holdings Ltd, DairyNZ, Irrigation NZ, Rangitata Diversion Race Management Ltd and Ravensdown. In announcing its appeal, Irrigation NZ says the rules are unachievable and could affect the viability of farming in Canterbury. “At stake with this plan change is the ability of irrigation to continue to contribute to Canterbury’s economy into the future. Take away irrigation from our region and it would result in job losses and a very big economic gap to fill,” says Irrigation NZ chief executive Andrew Curtis. The plan change interpreted good irrigation management practice as meaning no leaching or run-off from each irrigation application. “In technical terms we refer to this as 100% application efficiency,” Curtis explains. “We will be appealing the plan change as it is inconsistent with the accepted industry interpretation of good management practice which is that there is 80% application efficiency of water used for irrigation. The 80% efficiency requirement has been adopted by Environment Canterbury in the

operative land and water regional plan so the new changes are not consistent with existing rules and are confusing for farmers,” he adds. He said trying to achieve compliance could require expensive or unaffordable new irrigation equipment, and even then the targets would remain unachievable for many farms. “There are very few businesses who can say they are 100% efficient, 100% of the time, and farms are no different. Federated Farmers, which earlier indicated it might not appeal but could join other parties’ actions, said it has now decided to appeal on the proxies attached to the plan. They relate to how it should be implemented and certain parts are unworkable as they stand. “Federated Farmers is committed to improving farming-related water quality issues. We are appealing for positive reasons and for sustainable, practical and affordable solutions,” Salvesen says. The situation and management of the region’s catchments has moved on since ECan introduced the Canterbury Land and Water Strategy.

Irrigation NZ’s Andrew Curtis says the plan’s insistance of 100% irrigation efficiency is impossible for farmers to implement.

“Local farmers are more focused and responsive to tackling issues, and have adapted their activities onfarm including monitoring water quality in their catchment,” he says. As a result, water quality has improved significantly with farmers and the local community working together. “Farmers are basically ahead of the regulatory system and can see potential problems arising from the propos-

als. We just want to make the system the best it can possibly be, so we can achieve the results everyone is striving for,” Salvesen adds. Several of the appellants including DairyNZ are concentrating on PC5’s Schedule 28 Good Management Practice Modelling Rules that characterise how dairy farm systems should perform when conforming to good management practice. “Our key concern is that Environment Canterbury’s modelling approach does not accurately capture the dynamic nature of dairy farm systems, and will increase the cost and complexity of consent processes without producing any environmental gains. The increased compliance costs have the potential to make agricultural production uneconomic in many parts of the Canterbury region,” DairyNZ said in a statement. Because it is an appeal to the High Court, it can only be appealed on points of law. Dairy NZ says a legal review indicates the hearing panel has made legal errors in assessing the scientific robustness of ECan’s modelling approach.

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RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

NEWS 5

$600m in meat industry takeovers keep spending on plant and equipment. NZ meat firms spend on new and improved marketing. The number of meat processing firms in NZ is growing and industry efficiency is improving, particularly in poultry. “NZ has a large, robust meat products industry with a wide range of participants of various sizes,” the report says. “Employment in meat processing in NZ is consolidating in red meat (fewer sheep) and growing in poultry and cured meats; poultry stands out for maintaining or improving efficiency. “Meat processing employs over 30,000 people spread across the country. While employment is spread across large number of firms, the top three meat processors account for over 50% of industry employment and the top 11 for 85%.

PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

ALMOST $600 million flowed into the meat industry from outside New Zealand in the last 18 months as overseas firms looked to secure NZ beef and lamb and strengthen their global agrifood positions, says a new report. Investors chiefly from China and Japan bought in, says the report ‘Investors Guide to the NZ Meat industry 2017’, released in June. It was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and prepared by Coriolis. The meat industry has an almost even split of foreign and private ownership, and the largest two firms are farmer cooperatives, the report says New foreign firms continue buying into the meat industry and they

“NZ has a reasonably consolidated meat industry, with a range of strong firms competing; however there appear to be further consolidation opportunities, particularly in lamb and beef. “Lamb processing share and beef processing share keep changing across the industry. “Silver Fern Farms remains the largest meat firm in NZ by turnover.” @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

MAKE SURE ALL YOUR GROUNDWORK COUNTS!

SHEAR LEGENDS HAWKE’S BAY shearer Rowland Smith smashed the eight-hour ewe world shearing record in England recently. In late July the 30-year-old shore 644 Romney and crossbred ewes in eight hours at Trefranck Farm, near St Clether, Cornwall, beating the previous record of 605 set by Invercargill shearer Leon Samuels in Southland in February this year. This is another record for the Smith family: brother Matthew set the record of 731 ewes in nine hours in July last year at the same English farm.

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RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

6 NEWS

Centralisation leaves rural health s Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) believes centralisation has left gaps in health services for rural areas which need to be addressed. Pam Tipa reports. CENTRALISATION IS now a fact of life, but focus is needed on how to meet the ensuing shortfalls for rural areas, says Margaret Pittaway, RWNZ South Island board member and a retired nurse. She says rural people are coming under real stress because they do not have the same access as urban people to district nursing, mental health and other medical services. “Mental health services is a big issue for rural New Zealand, with rates high for younger men in farming communities,” Pittaway told Rural News, outlining some of the issues raised

at a recent RWNZ seminar on rural health. Rural Support Trust members and others working with people in strife often report that though they can get clients an initial assessment for clients through a GP, often a 10 - 20 day wait may ensue before they can get help from intervention services. “That is a long time for a person who is suicidal or deeply depressed,” Pittaway says. “It is unacceptable.” Another issue is emergency services rely hugely on volunteers. “Hats off to the volunteers who give up personal and family time to commit to giving ser-

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vices to rural people,” she says. “But many of us are about three hours from a base hospital. We talk about ‘golden hour’: it is recognised that unless [during that hour] you stabilise a patient who

is critically injured or ill, the chances of a good outcome start to diminish. “Our rural volunteer services get put under pressure once services start to be centralised. It takes time to get a crew into an ambulance station when they are based at home. Weather and road conditions can affect

them, winter conditions can put the crunch on helicopters flying… so life-saving or rehabilitation outcomes come into question.” Closure of smaller hospitals in rural areas has affected maternity services and rural surgery patients who previously would have got a few days respite care in local

INNOVATION THE KEY SOME NEW innovations using technology are helping rural health services, says Pittaway. “We have some clinics running now on Skype…. there is a neat one running in central Otago, where I live, for diabetic clinics. A family with a child can sit down with a doctor, all in front of a camera, and have a consultation with a diabetic specialist in Wellington. “For somebody living in Wanaka that is maybe one hour of travel in a day

compared to an eight-nine hour round trip. So some good things are happening.” Reliable ultra-fast broadband and cellphone coverage will be a key, the latter a big help in the event of accidents. She knows of a North Island farmer who badly injured his arm while using a digger; he was fortunate in having a satellite phone, ideal in that area with no conventional cellphone coverage. He was lucky he had a good outcome “but that’s the realities of how we live”.

hospitals. This suited the main hospitals because it freed up beds and gave patients time to recover. With maternity services, she says she recently spoke to a young woman in Te Anau who said the nearest available midwife is about 90 minutes away and the backup midwife even further. Midwives who were closer had full caseloads and were not taking more clients. “We are faced with a town that is remote; it is a tourist town so it has a growing younger population. There are no opportunities there for young women to have ante natal classes; they probably face lengthy travel to have ultra-sound scans to monitor the progress of their pregnancy and their nearest maternity hospital is in Lumsden, 77km

Margaret Pittaway

from Te Anau. It is under threat of closure but has been given another year.” Because of closure threats women are opting to give birth at bigger centres, taking them away from home often at busy times such as lambing or harvesting. That throws extra pressure on families. She is also concerned the young women are not getting the six-seven post-natal visits available once they go home. It is not a reflection


RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

NEWS 7

h shortfalls on the midwife service but often the mother must drive to see the midwife. “That may be fine unless she has had a caesarean and can’t drive. In the middle of a busy farming season it becomes well-nigh impossible to make those visits at a time when it is critical to observe both the mother and the growth and wellbeing of the new babe. “That’s imposing huge pressures and we don’t know how it affects the long-term wellbeing of these children.” Any government should use the rural assessment tools when forming policy to assess the effects on rural people. Often it is not until submissions – RWNZ submits on a number of issues – that they realise how policy

will impact. “If they looked at how it might affect rural areas initially there would be a lot of time and angst saved for everybody.” Definitions of rural are often vague and inaccurate, with some data systems inaccurately putting rural statistics into urban areas, Pittaway says. So the figures that health services and budgets are based on are “widely inaccurate”. Recently they asked health services for the differences between urban and rural for the rates of cervical cancer and the uptake of preventative vaccinations, and

A CAPTIVE WORKFORCE FOR THE HORT SECTOR

the figures were not available. The budget of the district nursing service does not allow travel to more remote areas for after-surgery care. Sometimes respite care can be arranged for the very elderly, but most others from remote rural areas must make their own arrangements. “There’s lot of things putting rural people on the back foot when it comes to health services. “We have a shortage of rural GPs, and an ageing and tired GP workforce from the hours they are working, so there are lots of things compounding.”

A PILOT scheme helping ex-prisoners and other offenders to find work in the horticulture industry is succeeding and will be expanded, says Corrections Minister Louise Upston. Corrections and Horticulture NZ have seen the first year of a pilot scheme succeed in Hawkes Bay and now plan to expand it into Bay of Plenty. It trains prisoners to be work-ready for employers and sets up horticulture work opportunities for their release. “Corrections appreciates the support and leadership of the horticulture sector, which is helping change the lives of offenders and giving new hope to their families,” Upston says. “The pilot gives practical training to eligible prisoners who want work in horticulture and will stay in Hawkes Bay. It allows prisoners to leave prison with meaningful skills and qualifications, and the industry gets trained, qualified employees.” Three ex-offenders have so far

A Whanganui corrections officer instructs a Growsafe trainee.

got work in horticulture via the scheme, Upston says. “This appears small, but new partnership agreements are now signed with four other large horticulture employers who support this scheme.” Horticulture is NZ’s fourth-largest export industry, earning $5 bil-

lion annually and looking for $10b by 2020. To achieve this it needs more trained and qualified staff in permanent roles especially on the East Coast and in Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Northland, Manawatu, Nelson/ Marlborough and Central Otago. – Pam Tipa

27/07/17 9:01 AM


RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

8 NEWS

Euro leaders want to trade with NZ PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

TRADE MINISTER Todd McClay is confident the European Union and New Zealand will begin negotiating a free trade agreement by the end of the year. McClay says when he was in Paris at the OECD recently he met with the EU Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, who confirmed her organ-

He says the EU’s willingisation was on track to launch ness to begin talks is due to the negotiations by the end of NZ’s efforts over the last the year. couple of years. He has perNZ’s reputation for fairsonally met with represenness in negotiating trade tatives of most EU member deals is working in our favour, states and some he has seen McClay says. We have a reputation for doing quality deals. Trade Minister Todd several times. “At some stage I will seek “Such is our reputation McClay. that Cecilia Malmström told me if the a mandate from the cabinet to begin EU can’t do a deal with NZ we can’t do talks and Cecilia Malmström is going through a similar process. But there a deal with anyone.”

are 27 countries to deal with so it takes a bit longer,” he says. “They have all said they want to do a FTA with NZ, but some have also noted there will be a challenge in access for our agricultural products. We know that; it is always challenging for NZ on dairy and meat, so we will just go and get the best deal we can.” Also helpful from NZ’s point of view is that many EU countries, notably Netherlands and Ireland, have strong

cultural and historical ties with us. And many new EU members are also talking up an FTA with us, including members of the former Soviet Union bloc. “They are economies that want to trade with the world and they become richer with trade and that’s why they are open to that idea of an FTA. When the UK voted to leave the EU, people said ‘your best friend has gone’, but we have still many, many countries that support NZ on trade.”

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DEER farmer Tom Macfarlane is ready to inject “passion and energy” into the deer genetics business he will buy from LIC later this year. Macfarlane, a deer farmer since he left university, and his wife Samantha, will buy LIC’s subsidiary Deer Improvement for an undisclosed sum on October 5. They are backed by an investor. Macfarlane has about 12,000 sheep, beef and deer on his South Canterbury farm and has been a big user of LIC deer genetics. He told Rural News they are passionate deer farmers ready to take the business to the next level. “As committed clients of Deer Improvement in recent years, Sam and I are enthusiastic about building on the great work the team has already carried out in venison genetics,” he says. “We look forward to working with present and future clients to ensure continued gains for the New Zealand deer herd and the deer industry.” “LIC has done a fantastic job getting the business to where it is; we are ready to inject passion and energy to take it to the next level.” The sale includes LIC’s 390ha Southland farm at Balfour, artificial breeding collection and laboratory facilities and the herd of 2000+ high genetic merit animals. LIC, the leading supplier of artificial breeding and herd improvement services to the dairy industry, set up Deer Improvement in 2003 as part of a “multispecies” strategy. Since then, Deer Improvement has contributed an average 15kg liveweight gain per animal over the ten years to 2014 (based on yearling weight), which is highly valuable for the venison market. LIC’s reproduction technologies have also increased the number of high genetic merit stags available for deer farmers to buy. Deer Improvement stags dominate the industry’s Deer Select database. The business employs six staff in Balfour and Queenstown. LIC chief financial officer Linda Cooper says the sale is mutually beneficial to the country’s dairy and deer industries. “It allows us to concentrate on our dairy business and re-invest funds back into areas more focused on adding value for our dairy farmer shareholders. “LIC has generated significant genetic gain for the deer industry with Deer Improvement and the sale is a natural progression for the business. The new owners are great advocates for the deer industry, and will take the business into the next phase of its growth,” says Cooper.


RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

NEWS 9

Weather dampens PGW results SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

RURAL SERVICE provider PGG Wrightson, majority owned by Chinese conglomerate Agria, will announce its annual results next week. The NZX-listed company last month told the market its full year earnings before income, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBIDTA) would be towards the lower end of its guidance range of $62 million to $68m. As a result, its net profit after tax will also be on the low side -$46m to $51m. Chief executive Mark Dewdney says as 2017 began the firm expected the financial year to be tougher than 2016. “Prior to autumn we were tracking ahead of our forecasts, but the weather in this final quarter of our financial year has put a dampener on our 2017 earnings expectations,” he told NZX. “April was wet for most of the country and this made crops difficult to harvest and paddocks challenging to work.” The group business most affected is NZ Seed and Grain: lower har-

Mark Dewdney

vest yields have reduced earnings from processing and drying facilities. Autumn demand for seed products fell short of forecasts as many farmers were hampered in their re-grassing and autumn pasture renewal. “While we saw some lift in activity into May as the country started to dry out, falling temperatures brought the autumn planting season to its inevita-

ble close,” he says. But in a diverse business like PGG Wrightson, there are “some silver linings”. Livestock in particular had a strong final quarter as strong international demand for protein and lower stock numbers combined to push livestock prices above previous expectations. Retail traded extremely well given

the challenging weather, says Dewdney. “With spring being the key trading period for our rural supplies business they were less affected by the April rains.” Dewdney sees confidence rising in key farming sectors, and early indications for 2018 financial year are encouraging. “Our 2016 earnings were a record, and we are hoping FY18 will be close to that again,” says Dewdney. Agria and PGG Wrightson chairman Alan Lai says PGW is performing well despite the challenging conditions. “When we began the 2017 financial year we expected the low commodity prices at the time to reduce farmer spending and lead to a dip in operating EBITDA. “What we could not foresee was the inclement weather over our final quarter, which is likely to push PGW towards the bottom of the guidance range. “Despite these challenges PGW expects to post a credible result showing the strength and stability built into the business in recent years.”

DEWDNEY TO DEPART PGW CHIEF executive Mark Dewdney will leave the company at the end of the year. Dewdney, appointed in June 2013, plans to pursue private interests; he will remain as chief executive and work with the board on any leadership changes. PGW chairman Alan Lai says when Dewdney joined PGW “he came in with a clear mandate to build staff engagement and capability and target growth in key areas of the business”. “Mark has done an excellent job in implementing that strategy and the objectives set when he was appointed have been achieved. The business has performed well during his tenure and he continues to have the full support of the board.” Dewdney, a former chief executive of LIC, is a director of Tatua Milk. He will help in the succession process and will provide leadership continuity to year’s end. “I am passionate about NZ agriculture and will do all I can to support PGW through this transition. I am one person in a team of over 2000; our success over the past four years is a credit to the whole team at PGW.”


RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

10 NEWS

Potato blight problem solved - researcher NIGEL MALTHUS

‘THE POTATO problem is solved’ is the bold claim of a Canterbury researcher who believes the industry can be transformed by simply growing potatoes under finely perforated plastic mesh covers. The mesh not only controls the latest major pest to hit potatoes – the tomato potato psyllid or TPP – but also helps against old scourges like aphids. Somewhat surprising to the researchers is that it also controls blight and greatly improves yield. Dr Charles ‘Merf’ Merfield heads the Future Farming Centre within the Biological Husbandry Unit, a charitable trust joint venture between Lincoln University and the New Zealand Organic Movement. In March Rural News reported Merfield’s interim results from several seasons of trialling the mesh on plots near Lincoln University. He is now trumpeting the worth of the system after collating the final results of the trials. As we went to press, Merfield was due to present his findings to the PotatoesNZ Conference, Pukekohe, on July 26, having announced them in a media

Dr Charles Merfield believes growing potatoes under mesh covers is the answer to many problems affecting the crop.

release headed ‘The potato psyllid problem is solved!’ Merfield said more research is still needed but he hoped that with the material he would put to the conference would engender interest from the industry to help fund the next steps. The mesh system will effectively eliminate TPP and other pests, he said. “We have the potential here to essentially have a potato production system that requires no insecticides at

all and is as close to completely pestfree as it is possible to get and it has a better environment so you get better yield. “If we can turn potatoes in NZ from a highly sprayed crop to one that at least doesn’t need any insecticide, and potentially one that doesn’t require any fungicide; if we can prove we can control both early and main blight with the mesh as well, then the benefit to the growers in increased profit,

FARM MACHINERY

the benefit to the environment and the benefit to consumers, is all good news. We need to make this work rather than just sitting on our hands.” Merfield said the final results of the trial include yield data, economic comparisons with chemical control and the final psyllid count. Comparing agrichemical controls against three meshes with different hole sizes (0.7, 0.4 and 0.3 mm): agrichemicals had a total of 1614 TPP, while the meshes had four, five and three psyllids respectively, a result he calls “utterly stunning”. TPP has rapidly spread nationwide after arriving in 2006. A sap-sucking aphid-sized insect that looks like a tiny locust, TPP stunts the plant. It can also act as a vector for a bacterium known as liberibacter, which affects the tubers, making them mushy when boiled and discoloured when fried, and therefore commercially worthless. Merfield said the tests indicated “basically zero” liberibacter under the mesh. “I’m sticking my head on the block and saying I’m pretty confident now, guys. This works.” Meanwhile, the mesh also controlled both early and main blight,

contrary to early fears that it could encourage blight by increasing humidity. Merfield also recorded big improvements in yield, which he attributes to the plants being protected from mechanical damage caused by wind and weather. “Total yield of mesh-grown potatoes increased by 10t/ha from 84.5t/ha for the agrichemicals to 94.5t/ha for the best mesh, a 12% increase. Almost unbelievably, the two best mesh yields exceeded the theoretical maximum yield of potatoes in Canterbury.” Merfield also claims economic benefits: depreciated over 10 years the mesh would cost $1000/ha less than agrichemicals. However, Merfield said aphids are among the more difficult pests to control because of their unusual asexual reproduction and ability to produce “incredibly tiny” live offspring which get through the holes. “Aphids can breed so fast they make rabbits look like amateurs.” Biological controls such as parasitic wasps and ladybirds could be used to mop up strays. With 20 years experience in biocontrols that would be a high-reliability system, he said.

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NEWS 11

Aussie cattle prices start to take a dip CATTLE PRICES in Australia have ended their three-year golden run, says Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA). For the first time in three years, Australian cattle prices are now lower than year-ago levels and production is higher, all expected to depress the market to the year’s end. In its mid-year cattle industry update, MLA says the revision in cattle prices is based on a poor July-to-September rainfall outlook for southern Australia following the dry autumn, 20-year low female slaughter and volatile global market activity. MLA’s manager of market information Ben Thomas says the turning point for Australian beef came in June when eastern states’ slaughter consistently tracked higher than year-ago levels for the first time since 2014, while cattle prices dropped below year-ago levels, also for the first time in three years. “These trends are likely to remain in place for the remainder of 2017 and [depress] price and production expectations. “It has been a good run for prices for three years: producers selling at the same time each year have received more for their cattle than the year before. That’s now changed, though we’ll remain well above that five-year average for the foreseeable future.” Despite a softening in the market, Australian cattle prices are unlikely to drop back to pre-2013 levels, given continuing restocker activity as pasture conditions improve, an Australian dollar that is unlikely to strengthen and reducing tariff regimes into Japan, Korea

and China. Record low female cattle slaughter as a result of the ongoing national herd rebuild had impacted many parts of the industry. “After the first four months of 2017, female cattle slaughter was just 973,000 head – the lowest since 1995 and representing 45% of the overall adult kill, three percentage points below the 10-year average of 48%,” Thomas says. The adult cattle kill was 13% below 2016 levels at 2.16 million head after the first four months of the year, also the lowest since 1995. However, numbers processed in the eastern states recovered in June and are expected to remain above year-ago levels for the rest of 2017. The result is a small revision to the annual total, to be steady with 2016 at 7.25m head, compared to April estimates of 7.1m head. Momentum is expected to continue through to 2018, when 7.6m head are expected to be processed. A big effect of the low female cattle slaughter, combined with record high numbers of cattle on feed is that average carcase weights for the yearto-date were 296.3kg/head – a staggering 7.8kg (3%) increase on the previous record set in 2012, says Thomas. “As a result of the increase in cattle slaughter, combined with heavier carcase weights, 2017 beef and veal production is now estimated to be 2.17m tonnes carcase weight, up 2% yearon-year.” Despite significant shifts in global beef markets, the forecast 2% year-on-year rise in Australian beef production for

Key points: ❱❱ Australian cattle prices now lower than year-ago levels, and production higher ❱❱ Record carcase weights expected to boost production by 2% ❱❱ Exports forecast to exceed one million tonnes shipped weight.

2017 should see exports match the 1.02m tonnes shipped weight shipped in 2016, giving the fifth consecutive year above one million tonnes exported.

For the first time in 3 years Australian cattle prices are now lower than yearago levels.

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RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

12 NEWS

Fonterra to cream growing demand in Asia SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

FONTERRA IS spending $150 million on two new cream cheese plants to meet growing demand in Asia. The two-stage proj-

ect at the Darfield site in Canterbury will see the first plant completed in 2018 with a second to follow within two years. The two new plants will incorporate Fonterrafirst technology that will allow the firmness and

consistency of the cream cheese they produce to be dialled up or down to meet customer preference. Justice Minister and Selwyn MP Amy Adams and Selwyn mayor Sam Broughton joined Fon-

terra management and staff in turning the first sod for the new build this month. Adams says Fonterra’s investment is great news for Selwyn and for the Canterbury region. “It will create jobs

Fonterra chief operating officer global operations Robert Spurway, Selwyn District Mayor Sam Broughton and MP Hon. Amy Adams at the sod turning of the $150 million upgrade of the Darfield site.

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Phase one – CC3 ❱❱ $100 million upgrade ❱❱ Completed by August 2018 ❱❱ Similar scale to the new cream cheese plants recently built at Te Rapa ❱❱ Up to 24,000t of cream cheese each year for export ❱❱ Introduces innovative technology ❱❱ At least 30 new jobs ❱❱ Up to 1000 roles in the construction, planning and fit-out in a wide range of industries Phase two – CC4 ❱❱ $50 million upgrade ❱❱ Completed by 2019 -20 depending on market demand ❱❱ Producing up to 24,000t each year for export ❱❱ More staff will be confirmed closer to construction during construction and operation and is an excellent example of how New Zealand companies are shifting to value-added products and using innovation to tap into emerging markets.” Once the project is complete, Fonterra Darfield will be among the largest producers of cream cheese in NZ alongside the Te Rapa site. Fonterra chief operating officer global operations, Robert Spurway, says Canterbury is fast becoming the co-op’s foodservice capital of NZ with nearly $500m investment in this category over the past three years. “Globally, the foodservice industry is growing around 6% every year. Expansions such as these... have helped Fonterra’s foodservice business triple that figure over recent years. This puts us well on track to achieve our targets of 20% year-on-year growth in foodservice sales.” Fonterra’s direc-

tor of global foodservice, Grant Watson, says rising demand for cheese, butter and UHT goes with changing consumption patterns. Particularly as people in China’s big cities shift away from oils, they want more dairy in their cooking, as a table spread or in a glass, says Watson. “In markets like China, where dairy hasn’t traditionally been a staple, there are fewer pre-conceived notions on how it should be eaten, and with that we’re seeing versatility in their dairy applications. “Arguably some of the most innovative dairy product development anywhere in the world is happening now in China. Our Anchor Food Professionals team, engaging with customers, is playing an integral role.” The dairy beverage tea macchiato, which mixes tea with cream and cream cheese, shows a willingness to be bolder in dairy use, says Watson.


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RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

14 NEWS

New institute could ‘transform hort sector’ PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

A NEW technology research institute called Plantech is planned for western Bay of Plenty using the region’s horticulture industry as a testing ground for new technologies and services. Priority One and the University of Waikato have worked with a consortium of eight of the region’s businesses to get $8.4 million from the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to help set up the institute. The Plantech founding group includes the companies Bluelab, Cucumber, GPS-It, Eurofins, Plus Group Horticulture, Trimax Mowing Systems, Waka Digital and Zespri International, alongside Priority One and the University of Waikato. Plantech’s research will be commercialised nationally and globally in such markets as sports fields, hydroponics, logistics, primary industry land use and horticultural technologies. Priority One chief executive Nigel Tuff told Rural News of three main focus areas of research initially. The first is data management -- col-

Nigel Tuff

lecting more data with sensors, drones and GPS technology, then effectively integrating that data so it is useable. The more data collected the harder it is to manage, so solving that is important, Tuff explains. Secondly comes research into autonomous vehicles and robotics, and thirdly point-of-contact decisionmaking.

“The aim is to equip people in the orchards or wherever they might be within the growing system with the information they need to make the correct decisions,” he says. “That could be, say, fertiliser application or sugar content.” The early research will be specific to those areas but it will expand over

time. “Those are the areas where the eight companies collectively see the gaps and where the research needs to happen now to make real gains in the growing system. “We are excited that it will be great for the companies involved and the horticulture industry as a whole. We are looking forward to getting it up and running.” Matt Flowerday, founder and chief executive of GPS-It says “I’ve travelled the world looking for a hort-focused innovation centre and have yet to find anything suitable, so I’m excited to have the opportunity to help create one on my doorstep and use it as a springboard to take on the world with New Zealand created innovation and technology.” Brett Hewlett, chair of Priority One, says Plantech aims to accelerate growth of individual companies and build regional and national capability in applying advanced technologies. Dr Alistair Scarfe, founder and chief technology officer of Robotics Plus Ltd, says Plantech will power up collaboration with other horticulturefocused businesses and science institutions.

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RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

NEWS 17

Shepherding by remote? PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

SHEPHERDS MAY soon have a new tool to notify them of problems in their flocks. Remote sensor technology can provide new ways for farmers to monitor their flock’s welfare, either while they sit at a computer in the office or roam on their smartphone, even remote from the farm. Massey University scientists are working with the New Zealand Merino company to devise an electronic system to monitor ewes and lambs – especially ewes with triplets – to give farmers early warning of likely mismothering. Currently no such commercial device is available for sheep. Dr Rene Corner-Thomas of Massey University says they are now doing groundwork ultimately for the production of such a device. “We have started to use activity monitors, the equivalent of a human device, to look at the behaviour of ewes and their lambs. We are particularly interested in triplets because they have a very high mortality rate, commonly around 33%, which means that one out of every litter is lost,” she told Rural News. “We are trying to get an idea of the interaction between the ewe and her lamb and these activity monitors which have Bluetooth technology can allow us to identify whether a lamb is spending a lot of time with its mother or has become separated.” The research is intended to create a vigour measurement in the lamb. Corner-Thomas says preliminary observations so far, while

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Massey University’s Dr Rene CornerThomas.

observing lamb behaviour, show that lambs more active and more demanding of their mother for feeding are more likely to survive. “We’d like to develop a vigour index to identify lambs more at risk of dying and we may be able to create some way to intervene, for example by removing one lamb from a set and hand or artificially rearing it.” Her summer scholarship student Rachel Shanks spent hours watching videos of triplet lambs and mothers and how they interact, with the goal of developing a scoring system. This is based on what the ewe does when the first lamb approaches her to suckle and then what happens when subsequent lambs turn up to feed.

PERKINS 400 SERIES DIESEL ENGINE “We are looking for the ewes that are happy to stand still and allow all three lambs to drink at the same time because potentially she is a better triplet mother,” she explains. “We have found that often ewes seem quite comfortable with two lambs drinking, but as soon as a third one comes in it annoys the ewe and she walks away from all three lambs. Corner-Thomas says their observations to date show different sets of behaviour with triplet lambs. In some cases they take turns to drink. But sometimes the weaker or third lamb may miss out because a ewe only wants to feed lambs for a certain time and the last one doesn’t get a feed.

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RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

18 MARKETS & TRENDS L amb - PM 16.0kg

BEEF PRICES

LAMB PRICES

c/kgCWT NI

n/c

Last Week 5.65

2 Wks A go 5.65

Last Year 5.50

Change

P 2 Steer - 300kg

S te e r - P2 300kg

n/c

5 .6 5

-5

5 .5 0

M 2 B ull - 300kg

n/c

5.60

5.60

5.45

P 2 Co w - 230kg

n/c

4.50

4.50

4.50

B u ll - M2 300kg

n/c

5 .6 0

n/c

5 .2 0

M Co w - 200kg

n/c

4.50

4.50

4.50

Ve n is o n - AP 60kg

n/c

8 .9 0

n/c

9 .1 0

Lo cal Trade - 230kg

n/c

5.75

5.75

5.60

-5

5.50

5.55

5.30

M 2 B ull - 300kg

n/c

5.20

5.20

5.20

P 2 Co w - 230kg

n/c

4.35

4.35

4.15

M Co w - 200kg

n/c

4.35

4.35

4.15

Lo cal Trade - 230kg

n/c

5.90

5.90

5.50

6.0

Slaughter 21-A ug

21-O ct

South Island 16kg M lamb price

$/kg

6.0

21-A ug Last Ye ar

21-O ct This Ye ar

$/kg

20

5yr Ave

10-Sep 10-Oct 25-May

21-A ug

21-O ct

South Island 300kg steer price

5yr Ave

21-O ct

21-A ug

21-O ct

South Island 60kg stag price

$/kg $/kg

8.0 7.0 21-Jun 5yr Ave

21-A ug Last Ye ar

This Ye ar

21-O ct

10 Sep

5yr Ave

25 May

10 Oct

25 Jul Last Ye ar

UK Leg p/kg

n/c

Last Week 5.90

NZc/kg

-0.1

9.19

Change

5yr A ve 208 637

10 Nov

25 Sep This Ye ar

550

2 Wks A go 5.90

Last Year 5.40

9.26

8.33

5yr A ve 5.45 8.64

Export demand indicator - UK CKT leg

450 350 17 Jun

150 $1.50 17-A pr 17-Jun 17-A ug 17-O ct 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 -1.5 -1.4

2Wks A go 77.3 71.8

% Returned NI

+0 .5

2Wks A go 74.0

% Returned SI

n/c

72.9

Change

This Year

3 Wks A go 78.8 73.2

Last Year 76.0 71.8

5yr A ve 74.7 68.0

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… 21-A pr 21-Jun 21-A ug 21-O ct

Procurement Indicator - South Island

9.0

k 10 0Aug

17 Aug

17 Oct

Procurement Indicator

% Returned NI % Returned SI

21-Jun

200

250 17 Apr

Change

7.0

6.0 21-A pr

Last Year 222 678

Export indicator - US 95CL D edemand mand Indicator - US 95CL Beefbeef

North Island 60kg stag price

8.0

10.0

3 Wks A go 238 719

USc/lb 21-A ug Last Ye ar This Ye ar

9.0

6.0 21-A pr

n/c -4

2 Wks A go 238 715

90 P rocu rement Indicator - South I. 85% 80% 75% 70 70% 65% Last Year 60% This Year 50 21-A pr 21-Jun 21-A ug 21-O ct 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

85 80%

3 Wks A go 73.5

Last Year 69.0

72.9

67.1

5yr A ve 70.3 69.6

Procurement P rocu rementindicator Indicator-- North North Island I.

75 70% 65 60%

Last Year

This Year

50% 55 11-Aug 21-A pr 11-Sep 11-Oct 21-Jun11-Nov 11-Dec 21-A ug11-Jan 11-Feb 21-O ct 75 80%

B

S t b l b t h t m l p N p k m w m s w f

I

Export Market Demand

This Year

% of export returns

$/kg

10.0

Last Year

Last Year

21-Jun 5yr Ave

S outh Island Weekly Lamb Kill

200k 300

25-May 10-Oct 25-Jul10-Nov 25-Sep 10-Sep 5yr Ave Last Ye ar This Ye ar

$2.00

4.5

10 Nov 25 Sep

South Island w eekly lamb kill

400 250k

25 Mar

$2.50 200

5.0

This Year

10 Oct25 Jul

100 50k

95CL USc/lb NZc/kg 250 $3.00

Last Y ear

10 Sep 25 May

100k

Change

21-Jun

5yr Ave

k 0 1025 Aug Mar

150k

Export Market Demand

5.5

4.0 21-A pr

10-Dec 25-Sep

% of export returns

6.0

10-Nov 25-Jul

South Island Weekly Cattle Kill

4.5 4.0 21-A pr

This Year

S outh Island Weekly Cattle Kill

0 k 25-Mar 10-Aug

5.0

Last Year

10k40 30

5.5

200

100 50k

5k20 10

North Island 300kg bull price

300

100k

15k60 50

21-Jun 5yr Ave

Last Year 5.36 5.38 5.40 5.41 2.70 5.33 5.33 5.33 5.33 2.60

150k

50

10 k 0 10-Aug 25-Mar

5.0

2 Wks A go 6.61 6.63 6.65 6.66 4.10 6.63 6.63 6.63 6.63 4.15

200k

40 20k30

6.0

4.0 21-A pr

Thousand head

7.0

40k60

21-Jun

+5 +5 +5 n/c n/c n/c n/c n/c n/c n/c

Last Week 6.66 6.68 6.70 6.71 4.10 6.63 6.63 6.63 6.63 4.15

North eekly lamb N ort hIsland Islandw Weekly Lambkill Kill

250k 400

North N ort hIsland IslandWeekly Weekly Cattle Cattle Kill Kill

Change

Slaughter Thousand head

5.0 4.0 21-A pr

P 2 Steer - 300kg

Thousand head

$/kg

7.0

North Island 16kg M lamb price

SI

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

Thousand head

c /kgCWT

S o u th Is lan d C h an g e L as t c /kg We e k n/c 6 .6 3

UKp/kg

No rth Is lan d C h an g e L as t c /kg We e k +5 6 .6 8

LAMB MARKET TRENDS

% of export returns

Me at

BEEF MARKET TRENDS

% of export returns

MARKET SNAPSHOT

Procurement indicator - South Island P rocu rement Indicator - South I.

70% 65 60% Last Year

This Year

50% 55 11-Aug 21-A pr 11-Sep 11-Oct 21-Jun 11-Nov 11-Dec 21-A ug11-Jan 11-Feb 21-O ct 5yr ave Last Ye ar This Ye ar

Venison Prices NI Stag - 60kg

n/c

Last Week 8.90

SI Stag - 60kg

n/c

9.10

Change

2 Wks A go 8.90

Last Year 7.85

9.10

8.00

5yr A ve 7.01 7.06

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

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RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

MARKETS & TRENDS 19 PRICE WATCH

INTERNATIONAL

BEEF:

Beef availability on the spot market in the US continues to be particularly tight and is keeping prices for this market particularly firm. This has been exacerbated by the complete ban of Brazilian beef imports. There is, however, more apprehension around the forward market, with orders taken now set to be delivered on what is likely

SHEEP: Lamb supply continues to be

relatively steady, and bookings for coming weeks indicate this may continue in the short term. Lamb operating prices range between $6.60$6.80/kg. Scanning rates across the North Island appear to be positive overall, with some reporting results are up at least 10% on last year. The recent onslaught of winter weather will be impacting those lambing now, however that number is low. It is the weather through August and September that needs to play ball this season. The store lamb market is also quiet this week. Demand remains patchy; limited to those who are replacing. Paddock prices are variable as a result, but in general range from $3.00- $3.20/kg for medium male lambs, and around $3.00/kg for medium ewe lambs.

WOOL PRICE WATCH

Overseas Wool Price Indicators

Change

20-Jul

13-Jul

Last Year

Coarse Xbred

-7

269

276

501

Coarse Xbred

-202

Fine Xbred

-

-

-

531

Fine Xbred

-

Lamb Mid Micron

Indicators in NZc/kg

Lamb

-

-

-

-

Mid Micron

-

-

-

817

850 600

Indicators in USc/kg

Wool indicator trends Wool Indicator Trends

Last Year

0

202

350

-

#######

371

-

-

#######

-

-

-

-

571

20-Jul

CXI

750 500

500

FXI

LI

650 400

400

550 300

300

450 200 21-Jul 21-Oct 21-Jan 21-Apr 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

200 20-Apr

CXI

650600

13-Jul

Change

Fine crossbred indicator

600

c/kg

to be a much softer August market. Imported prices are steady this week, and are expected to stay this way through July and soften into August. One threat that has emerged is the onset of dry conditions in Australia. This has forced much larger volumes of beef into the US market.

FXI

LI

Coarse crossbred indicator Coarse Xbred Indicator Last Year

600500

5yr ave

This Year

20-Jun

20-Aug Last Year

20-Oct This Year

Lamb wool indicator

700 600

550400

c/kg

Some processors are holding firm to their line of bringing operating prices back, but others are still willing to match local trade prices. Operating prices for bulls and cows are also variable. Similar to export prime, most processors are hoping to make lower prices stick, but there are still some willing to pay higher money. Supply of cattle is low, but with limited processing capacity on, most plants are full enough. With the NZD/USD reaching 0.742, we expect processors will increase their efforts to keep a firm lid on prices. The store cattle market is largely steady. The persistent wet weather is limiting demand from much of the island, however there is still sufficient demand to keep the market up, with much of the buying power coming from the East Coast.

c/kg

BEEF: Export prime prices are mixed.

c/kg

NEWS

500300

500 400

300

450200 20-Apr Dec 20-Jun Oct Feb Apr 20-Aug Jun 5yr ave Last Year

200 20-Apr 5yr ave

Aug 20-Oct This Year

20-Jun

20-Aug Last Year

20-Oct This Year

OUR INSIGHT. YOUR EDGE.

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RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

20 AGRIBUSINESS

Russia’s re-entry will boost global dairy prices report claims products, is due to end in December 2017, boosting global dairy prices, claims an industry report. Dairy farmers and pro-

PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

RUSSIA’S BAN on imported agricultural products, including dairy

cessors in the European Union are expected to meet the bulk of Russia’s fresh demand, which will reduce competition in

New Zealand’s key markets such as China, says the report, NZ’s Dairy Cattle Farming, by the global business research

The end of Russia’s ban on important agricultural products in December 2017 is expected to boost global dairy prices.

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company IBISWorld. “Additionally, stockpiles of dairy products built up over the past five years will likely diminish over the next two years, placing further upward pressure on global dairy prices,” the report says. “Rising global dairy product prices and improved export earnings for processors will likely encourage local processors to increase farmgate milk prices, boding well for the industry. “ However the report says the dairy cattle farming industry will remain volatile over the next five years, due to its links with downstream export markets. Conditions are expected to largely improve as global pricing issues are resolved; output at the farm level is projected to increase over the next five years, assisting industry growth. Industry revenue is forecast to grow at a compound annual rate of 1.3% over the five years to 2022-23, to total $14 billion, with favourable weather conditions. “Industry participation is forecast to rise at a slower rate over the five years to 2022-23 compared with the previous five years,” the report says. “Another global dairy boom similar to 2013-14 is not likely, which will limit the number of new entrants joining the industry.” Improving farmgate milk prices are likely to encourage farmers to expand their dairy cattle herds over the next five years, due to the prospects of higher returns per cow. “This projected expansion will increase national milk production, which should assist industry revenue growth. “Additionally, the volume and quality of raw milk produced by each cow is forecast to rise

over the period. Higher farmgate milk prices should encourage farmers to purchase greater quantities of stockfeed, which will help improve milk yields and milk solid content for raw milk due to improved cattle nutrition.” However, these forecasts are based on average seasonal conditions. Any extreme weather, including drought, flooding or earthquakes, would likely constrain milk production over the next five years. Industry profitability is projected to trend upwards over the next five years. “The anticipated recovery of global dairy prices, particularly over the next two years, should help boost the bottom line of dairy cattle farmers who have struggled over the past five years.” The IBIS World report says the vast majority of NZ dairy farmers supply Fonterra, which collects about 87% of national milk production. However, some dairy cattle farmers have moved away from Fonterra over the past five years, shifting towards other processors to gain better farmgate prices and contract terms. This trend will likely continue over the next five years, as farmers seek to improve their bottom line and ability to remain profitable. This move may help increase average profitability across the industry. “However, this shift by some dairy cattle farmers is unlikely to significantly affect industry-wide profit.” The Dairy Cattle Industry report is one of 200 dedicated industry reports on the NZ economy by IBISWorld. This is its first foray into the NZ market.


RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

AGRIBUSINESS 21

PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

THE ABILITY to send blood products and serum to China is “absolutely” important, says Tim Ritchie, Meat Industry Association (MIA) chief executive. “The whole business model is about taking everything you can from an animal,” he told Rural News. “Anything of any value is extracted and monetarised and that enables you to look after the farmer and hopefully make a profit. You’ve got the meat component and you’ve got the whole of the ‘fifth quarter’ -- the wool, pelt, skin, offal, edible and inedible, the rendering products. “Blood in the old days would have gone down the rendering shoot and been made into blood and bone. “Clearly there is an opportunity to not let it go down the shoot, catch it and use it in some higher value areas.” His comments follow the announcement last month by Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy that China has approved formal access for New Zealand bovine blood products into the Chinese market. Access has been approved by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China (AQSIQ) for NZ premises to export bovine blood products such as bovine protein and serum to China. Ritchie says demand is increasing for high quality safe blood products for pharmaceutical use. “There is a real opportunity for NZ to capitalise on that. We had a relatively small trade in China which was suspended in 2015. The value of that trade was [in 2015] about $7 million for that year. Since then and now, with the regaining of access between the regulatory authorities

MIA’s Tim Ritchie says demand is increasing for high quality, safe blood products for pharmaceutical use.

here and over there, that will allow us to capitalise on increased demand which is clearly there for good quality product. “The minister talked about potentially $50m value. I think we would fully support that based on information we have here from our members and those involved in that side of the business.” And the value could be even more – up to $100m. “It is something that will evolve and develop over the years ahead,” he says. “It will not evolve overnight. Having been suspended… it is a matter of our getting back in again and developing those relationships with the counter parties in that part of the world. “It is a very positive move. If one can extract greater value out of a product than from it going down the shoot to be made into blood and bone meal, that is a net positive. “In effect that will be the case because the people who will be collecting and selling it almost have to compete with the people doing the rendering so there almost has to be a better return. I am sure there will be value extracted and $50m is not an insignificant sum.”

Ritchie says it is in interests of people both sides of the farmgate to ensure one another’s profit and viability. “There is no future in an environment where one is capitalising at the expense of the other,” he says. “For the long term both have to be in business and both have to be profitable by working together to try to make one and one equal three. If this is an opportunity to lift the value of a certain part of an animal, then ultimately that will find its way back to the farmer because it is a competitive industry. “It is a good news story for farmers, processors and meat exporters. It is a bit like the other recent progress we have made in that part of the world. “Different markets have different needs. That is the beauty of being an export focused industry: we are not reliant on one market to buy everything. “That agreement between NZ and the Chinese regulatory agency not only allows the business to resume but provides certainty for commerce that allows it to go ahead and develop those relationships and further develop the business with more certainty. “Business is all about management of risk and by getting these agreements in place that removes some risk from the equation and allows the companies to go ahead and invest further.” Ritchie says Department of Statistics data doesn’t differentiate between blood of human or animal origin, but last year blood export products to Europe were about $92m and to the US $36m. “How much is animal or human we don’t know. But presumably a good part would be animal,” he says.

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RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

22 OPINION EDITORIAL

EDNA

A good move FONTERRA IS being criticised for its expensive advertising campaign promoting the co-op, the dairy industry and its farmer shareholders. That criticism is misguided: the co-op should be congratulated for being proactive. Fact is that no other company or industry in NZ has faced such a widespread, negative, biased bashing from mainstream media, lobby groups, self-important commentators and political opportunists. This has led to an extremely jaundiced, unfair and ill-informed public view of the company and dairy sector in general: to see this one need only look at the online comments on any media story mentioning dairy. If Fonterra deserves any criticism it would be for its delay in responding to this growing problem. NBR reports that last year when Fonterra researched the public’s perception of it, the damning results showed that only 10% of New Zealanders thought they knew the global company well and only 60% knew it was farmer-owned. So Fonterra last May went on television and online with its 4.31am ‘story’ ads fronted by All Black captain Ritchie McCaw. The campaign has some of the giant co-op’s 10,500 farmer suppliers talking about what they do onfarm and their milk’s journey from farmgate to consumer. Further ads this year have promoted the pureness of dairy, the smartest farmers and the global reach of Fonterra’s brands and products; more are planned. The campaign is said to be costing about $20 million and this may sound huge, but as a portion of Fonterra’s total annual revenue of $20 billion it is not extravagant. Considering also the importance of Fonterra and dairy to NZ’s economy and the poor public opinion of both, it’s money well spent While anti-dairy supporters will go on criticising the co-op for the environmental and animal welfare effects of dairy farming, at least the public will now know much more about the sector’s contribution to the nation – especially via the echo-chamber that is social media. The campaign promotes the Fonterra brand, showcases what farmers are doing on environmental issues, connects with the urban audience and shows Fonterra’s own suppliers what the co-op is delivering.   It won’t stop the ardent anti-dairy campaigners, but at least New Zealanders now have information about Fonterra and the dairy sector to balance and counteract the constant diet of negative, ill-informed comment dished up relentlessly by the wreckers and haters.

RURALNEWS TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS

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

“We’ve been flooded out, snowed in, the gorge is blocked and the bridge is washed away and still #!@X!!! Mike Hosking gets through!!”

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

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DURING LAST month’s snow storm in the central North Island, Horizons Regional Council issued an oh-so informative (not) media release stating what people trapped on farms and ski lodges should do and what the council and others were doing for them. Horizons noted the food shortages at some places and said ‘pellets’ of food would be trucked in to help them. This old mutt wonders if these ‘pellets’ were chook, sheep or cattle feed and just what tourists might have thought of this unique NZ emergency cuisine being rushed to them. Roast sheep nuts for dinner maybe? OK, your old mate presumes the spell-check failed again, and that the good folk at the council actually meant ‘pallets’ of food not pellets. Or did the sheep get roast lamb for dinner that night?

YOUR OLD mate was a bit worried that local government was poking its nose into national politics when he saw a media release issued recently by Waikato Regional Council headed ‘Saving our modern-day dinosaur’. The Hound mistakenly thought WRC was coming out in support of NZ’s very own political relic and dinosaur Winston Peters. However, your canine crusader was relieved to discover it was not some covert political posturing by WRC, but part of a new campaign it is running with DoC to save the Archey’s frogs. Further proof the council was not backing the NZ First leader is that it plans to use 1080 to kill the rats preying on the helpless frogs – which Winny and his cronies strongly oppose. Perhaps banning this 1080 operation will be one more of NZ First’s endless list of ‘bottom lines’.

THE HOUND needs to understand all this fascination with cats. Wannabe politician Gareth Morgan got noticed by calling for mandatory cat killing. Then the bored do-gooders sitting around local council tables decided their communities needed – along with a tax on plastic bags – a blanket law to ‘promote responsible cat ownership’. Now the NZVA (national vet body) is backing legislation to enable local councils to ‘regulate and enforce responsible cat management at a local level’. NZVA says responsible cat ownership includes ‘recognising that cats have both positive and negative impacts on local communities, and managing the negative impacts’. Your old mate reckons we could save a whole lot of time and hassle by getting rid of these feline pests and getting canine pets instead.

THIS OLD mutt sympathises with local pig farmers and inclines towards their call for countryof-origin labelling. All the more because Kiwis buying bacon labelled ‘manufactured in New Zealand’ think they’re getting Kiwi rashers. They’re not: most ‘NZ made’ bacon comes from pigs raised overseas. Latest figures (from May this year) show 42.4% of imported pork came from Spain, 12.8% from Finland and 10.4% each from the US and Canada. NZ produces about 45,000 tonnes of pig meat a year, but imports about 65,000 tonnes. NZ supermarkets don’t have to state bacon’s country of origin, quietly misleading shoppers to think the product is local. NZ labelling rules only require a label saying where the product was made.

PRODUCTION: Dave Ferguson ........................Ph 09 913 9633 davef@ruralnews.co.nz Becky Williams ........................Ph 09 913 9634 beckyw@ruralnews.co.nz REPORTERS: Sudesh Kissun ....................... Ph 09 913 9627 Pamela Tipa ............................. Ph 09 620 7811 Peter Burke .............................Ph 06 362 6319 Nigel Malthus ...................... Ph 021 164 4258 MACHINERY EDITOR: Mark Daniel ............................. Ph 021 906 723 or 07 824 1190 SUB-EDITOR: Neil Keating ............................Ph 09 913 9628

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ABC audited circulation 80,580 as at 30/09/2016

WEBSITE PRODUCER: Jessica Wilson ........................ Ph 09 913 9621

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


RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

OPINION 23

Why agriculture matters to NZ AMONGST THE more enjoyable things to see in this world is the enthusiasm and commitment shown by younger members of society to something they believe in. It might be the school play, or their sporting team. It might be dinosaurs, the night sky or recycling… whatever, their fascination draws in others, particularly parents and grandparents. When the focus of their enthusiasm and commitment is the primary sector, it is not just their family that gets involved, it is the whole industry. This has been apparent at two national events in the last couple of months. The Royal Agricultural Society Rural Ambassador was chosen in Wanaka at the end of June, and the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Competition was held in Manawatu at the beginning of July. For three days seven contestants in the Young Farmer Competition, each of whom had won at club, district and regional finals, battled themselves and each other in physical and mental challenges testing all aspects of what it takes to be a farmer – and in particular, a New Zealand farmer. Not for us the subsidies of the northern hemisphere, or the specialities available in the huge corporate farms in the US or Canada. In NZ ‘number 8 wire’ is synonymous with attitude and ‘can do’. Over the years, the competition has developed, testing business analysis and human resource management, and the practical side. Ideas are examined as well, and this year it was noticeable that environment was at the fore. Each of the business proposals in the Agmardt Agribusiness Innovation challenge featured the environmental aspects of the plan. Certainly the spending required, the risks and the possible profit, plus the time-

and ‘natural scenery and environment’ highly (9.1). People in NZ rated 8.5 and ‘agriculture and farming’ 8.2. Six other categories, including sport (7.8) and art and artistic achievements (6.9) rated below agriculture and farming. frame involved, had been evaluated, but in all cases a main thrust of the proposal was environmental savings; whether through genetic engineering, a new chemical application system, animal number reduction, integrated management system or improved welfare, it was the environment that benefitted as well as the bottom line. Highest output. A similar theme was apparent at the Royal Agricultural Society Rural Ambassador selection. The six finalists had emerged top in their regions, and though the final process was not as physical as in the Young Farmer Competition, it was a gruelling day of interviews and then speeches. Particularly strong in this competition was the emphasis on engagement with urban counterparts, environmental perceptions and encouragement of youth. At both competitions support for the competitors was palpable. Many generations – children, parents, grandparents, on farm, in industry and from policy and education – were present, despite both finals coinciding with All Blacks test matches against the Lions. Wellbeing Statistics 2017, released by Statistics New Zealand last month, helps to explain why: agriculture and farming matter in defining NZ. Most NZers are satisfied with life: about 83% rate their overall satisfaction as 7 or above on a 0-10 scale. We have a strong sense of belonging (8.6) and value ‘freedom, rights and peace’

LATEST STORIES EVERY DAY Get up-to-date news at www.ruralnewsgroup.co.nz

Of particular note is that within the age group breakdown at least quarter of the 15-24-yearolds gave agriculture and farming a 10 out of 10 rating in defining NZ. The environment was their highest score (almost half gave it a 10). In comparison, about 40% of over

65-year-olds rated agriculture and farming 10/10, and about 57% rated natural scenery and the environment a 10. All generations recognise that both environment and agriculture are important in defining NZ. The primary sector is the foundation for the

export economy. The StatsNZ report indicates that the older people recognise this and value its contribution. So do at least some of the younger generation. And from the enthusiasm and commitment seen recently, NZers can be heartened that the

future is in good hands; economy, environment and education are the foundation. • Jacqueline Rowarth is chief scientist at Environmental Protection Authority and was involved in assessing and interviewing in both competitions.

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RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

24 OPINION

Farmers are already paying for water use ANDREW CURTIS

SUGGESTIONS THAT farmers should be taxed for water use ignores the fact that irrigators are already paying for the water they use.

Irrigation New Zealand calculates the average cost of water supplied by irrigation schemes every two years, and in 2016 the average cost was $780/ha/year – 14 cents/cubic metre.

is extra. The cost to install irrigation equipment onfarm is $5000 - $9000/ ha plus annual maintenance costs. For rates, as an example, a 100ha irrigated sheep and beef

However, this figure only includes the infrastructure required to take and supply the water. The cost of the infrastructure onfarm and increased rates – because irrigated land is of higher value –

Irrigation NZ says it makes no sense to impose a water tax on one sector when we all use water.

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for low income families promised in this year’s budget? Tax water and all of it, plus more, would disappear on higher food, energy and travel costs. Taxing water isn’t an effective way to incentivise water use efficiency or clean up our rivers. Farmers and growers are already spending heavily on improvements – $1.7 billion upgrading irrigation infrastructure since 2011; reducing their income would reduce the amount they could spend on this. The means to conserve water and improve water quality is to continuously improve how irrigators use water, protecting water and water quality through regulation and good practice, and increasing reliability and security so we’re not adversely impacted by climate change. • Andrew Curtis is chief executive of Irrigation New Zealand @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

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property pays at least $2000/year more in rates than the equivalent dryland property. On top of this, farmers also pay for the monitoring and reporting on water use done by local councils every year and to improve their environmental performance so they comply with environmental limits. It makes no sense to impose a water tax on one sector when we all use water. Everyone in NZ benefits from water so common sense would say a water tax should be applied to everyone who uses it. You can’t just tax people you don’t like, such as foreigners who bottle it and sell it offshore, or farmers, because you think they’re getting it free when they’re not. Applying a water tax to farming will hit NZ households because in the end a tax on commercial use would be passed on to domestic consumers. That extra few dollars

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KIWI VETS vets have a new chief veterinary officer, Dr Helen Beattie, newly appointed by the New Zealand Veterinary Association. NZVA says Beattie was selected from an outstanding field of professionals for her “unparalleled breadth of experience and skill vital to this key leadership role”. She will join NZVA from the leadership of Otago SPCA where she is director of animal welfare and a warranted animal welfare inspector, which “arms her with the thorough understanding of the Animal Welfare Act needed for this role”. Beattie is also volunteer president of the NZVA companion animal veterinarians branch and is on the executive board of the New Zealand Companion Animal Council and the New Zealand Companion Animal Trust. NZVA chief executive Mark Ward says Beattie has a significant role to play on behalf of vets nationwide. “We are fortunate to have a professional with nationally recognised companion animal credentials and broad understanding of the challenges facing NZ’s rural sector,” Ward says.


RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

OPINION 25

Transforming NZ and dairy’s future JUDITH SWALES

“THIS MOST extraordinary story has got me rocking.” So said Kim Campbell, chief executive of the Employers and Manufacturers Association, as Fonterra’s global foodservice business won the 2017 ExportNZ Supreme Award for Auckland and Waikato regions. It’s a success Campbell, dairy farmers and employees – in fact all New Zealand – can take pride in; we all have a stake in this. Fonterra’s foodservice unit is growing at 20% a year and we aim to build this into a $5 billion-ayear business by 2023,

in line with the Government’s plan to double the value of primary sector exports by 2025. We’re always looking to maximise the value of milk, and science and R&D are creating highreturn products for traditional and new markets. We add extra value to about 70% of our export dairy products, by innovation, brands, partnerships and services. Almost five billion litres of co-op milk goes into the foodservice business and we will add another 400 million litres this financial year, meaning 12% of the milk pool will go into global foodservice products. R&D by scientists and

Judith Swales

researchers in the co-op and in universities and research centres in NZ and offshore contribute to developing these products. For example, our quick-frozen mozzarella is used as topping on half the pizzas in China, made in our new $240m plant in Clandeboye -- the biggest spend on a foodservice-product plant by the NZ dairy industry.

Also, innovations in UHT beverages and whipping creams are often challenging markets and supply chains. Like innovative companies such as Apple, Fonterra is always working on the next evolution. These and other new products in our pipeline will help build our $5b global foodservice business and contribute to the Government reaching its primary sector export targets. All NZ – not just farmers – have a stake in this success because much of the science behind new products, the growth of the co-op’s foodservice business and the export award has been funded by the Transform-

best and brightest young minds, bringing more people into dairy science careers and into contact with the world’s top scientists. An independent panel of global dairy experts is highly rating our food science, saying it may be the top science scheme of its type in the world. This is reflected in the co-op’s awards for inno-

ing the Dairy Value Chain (TDVC) Primary Growth Partnership, a sevenyear, $170m scheme led by Fonterra and DairyNZ and partnered by the Ministry for Primary Industries. The TDVC has helped the co-op achieve a global strategy at a scale and speed otherwise impossible. It has helped fund the work of some of NZ’s

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GOVT AND INDUSTRY TWIDDLING THEIR THUMBS I READ with amusement the headline ‘Blame Canada’ (Rural News July 4). This is just big business and big business will always push the boundaries as long as they can. If they don’t we will; the dollar is king. A case not long ago happened with the kiwifruit industry: a Chinese court found them guilty and imposed a heavy fine. To think that people up top in the industry did not know what was going on borders on the ridiculous.

vation and R&D, notably NZ Innovators awards in each of the past four years. Three of these, including the mozzarella and research into paediatric nutrition, are seen as cutting-edge science. • Judith Swales is Fonterra’s chief operating officer, velocity and innovation.

Milk powder is big business worldwide. There are many countries throughout the world affected by the Canadians’ action. Together they can easily force Canadians to retract; if they act individually Canada can ignore them. Countries would have enough economic clout to achieve this if they worked together, but then, if they were like our government, who could say? The trade Minister Todd McClay said it would take four or five months

before the government was in a position to make a decision on either initiating or joining a case at the WTO against the Canadians. The dairy industry is not concerned how long the government takes to decide whether to bring a complaint against Canada for its milk pricing policies. It appears big business has learned from politicians: procrastination is the order of the day. Terry Newton, RD2, Whakatane (Abridged)

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RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

26 MANAGEMENT

Plenty of sweet ideas for beekeepers NIGEL MALTHUS

REMOTE BEEHIVE monitoring company Hivemind is undeterred by a shortfall in a crowdfunding effort to test demand for a hobbyist version of its product. Hivemind, of Christchurch, produces a satellite-connected beehive monitoring system for remote hive sites, even those out of mobile coverage. The system primarily monitors beehive weight, hive temperature, humidity and site rainfall. A wireless site hub collects the readings from individual hives and uploads the data via a satellite link to the company’s webserver, to be made available to clients online. Earlier this year, the company started an Indiegogo campaign to crowdfund its work on a cheaper hobbyist version, which would connect via domestic wireless and smartphones rather than satellite, and be suitable for backyard beekeepers. The campaign fell short of its funding target. “I guess we found out what we needed to from that: no, it’s not something the hobbyists are keen on at the moment,” said Hivemind director

Berwyn Hoyt. “I’m not sure of the reason for that, and it’s a pity in some ways because that would’ve been a nice way to break into the hobbyist market.” But with about 300 commercial customers now in Australia and New Zealand, the company is looking ahead and again exhibited at the recent national Apiculture Conference in Rotorua. Hoyt says their key products are hive scales which sit under a hive, and the hive strength monitor which clips to the side. Return customers say their products are among the most reliable available, after overcoming weatherproofing issues. Careful attention to power consumption allows them to run on simple small batteries. Hoyt says hive weight is the primary sensor for productivity, showing how much honey is coming in. Hivemind also offers an infra-red sensor to monitor hive doorway activity, effectively counting bees going in and out. Hoyt says that’s a key indicator for the pollination market. “Growers need to know that the hives they’re hiring are actually working well. Because they have no way to tell, they’re taking the beekeeper’s

Berywn Hoyt of Brush Technology and Hivemind, with the beehive monitoring hardware at the company’s Christchurch office. PHOTO: RURAL NEWS GROUP

word for it that their hives are healthy. “So this is a way that pollinators can offer a higher quality product and say, ‘we can actually measure this now and this is what you’re getting’.” Hivemind has grown out of Brush Technology, a Christchurch hi-tech design consultancy, which Hoyt

founded with his brothers Bryan and Ben, chiefly to develop other people’s product ideas. “Brush decided at one point that we wanted a product of our own; we asked ‘what’s it going to be?’ It ended up being Hivemind,” he says. The idea of hive monitoring came

from a chance conversation between a beekeeper and an associate of the Hoyts – Professor Keith Alexander, the inventor of the springless trampoline. “We were looking for a product of our own to develop, so we did our market research, asked beekeepers what they needed, and this is what came out.” Hoyt says the “big plan” now is to develop new sensors and analytics to make Hivemind the industry standard for monitoring hive health. “Hive health is a big one. People are concerned about bees right now and rightly so.” “We need to get our product to the point where not only are they measuring productivity, which they’re doing right now, and how well the bees are pollinating, but early indication of disease.” Hoyt says they would like to put sensors on every hive, rather than at present where the system provides a kind-of site average, i.e. on a site of 30 - 100 hives only four or five may have sensors. They are also working on new low-cost satellite technology which he reckons could be a “game-changer” in hardware and data costs.

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to ek holiday e w 6 a r o afte stalled me back t o c o t we had in d s e e t lv c a e v p x s perature the brass t what I e m o t e n u t o is d s a n p h r o we’ve go. Tu worksh ire er where 2 years a t A flooded in r e w t g the ent y in in r w u s b u e r a h c e t t , n d g urin nd faile orth Ca Europe d frozen a job in a N d a e h h t s o e t up e valv were not One of th . C s rywhere. e e v e r e d g r e e d t a 9 s w I explaine a . w k c e a r b drop to e s h u in. T elcome riendly nk to dra ver to w o e m e frost f a water ta c ’r y r e u h o t b h y neig alves e mess m sen Ball V h n t a H p u e h g t in “Try clean As I was nd he said a d products.” e n n e e p s p n a a h H t ll a like a risk to him wh warranty I wouldn’t . e d im e ll t a e t f li s in can a ars on I ll Valves and have a e y B 2 n . e ll s a n w Ha them st I had 5 ne replaced ilt and mo I u r b e o t ll s e la w in s a y r g ll rea of hou alves a tough and A couple ose old v e h r t a h s it e w lv eir va looding n now. Th another f e s n a H g ays usin ndly. say I’m alw rost frie f e ’r y e h ly, t important en! anks Hans h t t c u od Great pr r, Oxford e m r a f , n Dawso - Adrian

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RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

28 MANAGEMENT

N diverted to milk yield means l Research shows that cows bred for low urea concentration end up using more nitrogen for milk protein productions. Sudesh Kissun reports... within 20 years is possible by using genetics to breed cows with lower levels of MUN. Now, further analysis indicates where at least some of the nitrogen goes if not into urea. This finding is thought to be a world-first in demonstrating variation between cows of differing genotypes for how they partition dietary nitrogen eaten in the form of protein. CRV Ambreed researcher Phil Beatson says dairy cattle convert nitrogen consumed into five areas: milk (protein + urea), growth (muscle), dung, gases and urine. “From an environmental perspective, we

CRV Ambreed’s research scientist Phil Beatson.

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of the amount of nitrogen contained as milk urea and there’s strong international evidence of a direct connection between MUN and the amount of nitrogen excreted in urine when cows are fed varying diets; cows with low MUN excrete less nitrogen as urine. CRV Ambreed says its research has shown it is possible to breed cows that genetically have lower MUN. These cows are then expected to excrete less nitrogen as urine and consequently less nitrogen will be leached into groundwater. Calculations by the company show a reduction of 20% in leaching

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has been researched for decades, to discover how to make cows more efficient in the way they use dietary protein. The relationship between milk urea and the percentage of protein in milk identified by CRV Ambreed should give scientists new leads for that work, the company says. It has begun marketing semen from 20 existing, high-performing bulls under its LowN Sires brand. The bulls are desirable for traditional traits and are genetically superior in their ability to reduce concentration of milk urea nitrogen (MUN) in their daughters. MUN is a measure

in

CRV AMBREED says its genetic research into reducing nitrogen leaching on New Zealand dairy farms has identified that a proportion of the nitrogen is diverted away from the cow’s urea, going into milk protein. The company says this finding gives it further confidence that breeding cows for low milk urea concentration will not only reduce the amount of nitrogen excreted in their urine, but will also increase the efficiency with which dietary nitrogen is used for milk protein production. The search to understand precisely how animals partition the nitrogen they consume


RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

MANAGEMENT 29

s less excretion saw urine as being the big issue because of its impact on water quality,” Beatson says. “And we asked, can we breed cows that have reduced MUN? And if so do these cows excrete less nitrogen as urine? “Now we know that we can reduce MUN through breeding, and that these low-MUN cows will partition more dietary nitrogen from milk urea towards milk protein. This strongly indicates that low-MUN cows will excrete less nitrogen as urine because they divert some nitrogen away from milk urea and into milk protein.” This means not only can LowN Sires and a low-MUN approach be used to breed for environmental gains, but also possibly for an increase in animal efficiency. Beatson says modelling and genetic analysis of the LowN Sires bulls suggests about 25% of the nitrogen that will be diverted away from urine in their daughters will go into milk protein. Higher percentages of milk protein is good news for milk processing companies wanting less water in the drying process. He understands the

low-MUN and high percentage protein genetic link is a world-first and so could be a clue to understanding how animals partition the nitrogen they are fed. “Animal nutritionists will be extremely interested in our finding as there have been decades of research into nitrogenuse efficiency.” Beatson says this discovery could be the tip of a research iceberg. “A huge effort has been made over the last 70 years trying to understand nitrogen partitioning and that’s produced some interesting trends but nothing conclusive. Now NZ scientists may target groups of animals known to be diverse for MUN to investigate differences in how they partition dietary nitrogen.” He says while breeding versus feeding cows are different avenues in reducing nitrogen excreted as urine, the two are expected to be additive. “In other words, genetic gains will add to gains from better feeding.” It may also have implications for other than dairy cows. “This research gives us confidence that cows bred for reduced-MUN will parti-

tion nitrogen differently and this is likely to be true for all ruminants.” Phase 2 of the research will study groups of animals genetically different for MUN to understand more precisely the relationship between reducing MUN and reducing nitrogen in urine.

Genetic research into reducing nitrogen leaching on dairy farms has identified that a proportion of N diverted away from cows’ urea goes into milk protein.

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LESS N IN COW URINE THE PRIMARY cause of nitrogen leached into the ground and waterways is cows’ urine having very high concentration of N and being deposited in small patches. Some of the nitrogen excreted is converted to gas, some is taken up by plants and a substantial amount is leached, with soil-type affecting the proportion that is leached. CRV Ambreed, with the input of other researchers, has spent five years investigating the genetics of milk urea nitrogen (MUN). The rationale has been that if it’s possible to reduce MUN through traditional genetic selection means, and providing the relationship between MUN and amount of nitrogen excreted in urine holds, then the genetically improved animals for MUN will excrete less urinary nitrogen and hence leaching per animal and per hectare can be reduced. “Cows bred for lower levels of MUN are expected to excrete less nitrogen in their urine which will, in turn, reduce the amount of nitrogen leached when cows are grazed on pasture,” CRV Ambreed researcher Phil Beatson says. “It could save NZ 10 million kg in nitrogen leaching per year within 10 years, based on the national herd number of 6.5 million dairy cattle. Farmers who start a breeding programme for low-MUN now add another tool to their farming systems to manage nitrate leaching and are looking at potential nitrogen leaching reductions of 10-12% by 2025.” That’s significant, Beatson says, and it comes with minimal or no disruption to normal farm management.

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RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

30 MANAGEMENT

Best in show is pro fitter’s aim NIGEL MALTHUS

“HAVE CLIPPERS, will travel” could be the motto of Mid-Canterbury’s Luke Gilbert. One of a five-generation, prominent Canterbury dairying family, Gilbert (20) is forging a career as a professional

fitter – someone who grooms and prepares animals for showing. The role has taken him to several shows in Australia, including the big Sydney Easter Show. Winter is the off-season for the New Zealand show calendar, but Gilbert recently worked

at a show in Malanda, North Queensland, and has more work lined up in coming weeks in Queensland and NSW. He’s also planning trips to a show in the UK in the new year, and the World Dairy Expo in Wisconsin in October, regarded as North Amer-

ica’s largest and most important dairy cattle show. Gilbert is from a keen showing family – his father Peter is this year’s Canterbury A&P Show chairman – and says he has been showing cattle himself “since I was born, pretty much”.

He has been fitting professionally for about two years. He practised on the family’s animals since he was “very young”, and attended a training camp at age 11. “Some weekends, on a Sunday if I had nothing on, I would bring four in, just to practise and get

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Luke Gilbert clips the topknot of a 10-month old heifer on the family stud, Glenalla, near Winchmore in Mid-Canterbury. PHOTO: RURAL NEWS GROUP

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better.” Usually working for a daily rate plus expenses, Gilbert is building his business by word of mouth. He specialises in fitting dairy cattle because that is where his experience lies. For a standard fitting, a dairy animal would be shorn all over apart from the belly and a strip along the spine, which is carefully trimmed and set with hair spray and blowdried to be as near as possible straight. The idea is “nothing too fancy” but something that shows off the bone quality and the breed’s conformation. A perfectly straight top line makes a good first impression to catch the judges’ eyes. His most successful show yet was this year’s New Zealand Dairy Event in Feilding. He and his father and a brother prepared 27 animals in a week -- their own and for two other exhibitors. They clocked up one champion, one reserve champion and a class winner. Gilbert says he would usually do 10-15 animals at a show. For some clients, the job starts with Gilbert himself picking the best animals to show from the herd. For the next few days the show

animals get a wash, two or more grooming sessions and a special diet. He says hay seems to firm them up better than grass. Big shows can mean five or six days onsite, with someone rostered to stay up with the animals overnight, to make sure they stay clean and settled. No matter who he is working for or what level of show, Gilbert prides himself on doing the best job possible. “It’s my name on the line, for a start. And I love seeing the transformation you can do to an animal.” While inexperienced animals may be a bit wary of the clippers, Gilbert says they soon appear to appreciate being groomed. “You can tell they prefer not having a lot of hair on them at the show. They relax and start eating a lot more.” Meanwhile, Gilbert also works as an area manager for AB company Semex. He says the two roles work together well since both involve meeting and talking with dairy farmers. Winter is a busy time in the Semex role, as farmers are already sorting out their requirements for mating before calving starts.

LATEST STORIES EVERY DAY Get up-to-date news at www.ruralnewsgroup.co.nz


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RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

ANIMAL HEALTH 31

New animal welfare regulations set higher standards

Off-shears. Tough on lice.

PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

PAIN RELIEF for disbudding cattle will be mandatory under new animal welfare regulations. It is among 46 new regulations under the Animal Welfare Act (1999) recently announced by the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy. The disbudding regulation will come into effect in October 2019 to give time for the industry to prepare. The New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) has welcomed the new regulations and believes they’re a win for the wellbeing of our animals and further reinforce NZ’s internationally recognised animal welfare standards. The new regulations set out a number of changes supported by the NZVA including: Cattle disbudding: pain relief when disbudding cattle will be mandatory under the new regulations. “The NZVA has long signalled the importance of pain relief for procedures such as this. It views pain relief for disbudding as being accessible, practical, effective, and affordable.” Animal transportation: the proposed regulations will make existing restrictions on the trucking of lame, diseased, or ill animals enforceable. “This reinforces the critical role veterinarians have to play in NZ in protecting animal welfare through ensuring that only animals fit and sound are transported.” NZVA also notes that tail docking in dogs and removal of front dew claw in dogs will be banned. “The NZVA acknowledges the enormous amount of work and consultation that has gone into the development of these regulations and we applaud the ministry’s

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commitment to animal welfare in delivering them,” NZVA head of veterinary services Dr Callum Irvine says. Guy confirmed 46 new animal welfare regulations will be developed this year. “Changes we made to the Animal Welfare Act in 2015 have allowed us to create directly enforceable regulations. “This has given the act more teeth, and creates more tools to deal with mistreatment of animals,” says Guy. “These 46 regulations include stock transport, farm husbandry, companion and working animals, pigs, layer hens and the way animals are accounted for in research, testing and teaching. “These follow the young calf and live animal export regulations which we fast-tracked and introduced last year. They helped to reduce by at least 50% the mortality rates for bobby calves during the 2016 season.”   Last year, the Ministry for Primary Industries consulted on 91 animal welfare regulations and received at least 1400

submissions from a wide range of individuals and organisations, all with different perspectives on animal welfare. MPI will now focus on having the next 46 regulations ready by the end of this year and to come into effect by October 2018. The delay will enable farmers, processors, truckers and others to get their systems are up and

running before the new regulations take effect. The remaining regulations consulted on last year will be considered in a third package of work in 2018, for introduction in 2019. “In 2014, NZ’s animal welfare system was ranked first equal out of 50 countries assessed by the global animal protection charity World Animal Protection,” says Guy.

“Animal welfare is extremely important to NZers and to our international consumers. We take good care of our animals but one bad incident can damage our reputation. “That’s why these new regulations are important, providing greater enforcement and helping protect animals.” @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

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RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

32 ANIMAL HEALTH

Not every orphan lamb can be warmed by fire A MASTERTON farming family is giving orphan lambs a fighting chance of surviving the unpredictability of harsh, early spring weather. Matt and Lynley Wyeth, and their two sons, Alex and Cameron,

farm 1600ha at Spring Valley in Kaituna. Heavy snows in 2010 cost them dearly with 1000 lambs perishing overnight in the freezing conditions. Since then they’ve been working to reduce losses as much as possible.

“There are only so many lambs you can bring back to the house and put in front of the fire, so we watched helplessly as all our work, and ultimately profit, was washed away. We decided not to go through that

The Wyeth’s indoor housing set-up for orphan and triplet lambs.

again, so we set up an indoor facility where we can make sure the motherless lambs not only survive but thrive,” Matt Wyeth explains. “We feel we have an animal welfare obligation to give everything a fighting chance; essentially we’re a sheep and beef business with an orphan lamb system running inside. It also helps to minimise our business risk and build resilience into our farming system.” The couple has spread their risk and workload over five lambing dates and land class units. Rather than put all their stock at risk of being hit by one storm they’ve staggered breeding so the risk is spread over five dates. The Wyeths also put different mobs on different land classes depending on their physical attributes and lambing requirements. “For example, we bring the highest risk ewes (two-tooths and triplets) closer to home where we can have a higher influence on them. Our latestage ewes (having single lambs) are put on our high country because of its later growth curve and warmth.” Wyeth and his team also align their pasture productivity to maximise the lambing carcase weight (per hectare) leaving the property. They use all forage-based pas-

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ture – fodder beet, rape and plantain on the flat country and ryegrass and native grass on the hill country, monitoring their soil and water nutrients very closely. “We’re making sure we are sustainable while ensuring our stock are efficient in converting the nutrients into available product as quickly and efficiently as possible. Ravensdown monitors and measures all our nutrients for us and completed our farm environmental management plan,” he adds. “Ravensdown is a part of our team. We regularly seek the advice of Greig McLeod, senior agri manager, and Paul McKee, animal health advisor. They’re another part of the cog in our enterprise, making sure our inputs and policies are correct for the season, the environment and expected productivity.” The farm’s lambing percentage now constantly hits 160% from 14,000 stock units, reflecting the farm’s mantra, ‘proud and passionate about our industry, where efficiency meets farming’.

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RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

ANIMAL HEALTH 33

Transport a focus of new animal welfare rules PAM TIPA

Nil meat witholding.

pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

A NUMBER of new regulations on the trucking of livestock are to be progressed this year to take effect by October 1, 2018. The transport proposals are significant among 46 regulations ready to be delivered by the end of this year and to come into effect next year, says the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy. After wide consultation, restrictions on the trucking of lame sheep was one of a few proposals still causing divergent opinions, Guy says in a cabinet briefing paper on the proposal. “The proposed regulations will make existing restrictions on the transportation of lame animals, including sheep, enforceable,” he says in the paper. “This proposal was supported by about 90% of submissions received on the issue following public consultation; however affected industry groups have raised concerns about the impacts of this proposal on sheep farmers. “It is likely that there is a significant level of under-reporting in respect of noncompliance with existing minimum standards on the transportation of lame sheep.” Research by MPI in 2013 found that about 1% of sheep transported for slaughter within the study displayed lameness at the level targeted by the proposed regulations, he says in the paper. “The restrictions proposed do not impose new obligations on sheep farmers, but are intended to address issues of non-compliance with existing standards. “We anticipate that this will encourage improved management of lameness in sheep at an earlier stage, which is the behaviour change the regulations are trying to achieve. “In the first instance, MPI will take an educative approach to

Nil Lice. Nil worries. assist affected farmers into voluntary compliance. This will include significant work with industry to ensure farmers are aware of their obligations under the regulations.” Proposals on transportation as outlined in the MPI briefing paper: Proposals to be progressed in 2017 with implementation by October 1, 2018: $500 infringement fees. Ingrown horns: permitting an animal with ingrown horns to be trucked will be an offence. As with a number of the proposals, onfarm trucking is allowed with a veterinary certificate. About 75% of ingrown horns detected at slaughter premises relate to beef cattle. Animals with bleeding horns or antlers: an offence to permit trucking of an animal with bleeding, discharging or broken (unhealed) antler, horn or pedicle. Onfarm exceptions with veterinary certificate. A number of specific requirements apply to deer. Animals with horns and antlers: an offence to permit the trucking of an animal with horns or antlers so that the animal injures itself or another animal during transport. Abrasions caused in transport (back-rub): an offence to truck

livestock in a manner that causes a skin abrasion that is bleeding or discharging and is larger than 50cm2 , on the head, hips, neck, spine or high points on the back (back-rub). Back-rub commonly occurs where stock are too tall for the stock crates and their head, spine, hip bones or tail-head rub raw on the deck above. Injuries caused during transport: an offences to load, unload or transport an animal in a manner that causes acute injury that is bleeding. Lame animals: an offence to permit a lame animal to be trucked. Onfarm exceptions with veterinary certificate. Lameness is a known compliance issue that causes pain and distress and is likely to be made worse by trucking. Once the new regulation takes effect MPI considers that farmers will adopt the following mitigation strategies: changing management practices to detect and address lameness earlier; treating lame sheep before sending them to the works; disposing of lame sheep on farm. Animals in late pregnancy: trucking livestock in late preg-

nancy will be an offence. Veterinary exceptions available for onfarm. A late pregnancy is when the animal gives birth to viable young either during trucking or within 24 hours of arrival at a commercial slaughter premises or saleyard. A stricter rule applies to deer reflecting the greater risks for pregnant hinds. The regulation is not intended to target an occasional mistake. Animals with injured or diseased udders: an offence to permit trucking of an animal that has: 1) a necrotic udder or an udder that has discharge other than milk; 2) an udder that shows signs of inflammation such as a red, hot or swollen; or 3) an udder with a lesion that is bleeding or discharging. Onfarm veterinary exceptions allowed. Primarily aimed at dairy cattle suppliers. Animals with eye cancer: an offence to truck an animal with late-stage eye cancer. Veterinary certificate exceptions allowed onfarm. Animals with an earlystage eye cancer that is not causing irritation to the eyeball are not intended to be covered by this regulation.

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RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

34 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

JD and Kramer in sales deal The Kramer range includes nine compact wheel loaders, four telescopic wheel loaders and nine telehandlers.

MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

JOHN DEERE has allied with Kramer-Werke, a German materials handling gear maker, to distribute the latter’s products via the JD dealer network. The move, the first for the global giant in the sector since it bought the rights to Matbro machines in the late 1990s, will see the Kramer gear selling via JD dealerships in

Europe, then CIS, North Africa and the Middle East. As the market for such machines matures in Oceania this supply chain is likely to be the preferred route. Interestingly, the availability of the Kramer machines comes just as JD nears the end of an agreement with harvest specialist Claas, to which it supplied Scorpion telehandlers; Claas will in future source machines from Liebherr. The Kramer range is wide: nine

compact wheel loaders, four telescopic wheel loaders and nine telehandlers, all made at Pullendorf, Germany. Kramer is part of the big Wacker-Neuson Group. JD and Kramer are calling the deal – still subject to sanction by anti-trust authorities -- a win-win for both. JD will fill a gap in its product offering with machines from a respected supplier and Kramer will get a bigger agricultural footprint

NOT YOUR AVERAGE TRACTOR! THE TRACTOR and Machinery Association (TAMA), representing importers and manufacturers of tractors and farm machinery, is applauding the Ministry of Primary Industries for intercepting a contaminated combine harvester imported from the UK. But TAMA says bigger fines must be levied to strongly deter intentional biosecurity breaches. Christchurch company Gateway Cargo Systems Ltd in early June was prosecuted by MPI and fined $3000 after it said a contaminated combine harvester it had imported from the UK was new. An inspection at the border found it had been used, requiring it to be stripped down and cleaned of 700 litres of soil and farm waste from the header unit. MPI says it could have caused “incalculable damage” to the NZ

environment. “We commend MPI for its efforts on this case,” says TAMA president Roger Nehoff. “It would be easy to rely on import paperwork and this shows yet again that MPI’s biosecurity system works exceptionally well. “However, we are concerned the $3000 fine is too low and will not be a sufficient deterrent to importers who are often paying upwards of $50,000 for a machine including import and transport costs. We would like to work with MPI to

explore whether these fines could be increased. “It is disappointing to see some importers are not taking care to keep NZ farming safe. Each company must ensure machinery and parts are clean. Biosecurity protection works best when everyone – MPI and industry – does their bit.” Nehoff warned farmers to only buy machinery from an accredited dealer with reputable processes for cleaning. “You need to be confident a secondhand machine had been cleaned property

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before it left its country of origin. If it gets stopped -- and it will -- the machine will likely need to be waterblasted, which could cause damage if water gets into sensors or the electrical system. “The costs of cleaning and repairs, which can involve complete disassembly, will be passed to the purchaser importing the machine.” Nehoff says all TAMA members follow MPI’s import procedures including using an accredited facility to receive containers and machinery.

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RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS 35

Ballast takes the strain IF LIFTING suitcase weights on and off the front of your tractor is a pain in the back, a neat set-up recently shown in the UK on a John Deere 7R series might be a solution. The E-Z Ballast System, built by Deere’s long-term partner LaForge, uses a hydraulic arm to do the work, taking the strain where weights, though not needed, might otherwise be left on a tractor because of that already mentioned pain. Adding 1700kg under the centre of the tractor, the layout ensures the extra ballast is distributed

The JD 4640 Universal Display enables customers to use the most common and popular JD applications, including AutoTrac and Section.

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between all four wheels. In operation, a 370kg sub-frame is mounted under the tractor, using the existing chassis rails; it remains a semi-permanent fixture. To add weight the

Universal display for green machines Rust-free MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

THE NEW John Deere 4640 Universal Display enables customers to use the most common and popular John Deere applications, including AutoTrac and Section Control, in a portable display that has the latest internal components, design and user interface. The display gives better documentation for high-speed planting and nutrient applications, and the latest data syncing for greater onboard/offboard flexibility. It can more accurately map and operate Section Control to precisely apply several products simultaneously, giving individual coverage maps and application points. The display will also import new customer and product information without the risk of overwriting existing client/farm/field and guidance line information. It also has more Precision Ag Core applications, including AutoTrac, Section Control and documentation,

and wireless data transfer (WDT) with a ‘data sync’ that will automatically transmit job paperwork to the John Deere operations centre. Operating costs are claimed lower with the 4640 Display, because improved Gen 4 applications such as AutoTrac, Section Control and documentation help users work more efficiently, reduce overlap and skips and maximise inputs and field operations. Combined with Gen 4 Section Control, operators can optimise performance using distance and speed-based turning by dialling in more quickly and accurately the desired settings. A power button at the back of the 4640 Display allows operators can shutoff the display or reboot it without powering down the tractor The 4640 display is available to order now. It is compatible with John Deere 30 series to the latest 6R, 7R, 8R and 9R series tractors, and with AutoTrac Universal and AutoTrac Controller compatible competitive tractors.

operator drives over the ballast which engages hydraulic lifting arms which when actuated lift the mass up into the frame where it is secured by hydraulic locking pins.

As the ballast is recessed into the lifting frame, ground clearance is only reduced by 2.5cm; the system is plumbed directly to the tractor and doesn’t tie up any rear remote valves.

fuel MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

RUSTY FUEL tanks, the result of condensation caused by hot days and cool nights, can pollute diesel and cause problems should the tank leak and contaminate nearby land or waterways. Sebco Fuel Storage Systems, Ashburton, makes a range of bunded, self-contained and leakproof tanks from high-impact polyethylene-plastic; they are EPA compliant, safe for all environs and condensation-free. Launched in 2007, the design won innovation awards at South Island

field days and the Fieldays at Mystery Creek. Ten years on Sebco remains the only NZ maker of EPA compliant plastic-bund tanks. The extended range now includes storage for other than diesel, e.g. DEF/Ad Blue liquids and waste oil. They conform to all the rules, says Sebco managing director Ed Harrison. “Our company’s simple philosophy is that the tanks do what we say they will: keep customers’ fuel clean and rust-free, with no leaks or spills.”

Sebco managing director Ed Harrison (L) with one of the company’s fuel tanks.

CAMBRIDGE FARM ROLLERS

NEW 10ft Roller with Extension Drawbar & Screw Jack $6900 Vee Ring Roller Seeder Drill with Vee bottom seed box, hydraulic clutch, ext. drawbar, ........................ $18,800 Special rollers made to order, • All prices ex-Factory, Excl GST • Spare parts, Rings and Bearings. Competitive freight rates to the North Island 26"dia rings ............................$90.00 Ph: 0800-838 963 24"dia rings ............................$85.00 AUSTINS FOUNDRY LTD 131 King Street, Timaru www.austinsfoundry.co.nz

@rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

Feeders available from 2 bales to 24m3

Comfort included Gearing you up for success.

Spreaders available from 2-10 tonne Manufactured By

Ph 03-688 2900 Email sales@scarlett.co.nz Web www.scarlett.co.nz


RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

36 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS VOLVO CARS TO GO ALL ELECTRIC EVERY NEW Volvo from 2019 will have an electric motor, the company says. So will end its era of internal combustion power, putting electrics at the core of its future business, part of the new chapter in motoring history. Electric will span the company’s model range -- fully electric, plug-in hybrid and ‘mild’ hybrid cars. It will launch five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021, three of them Volvo and two high performance electric from

Polestar, its performance car division. Petrol and diesel plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid 48V options will be offered on all models. Volvo claims this will be among the broadest electric car offerings of any car maker. It aims to sell one million electric cars by 2025, underlining its vision of cleaner cities. It is working to reduce the carbon emissions of its vehicles and its operations, aiming for climateneutral factories by 2025.

LATEST STORIES EVERY DAY Get up-to-date news at www.ruralnewsgroup.co.nz

tunnel houses

Diesel’s days numbered? ENGINE MAKER Cummins has been the go-to engine provider for many ag machine manufacturers for decades. And who doesn’t love the sound of a big Cummins motor under load? Now it is looking closer at new technologies, notably electrics. Cummins is considering partnerships in developing “advanced technology” in power electronics, energy storage and traction motor systems. And in 2019 it will begin delivering electrified powertrains including batteryelectric and plugin hybrids. “As a global power leader for commercial and industrial markets, we are well-

positioned to win in the new and emerging technologies sphere,” says Tom Linebarger, chairman and chief executive.

“Over the last 100 years our ability to innovate and adapt has fuelled our success and we are preparing to provide a range of technologies from diesel and natural gas to fully electric and hybrid solutions.” It envisions zero-emission natural gas being a strong alternative to current offerings. Other projects include a highefficiency petrol engine said to have diesel-like durability and performance, and hydrogen, biofuel and synthetic fuels. Cummins blueskies ideas include proton exchange membranes and solid oxide fuel cells.

• Ideal addition to your block • Grow vegetables all year round and reduce your grocery bill • Very affordable and easy to install • Totally NZ made by family business making tunnelhouses for 30 years • Range of models from 2m to 8m long T/F 03 214 4262 E morrifield@clear.net.nz

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RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS 37

Implement app a first MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

ISOBUS CONTROL of implements is now a must-have on a tractor, where it can remove the need for several control boxes in a cab by allowing implement control via a tractor’s central information display. PC tablet devices are also popular for control purposes, being easily portable and using hardware often

already used daily on a farm. Claas has scored a first with its Easy onboard app, gaining AEF certification for its use as an alternative ISOBUS terminal when used on tablets. The certification clears the app for use as a universal terminal, meaning it can operate a wide range of ISOBUS compliant implements and offer auxiliary control. This latter function allows operators to assign

function buttons on AUX compatible, multi-function joysticks via the Easy app. The certified app is now listed on the official AEF database, where would-be users can check tractor and implement compatibility if they are considering ISOBUS control. The app could cut the cost of getting started with such technology, undercutting available standard ISOBUS terminals.

160 HP TRACTOR & LOADER FINANCE FROM

Oversized silage fork gets job done IF YOU’RE looking for an oversized silage fork it would be hard to go past the unit built by O’Connor Engineering, of Limerick, Ireland. Designed for loading shovels and made to special order, it offers an impressive working width of 18 feet and joins other models in the company’s J range which are offered in 10, 12, 14 and 16 feet widths. It allows a high capacity loading shovel to keep up with the output of a high-capacity forage harvester. The 18ft fork was built for a German farm contractor. Key features of O’Connor’s big silage forks are their square tines said to last longer than round tines, and hydraulic ram geometry and folding extensions made to maximise productivity. The chassis construction, particularly the main beam and folding extensions, are made using precision lasercut parts welded inside and outside for extra strength and able to cope easily with the extra stress imposed by the square tines. A hydraulic accumulator fitted to the fork keeps the folding extensions under pressure when at work, ideal from an operator’s perspective, especially when the sides of the clamp are being pulled in, the maker says. – Mark Daniel

*

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ARION 620CIS T4i with CLAAS FL120 loader New colour CIS display with a range of new features CLAAS comfort concept for uncompromised driver comfort SMART STOP transmission designed for loader work Armrest controls featuring ELECTROPILOT loader joystick Premium factory fitted CLAAS loader

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RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

38 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

Quad quandary over passenger rule WORKSAFE’S RECENT statement that carrying a passenger on a single seat quad might be acceptable in exceptional circumstances – particularly when there is no other alternative – appears to be something of a hospital pass. WorkSafe says the practice should, generally, be avoided, but if the operator assesses the risk and deems a two-up ride ok, they can do it at their own risk. But they should prepare for a sore backside in the event things go pear-shaped. This stance is at odds with the Motor Industry Association (MIA) representing the makers of quads. It clearly says quads are designed for a single rider because these machines require the rider to shift their body weight for effective con-

trol, which is severely compromised when a passenger is carried. Another issue may be the liabilities in the event of an accident. Though ACC operates on a nofault accident cover basis, things are not so clear with mainstream insurance providers. “In general, our policies are designed to address physical damage to vehicles or property and any liabilities that may result,” explains Nathan Barrett, chief underwriting and claims officer for FMG. “We also provide lim-

ited liability cover for injury to an individual, but like many insurers we have exclusions. For example, failure to operate a vehicle or machine as set out by the manufacturer’s recommendations can, but not always, result in a claim being denied.” David Crawford for the MIA suggests the statement by WorkSafe, and endorsed by the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, Michael Woodhouse, is ludicrous, as it appears that a government department professes to know more about the safe operation of quads than the people who design, manufacture and test them. And he says the Government, by condoning two-up riding, has taken onboard some of the liability of ATV owners and users should something

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Worksafe’s stance that carrying a passenger on a single seat quad might be acceptable in exceptional circumstances is at odds with the makers of quads.

go wrong, because it has chosen to contradict the manufacturer’s considered advice.

Put another way, by going with Federated Farmers and other industry body lobbying groups,

WorkSafe has managed to transfer individual responsibility to the Government, which looks to

set a dangerous precedent. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

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RURAL NEWS // AUGUST 1, 2017

RURAL TRADER 39

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Stop wastage – reduce pasture damage Standard Feeder

PO BoxC573 Tuakau 1892 Bolted & C6 Pinned (09) 236 8414 •Tel: 1 x size 15 bale Dairy PO Box 73 Tuakau PO Box 1892 73 Tuakau • 2m diameter 1892 $ Fax: (09) 236 9321 Free Range & Barn Eggs • 15 feed236 positions SD-1825 with 1Dairy collar ................$695.00 Feed Systems Tel: (09) 236 8414 Tel: (09) 8414 EX GST Dairy Dairy Email: PPP.LTD@xtra.co.nz • 25-30 animals Feed Systems SUPPLIERS OF: SD-1225 with 1 collar ................ $595.00 Fax: (09) 236 Fax: 9321(09) 236 9321 Feed Systems Feed Systems • Nest boxes - manual or SD-825 with 1 collar ..................$495.00 Email: PPP.LTD@xtra.co.nz Email: PPP.LTD@xtra.co.nz automated Industries Ltd

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Extra collars $375.00 – PRICES INCLUDE GST

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Culvert Pipes

New Zealand’s CHEAPEST Culvert Pipes! FREE joiners supplied on request. ONE STOP WATER SHOP 300mm x 6 metre ................................ $410 400mm x 6 metre ................................ $515 500mm x 6 metre ................................ $690 600mm x 6 metre ................................ $925 800mm x 6 metre .............................. $1399 1000mm x 6 metre ............................ $2175 1200mm x 6 metre ............................ $3475 ALL PRICES INCLUDE G.S.T.

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Joiners supplied FREE with culvert pipes


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Rural News 01 August 2017  

Rural News 01 August 2017

Rural News 01 August 2017  

Rural News 01 August 2017