Page 1

NEWS

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

OPINION

Dairy farmers are spending – LIC report. PAGE 13

Power Farming Group hits the United States. PAGE 29

Challenges and opportunities in the future for food. PAGE 22

TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS FEBRUARY 6, 2018: ISSUE 646 

www.ruralnews.co.nz

Fonterra’s Chinese whispers SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

FONTERRA IS heading for a bigger financial disaster over its shaky investment in Chinese company Beingmate, says Chinese dairy expert Jane Li. She told Rural News that Beingmate has lost its top spot in the Chinese infant formula market and the company is in turmoil. Li says she warned Fonterra’s top brass, including chairman John Wilson, 18 months ago about Beingmate’s “internal power struggle” and its problems in selling Fonterra’s Anmum brand infant formula. Beingmate’s share price dropped to 5.31 RMB (NZ$1.14) late last week; Fonterra paid 18 RMB/share (NZ$3.88) for its 18.8% in 2015. Li and her Kiwi partner Simon Page are the brains behind the successful NZ Milk Bar corporate stores in China, operating since 2012. They also owned the Biopure Health infant formula business; it was sold last year. She is also a senior China analyst for Auckland-based World Civilisation Forum, an independent organisation “facilitating better understanding between China and the rest of the world”. Li says she doesn’t believe the Beingmate business can be saved. “It’s time for the Fonterra board and management to come out and tell shareholders the full story,” she says. “Fonterra bosses should also have the guts to admit that investing $750m in Beingmate was a wrong move. “I feel for Fonterra farmers; that’s

why I have decided to go public with my concerns.” Wilson invited Li to meet in early 2017 in Auckland and says she had several follow-up meetings with Beingmate marketing executives where “they asked for my help to put a few issues to Fonterra leadership to address market difficulties”. After the meetings she tried to relay the concerns to Fonterra China head Christina Zhu and marketing advisor Andrew Stone. Li also showed Rural News copies of emails she wrote to Wilson, the last sent on December 21, 2017. In her email to Wilson, Li wrote that Beingmate marketing executives were frustrated at Fonterra not building the Anmum brand in China. “Beingmate tried to have constructive conversation with Christina Zhu but it doesn’t seem like she can do anything,” she wrote. Beingmate was also concerned about the wholesale price Fonterra was charging for Anmum. “Beingmate is aware that the Anmum landed cost in China is very low, yet Fonterra’s price to Beingmate is very high meaning the distribution structure is uncompetitive.” Li says as a result of the high wholesale price of Anmum, retail outlets are not keen to sell the products. When Fonterra announced the Beingmate deal, chief executive Theo Spierings said Anmum products would be sold in at least 1000 Beingmate stores and distributed into 80,000 other outlets via its distribution network; but penetration is so far well short of that figure and the outlets are

instead stocking other brands with better margins. Li said questions need to be asked on the due diligence Fonterra did on Beingmate’s store numbers at the time. “There are certainly doubts in the

market that Beingmate may not have had the store numbers they claimed,” she said. Li says patience with Fonterra among the ruling Communist Party is another concern for the co-op. “After San Lu, the DCD incident and the false botulism saga, tensions

were already strained. This terrible investment and public infighting won’t be rebuilding any confidence in Fonterra’s reputation or crisis handling ability. How many expensive mistakes can be tolerated over there?” • Fonterra responds, page 3

BAA-RN MILKING NEW ZEALAND’S fledging sheep milk industry has got a boost with a new hybrid dairy sheep created specifically for NZ conditions. Maui Milk general manager Peter Gatley says the Taupo farm milking 2000 ewes this season will provide access to genetics and knowledge for farmers interested in converting to become suppliers. Story page 8

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

NEWS 3 ISSUE 646 www.ruralnews.co.nz

Positive year ahead PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

NEWS��������������������������������������1-15 MARKETS��������������������������� 16-17 AGRIBUSINESS����������������18-19 HOUND, EDNA���������������������� 20 CONTACTS����������������������������� 20 OPINION��������������������������� 20-22 MANAGEMENT���������������23-25 ANIMAL HEALTH������������26-27 MACHINERY AND PRODUCTS���������������������� 28-30 RURAL TRADER��������������������� 31

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 30.09.2017

‘A SEASON to remember’ and ‘a profitable year for all sectors’: economic forecasters have a rosy outlook for the year. While the ASB is predicting lamb prices will stay elevated, Rabobank says the outlook is positive for “most New Zealand producers across an unusually broad base of sub-sectors”. As the second consecutive good year after a run of tougher years, 2018 looks set to generate a sense of sustained recovery in agriculture, says Rabobank NZ country banking general manager Hayley Gourley (formerly Moynihan). “The world economy is enjoying a broad-based recovery and the prices of the key commodities produced in NZ are generally high, while prices for key farm inputs, especially fertiliser, are generally low,” she said. “The bank retains a bearish outlook for the NZ dollar over the next 12 months, which further plays into the hands of the country’s export-focused agricultural producers, and we anticipate a strong performance from NZ’s key agricultural sectors in 2018.” Gourley says an additional positive for the sector was the settled nature of NZ agriculture’s downstream processing and marketing industry. “Fonterra is making money in its offshore businesses and has cleared overhanging litigation, while other dairy processors are performing well. In the meat sector, recent ownership changes have now been bedded down which have contributed towards increased profitability and reduced debt levels and there now appears to be far greater certainty about industry structure and strategy than evident in recent years,” she says. “The horticulture industry has lately made great strides in its process-

ing capability and the recent investment in post-harvest processing, storage and infrastructure looks set to continue this year.” However, she says, there could be ‘curve balls’ – dry weather limiting capacity to capitalise on better markets. “Considerable uncertainty also remains about how policy decisions made by the new coalition government will impact the rural sector, while the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis is a further local industry development which must be addressed.” Gourley says discussion continues as to where the industry should place itself on the spectrum between low cost/nimble producer and the niche/high value/ sustainability-led positioning. “The direction of government policy will become clearer as the year progresses and we will learn a lot more about the how far the government is willing to push policy on wages, foreign direct investment, carbon emissions and water. To sustain the sense of momentum in NZ agriculture, a sensible regulatory approach will be required which has the buy-in of farmers and consumers.” ASB’s senior rural economist Nathan Penny says 2018 has started where 2017 left off for lamb prices. In fact, average prices over January 2018 have been higher only in January 2012. “From here, we expect a modest seasonal decline through late summer and autumn, with lamb prices remaining strong for this time of the year.”

Rabobank’s Hayley Gourley

WHEN WE KNOW, WE’LL TELL YOU SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

Per kg lamb prices fell only 10c/kg over January 2018 versus 20c/kg average fall in the same period over the past five years. “There remains a risk that drought could see slaughter levels spike and lead prices lower than we expect. However recent rain has reduced this risk, except in the southern South Island. “All up, the 2017-18 season is shaping up as one to remember,” Penny says.

FONTERRA SAYS it is committed to being transparent with farmer shareholders on its Beingmate investment. The co-op says as an investor in Beingmate, it only has access to publicly available information on the Chinese company’s performance. “When we have a meaningful update on Beingmate’s direction, farmers will be the first to know,” a Fonterra spokesman told Rural News. Asked if Fonterra was rethinking its investment in Beingmate, the spokesman said the strategic rationale for partnership with a leading local infant formula brand still stands. “But we are disappointed the company hasn’t maximised the opportunity created by the new registration rules.” Fonterra points out that its partnership with Beingmate has enabled Anmum to expand from 60 to 184 cities; Anmum infant formula is now in at least 10,000 stores in China, on all the major e-commerce platforms, and is one of the top performers in Beingmate’s product range. “It’s important to understand that the 80,000 retail stores was a reference to Beingmate’s footprint in China; however, as Anmum is a premium brand Beingmate has made the decision to focus on 10,000 stores to reach the right target consumers.”

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

4 NEWS

M.bovis farm infections hit 21 NIGEL MALTHUS

THE TOTAL number of farms infected with the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis has reached 21. Another farm was confirmed positive in South Canterbury/North Otago on January 31, two days after the announcement of two positives, one in the Waimate district and one in Southland. MPI response coordinator David Yard said the 21st infected farm was associated with the original cluster. The disease was first identified last July on a Van Leeuwen Dairy Group farm near Oamaru. “It’s fair to say the vast majority of farms, we’ve publicly said, are clearly linked to the two bigger clusters we have, in Oamaru and South-

MPI’s David Yard

land,” Yard says. MPI still hopes to eradicate the disease, but expects to find more infected farms because its spread still seems linked to animal movements. “That’s where our tracing activities pay dividends, because we’re going to each farm and

finding out who they’ve sold animals to. And without fail every farm we’ve identified has been one of those we’ve just chased up.” However, MPI wants to identify any missed clusters or pockets, hence its national milk surveillance programme

intended to test 12,000 farms nationwide. This has begun in the Ashburton district and will start in the central region in the first week of February and four more regions one week later, Yard says. The results so far have been “quite promising,” he told Rural News. MPI will immediately tell any farmer of a positive test on his herd; or where the disease is not detected the farmer will be notified at the end of the programme. “To give you an assurance, to date we haven’t found any positives from this national testing. All these new positives we’re getting are a result of our tracing programme.” Yard was speaking on the day when all 412 dairy farms in the Ashburton district, between the Rakaia and Rangi-

tata rivers, were due to have milk sampled from any off-colour cows in the third and final phase of that district’s testing programme. They had taken similar samples a fortnight before, and bulk milk sampling was done before that. Meanwhile, the culling of animals from infected herds has been put on hold, Yard says. “Obviously to cull a person’s herd has a sig-

nificant impact on their farming operation and would almost be life-shattering. “So we want to make sure we are certain it’s the right thing to do. “Clearly if the milk surveillance programme shows we have infection right across the country then maybe culling won’t be the right option. We’re using this opportunity to take a deep breath, wait for the results of

the national milk surveillance, and then we’ll decide whether that is the appropriate way to go.” Yard says all potentially infected properties remain in lockdown under restricted place notices and present no greater risk than any other farm. “They will stay that way until we’ve got the results to show where the level of infection is across the country.”

TOM’S A WINNER: There was plenty of interest in the Rural News and Dairy News ‘Win a New Ride’ reader competition late last year, but there can be only one winner. Eketahuna farmer Tom Meuli (right) is seen receiving his new Yamaha AG125 from Nathan Sargent of Sargent Motorcycles in Carterton. Tom was pretty stoked, saying he’d never won anything before. Congratulations to Tom and thanks to all the readers who entered. Keep an eye out for next big reader giveaway in Rural News and Dairy News.

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

NEWS 5

Southern drought official NIGEL MALTHUS

ALL SOUTHLAND plus Otago’s Queenstown Lakes, Central Otago and Clutha districts are now declared officially in drought. Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced the extension of the “medium-scale adverse event” classification on January 30. It means the southern provinces now join Taranaki, western parts of Manawatu-Whanganui and Wellington, and the Grey and Buller districts of the West Coast, where drought was declared over the Christmas period. The declaration triggers extra funding of up to $130,000 for the local rural support trusts and industry groups to coordinate recovery support. “We’ve been working with local farming groups, councils and NIWA to monitor how the drought has been progressing and the impact on the farming communities,” said O’Connor. “Anticipated rain that could have provided respite hasn’t fallen in the right areas to mitigate the effects of the early hot dry summer. Farmers have been unable to grow sufficient feed for winter, and have been using stored feed and buying in supplements for stock, and selling animals.” Bernadette Hunt, Southland Federated Farmers meat and fibre chair and drought spokeswoman, says the declaration is recognition that the situation is serious, and it mobilised a lot of support. “The Rural Support Trust gets extra funding to roll out support for farmers. That can be one-onone support for people who need it, it can be events, it can be provision of technical information

STOCK KILL COULD DRY UP MEANWHILE, THE Alliance meat company said processing at its Lorneville and Mataura plants is continuing as normal so far, but it is monitoring the situation. “We have been running plants at optimum capacity to process farmers’ livestock. However, the continuing high temperatures and dry weather are now limiting our ability at Lorneville to discharge treated wastewater to the Makarewa River, in accordance with our resource consent conditions,” company secretary Danny Hailes says. “We have obtained temporary consents from Environment Southland to allow additional irrigation of treated wastewater onto land we own. “We have also been working to minimise water use at Lorneville and Mataura for the past few weeks.” Bernadette Hunt says if processing capacity were affected it would mean farmers were stuck with stock for longer than they could feed them.

through workshops.” Hunt says stock water provision is the biggest priority for farmers. “A lot of stock water schemes aren’t keeping up. Some people’s bores are running dry so the biggest priority for farmers is keeping water up for stock, and the second biggest priority is feed. A lot of people are using their winter feed

supply to feed the stock now.” Hunt says farmers are also looking closely at stocking levels. Lambs are being sold off at lighter weights than normal. Dairy farmers are bringing scanning forward to make early decisions on culling the empties, while many have gone to 16-hour or once-a-day milking. “It’s across the whole rural

sector but it’s also across urban. All of the towns are under severe water restrictions,” she said. Federated Farmers Otago chair, Phill Hunt, says while many farmers are coping reasonably well with the drought, there is stress everywhere in Otago and some individuals are not coping “as well as they might”. “They’re the people we need to get to.” “The Rural Support Trust, Beef + Lamb NZ, DairyNZ, Farmers Mutual Group, some of the processing groups, Fonterra and Silver Fern Farms, Clutha Vets -- we’re all involved in putting on functions to help farmers get through this stressful time,” Hunt says. The drought declaration ironically came as both regions were preparing for heavy rain and possible flooding from former tropical cyclone Fehi, due to hit the South Island as Rural News went to press. But baked-hard soil will not have the capacity to absorb the rain, increasing the likelihood of runoff and flooding, rather than soaking in. Bernadette Hunt said the rain might bring temporary greening, but it would do nothing to lift aquifer levels. O’Connor says the drought has already taken its toll on farms and will take time to recover from. “While rain now would allow pasture to grow, this can take a month to translate into feed for animals, and many are now well behind in preparing for winter. “So the recovery assistance measures are as important as ever, even when we finally get decent rain.”

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

6 NEWS

Deal a good one for NZ farmers PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

THE DEAL New Zealand has in the now-negotiated Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is the best we could have expected, says NZ’s special agricultural trade envoy. Mike Petersen told Rural News the deal is potentially better for NZ with the US pulling out of the discussions. It is effectively a series of 11 bilateral agreements between each group member, and while the US has pulled out the market access schedules have remained intact. That means in theory

that NZ has a greater opportunity to export products to the other 10 countries in the agreement, Petersen says. “But what is really important to remember is that if NZ was not part of the CPTTP we would have been disadvantaged in trade terms for ever…. We would have lost our competitiveness with those other ten countries.” Peterson has praised the work of the new government, particularly David Parker who’s been very keenly involved, the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the negotiators. “If we weren’t in the CPTTP, we would have

WELCOME NEWS THERE HAS been widespread praise from the rural sector for the successful negotiation of the CPTTP The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) says the deal is welcome news as it allows NZ to maintain its competitive edge in the market. DCANZ Chairman Malcolm Bailey says while the agreement does not go as far as his organisation would like in terms of dairy access, there are some useful gains in markets such as Japan and Mexico. B+LNZ chief executive Sam McIvor says the agreement represents good news for sheep and beef farmers and all New Zealanders. “The sector understands there have been no changes to the original market access conditions which will open multiple markets in Japan, Mexico, Peru and Canada where New Zealand red meat faces tariffs of up to 50 per cent.

been disadvantaged in all those markets forever,” he says. Petersen says while in dollar terms the

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NZ special agricultural trade envoy Mike Petersen.

“We want to make sure it gets signed by trade ministers. It’s been agreed by negotiators but it hasn’t been signed yet.” Meanwhile, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker has welcomed the deal, claiming it represents a fairer deal than the earlier TPP agreement. He says the CPTPP

will provide NZ exporters with preferential access for the first time into Japan, the world’s thirdlargest economy and our fifth-largest export market. “It will also be NZ’s first FTA relationship with Canada (our 13thlargest export market), Mexico (21st) and Peru (46th),” he says.

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

NEWS 7

Agribusiness needs urgent vision PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

NEW ZEALAND urgently needs a vision and a strategic plan for its agribusiness sector, says Agriculture and Associate Trade Minister Damien O’Connor. He’s just returned from a fact-finding trip to Europe and says what he saw there reinforced his view of the need for such a plan. Everywhere else they talk of food strategies, not farm production strategies, because they acknowledge they are producing food. “We need to do the same and it will be role of the Primary Production Council, which I hope to have up and running around April, to facilitate that strategy and make it happen. It’s a matter of making sure we get best people on that council,” he told Rural News. O’Connor attended one of the biggest agricultural trade shows in the world – Green Week in Berlin attended by 65 ministers of agriculture, some

Agriculture minister Damien O’Connor.

of whom he met. “It was networking and to re-emphasise that NZ would like to pursue a free trade agreement with the European Union (EU). I met ministers from France, Germany and Poland, to name a few .They want to conclude a deal with South American countries known as the Mercosur Group, but they

are keen to start negotiating an FTA with NZ after that.” O’Connor says they were positive about NZ and noted that we had reviewed our trade agenda and that it was an inclusive and progressive one that aligned closely with EU countries’ views of trade agreement. He thinks NZ is well placed to progress towards an FTA with

the EU. He re-assured all the ministers he spoke to that NZ wasn’t seeking to exploit the unfortunate situation over Brexit. “I told them we were just seeking to confirm our ongoing access and some flexibility into their markets. I told them that retaining flexibility means product will go to the market

that needs it, not end up being excess to demand where everyone selling into a market would lose out.” O’Connor didn’t meet with UK ministers because they are too preoccupied with sorting out their Brexit exit, which he describes as “a bit of dog’s breakfast”. “But I did go to Ireland and met with their Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of Agriculture and Irish farming leaders. They are not so enthusiastic about us, but again understand that as countries we both need to trade and that if we continued to reduce the barriers to trade both NZ and Ireland would be better off.” O’Connor says setting up an NZ embassy in Ireland and an Irish embassy in NZ is a great step that acknowledges the strong heritage links between the two countries. He also visited Denmark and Spain and says these countries appreciated the opportunity to discuss trade issues.

ANOTHER PLANE TRIP MEANWHILE, NZ’s special agricultural trade envoy Mike Peterson is planning more trips to the EU this year to lobby for an FTA and get a first-hand update on the political situation in the northern hemisphere. He sees little change in the Brexit situation and confirms Damien O’Connor’s view that the EU is pre-occupied with the Mercosur discussions. He says there is high sensitivity in the agricultural sector of the EU about these discussions. “Farmers in Europe are up in arms about it. They are worried that there will be a drop in standards as a result of a deal with Mercosur countries and it has got their domestic farm lobby up there pretty interested in trade.” That’s why NZ has to tread carefully in its talks on trade, Petersen says.

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

8 NEWS Bright outlook for meat PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

RISING ECONOMIES IN most countries New Zealand exports to is a key reason for the record lamb and mutton receipts for the December quarter, says Beef + Lamb NZ. Beef receipts were the secondbest on record. BLNZ chief economist Andrew Burtt says the US economy is now doing well, Japan is coming out of recession and Europe is picking up, all at a time when the NZ dollar is staying high. Lamb is a notable beneficiary of this economic surge. “Lamb export receipts reached a record high of $677 million from October to December 2017, up 47%

on the same period in 2016. “The average FOB value in this December quarter equalled the record set in the December quarter of 2011 at $10,460 per tonne – up 22%,” Burtt says. At the same time, the value of mutton exports reached record highs. “The volume of mutton exports was up sharply in the December quarter – by 46%. This was the highest volume of mutton exported since subsidies were removed. “The average value per tonne was a record $6680, up 32% on the same period in the previous season. However, total mutton production is forecast to be down 9.1% for 2017-18.” Burtt says beef and veal

exports generated $588m in the first quarter of the 2017-18 season, up 29% on the same period last season and the second-highest on record for the December quarter – only behind the 2015-16 season. He says the US remains NZ’s largest beef market, taking 43% of beef exports in volume (+27%) with most of this destined for processing into hamburgers to augment local production. Beef exports to China were also up; it now takes 22% of our beef exports, making it NZ’s secondlargest market. China continues to be a major market for NZ lamb and in the December quarter exports there rose 114% to $164m. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

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Waikino Station now known as Maui Sheep Milk Company; the Waituhu Kuratau Trust, which started milking sheep in 2007, is also a partner. Be Well president Chen Liang visited the farm last week for the launch of the new Southern Cross sheep breed. He told Rural News that Be Well plans to set up plants to process sheep milk into milk powder, yoghurt and fresh milk. “I hope the manufacturing side can set up as soon as possible now that we have achieved genetic improvement,” Liang says. Maui Milk has developed a new crossbred sheep suitable for NZ’s pasture-based industry. Thought to be a worldfirst in sheep genetics, the Southern Cross breed is a mix of East Friesian, Awassi and Lacaune -all prominent northern hemisphere sheep milking breeds -- on a Coopworth base. Maui Milk is into its first year of milking; milk is sent to the Waikato Innovation Park and made into milk powder for wealthy Chinese consumers. Liang, whose

company has poured “tens and tens of millions of dollars into Maui Milk”, says he is confident of the sheep milk industry. He says the positive response from Chinese consumers to Maui Milk powder has given him confidence. “There hasn’t been any negative response from consumers; all they talk about is sheep milk’s goodness for health. “That’s why my company is working with NZ partners to develop this industry and promote global marketing of NZ sheep milk.” The Maui Milk farm is milking 2000 ewes; the property was developed with new pasture -- plantain and lucerne. A 64-bail internal rotary milking platfor imported from France has in-line electronic milk meters, automatic cup removers, Reporoa backing gates and an adjustable height platform in the pit for the comfort and ergonomic efficiency of milkers. Two barns, each able to house 1000 ewes, come complete with feed conveyors. – Sudesh Kissun

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

NEWS 9

Farming’s appalling death rate PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

AGRICULTURE IS the industry with the highest number of workplace fatalities – about 124 deaths since 2011, says WorkSafe chief executive Nicole Rosie. In contrast, construction had 35 deaths in the same period and forestry 33, based on provisional figures for 2017; final numbers will be out soon. “Agriculture is not as dangerous per exposure as forestry but it has a lot more people working in it. It is much, much higher than other sectors comparatively,” Rosie told Rural News. Nine people were killed in agriculture last year including three quad deaths. Rosie notes that three further quad deaths over the holiday were not work related: two people who died on a farm were on a weekend possum hunting trip and one person was killed on a beach. WorkSafe will this year retain its focus on vehicle related safety

Worksafe chief executive Nicole Rosie.

and onfarm injuries, but with more emphasis on health related issues. “There are not hundreds of things that kill farmers – only a few things,” she says. “80% of the acute deaths result from vehicle/people interactions. Quad bikes make up about half of that 80%. “The other half are tractors and interactions such as loading and unloading and baling.

So when people are involved with machinery on their farms they account for 80% of acute deaths.” The next-highest cause of death is falling from heights; and a much smaller number of fatalities are caused by drowning, interactions with animals, etc. In injuries the biggest cause of harm is in the shed, Rosie says. The dairy sector has the most injuries, followed by beef

and sheep. The biggest causes of acute injuries in the dairy sector are arm injuries in milking sheds and ankle injuries, in the sheds and around farms. Back injuries from shearing are significant in the sheep and beef sector. WorkSafe and ag leaders have talked a lot about footwear, says Rosie. Farmers’ usual footwear – gumboots – offers little or no ankle protection. Very good boots are available that properly protect wearers’ ankles, but people go for big brands. “One of the biggest causes of serious breaks is ankle injuries. That is a key focus of our agricultural programme.” WorkSafe has a work stream looking at vehicles – quads and tractors -- and farmers’ use of vehicles; a design project looking at arm injuries in milking sheds; and another looking at ankle injuries -- mostly focused on improving footwear. Farmers make up a good proportion of the 50-60 acute workplace deaths WorkSafe deals

with each year. But the bigger cause of death – in the range 600-900 – is health exposures, of which cancer is a standout, says Rosie. “The major causes of cancer are asbestosis, silicosis (from cutting of concrete) and the third highest is... exposure to agricultural chemicals. “It is very hard to quantify because people get breast or lung or prostate cancer; they might have worked in the agricultural sector for a long time, but it is not common for GPs to think of that as a potential cause of a cancer.” She says much of WorkSafe’s hazardous substance work is focused on farms. “We are looking at what chemicals are being used; it is often dealt with under hazardous substances legislation because some sprayed chemicals are hazardous substances and are carcinogenic.” WorkSafe will look closer at that because it is a key cause of harm in the agricultural sector.

CULTURE CHANGE GETTING THE right culture change in workplace safety on smallmedium farms is a personal priority this year for WorkSafe chief executive Nicole Rosie. Underpinning all the work of WorkSafe is creating the right culture, she says. “The three key elements that make change are leadership, risk management and engagement; those are the three pillars of successful health and safety improvement. “My personal focus in the agricultural sector is working on the smallmedium size – the smaller farm or farm owner. I have it as a new year resolution. “The farm owner, farm manager, people who manage the farms and their families – the key thing is changing the language we use.”

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

10 NEWS

Students eyes opened up to opportunities in agriculture sector PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

MANY YOUNG people, especially from urban backgrounds, don’t realise how broad the opportunities are in the rural sector, says Waikato University agribusiness and marketing student Celine Walters. Exposing youngsters to such opportunities is a key aspect of the 2018 Rabobank Waikato AgriLeadership programme, funded by the bank to grow future agri-leaders in New Zealand. Walters (20) organised the four day programme held from January 22-25. The 26 high school students involved, mainly from Waikato and some from Auckland, were via a

selection process. “Many were from city and urban backgrounds,” Walters explained to Rural News. “We were trying to get more people, including those not from rural backgrounds, to understand the vast opportunities available.” Guest speakers and industry leaders like Environmental Protection Agency chief scientist Jacqueline Rowarth and KPMG’s Ian Proudfoot opened their eyes to what they could achieve in the sector. Visiting various organisations, including Fonterra and Plant and Food, was also enlightening. “A lot of the students did not realise how broad the sector was and the

opportunities it offered in engineering, science and

production processes at Fonterra was “incredi-

Rabobank agri-leadership participants Jacinda Baker Singh, Monique Mellow, Anthony Foy, Luke Geange take part in an exercise during the course.

business. It is not just typical farming.” Seeing the automated

ble” as was the contrasts between different industries.

And the contrasting viewpoints of various speakers were also an eye opener. “It was interesting to see how such high calibre people had such differing opinions on where New Zealand agribusiness should stand in future,” says Walters. Proudfoot spoke on ‘vaping food’ – experiencing food through vapourising it – and more personalised value-add products tailored to individuals rather than selling the one product to hundreds of thousands of people. “He definitely got people thinking. Agribusiness leader Traci Houpapa with her opinions on synthetic meats got people thinking as well.”

The students had a debate that night on the proposal that ‘Synthetic proteins are the future of New Zealand’. The team that argued they were not the future won the debate. “But it was interesting to hear the pros and the cons,” says Walters. Starting the third year of her four year degree, Walters is not from a rural background herself, but was born overseas and raised in Tauranga. She had “never really been on a farm” before the leaders’ programme. She says she was inspired into agribusiness and marketing studies when Rowarth, formerly professor of agribusiness at Waikato, came and talked in Tauranga.

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“That made me realise the potential of agriculture and I wanted to be part of something so major in NZ,” Walters told Rural News. “She also got me interested in the management of this programme. “She tried to inspire all the students and this generation so we can, in future, help solve the current challenges.” Walters says primary industries offer many opportunities that young people, particularly those from urban areas, don’t know about. “That is why I wanted to become a part of it.” She intends to work on a farm before finishing her studies.

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

NEWS 11

Tourists tax rural sector’s patience PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

FARMERS ARE in the poo again – the human kind, and they are sick of it. And if it’s not poo, it’s a load of old rubbish. Some ‘freedom’ campers think that means freedom to pollute the countryside and leave their sh** for others to clean up. Action is needed say Rural Women and Federated Farmers. “These poor farmers come out in the morning and find people have left their rubbish, their litter and their ‘doings’ behind,” says Rural Women national president Fiona Gower. “Ecoli and giardia getting into the water supplies is a real big issue. You imagine in this heat – the bugs just breed. “We are trying to keep out waterways clean. Farmers are the ones working to keep our environment healthy. If somebody uses the side stream as their toilet, it is not helping. “We need to let these people enjoy New Zealand but keep it clean at the same time.” Rural Women says legislation is needed for the whole country to give one set of rules for freedom camping. Federated Farmers says a better funding mechanism is needed to enable councils to deal with polluters and provide more facilities. Minister of Tourism Kelvin Davis says he wants steps in place for next year’s peak season, but it is a complex longterm issue that needs working through.

Gower says people stop for the beautiful scenery then jump the fence and go to the toilet in the paddock. Freedom camping is great, she says, but campers either need selfcontained vehicles with their own toilets or they must go to the designated spots all around the country which have facilities. “It is the campers who don’t have their own facilities that people are concerned about. These are the little vans that park wherever,” Gower says. “It is a legislation issue. Every council has a different set of rules on freedom camping. I know Waikato has a different set to, say, Hauraki District Council. It needs central legislation on how it can be governed. “Some areas allow camping and others don’t and the poor campers don’t understand the difference in rules between different areas. The Queenstown Lakes area is really strong about fining people freedom camping without facilities. Other areas may be more lax. “One issue is education and the other is legislation so the whole country is under the same set of rules.” She hasn’t heard anything from the Labour-led government on the issue. “We want to keep our country clean, green and pristine and that is what the coalition is looking for, particularly the Greens,” she says. “There is a fight about where you go with this to keep our country clean and green and to ensure people coming in appreciate they

have to do their part as well.” People say it is too expensive to stay in camping grounds but there are great spots that either cost nothing or very little. She is on the Conservation Board and they have closed one area because of the unaccept-

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left in their gateways. And it is a health and safety issue for sure.” Minister for Tourism Kelvin Davis says they inherited problems and it’s clear that aspects of the current system aren’t working well in some areas. “I have been talking to a few mayors and will

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IT AIN’T FREE IT IS great to give away our views of New Zealand for free, but a question is how do we get revenue back to the councils that provide the facilities for ‘freedom’ campers and others visiting rural areas, says Federated Farmers president Katie Milne. About $2 billion is collected in GST from tourism and not enough is getting back to those councils, Milne told Rural News. “Getting a percentage of that back into the regions would do it. They have talked about a levy at the border, but a lot of tourism operators are not keen on that for various reasons… costs involved in collecting it and so on. “Whereas a mechanism is already set up; New Zealand already collects GST so there must be a smart way they could allocate it,” she says.

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

12 NEWS

Taupo farmers tackle environmental problems head-on PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

IT WAS “incredibly confronting” for Taupo farmers to be told in about 2000 that their farms were polluting the lake and they would probably have to go, says Mike Barton, of Glen Emmreth Farm at Lake Taupo. Some were ballot farms developed by Lands and Survey. Others were Maori farms compulsorily developed under government policy and handed back with mortgages. “You imagine if you were a ballot farmer who took over in your 30s. You were now nudging 60 wondering whether to retire or whether you could hand your farm on to your children. In the case of the Maori owners, they had just got on top of the mortgage.” Barton says he and his wife Sharon were the only people to buy land in the catchment between 2000 and 2010. Legislation was underway to cap nitrogen in the catchment. With only four dairy farms in the region this was essentially an issue for sheep and beef. “I did some due diligence on the issue and I figured this was going to come to every catchment in the country at some point,” he says. “So why not get involved with it from the beginning.” The Bartons have a 1500ha beef finishing property on Taupo’s west coast. They farm within the legislation finally gazetted in 2012 after 12 years of “hard negotiating” and catchment science. “Taupo is a nitrogen sensitive water body and so nitrogen was our issue – it wasn’t sediment. We have beautiful free draining soils,” he says. “Every stream in the catchment had been fenced, planted or let revert since the 1980s, so we thought we had fixed the problem. But nitrogen leaches down through the soil profile and maybe in 80 years it ends up in the lake. “So it didn’t matter what we did to

Mike Barton describe it as “incredibly confronting” being told farming was polluting the lake.

fence it off, the problem still existed. Pastoral farming only represents 20% of the Taupo catchment; 80% is in either original land or vegetation or pine forest. “Given we only had 20% in farmland we didn’t think we were much of a problem. Every stream in the catchment was fenced off by 1982. All the land in the catchment was developed by the government -- either the Lands

and Survey Department or the Maori Affairs Department. “The lake is one of the cleanest in the world. The levels of nitrogen were hardly measurable but they were increasing.” Increasing nitrogen had mixed with high levels of phosphorus through the volcanic activity that formed the lake, promoting growth. “Nitrogen in the lake would lead

FARMING UNDER A CAP BARTON’S FARM is capped at 2004 livestock numbers in perpetuity. He says he can ring every bit of performance out of each animal, but he can’t grow his stock numbers. The Bartons’ are part of the BLNZ Economic Service monitoring programme so he knows costs have increased 48% since they were capped. “You can imagine a capped income and uncapped costs. That’s the fundamental issue here.” If the capping system had been

production per hectare rather than stock numbers, he couldn’t have got the per animal performance gains he has since 2004. “You get strategic thinking about what you are going to argue for and, whoever you get to represent you, you need to support the hell out of them,” he explained. “You need to think about everything you ask for. I am really grateful, in the end, that we were able to ring per animal performance gains out of the system.”

to algal growth and a decline in water quality,” Barton explained. Farmers participated in the science measuring leachate for seven years. On Barton’s farm they have done lucerne trials for five years, proving it leaches much less than was shown by Overseer. “We didn’t want to accept a lot of the science from other catchments,” he says. “A lot of the science used to start the discussion with us was based on Rotorua and Bay of Plenty and other soils. Little work had been done in our catchment; we didn’t want to go with that.” Legal advice was to form an incorporated society, one benefit of which was to attract funding for science. About 95% of Lake Taupo farmers are members. Over 15 years they raised about $500,000 from farmers for a ‘fighting fund’. And they raised $4-5 million in science funding. They got “really good at applying for science funding”. They represented the majority of farmers – not just sheep and beef – dairy farmers also.

The group made formal submissions at the hearing stage and at the Environment Court stage. “That is when things get really brutal and really interesting. That is when you get to see what other parties really want of you and expect of you and you get a chance to challenge it. It is not a nice place and it is very expensive. “I think we have significantly influenced the outcome and have come up with legislation that is both workable and implementable. From a farming point of view it is doable.” One thing they could have done better was model for economic impacts; they tried but their arguments were cast aside. He says under Section 32 of the Resource Management Act the regional council is obliged to model and show the impact of any legislation they are enacting. It must be modelled at a farm level, a regional community level and a greater regional level. When you are confronted with a problem, you want it to be someone else’s fault, Barton says. “In the end, the science showed that over 90% of the manageable nitrogen came from farming activity; 7% came from near shore settlements and septic tanks and other human activity.” When the process started the catchment had 105 farms and four were dairying. “This is not a dairying problem, this was a sheep and beef problem. There are still four dairy farms in the catchment; there are now 73 other farmers, the balance have been shut down. “The realities we’ve had to accept: you cap stock urine, you have to cap stock numbers. “If you are capping stocking rates you are capping the income of the farming property under existing commodity regimes that we tend to all work under.” • More pages 24-25


RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

NEWS 13

Dairy farmers are spending - LIC SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

DAIRY FARMERS buoyed by higher forecast milk payout are spending more on artificial breeding, says LIC. The farmer-owned coop’s half-year earnings to November 30, 2017 rose 17% on last year’s to $153 million. Gross profit rose 37% to $57.5m. The half year results include most of the revenue from artificial breeding. LIC chairman Murray King says the milk price is always a factor in farmer spending. “This has partly driven an upturn in sales as farmers continue to invest in herd improvement services and solutions which deliver long term value and build a more sustainable farming business,” he says. “At the same time, we are also seeing the success of our transformation programme flowing through to the bottom line.” LIC set out to ‘transform’ its business after recording its firstever loss in 2015-16. King says cost efficiencies and business growth

from the transformation were key contributors toward a better year-end result in 2016-17, and now this half-year result. For example, the co-op is now better managing the travel its 840-odd AB technicians do each spring: during the last two AB seasons they cut their travel by about one million kilometres. This means less time on the road and more time on farm with customers and their herds, King says. “It saves time, fuel and on-road costs for the business, while also reducing driving time therefore improving safety.” LIC also introduced a new herd testing cancellation policy, to help operate a more efficient service. “This contributed to a reduction in cancellations or changes at short notice by up to 50%.” Business growth came from the Wagyu beef programme which offers farmers an alternative to bobby calves and an additional income source, and from the recently launched Space service which yields pasture management data from sat-

SHARE SIMPLIFICATION LIC SHAREHOLDERS will soon hear proposals to simplify the co-op’s share structure. Chairman Murray King says it has to deal with concerns about the growing disparity between LIC’s two share classes. “The board has almost finished considering the options and will update shareholders on the next steps in the coming weeks.”

“Standing still is not an option in the development of the business.” ellites. LIC sold its Otagobased Deer Improvement subsidiary business to concentrate on its dairy business and its herd testing and diagnostics laboratory facilities in Riverlea, Hamilton, on which a leaseback arrangement allows LIC services to keep operating at the site. Standing still is not an option in the development of the business, King says. “LIC is vulnerable to

the same disruption that other industries have experienced in recent years from new technology and innovation, environmental challenges, regulation and alternative milk products. We have to constantly improve and adapte the way we do business. “The transformation programme is one of two key initiatives underway to ensure LIC can meet future challenges and deliver on its strategic goals.”

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

NEWS 15

Stag sales show growing confidence FARMER CONFIDENCE in the profitability of venison and velvet production has flowed through to the market for sire stags, with strong sales reported nationwide, says Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ). Breeders report a marked improvement on last year’s results. Although no stags broke the $100,000 mark, average prices were up strongly for most sales,

17 season. With a lift in the velvet price and the forecast increase in production, another increase in the value of velvet exports is expected this season,” Griffiths says. Two new entrants to the sire breeding business -- Rupert Red Deer near Geraldine and Forest Road Farm in central Hawke’s Bay -- ran their inaugural stag sales this summer. Each had strong sales with high clearance

Breeders report a marked improvement on last year’s results. Although no stags broke the $100,000 mark, average prices were up strongly for most sales, several by at least 50%. several by at least 50%. Overall clearance rates were 94% versus 83% last year. DINZ chief executive Dan Coup says venison schedule prices to farmers normally peak each year in October before the last chilled shipments leave for Europe for the annual game meat season. This season, prices have continued to rise into January, with the average now a record $10.30/kg for a carcase in the preferred weight range. “The drivers in the market remain unchanged from last year. Namely, lower production in NZ, successful diversification by marketers into new year-round markets and strong demand for venison from the US for grilling cuts and manufacturing grades,” Coup says. DINZ Asia market manager Rhys Griffiths says demand for velvet from the two main markets Korea and China has been strong this season. Prices have climbed back to levels reached two seasons ago before changes in Chinese hygiene regulations led to a loss of buyer confidence unrelated to the long-term demand for NZ velvet.   “Total velvet exports reached $43 million in the 2015-16 season, increasing to $59m in the 2016-

rates, averaging nearly $5000 and just over $11,000 respectively. Both specialise in breeding for velvet antler. With the venison schedule at an all-time high, demand for stags with high breeding values (BVs) for carcase growth rate has also been high. Peel Forest Estate, South Canterbury, is one of many breeders that have reported strong buyer demand. The stud sold 49 of 50 of the ‘Forrester’ maternal venison sires it had on offer at an average price of about $7500 – about 20% up on last year. Sires for venison production bred by Ruapehu Red Deer in the central North Island enjoyed a total clearance and an average price of nearly $7000, up nearly onethird on last season. At Wilkins Farming’s South Island sire sale on 15 January prices were up 35%. Also on 15 January, Lochinvar stud, Te Anau, sold all 25 wapiti bulls on offer at an average $5400, up 10%. Manapouri’s Connemara Wapiti also achieved a total clearance and prices up 46%. These sales were followed on January 19 by the sale of a $38,000 wapiti bull at the annual sale at Tikana Wapiti, a

record price for the stud. The 387kg bull, Forecaster, was the winner of the three-year-old elk/ wapiti category at the National Velvet Competition last year after cutting 12.2kg of velvet.

Wilkins Farming’s South Island sire sale on January 15 was packed, and prices were up 35% on last year. PHOTO: PAULINE PATTULLO

Coup says some farmers are increasing the area they have fenced for deer. He also says that DINZ is receiving a few requests for information from new farmers entering the industry.

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

16 MARKETS & TRENDS L amb - PM 17.0kg

BEEF PRICES

LAMB PRICES n/c

Last Week 5.45

M 2 B ull - 300kg

n/c

5.25

5.25

5.00

Change

c/kgCWT NI

P 2 Steer - 300kg

2 Wks A go 5.45

Last Year 5.20

S te e r - P2 300kg

n/c

5 .4 5

n/c

5 .3 0

P 2 Co w - 230kg

n/c

4.00

4.00

3.90

B u ll - M2 300kg

n/c

5 .2 5

n/c

5 .1 0

M Co w - 200kg

n/c

4.00

4.00

3.90

Ve n is o n - AP 60kg

n/c

1 0 .1 5

n/c

1 0 .7 0

Lo cal Trade - 230kg

n/c

5.45

5.45

5.20

n/c

5.30

5.30

5.25

M 2 B ull - 300kg

n/c

5.10

5.10

4.90

P 2 Co w - 230kg

n/c

4.15

4.15

3.95

M Co w - 200kg

n/c

4.15

4.15

3.95

Lo cal Trade - 230kg

n/c

5.35

5.35

5.20

6.5

Slaughter 27-Feb

27-A pr

South Island 17kg M lamb price

$/kg

6.0

27-Feb 27-A pr Last Ye ar This Ye ar

North Island 300kg bull price

$/kg

20

5yr Ave

South Island Weekly Cattle Kill

27-Feb

27-A pr

South Island 300kg steer price

5yr Ave

This Ye ar

27-A pr

South Island 60kg stag price

3 Wks A go 0 657

Last Year 212 643

5yr A ve 204 637

9.0 8.0 7.0 27-Dec 5yr Ave

27-Feb Last Ye ar

This Ye ar

27-A pr

10 Oct

20 Dec Last Ye ar

10 Nov

20 Feb This Ye ar

n/c

Last Week 5.80

2 Wks A go 5.80

Last Year 5.50

+0 .1

9.82

9.72

8.12

550

5yr A ve 5.36 8.48

Export demand indicator - UK CKT leg

450

350 30 Dec

28 Feb

30 Apr

Procurement Indicator

150 $1.50 30-O ct 30-Dec 28-Feb 30-A pr 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 -3.6 -4.3

2Wks A go 76.5 74.3

% Returned NI

n/c

2Wks A go 68.5

% Returned SI

-0.5

67.5

Change

This Year

3 Wks A go 80.1 78.5

Last Year 77.5 74.4

5yr A ve 76.7 70.9

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… 27-O ct 27-Dec 27-Feb 27-A pr

Procurement Indicator - South Island

10.0

$/kg

2 Wks A go 0 653

20 Oct

Change NZc/kg

% of export returns

7.0

10 Sep

5yr Ave

UK Leg p/kg

90 P rocu rement Indicator - South I. 85% 80% 75% 70 70% 65% Last Year 60% This Year 50 27-O ct 27-Dec 27-Feb 27-A pr 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 16-Oct 23-Oct 30-Oct 6-Nov 13-Nov 20-Nov 0-Jan 5yr ave Last Ye ar 9-Oct This Ye ar

% of export returns

$/kg $/kg

8.0

27-Feb

k 10 0Aug

250 30 Oct

% Returned NI % Returned SI

27-Dec

200

Export Market Demand

This Year

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

Change

9.0

6.0 27-O ct

n/c -4

North Island 60kg stag price

10.0

11.0

Last Year

USc/lb Last Ye ar

27-A pr

S outh Island Weekly Lamb Kill

200k 300

20-Oct 10-Oct20-Dec10-Nov 20-Feb 10-Sep 5yr Ave Last Ye ar This Ye ar

Last Year

27-Feb

South Island w eekly lamb kill

400 250k

20 Aug

$2.00

27-Dec 5yr Ave

10 Nov 20 Feb

150k

$2.50 200

4.5

This Year

10 Oct 20 Dec

100 50k

95CL USc/lb NZc/kg 250 $3.00

Last Year

10 Sep 20 Oct

100k

Change

5.0

6.0 27-O ct

10-Dec 20-Feb

Export Market Demand

5.5

11.0

10-Nov 20-Dec

S outh Island Weekly Cattle Kill

4.5

4.0 27-O ct

This Year

5yr Ave

k 0 1020 Aug Aug

5k 5

5.0

6.0

Last Year

10-Sep 10-Oct 20-Oct

0 k 20-Aug 10-Aug

27-Dec

200

100 50k

15 10k 10

5.5

4.0 27-O ct

300

100k

15k20

27-Dec 5yr Ave

Last Year 5.01 5.03 5.05 5.06 3.10 5.18 5.18 5.18 5.18 3.10

150k

50

10 k 0 10-Aug 20-Aug

5.5

2 Wks A go 6.71 6.73 6.75 6.76 4.50 6.73 6.73 6.73 6.73 4.45

200k

40 20k30

6.5

4.5 27-O ct

Thousand head

7.5

40k60

27-Dec

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

Last Week 6.76 6.78 6.80 6.81 4.55 6.73 6.73 6.73 6.73 4.45

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

5.5 4.5 27-O ct

P 2 Steer - 300kg

Thousand head

$/kg

7.5

North Island 17kg M lamb price

SI

c/kgCWT NI Lamb YM - 13.5kg P M - 17.0kg 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

UKp/kg

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 .7 3

85 80%

3 Wks A go 68.5

Last Year 63.8

68.0

63.8

5yr A ve 63.3 61.6

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

% of export returns

No rth Is lan d C h an g e L as t c /kg We e k +5 6 .7 8

75 70% 65 60%

Last Year

This Year

50% 55 11-Aug 27-O ct 11-Sep 11-Oct 27-Dec11-Nov 11-Dec 27-Feb11-Jan 11-Feb 27-A pr 75 80%

% of export returns

Me at

LAMB MARKET TRENDS

BEEF MARKET TRENDS

Thousand head

MARKET SNAPSHOT

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

70% 65 60% Last Y ear

This Year

50% 55 11-Aug 27-O ct 11-Sep 11-Oct 27-Dec11-Nov 11-Dec 27-Feb11-Jan 11-Feb 27-A pr 5yr ave Last Ye ar This Ye ar

Venison Prices NI Stag - 60kg

n/c

Last Week 10.15

SI Stag - 60kg

n/c

10.70

Change

2 Wks A go 10.15

Last Year 8.00

10.70

8.00

5yr A ve 6.83 6.84

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 // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

MARKETS & TRENDS 17 PRICE WATCH

BEEF: US imported beef buyers haven’t appeared fazed by the fact the NZ cattle kill has slowed. Prices for both imported 90CL and imported 95CL beef have risen slowly in the past fortnight and are now sitting 3-5% above a year ago. Prime beef returns are steady to weaker than a fortnight ago. Less activity from China is the main reason, though this was far from unexpected.

WOOL PRICE WATCH Indicators in NZc/kg

Change

18-Jan

11-Jan

Last Year

Indicators in USc/kg

Change

18-Jan

11-Jan

Last Year

+4

278

274

371

Coarse Xbred

-1

202

204

267

Ewe - 35 micron

-

310

-

555

Ewe - 35 micron

-

226

-

400

Ewe - 37 micron

-5

295

300

555

Ewe - 37 micron

-8

215

223

400

2nd Shear 37M

+20

265

245

475

2nd Shear 37M

+11

193

182

342

Coarse Xbred

850 600

Wool indicator trends Wool Indicator Trends CXI

500

FXI

LI

650 400 550 300

CXI

600

600

400 300

450 2005-Jan 5-Mar 5-May 5-Jul 5-Sep 5-Nov 5-Jan 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

650700

Second shear - 37 micron

600

750 500

WOOL: Large stockpiles of wool will

continue to weigh on the market and will need to be moved before prices can recover. Strong crossbred wool prices remain subdued. On a positive note, lamb’s wool has been attracting strong demand in recent weeks. Supply is shorter than typical as many farmers are opting not to shear lambs before sending to be processed.

Overseas Wool Price Indicators

c/kg

find lambs for the chilled Easter trade that are not already tied to contracts, especially in the North Island. A few more small spot-premiums have been used to entice more lambs out. However the majority of processors are resigned to the fact they won’t get the numbers required, and will have to airfreight some product through early February. Store lambs have generally sold to a marginally firmer market lately, though cheaper lambs from Southland are dragging the average down through the South Island. Ewe fairs were largely positive too, though below-average quality lines weren’t particularly sought after in the South Island.

FXI

200 19-Oct

LI

- 37 micron Coarse Ewe Xbred Indicator Last Year

This Year

550

400

500300 450200 19-Oct Dec 19-Dec Oct Feb Apr 19-Feb Jun 5yr ave Last Year

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19-Feb This Year

Ewe - 35 micron

500 400

300 Aug 19-Apr

This Year

200 19-Oct 19-Dec 19-Feb 5yr ave Last Year

19-Apr This Year

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TOGETHER WE CAN BEAT VELVETLEAF Velvetleaf is in New Zealand, so if you’re a farmer, you need to keep an eye out for it. It is a serious cropping weed which could steal the nutrients, water and light from your feed and arable crops. With the warm weather we’re having, it will also spread quickly if left unchecked.

Contact MPI on 0800 80 99 66 or contact your regional council.

EDHEAD VELVETLEAF SE

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WHAT TO DO: Pull it out, bag it (use a fertiliser bag or sack) and bury it (at least 1m deep in e.g. your offal pit). Be very careful not to let any seeds spread.

For more info: mpi.govt.nz/velvetleaf

19-Apr

600

500

OUR INSIGHT. YOUR EDGE.

19-Dec Last Year

700

c/kg

INTERNATIONAL

SHEEP: Processors are battling to

c/kg

BEEF: The cattle kill has ground to a halt in the North Island. Processors are cutting shifts and working part weeks as they look to adapt to the new situation, rather than engage in a procurement war with each other. In addition the NZD:USD is chewing into processor margins, and therefore increases in schedules are doubtful. It’s a similar, but less extreme situation through the South Island. There's certainly more buyers looking for store cattle than sellers looking to offload numbers through the North Island, and activity is in a lull as a result. There’s a stark contrast through the South Island, where store cattle are cheap and plentiful in Southland/Otago, but hard to find and expensive elsewhere.

c/kg

NEWS


RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

18 AGRIBUSINESS

Water quality project wins funding NIGEL MALTHUS

A PROJECT to put finegrained environmental mapping into the hands of farmers has been awarded one of the larger amounts in the latest round of Sustainable Farming Fund grants. A privately owned Invercargill environmental consultancy named e3Scientific – only in existence since May – will receive $444,200 to develop a web-based

interface for farmers to monitor, map and manage their ‘physiographic environments’. In its SFF application, e3Scientific said the project aimed to improve water quality by putting science into the hands of farmers and into the heart of their land use decisions. “We want farmers, their industry groups and other trusted advisers to be using the rich information sources, available

to them for the first time in an accessible way, to make informed land use decisions that optimise their natural capital and minimise as far as possible the impacts of their land use on the environment.” It draws primarily on work done by Dr Clint Rissmann for Physiographic Environments of New Zealand (PENZ) under the ‘Our Land and Water’ initiative, which is supported by an alliance

of CRIs, tertiary institutions and others. Rissmann is adjunct senior fellow to the Canterbury and Lincoln Universities’ Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management, and was formerly the science manager for the Southland Regional Council. He said he formed e3Scientific last May, with managing director Glenn Davis, because he wanted to move into more applied science and

recognised “a really big gulf” between what was being asked of farmers and the tools they had to achieve it. The company had since grown to eight fulltime staff. Rissmann says PENZ shows farmers how potential contaminants are likely to travel within their farm boundaries, allowing them to consider what they can do to minimise water contamination risks.

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PENZ uses a “forensic approach”, measuring and sampling water, to identify links between water and the land to produce a map of how and why water quality outcomes vary across a catchment. “It recognises that variation in the natural attributes of landscapes -- soil, geology, hydrology, etc – are often responsible for more than twice the amount of variation in water quality outcomes than land use alone,” Rissmann explains. Water quality such as nitrate build-up in groundwater is influenced by climate, topography, geology and soil properties. “You can have exactly the same enterprise, the same land use, and you get very different outcomes. If we can understand the things that determine variations in water quality, we can use them to help manage land use losses in a more tailored manner than previously was possible,” Rissmann says. “It’s taking spatial information we have, a really nuanced view of what is controlling water quality outcomes on a person’s property, and

taking that directly to farmers.” Rissmann says that whereas Overseer looks at nitrogen loss from the root zone, PENZ connects the root zone “right through the hydrological cycle from the farm to the shallow aquifer to the stream and back again”. “Overseer might say ‘this person is losing 60kg of nitrogen per hectare’; but if it’s occurring over an aquifer that has certain characteristics that favour de-nitrification, you might actually see complete removal of that nitrate. Now why would you restrict that farmer in terms of their soil zone if it’s not having a deleterious effect on the environment?” So the focus of the SSF grant was to develop a web-based interface to bring the science to farmers, and the farming community is being recruited to help develop the interface in a two-way exchange of information. “Getting farmers to do the design and getting farmers to critique what we’re doing with support from the industry groups is the lynchpin -- it’s the whole basis of the SSF grant,” Rissman adds.

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

AGRIBUSINESS 19

A vine time to take the helm PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

THE KIWIFRUIT industry is progressive and developing rapidly, says Stu Hutchings, who takes over as chief executive of Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH) in March. It has a strong and holistic biosecurity approach which is paramount for protecting the industry for its growers, he says. “KVH has always been a progressive organisation and it was an industry leader in the way it got stuck in and managed the PSA outbreak,” Hutchings told Rural News. “It has been one of the first groups to sign up with the Government Industry Agreements (GIA). So it has that combined approach with government and industry to managing disease incursion but also in managing biosecurity readiness and response to prepare in case of other incursions coming into New

Zealand.” Hutchings will replace KVH’s current chief executive Barry O’Neil, who said last August that he planned to quit the role after a six-year term. Hutchings sees it as an exciting organisation to join. “It is progressive and working hard to protect its industry,” he says. “I am pleased to be joining such a group.” A veterinarian by profession, Hutchings currently has a management role with OSPRI, including implementing the new TB plan. “There are quite a lot of similarities between the two roles except the difference that one is in biosecurity and managing disease in animals and the other is in biosecurity and managing disease and pests in plants,” he explains. “With the bovine TB programme I have been working under a pest management plan in a similar way to the kiwi-

DWN SEEKS NEW BOSS THE DAIRY Women’s Network has begun its recruitment campaign for a new chief executive. Applications for the role are now open, and board chair Cathy Brown says the new chief executive will be the face of the 10,000-strong membership organisation with responsibility for leading it to the next level. “The network has become an increasingly influential participant in the industry, and we’re looking for someone who can help us take our next strategic step while ensuring we remain sustainable and continue to deliver for our members,” Brown says. “With our 20th anniversary on the horizon this year we’ve taken the chance to reflect on our success and think about what’s needed to take us into the future, while staying true to our purpose of delivering unlimited opportunities to women in dairy.” She says with the spotlight on New Zealand’s dairy industry in recent months, those who are forwardthinking and adept to change will thrive in leadership positions within the industry. “The past decade or so has seen a real shift in focus for the dairy industry,” Brown says. “Now more than ever farmers and industry are working together to highlight the industry’s sustainability, and profitability, on a local and global scale. “We’re looking for someone who can rise to the challenge and help the network continue to make its mark in a constantly evolving dairy environment. This is a unique opportunity to make a real difference with, and for, women in the dairy industry.” Founded in 1998, the Dairy Women’s Network has doubled in size from 5000 to 10,000 members in the past five years, and Brown says the network has established itself as an innovative and influential national organisation.

fruit industry working with the pest management plan for PSA.” Prior to his current role with OSPRI, Hutchings was involved in onfarm disease management and biosecurity. “Protecting our grower industries will be vital to NZ,” he says. “I see the

organisation as a biosecurity agency acting on behalf of the kiwifruit growers of NZ, helping to protect their livelihoods. “It is part of a NZ wide biosecurity approach. The management of PSA I now see as one component of that wider biosecurity

Stu Hutchings

approach for the kiwifruit industry. “The whole aim has to be awareness of what is going on in the international market to try to prevent new diseases or pests coming prior to the border, then good strong border control to manage incursion risk,

then having a readiness, response and surveillance programme in place.” His first tasks will be to understand the kiwifruit growers’ perspectives, what the key issues are and how to work with them to manage the whole programme.

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

20 OPINION EDITORIAL

EDNA

Mate, come clean on China CHINA HAS not been a happy hunting ground for Fonterra. The San Lu saga, in which babies died from drinking melamine-tainted milk, remains a black mark on the co-op in the world’s biggest dairy market. And the false botulism scare in 2013 wiped some of the gloss off Fonterra’s reputation. Now we see the co-op’s Beingmate joint venture being undone in a very public spat. Has Fonterra learned the art of doing business in China? Yes and no. Last year Fonterra’s total sales in China reached $3.4 billion; its food service and ingredients businesses are booming. However, the China farms and its strategic investment of $750 million in Beingmate three years ago are yet to make any substantial return to shareholders. In short the Beingmate investment is a dud. When launching the Beingmate deal in 2014, Fonterra boasted about using the Chinese company’s sales network: placing Anmum infant formula products in 1000 Beingmate stores and 80,000 other outlets. But this hasn’t happened. Outlets are stocking other brands with better margins. In fact, Fonterra’s decision to sell its infant formula in bricks-and-mortar outlets has backfired. With e-commerce taking off in China and Anmum’s non-competitive pricing, thanks to Fonterra, sales have been dismal and Beingmate has lost its number-one market player status in the infant formula business. Beingmate’s share price is in a freefall; Fonterra and Beingmate’s founder are at loggerheads on how the company should be run. Last week, Fonterra’s two directors on Beingmate noticed that financial management of the company is not up to scratch. And things look to go from bad to worse: two-thirds of the value of Fonterra’s investment has been wiped off. How did the Beingmate deal go so wrong for Fonterra? Surely the co-op board and management knew long ago that not all was right at Beingmate. Farmer shareholders in New Zealand have been patient, hoping Beingmate would start returning money into their pockets. This hasn’t happened. Fonterra must stop hiding behind its successful food service and ingredients business in China to mask its incompetence in the Beingmate deal. Its farmers have poured $750 million into Beingmate and have got nothing in return.

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

“Well OK – if you must knit her something – make sure it’s 100% real wool and National Party blue!”

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

THE HOUND Thanks comrades

Woolly thinking

Two-faced

Right fit

YOUR OLD mate was not shocked to see the new Labour-led government quickly repay its mates – and major funders – in the NZ union movement by changing the employment laws to favour its comrades in the organised labour lobby. However, he was somewhat surprised to see that our new government’s favour is now extending to unions in other countries. Despite its rhetoric on toughening up on the sale of farmland to foreign buyers, the government has approved the sale of a $17.7 million dairy farm in Canterbury to a Canadian buyer on behalf of the Canadian Public Sector Pension Fund – with not a peep of protest from its lapdogs in NZ First. So it appears to the Hound that Labour is not only looking after its mates in the NZ union movement but also its comrades in Canada.

THE HOUND doesn’t profess to be an expert on everything in the agricultural sector, but given he has been around the traps a fair time, he has managed to pick up a bit of knowledge. But not so with his counterparts in other rural media. One rural editor for the Australian-owned and controlled Fairfax group recently took to Twitter – how very modern – to ask what a cotted fleece was. At least he had the grace to ask and not just make it up, which is more than your old mate can say for a recent editorial in the NZXowned rural rag which encouraged farmers to get in behind farming being made part of the ETS. This old mutt wonders if this ‘opinion’ has anything to do with NZX wanting to get a piece of the carbon trading market – which would be much more lucrative if agriculture was part of the ETS.

THE HOUND well remembers – like many of those in the primary sector – events of a couple of years ago, when the streets were full of protestors vehemently marching against the ‘awful, appalling, dreadful, shocking’ TPP trade deal. Included in the mix of PM Jacinda Ardern, Trade Minister David Parker and high-ranked cabinet minister Andrew Little. However, now that Labour has signed up to the renamed CPTPP, with only very minor tweaks to the original TPP, it is now being championed by Ardern, Parker and Little. While the Hound is pleased to see the new government promote and progress trade deals, he is astounded at the hypocrisy of these politicians and the abject failure of mainstream media (far too busy coming up with baby names) to hold them to account for such duplicity.

A MATE of the Hound reckons suggestions that possibly NZ’s longest-serving public benefit bludger -- Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Winston Peters – be sent to North Korea to negotiate with that country’s leader Kim Jong Un is a good move. Not only would it mean he would be out of NZ for a while; your canine crusader’s pal suggests that Peters and Kim will get on perfectly well as both are vertically challenged, megalomaniac autocrats who like to drink and party all night and believe they have a Godgiven right to rule their parties for life. Sounds like a perfect fit.

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 021 842 220 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 30/09/2017

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 // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

OPINION 21

Population surge demands food protection MARK ROSS

OVER THE next decade, the global middle class will grow from two billion to nearly five billion -- an explosive rise considering the entire world population was only five billion in 1990. Animals, grains, fruits and crops will be at the core of global growth in coming decades. Companies are spending billions on R&D each year to protect them. But there are challenges to overcome and misconceptions hindering innovation. A major challenge is antibiotic resistance, a threat that can cost lives. In animal health, the fight to curb antibiotic resistance is concentrated on better management of existing antibiotics and the development of alternatives. Modern technologies like custom, herd-specific vaccines and animal-only antibiotics are improving our ability to better preserve existing medicines. But, too often, animals are the scapegoat in drug resistance. Research has found that addressing antibiotic resistance in animals alone does little to tackle the issue for people. Animal health must be an equal partner in this fight. Like bacteria with antibiotics, resistance to crop protection compounds (herbicides, insecticides and fungicides) can develop over time. This is

a major global challenge for farming. Managing resistance requires an understanding of the factors that influence its development, and having strategies in place to manage these risks. Increasing regulatory roadblocks for registering new plant protection products hinder progress in providing farmers and growers with solutions to pests and disease.  Decision-making based on political gain, rather than science, adds to the frustration. These products are too often subject to activists touting alarmist claims in the media. Misinformation going viral can inhibit sensible decisionmaking on the registration of products essential for producing safe food. One hurdle was overcome when the European Commission and member states extended the renewal of glyphosate in late 2017 for five more years. This is a sensible decision that allows farmers to safely and efficiently kill weeds in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way.  In emerging markets, navigating complex regulatory systems can at times be tough. Delivering animal medicines and crop protection products to smaller markets is becoming increasingly challenging. Products with proven track records hit an impasse and progress grinds to a halt.

Animals, grains, fruits and crops will be at the core of global growth in coming decades. Companies are spending billions on R&D each year to protect them. But there are challenges to overcome and misconceptions hindering innovation. Working with our international counterparts allows us to share knowledge with a global community focused on

keeping animals and crops healthy. Agcarm does this via its membership of the international CropLife networks and

the organisation HealthforAnimals. Our memberships allow New Zealand makers and retailers to foster a greater understanding of global animal health and plant protection trends and activities. To ensure that we continue to produce healthy food, we need to embrace innovation and be proactive in dealing with the barriers. Advocating for sensible science will not only support a way forward, it will provide the necessary

Mark Ross

assurance needed in a world where the internet often dilutes the facts. • Mark Ross is chief executive of Agcarm,

the industry association for companies which manufacture and distribute crop protection and animal health products.

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

22 OPINION

Challenges and opportunities in the future of food AgResearch chief executive Tom Richardson.

TOM RICHARDSON

THE FUTURE of food – especially the emergence of ‘synthetic foods’ and what this might mean for New Zealand as a major food producer – has been

prominent in media and barbecue conversations this summer. As a science organisation dedicated to growing the value of NZ’s agrifood sector, AgResearch is highly attuned to both

the challenges and opportunities posed by these new technologies. From where we see it, the claims of an impending collapse of NZ’s traditional food exports in the face of this alternative

protein revolution just don’t reflect what we are seeing and experiencing. There is no question the technology to produce ‘synthetic foods’ is advancing rapidly. Those advances are dramati-

cally improving the quality of these products and reducing costs. As we seek to feed a global population heading beyond nine billion by 2050, we need a host of sustainable food pro-

The Power of Three.

duction systems. These new technologies, and others not yet in development, will be an important component of our global food system. However, as most are aware, our food exports are not targeting the billions, but rather those niches where our products can attract the premium price that our small producers – a long

enhance brain development in infants. These are exciting advances and we are working with the

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way from customers – need. This has been our journey as a nation and it continues today and will tomorrow as technology makes it easier and easier for us to describe and demonstrate our unique provenance stories to customers around the world. In November, AgResearch signed up to a relationship with South Korea’s largest pharmaceutical company, Yuhan Corporation (which will invest significantly to bring NZ’s deer products to Asian markets).  More of these bilateral innovation partnerships that enhance the value of NZ agri-food products are being confirmed or are in the pipeline. We’ve also seen new investment such as Japanese food company Itoham approved to grow its stake in ANZCO Foods to 100%.  These investments reflect how favourably NZ’s agricultural products are viewed by those firms with close ties to these markets, and the potential seen for much more value creation. To realise that potential we need to be highly attuned to what attributes those customers value.  We have exciting science underway looking into how meat could be personalised for people’s individual health needs, and how dairy products can be designed to boost brainpower in adults and

world’s best to develop scientifically validated health benefits for a range of NZ products and ingredients. We need to be finely attuned to the expectations of consumers and we need to recognise that advances such as social media, micro-sensors and blockchains mean that every production and supply system in the world is heading towards total transparency. As a scientist myself, I find this evidencerich future exciting.  But it also means that our practices have to be totally consistent with our claims.  Again, at AgResearch we are seeing leading businesses investing much more aggressively in areas like animal welfare, novel farm systems and technologies that greatly enhance environmental sustainability.  None of us knows exactly how the food revolution will unfold over the next decade or two. However, since our first refrigerated food exports left Dunedin for Britain in 1882, through Britain’s entry into the European Union and the shift to Asia, our farmers and agri-food business have shown the adaptability that is now more important than ever. We have lived in a disruptive world for our entire existence as a country. • Dr Tom Richardson is chief executive of AgResearch


RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

MANAGEMENT 23

Environmental concerns prompt changes

Bryce Lupton discusses his farming regime with attendees at a recent BLNZ environmental field day.

your soil types, the characteristics of your soils, what their limitations are. That determines what stock you can and can’t run on them over periods of time without damaging them. “You’ve got your soil types, your land classifi-

cations – what you should or shouldn’t be running on there to keep it in good condition. Our soils are wet then summerdry so we can’t run heavy cattle. “That’s where we steered into the sheep policy over winter.

Winter finishing lambs – the country loves it and the sheep love it too. That is a policy which really sticks for us and our environment. Then we go into cattle over the summer autumn period.” From the Land Environment Plan they iden-

tified areas needing action. The ‘to do’ list has a worksheet of high, medium and low priorities and areas that need fencing. “It gives you an angle to start prioritising your work and then you start chipping away.”

!

CONCERNS ABOUT the sensitive environment of the Kaipara Harbour prompted the top-performing drystock unit Te Opu to transition from sheep and beef breeding to a successful unit finishing bulls and lambs. This gave the farm the flexibility needed to respond to the sensitive environmental challenges of its location on the Kaipara Harbour shores. The farm is now a three year Beef + Lamb NZ environmental focus farm sponsored from several sources. It is owned by equity partners Bryce Lupton and wife Aneta with Peter and Prue Vincent. Lupton told a recent BLNZ field day that his great grandfather bought the farm in 1890 and it had been owned by the one family for 124 years. Three years ago the family sold the farm and the equity partners bought it. The 392ha (360ha

Te Opu is a sensitive farm because “what happens onfarm goes straight into the harbour”. “We have farms above and around us whose water flows past us as well. What they do and what we do is very important to the harbour.” Trading as White Rock Hills Ltd the farm runs 35,000 lambs and 450 beef bulls. They buy store lambs in April-May-June and sell in July-November at 18-19kg carcase weight. For Friesian bull finishing they buy 420480kg lwt by 20-22 months of age; they avoid a second winter to avoid pugging. The bulls are grazed in a 60ha intensive grazing system and 70ha cellular system. The systems are structured with firm target disciplines in place.

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pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

effective) property forms a private peninsula on the Kaipara Harbour near the Maungaturoto township. The changes during the 30 years have been huge, he says. Maps from 1961 to 2015 illustrate these changes. Willows and poplars were planted for land stability. Mangrove areas were increasing because of sediment from the paddocks; sediment is the Kaipara’s major issue. They also fenced off their riparian areas. “We changed from a breeding finishing unit to just a finishing and trading unit. That gave us a huge flexibility. Flexibility is needed to build a resilient farm business. “To be sustainable you’ve got to produce a profit to reinvest back into the business to enhance it and give shareholders a return on their investment.” They chose to do a land environment plan, starting with the farm and its biggest asset, the soils. “You need to know

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TEAM WORK WORKING WITH the Northland Regional Council land management team has been a positive experience, Bryce says. “They are there to help… you can learn a lot from them and they can learn a lot from us as well; it’s a two way street. “What you see happening in Taupo or Waikato – that is coming our way. “Each catchment and each farm has its own issues so you’ve got to identify those and work within those limits and try to enhance what we have for a sustainable future.”

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

24 MANAGEMENT

Breeding rams go under N cap PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

NOW OPERATING under a nitrogen cap – with a cap also on stock units -Mike Barton of Taupo’s Glen Emmreth Farm no longer runs breeding cows. “They leach too much nitrogen for the money earned,” he says. “I need to finish all my stock by the second winter,” he told a Beef + Lamb NZ focus farm field at the White Rock Hills farm on the shores of the Kaipara Harbour. “As an animal approaches its mature body weight it becomes less efficient in converting the nitrogen it consumes into protein so it starts peeing

out more of it. “I run my business now on a different metric – dollars profit per kilogram of N leached. A breeding cow produces one calf per year; leaching a truckload of nitrogen doesn’t cut it. “We buy 6-month-old cattle, run them through the year and send them to the works at 14-20 months of age. “We need hybrid vigour; I can’t get the production gains and the weight gains out of a straight breed so we predominantly use a Charolais-Angus cross. “I need to grow animals on my farm every day of their lives because if they are just maintaining, sitting on the farm peeing, they are still producing nitroMike Barton’s Taupo farm no longer runs breeding cows.

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gen but they are not making any money for me.” They have learned to fertilise in the spring, after October 15. “All the science on our farm in the last 10 years shows we stop leaching below the root zone after about October 15. That is when plant growth is greater, evapo-transformation is greater and any rainfall from then don’t leach

THERE’S GOOD science on leaching and there is a hierarchy with animals, says Barton. Sheep leach the least, cattle leach the most and dairy cattle leach the most of all cattle. “But it is not that sheep are more efficient at converting grass into protein,” he says. “It is the way they pee. Sheep urinate a little and often: they might urinate 15 times in 24 hours; young cattle urinate 10-12 times in 24 hours. “Mature cows urinate four or five times in 24 hours so the need is to aggregate the nitrogen of the larger animals. Deer are between sheep and beef.”

below the root zone,” Barton explained. “It only affects potassium, sulphur and magnesium – highly leachable elements; phosphorus doesn’t leach. I put all those on in late October rather than autumn. That is a personal choice and one of the learnings from that process. “We finish a lot of beef in the winter and I feed out a lot of silage. I spend a lot of time sitting on a tractor; this gives me time to think.” He says they can farm under an emissions cap and are relatively successful. Depending on the season, they are producing 320-350kg of carcase weight per hectare. Their farm surplus is about $1000 a hectare. “So we can do it. We’ve been under cap six-seven years; my costs have gone up 48% but my income certainly hasn’t gone up 48%. With current beef prices we’ve gone up 20%, but I am still about 25% behind where I was in 2004. “Under the emissions cap are we going to cap livestock numbers and classes of stock? Or do we need to do something different? “About 350kg of carcase weight per hectare is about all I can ever expect to do. I can’t grow the quantum of meat; is it possible to grow the value of meat?”

WE NEED TO TALK MORE BARTON SAYS as a nation we can continue to have conversations and get involved in processes that protect water quality without having parallel conversations that reframe New Zealand’s farming business model. “As I said before – declining real returns increasing costs – our business to date has been to intensify. With what you are talking about here and every other catchment in the country, that business model won’t survive. We have to have another way of doing business. “So how are all of us – BLNZ, regional councils, farmers, urban consumers – going to have conversations with the processors and marketers to change that business model? I don’t know the answer, but we all need to think about it. “We can’t continue to occupy the commodity agriculture space and mandate water quality limits, biodiversity limits and greenhouse gas limits,” Barton adds. “How are we going to establish brand value to pay the costs associated with mandating those limits?”

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

MANAGEMENT 25

Taupo meat hits Japan at a premium TAUPO BEEF and Lamb has just started exporting premium product to Japan, says Mike Barton of Glen Emmreth farm. He spoke at a Kaipara field day late last year. Two days before the field day, Barton says the first unit load of cattle to be exported to Japan was killed. Another unit load was due to be killed the following week. They were working in with a

pack of meat we sell. The council website carries information on the auditing of each farm so it provides that level of certainty. “Customers have told

us they don’t want antibiotics and growth hormones and it has to be certifiably grass fed. What we have added is ‘no imported feed supplements’ – certainly no

palm kernel.” However, they have written into the legislation on the cap that animal welfare will supersede lake protection legislation.

Mike and Sharon Barton are members of a Taupo beef and lamb group exporting product directly to Japan.

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pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

efforts farmers had made to clean up the lake and to recoup some of the costs of environmental stewardship. They have supplied to local restaurants and selected supermarkets with good success. “But that wasn’t going to test this model,” Barton says. “We needed to know if people outside Taupo would value what we’d done. In 2014 we started selling in Auckland and Wellington.” They now sell through-

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“I couldn’t get over them wanting the whole Taupo story; it is part of the brand and you’ve got consumers in Japan willing to pay more than for any other beef because of the issue of the lake.” out the North Island and some parts of the South Island. Living under the nitrogen cap means Barton and other Taupo farmers send monthly stock returns to the regional council. “That’s how they monitor whether we are staying within the rules and under the cap,” he says. “We decided we needed something that told our consumers we were doing the right thing by the lake – not just flapping our arms and saying we were sustainable.” They wanted to see if consumers would value their having come up with a model to protect the lake in perpetuity. “We approached the council and asked would they be willing to provide a tick or a certification based on the auditing they are doing of each farm in the catchment so we could use that to verify our claims to customers,” Barton explained. “It took two years of negotiating because regional councils are very risk averse and they don’t like certifying any commercial activities. But to their credit they did,” he added. “That tick is on every

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free range pork farmer in the South Island and a free range chicken farmer and Taupo is providing the beef and lamb. “We are filling a container every four weeks and sending it to Japan. We couldn’t do it on our own, but there’re 300 pigs in the container with our cattle. “The Japanese have visited our farm several times; they visited the processor we use. “I couldn’t get over them wanting the whole Taupo story; it is part of the brand and you’ve got consumers in Japan willing to pay more than for any other beef because of the issue of the lake,” he explained. Most of those people will never come to New Zealand and they will never visit the lake. “To me that was the acid test of this Taupo beef project we started. Would consumers overseas value this issue? And they surprisingly did.” The beef the Taupo group are selling to Japan retails 20% higher than any other beef sold in Japan except for Wagyu. Barton says ‘Taupo Beef and Taupo Lamb – Grown Right Here’ was launched to see if consumers would pay a premium based on the

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

26 ANIMAL HEALTH

Heat brings challenges for livestock HIGH TEMPERATURES and humidity are prompting questions about farm animals’ production, along with their welfare, AgResearch says. Its research into dairy cows during the last 15 years has shown how they cope with heat, giving insights for animal management, says senior

scientist Dr Karin Schütz. “Like many mammals, dairy cows are more sensitive to heat than they are to cold,” she explains. “A lactating cow generates a lot of metabolic heat, and while it will increase its respiratory rate and sweat like a human being, it can struggle in especially

warm conditions to lose the heat.” Schutz says when the animal starts to drool and open-mouth pant, it’s a sign it is in distress from the heat. She says cows will change their behaviour to cope in the warm conditions, including drinking more, eating less, seek-

ing out ‘micro-climates’ in the shade or close to water, and moving about. “They also don’t lie down as much, which may be to increase the airflow around their bodies.” Research showed that when the air temperature reached 21degC and humidity more than 75%

it could affect the cow’s behaviour and milk production could decline, Schütz says. “If you want to keep up production, you need to keep your animals cool. That can mean providing shelter (such as trees), increasing access to drinking water, reducing walking distances and

WORK SMARTER NOT HARDER.

Dr Karin Schütz

preventing stress. If it is really hot, a lot of farmers will use sprinklers at their milking sheds to cool the cows as they wait to be milked.” However, research has shown that, given a choice cows will prefer shade to sprinklers. Cows can also tell the difference between different degrees of shade and will choose shade that protects them more from solar radiation. DairyNZ animal husbandry team leader Helen Thoday says preventing heat stress is more costeffective than trying to manage the consequences once cows become heat stressed.

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“All activity will increase the risk of heat stress, including walking to the water trough, to and from the dairy shed, and even grazing as normal. “When hot conditions are forecast, some shortterm solutions to reduce heat stress are to graze cows close to the dairy shed to reduce walking distance for milking, and to milk later in the afternoon/early evening when the temperature has dropped.” Farmers can also provide supplementary feed at night, so extra heat generated by digestion occurs at the coolest time.

IS FACIAL ECZEMA COMING? FARMERS IN and around the Taihape /Hunterville regions of the North Island are being warned to watch for signs of facial eczema (FE). Local vet and farm consultant Martin Walshe says the area has had more heat and humidity than is normal for this time of year. Walshe has done spore counts in the last few days and, while these are not at dangerous levels, they are higher than he would expect for this time of the year. “These are like Waikato conditions. If we get continued heat with moisture through February it’s probably going to be one the threats farmers in this area are going to have to deal with,” he says. Walshe says FE does not occur annually in his area but there was a major outbreak about three years ago in April which hit farmers badly. He concedes – given that FE is not common in the region – it is hard to justify spending a lot of money on monitoring. “But given this situation now, farmers should take some spore counts on their properties to see where things are and working out grazing policies,” he told Rural News. “For example, if they have crops these could be saved so that if FE does occur it will give them breathing space. Then there is the obvious option of using zinc, by spraying or by using a bolus.” Walshe says farmers may also consider selling store lambs a bit earlier and getting $100 now rather than waiting for prices to rise slightly but facing the risk of losing lambs to FE. – Peter Burke

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

ANIMAL HEALTH 27

Animal genetics ‘olympics’ a first in New Zealand ABOUT 1000 people will this month travel to New Zealand for three prestigious animal recording and genetics conferences. For the first time, the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production (WCGALP) will hold its four-yearly conference in NZ. The congress will be combined with the annual conferences for the International Committee for

Animal Recording (ICAR) and Interbull – the leading event for research and development in animal improvement, milk testing, DNA parentage analysis, genomics and genetics. Discussion topics will include parentage verification, breeding and genetic evaluation, ear tags, technology and herd testing. LIC chief scientist and ICAR conference co-chair,

“It’s like the Olympics of the animal genetics world coming to NZ. These are the biggest events on the industry’s event calendar.” Bevin Harris, says the events – attended mainly by researchers, scientists and other professionals – are something for the NZ animal industry to be proud of.

TB research wins award THE SCIENCE underpinning New Zealand’s TBfree programme has earned an award for its researchers. Science New Zealand, which represents the country’s seven Crown Research Institutes (CRIs), hosted its inaugural national awards at Parliament earlier in the summer. The TB Free team at Landcare Research/Manaaki Whenua was recognised for having refined aerial 1080. Most of the research recognised was funded and directed by OSPRI and its predecessor the Animal Health Board. The research has clarified the role of various pest species as TB vectors; developed strategies for local elimination of pests and for declaring areas free of TB; and substantially reduced the environmental, non-target and animal welfare risks of pest destruction. The projects included low-cost aerial 1080, TB surveillance, popula-

“It’s like the Olympics of the animal genetics world coming to NZ. These are the biggest events on the industry’s event calendar,” says Harris. “This represents a huge recognition of our country’s animal genetics industry and is a great opportunity to showcase our animal recording and technological developments. NZ is a leader in

tion monitoring, mitigating non-target impacts, the role of deer, pigs and ferrets in TB maintenance, possum spatial model for TB freedom prediction and deer repellents for 1080 baits. These projects have helped OSPRI shift from a focus on achieving TBfreedom status to a focus on full TB eradication, and helped develop the competitive contracting industry and performance contracts. Research areas included Waikato, West Coast, Southland, Marlborough, Canterbury and Hawke’s Bay. In 2013, the Landcare Research team leaders were awarded the Shorland Medal by the New Zealand Association of Scientists for applied science excellence, which recognises the contribution the group has made to the costeffectiveness and success of mammal pest destruction, especially possums, in the past 20 years.

LIC chief scientist and ICAR co-chair Bevin Harris.

this field so what better way to show this than by hosting these conferences.” Previous WCGALP

events have been held in Spain, UK, Canada, France, Brazil, Germany and the US. NZAEL manager and

ICAR conference co-chair, Jeremy Bryant, says this will be the first trip to NZ for many of the visitors. “We want to showcase the latest and greatest of animal recording and genetics and give visitors a hands-on insight into the NZ agricultural scene.” The taste of NZ’s primary industries is offered to the visitors on field trips, including a trip to a Waiheke Island oyster farm and a day in Waikato visiting artificial breeding facilities and local dairy farms. All three events will be held at Aotea Centre in Auckland, the first event starting on February 7.

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

28 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

Cab gives unrivalled 360˚ views MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

THE DICTIONARY defines ‘panoramic’ as “an unbroken view of the surrounding region”, so the newly arrived Claas Arion 400 series tractors are worth a closer look, but more on that later. The six-model series encompasses machines from 90 to 140hp, but the New Zealand market will see the existing Tier 3, 420 and 430 models continuing and supplemented by the new 440 and 460 Premium models, delivering 120 and 140hp respectively. The 440 and 460 are configured to meet Tier 4 Final emission regulations, which is achieved with the use of SCR. Made at the company’s Le Mans plant in France the new 400s use a four-cylinder, 4.5L

Fiat Power Train (FPT) engine, so removing the need for exhaust gas recirculation for emission controls. A huge improvement to the layout of the cooling package and forward mounting allows easy access to all the machines’ radiators and the air cleaner. The Quadrashift, semipowershift transmission comprises four ranges and four powershift steps to deliver 16 forward and 16 reverse speeds. It also features the Quadactiv function that allows fully automatic shifting of all speeds, alongside field and transport modes. To complement this set-up, the Revershift function gives clutch-less forward or reverse shifts via the column mounted shuttle lever or multi-function controller. Another useful inclusion is SmartStop, a func-

The new Arion 400 Series raises the bar in loader tractors in the 100-140hp range.

tion that stops the tractor at speeds up to 9km/h by pressing the brake pedal, which in turn cuts the drive. Lifting the foot off the brake reinstates drive and the tractor moves off. At the rear a GIMA rear axle has lift capacity of 5750kg with the

aid of twin lift rams and 540, 540E and 1000 PTO speeds. Diff lock function sees 100% locking to the rear, and LSD to the front axle with automation via speed or linkage position. Hydraulics are delivered via a tandem open-

centre set-up in which one pump delivers 60L/ min to the hydraulic vales and the other 40L/min to the rear linkage. Locking both pumps together creates a combined flow of 100L/min for high-speed loader operations. Three rear remotes are fitted as

standard, plus two midmount valves dedicated for loader use and controlled by the ElectroPilot system. The jewel in the crown, the Panoramic cab, gives unrivalled forward and upward views that make the tractor ideal for loader operations. The view throughout the arc of the MXsourced FL120 loader is unsurpassed and, although lots of glass and laminate are used, the six-post structure still meets all ROPS and FOPS safety regulations. When the rig is not being used for loader duties, a clever sliding roof screen can be moved into place, as well as a folding sunscreen. The cab has a rearmounted 2-point suspension system working with a solid front axle. A

load bearing sump assembly removes the need for chassis rails, allowing a ‘wasp-waist’ that makes for tighter turns, and making loader fitment easier with the use of cast towers. In the cab, the obligatory air suspension seat works with the tilt-andtelescope steering column to get the operator comfortable, while the multifunction lever to the right takes care of all key functions including powershifts, range changes, loader operation, engine memories and rear linkage, while the CIS display at the front A-pillar gives a clear view of essential tractor information. The new Arion 400 series raises the bar in loader tractors in the allimportant 100-140hp sector, with the Panoramic roof clearly in a league of its own.


RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS 29 First up, best dressed

Power Farming Group’s USA headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

Power Farming hits the US MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

POWER FARMING Group, the familyowned Morrinsville business, has a deal with SDF Italia to exclusively distribute Deutz-Fahr tractors in the US. The company says that having successfully grown Deutz-Fahr in Australia and New Zealand for a decade, this ambitious expansion is a logical step in its evolution. Says executive chairman Geoff Maber, “We believe we can replicate our past success in the biggest market of them all – America, where in most years at least 220,000 tractors are sold.” “We have the people, resources, systems and recipe to take Deutz-Fahr to the next level in the US market. Also, the German pedigree of Deutz-Fahr tractors and their focus on quality and innovation over recent years has resulted in a remarkable transformation, and that is also a big factor in our decision to extend beyond

Australasia.” PFG America will be headquartered in Atlanta with satellite operations in California. The new business is headed by Craig Maber, who has already relocated to Atlanta with his family. Power Farming, said to be the largest business of its type in the southern hemisphere, goes back three generations to its founding in 1946 when the late Laurie Maber formed the Maber Motors in Morrinsville. The group operates as four main trading entities: Power Farming NZ in wholesale distribution in NZ, Power Farming Retail retailing in NZ, and Power Farming Australia and Power Farming America, both wholesaling in the respective countries. Collectively it has annual turnover of $400 million, employs 400 people and has distribution hubs in Morrinsville, Christchurch, Brisbane, Melbourne and Atlanta.

THE RISING fortunes of global nelly, managing director of Origin farming are raising the demand Agroup told Rural News. “It now appears that rise will be for European-made tackle, which might signal supply problems for nearer 20% and we are starting to get warnings on Kiwi farmers and delivery times.” contractors lookThe higher ing to hit the new demand seems to season with new result from a rise toys. in commodity Several importprices for farmers and distribuers and growers, tors -- including who in turn are Origin Agroup that more confident imports Pottinger, about spending Joskin and Alpego, on equipment. and Power FarmSome manufacing Wholesale that turers, taken by imports and dis- Origin Agroup’s David Donnelly. surprise, are in tribute McHale, Kverneland and Maschio – are turn pressuring their suppliers, advising early ordering to guaran- who are struggling to keep up with demand for, e.g. tyres, radiatee delivery by late August. “European manufacturers were tors and hydraulic gear. Graeme Leigh, general manpredicting a 3% rise in volumes for the 2018 season after a couple ager machinery at Power Farming of stagnant years,” David Don- Wholesale, confirms supply is get-

ting tougher. The company had to commit to firm orders on Kverneland and McHale in October 2017 to guarantee spring delivery, and there’s little chance of re-supply before the new year 2019. Leigh says shipping times have been ‘slipping out’ as larger container vessels visit New Zealand less often. This supply chain problem is further compounded by a tightening of inspections by MPI, vigilant for Mycoplasma bovis, and a blackgrass epidemic affecting many European cereal growers, resulting in more frequent and lengthy inspections of used machinery landing in NZ. Leigh says inspectors are keeneyed about ‘ex-demo’ machines bought on the grey/parallel import market. So the message is, get in early if an upgrade is on the to-do list. – Mark Daniel

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

30 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS / RURAL TRADER

Hybrid drive increases ploughing output by 33%

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to generate power for electrically driven implements. Present examples include the prototype rake from Fendt, fertiliser spreaders from Rauch and sprayers from Amazone. The technology also lends itself to trailed implements, using a powered-hub system in an axle to help propel, say, trailers or slurry tankers, and perhaps equally useful for cultivation equipment. In a two-year trial, a powered

land-wheel design was fitted to a Pottinger Servo plough pulled by a Deutz Fahr tractor. Using a 200hp TTV tractor as the base unit, a ZF onboard gen-set was installed between the engine and transmission. Starting with a six-furrow reversible plough, deemed to be a good match for the tractor, engineers found that with the driven land wheel engaged, the tractor easily pulled the unit.

Adding a seventh furrow did little to slow the tractor, which was still travelling too fast to get good inversion of the furrows. Adding an eighth furrow brought the tractor back to a speed comparable with the unaided six-furrow set-up, at which point the work rate had been increased by 33%. It’s an exciting concept, as growers try to rein in costs, especially given lower commodity prices.

NEW JAGUARS REALLY PURR IMPROVEMENTS TO Claas Jaguar 900 and 800 forage harvesters include a new hydraulic pre-compression system, a new chopping cylinder, and three new front attachments. The new hydraulic pre-compression layout is said to offer consistently high chop quality; the rear pre-compression roller springs in the feeder housing have been replaced by hydraulic rams with pressure reservoirs. Meanwhile, clever software uses different characteristic maps

that can automatically adjust the pre-compression force to suit different crops or changes in crop flow. The new V-Max chopping cylinder allows

the knife carriers to be adjusted to achieve a symmetrical crop discharge when operating with a half-set of knives. Used in combination with the appropri-

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are reached Up front, the new Pick Up 300 and 380 fronts have improved adaptation to ground contours, throughput and reliability. Upgrades see all models offering the ability to be specified with a three-speed transmission to allow ideal adjustment of the crop flow, and improvements to the roller crop press make for an even crop flow. The Pick Up 300 can also be equipped with a suspended frame for optimal adaptation to ground contours.

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Southern Field Days TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS FEBRUARY 6, 2018: ISSUE 646 

February 14-16 Waimumu

www.ruralnews.co.nz

Expectations of a boomer event NIGEL MALTHUS

A BUOYANT local economy should help make this year’s Southern Field Days a big success, says event chairman Logan Evans. The three-day event, held every two years, runs from February 14 to 16 on a dedicated site at Waimumu, near Gore. Southland is experiencing an unusually dry summer, but lamb prices of $120 should make it a good event, quips Evans. “It’s good that the sheep boys have got something to be happy about this year,” he told Rural News. Showing the latest in farming technology, equipment and specialist knowledge from around the world, the event has grown from modest begin-

nings. It was first hosted by a local farmer in 1982 and now boasts nearly 800 exhibitors on a 60ha site owned by the Southern Field Days organisation. Sharon Paterson, secretary and event manager, says the exhibition space is fully booked. “In every nook and cranny we could potentially get another site into we’ve put more,” she says. They expect to at least match the 40,000 visitors who attended the last event in 2016. Southern Field Days is run by a volunteer committee of past and present members of the Otago/Southland Young Farmers Club. With just two paid employees – secretary Paterson and a caretaker – they take pride in

An aerial view of the Southern Field Days Waimumu site during the last event, in 2016. SUPPLIED/SOUTHERN FIELD DAYS

Inset: SFD chair Logan Evans.

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

2 SOUTHERN FIELD DAYS

SFD organisers expecting a boomer FROM PAGE 1

involving the local community to make it a success. It is an important fundraising opportunity for local groups such as clubs, PTAs, rugby clubs and play centres, who manage car parking, ticketing and rubbish collection. “It’s a very good community event,” says Evans. “In everything we try to do we always ask, how can we involve the community more? It’s putting money back into our community.” A sheep and beef farmer from nearby Mandeville, Evans is now into his second field days as chairman. “It’s pretty easy because we’ve got a secretary and a caretaker and the rest of the committee are a bunch of good buggers who all do their job,” he says. Popular events will all be back this year including the Golden Pliers and the Young Farmers fencing competitions, the Tractor Pull and the Speed Shears. The Southern Man contest, new in 2016, will also be back, as will

A competitor pulls a wheelie during the Tractor Pull, a regular crowd favourite at the Southern Field Days, Waimumu.

radio man Jamie Mackay (Newstalk ZB’s ‘The Country’) against his counterpart Hamish McKay (RadioLIVE’s

a revamped Innovation Awards. A celebrity speed-shearing contest on the Friday afternoon will pit

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‘Rural Exchange’). Mackay will be defending the title he won against then Deputy Prime

Minister Bill English at the 2016 event. Former world shearing champion Sir David Fagan will be the judge. Evans will welcome back the Super 18 Rugby champions the Crusaders to the Farmlands Cup pre-season game against the local favourites, the Highlanders. That match will be played on the Thursday evening at the Fred Booth Family Park adjacent to the show site. Site development continues, and the large AgriCentre building for covered exhibits is now into its third event. The former Gore Playcentre building, relocated to the site for the last field days, has since been refurbished as an office, meeting and kitchen spaces. Also new this year is a motorhome park adjacent to the main site, offering another option for visitors’ accommodation. It has no water or toilet facilities so is open only to fully selfcontained motorhomes.

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Southern Field Days

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Or find a dealer: Tel. 0508 140 140 www.agtyres.co.nz


RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

SOUTHERN FIELD DAYS 3

She’s a beaut mate! NIGEL MALTHUS

FOR AUSTRALIA’S Proway the Southern Field Days are a cornerstone of its New Zealand marketing presence. Proway, a designer and manufacturer of stock handling systems at Wagga Wagga, NSW, will be back at Waimumu this year for the third consecutive visit since 2014. The company also attends the South Island Field Days event at Kirwee in the alternating years. Proway’s international marketing manager Troy Brose says Waimumu has been a good event for the company. “We’ve sold a few products directly from there. It’s a well-run field day and it always has a good turnout.” Proway’s flagship product is a bulk sheep handling race, described as a

Proway’s Troy Brose (left) is pictured at the 2014 Southern Field Days with Ross Flett and Geoff Howie, of Milton, buyers of its first bulk sheep handler sold in NZ. SUPPLIED

replacement system for a traditional drenching race. Sheep run into the machine 15 to 25 at a time, then the floor -- a ladder grating – is hydraulically lifted under the sheep, immobilising and lifting them to a comfortable working height for drenching, tagging, vaccination and other tasks. “It’s for any of those

jobs where you have to fight with them in a traditional race,” explains Brose. “You don’t have to be physically strong to handle your sheep. Sheep are getting bigger, so it just takes that strength component out of it.” Brose says Proway will be showing and livedemonstrating one of the

sheep bulk handlers at Waimumu. And they will show sheep drafting races, cattle and sheep panels and “a few other bits and pieces”. The company sells products in every state and territory of Australia, and in NZ, UK, Canada, Kazakhstan, and Papua New Guinea. Brose says they do a lot of their work using Google Earth. “We can find the client’s location on Google Earth,” he explains. “We can take an image of their existing yards then layer new designs over the top of that image, to either work in with their existing yards or as a new project.” Brose says Proway will do “a little bit” of advertising to coincide with field days, but otherwise needs no marketing presence or office in NZ.

DISCS COME WITH LIFETIME WARRANTY REFLECTING THE quality and performance of its products, Väderstad has introduced a lifetime warranty on its genuine discs. This means if a disc should fail during its lifetime, Väderstad will replace it free of charge. The company says its in-house production of wear parts is unique in the market and gives it full control of the process. Its discs are made from high quality V-55 Swedish steel at the Väderstad genuine parts manufacturing SPH complex close to the factory and head office in Sweden. “When you continue to fit your Väderstad machine with durable, high-quality Väderstad genuine parts, you ensure that your machine maintains the high performance and working results that made you choose the machine from the start,” says Mattias Hovnert. “This results in lower costs per hectare, maximising farm economy.” The Väderstad lifetime warranty applies to genuine discs purchased from year model 2018, which started

in October 2017. All genuine Väderstad discs are marked ‘V-55’. And the company that set a world record for the most planting in 24 hours with its Tempo drill has announced several new features for 2018. Options now include hydraulic weight transfer alongside a floating row cleaning system. The former offers the operator the ability to increase or decrease pressure on each unit to match the machine to field conditions. This optimises seed planting depth, which in turn helps deliver uniform crop emergence. Likewise, floating row cleaners adapt to suit field conditions, with each unit mounted on a parallel linkage with working intensity controlled by an adjustable spring. Each row cleaner is fitted with a self-cleaning rubber which acts to control the depth setting of the actual spiked row cleaner disc. Optimised working angles allow the row cleaners to match the drilling speed and precision of the planter.

DISCOVER THE YAMAHA FARM RANGE

SOUTHERN FIELDAYS SITE 479

! 0 0 2 G A A N I W AHA VISIT US AND LOCAL DEALER AT:

www.yamaha-motor.co.nz

Only one entry per person. Only entries placed onsite at Southern Field Days count towards the draw. Prize will be drawn 28 February 2018. Terms and conditions apply. See onsite for details.

R yAM VISIT OU TE TO GO IN SI FIELDAYS DRAW! THE ly.

ns app

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ACTOR

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P: 0800 023 318 E: info@landpro.co.nz: W: www.landpro.co.nz

111

1

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PADDOCK 1

FIND US AT SITE 230

168

PADDOCK 2

OFFICES IN GORE, CROMWELL AND NEW PLYMOUTH

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MWE LL AN D NE FIND W PL US A YMO T SIT 18 E UTH E 230 : info @lan dpro.c 30m o .n 40m z: W 50m : www 60m 70m .land 80m pro.c 90m o.nz 100m 110m

WAIMUMU ROAD

RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

Ph 06-370 1329 • Stuart 0274-387 528 124 Lincoln Road, Masterton E: daytech@wise.net.nz W: www.daytech.co.nz LEADERS ON FARM MACHINERY DESIGN


RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

SOUTHERN FIELD DAYS 5

Kuhn fronts up with new mowers KUHN IS expanding its range of front-mounted mowers. The new GMD 3125 F (3.10m) and 3525 F (3.50m) machines are designed for solo operations, in combination with rear-mounted mowers up to 4.40m, or triple mowers in a butterfly formation bringing with them a choice of six different models for all situations. Both machines are equipped with two rotating drums to keep the crop flow centred. This is delivered into a single, adjustable swath width of up to 1.3m, to adapt to the available space between

a tractor’s front tyres. Vertical travel of nearly 70cm offers ground following and adaptation to all types of front linkage systems. The lift control hydraulic suspension system allows adjustable pressure for fast adaptation to mowing conditions. The new mowers also have the advantage of low ground pressure to protect plant cover, and reduced fuel consumption and ground-contacting parts wear. The front-mounted GMDs have the maker’s Optidisc maintenancefree cutter bars and

Protectadrive safety system that protects the mechanical parts if the machine hiyts trash. To further reduce down-time and lower maintenance costs it also has fast-fit knives which save change-

over time. And Flex-protect side guards resist objects that are hit in or around the mowing area. www.kuhn.co.nz @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

Lightweight portability. Heavyweight performance.

S400 & S200 Portable Solar Energizers

JD EXPANDS ZERO-TURN LINE UP JOHN DEERE has added two new commercial, zeroturn radius mowers to its range. The ZTrak Z945M and  ZTrak Z955M models come with electronic fuel injection engines (EFI) that give more power, increased fuel efficiency and the power to deal with tough mowing. JD says the increased power makes quicker work of jobs such as material collection, mulching and mowing in thick turf, while the EFI engine set-up improves overall fuel economy. The Z945M, has a 27hp, 824 cc EFI engine, and the Z955M a 29hp engine of the same capacity. Both are available with a choice of decks: the 60-inch, side discharge or a 60-inch, mulch on demand version, to a 72-inch, side discharge unit specifically designed for the Z955M. The machines also have enhanced ride comfort and easy use, allowing operators to stay more comfortable on long mowing days. A newly designed seat has a thicker bottom cushion, extra padding on the back with ergonomic contouring and adjustable armrests to improve ride comfort; and there is a choice of an premium suspension seat. Other improvements include an enlarged and angled fuel filler neck for fueling with less mess.

Kuhn is expanding its range of frontmounted mowers.

Keep your power contained.

Extra High Voltage Strain Insulator 0800 731 500 www.gallagher.com

Animal performance data at the touch of a finger.

See us on the Farmlands Site

TW-3 & TW-1 Weigh Scales

The Electric Fence, re-invented... From the ground up.

Insulated Line Post


RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

6 SOUTHERN FIELD DAYS

Harnessing more lambing success RAM HARNESSES are proving effective for farmers using them and for the maker Rurtec. Five years ago the company was selling only its Matingmark and Chinmark breeding harnesses. Then innovation lead to its adding the No Mate Teaser Harness. “This has seen a huge

increase in sales in 2017 and some high praise,” says Rurtec’s Ian Carr. “The No Mate harness is easy to put on and is very secure, so you know there will be no mating happening while it’s on.” The No Mate Harness fits on behind a Matingmark harness and can be used with or without a

crayon. Carr says some farmers just want the benefits from the teasing effect which can, as shown in trial work by Vet Services Hawkes Bay, include higher lambing percentages. “Others like to be able to see the cycling activity visually so will put on a crayon. Many opt for

yellow as the marks are very visible. However, these disappear from the wool more quickly than other colours.” Carr says there are other benefits from using ram harnesses, particularly in managing feed in the mating and pre-lambing period. The company ‘har-

CSL Chillboost Introduces our new...

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See us at SITE 360

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supporting cast ewes and those that go down at lambing. “I tried a couple of Bearin harnesses after one ewe strained so much every other method failed after a day or two,” explains Southland vet Kim Kelly. “The harness kept the bearing in and the ewe then lambed through the harness. A great design and I recommend them to all farmers. Safe, easy to use, clean and reuseable; and they work.” Videos on the harnesses are on the Rurtec YouTube channel. Or visit the Rurtec stand at The Southern Field days at Waimumu, the Central Districts Field days at Feilding or the National Fieldays in Hamilton.

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nessed’ further success last August at a sheep show in Hamilton, Victoria, where it was awarded first place in the animal health and husbandry inventions class. “The all new Adlam Versatile lambing harness combines the functionality of the Bearin Prolapse with that of the Adopta Restraint Harness,” Carr says. “One day the light came on after questioning why we have two similar harnesses when one could fulfill both roles and more.” He says the new harness is based on the successful Bearin Prolapse Harness, with a detachable fence strap added. “This has added versatility so it can be used not only with bearing ewes, but for mothering on and

See us at Site 236 The Benefits are: • Less stress on lamb • Easy to load • Automatically sprays for fly strike on release • Lambs are released onto their feet • Height adjustable • Straight rollers help prevent legs getting stuck • Self locking on yard rail • 2 Year Warranty

See us at the Southern Field Days

www.pppindustries.co.nz / sales@pppindustries.co.nz / 0800 901 902

• Vaccination • Earmarking and tagging • Castration • Drenching • Fly strike application and Tail removal

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

SOUTHERN FIELD DAYS 7

Iconic G-class is reborn MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

IN 1972 a collaboration between Daimler Benz AG and Steyr Daimler-Puch resulted in the 1979 launch of the Mercedes G-wagen – or G-Class as it is known today. It has become an icon of design with easily recognisable looks, even if they are a little boxy compared to the norm. The ‘G’ had amazing off-road ability, safety in all situations and a history dating back 45 years, making it a most enduring model. By mid-2017 some 300,000 units had been made at the plant in Graz, Austria, which continues to churn out a huge number of variants. The latest version, scheduled to hit New Zealand’s shores in the third quarter 2018, stays true to that 1979 design with the recognisable box shape, the characteristic external door hinges and the bulging indicator lenses at each corner. The exterior change is minor, but a look under the skin tells a different tale. It’s not all as it seems: the ‘new G’ is 53mm longer and 121mm wider

than the old model. Still employing a full-ladder chassis, the new model is engineered to improve overall rigidity, alongside tweaking the links between the drive train and the suspension systems. Suspension has independent double-wishbones up front, complemented by a rigid rear axle. The wishbones are secured directly to the ladder chassis, with high attachment points said to offer great clearance to the axle componentry. And their use now allows the fitment of a strut brace to further increase rigidity. At the rear, the rigid rear axle is controlled by four trailing arms complemented by a Panhard Rod layout. The overall layout offers an under-axle clearance of 241mm -- an increase of 6mm -- and an increase in fording depth by 100mm to 700mm. Engineered to deal with ‘middle age spread’, the ‘G’ has high grade steels and aluminium in the door skins, guards, bonnet and hood; this has helped the vehicle shed 170kg (no need to call Mel B or Jenny Craig). In the cab its pretty much the same: the traditional G-wagen look with

displays dominated by round dials, although an option touch screen control system is there for those needing a tech fix. For off-roading, the Dynamic Select System includes a ‘G-Mode’ setting

that allows the driver to set the vehicle up independent of the pre-programmed terrain settings that cover high or low box, actuation of the three differentials, firmness of damping and the degree of steering assistance,

thereby allowing the tough stuff to be tackled with ease. Expect the first arrivals in NZ to be in the shape of the range-topping AMG G63 and the price to exceed the $254,000 tag on the current version.


RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

8 SOUTHERN FIELD DAYS S AT SEI E US TE 26 1

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WHEN RURAL News caught up with Leonie Dennis, the organiser of the Southern Field Days Southern Man competition, she was not worried that only one entrant had confirmed three weeks out from go. “Males save it to the last minute, right?” she quips. But she was forgiving blokes’ reluctance to commit, given all the other admirable qualities of a true Southern Man. “Are you hardworking and not afraid to get your hands dirty?” asks the competition webpage. “Are you able to whip up a romantic dinner after a day of shedding sweat and tears?” Dennis is not too specific about

the tasks facing the competitors: it’s intended to be a surprise on the day. Limited to eight entrants, the Southern Man competition harks back to the popular Speights Southern Man beer advertising. Speights now comes to the party by providing tee-shirts for the competitors. The event presents seven tasks, each devised and run by its sponsor. Each task will carry a prize valued at $100 or more, be it cash, product or merchandise. “There’s a bit of physical, a wee bit of mental, and it’s a good mix,” adds Dennis. “And it’s good fun. Everyone got along well last time. Even when they were competing with each other they were encouraging each other as well.”

The overall first and second place-getters win prize packs including rugby tickets. The Southern Man competition was launched at the 2016 Southern Field Days. Then tasks included building and painting a planter box, stacking 48 heavy salt blocks, chainsawing, identifying different types of fertiliser, putting a soccer ball through an obstacle course, cycling and a quiz. The competition lasted three days in 2016, but after feedback from the competitors this year it will all run on the first day of the Field Days (Wednesday February 14). “So we hit them hard. It’s all in one day now,” Dennis says. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews


RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

SOUTHERN FIELD DAYS 9

Combo makes short work of stubble DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY for stubble cultivation and seedbed preparation, the Pottinger Terradisc compact disc harrow offers a compact layout and aggressive disc angle position to promote mixing of harvest residues in shallow seed beds and stubble. The 3.0m and 4.0m trailing Multi-Line ver-

sions allow for the fitting of a seed drill to the rear, providing a one pass cultivation and seeding system. The machine layout has 580mm diameter scalloped discs mounted on twin arms with large rubber suspension blocks to give a higher break-out force for work in harder soil conditions. These

also protect the large twin-race double-sealed disc bearing units, ensuring trouble free life and maintenance. The range offers fixed or trailing versions ranging from 3.0m to 6.0m working width with a choice of rear roller options. Pack-Ring roller or Rubber Packer rollers

have proven to be the most popular types, providing a cracking effect and breakdown of clods for a finer seedbed. These help by pushing the crop stubble into the surface of the soil to increase contact and accelerate breakdown of residues. The rollers also increase moisture retention by leaving a well consolidated surface.

Hydraulic folding side discs are a standard feature on all linkagemounted and Multi-Line models, allowing the operator to reduce overall

width in transport. Meanwhile, hydraulic-folding trailing models have a rear transport wheel system which folds up and over the top of

the discs when working. This increases weight over the discs, helping soil penetration, and improving stability when working at high speeds.

The multi-line disc/harrow combination in action.

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

10 SOUTHERN FIELD DAYS

New Gallagher tech on show MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

New S200 units will be on display.

2018 MARKS a big year for Gallagher, with its 80th anniversary and the release of several new products. Celebrations will take the theme of ‘Sparking Possibilities’, a nod to the first electric fence that started the business years ago. The latest product

FEED SYSTEMS SINCE 1962

releases represent what Gallagher has done well with – providing fencing and weigh scale solutions and gaining a reputation for high quality, relevant equipment. The fencing technology sees the completion of the Solar Energizer family, with the introduction of the S200 and S400s units, developed following the success of the smaller S10 - S100

at th See us e Fiel Southe rn d Da ys

models and said to be ideal for heavy crop grazing. The rugged units include an integrated battery and solar model using smart technology to keep the battery power at optimum even on the darkest days. A high-quality casing and circuit protection ensures it can be relied upon in harsh environments. A new extra high voltage Strain Insulator is created to deal with the increased voltages delivered by modern energisers. The Strain Insulator is especially suited to places where the farmer does not want stray volt-

age, including electric fences close to dairy sheds and hay barns. Likewise, the new Insulated Line Post will offer flexibility and easy installation with a wide range of applications including fencing sheep, cattle, deer and horses. Farmers needing to sharpen up their livestock data collection may want to look at the TW Weigh Scales units that combine a user-friendly touch screen interface with time saving technology that has eliminated any need to re-enter data at the end of a weigh run; these generate useful reports on site.

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

SOUTHERN FIELD DAYS 11

Flatliner hits the spot NEW FROM Kverneland importer Power Farming for 2018 is the KV Flatliner subsoiler designed for soil loosening, which is timely after a wet spring. Dealing with any sub-surface pans is known to help drainage, but equally important the process also helps root growth and ultimately leads to increased yield. The Flatliner takes the form of a robust V-frame layout made from 150 x 150 x 10mm steel. Easily adjustable, bolted-up leg assemblies are attached and spaced to tackle the task at hand. The 300 and 350 models come in working widths of 2.61 and 3.15m respectively. Both models can operate at depths of 30 to 50cms. The curved profile of the Pro-lift of LD tines are said to offer maximum shatter

of the soil profile, reduce surface disturbance, and prevent clods or stones from rising in the profile. The tines are made from high quality, chrome-boron steel and are highly resistant to wear. Weighing 1700 and 2150kg, the Flatliner 300 and 350 are equipped with three or five tines respectively, although the 300 unit can be fitted with two extra tines to give a 57cm tine spacing. Depth control is by a choice of three rear roller configurations. The likely favourite is the double D profile that helps ‘re-settle’ the surface for a prompt return to production. Power requirements are quoted from 130 to 250hp, dependent on machine configuration and prevailing ground conditions.

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

12 SOUTHERN FIELD DAYS

Irish mixer wagons hit NZ MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

GILTRAP AGRIZONE says it’s had outstanding success with the HiSpec range of slurry tankers and muck spreaders. The company has now added the Irish company’s mixer wagons to its product offering in New Zealand. As the name suggests, the manufacturing process uses high-grade materials and attention to detail to enable these machines to work day in, day out for many seasons.

This detail starts with an independent, reinforced chassis that carries a single or tandem axle layout and incorporates a 4 cell Digi-Star weighing system. The heavy-duty tapered body is mounted to the chassis and repeats the theme of high-spec with a 20mm thick floor with vertical reinforcing to deal with mixing forces. The sidewalls of the tub are manufactured from high-grade 8mm thick steel, with the upper edge incorporating a straw-ring to keep

Giltrap Agrizone is now offering HiSpec’s mixer wagons in NZ.

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bales in place during the initial stages of mixing. This results in a 27 cu.m machine weighing 8.6 tonnes empty. Offered in single- or twin-auger formats, the V and T Series machines have capacities of 7 to 32 cu.m, with all models using industry-leading Comer Industries gearboxes. Machines larger than 12 cu. m have a twospeed planetary reduction set-up that allows the use of a lower-powered tractor. In operation, material travels up the auger screw, before tumbling back down the tapered sides to repeat the cycle. Along the way, self-sharpening, serrated knives chop the material to between 5 and 10mm in length as required. These

are aided by adjustable counter-knives fitted to the lower part of the tub. Completing the package, simple guillotine doors, standard crossconveyors or variable height discharge conveyors handle discharge, allowing adaptation to all types of feeding regimes or layouts. “While the diet feeders are new to the market for us, the build quality and attention to detail have certainly got people talking,” says Giltrap’s Jarred L’Aime. “The extensive range means we will be able to offer machines, building on the already founded reputation of delivering HiSpec solutions.” @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

SOUTHERN FIELD DAYS 13

Getting rid of onfarm plastic ing with Astron Plastics, Auckland, to recycle farm silage plastic into Tuffboard, a plywood-replacement product with many uses on farms. Using new dry-clean technology, silage plastic is heated and treated to clean the shredded film before it is made into pellets. Tuffboard is strong, easily cleaned and hygienic. The deer industry uses it in upgrading velveting barns to new hygiene standards. Tuffboard is also used by pig farmers to replace plywood – pigs do not eat

Tickled pink by Valentines Day

www.stallion.co.nz

Check out the latest market data at www.ruralnewsgroup.co.nz/markets

Southern Field Days FEBRUARY 14-16, 2018 The South Island’s largest rural event for business and pleasure. Visit www.southernfielddays.co.nz for more information

Field Day Sites

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Agpac’s plastic baler in action.

RRP $18,120 +GST

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N

THE SOUTH Island Fieldays coincides with Valentine’s Day, so in line with the ‘happy wife, happy life’ principal it might pay to buy a big bunch of flowers before you go, or let the moths out of the wallet while you’re there. Stallion Plastics suggests treating ‘her indoors’ to something special, such as its limited edition, pink MTF70 feeder. Apart from the girly-pink tank, the MTF has been designed to save time and energy during the calf-rearing season, with an electric start motor bringing the machine to life, allowing the stainless-steel mixing system to mix milk, milk powder or colostrum within three minutes. The nozzle and hose feature makes filling the tank easier than the traditional method of lugging buckets and will prevent backache and sore arms. Cleaning the MTF is simple: half fill the tank with water, turn on the motor and the tank will self-clean within three minutes. Drain out the tank and the nozzle and the job’s done. A special promotion during the South Island event will see purchasers also receiving $650 worth of Stallion Products, leaving money in the pocket to spend up large on the significant other. The only problem Rural News can forsee is that if the ‘other half’ has a hairy chest and is called Nigel he’ll probably want a blue or all-black tank.

the plastic sheet. The Tuffboard range has been expanded to both a recycled and virgin plastic. The recycled plastic is black and the virgin a natural colour.

IN

and polypropylene bags. Plasback operates a bin and liner system for collection. The liner system keeps the plastic cleaner and allows it to be collected in large bags -easier to collect and bale than loose plastic. Plasback owns six recycling balers that handle the large bags of waste plastic. Once baled, the plastic is sent away for recycling. Since its start in 2006 the scheme has recycled 10,000 tonnes of used plastics. Plasback is now work-

MA DE

THE RULES on waste disposal by farmers and growers are changing: the traditional options of burning and burying are no longer allowed. The Plasback recycling service collects plastics from farms and sends it for recycling. Plasback is a government-accredited product stewardship scheme owned and operated by Agpac Ltd, New Zealand’s largest supplier of crop packaging products. It collects such plastics as balewrap, silage covers, twines, drums

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

14 SOUTHERN FIELD DAYS

Even more kick from latest Mule MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

ARRIVING JUST in time for regional field days is the latest addition to the Kawasaki Mule range – the Mule PROFXR. Described as a premium side-byside that offers performance, work capacity and comfort, the FXR differs from other models in the range by having a wide-body chassis and a wheelbase reduced by 320mm, compared to its nearest relatives. This is said to increase manoeuvrability, noticed in its tight turning radius of only 4.3m. The chassis features a classic Japanese theme -- shinari (elasticity). It has a frame that can bend without braking then return to its original shape, much like a hunting bow or a fishing rod. This feature improves performance over difficult terrain, while keeping wheels in contact with the ground and superior comfort for the passengers. Power comes from a liquid cooled, 3-cylinder petrol engine with 30L fuel capacity. This delivers 48hp and 65Nm torque and is mated to a CVT trans-

mission for stepless speed control and engine braking on the downhill sections. Suspension is double wishbones front and rear, with twin tube shock absorbers absorbing bumps. Shod with 27-inch tyres mounted on cast-aluminium wheels, the set-up offers 275mm ground clearance, a 34 degree breakover angle to lessen bottoming-out on ridges or climbing over logs, increased rider comfort and superior grip. Stopping is by disc brakes on all four corners and a park brake system that acts on the rear axle. Electrically actuated 2WD/4WD and a rear diff lock are complemented by electric power steering that is speed-sensitive, as well as acting as a damper to eliminate bump-steering and backlash, particularly in rough terrain. A wide, comfortable cab area has a three-person, contoured bench seat with seatbelts and a tilt/adjustable steering wheel. There are several storage options -- a glovebox, dashboard pockets and under-seat storage bins, and the essential cup holders. A high output generator is capable of producing 60 amps to run numerous accessories. These are also catered

for with four pre-wired feeds and two DC power sockets. Digital instruments keep the driver informed of all key machine functions, quadruple headlamps point the way to go and the driver is protected by standard doors and a roof overhead. A robust, gas-assisted tilt bed

Email: hecton@xtra.co.nz Visit our website www.hecton.co.nz for a full list of products

SHEEP HANDLER AND LEAD UP RACE

See us at SITE 263

• • • • • • • •

offers 453kg carrying capacity, and a 2-inch receiver for the tow coupling

is rated to 907kg.

The Mule Pro FXR will be on show at the round of regional field days.

Fertiliser spreaders 2-10t Capacity. Stainless Steel Bin. Ground Drive (std). Chain & Slat Floor. Accurate Spread. Single/Tandem Axle. Options To Suit. Easy To Use. Hay feeding equipment • Solid build • Mechanical drives • Electric joystick controls • Low maintenance • Easy To Use Bale feeders • 1-5 bale self-loaders

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See us at;

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

SOUTHERN FIELD DAYS 15

A game of two halves... of South Island

Aaron Smith of the Highlanders yells at his team-mates during the Super Rugby trial match between the Highlanders and the Crusaders at Fred Booth Park on February 11, 2016 in Waimumu. PHOTO BY ROB JEFFERIES/GETTY IMAGES. 2016

NIGEL MALTHUS

CONNECTING WITH rugby fans in the rural community via a pre-season match at the Southern Field Days has the team stoked, says Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger. The match against the Crusaders will be a highlight of the field days, but also holds “real significance” to the team, he says. “We’re aware that a large contingent of our fans travel for hours to watch us play competition games at Forsyth Barr; so taking these two games to them (they Highlanders also meet the Waratahs in Queenstown on February 2) is a nice way to reward their loyalty and continued support. “I’ve been overwhelmed by the support for our team and the good-hearted nature of our Landers followers, Mauger told Rural News. “We’re hoping to reward that support from the region’s people and around the world with an exciting brand of footy and top-quality performances this season.” The match will be played on the Thursday evening on a pitch on a farm by the main field days site. Playing a field days match was first mooted between the Highlanders and field days sponsor Farmlands in 2015, says Highlanders commercial manager Mike Kerr. Unable to find a suitable playing area inside

the main site, Kerr says they were driving out “pretty dejected” after a meeting on site. Then they noticed an ideal spot across the road on local farmer Fred Booth’s land. The flat playing area with a raised bank down one side, perfect for spectators, now bears the name Fred Booth Park. “It’s a paddock, but since the last game the [Gore District] Council has taken over and looked after it well; it’s in great nick. They’ve done a good job,” Kerr says. The inaugural match on the ground in 2016 was also inaugurated the Farmlands Cup, now the prize for the Highlanders’ and Crusaders’ annual pre-season derby. The first match was a draw, and the Crusaders won the 2017 match played at Darfield in the off-year of the Southern Field Days. Mauger says the preseason games measure the team physically, technically and tactically. It also helps gauge the performance, mentality and readiness of individuals as they compete for spots in the playing squad. “I feel we have prepared for the season with purpose and I’m proud of the commitment of all players and staff involved in our pre-season to set us up to express our game and perform to our expectations.” Mauger, whose playing heyday was with the Crusaders, says he has been asked a lot about his ties with the Crusaders. “I wouldn’t have this opportunity as head

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coach for the ‘Landers if I hadn’t been a Crusaders player and Leicester Tigers coach. “But now... I’m influencing and growing the Highlanders’ performances... ensuring we’re always competing to

absolute best as a team.” Fred Booth Park holds 8000 and ticket sales through corporate affiliates were going well, Kerr said. But 500 tickets are reserved for public sale from one week before the game.

GETTY IMAGES


RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 6, 2018

16 SOUTHERN FIELD DAYS

Innovation winner returns as exhibit NIGEL MALTHUS

A FARM health and safety management app that won the 2016 Southern Field Days invention award is back this year, launched in a commercial version that’s set to go. Zero Harm Farm is the brainchild of Ross Copland and Mark Orr, who took out the top prize when they launched their app as a working prototype at the Waimumu event in February 2016. At the time, they were working together for NZ Ski (operators of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Mount Hutt ski fields). Orr says the idea for the app came from their familiarity with the efficient health and safety regimes of the ski industry. And both came from farming backgrounds so they knew farmers would have to lift their game to meet new rules soon to kick in. Orr says the app is deigned to make H&S compliance “really easy” for farmers. Most of the H&S Act was framed for construction, mining and other industries where sites could be fenced off, and contractors and other visitors were met at an office to be signed in

and inducted, he explained. “Farms don’t really operate like that. A lot of times the actual farm owner or manager might not physically be there.” The app allows farmers to log and map all the hazards on their farm, using a series of templates to guide them through common hazards. Contractors coming to the farm then have the hazard map and the farm’s health and safety policy at their fingertips. They also sign on and off the property via the mobile app, without the usual paperwork. Orr says the app is free to use for everyone apart from the site owner. Contractors coming on-site need an account, but he says farmers tend to use the same contractors over again, so it is easy to invite them to sign up before they arrive. The app creates easier access and is a simpler way to record everything digitally, he said. “Other developers are also trying to do this, but I think we were basically the first to launch a focussed farming application.” Two years on from their win, the Queenstown company now has 2600

customer sites including corporate farmers Ngai Tahu and Tainui, plus various agribusinesses and consultants. The company employs three software developers. Orr is the general manager and Copland remains a director while also working as the general manager of Ruapehu Alpine Lifts. Orr says the Young Farmers organisation has used the app to manage health and safety for all its competitions, reducing paperwork by 80%. He says paperwork is one of the bugbears for every industry. “This is a regulatory requirement and we’re just trying to make it as painless as possible.” He says Zero Harm Farm is also soon to launch a sister app called Zero Harm Site, for construction and office use. Meanwhile, the awards, a longstanding feature of the Southern Field Days, have been revamped for this year. Organiser Lisa Anderson says instead of the Invention Awards they will now be known as the Innovation Awards. In a bid to raise their

profile, these will be sited in a prime spot in front of the Agric entrée building – instead of “hidden away on a back fence”. “It will have a prominent place and lots of people will see the innovation awards this year.” Anderson says people found the old categories of ‘Market Prototype’ and ‘Kiwi Ingenuity’ a bit confusing. Instead there will be an open category, with prize money of $500 for first place and $200 for second, and a primary school category offering $50 for the winner and $50 for the winning student’s school.

Screenshot of the Zero Harm Farm app’s signup page. SUPPLIED

“It’s good to reward the primary school children because they went to a lot of effort to enter it and they held their own against the adults quite a few times.” Anderson says there had been 13 entries in 2016. This year, 18 entries had already been received, three weeks out from the event. The Innovation Awards are open to anyone who has come up with something to make life easier, or a business with a new product.

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“Designed by a Farmer for Farmers”

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Rural News 6 February 2018  

Rural News 6 February 2018

Rural News 6 February 2018  

Rural News 6 February 2018