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NEWS

WORKSAFE

Booming kiwifruit sector struggles for workers. PAGE 14

Don’t rely on ‘she’ll be right’.

PAGE 34

TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS MAY 15, 2018: ISSUE 653 

www.ruralnews.co.nz

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MANAGEMENT Young Maori to the fore - three compete for farmer of the year title. PAGE 26-27


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MANAGEMENT

NEWS

WORKSAFE

Booming kiwifruit sector struggles for workers. PAGE 14

Don’t rely on ‘she’ll be right’.

PAGE 34

Young Maori to the fore - three compete for farmer of the year title. PAGE 26-27

TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS MAY 15, 2018: ISSUE 653 

www.ruralnews.co.nz

Too stoned to work! PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

SUBSTANCE ABUSE problems, timekeeping and the attitude of young people entering workforce must be addressed for the future of the horticulture industry, says Vegetables NZ Inc. chairman Andre de Bruin. The Dargaville kumara grower says the industry relies on a core of good “fantastic seasonal workers” but that core is not coming through in the younger generation. There is an occasional “gem” but they are getting much harder to find. As de Bruin spoke to Rural News he could see five seasonal workers sitting in a vehicle either stoned or drunk when they should have been at work. “What can we fundamentally change rather than paying people to sit around drunk?” he asked. “It’s an incredible waste of a generation. “Unless we start to address, as a country, that fundamental issue it won’t just be horticulture, it will be every business that has a problem.” De Bruin says they have excellent locals at the core of their industry who do a great job. But outside that core they can no longer get good workers. The industry has supplemented with backpackers who are in short supply this year. One local grower has recognised seasonal employer (RSE) workers and he says “you know they will turn up”. “As a rule, the RSE workers around the country seem to work pretty well. The core of our locals are very good, but that core has been working in the industry for a long time,” he says

“The problem is the additional ones that used to become the core are not upskilling in the required numbers to become the core. The additional locals coming in tend to be operating at a much lower level. “Particularly our younger folk -they seem to be brought up to think they have all the rights and no responsibility. From day one they are telling you how they will operate and how you will operate and not actually wanting to be part of the team. And they just don’t particularly want to work.” The work is physical, but not unrea-

sonable, he says. “We have bought in over the years a lot of harvest aids to help but they are not interested. They don’t seem to understand that smoko in the law is 10 minutes. We give them quarter of an hour; they seem to think they need half an hour, that it’s ok at lunchtime to go into town for half an hour to do something and turn up when they feel like it. “They seem to think it’s acceptable at 2pm when they feel tired to disappear. They seem to think it’s acceptable to not turn up and not say anything. Then they pop up three or

four days later as though you owe them the privilege of working on your property.” He says some media reports have criticised seasonal jobs as not real jobs. “These people will never get a long term permanent job if they cannot start with something like seasonal work. They are denying themselves the opportunity to get the step up. “The seasonal worker round is the real bedding-down place where people learn how to get out of bed and go to work; they learn the work ethic. If they TO PAGE 3

PHOTO PETER BURKE

Stay Well’s Joyce Brown checks farmer Angus Gordon’s health at the recent Ag Innovation conference run by Beef + Lamb NZ in Palmerston North. At rural events nationwide Joyce and her 50 colleagues – all farmers’ wives and nurses – offer farmers free testing of blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose. –More on page 5

D-DAY LOOMS SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

D-DAY ON Mycoplama bovis is looming for cattle farmers. Dairy and red meat leaders have been meeting with the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) to map the options -- eradication, ongoing management or stepping back and letting the disease spread. Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says a decision is expected within two to three weeks. Any decision would need Cabinet ratification as state funding would be part of the solution. O’Connor says MPI is having “open and robust” discussion with stakeholders. “All the options on the table have upsides and downsides,” he says. Stakeholders include DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb NZ, Meat Industry Association (MIA), Dairy Companies Association of NZ (DCANZ) and Federated Farmers. Feds national president Katie Milne says it is crunch time for farmers and will provide clarity -“something they needed long ago”. “A decision earlier would have given farmers more time to set up for the new season,” she told Rural News. Milne points out that the M.bovis response has been a major undertaking. “There is nothing like this right now anywhere in the world.” DairyNZ chief executive Tim TO PAGE 5

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

NEWS 3 ISSUE 653 www.ruralnews.co.nz

Too stoned to work FROM PAGE 1

NEWS��������������������������������������1-16 AGRIBUSINESS����������������18-19 MARKETS�������������������������� 20-21 HOUND, EDNA���������������������� 22 CONTACTS����������������������������� 22 OPINION����������������������������22-24 MANAGEMENT���������������26-27 ANIMAL HEALTH����������� 28-30 MACHINERY AND PRODUCTS����������������������� 31-34 RURAL TRADER�������������������� 35

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

do a good job they may get a good reference then they can get a good permanent job. “We don’t necessarily have a permanent job but that doesn’t mean it is a bad job. I started off in the kumara gardens. Everyone talks about the work they had after school or in the holidays. That is how people get that work ethic.” De Bruin says if a person wants to they can work year-round in all the various sectors -- kumara, kiwifruit, citrus, grapes, etc. But substance abuse is sucking the motivation out of the youth in his area. “As a grower I had to police some of my workers’ vehicles to ensure they didn’t bring alcohol to have at lunchtime. “That is a pretty sad state to be in. We talk about safe working environ-

ments; a lot of people coming into our businesses don’t really care about the safety of anything. “Half of our job is trying to school them up to what I would think would

be a fundamental understanding of any person who went to any job anywhere: to be able to turn up on time, have the courtesy to ring and say ‘I’m going to be late’ or ‘I’m going to a tangi’ or ‘I’m

sick’, so the employer knows what is happening. When you are expecting 27 people and 15 turn up it is very, very hard on your business.” While kumara has had labour issues that will be ongoing, de Bruin says they have been able to manage this season by delaying the harvest -moving workers to the next property when one is finished. But crops such as kiwifruit must be taken off the vines or they will go soft. “Businesses -- it doesn’t matter what they are -- require reliable steady staff; not rocket scientists but reliable steady staff. Unless we have those types of people available our whole economy has an issue. “There are some really good younger people coming through and they really stand out. But, by jeepers, you really have to go through a lot of people to find good people.”

New yarn for wool sales PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

A FORTNIGHTLY online wool auction modelled on the Global Dairy Trade (GDT) will go live for the first trading event on May 22. The Natural Fibre Exchange (NFX) shareholders are Wools of New Zealand Ltd (WNZ) and Alliance Group, who have teamed with CRA International (CRA) who will develop and manage the NFX platform. WNZ chief executive and NFX spokesman Rosstan Mazey says NFX will add more shareholders over time. They hope to sell about 33% of the NZ wool clip over the next three to

five years via the NFX trading platform. Wool brokers will have the opportunity to sell on the platform. “We are not wanting to preclude anyone from participating,” says Mazey. “We want to encourage the industry to cooperate and work together on this. They will absolutely have the opportunity to sell their supplier growers’ wool via the NFX. “Crossbred wool will be where we start and maybe down track we will attract the finer micron wool.” Mazey says NFX will be a fairer way to discover price and “over time will help to grow more sustainable returns to growers”.

Discussions with many in the industry have brought positive feedback, and acknowledgement that an online platform is needed as a more convenient and effective means for selling large volumes of wool at a fair market price. “Online trading is increasingly important in international commodity markets. This platform is a natural evolution towards developing the most efficient means of selling significant volumes of wool. Buyers in turn can compare all prices in real time with all parcels of wool available simultaneously during multiple rounds of bidding.” Mazey says the platform will be a means of discovering an objective ref-

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

4 NEWS

Infected farms jump NIGEL MALTHUS

MPI HAS confirmed the first Mycoplasma bovis infection in North Canterbury. The property is a mixed sheep and beef farm near Cheviot. A lifestyle block near Rangiora was earlier found infected but MPI defined its location as Canterbury. The new find shows how much the disease, first found on dairy farms, has also infiltrated the beef sector. The last four confirmed infected, including the Cheviot farm, are all sheep and beef properties. They include one near Pahiatua – since revealed as Landcorp’s Rangedale Station – and two in Southland. MPI figures show that of 36 infected properties, nine are beef or sheep and beef farms, 25 are dairy,

including nine drystock blocks, and one is a lifestyler. “The management of the disease onfarm is the same regardless of beef or dairy,” a MPI spokesman told Rural News. “And testing is similar except with beef animals it can only be on blood/swab/tissue testing as clearly there is no milk to test.” As with all other infected properties, the Cheviot farm is under movement controls restricting the movement of any risk goods, including animals, on or off the property. MPI said the farm was identified through the tracing of animals from known infected farms. It is connected to other infected properties through animal movements. M.bovis response incident controller Catherine Duthie says the

discovery of new infected properties is not because the disease is spreading off infected farms. “All the infected farms we know about are in quarantine lock-down and no movements of risk goods, including animals, are allowed off them. “Rather, the new finds are the result of our tracing uncovering historical movements of animals and then confirming the infection through testing. These movements, in many cases, took place before we even knew M.bovis was in the country.” She says several farms in the North and South Island are under quarantine while testing is underway and possibly more infected farms will be found. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

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Farmers may face ‘eyewatering’ bill THE COST of eradicating the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis – the subject of much speculation – are “eye-watering,” says Chris Lewis, Federated Farmers’ dairy industry group chair. However, he says Feds is still pushing for eradication. “That is the end goal, whether it is short term or long term eradication; we want that to happen.” National’s agriculture spokesman Nathan Guy claims options ranging from doing nothing to immediate eradication will cost $500 million to $870 million. And he says the Government is trying to pressure farmers into paying up to 40% of the cost. Lewis told Rural News he wants to see how these costs are made up. “Like any farmer I want to follow a logical plan -- a good logical plan with good numbers beside it. “We support eradication, but it’s got to be done with the right cost-benefit analysis, with the right costings and the right systems in place.” Lewis would not discuss the details of the leaked costings. Although he is privy to some of the discussions now going on between the Government and industry he does not want to jeopardise the outcome.

Under the Government Industry Agreement (GIA), individual industry organisations and the Ministry for Primary Industries sign a deed of partnership specifying their cost commitments and responsibilities in managing biosecurity risks and incursions. So far 17 agricultural industry bodies, most of them in the horticultural sector, have signed GIAs. Two possibly impacted by Mycoplasma bovis -- the Dairy Companies Association of NZ and the Meat Industry Association -- signed in August and September last year. Lewis says that, as a non levy-supported body, Federated Farmers is not eligible. “We’re just observers.” Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says the principle of the GIAs is good – where the Government and industry share decision-making and costs. But two key livestock players – BLNZ and DairyNZ – are not signed up. “We have been having respectful, free and frank discussions about how to manage this disease.” O’Connor says M.bovis “may be the most challenging biosecurity issue the Government and primary sector will ever deal with. But deal with it we will and we’ll do it together.” – Nigel Malthus

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

NEWS 5

Farmers are suffering PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

With moving day fast approaching a decision on M.bovis looms. PHOTO: SHELLIE EVANS

D-day coming! FROM PAGE 1

Mackle says dairy farmers are getting anxious as the disease spreads onto more drystock farms. Last week, a mixed sheep and beef farm near Cheviot, North Canterbury tested positive; sheep and beef farms in Pahiatua and Southland have also tested positive. Mackle says dairy farmers realise tracking the disease on drystock farms can be difficult. “On dairy farms, cows shed the bugs in milk and it is detected via milk testing; sheep and beef stock don’t shed the bug and that’s a major challenge,” he told Rural News. Mackle also hopes a decision soon will provide clarity to farmers. But he cautions that managing the disease in future will be the key, even if the industry decides to eradicate M.bovis. “We have to change the way we operate; we have to be careful sending stock off-farm and mixing stock with other herds.” Speaking at the DairyNZ Farmers Forum last week, O’Connor said M.bovis is the most challenging issue the Government and the primary sector “will have to ever deal with”. “A slow start and the absence of a robust NAIT system have complicated things; it will cost us a helluva lot of money.”

IN BRIEF DAIRY REVIEW MINISTER OF Agriculture Damien O’Connor has released the terms of reference for a review of the 17-year-old Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001 (DIRA), which regulates Fonterra to protect the longterm interests of farmers, consumers and the wider economy. “The Ministry for Primary Industries will consult widely throughout the review, including surveys and formal consultation later in the year and I encourage you all to get involved and have your say,” O’Connor says.

FARMERS AND farm staff are overworked and some are facing chronic exhaustion. That’s the view of Joyce Brown who runs ‘Stay Well’ – volunteer nurses who attend farm events to offer health checks to farmers. Brown says this problem stems partly from the average age of a dairy farmer being about 58 and a drystock farm about 68. But it’s not only older people who are affected, she says. “Different challenges face different age groups. When you are older your health is failing, you feel more vulnerable and so you are more mentally vulnerable,” she told Rural News. “But there are young people

in quite senior roles at times on larger properties – not necessarily in ownership roles – who carry huge responsibility. “I feel very sad when I see people aged 40 burnt out; and I see the effects on them personally, their relationships and their children.” Brown and her 50 helpers -all farmers’ wives and nurses -attend about farmer 40 events each year. She was born in Auckland, married a Waikato dairy farmer and has worked on the property all her married life. They recently attended the Ag Innovation conference run by Beef + Lamb NZ in Palmerston North. At such events Brown and colleagues offer free blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose tests. “We then start talking to them

about other health issues they are dealing with and we have a questionnaire that goes with it. This raises some physical things they need to care about, like skin care risk, general medical history and stuff like wearing a helmet and ear muffs and protective gear on the farm. “Then we turn the page and talk about their mental health and what they are doing to keep themselves mentally healthy.” Mental health is a major issue in the rural sector but until recently not widely talked about. Brown is one many people addressing the problem. She says most communities have suffered the distress and grief of knowing people who have taken their own lives. “As part of our health checks we talk about mental wellness

and we find people with huge issues they have never taken anywhere else. We have pointed them to where they can get help, especially the depression website which features John Kirwan, and get that followed up by a visit to professional. “But I believe in the rural world we need to be as knowledgeable as possible and support ourselves as much as we can because services are failing in the rural communities.” Brown says in rural areas it is often hard to get an appointment with a doctor and she’s heard of people being on the internet at 1.30am trying to find out what’s wrong with them. People are distressed, not sleeping and fear not getting an appointment with a psychologist so they resort to going online.


RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

6 NEWS

Farming must accept limits NIGEL MALTHUS

FARMING HAS turned a corner on water quality but must accept limits on how it operates, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. O’Connor was speaking on his first visit as minister to the Lincoln University Dairy Farm run by the South Island Dairy Development Centre. Much has changed, particularly in the South Island, since SIDDC was set up in 2001, he said. “I say to the people who understood the need for such a centre, congratulations on your vision. “Mostly the things that have happened have been amazing: development of new job opportunities, huge growth in dairying and smarter utilisation of water.” But not all has been positive, claims O’Connor. The industry’s ‘social licence’ to operate has been eroded, sometimes through misunderstanding, and

“Congratulations... for your part in that process; we have turned a corner and I think we’re heading in a positive direction.”

because the realities of some of the industry’s impacts have hit home. O’Connor noted the recent National River Water Quality Trends report by Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA), saying NZ water quality is improving. “Congratulations... for your part in that process; we have turned a corner and I think we’re heading in a positive direction.” Farming’s biggest challenge now is to “get more for what we do,” O’Connor says. “We can’t just keep doing more; we’ve reached a limit.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says farming must accept limits on how it operates.

It might be in land area, in the number of cows, in the amount of phosphate available to us or the amount of water we’re allowed to use.” The minister was the guest speaker at the recent LUDF Autumn Focus Day which also launched the ClearTech dairy

effluent treatment process developed jointly by Lincoln University and Ravensdown. Said O’Connor, “Now we must accept there will be limits and we must get more for what we do now. ClearTech is a classic example of that direction.” O’Connor said that in his uni-

versity days there was a dislike of “smart bastards”, but farming now recognises their worth. He said ClearTech system takes technology used elsewhere and applies it to dairy. He congratulated the developers for their lateral thinking applied to the industry’s problem.

HAVE YOUR SAY DAMIEN O’CONNOR said another challenge facing the industry is the upcoming review of the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act (DIRA) which set up Fonterra. The review will be wide-ranging to ensure the legislation serves all purposes as intended, “to protect dairy farmers and your future, to ensure consumers get a fair go and to ensure the structure of the dairy industry and our environment are protected into the future. “The dairy industry is the biggest and best industry that we have -- bar none. Fonterra is the only multinational company NZers own and we should be proud of that and protect it.” He urged all farmers to take part in the review.

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

NEWS 7

EU free trade still eludes NZ “We are amongst the most aligned in our values with Europe of any country: we have strong democracies, we respect the rule of law, we have high environmental standards and we are a high wage economy.”

PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

THERE IS no good reason why New Zealand should not get a free trade agreement with the European Union (EU), says Trade Minister David Parker. He told Rural News of his surprise that New Zealand, along with Australia, are two of only about six countries without FTAs with the EU. “We are amongst the most aligned in our values with Europe of any country: we have strong democracies, we respect the rule of law, we have high environmental standards and we are a high wage economy,” Parker explains. “There is no good reason for not having a FTA between the EU and NZ. It is wrong that despite the shared values and other things we have in common, NZ has been unable to reach a FTA with Europe. We also think the vast majority of people in Europe agree with this, so we want to get a FTA as soon as possible.” NZ has put enormous effort into securing a FTA: officials and politicians including the Prime Minister, Minis-

Trade Minister David Parker says there’s no good reason why NZ should not get a FTA with the EU.

ter of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Agriculture have visited Europe. Parker will next month make another such trip. Despite murmurings that formal negotiations coulkd begin later this month, Brussels is silent on the subject. Brexit has muddled the whole thing.

And despite the smiles from Macron and Merkle, behind the scenes some countries worry what sort of deal the EU may make. An Irish politician describes the Brexit negotiations as the biggest and most important negotiation Ireland has participated in since the 1921 treaty that gave Ireland its independence.

Parker believes NZ is making progress with the EU, but concedes no deal is in the bag. He says the biggest roadblock NZ faces is the member countries not giving the European Commission the mandate to start negotiations. “But I am optimistic; NZ poses no threats to EU agriculture,” he says. “Our cow numbers are going down in NZ, so our dairy volumes aren’t going to go up. We are not all of a sudden going to divide a sheep in two and double our sheep numbers overnight, and NZ sheep volumes aren’t going to increase.” Also on the cards for NZ is an FTA with the UK, and Parker says in theory this should be the easiest deal to do given that we are traditional allies, share a common language and have

common institutions. “We want to do a deal, but they are not yet in a position to negotiate,” he explains. Overall, Parker is claiming victory on the trade front since Labour came to power. He points to the CPTTP, which he says was signed without the fuss the earlier deal encountered. He says he’s had good feedback from farmers who are pleased with the achievements on the trade front. “Trade is fascinating,” he says. “We are pleased with the progress we are making on trade agreements; we have rebuilt public support for trade in NZ and we have dealt with some of the clauses in trade agreements that people don’t like and moved to protect NZ.”

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

NEWS 9

Changes may lead to unforeseen problems PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

IMPOSING CHANGES on farming without considering wider issues such as economic and community impacts could cause unforeseen problems out ahead, says Robyn Dynes, science impact leader, AgResearch. He was referring to Minister for the Environment David Parker saying nutrient limits may be used to reduce cow numbers. Dynes says requirements or targets for reducing nutrient losses on farms are nothing new in many regions; most farmers are already moving that way. “While reducing stock numbers is one approach to reducing nutrient loss, there is no one-size-fitsall [solution]. Whatever restrictions are put in place, it is important to recognise that every farm is different and has a different capacity to adapt and change,” he says. “This is where research plays a crucial role in helping the transition by farmers, including providing better guidance on land-use suitability and technologies such as digital agriculture.” Many farmers have already changed their systems to meet current and future targets, but the challenge is to meet those targets and make a profit, Dynes says. “Different approaches can be taken to more efficient use of farm inputs like fertiliser and water, better targeting source areas of contamination, and alternative animal feed like fodder beet and plantain that are shown to reduce nutrient losses. “A big driver of farming has always been what is economic; now the environment is another important driver. But there are others issues of culture, communities and shared responsibility that we cannot lose sight of. “The risk is that if changes are made without

all of these issues being considered we could end up with unforeseen problems down the line.” Environment Minister David Parker says that although no direct cap would be imposed on cattle numbers, “cow numbers have already peaked and are going down, yet in some areas the number of cows per hectare is higher than the environment can sustain”. Professor Troy Baisden, professor and chair in lake and freshwater sciences, University of Waikato, says in many areas we’re already reaching a level of impacts from nutrients that are difficult to reverse. But how we reverse the course is another issue, particularly because few nations have, he says. “We already have examples, in areas like Taupo and Rotorua, of real commitment and investment to protect iconic lakes… “Yet, it’s important to understand that the progress in Taupo, Rotorua and elsewhere is a bit short of what’s required to maintain profitability while reducing stock numbers. And as a result, getting plan changes working in those areas takes years of understanding, thinking and compromise. It tends to lead to a feeling of completion only when everyone is equally unhappy. “To maintain or improve productivity while reducing stocking, we almost certainly need a more forensic set of tools that can convincingly provide the insights farmers need. “Those insights can come in the form of ‘gee whizz’ moments, for instance quantifying a huge loss of nitrate over short times on particular soils. “And equally importantly, we need to find ways to manage a farm to prevent that. In the case of phosphorous runoff, which is also really

important, we may be closer with ways to trap the sediment. We have promising techniques but

they still need work.” There is no one-size-fits-all approach to reducing nutrient levels, scientists say.

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

10 NEWS

NZ meat’s grand brand plan Branding created by the NZ meat industry and Beef + Lamb NZ will be available for use on products marketed by NZ companies in the NZ Farm Assurance Programme or that have their own ISO-approved standard. The new brand is aimed at promoting generic quality assurance; it will not supplant existing company brands. Peter Burke reports. These three words are chosen by the meat industry as summarising the uniqueness of New Zealand red meat. They underpin new country-of-origin branding aimed at attracting overseas consumers to NZ products and differentiating NZ products from our competitors’ products. The concept was unveiled at BLNZ’s recent Ag Innovation day. BLNZ market development manager Nick Beeby said the brand is a direct response to their research of consumer

trends, especially at the high end of markets. The words were carefully chosen, he told Rural News. “ ‘Taste’ invites people to try our products and get a different flavour experience. The words ‘pure’ and ‘nature’ are in response to people who want to choose natural food. “This stems from what is known as ‘food anxiety’ -- an adverse reaction to the industrialisation of farming. People want to know how products they are eating were raised

and in particular if they were raised naturally.” Beeby says some consumers will go to great lengths to search out what they consider is natural food. He says they will go on social media and often travel great distances to find a supermarket that sells product that aligns with their values. Beeby says high-end consumers are concerned about climate change, sustainability and their personal health and wellbeing; they are also concerned about animal

BLNZ market development manager Nick Beeby.

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that natural experience, which we have and no one else can create on a national scale. “An overseas foodie told me that NZ farms look like resorts. When he came to NZ he was gobsmacked about what we do on a national scale. He told me you will always see pockets of this in other countries, but you don’t see it on the scale we have in NZ.”

This foodie also said NZ seems to lack the pride in how good it is and that we need to ‘toot our horn’ more. BLNZ chair Andrew Morrison says consumers are increasingly anxious, driven by food scares, the use of hormones and antibiotics, and environmental and animal welfare concerns. “Our research shows consumers will pay a pre-

mium for naturally raised, grass-fed, hormone-free and antibiotic-free red meat. We are seeing strong demand in the US and opportunities to get a premium for NZ red meat in China and the Middle East.” Morrison says though ‘premium’ consumers often choose to eat less red meat each week they are prepared to spend more to do so.

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AN EMERGING trend will be music to the ears of sheep farmers, says BLNZ’s Nick Beeby. Lamb is now regarded as a ‘cool and trendy’ product, especially by food service people. “We are starting to see that lamb appeals to consumers as more natural; they are going to back to the idea of ‘natural’,” he told Rural News. “They see lamb as healthier so it fits those modern trends nicely.” Meat companies will start rolling out the new brand in late 2018; meanwhile BLNZ will do its own target marketing in the food service sector in Los Angeles,

San Francisco, New York and Shanghai. “Food service is where trends start,” Beeby says. “Chefs are looking for something unique, different, something that will give them an edge over their competitors. Unique products from NZ provide them with that edge.” The new country-of-origin look somewhat resembles Ireland’s successful Origin Green programme. Beeby concedes people may say this, but he claims they are quite different. “Origin Green is about sustainability; ‘taste – pure – nature’ is about a unique flavour experience from a unique part of the world,” he says.


RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

NEWS 11

Sustainability key focus for PIC peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

GIVEN THE worldwide public focus on sustainability, now is the time for New Zealand’s primary industries to dialogue about the issue in a non-offensive way. So says the chairman of NZ’s new Primary Sector Council. Lain Jager, the former chief executive of Zespri, chairs the 15-person council set up to advise the Government. The Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, wants from the council fresh thinking and a vision for the primary sector “not bogged down with the realities of day-to-day enterprise”. “We must look further ahead and we will get that from a council of visionary leaders,” he says. Jager says with large NZ industries under financial pressure from sustainability, now is a good time for constructive dialogue. “The objective is to find a way to farm in a modern and productive way,” he told Rural News. “That is exciting and well accepted. “And primary sectors leaders would probably say ‘great’ and then approach that dialogue with the sophistication necessary to move us forward sensibly and with the least amount of col-

lateral damage to the industry.” A recent statement by the Environment Minister, David Parker, about needing to cut cow numbers in some catchments to meet new environmental rules, includes his nocompensation comment regarding farmers whose herds must be cut. Jager says it’s important to uncouple the issue of reducing cow numbers from the issue of nitrate levels. “This debate’s focus is sharply on nitrate leaching -- a sensible of view. But that dialogue can only happen at catchment level and so it’s not necessarily onesize-fits-all. A whole dialogue needs to happen on that and I don’t want to pre-empt it. “We must all be openminded to explore the most effective way to deal with sustainability issues.” Jager points out that the previous government had aimed to double the value of primary exports, and while the present government hasn’t said no to such a focus it is emphasising more highvalue exports, greater use of technology and a move to more sustainable farming systems. He says the council aims first to set an agenda based on the wishes of the Minister of Agriculture.

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Jager plans to meet all industry sector leaders to discover where each is ‘up to’, to hear what exciting things are happening and see what constraints are there.

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

12 NEWS

Cow cull ‘fake news’ – O’Connor SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

POLITICIANS ARE rubbishing reports that the dairy industry will need to reduce cow numbers to improve fresh water quality. Agriculture Minis-

ter Damien O’Connor says media reports “misinterpreted” what Environment Minister David Parker said recently on television. “The media have an agenda; the National Party has an agenda,” he told Rural News.

O’Connor says Parker was talking about nutrient budgets and farmers understand that. “The question is how we get on to improve nutrient management. There are no plans on cow numbers at all; in fact we said that to

Greenpeace who were thinking about a moratorium [on cow numbers] that we don’t buy into. “We leave it and we can trust the farmers as long as they get clear signals and know what the targets are. I think they will get on with it; we’ve

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and DairyNZ chairman Jim van der Poel address last week’s DairyNZ Farmers’ Forum in Hamilton.

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said the target is swimmable water at least.” O’Connor used his speech at the DairyNZ Farmers Forum in Hamilton last week to allay fears of farmers being forced to reduce cow numbers. “If you’re on the National Party email list you are probably told it’s cow numbers; that’s not the truth.” Climate Change Minister James Shaw, who also spoke at the Farmers Forum, told Rural News that media reports on cow numbers were “fear mongering”. “We are talking about nutrient budget catchment by catchment; that’s exactly what has been happening -- simply taking the best practice and applying it to the whole country.” DairyNZ chairman Jim van der Poel says DairyNZ in principle supports nutrient budgets.

“They have been around for a while; we agree on managing nutrients on a catchment-bycatchment basis, and that it’s important all farmers and communities – not just dairy farmers – work in a sustainable way. “Achieving clean waterways is a responsibility for all New Zealanders and we are and will play our part. “Dairy farmers are very often part of the solution and often leading the work in catchments. We are working closely with the Government and David Parker on this issue and although media interpreted this as being about cow numbers, we don’t believe that is the case.” Van der Poel says it’s important to protect rural communities as they adjust to new farming practices, given that “thriving rural communities are important to this Government as well”.

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

NEWS 13

Biosecurity not registering with public clearer focus on this facet of its work. It will provide a single point of accountability and leadership for NZers who care deeply about the sustainability, safety and health of our environment. “The biosecurity business unit will provide the direction, resources and people power to protect our country from biosecurity threats and respond quickly to outbreaks,” O’Connor says. “It will also establish a biosecurity intelligence team to provide earlier warning of biosecurity risks. The team will use new, smarter technologies and skilled analysts to source and look at all

PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

A MERE 2% of New Zealanders see biosecurity as relevant to them, says the head of the new biosecurity unit in the Ministry of Primary Industries. Roger Smith says MPI’s research of Kiwis’ attitudes to biosecurity shows only 40% even know what it means. The new unit – Biosecurity New Zealand – has at least 900 staff to deal exclusively with biosecurity, as part of the new Government’s plan to do it better. Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says the unit will give MPI a

Roger Smith, head of MPI’s new biosecurity unit.

available information on overseas pest and diseases.” O’Connor claims earlier signals of biosecurity threats will help border staff to target air passengers and cargo most likely to carry

the issues. Farmers understand them but people in Auckland don’t, he says. The need is to make the biosecurity messaging relevant to people.

risky goods, and people who deliberately flout biosecurity rules. But Roger Smith concedes there are big challenges in running the group, especially in respect of getting the public to understand

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NEW WORLD AFTER M.BOVIS ROGER SMITH believes farming will change post M.Bovis. The M.Bovis incursion shows we need to bring biosecurity back from the country’s border to the farm border. “Farmers must learn that biosecurity starts at the farm; that’s very difficult for us,” he told Rural News. “The Southland model shows cows move freely from farm to farm, people swap around and that is fine in a disease-free environment. “But we don’t always have a disease-free environment and now we have to look at how we farm.” Smith says we must look afresh at

basic rules controlling the movement of animals between farms and preventing the spread of disease from farm to farm. “We are learning quickly as the world changes and as farming gets more mobile and more agile; we’ll have to look at how we control the movement of goods and pests between farms.” Meanwhile, Smith says the Government must soon decide on issues brought to light by M.Bovis. Among these will be farm management systems and how they are implemented; some farms have ‘closed systems’, others don’t. “I come from a dairy farm with a

closed system and we have a very safe biosecurity system because of this,” he told Rural News. “But if we have transient stock moving between farms, we must look and see what controls are in place before sending stock off farm, what controls are in place before stock are brought onfarm, and things like tractor movements. “We have to ensure that a disease on a farm is not transmitted to another property.” Smith says no change will be made to MPI’s running of the M Bovis incursion. The systems it used were based on science and internationally agreed models.

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

14 NEWS

Booming kiwifruit sector struggles for workers PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

KIWIFRUIT IS in a “perfect storm” this year with a larger harvest and fewer backpacker and international student seasonal

workers, says New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Inc (NZKGI) chief executive Nikki Johnson. Now at the peak kiwifruit harvest season, Bay of Plenty has about 1200 vacancies for pickers and

packers. Last week, half of this season’s total crop was yet to be harvested. At least 20% more trays will be picked and packed this season than the 120 million trays last year.

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) has declared a labour shortage which runs until June 8. This allows overseas visitors – provided they already hold visitor visas -- to apply to vary

the visa conditions to work in kiwifruit in Bay of Plenty. “Attracting NZers to participate in the harvest is our first priority and over 60% of our seasonal workforce comes from

Bay of Plenty’s kiwifruit sector has 1200 vacancies for pickers and packers.

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NZ,” says Johnson. “However, during the peak of harvest, other sources of workers, e.g. from the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme and backpackers, are required. The industry is in an exciting growth phase and to achieve this we must have sustainable seasonal labour.” John son says the industry will have a “robust discussion” with the Government on getting more workers under the RSE scheme and other avenues to meet demand during the harvest. NZKGI, analysing future labour demands, forecasts the industry will by 2030 contribute 135% more to Bay of Plenty’s GDP ($2.04 billion) and offer 14,329 new jobs. It now contributes $867 million to the region’s GDP and in 201516 employed 10,762 FTE workers. MSD regional commissioner Mike Bryant says the causes of the region’s labour shortage

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include fewer international students, a bounceback from the PSA virus impacting crop volumes and varieties, and a low unemployment rate. “About one third of this year’s crop has been picked and packed but the industry’s entering the main packing period and more people are needed,” he says. The SunGold variety (44% of the total crop) requires picking in a shorter timeframe and so greater reliance on fruit pickers at this time. Between January and April this year, MSD placed 1000 people in work. Its ‘Work the Seasons’ job scheme and seasonal work vacancies are posted in the region’s WINZ local service centres. Bryant says MSD is discussing with industry leaders how to attract workers by improving employment practices. MSD says the labour shortage declaration will be monitored and amended if conditions change.

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

NEWS 15

Cow cull on the cards? PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

ENVIRONMENT MINISTER David Parker says he strongly favours enforcing nitrogen leaching limits in some catchments. He agrees this has been correctly interpreted as a call for reducing cow numbers in these regions. He says cow stocking rates may have to drop in some areas and farmers would not be compensated were this to happen. “You don’t compensate people [for stopping] polluting,” he says. Parker says farmers who pollute waterways damage New Zealand’s brand image and cause problems for companies trying to sell our high value food exports. He says high value products rely heavily on the NZ brand ‘clean and green’ and if buyers perceive this isn’t strictly true it damages the overall brand and can make it harder for exporters. “By and large, the vast majority of farmers do get the sustainability message. They have done a lot of work in improving effluent control and have taken other mitigation steps around the whole milking platform. “I am not opposed to dairying as such, but it’s pretty clear that the additional loads of sediment and nutrients in

waterways are due to the intensity of farming and dairying is a key factor.” Parker reckons science and technology, which he says NZ is good at, hold the key to land use change. He believes this can result in a transformational change. He claims some parts of South Canterbury will move over time from dairying to cropping and horticulture, which will be “wonderful for the country”. However, National Party leader Simon Bridges has described Parker’s plans to cap dairy herds as ill thoughtout political grandstanding. “David’s Parker’s announcement that the Ardern-Peters Government plans to regulate to reduce the number of cattle that farmers are allowed per hectare is another example of their unchecked assault on the regions. There’s been no analysis, no consultation and they have no plan,” he says. “We all agree water and environmental improvements need to be made, but they need to be achieved through implementing a considered plan that all parties can work through over time.” Bridges says the National Government set specific national limits on nitrates, phosphorous,

E.coli, algae and ammonia through the National Policy Statement it put in place in 2014 and 2017. “This put limits on dairy conversions in sensitive catchments and is progressively being rolled out by regional councils,” he says. Bridges says National also agreed with farmers

on fencing 56,000km of waterways over 12 years to come into effect in December 2017, which he claims the new Government has not progressed. “Solving water quality issues is a team effort for urban and rural communities and is not something to be imposed solely on farmers, who’ve

massively spent and worked out solutions to help improve the way they operate,” he says. “[The new Government] seems to lack any sort of comprehension that when the farmers sneeze, we all catch a cold. Whether we’re in rural or urban areas, we’re all in this together.”

National leader Simon Bridges says the government has done no analysis on enforcing nutrient limits.

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

16 NEWS

Migrant work visas popular in south NIGEL MALTHUS

MOST MIGRANT applicants for a special South Island Contribution Work Visa are in farming, as shown by figures from Immigration NZ. This data does not reveal how many apply to each sector but DairyNZ

says most would be for dairying. DNZ wants farm employers to urge potentially eligible people to apply for the special one-off visa, open to people who hold an essential skills work visa and have worked in the South Island for five years or more.

Applications close on May 22. Daniel Schmidt, of DairyNZ, said it allows certain workers previously “stuck in a no-man’s-land” to apply for residency. Despite their having contributed to NZ for years they have had no pathway to residency.

Their children may have grown up and attended school here but then had to return to their home country for university or face being charged international student fees here. Immigration NZ figures reveal that by the end of April, 1329 people had applied for the visa:

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916 (69%) had been approved and 413 (31%) declined. Nearly half of the applicants (419) were farm, forestry and garden workers; 207 were farmers and farm managers. Schmidt said Immigration NZ has asked the industry to tell migrants the applications will close soon. Meanwhile, he says the South Island contribution work visa has helped fix one problem but DairyNZ is still pushing for changes to other forms of migrant visa. Eligibility for different visas is decided on pay rates and ANZSCO (Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations) job classifications, and DairyNZ says mismatches affect mid-range workers. Under current rules, migrants earning at the low end of the pay scale are eligible only for one-year work visas, renewable for up to three years before a one-year mandatory stand-down, and they may not bring family. High earners may apply for five-year visas,

with family and a pathway to residency. Mid-earners can apply for three-year visas, with family, but not if their positions are classified under ANZSCO as lowskilled, level 5; these include herd manager and dairy assistant. DairyNZ wants those positions reclassified as level 3 to qualify for the three-year visa. “That’s quite different,” said Schmidt. “When you think about the stresses involved when you’re applying for a visa, and you don’t know if you’ll be able to stay in the country, having a three-year instead of a one-year visa is significant. “And there’s the training that goes with it; for an employer the incentives [to employ] are limited if you’re unsure whether you’ll be able to keep the person you’re investing in.” Schmidt says the longterm solution would be a review of ANZSCO, but it is not clear when that would happen. NZ may have to wait for the Australian authorities. Meanwhile, DairyNZ is working to “get the ducks in a row”.

GOLF RUSH FARMERS IN the lower North Island have a great chance to test their golfing skills this month. The annual farmers’ golf day will be held at the Rangitikei Golf Club on May 22, starting at 10.30am. Farmers and all people in agribusiness are welcome to play. Entry is just $20. For more details contact: Geoff Ingram ph 06 323 1277.

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* Total cost for CFMoto U800 Farm Spec is $18,004.11 paid via three equal instalments of $6,001.37. Total cost for CFMoto U550 Farm Spec is $15,130.10 paid via three equal instalments of $5,043.37. Total cost for CFMoto X500 Farm Spec is $9,954.09 paid via three equal instalments of $3,318.03. The initial instalment is in the form of a deposit at time of purchase. The second instalment is payable after 12 months where the third (final) instalment is payable after 24 months. These totals equate to the cash price including GST plus a $180.60 application/documentation fee and $10.00 PPSR Lodgement (Total charges of $190.60). Total cost is subject to 0% interest rate and applies specifically to these models only. Normal lending criteria apply. Offers end 31st July 2018

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

18 AGRIBUSINESS

Aussie live exports under microscope SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

AUSTRALIANS’ OUTRAGE at scenes of dead and dying sheep on ships to the Middle East is forcing exporters to shape up. The furore erupted

when 60 Minutes recently showed 2400 sheep dying on the Awassi Express en route to the Arabian Gulf in August 2017. The exporters are moving to strengthen animal welfare including -- from this year -- having an independent observer

on all ships carrying sheep to the Middle East. Reduced stocking density and more welfare safeguards and indicators will apply to all shipments. Exporters also support setting up an inspectorate-general for the welfare of exported animals.

Footage from five voyages showed thousands of sheep suffering severe heat stress, caked in feaces and urine, injured and sick animals left to die slowly, decomposed bodies left in pens with living sheep and pregnant ewes giving birth and

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their lambs dying. This outraged animal rights groups and prompted the Australian Government to order a review of the A$1.8 billion live sheep export trade. Sheep farmers and exporters have the support of the National Party, the junior coalition government partner with the Australian Liberal Party. The Opposition Labour Party says it would move to ban live sheep exports. Australian Livestock Export Council chairman Simon Crean, a former Labour leader, says exporters “are listening to the community and acting decisively to change the industry”. Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud says his office will review scientific literature, outcomes of recent voyages and reports from observers.

“The footage I saw... shocked me. The review will consider stocking density on ships, bedding and animal waste management, ventilation and heat stress risk, the use of air conditioners and conditions placed on recent voyages including the independent observer employed by the Department of Agriculture.” The National Farmers Federation wants live exports to continue but agrees they must meet the animal welfare expectations of farmers and all Australians. NFF president Fiona Simson says the NFF has so far opposed having an independent office for animal welfare. “That would simply add another layer of bureaucracy,” she says. “The NFF [wants] a national approach to animal welfare.” @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

1

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

AGRIBUSINESS 19

NZ formula makers sweet with NZ PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

pes and they only want three brands per manufacturing site. And they want the manufacturers to be responsible for the brands. “They want a bit more skin in the game, and to

“While there may be fewer brands the volume of infant formula that will be exported from NZ to China is only going to increase.” getting their brands registered,” she says. “It means there are a lot fewer brands of NZ infant formula going into China but the ones that are going in have greater opportunities. “While there may be fewer brands the volume of infant formula that will be exported from NZ to China is only going to increase.” The opportunities for the companies already in China will grow, says Carey. “I think there were too many cowboys in the industry, too many people who bought their base product from Fonterra and took it to a manufacturer -- so there was a lot of contract manufacturing going on. “Now the Chinese want individual reci-

have traceability from the cow to the can. That is really important. The NZ companies are doing that.” NZ has more manufacturing sites registered for China than any other country. Australia caught up at one stage but now NZ has gone ahead again. “Australia and NZ have a number of sites each; the rest of the world has hardly any.” However sites in the rest of the world are owned by big companies like Nestle and Danone so they are huge operations. She says Synlait and A2 are examples of the innovative companies that have come from NZ. It shows there are opportunities for other companies, not just the multi-nationals.

They have shares in each other companies and know the farmers they deal with. “The relationship – from the milk they use, to the processing, to the can, to the branding is integrated and that’s what the Chinese want,” she says. “Fonterra has always done that too; it has always been very good at that. “I think the NZ industry is in very good shape and they are doing a good job... with the support they get from the Ministry for Primary Industries.” The Chinese markets will keep growing, she

says. The loosening of the one child policy in China will mean a lot more Chinese babies. “As we know 600 million people have been lifted out of poverty in the last 10 years into the middle class and that is going to increase. Middle class is not necessarily the high standard of living we have in New Zealand and Australia. “Often the mums aren’t in the same city as the child. They believe the best thing they can do for their child is to work and give their child an education. So breastfeeding is not always an option.”

12919

THE MINISTRY for Primary Industries and the New Zealand Government over time have done an excellent job of building the relationship with the Chinese Government in the infant formula space, says Infant Nutrition Council chief executive Jan Carey. “There has been a lot more focus by the Ministry for Primary Industries than by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in Australia on the infant formula industry,” she told Rural News. And the outlook for the NZ industry in China is positive, she says. Carey is based in Australia, but the council represents the infant formula industry in both countries with key members including Fonterra, A2, Danone, Heinz, Nestle Australia, Synlait and Aspen Nutritionals. It works together on issues of food and safety regulations, false claims and ethical marketing which do not undermine breast feeding. Carey says the relationship building by MPI and the NZ Government with the Chinese government has been “really good” particularly in view of the value Chinese place on relationship. Under new Chinese

regulations each infant formula manufacturer may only have three brands. The brands had to be registered by January 1 this year. “The NZ manufacturing sites have been

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

Rabobank supports clients from farm to fork in

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100 000

12630

farmers to connect Content supplied by Rabobank – Grow with the bank farmers for farmers with by worldwide , founded

Sunny winter outlook Dairy WEATHER AROUND the country improved in March 2018 and New Zealand milk production followed suit. National milk supply was lower by 1.5% for March 2018, compared to March 2017: but this was an improvement on February 2018

milk volumes. Season-to-date milk production is tracking only slightly behind the prior season (-0.3% YOY). We are now in the final weeks of the production season and Rabobank still anticipate final milk production num-

Source: USDA, Rabobank 2018

bers to land only slightly behind last season (-1% YOY). Favourable pasture conditions in many dairy areas will provide a good start to the new 2018/19 season. Healthy supplies of home-grown feed and fodder is set to be another significant driver of positive margins for the upcoming new season. While Rabobank anticipates some pressure on commodity prices over the coming months, the storm clouds will disappear in the second half of 2018 and, ultimately, market conditions look to be supportive of another positive season for New Zealand dairy farmers. Rabobank forecast a farmgate milk price of NZD 6.40/kgMS for the full 2018/19 season.

Beef DECLINING US imported beef values, combined with a high number of cows available for slaughter, saw schedule prices continue to drop during April. As at the start of May, the North Island bull price is 1% lower MOM, averaging NZD 5.15/kg cwt, with the South Island bull price down 4%

MOM, averaging NZD 4.95/kg cwt. Prime cattle prices did hold steady though, remaining largely unchanged from the beginning of April. Increased domestic supplies of US beef, in particular elevated levels of US cow slaughter, reduced demand for New Zealand’s imported beef product. This coincided with a period when

supplies of New Zealand manufacturing beef product were high due to the number of cows being culled from New Zealand’s dairy herd, putting further downward pressure on prices. Rabobank expects this market stabilisation to continue throughout May. While there is still some potential for further easing of prices,

North Island bull price

Source: NZX AgriHQ, Rabobank 2018

Rabobank expects that the stabilising US market, combined with a recently weakening NZD, will ensure any further declines are limited.

Sheepmeat THE CONTINUED strong performance of lamb in New Zealand’s key export markets lead to further schedule price gains in April. As of the start of May, the slaughter price in the North Island averaged NZD 7.30/kg cwt (3% higher MOM), while South Island lamb averaged NZD 7.10/kg cwt (1% higher MOM). Schedule prices in both the North Island, and South Island, are currently sitting 20% above where they where at this point last year. While the volume of New Zealand lamb

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

MARKETS & TRENDS 21

COUNTRIES

Content supplied by Rabobank – Grow with the bank founded by farmers for farmers NZ lamb slaughter

ing from 0.73 to 0.70 assisted this improvement in wool pries. Continued weakness combined with signs of improved demand for broader wool should help to support prices in the coming month. Finer crossbred lamb’s wool prices saw some solid improvement in recent South Island sales. Demand for broader wools in Australia also lifted through April with the 28 -30 micron indicators both lifting 15% in the month. This is despite a lift in

Source: NZ Meat Board Rabobank 2018

exports for the first half of the 2017-18 season (Oct-Mar) was largely similar to the same period in 2016-17, the total export value received was up 20%. Across all exports markets, the average value received per tonne is now 16% up on last season, and 26% up on the 201516 season. Rabobank expects the seasonal decline in lamb supply, supported by strong market fundamentals, to put upward pres-

sure on schedule prices during May.

the volume of broader wools tested season to date. Merino wool types continue to receive strong prices, as the Australian Eastern Market Indicator was pushed again to a record high of 1,846c/kg clean in April. This increase was assisted by the depreciation of the Australian dollar and lifts in mid micron (20-24) merino prices

NZ/US dollar cross rate

NZ dollar

Greenback in April/early May. The currency was worth just under 70 US

Source: RBA, Rabobank 2018

THE NZ$ lost more than 2 cents against the

Coarse crossbred indicator

Wool WHILE EARLY April saw continued steadiness for New Zealand coarse wool prices at just over the NZ300c/kg clean mark. Prices did show some improvement towards the end of the month reaching NZ326c/kg clean mark, which is the highest level for the indicator since November 2017. The weakened NZD against the USD, declin-

Source: NZWSI, Rabobank 2018

cents early on May 3. The sliding value of the local currency in the last month has largely been a function of dynamics in the US, with the US$ rising substantially on a broad index basis over the period. Basically US monetary policy is tightening while rates remain on hold in most other countries, and the market is finally responding to that. Based on continued improvement in the US economy in coming months, Rabobank

expects two more US rate hikes this year (one in June and one in September). The futures market is pricing in more or less the same. After trading around current levels over the next 6 months we expect the NZ$ to fall to 68 US cents by April 2019. • Want to keep up-todate with the latest food & agribusiness insights? Tune into RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness Australia & New Zealand podcast channel.

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

22 OPINION EDITORIAL

EDNA

Be honest AT TIMES it is hard not to believe the meme that ‘Minister of Everything’ David Parker really does hate farmers and farming. Parker has done little to debunk this mindset since coming into government: consider his arrogant pre-election threat to double Labour’s proposed (but ill-fated) irrigation tax if farmers did not meekly accept his plans. So when Parker, wearing his Environment Minister hat, provocatively goes on television demanding an improvement in water quality and alluding to livestock reductions in certain regions if this does not happen, it is like deja vu all over again! It might advance Parker’s political posturing to point the finger at farming – dairy in particular – while he claims he will drag the sector ‘kicking and screaming’ to clean up its act and the country’s waterways. However, he is not telling the full story about the work now underway around New Zealand to tackle water quality. In Canterbury, Waikato, Manawatu and Horowhenua, Southland and Otago a huge amount of collaborative work has been done by regional councils, communities and farmers. Catchment by catchment, plans are being implemented already to move on the sorts of measures the Environment Minister says he will implement. Some places will face having to cap or reduce cow numbers, others are implementing new nutrient limits, and any proposed new irrigation schemes must have nutrient budgets and limitations as part of their resource consent conditions. This is not to mention that around the country farmers have erected tens of thousands of kilometres of fences to keep stock out of waterways; they have planted millions of trees and shrubs in riparian strips; and they have begun managing their land and operations in new ways to reduce their environmental impact on water. Farmers are not blind to how they affect the environment: the rural sector acknowledges change must happen for reasons of economics, sustainability, international reputation and even their ‘social licence’ to continue farming with public support. Parker says he will have failed as a politician if he does not push regulation which leads to an improvement in NZ’s water quality. Maybe so, but he has already failed the honesty test by not acknowledging to the wider public the work now being done in good faith by the farming sector – and others – to address water quality issues.

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

“You’re right – imagining they’re politicians really does help!”

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

THE HOUND Reality check

Reality check 2

Easy answer

Silence is golden

LAST MONTH we saw Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern swanning around Europe having cosy chats with the three big M’s -- Macron, May and Merkel, as well as British Royalty. However, the Hound suggests nice smiles at press conference podiums and beautiful photos of Maori cloaks is very different from the reality and angst that exists in many European capitals, notably Dublin, London and Brussels, over Brexit. So it’s a joke that NZ’s lamestream media excitedly reported that the Commonwealth, of all organisations, could soon negotiate an FTA with the EU and Britain. Though the EU and NZ could, possibly, think about negotiations on an FTA, actual negotiations for such a deal are years away at best.

YOUR OLD mate notes that US President Donald Trump’s plans to grant exemptions to Canada, the EU, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Australia from his upcoming trade tariffs on steel and aluminium but leave New Zealand off the list. Trade Minister David Parker said the decision “disappoints the government”. However, even your old mutt could see the chances of NZ gaining exemption were about as realistic as a Clarke Gayford rumour. It is hard to see the Donald favourably responding to NZ when our own PM Jacinda Ardern was front and centre of the protest marches held here when Trump was first elected. It’s time she learnt that, unlike student politics, real-world politics means what you do and say about our allies can have real-world consequences for our economy.

IT TAKES a bit to make your canine crusader raise his eyebrows at the hypocrisy of these do-gooder outfits with barrows to push. However, the latest noises from the whiners at Bitch & Complain (Fish & Game) made him laugh. The lobby group’s latest target of carping (bad pun intended) was not the farming sector as usual, but tourism. It claims the influx of tourists into NZ is ruining back-country fisheries – too many overseas fishers competing with locals, it says. Fair enough, your old mate thought; until he was informed that at the same time as Fish & Game is bemoaning too many overseas fishers coming to NZ, the lobby group is cashing in on the deal by hawking off non-resident fishing licences – at $165 a pop – to allow these international fishers the right to fish here. 

THE HOUND notes that former ag minister Nathan Guy is settling into the role of opposition MP and having a crack at current minister Damien O’Connor any chance he gets. One of Guy’s more recent criticisms of O’Connor came via the Twitter machine: he accused his Labour opponent of trying to force the cattle industry to front up with half the cost of the likely $900 million bill for the M. bovis incursion. However, as is the danger with social media, Guy was soon in the gun himself with Southland vet Mark Bryan blaming the former minister for the problem, accusing him of running down MPI and not acting fast enough when M.bovis was discovered. Perhaps after this ‘burn’ – as the young people like to call it – Guy may want to think first before he tweets.

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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RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

OPINION 23

Feds never was anti-NAIT DON NICHOLSON

SOME ASSERTIONS made in the Rural News editorial, ‘Get with the programme’ on April 3, 2018 were unfair, wildly untrue and demand a response. For the record, Federated Farmers was never against a NAIT concept. However, it was then – and still should be – Feds’ job to interrogate the integrity of any concept pushed by the regulator, let alone those promoted by the levy bodies involved and technology salesmen. Many claims were made about the benefits of a new tracing system. Primary amongst these claims was that New Zealand needed a nationwide electronic animal identification system to retain or obtain access to the international marketplace. That seemed plausible. So, about 2008, seeking confirmation that was fact, I wrote to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFaT) and asked where in the world this was such a requirement? “Nowhere”, came their written formal official response. Is it still so today? Well I don’t know,

but no doubt someone will say it isn’t. Secondly, the question was asked: why weren’t all cloven-hoof animals in the scheme if biosecurity rigour was the requirement? To omit any was illogical to Feds at the time. My guess is that it won’t be for much longer, while the regulator has producers over a barrel about NAIT frailties becoming so obvious. Thirdly, we debated the technology being touted. We wanted it right, fit for purpose, with better retention than observed in flock and herds using tags to that point. We sought advice and – from memory – I recall something about high frequency systems being better than the chosen low frequency type and that micro-chipping retention was better than tags for long term animal ID. All our input was dismissed by the regulator who, after being lobbied hard by major tag and technology providers, chose low frequency ear tags. Of course, none of this made transport companies or stock agents jump at a potential new revenue stream that regu-

lations normally give rise to. All they saw was cost and effort and a system that would fail. Lastly, and perhaps only obvious to those close, the Feds’ meat and fibre chairs of the time caved in to the noise

around them rather than standing strong. Their job was – and still is – to maintain authority over the property of members. They failed. What’s the upshot? We have a failing system because real farmers –

who would have to apply effort and comply – were not listened to. It’s that simple. If anyone had bothered to listen to the real and responsible questions at the outset, the mess surrounding the tracing

of animals after the onset of Mycoplasma Bovis might have been avoided. From the beginning Feds wanted better. But as so often happens it was beaten down by political favour and selfinterest. I hope the cur-

rent NAIT review covers these massive gaps. The saying ‘you reap what you sow’ now seems apt. • Don Nicolson was a Federated Farmers NZ board member from 200311 and national president from 2008-2011.

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

24 OPINION

Positive signs on water quality garner negativity NATIONAL RIVER quality trends give cause for optimism, according to Land and Water Aotearoa (LAWA). The report on the trends, released in midApril, should have been

cause for celebration – looking back from 2016 at a decade of data showed more sites improving than deteriorating in all river quality parameters. These results are consistent with the previ-

ous national water quality trend summary based on data from 2004-2013. Both reported more improving trends than degrading trends for total phosphorus, dissolved reactive phosphorus, E.

coli, ammoniacal nitrogen and water clarity. Furthermore, the latest results also show more improving trends than degrading trends for total oxidised nitrogen and total nitrogen, which was

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LAWA said that the latest results provide more positive signs relating to water quality improvements. not the case in the older dataset. LAWA said that the latest results provide more positive signs relating to water quality improvements. Instead of celebration, however, there have been dire warnings from concerned parties about flawed assessments and poor site selection. No doubt the Ministry for the Environment, Cawthron Institute, Massey University, and all the regional councils who make up LAWA are considering how to do the job with more rigour in future. In the meantime, however, the data seem to indicate cause for optimism: all the farmers’ and growers’ efforts -- fencing, planting, building shelters, upgrading effluent disposal and monitoring fertiliser use -- seem to be having an effect. This is just as well; it would have been pretty depressing to have spent the money, estimated by Federated Farmers and Dairy NZ to be a billion dollars on dairy farms alone, for nothing, LAWA isn’t the only research indicating improvements. Using different sites, ‘recent improvements’ were noted in research involving American geographers and Landcare and NIWA scientists. The authors also warned about the possible effects of ‘legacy nutrients’ and the potential impact of ongoing increased intensification; the implication was that nobody should sit back and think the job is done. In biological production systems, the job is never done, and resting on laurels is unusual. Especially this is so in NZ, whose uptake of agricultural technology is envied by many other countries: when the results of research show NZ farmers what they can do to make improvements, they set to and make changes onfarm. The cynic might

point out that subsidies in other countries buffer against the need for change, whereas in NZ change is a matter of survival; this is valid but doesn’t eliminate the value of the improvements. And in any sort of system, people who have done well are keen to do even better. They know that positive statements are more likely to effect change than negative statements, particularly if some suggestions are made about how that change can occur. A more positive and future-focussed response to the LAWA trends report from concerned parties would have been really good to see the improvements; now what can we do to make the next report even better? Where are the problem areas and what are the likely solutions? How can we help? Digging into the data reveals that sites reported to be ‘deteriorating’ were mostly doing so from a state of very low nutrients. Encouraging farmers and growers to do even better in retaining nutrients onfarm in these ‘pristine’ catchments is more likely to have a positive effect than berating them with the ‘deteriorating’ label. Also of note was that the waterways with the highest nutrient concentration tended to be called a ‘drain’ or ‘creek’. This doesn’t mean they don’t need improvement but it does indicate the issues are not new. Increasingly clear is that more onfarm research will be needed to assist with the steps towards an even better report from LAWA next time. And more encouragement wouldn’t go amiss either. • Dr Jacqueline Rowarth has a PhD in soil science and has been analysing agri-environment interaction for several decades.


RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

26 MANAGEMENT

Young Maori to the fore Three young Maori farmers will compete in late May for the title of Young Maori Farmer of the year. THE COMPETITION, first held in 2012, recognises talented, up-and-coming young Māori farmers, encourages them to choose farming and and showcases them to prospective employers. The competition alternates yearly between sheep and beef and dairy; this year it’s dairy. The finalists are Mathew Pooley (25), Ngāi Tahu, Koukourārata, farm manager on Ngāi Tahu Farming Ltd’s Maungatere dairy farm near Oxford in Canterbury; Cheyenne Wilson (25), Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Arawa, an assistant manager on Lochan Mor farm, near Ashburton; and Harepaora Ngaheu (26), Ngāti Awa, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, from Bay of Plenty, acting manager on a dairy farm, near Te Teko; he plans to contract milk for the same farmer in the new season. Since its inception the event has created interest within and outside Māoridom and has given finalists and winners a huge sense of pride and achievement. All have gone on to greater

things since winning. The award runs in tandem with the annual Ahuwhenua Trophy competition for the top Maori sheep and beef or dairy farm of the year. The winner of the Young Māori Farmer will be announced in Christchurch on May 25. Lead judge Peter Little says all three finalists this year are exceptional young people who have set career goals and worked hard to achieve these. All three plan to go further in the dairy industry. “It is great to see young people reaping the rewards of their hard work and acting as role models for other young Māori who may be seeking a future in the dairy industry or who are looking at ways to move up the employment ladder in the sector,” Little told Rural News. “All three have undertaken Primary Industry Training Organisation courses and the value of these is shown in the progress that all of them have made in a few years in the dairy sector.” Little says it was no easy task to select three finalists.

Harepaora Ngaheu HAREPAORA NGAHEU is having his second go at the competition. Inexperience cost him the win last time, but this time he feels he has the necessary attitude and skills to be a positive role model for young Māori. He was born in Porirua, but his family soon moved north to Te Teko, near Whakatane. He says he didn’t make as much of school as he would have liked. For many years he drifted around, then came his 21st birthday, which he remembers was the day he cupped a dairy cow during a training course. He found the dairy industry and it found him. His break came when a local farmer, Colin Wilson, offered him a permanent job; this proved

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life-changing for him and his young family. After a year working with Wilson, Ngaheu worked with another dairy farmer, there learning more about farm management. The following year he

got a manager’s position where he could put all his skills and knowledge into practice. He now manages one of Colin Wilson’s farms, but in the 2018-19 season plans to go contract milking, and with Wilson’s

help look into stock ownership. He aspires to becoming a 50/50 sharemilker in five years, and to help young Māori get off the streets and into work, either farming or running their own businesses.

Mathew Pooley MATHEW POOLEY went straight into the dairy industry from school aged 15. A decade on he now manages one of Ngāi Tahu’s dairy farms, Maungatere, near Oxford, a finalist in the 2016 Ahuwhenua Trophy competition. His rise to farm manager saw him work for two years on the Kerr Brothers farm, near Lincoln, before he went to the Cook Islands for two years working on a longline fishing boat. He realised then that his real passion lay with the dairy industry, so he came back to NZ. He worked two years for the Kerrs then

Mathew Pooley

decided he was ready for another challenge, moving to a dairy farm in Burnham, before taking up a position with Ngāi Tahu Farms. Pooley has a passion for the land and caring

for animals, which he developed growing up on sheep and beef farms. Off-farm he likes the outdoor life: hunting and fishing and he plays rugby and supports the Crusaders. - More on p27

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

MANAGEMENT 27 Cheyenne Wilson CHEYENNE WILSON comes from Southland and has spent all her life on farms. Her parents worked on farms in Southland and when she left school she worked in shearing sheds and as a cook. About five years ago she stumbled upon dairying and hasn’t looked back. It started when a local dairy farmer noticed her rearing calves and offered her a full time role. After three years on this farm she moved to Canterbury and is now working for Nathan and Erin

Christian on Lochan Mor farm near Ashburton as the assistant manager. In June she will move to Culverden, North Canterbury, to manage a 600-cow farm for Emlyn Francis. Wilson is involved in Young Farmers and the Dairy Womens’ Network. Last year she entered the Dairy Industry Awards and was the runner-up Trainee of the Year in Canterbury/North Otago. She aspires to being a woman leader in the dairy industry.

Cheyenne Wilson

Samples of dairy effluent on show at the launch of the ClearTech system show how suspended solids precipitate out under the influence of a special coagulant. RURAL NEWS GROUP

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IF EVERY farm in New Zealand used the new ClearTech system for harvesting clean water from dairy effluent, NZ would save 42 billion litres of freshwater each year. That’s according to Ravensdown, which recently unveiled the system with its Lincoln University partners in the project. ClearTech results from research by soil science professors Keith Cameron and Hong Di, who have identified a coagulant which, when mixed with dairy effluent, causes the solids to precipitate out and leave most of the water clear. The computer-controlled process also kills most bacteria. Installed between a farm’s dairy shed and effluent pond, it produces water claimed to be of swimmable quality for recycling for yard washing. A pilot system was recently shown running at the Lincoln University Dairy Farm. Ravensdown expects to be marketing commercial systems late this year. Jamie Thompson, Ravendown’s ClearTech project manager, explained that the coagulant chosen is polyferric sulphate: the main constituents are sulphur and iron, two substances already common in the soil. Once the solids have precipitated out and the clear water is taken off the top, the concentrated remainder in the effluent pond is good for spraying on pasture. “It’s about 99% water initially. Once we’ve taken the water off it’s still only 3% solids -- 97% water,” said Thompson. “Irrigation equipment can pump it easily. In technical terms it might be called a slurry but it’s nowhere near a slurry, it’s still very liquid.” They expected no ill-effects from the extra iron and sulphur ending up on the pasture. “That’s minor: environmental scientists have looked at it and it’s minimal. In fact a lot of the iron and sulphur break down while it’s still in the effluent pond,” said Thompson. Ravensdown chief executive Greg Campbell told attendees at the ClearTech launch that the co-operative’s catchcry is ‘Smarter farming for a better New Zealand’. That requires innovation such as ClearTech, and working... to find new ways to reduce environmental impacts while enabling farmers to create quality food for more people and animals -- using less land. “From our perspective, if that means selling less fertiliser... so be it.” Ravensdown chairman John Henderson said the co-op is not just a fertiliser company; its environmental consultancy arm is now the largest in NZ. “We are devoting a lot of our energy to helping our shareholders and farmers in NZ to farm more smartly for the benefit of NZ as a whole.” The company says it spends at least $2 million a year on ClearTech and similar projects.

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

28 ANIMAL HEALTH

Poor management aiding drench resistance LIVESTOCK MONOCULTURES and inappropriate drenching practices are helping raise internal parasite resistance to triple combination drenches, says AgResearch. And the problem is mostly avoidable, says animal health scientist Dr Dave Leathwick. He says resistance to triple combination drenches always arises from management practices and decisions, typically either running a single enterprise on the one property, e.g. lamb finishing or bull beef or excessive use of long-acting drenches. Lamb finishing is especially knotty, with

finishers buying in large numbers of animals on the open-market and bringing other peoples’ worm problems onto their own property. Lambing finishing under irrigation is even worse, creating a “worm factory,” says Leathwick. The risk is similar in dairy bull finishing, with the added complication of the emergence of drug resistance in Ostertagia, a worm that severely limits production. Leathwick says farms where parasites are resistant to more than one triple combination drench could face having to markedly change their operations to deal with the problem.

“For these farmers it’s going to be a serious issue and they are going to struggle with this.” But he hasn’t yet seen a case of triple combination resistance that wasn’t entirely predictable, he says. “My message for farmers is, if you keep ignoring what the science says there will be consequences -- inevitablly. Drug resistance is not a random event.” Leathwick says we know many of the factors that lead to resistance and if you do the right things resistance need not be an issue. On many farms every drench class is still 100% effective against all

worms, but farmers must stick to best-practice parasite control and drenching to retain those drugs’ efficacy. A good example is drenching lambs every 28-30 days from the start of December, irrespective of how well the lambs are doing. Leathwick says in good springs, when feed is plentiful and stock are doing well, farmers will often delay or extend the period between drenches. This just increases pasture contamination with worm larvae so that in autumn farmers will suddenly struggle to finish lambs and performance will drop. He says the strict

AgResearch animal health scientist, Dr Dave Leathwick says resistance to triple combinations drenches is always a consequence of management practices and decisions.

28-30-day drenching regime was designed in the 1970s to manage pasture contamination – not because the lambs needed drenching at the time; failure to follow this will often bring problems later in the season. “If you follow it – rigorously – you will have a much lower risk of problems later in the year.” He says too often farmers think of drenching as a monthly event. “But when one drench is at the start of the month and the second at the end of the following month, this can be up to seven weeks between drenches which is too long. It needs to be 28-30 days.” For the same reason,

Leathwick doesn’t recommend basing lamb drenching decisions on faecal egg counts. “It doesn’t work. You will only end up drenching in autumn and winter and in the mean-time you’ve lost production. The reason you drench lambs in spring and summer is not because the animals need a drench, but to prevent pasture contamination later in the season.” But he recommends occasionally collecting faecal samples a week after drenching lambs to search for eggs, and if they are present get a picture of the larvae differential. Leathwick says faecal eggs counts don’t show

the full picture. For example, a 500-egg count in a mixed-age ewe might be made up of Cooperia and Longtail parasites, which have no or limited pathology. Compare that to a 500-egg count in a 35kg lamb that is made up of the production-limiting internal parasites Trichostrongylus and Ostertagia and it is a very different scenario. “A farmer with a good eye is better than a FEC at deciding whether an animal needs drenching or not.” Leathwick says internal parasites are not always the problem in poor performing animals, but drenching is a good place to start.

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

30 ANIMAL HEALTH

Research into flystrike problems New Zealand farmers rate flystrike as their second-biggest issue after worms, yet for decades little research has gone into dealing with it. Now Massey University is about to tackle it. Peter Burke reports. TWO YEARS ago Dr Bill Pomroy, Professor of Veterinary Parasitology,

Massey University, organised a nationwide survey of farmers to gauge their

concern about flystrike. He found them very concerned.

Pomroy says it’s an “underdone” topic from a research and exten-

There is plenty of evidence to show that sheep hit by flystrike impact negatively on farmers’ returns.

sion point of view, and that the disbanding of the animal entymology group at AgResearch ten years ago was the abandonment of research into flystrike. Until the 1980s flystrike was mainly a North Island and upper South Island problem, but now in the era of live sheep shipping the Australian green fly Lucilia Cuprina

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“We also want to gauge during the season how severe it is because that will affect the duration of protection farmers will need from any insecticide they apply to their sheep.”

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has entered New Zealand and increased the regions troubled by flystrike, even down to Southland. So three species of fly can now cause flystrike – Lucilia cuprina and L sericata (European green fly) and Calliphora stygia (big brown blowflies seen in houses). Now flystrike is a nationwide problem and not easy to deal with, says Pomroy. “Dipping sheep and putting insecticides on sheep is difficult,” he told Rural News. “Modern spray races have helped, but the products are not necessarily formulated to give you long protection, so [the question is] how much protection do you get when you dip sheep? “Getting sheep wet is difficult so the length of protection you are getting is difficult to predict,” he adds. Flystrike research onfarm is about to be started by a PhD student supervised by Pomroy. This project, funded by New Zealand Merino, is aimed at producing a flystrike risk model using real-time weather data and making this applicable to all farmers.

“We also want to gauge during the season how severe it is because that will affect the duration of protection farmers will need from any insecticide they apply to their sheep.” A key part of the research will be validating it and Pomroy says they want the model to work even in the micro-climate areas. He says the PhD student will hopefully start the project when the next fly season starts. It will use field samples and data and information from models that already exist in Australia and UK. “There is an Australian one for Lucilia cuprina and a UK one for L sericata, so we want to determine how effective they are under NZ conditions,” Pomroy explains. “We will look and see if we can use those, but we will almost certainly have to do laboratory work to validate and tweak these two models. I’d I like to think that after about a year we may have early results to share with farmers.” @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews


RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS 31

Fastrac 3000 bows out MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

THE END of the line for British machinery maker JCB’s 3000 series Fastrac makes for an interesting story about a unique tractor. First made in 1991, the Fastrac 100 series resulted partly because of a failed military transport concept, and because it was seen that farm tractors typically spent 70% of their time doing transport tasks. The first machines were a hit with farmers and particularly contractors, both needing high speeds between properties, more comfort offered by modern suspension and the safety of truck-style external disc brakes. The 100 series eventually led to the 3000 series that first saw daylight in 1998 and had a 20-year run before bowing out at the factory at Cheadle, Staffordshire. In 1998 the first 3000 series comprised the 3155 (155hp) and 3185 (170hp). These ran Cummins engines mated to a 54F and 18R speed transmission with a 3-stage powershift and 65km/h road speed. By 2002 the series had gained anti-

APP FROM A CAP

A Fastrac 3000 (centre) flanked by the new 4000 and 8000 series.

lock brakes, and were joined by the 3190 (193hp) and the 3220 (220hp) both with electronic engine management. These evolved for a decade -sleeker and more modern-looking and with electronic control systems. In 2011 came the 3000 Xtra series with AGCO-Sisu Power engines of 7.4L with SCR, JCB’s P-Tronic transmission with 24F and 9R speeds and a 6-stage powershift and a brake to de-clutch function for stopping.

The last unit, a 3220 Xtra, is destined for Australia for fertilising and spreading. The latest Fastrac is the 4000 and 8000 series tractors already seen in New Zealand. The 4000 comes in three models 175hp to 235hp with multi-mode steering, active suspension on each corner and a top speed of 65km/h. The 8000 series has two models of 304hp and 348hp, a CVT transmission and a top speed of 70km/h.

CLEVER PEOPLE at Perkins engines have lifted their company’s game in mechanical and electronic engines by launching the world’s first lowcost engine telematics monitoring system. The $100 device, called SmartCap, won a gold medal at the recent Edison Awards in the US. It is housed in a replacement oil filler cap, from where it communicates with a smartphone app, sending details of engine running hours, service reminders, start/stop data and the vehicle’s location. Its power supply is said to last two to three years. “The SmartCap is used with the Perkins My Engine app to allow users to easily track engine use, servicing requirements, receive service

updates, see parts information and, of course, find their nearest Perkins dealer,” a spokesman said. It uses low-energy Bluetooth that senses engine vibrations and processes information while filtering out running and non-running data; then it transmits data to the app every 15 seconds. Data is also automatically uploaded to the Cloud, where extra analysis is done then sent to the smart device. Available in three sizes, the device is compatible with a wide range of Perkins powerplants right up to the 6-cylinder, 7.1L, 275hp units. The app can also be configured to receive multiple data flows from several engines, then display the information on a single screen.

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The Deutz-Fahr 5-Series offers unbeatable value for money with the Deutz-Fahr 5105 (105HP) loader combo just $83,990 +GST, or the Deutz-Fahr 5120 (120HP) loader combo just $89,990 +GST, and with these robust tractors ready to demonstrate up and down the country, it’s a great time to contact your local Power Farming dealer.

fin

The front axle features a unique true four wheel braking system with oil cooled front disc brakes. Coupled with a 100% locking front differential and a low centre of gravity, the 5 Series is the safer choice for working in difficult conditions. The Deutz-Fahr high speed steering system (SDD) and Sense Clutch, Stop & Go function revolutionises the use of a tractor in a loader operation.

sense

clutch

STOP

& GO


RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

32 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

Far North farmer favours Fendts MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

NORTHLAND FARMER Ivan Stanisich has a herd of 215 milking cows, a 40ha avocado orchard and in his spare time is developing another 37ha of avocados. The two Fendt 200 series tractors on the property – a 10-year-old 209P and a 2017 211P – are big enough to power PTO implements and lift silage bales, but small enough to fit under avocado trees and between the rows. The farm manager

who runs the dairy side of the business now uses the older one, and Stanisich has laid claim to the new machine. Reliability is essential because the property is 180km north of service centres in Whangarei and 27km north of Kaitaia. After a decade with the 209P, the decision to buy the 211P wasn’t too hard, given the former’s reliability and durability. Stanisich bought the second tractor to work the expanding avocado acreage and because he liked its vario transmission that allows stepless

speeds from 20m/h up to 40km/h. “The vario is good for trenching, root pruning in pine shelter belts and heavy mulching, due to the range of speed available,” Stanisich told Rural News. “Particularly good are the 40km/h road speed at 1700rpm and PTO speed delivered at 1900rpm, which combine to offer fuel savings.” At 1.7m wide, the newer 211P delivers 111hp -- plenty of power to drive a 3.0m mower, the 2.5m mulcher and a 1.75m forestry mulcher

Reliability is one of the key reasons Northland farmer Ivan Stanisich favours Fendt tractors.

for orchard and general farm work. Fitted with linkages and PTO front and rear,

U VA NBEA LUE TA B ! TOD CALL LE AY. US

WINTER BLAST OFF SALE TORNADO RANGE

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ALBERTI HOT CLEANERS UDOR ceramic plunger pump. Heavy-duty 4 pole electric motor. 230 & 400-volt models. Diesel hot water heater.

250 and 600 litre tanks, galvanised frame. HD quick release, PTO shaft, 53L/min spray pump, 25m hose & hand gun, optional 6 metre boom. High quality Italian diaphragm pumps. From 17L/min to 240L/min. E PHON 290 psi to OT H R O F S 580 psi PRICE

pactness of the 211 makes for little room under the hood, daily service items are readily accessible and easy to replace, and the space is not too hospitable for starlings. Reliability is tops for Stanisich, hence his choosing the premium German brand; the seasons allow only a short window of time to do the work so breakdowns are a no-no.

Two 230 volt and four 400 volt models with UDOR ceramic plunger pump & low rpm 4 pole (1440 rpm) motor for extended service life.

HURRICANE PTO WATERBLASTER/ SPRAYER 250 or 600 litre tank, 540 rpm gearbox. New UDOR 3000 psi 35L/min pump. Blast, spray and drain clean!

AES SPRAYPACK 250 & 600

UDOR

one row and turns back into the next. Employed staff make safety rules paramount, e.g. warnings to apply the handbrake when leaving the cab, or indicating the PTO is still running. The comfort of an air suspension seat and front suspension system are appreciated, as is the roomy cab, given that Stanisich is 1.8m tall. Although the com-

ELECTROBLAST RANGE

Robust UDOR Italian ceramic plunger pump with brass head. 10 models, both direct drive and with low rpm pump and gear box. Genuine Honda with 3 yr warranty.

SAVE UP TO $500

the tractor runs a frontmounted mower to allow a silage crop to be taken from between the avocado trees. The orchard has been planted over a long time: earlier areas at 7.0m row spacing and more recent closer, so the tractors operate in spaces from 5 to 8m wide. Manoeuvrability is said to be better than a quad: the tractor comes out of

3 FOR THE PRICE OF 1!

SPRAY BOOMS 4.5 6 & 8m metre spray booms, horizontal fold, stainless steel lines and non-drip low drift nozzles.

SAVE $$$

HOSE REELS 100 or 150m SPRAY HOSE 25, 50, or 100m coils

Contact AES direct or your local AES dealer FREEPHONE 0508 78 78 78 46 Sir William Ave, East Tamaki, Auckland www.aesblasters.co.nz

IN THE PINK! VALTRA’S UNLIMITED Design Studio is known for taking tractor customisation to the next level, with upgrades to paint, leather interior, high-end audio and the odd exhaust stack. A recent special-edition tractor based on one that toured Europe for breast cancer in 2017 can now be ordered in a love-it-or-hate-it colour scheme better suited to Auckland’s K’ Road than a muddy paddock in Waikato.

The ‘Barbie Pink’ N163’s exterior would certainly get noticed at a Young Farmers Ball. And the interior is pretty fancy too -- red leather trim for the seat and steering wheel, red deep-pile carpet and a positively drug-induced lighting system. Here’s betting that if it should ever come to New Zealand, AGCO area managers won’t be lining up to stand next to it in matching overalls. But who knows? – Mark Daniel


RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS 33

NH pimps its BigBaler series MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

ON THE heels of the BigBaler 1270 and 1290 Plus release in 2016, New Holland Agriculture has launched a full line of BigBaler Plus balers. These have greater productivity and efficiency, and in the BigBaler 890 higher density and durability. The new BigBaler Plus models are said to increase density by 10% -meaning 10% fewer loads from the field, 10% less bale handling time and 10% less storage space required. Also, the machines are engineered to achieve consistent bale weight and density for haulage operators, costing them less for trucking, and cutting overall cost per bale. BigBaler Plus balers have the MaxiSweep pickup and increased plunger strokes per minute to create dense, well-shaped bales at up to 110 bales/hour; and

the extended bale chamber allows for softer bale drop for less risk of twine failure in the heat of the day, ensuring farmers can operate the knotter at closer to twine knot strength. An 800mm longer bale chamber helps to produce bales up to 10% denser than previous non-Plus models and maintain increased bale density all day. Other changes are a more rugged frame and chassis to house the new extended bale chamber and larger service platform, and a new heavyduty high-wear rotor option is available to handle abrasive crops and demanding biomass. Technology also plays a part: BigBaler Plus models are equipped with IntelliCruise Isobus Class III technology, enabling 10% greater efficiency thanks to the tractorbaler automation system. This system controls the tractor’s ground speed to optimise and maintain a constant feed

Lexus teams up with Farmlands LEXUS AND Farmlands, the country’s largest rural supplies co-operative, have a new partnership. It will market to rural Kiwis the luxury vehicles, including high performance and self-charging variants in cars and SUVs. Paul Carroll, senior general manager of Lexus New Zealand, says the brand partnership is a natural fit for his company. “Many Farmlands shareholders buy SUVs for a dual role as farm vehicles and cars for personal use. Farmers are working tirelessly to improve the environmental impact of their operations, so driving high-end low emission vehicles to and from the nearest town supports these efforts.” He says Lexus is known for brave design, imaginative technology, premium quality materials and a driving experience that suits NZ rural roads. Peter Reidie, chief executive of Farmlands Cooperative, says Lexus is a natural extension of the co-op’s partnership with Toyota formed in 2017. “Farmlands Co-operative has 66,000 shareholders; our new agreement with Lexus ensures shareholders have a full range of vehicles to choose from, on and off the farm.” Farmlands shareholders are now offered exclusive pricing on Lexus range, including a four-year warranty and service plan. The partnership will run four years.

rate, with a choice of two modes: Charge Control adjusts the tractor’s speed for optimum capacity, measuring the throughput of the crop and the time

needed to fill the precharge chamber; and Slice Control adjusts the tractor’s speed according to the desired slice thickness. www.newholland.co.nz

The BigBaler Plus in action.

TIME FOR

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WORKING WITH YOU FOR

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Available in a range of raking widths from 5.2 m to 10.2 m Strong galvanised spring steel tyne arms Super C tynes 9.5 mm tested for over 200,000 impacts without damage Enclosed rotor heads protecting components from dirt and dust 4, 6, 8 and 10 rotor options

MF RAKES • • • • •

Working widths from 3.6 m to 12.5 m 1, 2 and 4 rotor options Unique tyne arm mounting for perfect fit and reduced wear ‘Jet effect’ protects tynes when lowering rotors to the ground Patented fully cardanic rotor suspension for optimum ground contouring

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A world of experience. Working with you for 60 years.


RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

34 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS - WORKSAFE

Don’t rely on ‘she’ll be right’ RACE AND rally drivers’, do it, airplane passengers do it, even the Fonterra tanker drivers do it- so why is it that most farmers and contractors don’t appear to see the need to wear a seat belt? Rural News’ Mark Daniel reports. STATISTICS SHOW that over the last two decades, 80% of fatalities in the rural sector can be attributed to the use of farm vehicles- with the last three years seeing that rise to 90%. Those same statistics suggest that the simple action of “clunkclick” by using a seatbelt in a tractor, UTE or UTV can make the difference between life or death, all for a two-second investment of your time. Many deaths are caused by “rollovers”, and whilst modern tractors and UTV’s are much safer than those of yesteryear by being fitted with rollover protection, there is an inherent need to remain secured, and within the structure, to be safe. The alternative is to be thrown around within the safety structure and suffer injury, or in the worst case, being thrown from the “safezone” in the event of an accident. Wearing seatbelts always, in any type of farm vehicle, should become an instinct, done in the same way that we reach for a seatbelt when we head out onto the highway in our cars-is there any real reason why it shouldn’t be? Wearing seatbelts

should be a part of every farm or enterprises Health and Safety discussions, with family, workers and visitors, and should also be discussed with visiting contractors, by explaining it is part of your farm’s safety policy. Likewise, farm owners, managers and foremen must lead by example by always using a seatbeltwith no exceptions. Going back over those statistics also helps dispel another popular myththat young, inexperienced “hot-heads” are the most frequent age group in serious or fatal accidents. The statistics, based on the belief that experience counts, should lead us to believe that fewer experienced people might be killed in these accidents, but the numbers show

that over half the fatalities are over 50 years of age, and doing something they have done many times before. Maybe it’s because of a “she’ll be right” attitude, the inability to identify possible risks, or because “we’ve done it like that” for far too long. Given that the average farmer in New Zealand is around 57 years old, those aforementioned attitudes, and a lack of change, will continue to see them making the news headlines for all the wrong reasons. In closing, I forgot to mention a further sector that also uses seatbelts extensively- that’s patients in wheelchairs or on stretchers that are being loaded into ambulances-don’t be one of them!

Belt up! Take a look at Scott Dixon”s Indy crash in 2017 if you don’t think it’s better to stay inside the safety cell and let it do its work. After a major collision with another car at 300kph, the pit lane wall and multiple rolls, the Kiwi racer came away with a sore ankle because he remained in the safety cell. This also applies to the farm UTV’s or tractors, where jumping out of the rolling vehicle is fraught with danger, not least, by getting hit from the vehicle from which you are trying to escape.

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SOUTH ISLAND www.cochranes.co.nz Call Alastair Robertson | 03 324 3791 | 027 435 2642 AMBERLEY | LEESTON | ASHBURTON | TIMARU | OAMARU


RURAL NEWS // MAY 15, 2018

RURAL TRADER 35 CRAIGCO SENSOR JET

DEAL TO FLY AND LICE

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$

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EPOXY FLOOR REPAIR Cretex™ TR Epotread™SL250 TROWEL GRADE EPOXY FILLER

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

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INTRODUCING THE ALL NEW RANGER XP 1000 HD EPS LIMITED EDITION S E D U L C IN FULL CAB + HEATER

AWD Mode Turf Mode

11

ENGINE BRAKING AND ACTIVE UNLOCKING REAR DIFF ON DEMAND TRUE DESCENT CONTROL (ADC) VERSATRAC TURF MODE ALL-WHEEL-DRIVE (AWD)

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KG 680

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TOWING CAPACITY - 1134KG

DUMP BOX CAPACITY - 454KG

3 MODE THROTTLE CONTROL

IRS WITH 27.9CM OF TRAVEL

SEAT BELT INTERLOCK

SPEED KEY READY

ELECTRONIC POWER STEERING

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$10,995

EX GST

RANGER 570 HD EPS

SAVE $1,175

• 32 HP • On Demand True AWD • Unlocking Rear Diff • IRS with 25.4cm of Travel • Seat Belt Interlock • Dump Box Capacity - 227Kg

$16,495

EX GST

RANGER DIESEL 1000 HD EPS

INCLUDES ROOF + SCREEN + WIPER KIT + REAR SCREEN WORTH $2,759 EX GST

• 44HP • On Demand True AWD • Unlocking Rear Diff • Engine Braking System & Active Descent Control (ADC) • Electronic Power Steering • Heavy Duty Features

$20,865

EX GST

INCLUDES ROOF R + SCREEN WORTH $1,470 EX GST

• 24HP • Unlocking Rear Diff • Dump Box Capacity - 454Kg • Electronic Powewr Steering • Heavy Duty Features • Engine Braking System & Active Descent Control (ADC)

*Offer ends 30/6/18 or while stocks last. Offer only available at participating Polaris Dealers. Not valid with any other offer. Excludes fleet clients.

0800 440 290 | www.polarisnewzealand.com |

/PolarisNZ


TE PARI'S COMPLETE CATTLE HANDLING SOLUTION From initial concepts through to a complete functioning stockyard that can handle hundreds of cattle. 1. Needs, Analysis and Concepts

Cattle farming is a business and a passion. But markets are becoming more challenging. Te Pari understand your needs and we offer integrated livestock products and solutions.

2. Site Selection Location of your cattle handling system is vital for improved efficiency and profitability. At Te Pari we see hundreds of stockyards each year and consult with you on site to work out the best location taking into account many features such as flow, entries, loading, access, drafting and more.

3. Earthworks In today’s busy farming world you need to focus on running your business, just like any business owner does. That’s why Te Pari coordinates and oversees the earthwork and drainage developments for many of our clients.

4. Concrete

FREE on site consultation FREE installation FREE $2000

Site preparation needs careful consideration and many modern cattle systems have the working area concreted. This prevents the main traffic areas getting muddy and provides a safer and cleaner working environment. Te Pari can supply and place the concrete for you site as part of the project.

5. Delivery As part of your turnkey package Te Pari will delivery your yard right to your farm site and unload with a Hiab or crane. This ensures your system arrives undamaged and is unloaded safely onto site.

6. Installation

That’s 2000 reasons to upgrade to TE PARI galvanised steel Yards

When the site is ready our own fully equipped installation team will erect your yards. They will ensure your cattle handling system is assembled correctly and ready to go.

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SAFETY FOR MAN AND BEAST SAFETY, EASE OF USE AND ADAPTABILITY ARE THE WATCH WORDS WHEN IT COMES TO BUILDING CATTLE YARDS. Free on farm consultation and design

INTRODUCING THE NEW CLASSIC HD3 AUTO DRAFTER… The Classic HD3 Cattle Auto Drafter is a fully automated weighing and drafting system that is smooth, quiet and fast to operate.

From $19500+GST Free delivery and onsite training

To find out more, go to www.tepari.com and download your free Top Yards and Classic HD3 spec sheets or phone 0800 837 276

Rural News 15 May 2018  

Rural News 15 May 2018

Rural News 15 May 2018  

Rural News 15 May 2018