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Axial Flow reveals new machines for 2019. PAGE 46

Making the change from marketing green and gold kiwifruit to red meat. PAGE 6



Laggards in MPI’s sight PETER BURKE

MPI IS setting out to connect with ‘unconnected’ farmers to make them aware of all the new animal welfare and environmental compliance regulations. Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says the government is putting up $3 million over four years to spread the message about the changes. MPI has the task of communicating with farmers who haven’t been getting these messages from Beef + LambNZ and DairyNZ.

O’Connor says the government wants farmers to move from volumebased production to a value-based system, which requires a high standard of working conditions and sound environmental stewardship. He admits MPI can’t do the communicating itself so it will work with local farm advisory companies and industry-good organisations to get messages across. He wants MPI to be in contact with 300 farmers NZ-wide in the first year -- those who have not been contacted by a normal advisory service before, he told Rural News. “They may be the hardest to get to

because they have their heads down getting on with their farm work and may not know of the new compliance issues coming up. The aim is to take a lead to help farmers and turn it into a positive engagement rather than forcing compliance on them.” O’Connor says many farmers see compliance as a threat, but sooner or later dairy and meat companies will demand compliance so those who don’t comply may face severe consequences. He says traditionally farmers have believed that the bottom 20% of their colleagues ‘will go broke so let’s not

worry about them, we’ll just buy their farms’. “But we can no longer sustain that approach to farming because the 20% who need to lift their game are the ones that tarnish NZ’s image in the international marketplace. We cannot afford to have people who don’t understand what they have to do.” O’Connor hopes this new approach will work -- supporting farmers to achieve greater sustainability and value in their operations. This can help lift water quality, improve biosecurity and help NZ meet its greenhouse gas emission targets.”

ONE YEAR on from a ground-breaking ceremony attended by a bevy of VIPs, the building site for the $206 million Lincoln University and AgResearch education and research centre on the Lincoln campus remains fenced-off, deserted and overgrown. Some site works have been completed, but the main build was delayed by a decision in April to seek more quotes. “We expect that process to be complete by the end of September,” AgResearch chief executive Tom Richardson told Rural News. The 27,000sq.m joint facility is expected to house 700 agricultural science staff from Lincoln University, AgResearch and DairyNZ, with more tenants envisaged. – merger talks page 7

FOLLOW THE MONEY! FORMER FONTERRA director Mark Townsend believes people need to be more wary about the real motives behind critics of the dairy co-op. He concedes that Fonterra cops its share of criticism – some deserved and some over the top. Referring to the attack on Fonterra leadership by NZ First Minister Shane Jones, Townshend says the “bizarre outburst will have been fuelled from somewhere”. “And it will be worth watching who funds political parties (donations) and what they might like to see for their own self-interest as Government legislators do the DIRA review,” he told Rural News. Townshend says non-supplying Fonterra unit holders receiving disappointing returns on investments have “a genuine grievance”. However, he is disappointed at criticism from Fonterra shareholders and ex-Fonterra employees. Townsend says Fonterra farmers need to be able to make their own assessments around how well the co-op is doing in paying its farmers a globally competitive milk price – rather than being overly influenced by outside parties with their own vested interests. – Sudesh Kissun


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A RUSHED change to NAIT regulations has caused growing disquiet about the haste in which the new laws were passed under urgency in Parliament. The farming industry at first publicly welcomed the changes: DairyNZ and Beef + LambNZ approved, although Federated Farmers said they were rushed. Many people have told Rural News that they question the hastily enacted new laws and some of the new powers given to MPI. The most contentious change now allows biosecurity officials to enter farmers’ properties – including the farm house – without getting a warrant, and they may seize anything they want. Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor claims the package of ‘technical law changes’ is to support the Mycoplasma bovis eradication programme. The response to M.bovis has highlighted problems in the National

Agricultural minister Damien O’Connor.

Animal Identification and Tracing scheme (NAIT) that should have been fixed years ago. He says this was because farmers were not registering animal movements and compliance enforcement to ensure use of NAIT was lacking. Changes passed under urgency in parliament align the NAIT Act search powers with the Search and Surveillance Act; they make it clear that all

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NATIONAL’S AGRICULTURE spokesman Nathan Guys says while some of the NAIT changes were needed, their passing under urgency prevented proper scrutiny of the proposed laws. He says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has had months to introduce this Bill into Parliament, but instead he expanded wide-ranging search powers under urgency. “Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) will be able to turn up to farmers’ properties without getting a warrant and seize anything they want, unannounced and without cause.  “National asked Mr O’Connor to send the Bill to select committee during the two-week recess to allow public input and ensure there are no unintended consequences for farmers, but the Minister refused.” He says National reluctantly supported the legislation to improve NAIT’s performance, but remains gravely concerned about the process and invasion of farmers’ privacy.

Published by: Rural News Group Printed by: PMP Print CONTACTS Editorial: Advertising material: Rural News online: Subscriptions: ABC audited circulation 80,580 as at 31.03.2018

animal movements must be declared to NAIT even if the new location is not a registered NAIT location. Farmers will be held to account if they do not declare those movements to NAIT. The new regulations also allow biosecurity officials to search farms and take documents without a warrant; this is causing most of the angst among farmers. However, O’Connor claims the changes go no further than powers that already exist under other acts, which allow officers to lawfully obtain information where non-compliance is an issue. The new regulations also make M.bovis a notifiable organism under the Biosecurity Act 1993, meaning people who suspect the presence of the disease in a new location must report it to MPI. “Prompt reporting is necessary to eradicate the disease and a wellfunctioning NAIT is a key part of our efforts to protect our vital primary industries from pests and disease,” O’Connor says. “Farmers and industry have been asking MPI to increase compliance so that people who are not complying can be held to account.” BLNZ says the passing of the new laws on NAIT were necessary because it is critical to be able to trace movements of animals between farms in the event of a biosecurity incursion. It also says effective compliance forms are an important part of that process. “Those farmers who work hard to comply with NAIT requirements have increasingly been asking for stronger penalties and compliance actions against those who put the industry at risk,” says BLNZ’s Dave Harrison. “This will give them confidence that some action is being taken.” @rural_news


THE FARM suspected of being the likely source of the country’s Mycoplasma bovis outbreak is facing charges related to the importation of farm machinery. It has been revealed that Southern Centre Dairies, near Winton, Southland, and its owner Alfons Zeestraten have been charged by the Ministry for Primary Industries. Animal tracing from all known infections is believed to point to Southern Centre Dairies as the likely epicentre of the M.bovis outbreak. But the charges do not relate to the disease. Law firm Chapman Tripp said in a statement signed by partner Garth Galloway that it is acting for Southern Centre Dairies. “We confirm that charges relating to the importation of farm equipment in January 2018 this year have been laid by the Ministry for Primary Industries against the company and Mr Alfons Zeestraten as a director. “MPI has confirmed the charges do not relate to the recent outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis discovered in New Zealand in July 2017. “At this stage no further comment will be made while the matter is before the courts.” A spokesperson for MPI also confirmed that the charges did not relate to M.bovis. “The matter is before the courts and we won’t be making any further comment.” Stuff has reported that the charges will be called in the Invercargill District Court in November.



‘Informed debate’ needed on Ag’s GHGs – PCE PETER BURKE

THE PARLIAMENTARY Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) wants to see an evidenced-based debate on how New Zealand should

deal with greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. Simon Upton late last week released a 44-page report on the subject with a special section relating directly to agriculture. He hopes the report,

which is technical and not necessarily comprehensible to the average person, will help promote debate “grounded in science” on reducing methane emissions. “This research is being released to inform

Livestock methane emissions make up a large percentage of NZ’s greenhouse gas profile.

the current debate about how different greenhouse gases should be treated in the context of the Government’s proposed Zero Carbon Bill,” Upton says. “I am not endorsing a specific climate target or approach for reducing livestock methane or other agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, but would like to see an evidence-based debate on how best to approach this important task.” Upton, a Minister for the Environment in the 1990s, commissioned this report to provide information on global warming that might result from future emissions from livestock in NZ, under different assumptions and scenarios.

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The report seeks to answer three main questions: Given our past emissions what would be the warming contribution if the status quo prevailed? What additional warming might be expected? And what annual reductions in methane emissions would be required to avoid additional warming contributions from NZ by 2030 or 2050? In the report, the PCE states that while most countries have to focus on carbon dioxide, NZ has to think harder about the contributions from methane and nitrous oxide from agriculture; these make up a particularly high proportion of our total greenhouse gas

emissions. The report notes that methane is the most potent of the greenhouse gases and the warming caused by it occurs during the first few decades, whereas carbon dioxide lingers in the atmosphere for thousands of years. The key findings from the modelling show that if NZ’s livestock methane emissions held steady at 2016 levels, then within about 10 years the amount of methane in the atmosphere from that source would level off. However, the warming effects of that methane would keep rising, at a gradually declining rate, for at least a century. It notes that if NZ

wishes to ensure that methane from livestock causes no additional contribution to warming beyond the current level, emissions will need to be reduced by at least 10-22% below 2016 levels by 2050, and 20-27% by 2100. The report notes the impact of current research in NZ into greenhouse gas emission and says: “Through breeding more efficient animals and improving farm management, the emissions intensity of NZ’s agricultural production has improved about 1% per year over the last few decades. If production were held constant, and efficiency gains of 1% per year continued, total emissions of methane from livestock would reduce. “We did not model this scenario, but the impact would be likely to cause additional warming for many years to come and this is, in part, the legacy of past emissions.” In essence, the report provides the data for a debate on greenhouse gas emissions in NZ for scientists and scientifically literate farmers.



M.bovis hits beef feedlot NIGEL MALTHUS

NEW ZEALAND’S only large-scale beef feedlot has confirmed a Mycoplasma bovis infection. ANZCO’s Five Star Beef feedlot, on the coast at Wakanui, near Ashburton, is now under a restricted place notice. The disease has been confirmed in “a large number� of a single mob of 44 animals, ANZCO general manager, agriculture and livestock, Grant

Bunting told Rural News. The confirmation came a few days after ANZCO revealed that the farm was under a notice of direction (NOD), usually issued to restrict movements on- and offfarm while test results are pending. Bunting agrees it may only have been a matter of time before the farm got M.bovis, given its business model and the high numbers of animals it handles.

SAFE FROM EXTREMISTS CLAIMS DISCOVERY OF M.bovis coincided with Five Star Beef being thrust into the public limelight by a call from the animal-rights organisation Save Animals from Exploitation (SAFE) to ban intensive feedlots, which it termed “the Americanisation� of agriculture. Bunting says the animal welfare implications of the feedlot system are “very minor�. Part of the reason it came as a surprise to the public that the Five Star feedlot even existed is that it had no welfare issues, he adds. “I would argue we are exemplary in the way we present the cattle and the way we maintain the feedlot. I’m comfortable in that,� Bunting told Rural News. He accepts there are other points of view, “but from our perspective those cattle are very well cared for�. The feedlot pens consist of straw bedding on a stabilised base. Part of the rationale for its coastal location is the more temperate climate than found inland. Bunting says the feedlot was subject to environmental consents and conditions, subject to expiration. “We would be just as aware as anybody at the moment that farming practises have to be sustainable, so what may have been acceptable for the past 10 years is highly unlikely to be acceptable for the coming 10 years,� he adds. “I suspect we’ll be like many people in the rural environment, where we’ll have to give consideration to what our farming systems are going to look like going forward.� Bunting says the whole industry is probably feeling the scrutiny of the public. “Whether it’s social license, consumer trends or whatever, there’s certainly a requirement to be very mindful of what that landscape might look like because one thing’s for sure, it’s going to constantly change.�

ANZCO’s Five Star Beef feedlot on the coast at Wakanui near Ashburton. SUPPLIED/ANZCO

“It’s not as though anyone’s been able to tell us what cattle not to buy,� he says. Bunting says Five Star will work with MPI to

manage the infection. He sees no chance of it infecting more farms because all its animals go to slaughter. The 44 deemed

infected are quarantined and all in one pen, but may go to slaughter earlier than usual. Bunting says Five Star will take instruction on

whether they can simply disinfect that pen while continuing to operate the rest of the feedlot as usual. “Transmission rates will largely dictate the direction we are required to follow. We are an intensive operation so our risk will obviously be higher,� he told Rural News. Five Star buys in conventionally pasture-raised 18 to 20-month-old cattle, and then finishes them for up to 90 days on rations, about 50% grain and 50% forage-based. The system gives product consistency to

the beef, marketed as ‘grain-finished’. “From a product perspective you end up with a bit more control over what you deliver,� Bunting says. The Wakanui brand grain-finished beef is available in many NZ supermarkets. However 95% of it is exported and the feedlot accounts for only 10% of the total ANZCO beef kill. Five Star Beef has operated on the site since 1991. It now has about 16,000 animals and consents for up to 19,000. @rural_news

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Moving from green to red – no stopping him Not long ago Simon Limmer was extolling the virtues of kiwifruit. But his change from marketing green and gold kiwifruit for Zespri to marketing red meat as chief executive of Silver Fern Farms has been seamless, as Peter Burke reports. SILVER FERN Farms’ new chief executive has enjoyed his first few months with the red meat industry – in fact more than he thought. Simon Limmer says he feels privileged in the scope of the things he’s seen, the places he’s been and the people he’s met “That’s been pretty cool. The number of moving parts in this meat industry is quite different from the Zespri experience,” he told Rural News. “Zespri was focused on the sales and marketing in a unique way

because it reached from the orchard right through to the market. But I guess here in the meat industry the processing component is so critical to how well you are going to perform as a business. But equally, the marketing and sales components are just as important to the value you are extracting from the market.” But the common denominator of both industries is building relationships with producers, buyers and consumers, Limmer says. In the case of SFF it’s working with

about 16,000 families who supply the company, “assuring them that we have a sustainable future as a company”. Limmer says livestock procurement is critical to later capturing value in the market. “There are 7000 people working in the processing plants and they are critical to the functionality of the business. It is difficult to attract and retain people into those plants and labour reform is shifting, so we have to have a good relationship with all those

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people as well,” he says. Limmer sees many issues facing the industry and notes that it’s always had challenges. Issues centred on the environment are a challenge, but these are going to take the industry forward and they just have to navigate their way through change. While kiwifruit and red meat are completely different products, Limmer sees many similarities in the marketing. In both cases NZ is looking to establish strong relationships with consumers because

both meat and kiwifruit are inherently high value products. “There is a niche in the red meat market that I believe NZ can fill and it can be very valuable for us,” he told Rural News. “People eat because they have to and because they enjoy the experience. Our NZ grass fed red meat has a huge range of natural attributes: it’s leaner, has better flavour and it has health attributes that other red meat producing countries don’t have. So we need to be telling that story.

PLANT PROTEIN THREAT SIMON LIMMER is not overly concerned about the threat of plan\t-based meat substitutes. He notes protein consumption is growing worldwide and NZ is not going to be able to supply the world. NZ doesn’t need to be everything to every consumer, he says. “The other point is that our market position is quite different: we are looking for that quality high end and naturally produced red meat for the consumer,” he told Rural News. “We are very much in different markets in what we are offering.” Limmer believes there is scope for massive growth in red meat sales to eastern markets, especially China. The trend in Chinese meat consumption per capita favours NZ. “But ultimately we have to focus on the market and adapt to what consumers are after. If we can match our good product with the right consumers then we can be very successful.”



Merger ‘unlikely’ – Lincoln uni boss NIGEL MALTHUS

A FULL merger of Lincoln University and the University of Canterbury would be a “very unlikely” outcome of their partnership talks, says Lincoln vice-chancellor Professor James McWha. The two parties have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore “partnership and merger options”. The MOU is aimed at “enhancing Lincoln’s unique 140-year contribution to the land-based sectors and the wider economy, with a strong focus on meeting the sector’s need for more highly skilled staff through world-class teaching and research”. However, McWha believes an actual merger would be a “very unlikely outcome”. He envisages two universities “standing side by side under a common umbrella”. “I think the most likely outcome will be that we end up with two universities working closely together, possibly with a common governance model,” he told Rural News. Both institutions will examine how they could work together to give better

results than either could achieve sepa- tionships with key stakeholders and entities who should or could be partrately, he says. “What we’re trying to do is to ners. The teaching offering and delivleave every option on the table, not ery is in need of an overhaul, along take any off too early. We need to with the focus of research activities, so that the university meet with the Cantercan contribute more to bury people, sit down learning and to comand talk about what are munity and national the ways we could cowellbeing.” operate that would give However, McWha better outcomes for the says Lincoln is now in land-based industries – good shape financially agriculture, tourism, and academically. conservation, etc.” “So it’s from a posiMcWha points to tion of strength that important riders in the we are able to sit down MOU – that the Lincoln across the table from brand, the joint venture Lincoln vice chancellor James Canterbury and have a facility with AgResearch, McWha. and the Lincoln Hub (now called BLinc sensible discussion,” he says. “It’s not our intention at this point Innovation) will all be preserved. This follows a rough few years for that Lincoln University -- that the LinLincoln – hit by the Canterbury earth- coln brand -- would disappear. “In fact it would be our intention quakes, poor financial performance and a number of governance changes. that the Lincoln brand be strengthA transformation board set up last ened. “The whole concept here is to come year to assess the university and map out a future strategy warned that the out of this stronger and better than we currently are,” McWha says. status quo was “not an option”. He says Canterbury’s strengths are “It remains small scale, has a poor sense of strategy, and has weak rela- in engineering and computer science,

while Lincoln will bring “all the landbased stuff”. “Put those two together and you have a great combination for the future.” Canterbury chancellor Dr John Wood says the university has had longstanding interests in the land-based sectors and is confident the parties will create innovative solutions to achieve the government’s goals. “The University of Canterbury is ready and willing to work with Lincoln University to the mutual benefit of both universities and in New Zealand’s national interest,” said Wood. Education Minister Chris Hipkins also welcomed the announcement, saying the Government is committed to Lincoln remaining at its present site and retaining its brand and identity. “We need to encourage more people to study and work in the land-based sectors to meet industry demand, increase productivity and tackle technological and environmental challenges,” Hipkins said. “Canterbury and Lincoln’s proposal to explore a merger or partnership might help to achieve that by enhancing Lincoln’s capacity to deliver worldleading teaching and research.”

However, Selwyn MP Amy Adams has accused the government of secretly seeking a “fire sale” of Lincoln University. “No matter how the government might dress it up, if Lincoln was forced into a larger institution, that practical, specialist focus would be lost and there is no justification for that. NZ’s landbased sector would be worse off as a result and this would rip the guts out of the small Canterbury town of Lincoln,” she said. McWha says Lincoln is an autonomous institution making its own decisions and recommendations to government. “So no, that [fire sale] isn’t what’s going to happen, but we’re grateful to her for pointing out that would be a very undesirable outcome.” The two universities are expected to put a proposal to the government by the end of the year. McWha says they may decide there’s great potential to do much more than they can do separately. “Or we come back and say ‘there isn’t anything to be gained and Lincoln University should continue to stand totally alone’.”

28/08/18 9:58 AM



Beekeepers baulk at proposed levy THE BEE and honey industry group ApiCulture NZ is proposing a commodity levy to support producers, but the idea is controversial: many beekeepers strongly oppose it. Levy talks are going on NZ-wide and a formal vote is planned for midOctober; opponents believe it could be a close call. The plan is to levy beekeepers 10 cents/kg on their honey at the point of extraction from the hive. Hobby beekeepers and honey packers would be exempt. Commercial beekeepers are raising their voices in opposition. Allan Pimm, acting president of NZ Beekeeping (mid-size professional beekeepers) says beekeepers’ concerns are many. “The levy, seen as a tax on honey, would just be unfair,” Pimm says. “Some producers of high-quality manuka honey are still commanding high prices. But most producers of other honeys are facing falling prices in a crowded and increasingly competitive market. Proportionally, non-manuka producers will pay a lot more than the lucky ones.” And there’s more, Pimm says.

“Beekeepers tell us they just don’t trust ApiCulture NZ to manage a levy effectively and fairly. We agree with them and that’s why we’re opposing the levy.” “Many beekeepers will find this tax hard to pay. It seems unfair that packers, marketing firms and hobbyists beekeepers would all get to participate in the benefits of ApiCulture NZ’s work – even setting policy on the use of the levy – without paying.” Other beekeepers see a conflict of interest in the proposed levy. They say non-beekeeper businesses that buy bulk product off beekeepers could get to influence policy affecting their suppliers. NZ Beekeeping has told Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor of its concerns that levy money would be used to fund unnecessary research and

that administrative cost estimates are ‘optimistic’. “The proposed use of funds is either unconnected to the concerns of potential levy payers, and/or would be duplicating existing provision by the government or commercial enterprises,” it said in a letter. “We simply disbelieve the extraordinarily low administrative budget proposed by Apiculture NZ. The proposal is seriously flawed and not at all in the

interests of potential levy payers.” Russell Berry, the immediate past president of NZ Beekeeping, says it’s become a “matter of trust”. “Commercial beekeepers aren’t opposed to a well-managed, fair and well-targeted levy,” he says. “But beekeepers tell us they just don’t trust ApiCulture NZ to manage a levy effectively and fairly. We agree with them and that’s why we’re opposing the levy.”


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Berry says so far the mood in consultation meetings has been mixed, with a lot of opposition being voiced. He believes the real issue facing beekeeping is biosecurity -- the risk of further exotic bee pests and diseases entering NZ. “Such an incursion would affect pollination and honey production; and MPI estimates pollination of pasture and horticultural crops by bees at over $6 billion of value each year,” Berry says. “Yet even the management plan for American foulbrood (AFB), an endemic disease we know we can defeat with diligent bee husbandry, has run into problems. “The management agency -- ApiCulture NZ -- has been unable to get beekeepers to manage their hives well enough to defeat the disease. We don’t think ApiCulture NZ is competent to manage large levy programmes, on this basis.” NZ Beekeeping says it has long called for a formal review of the management agency for AFB and believes the management of AFB by ApiCulture NZ has been a failure. • See more on levy p33



Farming caught in net of poor perception PETER BURKE

THE CONSTRUCTION industry is winning the hearts and minds of young school leavers who are heading for the big cities rather than a life in the country. That’s the view of Taratahi Institute of Agriculture chief executive Arthur Graves who says the challenge for the agriculture sector is turning around this situation. He believes this and other factors are making for tough times in agricultural training institutes such as Taratahi. At the heart of the problem is demographics with low numbers of school leavers right now due to the low birth

rate some years ago. And young people are staying at school longer than they used to. Graves says many young people in that pipeline of early school leavers went into agriculture, but not now. The other problem, he says, is the perception young people have of agriculture. “Agriculture is not high in young people’s minds as an attractive career,” Graves told Rural News. “There are negative perceptions about agriculture because of how it presents itself -- the environmental and animal welfare stories. All those things create a mixed feeling about agriculture being a responsible indus-

AG’S RESET CHALLENGES TRAINERS GRAVES BELIEVES as the farming sector goes through a reset so do training institutes such as Taratahi. Financially now is a tough time because student numbers are down. But training institutions still have to spend money on reshaping courses to attract young people and to match the reset in the farming industry. Graves says all vocational trainers are facing a shortage of enrolments and the market is tight and competitive for students. Vocational training for farming once had many providers but many have now fallen by the wayside. “We are trying to avoid wasteful competition by trying to create partnerships and build relationships. We are working closely with the Primary ITO, with a number of polytechs and we’re even developing partnerships with our competition,” he said. “The overall aim is to get more young people wanting agriculture as a career option and coming to people like ourselves for training.” To this end, Taratahi has developed partnerships with schools especially for students in years 12 and 13. It is delivering curriculum courses in schools to show students the career options in the primary sector. “In other words, schools have the benefit of our expertise in agricultural learning because they often don’t have people with expertise in the sector,” he explains. “Often schools don’t have much to do with primary industries in the curriculum, so we are in there making sure the students are getting that choice and opportunity.” Graves is aware of increased interest as Taratahi works with students in schools.

try. These are perceptions – fair or unfair – and these influence people’s decisions.” And there are perceptions out there about the nature of the work and employment conditions.

These are reinforced to some degree by the fact that farmers have to work hard, long hours often in inhospitable conditions. Such conditions are not very appealing to young people, Graves says.

Taratahi chief executive Arthur Graves.

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Biological products offer answers PETER BURKE

FARMERS AND growers need to look hard at the opportunities and benefits biological products and pesticides could

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sustainable. “Consumers’ perception is that agrichemicals harm the environment. While not necessarily true it is a consumer perception. Growers and companies developing crop protection products have to understand consumers’ perceptions and meet their demand for products that are more natural and environmentally friendly.” Stewart says NZ in the past took some biological products onto the market without them having been tested fully for the systems we were then operating. But now the product quality is higher and the industries know better how to use them

to great effect. Many growers and farmers understand the benefits of embracing the new biological products, says Stewart, but this is not widespread across all the sectors. Access to high-end markets and the licence to farm are among the benefits. People selling at the high-end of the market get the value proposition that the biologics offer. Broadacre farmers and vegetable growers may not have biological products readily available, says Stewart. “But my gut feeling is even if they were available they wouldn’t necessarily understand the value of them.”

RESEARCH RUNNING STEWART SAYS good long-term research into biologics is now running at AgResearch and Plant and Food. With the research comes the challenge to align it with the needs of companies and get the products registered and out there

for growers to use. “We must support our burgeoning small bio-pest industry. “Overseas products are available and the large companies in NZ will start bringing those products here.”

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Fix investments or get out! SUDESH KISSUN

FORMER FONTERRA director Mark Townshend says that despite the A+ rating Fonterra should get from its shareholders for its ingredients business, clearly some Fonterra investments are performing very poorly. He says Fonterra farmers should not over react to the poorer performing parts of the business, they should just have a very strong expectation that Fonterra fixes them or exits them. Townshend says shareholders will expect senior executives’ bonuses to be much more modest in 2017-18 and reflective of company profit (earnings achieved in excess of a good milk price). He urges Fonterra to “get its nose out of farmers’ faces” in respect of palm kernel expeller

(PKE) feeding limits, milk cooling and environmental issues, which should all be dealt with by Dairy Companies Association of NZ (DCANZ). “Indisputably all these matters are important, in particular our commitment to sustainable environment. But the charge on these matters should be led by DCANZ… whether a farm is supplying Fonterra or Synlait or Miraka. If say an OCD is not prepared to support DCANZ licence-to-operate standards, they should be exposed for it”. He also believes Fonterra has been too slow to change its capital structure.  “In the 10 years I was involved in NZ Dairy Group, NZ Dairy Board and Fonterra, capital structure was never off the table.  We were dealing with a period of rampant growth.  How did we balance equity for a

POTENTIAL FOR WOOL PROGRESS WITH A LOT fewer players in the wool industry these days there is a better chance of getting consensus, says NZ Wool Exporters Council president Peter Whiteman. He thinks the recent Wool Summit and the consequent working groups to be set up are a “very good idea”. “Who knows what will become of it, but I think the fact of getting everyone together and getting a bit of airplay together is part of the key to it. I think it is an excellent initiative,” Whiteman told Rural News. “The wool industry has been a bit maligned in the past, portraying it as more factional than it really is. “Lots of people say there are 25 exporters; technically there probably are 25 registered, but probably four or five of us do 85% of the wool. So it is not as diverse and broken up as you might think. “The people who are left are a bit bigger so having people who are responsible for more wool collectively is good.” Whiteman says trying to bring together people in the industry is now easier. “We don’t have to corral so many people anymore because the wool business in New Zealand has shrunk.” Some exporters were initially miffed at not being included in the Wool Summit organised by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Conner and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), but Whiteman says “we are in the system now and that is fine”. “It might have been an oversight, but we have had contact with the minister since so no harm done.” MPI is currently working with industry members to set up a working group to focus on key priorities that came out of the summit and resulting feedback, a spokesperson told Rural News. “It is intended that this group be industry led, with MPI acting as a connector and facilitator. The membership of the wool working group will be announced after the group has met formally.” – Pam Tipa

Whangarei farmer who had been supplying his/ her cooperative for 30 years with a sheep farmer in Gore who was converting his farm to dairy? “We had to manage wealth transfer and capital structure was the tool.” He notes the days of Fonterra’s rampant

growth are over and the issue now is retaining supply and preventing stranded assets – Capital structure must be different if the objective is to retain milk rather than cater for rampant growth. “When a Fonterra farmer is considering supplying a company other than Fonterra, the discus-



sion points are all around the value of Fonterra shares or the cost to buy more shares. “None of the discussion appears to be around Fonterra’s key objective of maximising milk price to farmers versus a non co-op paying just enough to attract supply.” • More on p19








Former Fonterra director Mark Townshend.














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Orchardists waiting ‘A lot to protect’ on MPI response PAM TIPA

THE FIVE orchardists and nurseries that took MPI to court over its directive to destroy or contain tens of thousands of pipfruit and stonefruit trees were still waiting last week for a response from MPI. Millions of dollars and at least 10 years of industry development is at stake, according to Kerry Sixtus of Pattullo’s Nurseries at Akaroa, one of five who took legal action. The judge found that the MPI directions, issued under s116 of the Biosecurity Act, were unlawful and directed MPI to work with the industry “to develop and agree a more appropriate set of directions that address their key biosecurity concerns”. Sixtus last week told Rural News they had written to MPI

and were awaiting an answer. Sixtus says for his business alone millions of dollars are at stake. The initial hit for his business is about $500,000. “Those are the plant materials I can’t propagate for tree sales in the future. I can’t propagate them until we get that plant material either released or introduced. “But we are talking years; we did a quick assessment and to get back to where we are today we think it might be 10 years, if we had to re-import through the process.” He says the three main nurseries affected probably represent 80% of the fruit trees produced in New Zealand for commercial production. “It is a massive hit. It is not just a financial hit on our own businesses; it is the future of summerfruit and pipfruit,” Sixtus explains.

“Summerfruit in particular in NZ is heavily weighted in favour of overseas-bred varieties. Pipfruit has a lot of breeding in NZ, but there are always opportunities for off-season supply to worldwide markets.” Those cultivars can be grown anywhere, but NZ relies on its strong reputation to get an allocation for those. Sixtus says NZ pipfruit is an extremely strong industry now as a premium product into a worldwide market. Cherries are also strong in exports, though apricot and peaches have faded, but bringing in better cultivars will get them back into global markets. “A lot of this material [under the MPI directive] has already been out, commercially planted for years; it has showed no symptoms of anything nor are any plants around it showing any symptoms of anything.”

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Thomson says it is no secret that NZ has MPI MAY have to work with industry to look at other ways to access material if the US facil- very strict biosecurity requirements and Ausity does not want to meet our requirements, tralia too. “I am not going to apologise for director of plant & pathways Pete Thomson NZ having strong biosecurity requirements because we have a lot to protect says. here.” CPCNW had not responded to Thomson says the recent High MPI’s audit report but he hopes Court judgment said although the pathway can be reopened for MPI’s decision making couldn’t be them to resume providing matefaulted and that its decisions were rial. reasonable, they were based on the But he had not been aware, wrong part of the act. It suggested before Rural News told him, of MPI should look at other parts of the statement on the CPCNW the act to find a course of action website saying the facility would Peter Thomson and try to come to an agreement not be seeking re-accreditation to with the nurserymen on the way forward. export to New Zealand. “We absolutely are still concerned about “I hope they [will] meet our requirements. If they don’t want to we will have to work with the material and want to manage it properly industry to look at others ways to access the in a way that will also work with these businesses. We are trying to work through it as fast material,” Thomson says. That could require setting up a lot more as we can.” Material had been in the country for varisubstantial quarantine facilities onshore to do the required testing if other countries aren’t ous lengths of time but some diseases had a long latency period. willing to do it, he said. “They can be in the plant at low levels but “But if that is what they are indicating -that they won’t be exporting to NZ -- then we not exhibit any symptoms until much further down the track.” The material out there has will just have to work through the options.” MPI would work with industry but would not been monitored as intensively as if the not lower standards “and put our biosecurity initial testing had been done properly, Thomson says. at risk”.


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US facility no longer wants to deal with NZ PAM TIPA

Kerry Sixtus of Pattullo’s Nurseries.

not interested in re-accreditation for export to NZ again. “That is significant. They have said they basically can’t be bothered anymore. That is probably as much as anything else because of the process MPI has taken with its communication. “They went and did an audit and pulled out after day one and didn’t

even finish the audit. They then spent months before they made communication with Prosser (the location of CPCNW) so it did not have an opportunity to look at the draft audit report. These kinds of things just didn’t happen in a manner constructive for international relations.” If CPCNW does not want to deal with NZ that causes big problems, Sixtus says. “All those cultivars that come out of the US, all those summerfruit cultivars… that’s the main breeding force around the world out of California. “We now have to look at other ways of getting them into the country and that is huge. “We might have to send them to other institutions around the world; they are full, they don’t have space. If we send someone overseas to specifically investigate that kind of process it could be 13 years before we could really get material back in and up and running. That is a long process.”

KERRY SIXTUS hopes diplomacy may resolve the issue “but it will certainly have to be done in a manner that is constructive for all parties”. “That will have to involve MPI; it might even have to involve the minister,” he told Rural News. “Hopefully we can get all the industries -- pipfruit, summerfruit -- talking to the US facility and their administrators to find a way forward. It certainly isn’t a good relationship at the moment.” Sixtus says the material subject to MPI’s directive was all tested and clean before it came here. No one has found any diseases or pests in the imported material, some of which has been here up to six years. There was a documentation failure and the industry wants to work with MPI to find what is missing and fill the gaps. Material has been retested and MPI should accept those results. “If it was so urgent and such a risk why are we sitting with trees in our nursery while we are going through process…? We need a bit of common sense.”


A TOP US facility that globally supplies the latest cultivars for the pipfruit and stonefruit industry has lost interest in dealing with New Zealand. An industry member blames the way the Ministry for Primary industries has dealt with the pipfruit and stonefruit issue. The Washington University Clean Plant Center Northwest (CPCNW) posted notification last week saying it would not seek re-accreditation for exports to NZ again. “That is massive -- a huge negative for our industries because that is the main clearing house for material to be sent all around the world,” Kerry Sixtus of Pattullo’s Nurseries at Akaroa told Rural News. It is a “significant development” which needs diplomacy and the minister may need to step in, he says. Sixtus is one of five industry mem-

bers who challenged in the High Court MPI’s directive to destroy or contain thousands of pipfruit and stonefruit plants over biosecurity concerns. It says the way MPI handled that issue and their communication with the US facility has caused “big issues”. The material originated from the US facility with questions over paperwork from the centre but also MPI’s failure to carry out required audits over several years. A High Court decision has overturned MPI’s directives, but the industry early last week was still trying to establish communication with MPI on a way forward. The judge found that the MPI directions, issued under s116 of the Biosecurity Act, were unlawful and has directed MPI to reconsider. The judgment encouraged MPI to work with the industry to develop and agree a more appropriate set of directions that address their key biosecurity concerns. Meanwhile, Sixtus says the CPCNW had issued a statement saying it is



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Nitrate sensor to hit the market NIGEL MALTHUS

A LINCOLN-DEVELOPED optical nitrate sensor for groundwater is now in use nationwide after a low-key but successful commercial launch. Developed by Lincoln University-owned Lincoln Agritech, the slim stainless steel device is designed to be lowered down bores and wells for real-time monitoring of nitrate levels. It is cheap and simple enough for widespread deployment, the company says.

Dr Blair Miller, Lincoln Agritech’s group manager of environmental research, told Rural News that after six to eight months of limited release “to make sure there’s no hidden fishhooks,” the device is now ready for much wider distribution. It is being marketed under the brand name Hydrometrics and an Australian distributor has been appointed. Miller says the sensor had been in use at the Hinds-Hekeao Managed Aquifer Recharge project – from prototype through

James Wang from Lincoln Agritech installing a HydroMetricsTM nitrate sensor in a monitoring well in Canterbury. SUPPLIED/LINCOLN AGRITECH

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NATS HOLD FIRM ON WATER NATIONAL’S POSITION has not changed on a water tax or levy, says Opposition Leader Simon Bridges. “National will not introduce a tax or royalty on commercial water users – outside of a possible levy on water bottlers who export water,” he says. Rural News queried if the party’s position on a wider water tax had changed after he told a radio show he was open to a water tax on bottled water. “Charging for water bottlers who export is a hard issue,” he told Rural News. “In Government, we were working our way through it. Our water technical advisory group included the issues around export water in their considerations – that was due to report back November last year. “National’s view is we are open to charging water bottlers who export, but the policy needs to be developed carefully to ensure it is consistent, fair and workable. Water policy can’t be done in isolation – it needs to be considered alongside other big users such as soft drink manufacturers, beer production, and major users like irrigation and hydro generation.   “It also is tied up with the complex issue of iwi rights and interest in fresh water. This is a complicated issue which needs to be appropriately considered.” Bridges had earlier told The AM Show if you put a price on water there will be a variety of interest groups, including iwi, taking you to court.


ers behind the sensor of course is to give all stakeholders who are interested a cost-effective and reliable option to measure water quality, but particularly nitrates.” A surface water variant is now in development, although it would have to handle a much larger range of contaminants. “To come up with a lower-cost version of a sensor suitable for surface water is a challenge but we’re well into the initial research phase.”





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Get on with it – banker PETER BURKE

A BANKER has warned Fonterra to keep its navel gazing to a minimum. Westpac’s Andrew Hill concedes while it’s probably right that the NZ dairy giant has signalled it’s taking a pause to sort itself out, he believes this must be done in a matter of months not years. Hill says the latest hiccup with Fonterra is adding to the uncertainty building in the dairy sector for more than a year. Now this is showing in farmers’ attitudes, as borne out by feedback he hears from the regions. Some problems are

not of Fonterra’s making, but some are. “Fonterra must communicating as much as, and as fast as, it can to keep shareholders onside.” Recent news from Fonterra about its finances and the appointment of an interim chief executive is another piece of the puzzle of uncertainty. It’s taking time to clarify the agenda on climate change and the environment, regulation and other stuff. “Then there’s the international picture with what’s going on between the US, China and Iran and the uncertainty that’s causing for world trade

which flows directly to commodity markets,” Hill told Rural News. “The drop in the value of the NZ$ is the one positive that’s provided a bit of a safety net.” Hill acknowledges the move by Fonterra to pay a small dividend and pay less to farmers in the farmgate price will hit sharemilkers harder than other farmers – because they do not hold Fonterra shares. This risk was well known at the time when the co-op restructured its finances with TAF (trading among farmers).

Hill explains that was always going to be the risk that, at some point, Fonterra would face the trade-off between maintaining the capital to be raised in the unit market and maintaining the profitability of farmer shareholders – the ones most directly affected. “Fonterra went to the market and attracted capital from people who might not have had the opportunity to invest in this industry,” he adds. “Now arguably they are not able to pay them returns that might have

been expected for the risks they were taking in their investment – again another piece of uncertainty.” Hill believes suggestions that Fonterra should split its business in two – with one focusing on high value brands and the other on the ingredients side – is something that needs to be explored more. Some benefits may come from splitting the business, but he’s not sure whether the Fonterra board is looking at this option.

Westpac’s Andrew Hill


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DIRA IS another issue which Andrew Hill says is adding to the uncertainty in the dairy sector. He says there is good argument to say that Fonterra shouldn’t be the processor of last resort. “I understand their frustration with the current regulations today and why they (Fonterra) want those changed,” Hill told Rural News. “The Fonterra board needs to sort out the issues and be prepared to come back with something that’s clear and compelling and – if need be – fight their case with government around DIRA.” He says these things have to be sorted otherwise the risks will only grow. Hill believes that if the international events continue to go the way they seem to be going with world trade – and especially the rules being wobbly – then Fonterra needs to ensure it’s dealt with these local issues. “So it’s not exposed to what’s happening externally otherwise they could be in quite a cleft stick,” he says.



Beef + Lamb NZ ups levy PAM TIPA

BEEF + LAMB NZ will work closely with meat processing companies to avoid duplicating marketing as it launches its Taste Pure Nature campaign. The meat industry body has decided to go ahead with proposed increases in sheepmeat and beef levies. In a summary of farmer feedback, BLNZ says it got support for a strong launch of Taste Pure Nature and for accelerating its environment strategy. “However there were concerns from a range of farmers about avoiding duplicating the efforts of processing companies and other organisations,” the summary says. BLNZ says it is working with meat processing companies and other groups to make sure all work is complementary. “BLNZ will not take any decisions on [starting] Taste Pure Nature that are not supported by the processing companies.” With Taste Pure Nature, BLNZ

It says while farmers supwill track the pick-up on the marketing activity, and track whether port strengthening biosecurity the price for NZ beef and lamb capability, some were confused increases, especially in the key about whether the proposed levy increase would go markets where it towards the industry’s launches the origin contribution to dealbranding. ing with Mycoplasma The four key areas bovis. to be accelerated by “The levy proposal the levy increase also is separate from the include the Red Meat industry’s share of Story, helping the the M.bovis response. sector lift its environ- Beef + Lamb NZ chair The extra money our mental performance Andrew Morrison levy proposal is seekand reputation, telling the farmer story better and ing is to strengthen BLNZ’s interstrengthening BLNZ’s ability to nal ability to prepare for future incursions or issues.. The indusaddress biosecurity risks. From October 1, 2018 the levy try’s contribution to funding the for sheepmeat will increase 10 M.bovis response costs is being cents to 70 cents per head and negotiated between BLNZ and the beef levy by 80 cents to $5.20 DairyNZ and will likely be raised per head. This is 0.4% of the aver- by a separate biosecurity levy.” It concedes some concern age slaughter value of prime steer/ heifer, 0.7% of cull dairy cow, 0.7% about the timing of the levy of lamb and 1.1% of mutton over increase and the uncertainty about the last three years. what extra costs may be incurred In Telling the Farmer Story in the M.bovis response. better, BLNZ intends to survey “BLNZ thought long and hard public perceptions and track about going to farmers at such a improvements. difficult time. If the levy increase



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was delayed, the next opportunity to increase it would not be until October 2019 because we can only increase it at that one time of the year.” Support from the dairy industry was pleasing: some farmers were concerned about duplication of DairyNZ efforts and wanted to know more about how their levy was used to benefit dairy farmers. “We work closely with DairyNZ in many areas already, such as building capability in agriculture and biosecurity, but we will build on this collaboration to achieve better outcomes and we intend to update dairy farmers more regularly on the work BLNZ does of benefits to them.” Chair Andrew Morrison says farmers gave clear support to the levy proposal: almost 63% of respondents backed an increase. Support was similar from sheep, cattle and dairy farmers. BLNZ will gazette the levy change this month, informing meat processing companies of the rise and advertising the change to farmers over the coming weeks.

HORT GROWERS OK WITH LEVY HORTICULTURE GROUPS seeking levy renewals have all had votes of confidence from growers to continue the work of their industry-good organisations. These are Horticulture NZ, Tomatoes NZ, Vegetables NZ, Process Vegetables NZ and Onions NZ. The individual groups’ levy referenda closed on August 13 and independent vote counting shows resounding support. The levy orders come up for renewal every six years. Commodity levy referendum votes are unusual in that the votes are counted in two ways: once on a onegrower-one-vote basis and again on a ‘weighted’ value basis. There needs to be a majority in both categories to get a mandate to continue the levy. Horticulture NZ’s levy rate for this year has been set at 14 cents per $100 sales of fruits and vegetables, and this is expected to raise about $4.6 million. This is spent on grower representation on matters important to their businesses including biosecurity; access to land, water and people; R&D; education and training; and maintaining quality assurance programmes. “In the lead-up to voting the board and I visited growers throughout NZ and it was great to hear the support for having an industry voice in Wellington able to represent growers on the big issues of the day,” Horticulture NZ chief executive Mike Chapman says. Next steps include application to the Ministry for Primary Industries for a new levy order and consideration of the application by the Agriculture Minister.














NZ lucky to have Fonterra - ex director SUDESH KISSUN

CORPORATE FARMER and former Fonterra director Mark Townshend is urging shareholders to support Fonterra and its new leadership. Townshend, who has farming interests in New Zealand, Chile, and the US, says NZ is “very lucky to have Fonterra”. “Most milk producers around the world would dream of having a Fonterra in their country,” he told Rural News. “John Monaghan (new chairman) is a good bloke, as is Miles Hurrell (interim chief executive). With the headwinds Fonterra is dealing with, they need shareholder support.  “One thing is for certain: if Fonterra shareholders do not support and value their company no one else will.” Townshend notes that while Fonterra does some things very well, but concedes it could do many other things better. But Fonterra’s main task is to provide its NZ supplying shareholders with a world class milk price.  With a price in the $6.50 - $7.00/kgMS range, all NZ farmers should be

profitable and contented, Townshend says. “The milk price European farmers are currently receiving is about the long term average; US dairy farmers are receiving milk prices below long term average. “Fonterra farmers, with milk prices at $6.70 last season and forecast at $7.00 for the current season, are receiving a milk price higher than long term average; Fonterra is delivering what it set out to do.” Fonterra farmers receiving a base farm gate milk price equal to, or better than other farmers around the globe is an amazing success when considering we produce our milk off a strong seasonal curve, and NZ farmers pocket the $1.00 /kg MS lower cost of production advantage. Townshend says at one of the farming companies he’s involved in, the first 20 minutes of each board meeting are spent discussing what is happening globally and in NZ in terms of geo-politics, finance and markets supply and demand.  “With a well-informed Irish director connected in by phone, and the com-

pany’s US-based chief executive, we have good tentacles and conclude that both, NZ and NZ farmers are well served by Fonterra,” he says. This company has in the last 15 months

bought four NZ farms; all had been supplying Open Country Dairy (OCD), but now supply Fonterra. Townshend says without Fonterra setting a milk price, there is no

Fonterra new chair John Monaghan (left) and chief executive Miles Hurrell.

way non-cooperative milk processors would be paying what they do.

“They have to pay a milk price to attract milk or face stranded assets,”


he says. “And they will pay no more than they need to pay. ”


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WEATHERING THE CRISIS MARK TOWNSHEND notes that New Zealand companies, including Fonterra, did well in weathering the global financial crisis ten years ago. The dairy industry was invaluable to the NZ economy through that period. The real test for NZ dairy farmers came in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons when the milk price dropped well below $5/kgMS. “Farms generally were operating at a $1/kgMS deficit through this two year period. “Fonterra advanced significant interest free loans to supplying shareholders through that period; I am trying to recall any Fonterra farmer publicly acknowledging their appreciation of support from our co-op.  “It would be reasonable to assume that it saved some farmers from economic ruin.  And it probably meant less in unpaid bills to ensure rural servicing industries survived.”   Townshend says Fonterra drives processing efficiency, being world class in this area. “An example is when the industry some 25 years ago changed the milk payment system and farmers were charged 4c/L milk collection and a processing charge.  “Today that cost is still the same because scale, efficiency and innovation have offset inflation – a great result.”

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Drought top priority for new PM

NEW AUSTRALIAN Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s first trip in the top job was to a drought-stricken farm in Queensland. Morrison, who took over from ousted PM

Malcolm Turnbull after narrowly defeating Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, has made the crippling drought in NSW and Queensland his top priority. NSW and Queensland farmers have had to hand-feed sheep and cattle, sell stock and in

some cases even shoot them to end their suffering as they run out of hay and grain in the severe conditions. The Turnbull government had pledged A$1.8 billion in aid for farmers and local communities. Morrison has brought back former deputy PM

Barnaby Joyce as the special envoy for drought assistance and recovery. Joyce resigned earlier this year after admitting to an affair with a former staffer. While it’s not a cabinet position, Joyce’s new job is a political promotion for the former

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“It’s a debate I’ve not participated in a lot in the past, because I’m practically interested in the policies that will address what is going on right here and now.”

Rural News 09/18 20 x 4col RN660


deputy PM, who will advise the government on drought relief policy. Joyce says the nation needed a “holistic approach” to the drought, calling it a “national crisis”. “One thing we should be looking at – and this will be contentious – is the huge amount of water we have in the commonwealth environmental water holder,” Joyce told a Sydney radio station. “The new season of hay will come on in about a month. We should be considering using that water to start growing fodder in our southern regions.” The Labor opposition called on Morrison to bring climate change

New Australian PM Scott Morrison

into his drought policies amid a push by the right wing of his Liberal Party to ditch an emissions mitigation policy which contributed to Turnbull’s ousting. “If he is not prepared to stand up and say ‘this is a consequence of climate change and I am going to commit to mitigation and adaptation’, then he will fail farmers,” shadow agriculture minister Joel Fitzgibbon told journalists. While droughts are not uncommon in Australia, the length and sever-

ity of the dry conditions have strained farmers’ efforts to stay afloat. Morrison won’t say if human-induced climate change is associated with the drought in Queensland and NSW because it doesn’t help solve practical problems. “Climate is changing, everybody knows that,” he told reporters. “It’s a debate I’ve not participated in a lot in the past, because I’m practically interested in the policies that will address what is going on right here and now.”

FARMERS WANT STABLE GOVERNMENT AUSTRALIAN FARMERS have thanked Prime Minister Scott Morrison for making drought a priority in his first days in office. NFF president Fiona Simson says it is time the Coalition government put the chaos of the recent weeks behind them and got on with the job of leadership, including looking after rural Australia.

“What we need now is stability and continuity of leaders. Farmers deserve nothing less. “The drought is our most pressing concern.” Simson says farmers appreciated Morrison visiting drought-affected Queensland.

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Better understanding of n PAM TIPA

WE NEED better understanding of nutrient transport across catchments, says Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE), Simon Upton. And he says we also need better understand-

ing of what nutrient models can and can’t do to assist in building a picture and better communication of what is happening to water quality. Upton highlighted several gaps and faults in this information to a recent Environmental

Defence Society conference. The PCE is analysing Overseer as a tool for measuring water pollution from agricultural sources. Upton told the conference he is not yet in a position to preview findings on his Overseer report. But the need

for better understanding of nutrient transport, models and communication were among aspects which so far stand out to him in his findings. “Overseer provides useful information about nutrient loss from a range of land uses. However it stops at the root zone.

The model is silent about what happens when those nutrients leave a slim 60cm sliver at the land’s surface. “We know that nutrients translocate. For instance, nitrogen follows a variety of different flow paths deep into groundwater travelling

Simon Upton

laterally through the soil or travelling via the surface,” he says.

Upton outlined many factors influencing how nutrients travel including


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UPTON ALSO says we need to do a better job communicating whatever information we have about water quality status. “We could be doing more to assist the community and policy makers understand whether a lake, river or estuary is healthy.” But he says of indicators that we have more of the least valuable indicators and the least number of the most valuable indicators. The Macro Invertebrate Community index which uses direct evidence of small animals like snails, worms and crustaceans to indicate stream health is the best evidence and one of the least used. He says this is a reflection of data availability which in turn is probably a reflection of how difficult or costly it is to gain. “As a result, direct indicators of stream health are not always available and even when they are the data is analysed and displayed in different ways by different organisations. All this leaves a concerned member of the community none the wiser about what is actually going on.” He gave as an example the different information on the lower end of the Mataura River, near Gore, carried on the Land, Air, Water Aotearoa website to the data set maintained by Stats NZ and the Ministry for the Environment. “So we are not really sure what is going on at this site.”

Read us until the cows come home!



f nutrient movement From our discussions with councils, CRIs and universities we understand there are still big gaps in our understanding of nutrient transport across and through a catchment.” the ability of soil to attenuate nutrient. These differences would ideally be taken into account when managing land use and water quality in regional plans, he says. “That’s if you knew about them. From our discussions with councils, CRIs and universi-

ties we understand there are still big gaps in our understanding of nutrient transport across and through a catchment,” he says. “For example GNS has highlighted, we understand, the properties of about 40% of the aquifers in New Zealand. Soil

IF YOU CAN MEASURE IT, YOU CAN MONITOR IT SIMON UPTON says while the fate of nitrogen beyond the root zone is well understood at a general level, the diffuse nature of nutrient losses from land and the large spatial scale of catchments make actual measurements of nitrogen loss at a catchment scale impossible. In the absence of suitable direct measurements, many models of varying levels of complexity have been developed. Because of the costs involved in sampling, models usually rely on calibration based on a small number of sites. But even where predictions are made by a calibrated model they can be accompanied by large uncertainties. “Take, for example, the movement of nitrogen through groundwater. The model might assume that attenuation of nitrogen is uniform across a sub-catchment. However we know from studies that land can be highly heterogeneous. Differences even metres apart can cause attenuation to differ significantly. “Take, for example, research by Massey University showing that nitrogen attenuation varied from 30% to 70% in over 15 sub-catchments in the Tararua groundwater management zone. This means the amount of nitrogen attenuated from leaching from the root zone – that’s what Overseers looks after – and reaching the river varies, between 30% to 70%. That is significant by any standard. Dealing with uncertainty is a formidable technical challenge. “We will never be able to eliminate uncertainty when modelling complex biological physical systems.” What decisionmakers and modellers need to understand are the uncertainties underlying the model. “I found that those uncertainties that significantly influence model outcomes, and communicating their importance, is key to using models in decisionmaking processes.” He says this doesn’t just apply to catchment models. “In the case of Overseer, a formal uncertainty analysis has never been carried out. There have been informal analyses but some of these are old.” A 25-30% model uncertainty is often quoted, but it is derived from just a look at the nitrogen sub-model which is one of several sub-models and is 17 years old,” Upton explains. “This means people using Overseer to support decisionmaking may be lacking some important information about what the model can and can’t tell them in a policy or regulatory context. “It represents a major investment and it is very impressive but this uncertainty analysis I think most scientists would say is actually a standard bit of the operating procedure.”

databases are also patchy in scale, age and quality. Estimated coverage of NZ is 30% (estimates of the

more detailed new layer) although it is, in fairness, 61% of productive land. “There are numerous data sets available that can assist our understanding of nutrient transport across catchments. The inventory of the current databases is impressive and represents

a major investment by taxpayers over decades. But they are maintained by a variety of different organisations. “They come in various states of comprehensiveness and vintage. “Take just one example for one of those data sets – hydrogeol-

ogy. Zooming in behind one of those data sets shows there is no nationally consistent classification of aquifers although GNS has made a couple of attempts. “But these data sets are not always accessible, or evenly accessible, or have not been joined up

in the most useful way to feed into regional council plan thinking. “If we could make better use of mobilising that, of leveraging that, we could better understand nutrient transport in three dimensions. We have made a very good start.”
















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Farm co-ops lead the way NIGEL MALTHUS

FARMING COOPERATIVES have dominated the awards made this year by Cooperative Business New Zealand (CBNZ). This body represents industries whose members run as co-ops, e.g. agriculture, manufacturing, insurance, banking and other financial services, utilities, education, health, wholesale and retail. Farming co-ops won three of the four main awards announced at CBNZ’s awards night. The Hokitika dairy co-op Westland Milk Products won the 2018 Co-operative Business of the Year award, for “a significant and positive impact within the co-operative community during the 2017-18 year”. The judges said this recognised Westland having success-

Silver Fern Farms chair Rob Hewett

through a long period of disruption and uncertainty”. CBNZ chief executive Craig Presland said the LIC board had reviewed its capital structure to devise a simpler, fairer share structure, while protecting the its cooperative principles.

Agricultural services co-op Farmlands and meat processing co-op Silver Fern Farms jointly won the ‘Co-operation Amongst Cooperatives’ award, for working together to foster future farming leaders. The two co-ops run three-day governance

training events called To the Core; this enables shareholders to learn how their co-ops work and to develop their leadership skills. Silver Fern Farms chair Rob Hewett said Farmlands had been the ideal partner in To the Core, which Silver Ferns

started in 2016. “It touches on the important parts of being a director, such as finance and health and safety and strategy, and gets us focused on what matters for the future.” A fourth award, for Outstanding Co-operative Contribution, went to

Foodstuffs executive Kim DeGarnham, who became Foodstuffs South Island’s first woman manager in 1996. CBNZ says co-ops employ at least 48,000 NZers, make up about 20% of NZ’s GDP and turn over about NZ$43 billion a year.

fully reinvented itself using the co-op model as a strength, and promoting to its customers its productive relationship with its 350 shareholding farmers. The award “celebrated the success of the co-operative business model”. The chairman of Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC), Murray King, of Nelson, was named the Co-operative Leader of the Year, recognised for his “exceptional leadership while steering the agri-tech co-op

SMALLER SCHEME WILL GO AHEAD THE HURUNUI Water Project (HWP) will continue despite a smaller-than-hoped uptake of its recent water rights share offer, says chief executive Chris Pile. The company had applications for only 5200 of the 21,000 water right shares on offer. Pile says HWP’s directors are now working through what that means for the scheme and are considering reopening an amended share offer with a possible closing date of September 14. Although reluctant to discuss details, Pile told Rural News it’s “a reasonable conclusion” that they would have to cut back the scope of the scheme. In an earlier statement, following a meeting with share applicants, Pile said the company’s board and management confirmed they would continue to develop the scheme, despite “having a few more hurdles to jump”. Although the take-up was below the threshold necessary to build the currently proposed infrastructure at an affordable cost, it shows investors know they need a reliable, sustainable water supply “to futureproof and protect the region against droughts,” Pile said. This was behind HWP’s plan to continue. The proposed scheme has changed since its inception in 2008, when it was controversially planned to dam local rivers. The current plan is to charge storage ponds with water taken from the Hurunui only at high-flow periods, and to maximise water use efficiency with fullypiped reticulation and the latest farm monitoring technology. The current design is aimed at irrigating 17,500ha plus an extra 3500ha of future capacity. The hope was to have it funded by Crown Irrigation Investments Ltd but that option was withdrawn by the Government in April. – Nigel Malthus

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% In 2018, it seems any conversation about global beef agricultural elections deposits fund history 2017. of Females continue to make up a large proportion Theinunnerving US trade policy is its 15 states have extreme in 2019 to be up to 2.5% to 3%. Growth domestic fact about current different story. Currently to New Zealand trade or total animal protein trade quickly shifts agribusiness volatile c of the total, increasing to 54% of the national slaughter frequent changes. The trade warexcessive with China is impacting production is also squeezing imports, which remain static drought conditions and half of the US beef cow activities in the US. While we have seen prices in the first for meat number. pork trade, forcing exported product back on to an states. The risk of cow herd compared to 2017. herd resides in these half of 2018 hold remarkably well given the production consump already full domestic market. Beef has beenis less liquidation high,affected with little doubt of forced liquidation Beef exports increased in July. July exports (105,157 levels, increased supplies of total proteinsofand potential Plethora protein driven by // SEPTEMBER 4, 2018 RURAL NEWS given the low volumes going toinChina –areas. the market was in aggregate, the ratio of cow Rabobank supports some However, tonnes swt) were 13% higher than July 2017 and bring global agribusiness trade fallouts will be a concern for the second half. There clients from numbers research analysts The pork complex is the main driver behind expanding to fork in only reopened last year. It has, however, slaughter stalled to totalthe slaughter, and heifers as a percentage the total for the year tosharing datemarket to 640, 891t swt,farm 13% outlooks is a whole laundry list of issues creating uncertainty and COUNTRIES increased total protein supplies. Year-to-datemomentum pork production is up of US beef export growth of feed,into andChina. heifers as a percent of fed slaughter suggest higher than 2017. Despite the higher cow slaughter market volatility in the US, most of which affect global further in 4% with an additional 4% to 5% increase expected in the US is still expanding at a very slow pace. farmers connect generating antoexpected higher volume of lean beef trade. The most important of these issues are: The bigger worry for US beef exports is Content the slow supplied process by Rabobank – Grow with the bank founded farmers for farmers with by worldwide ,trimmings, 2019. Poultry production has been up 2.5% in 2018, and With the year-to-date (July) shipments to the US – to renew the NAFTA with Mexico and Canada. Since well, but no guarantees ahead Market performing Growing US beef supplies price pressure and negative returns to processors are season in our traditional lean trimming market – are only up 1%. Mexico’s Presidential election in July, bilateral talks have expected to hold expansion in check in 2019, despite Favourably, beef demand and clearance against the other 2% in Jul Meanwhile exports to China, South Korea and Japan are YTD beef production is up 3% (see Figure 2). This is progressed well, but progress with Canada remains quite new processing facilities coming on line. Absorbing some proteins is performing strongly. A combination of lower are antic up 48%, 12%, and 11% respectively. slower than expected – early estimates had production slow. Rabobank expects that a successful renewal will be of this, total domestic is 222 retail prices and the strong economy means consumers 2H 2018 up by 5%. The slower rate of expansion has been the protein consumption reached, the uncertainty is to when. While total live cattle exports dropped slightly in July, pounds and is expected have been continuing to purchase beef. Together with through result of exceptionally strong basis levels through the to be up to 226 pounds in 2019. year-to-date total exports are up 23% with volumes to US drought However, increased very strong exports this has been continuing to move (October first half of the year, encouraging hedgedthe producers to production has the US needing the key markets of Indonesia and Vietnam similar to to increase exports across all proteins. product through the system. However, with such a levels. market cattle aggressively. Also contributing to lower US drought conditions are a mixed bag. The USDA is 2017 for the year-to-date, other markets are taking saturated market it will not take much to tip it over. volumes is the general fear that increased numbers of expecting record corn yields and a production estimate increasing volumes. cattle on feed and seasonal considerations would drive of 14.59 billion bushels, down only 1% from a year ago. Figure 4: Australian cattle prices (Eastern Young Cattle Figure 5: Bra 2019. Poultry production up 14% year-to-date IN 2018, it seems any prices lower. Early expectations Figure are for2:beef production On Jan the 2015-Jun other hand, pasture and range conditions are aExports, Jan 2015-Jun 2018 US Monthly Beef Production, 2018 Figure 3: US Monthly Beef Indicator), Jan 2015-Aug 2018 has been up 2.5% in 2018, (June), as increased conversation about in 2019 to be up 2.5%global to 3%. Growth in domestic different story. Currently 15 states have extreme to 1300 130000 7.50 180 andcow production has needed to beef trade or totalsqueezing animal imports, which remain static production is also excessive drought conditions and and price half ofpressure the US beef 150 6.50 negative compared to 2017. be consumed. Exports to protein trade quickly herd resides in these states. The risk of returns cow herdto pro1100 110000 120 liquidation is high, with little doubt of forced liquidation cessors are expected to South Korea are up 41% shifts to activities in the Plethora of protein 5.50 in some areas. However, in aggregate, the ratio of cow hold expansion in check and Hong Kong up 11% US. While we have seen 900 90 90000 The pork complex is the main driver behind expanding 4.50 slaughter to total slaughter, and heifers as a percentage in 2019, despite new proYTD (see Figure 3). prices in the first half of 60 total protein supplies. Year-to-date pork production is up of feed, and heifers as a percent of fed slaughter suggest 700 70000 facilities coming 3.50 cessing The unnerving fact 2018 holdanremarkably 4% with additional 4% to 5% increase expected in 30 the US is still expanding at a very slow pace. on line. This increased about current US trade well theproduction produc- has been up 2.5% in 2018, and 2019.given Poultry 2.50 0 500 50000 Market performing well, but no guarantees ahead pricelevels, pressure and negative are production has the US policy is its frequent tion increased sup- returns to processors Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec expected to hold expansion 2019, despite Favourably, beef demand andneeding clearance the other toagainst increase changes. TheFive-year trade average war plies of total proteins and in check in 2016 2017 2018 Five-year average 2015 2016 2017 2018 Five-year average 2015 2016 2017 2018 new processing facilities coming on line. Absorbing some proteins is performing strongly. A combination of lower exports across all prowith China is impacting potential trade fallouts Source: MLA, Rabobank 2018 Source: Brazilia Source: USDA, Rabobank 2018 Source: USDA, Rabobank 2018 of this, total domestic protein consumption is 222 retail prices and the strong economy 2018 teins. means consumers pork trade, forcing will be a concern for the pounds and is expected to be up to 226 pounds in 2019. have been continuing to purchase beef. Together with exported product back second half. However, the increased production has the US needing very strong exports this has been continuing to move ico’s Presidential elecon to an already full There is a whole launin the season. The Easttion up by 5%. The slower pork production is up 4% Trade 2/9 RaboResearch | Beef Quarterly Q3 2018 | August 2018 to increase exports across all proteins. product through the system. However, with such a 3/9 in July, bilateral talks RaboResearch | Beef Quarterly 2018 | August 2018 tion domestic market. Beef dry list of issues creating ern Young CattleQ3Indicarate of expansion has with an additional tonot take uncertainties saturated market 4% it will much to tip it over.




100 000

thousand tonnes




thousand tonnes

All eyes on the US

Growing US beef 700 supplies

Plethora of protein

Year-to-date beef pro500 duction isJanupFeb 3%Mar (seeApr May Jun THE PORK complex is Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Figure 2015 2). This is2016 slower 2017 the main driver behind 2018 Five-year average than expected – early expanding total protein Source: USDA, Rabobank 2018 estimates had producsupplies. Year-to-date 2/9

5% increase expected in

US beef exports are

Figure 3: US Monthly Beef Exports, Jan 2015-Jun 2018 130000 110000 tonnes

thousand tonnes

uncertainty and market been the result of excepvolatility in the US, most tionally strong basis Figure 2: US Monthly Beef Production, Jan 2015-Jun 2018 of which affect global levels through the first 1300 beef trade. The most half of the year, encourimportant of these issues aging hedged producers 1100 are: to market cattle aggres900 sively.

90000 70000 50000 2015

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun 2016

Source: USDA, Rabobank 2018

RaboResearch | Beef Quarterly Q3 2018 | August 2018


Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 2018

Five-year average

has been less affected given the low volumes going to China – the market was only reopened last year. It has, however, stalled the momentum of US beef export growth into China. The bigger worry for US beef exports is the slow process to renew the NAFTA with Mexico and Canada. Since Mex-

have progressed well, but progress with Canada remains quite slow.

Australia: Dry season continues to bite DRY CONDITIONS continue to have a softening effect on the Australian cattle market. After rising slightly, prices fell through July with the increased deterioration

tor fell to AUD 4.50/kg in mid-August – the lowest point in three years (see Figure 4). The drier than average rainfall forecast is expected to keep downward pressure on prices for younger, lighter classes of cattle and cows, with the potential for a more dramatic drop in spring if seasons don’t improve. Without significant rain, many cow

become part of a breeding herd for a local beef cattle reproduction project run under the governmental theme of poverty alleviation.

prices are expected to continue rising, reducing producer end of August will see beef prices ease. have risen in line with the production increase, Exports exports in the first quarter of the year were 16% lower margins and leading to additional cattle liquidation, in totalling compared to Q1 2017, and while This thereyear’s has been some Ramadan and Lebaran season 325,663 proved tonnes (up 8%) from October-June. A particular older animals and young stock. Higher significant proportion of this increase went to China, up recovery in the second quarter, beef exports in the first years. Demand stronger than previous for beef was Despite increasing imports, strong domestic demand is slaughter numbers will cause the six cattle inventory 33% on last season. months of thistoyear are 14.8% supported lower than by lastlarger-than-usual year. On government transfersExports to the US are also up 7%. egions also supporting the local cattle industry. The China continue to fall in Europe, although improving milk current beef expansion in the US // SEPTEMBER and China combined account for 71% of New RURAL NEWS 4, 2018 Rabobank supports thean other hand, given (IDR 35.8 trillion) to civil servantsThe for US mandatory religious der obal agribusiness clientsBureau from Statistics released the agricultural data in July, price may support dairy cow retention and offset some earch analysts th 2017/18 beef exports. The current average farm to fork in Zealand’s and competitive prices, the amount of beef imported holiday allowance (paid in May) and 13 -month salaries aring market outlooks mited showing that COUNTRIES domestic beef production in 1H 2018 of this fall in the coming months.from Withthe continuing dry to increase and is 8.8% higher in export value Zealand is receiving from both the US US continues (paid in July). Even carabeef imports failed to New dampen for the increased by 1.1% YOY, to 2.81m tonnes. Live cattle and conditions, EU beef supply is expected to six remain high inthe year compared to same period and China, is in line with the first months of retail prices. Export data from APEDA India indicated thatthe largely consistent strong to force Content6%-7% supplied Rabobank the bank founded by farmers for farmers calf prices have also increased in by June compared– Grow thewith coming months. returns that havetobeen extracted from both markets last year. January to June 2018 frozen carabeef shipments to June 2017, while live hog price decreased by 17%. 2014-15 Figure 11). Indonesia totalled 25,984 tonnessince (versus 60,000(see tonnes Prices are expected to pick up again in 2H 2018, to finish s. previously reported), supporting demand for slaughter close to the level of 2H 2017. But potential trade Bureau released thesuppress agri- this supply is expected to Germany, Denmark, from cattle prices complications could price 10: increase. 8 Figure 7: Chinese retail meat prices, Jan 2016-Jul 2018 Figure Mexican monthly cattle cattle exports, Janfeedlots. 2015-Jul Average slaughter Figure 11: NZ beef exports to China, 2012-18 cultural data in July, remain high in the Sweden, Poland and recovered to IDR 40,000/kg lwt in August, from IDR 2018 At the retail level, the summer heat temporarily caused a 32 68 39,000/kg lwt in May. 200,000Feed prices are 8,000 240,000 showing that domestic coming months. Ireland). drop in demand. In general, however, meat supply was 28 64 beef production in 1H by European Prices are expected to continue Between Mayexpected and early August, monthly beef retail reasonably well-absorbed consumers. In 6,000 180,000 150,000 2018 increased by 1.1% to pick up again in 2H rising, reducing prices averaged between IDR 113,900 and IDR particular, the demand for minced meat has beenproducer strong, 4,000 120,000 24 60 117,400/kg (see Figure while sale of tonnes. prime quality cuts has been YOY,the to 2.81m 2018, to finish close to 9) – spiking during Lebaran. Retail margins and leading 2,000 60,000 100,000 prices disappointing. 20 56 Live cattle and calf prices to additional the levelare of currently 2H 2017.IDR But116,800/kg. Rabobank expects cattle beef prices to ease by end August 2018 on seasonally 0 0 have also increased potential trade complicaEU imports increased 16% in theliquidation, first five months of 2018 in particular 16 52 50,000 lower demand, higher feeder imports (May-June 2018), compared to 2017. South American countries were the 6%-7% in June compared older animals and young tions could suppress this and continued arrivals of Indian frozen carabeef. key to this increase and this flowstock. is expected to continue to June 2017. price increase. Nov Dec 0 For feedlotters, the real test will come in September. The in the second half of 2018. Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun EU Jul imports Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec increased Higher slaughter Pork retail price Chicken retail price Beef retail price (RHS) -year average US - volumeratio is China - volume government’s first audit of the 5:1 feeder/breeder 2015 2016 2017 first five 2018 EU exports fell 4% for the first five months of 2018 US - value China - value 16% in the numbers will cause EU: Further Source: Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, CAAA, Rabobank 2018 due to occur in December 2018. Since the introduction of compared 2017the (see Figure 8).the Turkey became the 2018 Source: GCMA, Rabobank Source: NZ Meat Board, Rabobank 2018 months of 2018 comcattle inventory declineto of the regulation in October 2016, it is estimated that most important market, with volumes doubling in the pared to 2017. South to continue to fall in cattle stock breeder imports into Indonesia have not even reached first five months of 2018 compared to 2017. Turkey now American countries Europe, although an with the culling of cattle domestic demand has calf producers calving DROUGHT IS having a increase. Both Except factorsfor a RaboResearch | Beef Quarterly Q3 2018 | August 2018 20% of the 500,000 were feeders needed annually. represents 15.5% of the total EU export. However with few that have imported breeders, many feedlotters may the key to this increase improving milk price impacted by the M. Bovis been very strong. in spring will face limmajor impact on the EU were particularly evident the economic situation in Turkey and devaluation of its face penalties not meetingin the ratio. The significant and this flow isfor expected support dairytocow China continues to ited feed supplies, which beef complex. Higher the manufacturing beef disease outbreak. currency, demand is expected tomay fall in 2H. Exports supply that may result from between continuetoindisrupt the second retention andembargo offset some topotential Exports have risen in could be expected to lead open up to new beef slaughter numbers have trade. Bull prices Iran have also been hampered by the political enforcing the regulation could lead to either more beef and exports across to Algeria have of been half of 2018. EU exports thisinterrupted fall in theafter coming line with the production trading partners. In to increased culling. beenlive recorded May and August lifted imports or a modification of the regulation. foot mouth disease was detected there. China offers fell 4% for the first five months. With continuing increase, totalling 325,663 the past few months, largeand parts of Northern 4% in the North Island opportunities. After Ireland, France also entered months of 2018 comdryhas conditions, EUthe beef tonnes (up 8%) from a number of European Europe (Northern and 7% in the South China: Strong final phase to receive the coveted export approval.





pared to 2017.

Figure 8: EU Beef exports, Jan-May 2017 – Jan-May 2018 250,000 200,000 150,000

Island. The cow market experienced the biggest Figure 9: Indonesian national beef prices, increase, with prices over NZ: Seasonal Jan 2016-Aug 2018 decline in supply the three-month period 120,000 rising by 11% and 20% in lifts prices 115,000 ACROSS all North and South Islands PRICES respectively. classes of cattle lifted 110,000 New Zealand’s seaover the last quarter, 105,000 with the seasonal produc- son-to-date production (Oct-Jun) is up 8% on tion decline increasing 100,000 last season. This has preprocurement competidominately been driven tion among processors. by a marginal increase in The weaker New Zealand 2016 2017 2018 Five-year average season-on-season herd dollar has also helped Source: Indonesian Ministry of Trade, Rabobank 2018 numbers, in combination to support this pricing


countries, including Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark, France, and the UK, were approved to export frozen beef to China. The first shipment of Irish beef arrived in July and it is being marketed mainly through online channels. Despite increasing imports, strong domestic demand is also supporting the local cattle industry. The China Statistics

thousand tonnes cwt







beef price RMB/kg

CHINA’S BEEF market continues to perform strongly, despite a modest decline in prices as a result of the seasonal drop in demand. Beef is now three times more expensive than pork – the staple meat in China – with the margin close to the record set in 2014 (see Figure 7). Such price performance suggests that










demand continues

NZD/tonne FOB


chicken & pork price RMB/kg

Holstein the

100,000 50,000 0

Jan-May 17

Jan-May 18

Source: EU Commission, Rabobank 2018

RaboResearch | Beef Quarterly Q3 2018 | August 2018

October-June. A significant proportion of this increase went to China, up 33% on last season. Exports to the US are also up 7%. The US and China combined account for 71% of New Zealand’s 2017/18 beef exports. • Want to keep up-todate with the latest food & agribusiness insights? Tune into RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness Australia & NZ podcast channel.



Local rich-lister to help scheme WAIMATE CONTRACTOR – and rich-lister – Gary Rooney will back a South Canterbury irrigation scheme that was

left gasping by changes in Government policy. The Hunter Downs Water scheme, aimed at irrigating 12,000ha of the Waimate District with a consented water take

from the Waitaki River, has struggled to sign up enough farmers to make it pay. It was hoped that a loan from Crown Irrigation Investments Ltd

(CIIL) loan would get it over the line, but doubt arose when the Government imposed a policy forcing large-scale private irrigation schemes to pay their own way instead of

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depending on taxpayers’ money. But Hunter Downs will now go ahead, backed by Gary Rooney’s company Rooney Holdings Ltd (RHL), well-known by Canterbury farmers for its earthmoving, irrigation, pipe and cable laying, cartage and trucking. RHL and Hunter Downs will form a new company with 50:50 ownership. The Hunter Downs website invites intending irrigating farmers to buy 7000 water, or ‘wet’, shares at $2650 each. The $18.5 million raised would be matched by RHL and a new joint company would be formed -- Hunter Downs Water Scheme Company Ltd. Hunter Downs spokeswoman Stacey Scott said the share offer went out last week.

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Hunter Downs chairman Andrew Fraser.

“We had a shareholder meeting last Friday for all who had subscribed before Christmas to wet shares, and [we] sense... strong support to get the scheme away,” she said. “For the next four weeks our focus is on securing those wet shares so we can get started.” The offer closes on September 10. Hunter Downs chairman Andrew Fraser said in a letter to shareholders that only RHL was prepared to support the scheme on terms that ensured it remained affordable for farmers, and to underwrite any shortfall in farmer uptake by the commissioning. “The company, after investigating feasibility, scheme design and funding solutions, now needs to confirm investors’ commitment. This may

be the only chance this generation gets to secure important water for our region and for community.” Fraser said bringing new water into the catchment would reduce pressure on waterways and augment coastal tributaries and wetlands such as Lake Wainono. It would not be to intensify land use and conversion to dairy, but rather to relieve pressure on existing water takes and waterways, and decrease reliance on surface water extraction in the region. “The scheme has the ability to provide sustainable opportunities for generations. Collectively we must take advantage of this,” he said. Construction is scheduled to start in November and be finished by spring 2021.

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Miraka suppliers score $3m bonus PETER BURKE

FOR THE second year in a row, Taupo’s Miraka Dairy company has paid at least $3 million in bonuses to suppliers for their good

overall performance during the 2016-17 season. The company’s programme Te Ara Miraka financially rewards suppliers for meeting five criteria: people, the environment, animal welfare,

milk quality and prosperity. Within these are 31 criteria -- 13 of them mandatory for farmers to meet. These in turn are extrapolated out into a points system – all told 100.

A supplier who passes the mandatory ones gets some incentive, but achieving 100 points will bring an extra 20 cents/ kgMS at the end of the season pro-rata depending on the points won.

SMALL BUT SUCCESSFUL RICHARD WYETH knows that a small company can develop a greater sense of community among its suppliers, which the farmers wanted from the outset. Wyeth says they enjoy the annual shareholders’ meeting, “having conversations with the directors and being able to see people in the street around town”. “That plays a huge part and for me it’s fantastic being able to see all our suppliers in one place. With 110

suppliers we can take everyone on the same journey at the same time.” He says performance reviews are difficult for some people, but they have to be done and help is available to get farmers through these. Change is inevitable and farmers must be prepared for this in a season full of uncertainty. “We are very comfortable with where we are placed in the industry. Our strategy has been consistent, our plants are full, our suppliers say

we have the best UHT plant in the country. “So we are well positioned to grow but there is more and more change coming to the industry and we just have to be prepared for that.” Of the ups and downs of the international market, Wyeth says all these will play out over time; they just have to keep an eye on things as they evolve. “We know it’s going to be more volatile than it was 12 months ago,” he says.

This year a Mangakino farm in the Wairarapa Moana Trust scored 100 and got the maximum bonus. Miraka chief executive Richard Wyeth says the staff on the winning farm worked extra hard and got an outstanding result. In this second year for Te Ara Miraka the response from Miraka’s 110 suppliers has been greater engagement and adapting to change, he says. Most of the farmers will get some sort of bonus; only a very few will get nothing. Te Ara Miraka is more than just producing lots of good milk, Wyeth says. It looks after staff, regularly reviews their per-

Richard Wyeth

formance and pays above the minimum wage. “We see it as an investment in the long term. All the things in Te Ara Miraka mean that onfarm we will deliver better results so it’s an investment in the farmer. Over time, as well as develop our branded business further it will help add value to the

brands,” he says. Wyeth sees the provenance of food becoming a big concern for consumers. “For example, our Total Pure brand shows our milk is sourced within an 80km radius of the factory and Te Ara Miraka will be built into the brands as well,” he says.

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Deserve better FARMER GROUPS, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb NZ are in damage control. Two weeks after the Government passed changes to the National Animal Identification and Traceability (NAIT) system in Parliament under urgency, anger is still bubbling among farmers. Farmers have been blindsided by amendments that empower MPI officers to walk onto a farm without cause and seize equipment. Adding salt to the wounds, the changes had the blessings of industry groups DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb NZ. Now there’s talk that DairyNZ and BLNZ knew nothing of the search and surveillance provisions added at the last minute to the bill. The Government on August 16 passed the NAIT Amendment Bill which makes changes to the act in allowing for warrantless inspections of farms, clarifying animal movement requirements and making it an offence not to record animal movements. DairyNZ and BLNZ were quick to welcome changes. DairyNZ issued a statement headed ‘NAIT overhaul expected and necessary’; BLNZ’s statement was headed ‘BLNZ welcomes NAIT act amendments’. Only Federated Farmers and the National Party opposed the changes, claiming they went too far. Primary Industries Minister Damien O’Connor’s decision to bypass a select committee and pass the bill under urgency prevented Federated Farmers and its members from having any say. Opposition agriculture spokesman Nathan Guy acknowledges some changes to NAIT are needed, but rightly points out that Parliament had been denied the opportunity to properly scrutinise government amendments – which may not be in the best interests of farmers. One wonders why O’Connor didn’t use a two week parliamentary recess to send the bill to a select committee. Farmers took to social media, venting their frustration at DairyNZ and BLNZ. BLNZ on August 23 issued another statement headed ‘Clarifying NAIT changes’, explaining why it backed the changes. However, the statement also admitted that “the process through which the amendments were made in Parliament, however, could have been better”. DairyNZ’s original statement on NAIT changes has disappeared from its website. Farmers are rightly feeling hard done by; at a time when they are fully behind the collaborative approach to eradicate the cattle disease, M. bovis, they have been let down by the Government and Minister O’Connor.


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“OH BOTHER! – it’s an MPI surveillance drone Edna – I could have sworn it was a hawk prowling for lambs!”

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THE HOUND Making it up


Well done


THIS OLD mutt reckons the old saying ‘lies, damn lies and statistics’ should be amended to ‘lies, damn lies and Greenpeace claims’ because the multinational, tax-dodging political activists been caught telling porkies again. Greenpeace recently decided to gain publicity by protesting the development of dairy farming on Simon’s Pass Station in the Mackenzie Country – almost a decade after the development was approved. Then its anti-farming frontwoman Gen Toop made a number of claims including the supposed destruction of black stilt populations and new consents being granted for the dairy farm. However, the problem for Toop and Greenpeace is there are no black stilts on the offending property. Meanwhile, the local district council confirms there are currently no consent applications before it in regard to Simons Pass Station.

A MATE of your canine crusader, who keeps bees and was around when the varroa mite invaded Kiwi beehives nearly 20 years ago, reckons the parallels with the M.bovis incursion are hard to ignore. Especially the way individuals who loudly push for eradication quickly change their tune when the problem arrives on their doorstep. The initial response to varroa by the government of the day was to eradicate: hives were burned to the ground, livelihoods were destroyed. Then came the inevitable shift from a policy of eradication to active management of the problem. Whether M.bovis goes the same way remains to be seen, but this old mutt suggests with human nature being what it is, it’s likely there’ll be a notable silence among the eradication fans when their own livestock face destruction.

YOUR OLD mate was disappointed, but not surprised, recently when the chardonnay socialists at RNZ teamed up with the wacky animal activist group SAFE to try to do a hit-job on the Five Star Beef Ltd feedlot near Ashburton. The supposedly independent team at ‘red radio’ were only too happy to run the unadulterated claims by SAFE. However, some reality was put back into the story when Federated Farmers’ straight-talking meat and wool chairman Miles Anderson told RNZ that SAFE did not really care about animal welfare and instead want to end all animal farming. “They are vegan fundamentalists. I take most of what they say with a grain of salt. It would do them a world of good to have a nice leg of lamb.” Brilliant.

THE HOUND is shocked and dismayed at the support by certain political figures for the draconian and totally unnecessary NAIT ‘search and surveillance’ regulations rushed into law by the Coalition Government. This will give MPI powers to search farmers’ farms and houses and take anything they want without the need for a warrant. Your old mate finds it ironic that the Green Party, who would be outraged if the same laws were used against political activists or criminals, supported this move. Even more disappointing is that the ‘party of the provinces’ – NZ First – also backed it. It was embarrassing listening to NZ First list MP Mark Patterson’s lack of understanding of the bill and his anaemic weak justification for it. As a mate of the Hound says, “Patterson would be out of his depth in a bird bath”. Ouch.

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Growing farm costs need growing returns GETTING USED to the increased costs in producing the food society needs, wants and desires is simply part of farming; absent are the increased returns to cover the costs. Without the increase, extra labour cannot be employed and the lifestyle – so promoted in primary production – is eroded. Of course, some people will say ‘nonsense, it is as good as it has ever been’. However, if that is so overall, why are agricultural classes at tertiary institutions struggling for numbers and why is migrant labour becoming the norm? Why is agricultural debt still in the news? And why are the rural support groups busier than ever? It would appear that life in the land of milk and honey -- and all the other good things from New Zealand primary production -- is not rosy these days. This is despite the current milk price forecast, strong schedules and ongoing demand for products from orchards and market gardens. Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has stated that we live in a world that is scrutinising every part of our farm operation. He has also said that the consumers want to know where their products come from and ‘more’ about what they are consuming. Research from the UK Food Standards Agency supports the minister’s statements. The top issues of concern for food in general were the amount of sugar in food (55%), food waste (51%), food prices (43%) and animal welfare (42%). Awareness of these issues has increased following high-profile, reality cooking television shows hosted by celebrities such as Jamie Oliver. For NZ primary producers and exporters, price and animal welfare are the key factors. The good news is that ‘World Animal Protection’, which runs the ‘Animal Protection Index’ has already given NZ an ‘A’ rating for welfare. ‘A’ is the highest rating possible, and has been achieved by only four countries globally.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has stated that we live in a world that is scrutinising every part of our farm operation. He has also said that the consumers want to know where their products come from and ‘more’ about what they are consuming. of people said they trust food to be what the label (or seller) says it is, and The other three are UK, Switzerland and Austria. The index evaluates 20 indicators including ‘formal recognition of animal sentience’, support for the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare, and a legal framework which includes standards for animal welfare and protection for animals in all areas. The ‘A’ rating given to NZ by World Animal Protection deserves advertising. Organisations such as SAFE and Farmwatch have given a very different impression to consumers. The imbalance could be redressed by action from Wellington. The second issue of ‘price’ is more difficult. Price to the consumer matters, and is set by the supermarket. Supermarket owners in NZ have recently made it into National Business Review’s Rich List. Last year, France passed a new law stating that food in supermarket needs to have at least a 10% margin which, in addition to the fact that selling food below the purchase price is illegal, was hoped would protect the primary producers. At the same time, consumer acceptance of higher prices was questioned. Whatever consumers say about purchasing preferences, price remains a major factor. Everything NZ is doing to comply adds to costs of production, not to the price that people will pay under the current marketing strategies. If NZ primary producers are to reap the rewards of the regulatory environment, it is imperative that marketing reflects the standards under which we are operating. And that might mean that we need to embrace Country of Origin Labelling (COOL). In the UK Food Standards Agency survey, 75%

is accurately labelled, and 73% trusted the authenticity of ingredients/

origin/quality of food. Some large NZ exporters have indicated that

COOL might work against them overseas. However, few companies – so far – have managed to extract a premium from the marketplace with their current strategies. A change is required somewhere to enable the creation of vibrant businesses that will attract

young NZers. This is another challenge for the Agriculture Minister and his Primary Sector Council to address. • Dr Jacqueline Rowarth CNZM CRSNZ HFNZIAHS has a PhD in soil science and has been analysing agri-environment interaction for several decades.

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Seven golden rules for rural trustees GRAEME FREWIN

SOMETHING IMPORTANT has been missing from the discussion of the role and responsibilities of the trustees of New Zealand’s 450,000 or so family trusts: namely, the special tasks and obligations facing a trustee of an entity based

in rural NZ. What is special about the role of a ‘rural trustee’? It all sheets back to NZ’s primary industry-based economy and the disproportionate – by global comparative standards – amount of wealth that sits in farms and other agriculturebased businesses. Many

are often family-owned enterprises that have grown larger and more complex over generations. It is estimated at least 50% of rural properties in NZ are owned by trusts. Against this backdrop, rural trustees should be keeping a handful of simple yet ironclad rules:

Graeme Frewin

• • • • • •

1. The fundamentals of trusteeship apply. A good trustee welds technical knowhow with relationship skills. A rural trustee will maintain a variety of interpersonal relationships, some with other professional advisers (lawyers and accountants, most commonly) and others

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with family members (the trustee may be a family member or a professional outsider). Maintaining professionalism while devoting equal time and energy to several beneficiaries takes skill, experience and good instincts. 2. Listen to your clients, but maintain a professional distance. The job of a rural trustee can be a delicate dance; you must know your clients well, and you may work with them over many years, but you must keep your place as a professional service provider rather than a friend. This can be especially tricky when the trustee is part of the family involved in the trust. The overriding responsibility is to understand from the trust beneficiaries what their desired outcomes are. 3. Have a sound awareness of the (ever-changing) legislative and regulatory requirements. Get the governance right. The diversity of businesses run on rural properties and the legislative requirements in trust law mean the trustee needs a clear game plan to ensure the productive and compliant running of the rural business and sound trust governance. The rural trustee must be familiar with a variety of laws pertaining to trustowned rural land or businesses. 4. Hold other trustees and interested parties to account. To take one piece of legislation as an example, the rural trustee is responsible for Health & Safety at Work Act 2015 obligations on any site or property held by the trust. A trustee’s dominant thinking needs to be: What can I evidence that I have done to understand and enhance the

hazard identification of the workplace environment for employees or third parties working on property owned by the trust, to make it a safe working environment for all users? Trustees stand personally exposed should legislative or regulatory obligations not be met, and ignorance of the law is not a defence. 5. Be a good partner to other service providers. Collaboration is the art of linking arms, and the rural trustee needs a full stable of seasoned professionals in order to thrive. These include accountant, lawyer, banker, risk adviser, farm adviser, regional authority liaison officers, wealth managers, etc. 6. Always have a plan. This team operates like any other successful business – based on a business model and plan directed at achieving the stated goals and objectives of the business and its owners. This model, once implemented and executed, ensures the goals of the business remain visible, which invariably flows into the goals of the trust beneficiaries being met. 7. Challenge misconceptions and erroneous notions. Often good decisions don’t get made because of cost or the perception of cost. There is, of course, a cost to good governance. There is an old saying that if you think the cost of doing something is expensive, wait until you see the cost of not doing it. A good trustee will steer clients away from false economies and towards responsible, prudent and necessary financial decisions. • Graeme Frewin is a manager with Perpetual Guardian, Wellington.




We are not cowboys, minister BRUCE WILLS

CLEARLY THE Minister of Agriculture believes the honey industry is in a bad state when he refers to it at the Agcarm conference (Rural News, August 21) as being the “wild west of the primary sector”. We want to assure him that is not so. The honey industry has in recent years grown dramatically in volume and value and the international success of mānuka honey is much of the explanation. With growth comes growing pains and we have had a few. Bruce Wills The minister expressed concern about colony collapse disorder -- something that has only happened in the northern hemisphere to date, not here thankfully. It is a puzzling disorder that sees previously healthy bee colonies simply disappear without the cause fully known. The level of bee health in New Zealand is very good. The annual bee colony health survey, by the Ministry for Primary Industries, shows that over the last three years the total colony loss, due to all kinds of reasons, was about 10%. This compares well with the average 30 - 40% losses in northern hemisphere countries. As we get bigger we become more vulnerable. We now have at least 8000 registered beekeepers and about 900,000 hives. Beekeepers now have very valuable assets and the whole industry is a huge asset for NZ. We wouldn’t want anything to jeopardise it. We need robust science to track bee health and disease patterns and promote biosecurity practices, training for the staff of a growing industry and effective standards so the customer can be confident about our product. We formed Apiculture NZ two years

ago to address these types of issues. This brought together commercial and hobbyist beekeepers, marketers and packers under one industry-good organisation. A great deal has been achieved. We are now looking to take the next major step in the development of the industry – the introduction of a commodity levy similar to that collected in most primary sectors. A levy is a fair system whereby everyone in the industry shares the cost of the services the industry offers. It will help raise security as the industry adopts protection via science, systems, knowledge and practice. The minister is correct in reminding the industry of the need to protect ourselves. The days of “every operator for himself are over”. There’s too much at stake. We can’t allow ourselves to think that should anything happen someone else will look after us. We need to look after ourselves collectively. Honey is a product of the future. Table honey consumption is growing and increasingly it is used in nutraceuticals because of its natural credentials. The role of bees in the pollination of other important crops means the honey industry is vital to NZ. We have strong role model industries to learn from; all have set up levies in the last 20 years. These industries are now more in charge of themselves and able to set their own priorities and achieve them with their own resources. Energy and optimism are obvious in the bee industry, as in any growing and thriving industry. Despite issues and conflicts it’s mostly positive and progressive -- sometimes exciting. • Bruce Wills is chair of Apiculture NZ, the national body representing all sectors of the industry.





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Is TMR a good fit for NZ? MARK DANIEL

MIXER WAGONS, common for decades, take many forms: simple concrete mixer style, rotors with paddles, single or multiple horizontal augers, or the ever-increasing vertical auger concept. Looking at different mechanical layouts can cause confusion, but ultimately the finished product must be the key driver. A good TMR (total mixed ration) machine must combine disparate ingredients into one homogenous mix that resists separation by animals during eating. Why consider a TMR machine for feeding in the first place, especially given that New Zealand is the land of low inputs and plentiful grass? This question was posed by visiting ruminant nutritionist Alan Vaage, on tour for Jaylor Nutrition. Vaage said production is limited on pasture alone, with PMR or TMR offering major benefits beyond the NZ practice of in-parlour feeding of meal or nuts. He cited trials showing that cows

Alan Vaage (centre) with Jaylor team’s Ken Bill (left) and Marti Phillipi.

fed a TMR had the potential to produce 50% more milk per day than pasture-only fed animals (Kolver and Muller 1998). And the dry matter content of pasture -- about 19% versus TMR at 58% -- means cows find it physically impossible to eat enough to maximise production. He quoted Bargo’s research in 2003 that noted the total DMI of dairy cows on pasture-only diets is lower than the total DMI of dairy cows consum-

ing TMR or pasture plus supplements. This indicated that high-producing cows on pasture-based diets need to be supplemented to achieve their genetic potential for DMI and thus milk production. The traditional NZ practice of feeding in-parlour or at a feed pad obviously offers benefits, he said. However, it also raises issues -- not least the time required to consume the supplement, the high cost of specifically formu-

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lated products, sorting by dominant or smart animals due to lack of incorporation, and limited opportunities to use cost-effective by-products. PMR or TMR allows cows to achieve higher milk yields, thus reaching their potential, particularly at peak, versus more cows of lower production on a larger area. This latter point could address the green brigade’s claim that NZ has reached ‘peak cow’ and must reduce numbers. Vaage said TMR allows farmers to overcome the intake limits of forage or pasture-only diets, while also addressing the issues of acidosis or digestive upset when high levels of grain are fed over silage and consumed in short times. He stressed correct attention to detail in adopting a PMR or TMR regime. The first is that a mix must be homogenous so it can’t be sorted by clever animals, and it must be a consistent mix for feeding along the feed barrier or trough. “Sorting or non-uniform mixes had been proven to lead to around 0.3% drop in fat levels and a 10% drop in overall production,” Vaage explained.

“So in a herd of, say, 250 cows, this might lead to a loss in monetary terms not dissimilar to the cost of a mixer wagon.” During feeding, animal behaviour clearly indicates the quality of the mix, he said. Sorting shows up as cows shaking feed and making ‘bowls’ in the feed to find preferred ingredients, rather than just eating. Sorting leads to problems of increased milk proteins, poor hooves, displaced abomasums and fat cows in sorter cows. By contrast, non-sorters have access to lower energy content, they are thinner and produce less. Vaage advocated sampling and analysing the individual ingredients of a TMR mix. “The mix, often blamed for poor results, is nothing but the composite function of the ingredients’ composition and the accuracy of the delivery and weighing. “To do this accurately, all ingredients need to be tested on the same day, as well as holding accurate weights of the ingredients used in each batch.” @rural_news

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High aims for dairy goat sector MARK DANIEL

AGRICULTURE MINISTER Damien O’Connor, out and about last month in Waikato, ended one day holding baby Neve. Not Neve of Ardern-Gayford fame, but a dairy goat kid at Kerry and Robyn Averill’s farm at Tauhei, northwest of Morrinsville. O’Connor was there with MPI director-general Martyn Dunne and directors of the Dairy Goat Co-Operative (DGC) to launch a new Primary Growth Partnership (PGP). Its aim is growing a sustainable, high-value goat milk infant formula industry in New Zealand. Caprine Innovations NZ (Caprinz) is a five-year, $29.65 million PGP programme funded 40:60 by MPI and the DGC. The aim is to improve the nutrition and health of families, raise research and farming capability, and increase export revenue in the goat milk industry to $400 million a year by 2023. O’Connor said NZ must lift its game by adding value -- converting raw, fresh product into high-value

From left: Dairy Goat Co-op chief executive David Hemara, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and DGC chairman Campbell Storey at the launch.

items for international markets. And he decried negativity about NZ’s agricultural sector, urging farmers and ancillary industries to start telling the many success stories out there in the primary industry. The minister applauded the DGC that was founded in the late 1980s and now has 71 supplier shareholders producing over 100 products sold in 23 countries. O’Connor praised the co-operative nature of the business, paying atten-

tion to its board whose diligence he said had led to its success -- an obvious having a dig at another dairy coop’s board. The dairy goat industry, according to 2017-published research by Massey University, says the national herd has 66,000 animals on 92 farms, 72% of them in Waikato. The industry’s value is reckoned about $250 million, and the national herd will need to increase to 100,000 to meet the PGP’s growth target.

Kerry and Robyn Averill converted from dairy cows in 2005 and today milk about 1600 does at peak and 900 year-round to meet demand. Average production is about 120kgMS/animal/ year. They also raise billy goats to 10kg for meat. All animals on the farm are housed indoors and fed a total mixed ration plus freshly cut and carried grass throughout the day. DRG’s David Hemara says the Caprinz PGP programme is aimed at positioning goats milk infant formula as

the preferred alternative to cow milk infant formula. “We recognise breastfeeding is the best source of nutrition for babies or infants,” he says. “But the programme will help meet demand where breastfeeding needs supplementation or just isn’t feasible.” Hemara says the programme has three aspects: • Consumer research to understand the needs and communicate information to end users; • Clinical research in infant nutrition which, while expensive, is necessary to provide reliable meaningful data to nutrition clinicians; • Onfarm aspects such as environmental impact and optimum breeding and nutrition. Martyn Dunne said the programme will bring many benefits, not least up to 400 new jobs, and grow NZ’s research capability, including developing a dairy goat research farm. “The unique nature of NZ’s pastoral farming environment means that developments from the programme will be difficult to replicate overseas, ensuring benefits remain in this country.”

No. 4928



Beet doesn’t need heaps of fertiliser TRIALS ON fodder beet in seven places in New Zealand show that there is minimal yield response to high applications of nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) fertiliser in beet crops. This is the finding of the second of a three-year project run by MPI’s Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) on fodder beet agronomic solutions. The project is aimed at informing farmers about fertiliser responses and helping them increase profitability by minimis-

was no yield increase recorded: fertiliser rates were higher than 100kg N/ha. Nitrogen concentration in the leaf increased from 0.77% (4.8% crude protein [CP]) in the control plot to 1.49% (9.3% CP) for the 300kg N/ha treatment. Total N uptake also increased from 208kg/ha for the control to 433kg/ha for the 300kg N/ha application. “Obviously the higher application rates increase the N concentration in the plant but this leads to

ciency. “I know of companies that have recommended 300-400kg K/ha – crazy amounts. We regularly tissue test our crops and rarely see Mg or K defi-

ciencies.” He says farmers should question these recommendations, particularly as the trial sites have not shown a consistent yield response to K

across a range soil types over both years. The final year of the SFF trial will look to expand these findings to paddock scale and and to foliar disease control.

Ravensdown agronomist Chris Lowe.

“Statistically we saw no difference between treatments above 100kg N/ha, so there is a potential for cost saving by farmers.” environmental implications. It may be better in protein content for animals but you have the spinoff of high N in the urine.” The highest CP level in the current experiment of 9.3% is lower than the 12% needed for animal maintenance in winter. Lowe says a key components of N management is understanding how much is readily available in the soil. “The key is to measure N beforehand so you know how much N is actually in the soil. If you can measure what is in the soil then you can manage what you put on,” he says. “It is also vital to understand that N applications are to drive canopy growth to achieve canopy closure at the longest day, so early N is critical. After Christmas it is to maintain canopy and green leaf retention, so attention should turn to disease control.” Average yields for the Orari crop were down from 33 tonnes DM/ha in year one to 29.2t DM/ha in year two, which Lowe suspects is a result of the beet western yellow virus. He says the yellow leaf that occurs with the disease is sometimes misinterpreted as K or magnesium (Mg) defi-

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ing costs and maximising yields. Ravensdown agronomist Chris Lowe did trial work in South Canterbury on Haden and Julie Batty’s farm – one of seven sites. “We found that the high rates of N applied in the past are not necessary,” Lowe says. “Statistically we saw no difference between treatments above 100kg N/ha, so there is a potential for cost saving by farmers.” Although a difference was seen on most sites between the control (no N applied) and the lowest rates applied (100kg N/ha in year one and 50kg N/ha in year two), the results were similar in year two -- no effect on yield above 100kg N/ha. The first season of the trial looked at crop agronomy, performance and fertiliser response. In year two it looked at the consistency of plant response to fertiliser rates on different soil types. In year two, soil tests were taken before and after the study and fertiliser was applied at 50kg N/ha increments up to 300kg N/ha. Orari had the lowest total available N because of its shallow stony soils, making it the most likely to show a response from application. However, there



Woolshed and shearing safety JULIET YOUNG

SHEEP FARMERS are offered a safety course via online videos in which farmers and shearers explain how to reduce injuries in and around the woolshed. The aim is to improve safety and performance in the wool growing and harvesting industries. The scheme, led by Tahi Ngātahi, is a joint effort by Federated Farmers, the New Zealand Shearing Contractors Association, Worksafe and ACC -- the latter putting up $1 million over three years. Farmers, shearers and their staff who complete the course receive a certificate. Shearing contractors can show farmers that they and their staff are Tahi Ngātahi certified, and farmers can do a

‘warrant of fitness’ course to help them make their shed safety-compliant. Wool harvesters suffered 755 work-related injuries in 2017, resulting in 9300 working days lost, according to ACC weekly compensation data. Also that year saw 4700 work-related injuries among wool growers, resulting in 35,000 days lost. WorkSafe’s Al McCone says the scheme’s positive steps will reduce harm from working in and around the woolshed. More farmers attaining using the woolshed ‘wof’, and more advanced equipment, will have an effect. Wairarapa farmer William Beetham, who features in the videos, is keen on raising safety levels in his business. “The first thing is rec-


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Wairarapa farmer William Beetham, keen on good health and safety in his woolshed, features in the Tahi Ngātahi videos.

ognising you have to make a start with health and safety,” he says. “It is easy and makes things run more efficiently. “Most farmers would be much better off by spending a bit of time getting those systems in place.” For shearers the emphasis is on eating and hydrating well, strengthening and stretching their bodies and getting enough sleep. Taihape shearer Dave Sargenson (66) is still shearing after 40 years, but says that’s not common. “In that time shearers have not lasted too well,

but with better health and safety many would have been able to shear

longer.” Lamb shearing world record holder Emily-





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‘It’s a great resource for everyone in the industry, including farmers and staff who use a shearing contractor or have an open shed, or do some shearing or crutching over the year. “While many can shear, they may be able to improve their approach so they don’t injure themselves.’’ Tahi Ngātahi is being introduced to farmers and shearers at meetings and will be formally launched at the Canterbury A&P Show in November. North Island meetings will run in early September and South Island meetings will run from September 19-21.


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Welch explains in the videos that a few minutes a day can prevent injuries and improve performance. “It takes five minutes to do strength work and another five minutes at the end of your day stretching out. You’ll reap the benefits years down the road.” Tahi Ngātahi project manager Trish Ryan says the videos teach everyone about their role in creating a safe workplace. “Tahi Ngātahi means one, together, and we believe we can prevent injuries by helping the whole team understand each other’s roles in and around the shed.

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Trial indicates gains using injectable trace mineral supplement WEST AUSTRALIAN cattle producer Ryan Willing has revealed the latest findings from a 12-month trial run by animal health company Virbac Australia. Called the Multimin Performance Ready Challenge, it includes having seven farmers test the livestock benefits of Multimin trace mineral injection, supported by veterinary mentors. The farmers are post-

ing the results on social media and digital channels. The trial is designed to show Australian beef, sheep and dairy producers how they can use the trace mineral injection to improve livestock performance. Willing and his wife Elisha run 900 Angus breeders east of Esperance, WA. The region’s sand plains are nutrientdeficient, which affects

the fertility, weight gain and overall health of the self-replacing-herd. “Our sandy soil leaches just about every nutrient available, so trace elements are the key to unlocking maximum production from our crops,” he says. “And even after topping up nutrient levels in our pastures, I’ve already seen a massive additional benefit from using Multimin.” Willing uses the sup-

plement to increase the fertility, conception rate and productivity of his animals. Guided by advice from Dr Enoch Bergman, his herd has been split into two groups, to compare improvements in conception rates and timings. Group 1 has been treated with HyB12 + Celestin long acting injection, and group 2 with Multimin + HyB12 + Cydectin long acting injection.

Beef producers Ryan and Elisha Willing with vet mentor Enoch Bergman.


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sign of good health,” he says. “I hope that the next round of results will confirm my feeling that this injection is going to be good for their fertility levels and calving patterns.” Bergman is a vet at Swans Veterinary Services, with an interest in this subject. He has sampled thousands of local animals to benchmark trace mineral status for targeted supplementation. He believes in the importance of improving calving patterns in selfreplacing herds. “It is critical that calving aligns with optimal seasonal pasture availability to maximise calf weaning weights, breeder’s lifetime fertility and the




Farmers getting calf message PETER BURKE

MOST FARMERS appear to be complying with the new rules on trucking bobby calves to slaughter, MPI says. The rules came into force last year, requiring loading ramps to trucks, shelter, etc. They also prohibit trucking calves that are sick or younger than four days old. MPI’s manager of animal compliance, Peter Hyde, says compliance this year is good and similar to last year which was also good. So far this year only six calves in every

10,000 have been found defective on arrival at meat works. Hyde says this is at least the same and possibly slightly better than last year. “Compare that with 2008, when there were 68 per 10,000 calves that arrived in a poor state. Over the years we have seen a big improvement, and we got a very big improvement in 2017 and now this year.” MPI has devised a scheme called ‘follow the bobby calf truck’. “We have MPI vets and inspectors following trucks onto dairy farms,

where they will inspect including checking the loading facility. They check the shelter for calves and then check the calves being presented for transport.” MPI has this year checked trucks in Northland, Waikato, Manawatu and Southland and have

been pleased with the rate of compliance. “So far, we have only found one farm that didn’t have a loading facility and that farmer has been ordered to stop sending calves to the meat works until he gets a loading facility.” Under the rules, truck-

ers face fines for taking sick calves to the works. And Hyde says they are getting reports of truckies leaving calves on farms because they don’t think the animals are in a good enough state to take. But he says farmers should take greater responsibility for their

animals and not leave it to truck drivers to decide what animals should go. MPI is also monitoring stock at saleyards, so far issuing three infringement notices to farmers presenting unfit calves. “We have 200 vets in meat plants, but farmers

should not to think they might be able to offload weak or poorer calves at saleyards,” Hyde explains. “At saleyards we’ll take action if we find noncompliance.” MPI has so far this season issued 40 infringement notices which carry an instant fine of $500.

Leave nothing to chance this season

Mineral supplement FROM PAGE 40

producer’s ability to capitalise on market opportunities,” he says. “Our intervention doesn’t stop with choosing the best mating date; we must ensure each breeding animal is given the best chance to get pregnant each time she cycles. Cows that get pregnant early in the mating programme go on to calve earlier, and so are better prepared for their next mating, increasing their longevity within the production system and the weaned weight of their calves. Adequate micromineral levels are a key prerequisite for optimising body condition score and plane of nutrition of each breeder, essential for achieving a short fast calving season.” Bergman urges farmers to join heifers for shorter periods and ahead of each producer’s older management groups. “If naturally mating, I advocate joining heifers for three weeks shorter and three weeks earlier than their cow mobs. This will buy the heifer more time after she calves to prepare herself for her second mating season.” Bergman says earlier cycling and improved conception rates can be achieved by optimising health and growth by

better nutrition. “For most of my clients, integrating a rapid trace mineral top-up of zinc, manganese, selenium, cobalt and copper at weaning and again prior to mating will improve reproductive outcomes, and will contribute to growth, a functioning immune system and greater disease resilience, all leading to improved fertility prospects.” And while variable or reduced feed intake, feed antagonists and low trace mineral absorption in the gut can all make oral supplements less effective, Multimin is able to effectively bypass these challenges, being an injectable rather than oral trace mineral. Bergman says the trace minerals found in the supplement can benefit mother and unborn calf. He is encouraged by the early results of the trial, including “obvious pigment changes in Willings’ cattle versus the treated with the non-treated animals in the same management group”. “This highlights the value of controlled studies. And I will get in behind Willings’ cows at pregnancy testing, to see if we can measure fertility differences.” www.multiminchallenge.

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P R O U D LY A V A I L A B L E F R O M Y O U R L O C A L V E T E R I N A R Y C L I N I C . Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health New Zealand Limited. Level 3, 2 Osterley Way, Manukau, Auckland, New Zealand | ARREST®, ECLIPSE®, EPRINEX®, EXODUS®, GENESIS®, IVOMEC®, MATRIX® & SWITCH® are registered trademarks of the Boehringer Ingelheim Group. Registered pursuant to the ACVM Act. 1997 | No’s. A7290, A9270, A10640, A11151, A7191, A10222, A7456, A9888, A7353, A9222, A11065, A6481, A10131, A10274, A11138 | ©Copyright 2018 Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health New Zealand Limited. All rights reserved. NZ-18-BAH-100.



New potato harvesters unveiled MARK DANIEL

AT POTATOEUROPE, near Hanover, this year, Grimme will unveil two self-propelled harvesters for the global market. The flagship, fourrow Ventor 4150 with

530hp and a 15-tonne bunker capacity is based on the well-proven ‘SE principle’ – a combined separating device for sieving, conveying and haulm separation. Unique features include the digging system which is the first

The flagship, four-row Ventor 4150 has a 15-tonne bunker capacity.

part of the machine to touch the crop without driving over any potato ridges. It also has a low compaction wheel system with ‘crab’ steering, a CCI 1200 operator terminal with the new GDI operator

NEW MODEL E a s y Cu t Fr o n t Mower The EasyCut Front Mower is a versatile and innovative compact design. It includes all the benefits of a KRONE mower but with the additional flexibility of utilising either a PULL TYPE* OR PUSH TYPE headstock. Either headstock is available as an option, allowing optimal adaptabilty for your requirements. * P u l l Ty p e P i c t u r e d

Fo r m o r e i n f o r m a t i o n c o n t a c t

06 370 0390


The two-row trailed bunker Evo 290 harvester has a 9-tonne bunker and three-wheeled TriSys chassis.

interface and the Speedtronic automatic belt speed control system. The four-row Varitron 470 Terra Trac will also be exhibited for the first time in the new Platinum version. The Varitron has a patented 7-tonne nonstop bunker, a variety of separator systems said to offer the widest selection in the market, soilprotecting rubber tracks and a perfect view over the intake. Growers looking for smaller machines can consider the two-row trailed bunker harvester Evo 290 with its 9-tonne bunker and threewheeled TriSys chassis that provides excellent ground protection. The speed of the main webs can be steplessly adjusted with the VarioDrive concept, while

MemoryControl can store and recall the favoured operating parameters for all the harvesters mentioned. Meanwhile, Grimme China has opened a new 12,500m² plant and 1400m² office building in Tianjin, 130km southeast of Beijing. Located on a 3.5ha site, it cost 13 million euros, a standout spend in the company’s 150year history. The family-owned business has been in China for 20 years -unsurprising given that China grows 5 million ha of potatoes annually, making it the world’s largest producer. In recent years the Chinese government has declared potatoes one of the four most important foods and wants to expand production. @rural_news




Use the M-STOP 1m Outrigger either side of the fence line to meet MPI’s 2m buffer zone

Patent No. 745179 BAYCO INSUL-TIE Insulated strut for managing dips, rises or snow loading

• Meets MPI’s 2m buffer zone guideline • 7mm Dia Galvanised Spring Steel • UV stablised insulated coupling • Wear resistant DURA-TOP eyelet Available from

1 METRE 1 METRE 2 METRES - MPI recommended buffer zone



Forester comes out of the woods

GIVEN THAT the Subaru Forester virtually started the trend to SUVs years ago, the New Zealand motoring public’s assigning to it the label ‘wagon’ was woolly. Launched in 1997, the Forester straightaway grabbed rural dwellers and urban folk wanting to get off the beaten track. It offered 4WD and a remarkable 226mm of ground clearance, making it great for going bush and generally exploring. Back then SUVs made up less than 10% of what we now call SUVs, whereas in 2018 they make up at least 41% and that looks like increasing. So the recent release of the fifth-generation Forester shouldn’t leave anyone wondering: this is an impressive SUV. Rural News got the chance to see it first hand at Bendigo Station, near Cromwell, Otago, home of Shrek the sheep. More importantly, it is 12,000ha of high country station with a huge array of roads and tracks to put any vehicle under the cosh. It sports a larger presence, better looks and even more technology than we have become used to with Subaru. The 2019 Forester also has had major reworks to its underpinnings to deliver 40% greater torsional rigidity and 100% greater front lateral rigidity. This gives a more comfortable, planted feel for the occu-

It’s the enhanced technology that makes this SUV stand out from the pack.

pants, on or off-road. Add a new 2.5L flatfour (cylinder), naturally aspirated, direct-injected engine and you get 136kW and 239Nm of pure punch. Available in Sport, Sport Plus and Premium versions, the Forester packs the well-known Subaru symmetrical allwheel-drive system, and the Premium version also gets X-mode control with two stage selection to help it deal with deep snow or mud. The driveline has the Lineratronic CVT system that Subaru’s engineers have cleverly designed to mimic seven steps for drivers who want to use the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters for manual control. But it’s the enhanced technology that makes this SUV stand out from the pack. In the Sport Plus and Premium options, a driver monitoring system (DMS) uses facial recognition to detect up to five drivers on entry, to automatically adjust seat and door mirrors and to adjust the air conditioning.

The fifth-generation, 2019 Forester is an impressive SUV.

More importantly it also detects driver inattention and drowsiness and sounds an audible warning – so watch out farmers out for a ride trying to eyeball what their neighbours are up to. Also new is the maker’s third-generation Eye Sight crash avoidance, lane keep assist, lane centring control and a manual speed limiter. This builds on the already impressive functions of the previous incarnations such as pedestrian avoidance, pre-collision braking assist, adaptive cruise control and emergency stop signals. Add in a host of practical solutions like front, rear and side-view cam-

eras, reverse automatic braking and reverse interlocking door mirrors that tilt down when reverse is selected, and the Forester is really the business. Further practicality comes from repositioning the C pillars to give a larger door opening for rear seat passengers, a step plate to allow short folk to reach the roof rack, a faster opening and closing rear electric door lift, electronic park brake and auto vehicle hold on hills. Meanwhile, the rear load space offers a total volume of 1768L with the rear seats down, and flatter seat backs to create a smoother load floor, meaning you can shift the kitchen sink. @rural_news

AFFORDABLE QUALITY TRAILERS • Built strong • Quality running gear • Over rated suspension

WOOD SPLITTERS • Built strong with double skinned main beam • 50mm back plate and dished wedge • 2-stage hydraulic pump coupled to a 9.5hp Kola motor


Ph 06-370 1329 • Stuart 0274-387 528 124 Lincoln Road, Masterton E: W: LEADERS ON FARM MACHINERY DESIGN


AND MORE... Call Jarred L’Amie | 07 823 3765 | 027 203 5022 CAMBRIDGE | OTOROHANGA | ROTORUA

AG Traction | Taranaki (New Plymouth) Trent Hall 027 231 1797 | 06 759 8432 Country Machinery (Palmerston North) Dean Booth 027 550 7986 | 0508 762 574



Data and display conundrum cured MARK DANIEL

TRACTOR AND harvester manufacturers are cagey about allowing access to their GPS and other software sys-

tems, probably because it means customers will be inclined to stay with a one-colour fleet to eliminate compatibility issues. Indeed, for as long as we’ve used GPS guidance and yield monitoring/

mapping systems, farmers have been dogged by the inability of different brands to ‘talk’ to one another. But Johannes Heupel, a clever grain farmer (2500ha) in Edmonton,

Canada, who runs John Deere tractors and Claas Lexion headers – and is well versed in tech – has developed the Agra GPS-JD Bridge. This connects info from most tractor, header and for-

Canadian grain farmer Johannes Heupel developer of the Agra GPS-JD Bridge.

HUGE SAVINGS now on our range of JOSKIN Muck Spreaders

ager brands to talk to JD’s guidance systems and display screens. Put simply, the system will allow users to run JD screens and receivers in a competing header or harvester. This enables it to provide auto-steer, use existing A-B and boundary lines, and collect and display yield data. The technology only uses only 32kb of memory space because its prime focus is data transfer. Any data required for further analysis can be sent to the cloud, a farm computer or JD’s myjohndeere app. Heupel analysed the codes in the CAN bus systems of most mainstream manufacturers. He then created the device that translates that info

into Deere’s software language, to act as a conduit as machines move across the paddock. In Heupel’s case, the monitor thinks it’s in a John Deere header, although its actually in the Claas Lexion, so all data is translated and processed as normal. As it’s designed to process only autoguidance and yield monitoring, there is little chance that overall machine management will be on the radar, given that machines carry such a vast array of differing functions between models and brands. Systems have so far been designed for Claas, Fendt, MF, Cat, Versatile, Krone and Case Quadtracs.

WHAT IS A ‘CAN’ BUS? CAN BUS is an integral network designed to transmit data according to a set of protocols. Controller area network (CAN) is the protocol commonly used on agricultural vehicles as it’s designed to cope with harsh environments. Built to a global standard, the network allows different control units to talk to each other, sending messages from different parts of the machine to report on function and performance. Generally, companies don’t provide coding information for how to decipher the documentation systems, which means every piece of data is written in a near-alien language. The exceptions are JCB and Versatile, which provide information to explain what the code being sent between the machine and its control box means. Deciphering Can bus information is a difficult procedure due to the thousands of pieces of information sent every second, and because each manufacturer will run different documentation systems, so no data formats are compatible.

NATIONWIDE DISTRIBUTION NETWORK KAITAIA Kaitaia Tractors 09 408 0670 WHANGAREI Bryant Tractors 09 438 1319 DARGAVILLE FarmShop 2017 Ltd 0800 002209 SILVERDALE AGrowQuip NZ Ltd 09 427 9137 PUKEKOHE AGrowQuip NZ Ltd 09 237 0043 MORRINSVILLE Piako Tractors 07 889 7055 HAMILTON AGrowQuip NZ Ltd 07 847 0425 CAMBRIDGE AGrowQuip NZ Ltd 07 827 5184 ROTORUA Piako Tractors Ltd 07 345 8560 STRATFORD FeildTorque Taranaki 06 863 2612 GISBORNE Stevenson and Taylor 06 858 6041 WAIPUKURAU Stevenson and Taylor 06 858 6041 DANNEVIRKE Lancaster Tractors 06 374 7731

* Normal lending criteria and special conditions apply.

PALMERSTON NORTH Transag Centre 06 354 7164 MASTERTON Wairarapa Machinery Services 06 377 3009 NELSON Drummond and Etheridge 03 543 8041 BLENHEIM Drummond and Etheridge 03 579 1111 KAIKOURA Drummond and Etheridge 03 319 7119 GREYMOUTH Drummond and Etheridge 03 768 5116 CHRISTCHURCH Drummond and Etheridge 03 349 4883 ASHBURTON Drummond and Etheridge 03 307 9911 TIMARU Drummond and Etheridge 03 687 4005 OAMARU Drummond and Etheridge 03 437 1111 MOSGIEL JJ Limited 03 489 8199 GORE JJ Limited 03 208 9370 INVERCARGILL JJ Limited 03 211 0013

Read us until the cows come home!



Super spreader offers high work rates MARK DANIEL

WITH A 10,000L hopper, a working width up to 54m and an oper ating speed up to 30km/h, the new Amazone ZG-TS 10001 trailed spreader has the right specs for high-capacity, precision spreading. It has a host of technologies including three automatic spreading pattern adjustment systems, automatic calibration, load-dependent electronic braking, hydraulic self-steering and an aperture blockage monitoring system. The spreader is said to balance capacity, work rates and precision, and theoretically it is possible to spread 40kg/ha over 250ha in 90 minutes before reloading. The top-of-the-line ProfisPro configuration has an on-board weighing system that automatically regulates the application rate using four weigh cells positioned between the hopper frame and chassis to constantly monitor the amount of fertiliser being discharged. It uses this data to adjust the metering shutter slides and the intelligent filllevel management system. By constantly measuring how much

The new Amazone ZG-TS 1001 trailed spreader with 28 degrees of pivot angle is capable to true-track steering, even with a track width of 1.8m and a tyre width of 520mm.

fertiliser remains in the hopper, the weighing system can determine how much fertiliser is required to complete the job, so avoiding unnecessary travelling in the field with a half-full spreader. The ZG-TS 10001 also offers the new ArgusTwin and WindControl spreading pattern adjustment systems and FlowCheck aperture blockage monitoring system – released at Agritechnica last year. The ArgusTwin uses 14 radar sensors to monitor the spreading pattern of the left and right spreading discs, adjusting the spreading pattern

of either disc if any deviation from the settings is detected, while an additional tilt sensor compensates for sloping terrain. WindControl automatically adjusts lateral distribution according to wind speed and direction. The ZG-TS 10001 has Amazone’s proven TS twin disc spreading system using hydraulically driven discs to ensure constant disc speed, precision and uniformity under all operating conditions. Vane kits can be quickly and simply changed, and the AutoTS system allows the spreader to switch seamlessly from normal to broad spreading without the

need to change discs. The optional DynamicSpread part-width section control technology enables switching up to 128 part-width sections in wedgeshaped fields. The steep hopper profile allows enough room for the same automatic steering system already found on Aamazone’s UX trailed sprayers. It has 28 degrees of pivot angle, meaning the 10001 is capable of true-track steering even with a track width of 1.8m and a tyre width of 520mm. The spreader follows the same path as the tractor and the paths taken during previous or subsequent

spraying operations, minimising crop damage and soil compaction. The steering system automatically switches off once the spreading disc drive is deactivated or ground speed exceeds 25km/h. Steering, spreading discs and floor belt are powered and controlled via a standard tractor-based load-sensing hydraulic system or a new hybrid system. The latter requires only two-thirds of the oil capacity of the conventional load-sensing system, while the other third is generated via a PTO-driven hydraulic pump mounted on the spreader itself. Ease of use is achieved by a doubleacting spool valve allowing the hopper cover to be quickly rolled back or forth from the tractor cab; and integral leaf springs within the canvas ensure the cover stretches tightly over the hopper to make a weatherproof seal. Safety is by means of a loaddependent electronic braking system permitting safe road transport at up to 60km/h, using the weighing system to constantly measure the amount of fertiliser inside the hopper and automatically adjusting the braking force.



GENERATION 3000 SERIES • Sowing rates from 1kg-350kg/ha • Low HP requirement • Available as tine drill or disc drill • Disc opener standard on tine version






ned and b uilt

MARK 4 RANGE • 2.5-3.5m sowing width • Seed & Fertiliser option avail • New E-Drive option available • 5 inch spacing • Disc opener standard



w zeala



Axial Flow reveals new machines for 2019 MARK DANIEL

WHILE EUROPEAN grain farmers harvest the wheat, header manufacturers are holding their annual show-andtell events for their sales teams to see the product offerings for next season. Among the first is Case IH, unwrapping the new Axial Flow 250 series that takes over from the outgoing 240 range. In its three models (7250, 8250 and 9250) many key changes centre on automation overseen by the AFS Harvest Command system; and there are mechanical upgrades to deal with high crop flows resulting from the automation. Up front, higher lift capacities up to 6.1 tonnes can deal with cutter bars up to 13.5m working width utilising its own hydraulic circuit; and an optional adapter plate can achieve about 12 degrees of fore and aft tilt to deal with very low growing or very high crops. Cast feeder slats resist foreign object damage, and the drive line is designed to transmit up to 150hp.

Cast feeder slats resist foreign object damage, and the drive line is designed to transmit up to 150hp. AFS Harvest Command uses new technology to offer control of up to seven different settings and is offered with three different levels of control. The basic spec unit can change basic settings such as concave settings and crop settings, while the next stage takes things a little further. FeedRate Control adjusts ground speed automatically to increase outputs, taking its signal from crop loading, based on predetermined maximum engine loads and forward speed. The highest specification takes care of the threshing and cleaning elements, working with FeedRate Control to monitor grain quality via camera-based technology. Within the technology the machine


Case IH has taken the wraps off the new Axial Flow 250 Series, which takes over from the outgoing 240 range in 2019.

can be configured to operate under four settings: performance mode, fixed throughput, maximum throughput and grain quality. A new hydrostatic transmission for 2019 offers field or road modes: 18km/h



+GST delivered

Proven beyo nd do ubt!

“I have no doubt that if I did not have a Quadbar fitted, my accident would have been fatal!” – Rozel Farms


“The Quadbar saved our employee from significant injuries.” – Colin van der Geest

For a Quadbar, call me, Stuart Davidson, owner of Quadbar NZ, on 021-182 8115. Email or for more info go to

600 500 400 300 200 100 0


in the field and 40km/h on the road – with reduced engine revs. At the rear end, a new chopper unit has 120 blades and vane adjustment from the cab, with movement to and from swath-laying controlled by a push


incl GST

button reached from ground level. Ease of use is achieved by hydraulic control of the discharge spout to control crop flow into trailers, and a range of spout lengths can cater for all header widths and CTF operations.

TOP DOG BOX Accommodates up to 4 dogs 6 individual air vents Removable centre board 2 lockable galvanised gates In-house drainage Tie down lugs on each side Fits all wellside & flatdeck utes (2 models) ❱❱ Raised floor for insulation ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱ ❱❱


incl GST


5.85 per hectare delivered


plus GST

Ph Brian Mace 027-438 9822


NZ’s finest BioGro certified Mg fertiliser For a delivered price call... 0800 436 566

VETMARKER Docking Chute




(362 537)

Phone 0800 625 826


We were the to wrap silage!!!

is available through your local distributor or contact Integrated Packaging LTD on 0800 745 297 to find your local rep

‘Outstanding in the field’

Ryegrass Mixes Delivered nationwide including GST and freight Candy Seed Mix .................................. 1 bag $275 per hectare Cutter/Striker Annual Mix .................. 1 bag $144 per hectare CRIDGE SEEDS LTD


• Seed delivered nationwide 5-6 days from ordering • Under 100kg extra freight cost $50 • 80% of our seed delivered to North Island annually • High priority customer service

Ph 0800 4 seeds

Stu 027-432 3834

Nick 022-083 3579



Flexiskin Max - we reckon it’s pretty good! In fact we haven’t had a single complaint about it in the 3 years weve been selling it. That’s why we supply one of the country’s largest horticultural operations (over 600 staff). It’s great in the dairy shed too. A similar quality jacket will cost you around *$230 in your rural supply store. So why not save yourself $174? That’s a lot of beer money, especially if you have staff. Also our garments are extremely comfortable! PHONE 9am-5pm

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100% Waterproof Fleece Collar




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Flexible Acid Resistant Durable Seams


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valued at $110

Plain Toe Sold Out of size: 6

Plain Toe Sold Out of size: 6

Steel Toe

Steel Toe Sold Out of size 9


earthwalk, r d 2, palmerston north please add $12 freight per order



rainwear Xs-xxxl boots 6-9

Rubber Safety Matting • ATV Carrier Mats • Exit/Entry Areas • Calf Trailers • Horse Floats & Trucks • Weigh Platforms • Bale Mats • Comfort Mats for Wet & Dry Areas • Utility Deck Matting



Phone: 0800 80 8570


Free Range & Barn Eggs SUPPLIERS OF:

• Nest boxes - manual or automated • Feed & Drinking • Plastic egg trays

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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.

• Lightweight, easy to install • Made from polyethylene

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Rural News 4 September 2018  

Rural News 4 September 2018

Rural News 4 September 2018  

Rural News 4 September 2018