NZ AGRICULTURE SHOW
Same show but with a different name. PAGE 42-44
Mowers get silage contractors off on right foot. PAGE 49
Millennials are the future of agri PAGE 12
TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS NOVEMBER 6, 2018: ISSUE 664
Another election on the cards? SUDESH KISSUN email@example.com
IT’S POSSIBLE that Fonterra’s board election could deliver a hung result this week – with voting closing at 10.30 am on Tuesday November 6. The co-op’s revised director election process, implemented last year, requires farmers to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ against each candidate. This year, five candidates – Peter McBride, Jamie Tuuta, Ashley Waugh, Leonie Guiney and John Nicholls – are vying for three board seats. If three candidates fail to achieve the 50% ‘yes’ vote threshold, another director election could be on the cards. Online voting requires farmers to cast a vote against each candidate; a maximum of three yes votes. Online voting won’t register unless farmers have used one, two or three of their yes votes, and all remaining no votes. To win, a candidate must get more than 50% of those voting for him or her, so ‘no’ votes are as essential as well as ‘yes’ votes. Because there are five candidates for three places, it is possible none, one, two or three could get elected. Fonterra Shareholders Council chairman Duncan Coull told Rural News he wouldn’t speculate on the results as voting was on. Coull says the director election pro-
cess was approved by farmer shareholders three years ago. “If we fail to elect three directors, then the council will run another election.” Last year, when Fonterra used the new director voting system for the first time, but there were only three candidates for three vacant director seats. All three candidates – chairman John Monaghan, Brent Goldsack and Andy Macfarlane – got over the 50% threshold. This year, the independent selec-
tion panel recommended three candidates- sitting director Waugh, McBride and Tuuta. Nicholls and former director
M.BOVIS BILL PUNCH-UP PAM TIPA firstname.lastname@example.org
Guiney self-nominated for the election. A Fonterra farmer told Rural News it seems the council never expected TO PAGE 3
Winners are grinners MEGAN ROBERTSON, from a dairy farm at Hari Hari, Westland, jointly won the Rural News Group-sponsored media prize at the annual Massey University agricultural awards. The other winner was Lachie Davidson, now studying in the US. The award is for the best video or photograph that represents life as a Massey agri student. Robertson entered a photograph taken on the family farm. She is now finishing the second year of an agri commerce degree majoring in international business, and says experiencing life on her parents’ dairy farm influenced her to study at Massey University. – More on the awards page 13
DAIRYNZ ARE ‘working through’ the cost-sharing process for the industry share of eradicating Mycoplasma bovis, says BLNZ general manager policy and advocacy Dave Harrison. “To come up with a fair approach we have been making use of an independent panel,” he told Rural News in a joint statement from both industry-good bodies. “We have had initial advice and are providing feedback. Once the process has finalised, a recommendation will go to our respective boards and be shared with farmers. “Given this is a sensitive and important process, we can’t comment on the specifics until it has been agreed and approved by our respective boards.” The cost of the eradication programme is reckoned at $886 million over 10 years. The Government will pay 68% of that and the two levying bodies, DairyNZ and BLNZ, will pay 32% (about $278m). But just exactly how it will be split between them remains under discussion. Earlier this year dairy industry sources said an 80/20 split between dairy farmers and beef farmers would be fair. However, beef farmers were pushing for a 90/10 split, pointing out that dairy farms are at the centre of the outbreak.
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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
NEWS 3 ISSUE 664 www.ruralnews.co.nz
Make it more exciting! PETER BURKE email@example.com
NEWS������������������������������������� 1-27 MARKETS������������������������� 28-29 AGRIBUSINESS��������������� 30-31 HOUND, EDNA���������������������� 32 CONTACTS����������������������������� 32 OPINION����������������������������32-35 MANAGEMENT�������������� 36-38 ANIMAL HEALTH������������ 39-41 MACHINERY AND PRODUCTS���������������������� 44-49 RURAL TRADER��������������50-51
HEAD OFFICE Top Floor, 29 Northcroft Street, Takapuna, Auckland 0622 Phone: 09-307 0399 Fax: 09-307 0122 POSTAL ADDRESS PO Box 331100, Takapuna, Auckland 0740 Published by: Rural News Group Printed by: PMP Print CONTACTS Editorial: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising material: email@example.com Rural News online: www.ruralnews.co.nz Subscriptions: firstname.lastname@example.org ABC audited circulation 80,580 as at 31.03.2018
PAMU FARMS’ acting chairman is urging greater use of technology to reduce the drudgery of some farm tasks. Chris Day was speaking at Parliament last week at Pamu’s annual showcasing of some of its new, innovative food products including some made from sheep and deer milk. About 200 people attended the event. He told Rural News that minimising some drudge tasks would provide more opportunities for ambitious young people to go into farming and make a positive contribution. Day says he has three millennials of his own, two of whom are working and he enjoys their insights into the workplace. “Millennials and other young people are looking for more team based opportunities. They want to contribute to a team, they want to feel valued. But they are also still looking for leadership, support and opportunities where they can get clarity from the leaders of the business they are a part of,” he says. “They want to know what that business is about, what the ambition is and how the company is led. They are looking for that leadership and also an environment that is more supportive and team-based than older people may have had in their work experiences.” Day says millennials are not as different from past generations as many people make out. He hesitates to put labels on generations because it creates separateness, and says there are really just nuances between the generations. He’s spent quite a bit of time thinking about productivity in NZ and seeing that through the lens of wealth creation. Talking to people from the Productivity Commission he gets the message that there is insufficient
investment in NZ in the area of technology. He believes this and lack of strong leadership in many NZ organisations is holding the country back. “If it was up to me I would be encouraging farmers to spend more time with their people and seeing how they can support them in their business while at the same time looking for opportunities to invest in technology or other capital goods.” Day says this does not apply to all farmers and he’s aware that many place a high value on leadership and challenge themselves to learn from others through discussion groups and other industry groups. “There is an opportunity for a greater connection to be made by people and the staff of their businesses. There is a saying that culture trumps strategy every time,” he says. Day’s view is that if the culture of a business is right, the strategy is easier to deliver.
Pamu acting chair Chris Day believes use of technology is a way of making farm careers more exciting.
NO RESULT A POSSIBILITY FROM PAGE 1
anyone to stand outside the panel process or thought through the implications. “Farmers have already worked it out and are voting strategically.” Another board election, apart from the financial cost – which is estimated to be north of $1million, will also restrict some candidates from re-running. Under the rules, the three candidates who came through the independent selection panel process are ineligible to stand again for 12-months. There is no such restriction for self-nominated candidates.
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The farmer told Rural News there is also confusion around the Fonterra director election protocol. “That’s incredible for an election; throwing up all sorts of interesting combinations and permutations.” Fonterra has 11 directors; seven farmer-elected and four independent directors appointed by the board. Meanwhile, Fonterra board aspirant Peter McBride is stepping down as Zespri chairman in February next year. He will retire from Zespri board at the annual meeting in July 2019. McBride has been touted as a possible future chairman of Fonterra.
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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
Farmers ‘left in dark’ by Fonterra SUDESH KISSUN email@example.com
FONTERRA’S SHAREHOLDERS council has delivered a scathing report on the co-op’s performance last year. Council chairman Duncan Coull, in the role for four years, says this is “the most difficult” annual letter to shareholders. “The last 12 months have been bruising for us all, with financial results that fall well short of my expectations, yours and those that your board and management set themselves,” Coull wrote in the annual report sent to farmers last week. “This is not good enough and fundamental change is required in thinking and practice to reverse the performance of the business.” Fonterra recorded a net loss of $196 million for financial year 2018; also impacting the reult were a $232m compensation payment to French company Danone and a $439m write-
down of the co-op’s Beingmate investment in China. The council’s report to shareholders suggests that Fonterra’s board wasn’t transparent with shareholders on the Beingmate saga. After the impairment in the first half of FY18, the council asked more questions and sought reports from the board. “Council has challenged the board as to whether it was as forthcoming and transparent as it could have been with council. “The blame for Beingmate’s poor performance was repeatedly placed on market factors and regulatory changes when there were other significant issues known to management and the board.” The council says “improved processes” have been put in place for investment due diligence and monitoring. The council also noted that Fonterra’s poor performance last year was not only due to the Beingmate write-
down and Danone compensation but “underperformance right across the business”. It says the impact on earnings, dividend and share value is totally unacceptable and one that “our farming families will not want to see repeated”. “The council has loudly and clearly voiced its strong dissatisfaction to the board and management. “It is not unreasonable to expect some challenges, however it is clear that during the FY18 underperformance was right across the business.” Fonterra’s poor performance means the co-op will not be investing in any new project this year. But it has signalled a capital expenditure (capex) forecast of $650m this year. The council says this represents the lowest level of capex since 2011. “Management has indicated that FY19’s forecast capex will allow for maintenance expenditures and completion of ongoing projects but not for any new project.”
Shareholders Council chair Duncan Coull.
Insecticides to go under the microscope THE ENVIRONMENTAL Protection Authority is to investigate products containing synthetic
pyrethroids as part of its revamped reassessments announced in mid-October.
Synthetic pyrethroids are insecticides found in some animal flea collars and animal health treat-
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ments, such as flystrike and lice control. The EPA has called for information as it seeks more detail, from New Zealand households and commercial users, on how and where products containing these substances are being used. “Synthetic pyrethroids are hazardous substances. They should be used with care and product label instructions strictly followed,” says EPA’s general manager hazardous substances group, Dr Fiona Thomson-Carter.
“New information from international regulators in the US, Canada and the EU has identified certain risks to people and animals from the use of products containing synthetic pyrethroids. These warrant further investigation.” She says these concerns are about risks to children from accidental exposure to flea collars and treated carpets, and about people reporting a burning or prickling sensation, known as paraesthesia, after coming into
contact with synthetic pyrethroids. “It is important to clarify that synthetic pyrethroids, and products that contain them, are not banned. The call for information signals the EPA’s first step in exploring whether a reassessment is necessary. “The public, industry and manufacturers of the chemicals can support our call for information by completing a response form on our website which will help us build a more detailed picture
about their use in NZ. “We have also issued a caution notice which provides concerned members of the public with up-todate guidance about the safe use of products that contain synthetic pyrethroids,” Thomson-Carter said. “The call for information will close on February 1, 2019. Once this is completed, the EPA will use this information to determine the next steps.” @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews
RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
More sheep milk needed SUDESH KISSUN email@example.com
MAUI MILK chairman Paul McGilvary says the company needs more sheep milk to meet market demand and achieve processing efficiency. â€œWe need bigger batches to give us processing efficiency and more product to make a splash in the market,â€? he says. â€œWeâ€™re prepared to send a tanker up to two hours from Hamilton so thereâ€™s plenty of scope for growth.â€? The company processes its milk at Innovation Waikato and the resulting sheep milk powder is packed in sachets and sold in China. Maui Milk general manager Peter Gatley says more sheep milk will help the company broaden its
Former National Government ministers David Carter and Nathan Guy attended when Richie McCaw declared stage two of the Central Plains Water Scheme open. SUPPLIED
CPW gets â€˜royalâ€™ opening CANTERBURYâ€™S BIG Central Plains Water scheme is now fully operational, following the formal opening of stage two by former All Black captain Richie McCaw. About 300 people gathered for the ceremony at the Darfield Recreation Centre on October 30. Central Plains Water Ltd managing director Derek Crombie says the scheme was progressively turned on between October 10 and October 15, with no major teething problems. â€œThereâ€™s always little things like fine-tuning pumps and working through all the farm connections to make sure all the interface works between the off-farm infrastructure and the on-farm. Basically it worked the way it should have.â€? This means the scheme as a whole is now irrigating about 47,000ha of the Canterbury Plains between the Waimakariri and Rakaia Rivers. Stage 1, in operation since 2015, takes water from an intake on the Rakaia River and services 23,000ha through underground pipes fed by a 17km open canal terminating near Hororata. Stage 2, all underground with 2.5m and 2m diameter glass-reinforced plastic pipes for the main trunks, takes water from the end of the canal to service another 20,000ha in the northeast half of the coverage area. The physically separate Sheffield scheme, already running for a year, takes water from the Waimakariri to service 4100ha in the northwest corner, from a 2 million cubic metre storage pond near Sheffield. Crombie says thereâ€™d been a surprising amount of interest in buying into the scheme from farmers who had not originally signed up. â€œWhen we started construction we had sold 15,500 shares out of a total of 20,000 available. Since then weâ€™ve sold another 1500 so weâ€™re up to 17,000 active shares. Thatâ€™s new interest thatâ€™s come in. Former National Government ministers David Carter and Nathan Guy, both staunch irrigation proponents, also attended the opening. â€“ Nigel Malthus
health than product range cow or goat and embark milk, the comon producing pany says. It value-added is said to be products. easily digested Its 25g and to contain sachets of more medium/ sheep milk short-chain powder are saturated fatty marketed acids which in specially could help designed increase lacboxes for tose absorpexport. tion. The comIt is said pany exports Maui Milk general manager Peter Gatley. to have higher sheep milk powder to the Chinese market levels of vitamins A, D, E and C where it sells as a premium prod- than either cow or goat milk and uct liked by customers for its 50% more vitamin B12 than cow subtle flavours and creamy tex- milk. Gatley told Rural News that ture. Sheep milk is better for human Maui Milk measures total solids
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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
Dunne and dusted! PETER BURKE email@example.com
MARTYN DUNNE retired last week as the director-general of the Ministry for Primary Industries after five years in the role and 50 years in the public service. Dunne spent 33 years in the army, rising to the rank of major-general, then becoming Comptroller of Customs, High Commissioner to Australia and then to his last role at MPI. In this latter role, he dealt with many big crisises including the Fonterra botulism contamination scandal, the fruit fly incursion and most recently Mycoplasma bovis. He told Rural News that during his time as the head of MPI the world and his organisation have undergone tremendous change. The term ‘social licence’ has come into play and Dunne says this has affected regulators such as MPI, and producers. “The expectations are that you can’t do what you used to without taking into account the environment, animal welfare, the progeny and the
products that you produce,” he explains. “No one will buy our stuff unless we maintain our reputation. All credit to industry -they often get a bad rap -- but from an MPI perspective we have seen industry move lightyears. Some sectors are a bit slower than others and they will catch up because people won’t buy our goods unless they know all about it.” Dunne points to a survey of middle class people in Shanghai that showed 70% of them would buy NZ products in preference to others because of our good reputation. He says if NZ wants to continue to sell in highvalue markets it must continue to meet customers’ needs. Dunne says a classic situation Outgoing MPI director general where MPI had a significant role Martyn Dunne. was in regard to infant formula exports to China. “We had 176 brands going in there giving customers assurance and to and the Chinese only wanted six, so that end the organisation has staff in 13 NZ embassies worldwide to we had to regulate that.” MPI, he says, has a major role in quickly deal with potential problems
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and smooth the way for new proposals. To meet the challenges, Dunne has made some minor changes in his department, among them removing any ‘silo’ mentality and getting people to work together. “Silos in an organisation eat it up because people are separated out and become isolated,” he says. Engagement with stakeholders has been one of Dunne’s successes. When he spoke to Rural News just after he was appointed to MPI he stressed the need for his organisation to understand industry and for them to understand MPI. “I realised very quickly I couldn’t get around them all so we invited key ones in to meet our senior leadership team to tell us about their strategy and let them have their say. We also continued that with our presence at events such as Fieldays,” he says.
ALWAYS SEEKING MORE ADVICE MUCH HAS been said about recent changes to MPI since the new government came into office. Dunne says he is happy with the ‘portfolio’ reorganisation, which he says works. He believes if organisations are split off into small departments it has all sorts of downsides including limiting career opportunities for staff. When he came to the role at MPI, Dunne says many media commentators kept referring to his military background and that he would be a controlling leader. However, he says that was untrue because a good military leader is a person who takes stock of a situation, seeks advice, constantly assesses a situation and only then makes a decision. “This is exactly how we have acted with the M.bovis crisis,” he says. He agrees that MPI may not get it right the first time every time, but he says he personally strives to put things right. Dunne says the primary sector will have to adapt to change, with industry keeping pace with MPI and vice versa, and both will need the staff to deal with change. He would like to see changes in education and the creation of centres of excellence to better meet the needs of the primary sector.
RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
New hope for high and dry irrigators NIGEL MALTHUS
FARMERS IN the Hawarden basin in North Canterbury could still get an irrigation scheme by 2021 despite the failure of the Hurunui Water Project to attract enough interest to proceed. HWP has accepted an offer from the neigh-
bouring Amuri Irrigation Company to buy HWP’s water consents. The decision means the end of HWP, but Amuri believes it can succeed where HWP has faltered. Amuri chief executive Andrew Barton says it is now looking at irrigating in what would have been the HWP area.
“We’ve done some preliminary work looking into that, which has been encouraging enough for us to make an offer to the Hurunui Water Project. We’ve signalled an intention to try to deliver a smaller irrigation scheme south of the Hurunui river,” Barton told Rural News.
Amuri irrigates 28,000ha in three sections, all north of the Hurunui, using water from the Hurunui and Waiau Rivers. “We recently did a significant upgrade to our infrastructure and piped most of the scheme, and that now gives us opportunity to move our water
LONG, COMPLICATED STORY THE HURUNUI Water Project has a long history that began with a controversial and ambitious plan for largescale irrigation based on a dam on the Hurunui. It was progressively revised over the years to a proposal to irrigate up to 21,000ha from a storage pond fed only by high-flow water from the river. However, in April the Government withdrew any possibility of loan funding from Crown Irrigation Investments Limited, which HWP chief executive Chris Pile described at the
time as a “kick in the teeth”. HWP then made further revisions and two separate attempts to attract farmer interest in buying water rights shares. Both failed to reach the necessary thresholds, leading to the shareholders’ unanimous decision last month to sell HWP’s water consents to Amuri. However, Chris Pile says the outcome is “absolutely not” a disappointment. “Quite the opposite. This is the most positive opportunity and outcome for the south side of the
Hurunui River shareholders.” The parties are now working through the sale and purchase agreement, he said. “If we can conclude this, it will be the best opportunity that our shareholders have for obtaining water.” Pile said the work HWP had put in was not wasted. “We wouldn’t have got to this stage without doing what we’ve done. This is another step in our journey to get water to our shareholders.”
around. We have consents to take water from the Waiau that we’re not fully utilising.” Supplying its Hurunui-fed Balmoral scheme with unused Waiau water at times would allow more Hurunui water to go south of the river, he said. The recent upgrade had also allowed Amuri to push back by about five years a need to build new storage capacity, whereas HWP would have had to start by building storage. “Building large-scale storage on day one and covering those costs, particularly if you don’t get full uptake, is challenging,” Barton says. “A smaller scheme focussed on the core area between the Hurunui River and Hawarden gives us the greatest chance of
Amuri Irrigation chief executive Andrew Barton.
success. “We think it’s better to establish an irrigation area and ideally we’ll include some overbuild to allow for a future expansion. We’re talking about a staged approach.” Barton said Amuri Irrigation will need to build storage in the next five or so years. “We see a stage one project happening first with probably a modest amount of storage on the
south side of the river, then a potential second stage which might be able to go as far as Scargill and potentially as far as Omihi. “That would happen when we built the storage in five years.” Barton hopes the deal to buy the HWP consents can be finalised by the end of the year. The company would then reengage with the farmers in the area, to assess their appetite for irrigation at the lower price which Amuri believes it could achieve. He says an Amuri scheme south of the Hurunui could be operating by October 2021 – the same as HWP had in mind. “That requires things to go reasonably smoothly, but it’s worth us trying to target that date,” he said.
29/10/18 4:13 PM
RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
NAIT changes out for comment FARMERS ARE being urged to have their say on the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) review consultation now underway. Its proposals address recommendations raised
in the NAIT review published earlier this year. DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle says it’s vital that dairy farmers take a close interest in what is being proposed, given the importance of
biosecurity to the sector and to New Zealand. “Mycoplasma bovis has highlighted the importance of an effective traceability scheme and every farmer should take the opportunity to
express their view. “We encourage farmers to look at the proposed changes on MPI’s website and provide their feedback.”
Beef + Lamb New Zealand (BLNZ) is also encouraging farmers to have their say. Chief
executive Sam McIvor says while BLNZ supports many of the proposals being consulted on, any changes must be practical for farmers to implement. He says an example of this is MPI’s interest in whether other species – for instance sheep – should be included in the scheme, on which BLNZ is urging caution. McIvor says BLNZ will develop advice on the proposals to assist farmers in writing their own submissions. It will also survey farmers to help inform BLNZ’s own submission on the NAIT consultation. Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says the NAIT scheme should have worked better during the Mycoplasma bovis response. “I’m determined to help transform it into an easy-to-use, world-class traceability system to keep our primary sectors and economy safe,” says O’Connor. Earlier this year, a NAIT review found a variety of flaws in the system and that at least 50% of users were not recording farm-to-farm movements. O’Connor says he instructed OSPRI to get on with making operational changes and fixed the NAIT Act 2012 under urgency to bring its search and inspection
powers in line with other acts to ensure compliance officers can do their jobs. “Now we need to hear from those who use NAIT every day to tell us what changes to the law will make the system both a useful business tool and an effective biosecurity tool. “At the heart of these proposals is a shared desire by the Government, farming industries and all New Zealanders to improve NAIT to keep our primary sectors safe and ensure people blatantly disregarding the rules and putting the rest of the sector at risk are penalised.” Acting OSPRI chief executive Pim Borren says the organisation has been helping MPI to develop the regulations and encourage all programme users to have their say. “Alongside the consultation, OSPRI is making progress to address key operational recommendations identified in the NAIT review,” says Borren. This will be simultaneous with the development of the NAIT Act regulations. Any required consultation on standards will be done in sequence after MPI’s consultation on the regulations. Public consultation on the proposals ends on December 19.
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1. PICA (person in charge of an animal) would now cover corporates as well as individuals. For example, this will cover everyone in charge of animals and now matches the requirements in other legislation, such as the Animal Welfare Act 1999. 2. NAIT tags would be assigned to a specific location; they would not be able to be used elsewhere. A NAIT tag is a lifetime tag applied to an animal at its birthplace (animals do not need to be retagged each time they move location). 3. Anyone transporting untagged animals without an exemption could be fined. 4. Animals that are ‘unsafe to tag’ (previously labelled ‘impractical to tag’) must be declared at any time before sending to the meat works. 5. Farmers must segregate untagged animals before tagging/returning them (unless at the meat works). 6. Farmers must declare any non-NAIT species annually.
RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
New dawn for primary exporters NEW YEAR will bring new hope for New Zealand primary exports. After years of negotiations, false starts, street protests, the US withdrawing and even a new name, NZ primary product exporters are set to benefit soon from a controversial, multi-country free trade deal for the years ahead. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker last week announced that the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal (CPTPP) will enter into force on December 30 for NZ, Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, and Singapore now that six nations have ratified the trade pact. “It’s been a long and sometimes bumpy road to achieving a Pacific Rim trade deal, but New Zealand producers and our economy will soon reap the benefits,” Federated Farmers president Katie Milne says. “The required six nations have now ratified the 11-nation CPTPP and the countdown has started towards the first round of tariff cuts early next year. “Federated Farmers has said from the outset that a Pacific Rim agreement would be a major boost to our
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the CPTPP.
ability to trade and New Zealand’s future prosperity, as well as a useful antidote to the economic protectionism brewing in some other parts of the world.” Milne says the deal is particularly
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She says the CPTPP is NZ’s first free trade deal with Japan – the third largest economy in the world – and immediately removes the tariff advantage that Australia’s beef producers have benefited from at NZ red meat farmers’ expense. “Federated Farmers congratulates the New Zealand negotiators who have doggedly pursued this deal,” Milne said. Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says NZ kiwifruit, beef and wine producers will benefit most from the CPTPP, along with smaller agribusinesses mussel farmers and cherry growers. “The CPTPP will, for the first time, provide us with preferential access to the world’s third-largest economy, Japan, and fellow G20 members Canada and Mexico,” O’Connor said. “It places our primary sectors on equal footing with exporters in other countries with lower tariffs in these markets.” O’Connor says NZ kiwifruit growers will be $26 million better off as tariffs disappear on produce to their biggest market, Japan, and this will level the playing field with Chile which
has duty free access to the Japanese market. “The CPTPP will also immediately remove Australian beef exporters’ current tariff advantage over New Zealand in the Japanese market. This has been costing our red meat sector millions in potential revenue,” he added. O’Connor says NZ wine producers will gain immediate duty-free access to Canada, our fourth-largest wine market. Meanwhile, the removal of the buttercup squash tariff into Japan is expected to save a total of $1.5m a year, with an extra $19,500 a year in tariff savings for each of the 90 commercial growers of onions exported to Japan. NZ special agricultural trade envoy Mike Petersen has also welcomed the deal getting over the line. “There are four new trade agreements for NZ in CPTPP in the fastest-growing region on earth,” he commented. “It’s a fight-back against protectionist sentiment and a great day for NZ. Well done to all involved over many years.” @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews
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Tourism and agri not in harmony PETER BURKE firstname.lastname@example.org
A REPORT by the ANZ bank says New Zealand is failing to take full advantage of promoting our quality food to tourists to this country. The just-released report is intended to raise the profile of NZ’s food tourism opportunities. It says although a number of individuals are combining food tourism with an
‘agricultural experience’, much more can be done. For example, it says that although many Chinese tourists visit NZ farms, these visits do not translate into high spending on food and beverages during their stay. Yet China is among NZ’s biggest markets and a survey of Chinese tourists shows they want ‘eclectic and authentic’ experiences, hence there is great opportunity to link
food tourism to their farm visits. The report also shows that internationally NZ is well down the pecking order in attracting tourists on the strength of its food and beverage offerings. Italy, France and Spain top of the list, while NZ languishes near the bottom. In recent years, talk about defining a ‘NZ cuisine’ has not translated into much progress.
Statistics in the report show that NZ rates highly in the ‘neutral’ category of food and beverage tourism, which simply suggests that the messages on tourism and agriculture/food must go hand-in-hand. The report states that by making food and beverage an integral part of tourism, the goal would be to increase the amount of money tourists spend here. The report also notes a big opportunity for Maori to be involved in this, given that most tourists seek a ‘Maori cultural experience’. And it says there are opportunities in the regions to expand food and beverage tourism and an agri experience. From a farmer’s perspective, and the economy in general, a
big gain can be made if tourists leave NZ having enjoyed a good food and beverage experience. ANZ’s John Bennett says the bank’s research reveals that at least 60% of international travellers will, when they return home, seek out products from the country they have visited. But NZ’s food and beverage experience ranks secondlowest in the world for tourists and this needs to change. Bennett hopes the report will help challenge business practices and stimulate thought on more collaboration between the primary and tourism sectors. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews NZ needs to take advantage of promoting our food to tourists such as Pamu’s deer milk ice cream
FOOD TOURISM FOCUS A LECTURER in management at Massey University, Dr Kate Bone, says the idea of food tourism should be further explored. Bone, whose subjects include tourism, says New Zealand needs to build on its clean, green image and emphasise sustainability and ethical food production. She says the report notes that 52% of the visitors who identified as ‘foodie’ tourists were of the Gen X/millennials age group and were more likely to take food and wine back to their home country.
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“We know that Gen X and millennials are more likely to make conscious, ethical consumption choices by considering animal rights, environmental, sustainability and animal welfare practices. As these generations age they will continue to be key consumers within the tourism sector, so if NZ goes down this route it is future-proofing the sector which is excellent,” she says. Bone says NZ has to set itself apart from other countries and develop authentic and sustain-
able foods that can’t be matched by others. But she says NZ should be careful about the foods it offers and not compromise its standards to pander to all the desires of its tourists. “NZ is a beautiful country with vast landscapes and we have opportunities for free range farming practices and the production of organic wine and cheese. So wouldn’t it be great if we were known for those things,” she says. – Peter Burke @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews
RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
Farmlands produces improved result RURAL SERVICES company Farmlands Cooperative last week announced an improved annual result. Chairman Lachie Johnstone described it as “another positive result for its shareholders”, with revenues reaching $2.39 billion -- 10.71% higher than in 2017. Farmlands also made a profit of $12.2m, at least double the $5.4m it posted in the previous financial year. Chief executive Peter Reidie says he’s delighted at another year of growth and profitability. “Our staff have worked hard this year to deliver $91m of rebates throughout our store network, the Farmlands Card and our Fuel Card. This adds to a bonus rebate of $6.1m to be distributed to shareholders as 50% cash and 50% bonus shares.” Reidie says Farmlands won several awards during the year, which showed the co-op is heading in the right direction. “We have been investing in our people to better serve our shareholders. Winning the KPMG Customer Excellence Experience
Award, in particular, was a great boost for our staff as this was our shareholders telling us we were doing a great job servicing them. “To come out as the number-one brand in New Zealand for the global KPMG Award against Air New Zealand, Kiwibank, New World and ASB is tangible proof that the co-op is moving from good to great in line with our strategy.” Johnstone said Farmlands has 3% more shareholders, which he described as a key indicator of its relevance to its customer base. “We have witnessed a healthy turnout of candidates for the three board seats open to election this year by rotation. We have 11 shareholders running for three seats – two in the South Island and one in the North Island.” Farmlands will farewell three longstanding directors at this year’s annual meeting on Friday November 23 in Hokitika. Joe Ferraby from Seddon, David Jensen from Tauranga and independent director Peter Wilson are standing down. Johnstone said Rob Hewett is seeking
ROWARTH WINS DAIRYNZ ROLE JACQUELINE ROWARTH has been elected the new farmer director at dairy industry-good organisation Dairy NZ. She beat six other contenders for the one place on the board. Rowarth, well-known in agriculture, was the first chief scientist at the Environmental Protection Authority. She has also been Professor of Pastoral Agriculture at Massey University and Professor of Agribusiness at Waikato University. Rowarth has 35 years experience as a soil scientist, with a research focus on managing the productive environment (nutrients and greenhouse gases). In 2011 she invested in a family-run dairy operation in Tirau. Wellington public relations expert and former councillor Jo Coughlan is the new board-appointed director. She has 20 years experience in public relations, government relations and communications roles and is currently managing director for Silvereye Communications.
re-election and the board is in the process of selecting a replacement independent director, to be announced soon.
Farmlands chair Lachie Johnstone and chief executive Peter Reidie.
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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
Millennials are the future of agri PETER BURKE email@example.com
STAND UP and be counted millennials: that was the message from the winner of Massey University’s Agricultural Alumni Award, Bridget Hawkins, founder and chief executive of the agritech com-
pany Regen. Hawkins was raised on a sheep and beef farm near Reporoa and in 1989 completed a masters degree in agricultural science at Massey. She told students and graduates at the annual Massey Agricultural Awards dinner that
while some people see the attitudes of millennials as negative, she takes quite the opposite view and reckons the primary sector needs their skills and new ways of thinking. Hawkins says the world is in a state of VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambig-
Massey University’s Agricultural Alumini Award winner Bridgit Hawkins.
uous) and young people will need their skills to operate successfully in this environment. “When you start work, be respectful; don’t walk in saying you know everything. “But don’t be afraid to speak up because you are born in a world where
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“There is a need for action in the primary sector and it is not at a stage where we can have incremental change. It needs much broader thinking and people in the sector have to be ready to experiment and drive stuff. It’s an exciting time to enter the primary sector.”
thinking and people in the sector have to be ready to experiment and drive stuff. It’s an exciting time to enter the primary sector.” Hawkins says the sector needs the perspective of youth and young people should not be afraid to step up and help shape the future.
technology is your normal – unlike me. “You interact differently with it because it has always been part of your life and this is the way things need to be done now. “There is a need for action in the primary sector and it is not at a stage where we can have incremental change. It needs much broader
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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
Sam’s no piker, he’s a top student PETER BURKE email@example.com
SAM PIKE, of Bulls, Manawatu, won the Massey Agricultural Student of the Year prize. Pike, from a sheep and beef farm, has just completed a master of science degree. He plans to get business experience before possibly going back to the family farm. “Before deciding on agriculture I looked at lots of things like media studies and graphic design, but I love agriculture, I love the people in it, the diversity, the range of jobs -- so many opportunities,” he told Rural News. The other major winner was Bradford Smith who won the William Gerrish Memorial Award. Smith says he’s passionate about the dairy industry and already has his career in the sector mapped out. The award goes to a student who excels in farm man-
agement. At least 250 students, industry leaders and Massey staff attended the event, which has run for 25 years. Smith was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mangatangi, north Waikato, and attended Hauraki Plains College. From childhood he took a keen interest in farming and working with animals, going out on the farm with his dad and grandad at every opportunity. “This developed into me taking a keen interest in the numbers side of things and the breeding of cows. I particularly enjoy choosing which bulls went to which cows to improve their gene pool and overall productivity. “So it made sense to attend Massey University and study for a bachelor of agri commerce majoring in farm management to build on my underlying passion and practical background.”
WEST COASTER’S A WINNER MEGAN ROBERTSON, from a dairy farm at Hari Hari, Westland, jointly won the Rural News Group-sponsored media prize at the annual Massey University agricultural awards. The other winner was Lachie Davidson, now studying in the US. The award is for the best video or photograph that represents life as a Massey ag student. Robertson entered a photograph taken on the family farm. Davidson produced an excellent video. Robertson, now Megan Robertson finishing the second year of an agri commerce degree majoring in international business, says experiencing life on her parents’ dairy farm influenced her to study at Massey University. “They talked about their finances and their experiences as farmers and that struck an interest in me and made me pursue my degree in agri commerce – the business side of farming,” she says. “With my major in international business, I am looking at international trade and sales; that makes me tick because it is such a big thing for NZ and there are so many opportunities.” Robertson says Hari Hari “is in the middle of nowhere”, but it has great people and a great community. In the summer break she’ll be working at Fonterra’s Longburn Farm Source Store, near Palmerston North.
Smith sees the dairy industry as important to the NZ economy for the future. How it deals with such problems as Mycoplasma bovis will shape it, he says, in remaining efficient and economically
viable. “I have a job working as a milk quality advisor in the food safety team at Fonterra starting in December, with the hope of eventually owning my own farm.”
Sam Pike – Massey’s Agricultural student of the year
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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
Where to for the UK? PETER BURKE email@example.com
“ON A knife-edge,” is how NZ’s former high commissioner to London, Sir Lockwood Smith, describes the British government’s EU exit plans. Smith, now a member of a UK free-market think tank, has concerns about the Brexit negotiations for Britain’s future. The problem is that if it were to get into a tie-up with the EU and its rules, that would prevent Britain from being able to negotiate other free trade agreements, which it would like to. Smith told Rural News that goods and agri-foods would suffer most. “For example, they won’t be able to negotiate a free trade agreement with the US while they are locked into EU rules. “Likewise, one of the four big trade agreements the UK would like to pursue joining is the CPTTP. However, to be a part of that agreement requires members to have control over their own regulatory arrangements which Britain wouldn’t have if
Sir Lockwood Smith.
it was linked in any way to the European Union.” He says joining the CPTTP would be important for the UK and there are many positives for Britain if it leaves the EU. “But if they end up in a halfway house situation they are better off in the EU,” he believes. Many Brexiteers are calling for Britain to develop its own smart, global strategy in the same way NZ has done, Smith says.
“NZ’s trade strategy is viewed by the rest of the world as very smart. The UK needs to do something similar, but it can’t until it severs its ties with the EU.” Smith agrees that the EU has played ‘hard-ball’ with the UK over its leave negotiations. However, he believes the UK hasn’t helped its own cause because Theresa May’s Conservative Party has been unable to agree on anything, least of all a sensible
strategy. He says in this regard, the UK has let the EU off the hook in the negotiations. Like most observers, Smith says the biggest stumbling block to the EU and UK sorting out a deal is the Irish border issue. He says a lot of effort has gone in over the years to overcome the problems of the ‘troubles’ and no one wants to see it go back to where it was. But forcing the UK to remain in the EU is not the only solution to the Irish border issue. “I love Ireland and how things have developed positively. I love the way they play rugby together, but I have seen the difficulties about the Irish border,” says Smith. “I have been near Belfast and... the troubles are still there. I just hope we can find a way of solving the Irish border problem in a way that works well for the future.” Smith points to the prescriptive way Brussels goes about its regulatory processes. He says its regulations are much more prescriptive than in the US and the CPTTP member countries.
CER A POSSIBLE SOLUTION? SIR LOCKWOOD Smith says one realistic and possible solution to the Irish border issue would be for the UK and Ireland to have a trade agreement similar to that between Australia and New Zealand. He says while there is no customs union between the NZ and Australia, there is a friction-free boarder based on mutual recognition of each other’s regulations and there is sensible give and take on both sides. Smith applauds an aspect of the NZ/ EU FTA negotiations now underway: the EU is keen to show that it can still do FTAs and he believes they are keen to do a deal, but admits there are problems with agriculture, e.g. quotas and geographic indicators. Smith believes Britain will be limited in what it can do if it remains in the EU – totally or in part. He says if Britain were to break away there is a chance that, with Australia and NZ, it could lead to the formation of another trading group such as the CPTTP. In this scenario Britain could play a huge global leadership role. “How [Britain] leaves the EU will determine their leadership role,” Smith says.
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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
Local takes the reins at Tatua Dairy SUDESH KISSUN firstname.lastname@example.org
GROWING UP in the dairy heartland, it was perhaps inevitable that Brendhan Greaney was going to end up in the industry. In December, Greaney completes his second year as the chief executive of Tatua Dairy, having joined Tatua as General Manager
Operations over eight years ago. Tatua this month released its annual results and once again the co-op topped the payout stakes, paying suppliers $8.10/ kgMS after retaining 52c/ kg for reinvestment In his first full year as chief executive Greaney is pleased with the results: record revenues of $357 million, $24m higher than
the previous year. He attributes Tatua’s continued success to a wonderful group of staff and farmers associated with the 104-year-old company as well as the hard work and good decisions of many who have gone before. “People involved with this business are committed like no other business I have been part
of,” he told Rural News. Greaney grew up in Waitoa, not far from the Tatua factory in Tatuanui. His father was the operations manager at Fonterra’s Waitoa site as part of a 42-year career with the NZ Dairy Group. Greaney recalls the school bus driving past Tatua on its way to St John’s College in Hamilton.
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LIKE A FAMILY TATUA’S FARMER shareholders and staff operate like a family, says chief executive Brendhan Greaney. The co-op has 108 shareholder farmers and 370 employees. Greaney says at a farmer meeting, one shareholder said to him, “I hope you have really looked after your people because they have really looked after us. “This catches the connectivity and inter-dependency we have on each other; farmers rely on us to take their milk every day. “They don’t worry knowing full well that we will do the best we can with their milk; and we rely on our farmers supplying us high quality milk every day as well. “Like every family, we have our challenges; we look after and look out for each other and take on challenges together.”
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NEWS 17 SIZE DOESN’T MATTER FOR TATUA, size doesn’t matter. The co-op is in no hurry to grow its milk pool; last year it produced 14.7 million kgMS, about 1.8% down from the previous year. Milk flow this season has been strong: July was down 1.7%, August 4.1% but September supply rose by 3.9%, October is also tracking very well and supply to date this season is up 2%. Tatua exports 95% of its products; about 50% of exports are bulk ingredients (caseinates, whey protein concentrate and anhydrous milk fat) and the remaining 50% are value added products like specialty nutritional ingredients and bionutrients. Greaney says fat prices continue to hold up; with milk fat price paid in the US and Europe still higher than NZ prices there’s scope for further increases. He says Tatua’s value added business is growing well and it doesn’t rely on the milk curve. It gets enough milk to turn into bulk ingredients. Tatua buys both dairy and non-dairy raw materials from NZ and overseas to batch them into specialised ingredients. The co-op enjoys a good relationship with other NZ dairy processors.
for SE Asia, Africa and Middle East business. Greaney says he was ready for a change after four years in the role and nearly 10 years offshore. And working in a company located four minutes drive from where he grew up “feels quite special”. “To still be in the industry my father was in is a privilege for me. I’m delighted to be part of iconic company like Tatua.” Greaney recalls there were three phones in their NZDG house they occupied when he was growing up: two private phones and a green one known as the factory phone. His father would use the factory phone to speak to the nightshift
“People involved with this business are committed like no other business I have been part of.”
Tatua Dairy chief executive Brendhan Gearney.
operator every morning to get an update on the overnight production. One morning he overheard his father using expletives to describe Tatua while discussing the payout. Greaney says when he got the chief executive’s role, the first thing he did was to drive home and tell his father the good news. His father’s reaction was,” Oh, Tatua has always been a good company.” Greaney lost his father last year and says giving him news of his appointment and seeing tears rolling down his cheeks “ticked a big box” for him. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews
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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
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AFTER THE decades Rex and Lynette Smith have spent building their successful charter fishing company, just north of Auckland, you would assume any trip they made to the tropics would be for a wellearned break. Instead the couple have launched on a difficult, frustrating, yet fulfilling ‘adventure’ in Fiji – setting up a beef cattle operation from scratch. Rex is still hands-on operating the Serious Fishing charter from Gulf Harbour, while projectmanaging the beef operation by phone. He admits at times it has almost driven him to despair. The venture has also involved up to four trips a year to Fiji for the couple -- often car-
rying more than 100kg of luggage – plus various other shipments. Although there are other beef farms in the island nation, less than two years ago they became the first foreign beef investors in Fiji and use entirely Fijian labour, who need training in farm skills. Rex might know a lot about fishing but farming is a new venture for him. The Smiths have been active in community aid work in Fiji for 10 years through the Auckland Christian Assembly church, working with water supply, buildings, small business opportunities and youth education plus much more. They wanted to help local Fijians into a cattle farming venture, but it became apparent after visits to the agriculture department they could
Lynette and Rex Smith with David (Tevita) Draunimasi who lost an arm in a tractor accident many years ago. He does all the tractor work on the farm. One of David’s sons, Sailasa, is farm manager.
not do this. “The only way forward was to create a company as a licensed foreign investor in Fiji. This proved to be a challenging and time consuming process, running between the Companies Office, Foreign Investment Fiji, lawyers, banks, Customs & Revenue, Health Department, local coun-
cil, Agriculture Department, occupational safety and health, police, immigration, etc, this list went on,” Rex told Rural News. “There were months of dealings with authorities before we could start.” Once sorted, they settled on a 42ha property in the Tuva, Kabisi/Dayala district for stage one.
Although road access is challenging, it has a good water supply with easy terrain. “Having been an old cane farm previously the grasses and trees had regrown out of control, no fences, power, gates, troughs, etc,” Rex said. “This was perfect for the team of eager Fijians wanting to make a name
for themselves breeding cattle.” The first project was fencing and stockyards as they had no way to control cattle. “Everything has had to be done by hand, digging all the yard poles, fence posts, carrying all the timbers, etc. A truly massive task in 30°C plus temperatures, with early morning starts and late finishes in the dark. We felt like pioneers starting with nothing and basic tools.” Lynette went canvassing local farms for breeding cows and bulls. “This proved an interesting experience; once word was out that a ‘vavalagi’ wanted to buy stock, everyone wanted to sell animals.” The opportunity arose to get a Limousin bull with cows and a few heifers.
“The beginnings of a farm were born. Since that intense start a lot of time has been spent on water reticulation, fencing and stock yards,” says Rex. With no electricity, water was a big challenge. “A Glockemann pump from Queensland was flown in. This piston diaphragm pump sits in the stream using water to push the diaphragm and piston. It has the ability to move water over long distances and big elevations, pumping water to a storage tank at the yard nearly 600m away and 60m higher. The water can then be gravity fed to other parts of the farm including into another valley where a windmill moves the water another 30m higher and another 400m further up a hill to another storage point to be gravity fed from again.
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NEWS 19 MANY CHALLENGES TO OVERCOME
Farm workers – all locals – herd cattle into yards on the farm.
pasture about 18ha of the initial block with fodder grasses but Fiji biosecurity has put the brakes on this, he says. “With seed supply very scarce, we are now embarking on planting Mulato II by hand in prepared ground as the rainy season arrives. This grass will be coming from another farm under an agriculture programme. “Fencing has been quite a challenge, as you can’t just rock on down to the local farm supplies and grab what you want. Wire is always in shortsupply, fence posts are
expensive and not always available. The posts are harvested from the bush (certain trees won’t rot) but may sprout when planted in the ground; battens are also cut from the bush. “Getting the workers to understand how to make a robust fence was an initial problem but now that is sorted we have good strong boundary fencing.” Using an old Ford 4130 tractor to do mulching, access road maintenance and moving supplies around, the farm progress can be slow.
Rex and Lynette are sending up a Mahindra tractor in December to complement resources. Mahindra is making a name for itself in Fiji and its tractors are readily serviceable there, Rex says. Pour-on drench is not available in Fiji -only oral. Their company Lyzacare has introduced bands for horn removal, a subtle and painless system that works well. Having a modern head bail from Stronghold has proved to be a winner, as the previous head bail was too small and clumsy.
Their farm is the only one with cattle weighscales in the race. “We have a fantastic team of workers; nothing is ever too hard to do. “The long term plan is to create a viable working cattle farm with sheep to come later, giving employment and improv-
us with product and advice. Without this support we would not be able to make the difference we hope to achieve. “This is not just a farm to provide an income; this is a chance to change lives and give young folk a chance at life in their own country. Who knows where it will end up? New Zealand is such a blessed country with so much to give, so what better opportunity to give something back to folk who appreciate it?” The Smiths want to bring their manager Sailasa Draunimasi (Natobe), and worker Voniani Bau (Bau) to New Zealand for work experience on a properly run cattle operation to learn new skills. The Smiths would be happy to brainstorm ideas, etc with anyone possibly interested in assisting. Email lyzacaretrading@gmail. com
ing lives in the district as well as hopefully getting a return on investment. Their hope for the future is that, with help from New Zealand and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFaT), an embryo implant process may help fast-track the ven-
ture. MFaT has so far not looked favourably on the project because it is selffinanced, but Rex hopes they will change their minds as the farm gets established. The Fijian Government is keen to see growth in the agriculture sector, especially livestock. 13150
“This was tricky and hasn’t been easy to achieve as there are few resources available in Fiji.” The windmill came from a farmer at Karamea and was cut up so it could be flown as excess baggage to Auckland for later shipping to Fiji. Rex and Lynette have flown four times a year to Fiji carrying with them 100s of kilos of baggage and several shipments of implements, a head bail, cattle scales, generator, gate hinges, wire strainers, etc. There are plans to re-
TRYING TO manage a venture remotely in a country where the weather is harsh, the ground is dry 70% of the year, phone communication can be a challenge and the pace of life is slower, makes for a trying situation at times, says Rex Smith. “There have been cases of stock being attacked with cane knives and left to die; this has been particularly hard to deal with emotionally and financially. Resolve and working with the community affected is the only way forward.” Both Rex and Lynette say they are there for the long haul. “We have already seen big improvements in the workers’ skills, communication, self-esteem and general wellbeing,” they say. “We would like to thank all the farmers and companies that have already assisted
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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
PGW’s seed division sale approved we need to keep in the company, and that’s relative to the earnings outlook and what sort of leverage we deem is prudent,” he explained. “So we’ll work on that and
PGG WRIGHTSON shareholders have approved a plan to sell its seeds division to Danish seeds giant DLF. The sale was approved by a special resolution at the company’s annual meeting in Christchurch on October 30. The resolution required 75% approval and passed, despite opposition from the floor that the company would be downsizing and lost to ownership overseas. Under the agreement, PGW will sell 100% of PGW Seeds – including its interests in Australia and South America – for NZ$421 million. DLF Seeds will also assume or repay PGW Seeds’ net debt outstanding at June 30, 2018 of about NZ$18m. The deal still requires approval from the NZ Overseas Investment Office, NZ Commerce Commission and applicable South American and Australian regulatory
certainly have that in the near future.” The meeting also confirmed the previously reported annual result of an operating EBITDA of $70.2m (up 9%), net
profit after tax of $18.9m (down from $46.3m) and fully imputed dividends of 3c per share. Chief executive Ian Glasson called it an excellent trading result
for PGW. “In particular it shows the strength of PGW’s rural services businesses. Almost all our NZ businesses were up on last year.”
Outgoing chairman Alan Lai and deputy chairman Trevor Burt at the PGW annual meeting in Christchurch. RURAL NEWS GROUP
bodies. Speaking after the meeting, deputy chairman Trevor Burt emphasised that he had always believed the sale was in the best interests of all shareholders. “The board’s unanimous, everyone agrees. We would have been remiss not to bring [the offer] to the shareholders,” he told Rural News. Burt expects the regulatory approvals by the first quarter of next year. However, he also con-
cedes restructuring “that involves people” will necessarily follow from the sale. “I think it’s inevitable that the corporate structure that supported a $1.2 billion business and now is an $800m business [must undergo] some review.” Burt says there is “potential” to distribute the proceeds of the sale to shareholders. “We need to determine what’s a prudent level of debt and capital
CHAIR CHANGES “On behalf of the board, I wish to offer our sincere thanks to Alan for his leadership and dedication since his appointment as a director in 2009, and wish him all the best for the future.” Lai told the meeting that he’d always have a great fondness for NZ and for PGW. “The work Agria has been able to do to benefit PGW and NZ has not yet finished. But I think that my time in leading PGW as chair must come to an end as I need to focus on the next phase of my career and spend more time with my family.”
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MEANWHILE PGW chairman Alan Lai announced his retirement from the board, which he has headed since Singaporebased Agria Corporation took a majority shareholding in the company about 10 years ago. Another Agria appointee on the board, Joo Hai Lee, has been appointed interim chair with Burt continuing as deputy chair. Burt says the board’s composition and governance will be reviewed and the market will be updated on outcomes in due course.
RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
22 NEWS A BREED APART ASTINO SHEEP are part of the programme Lanaco has been working on for a number of years to develop the world’s best platform for wool filtration, Davenport says. “It’s a work in progress but it is designed to deliver the most consistent, highest performing filters.” The key characteristic they look for in the sheep is how to get the performance out of the filter. They are only into the first generation of full-
blooded Astino because it is a three way cross. They have done their first characterisation of the breed components. “Each cross is scrutinised and they passed muster and now we are into the full breed Astino which is now in a monitoring programme where we start to climb up the performance curve. “It is a full genetics programme where we are sampling 100% of the
animals. That is when the data starts to grow really big. That becomes a cornerstone or flagship product for what we produce for the future.” Currently those sheep are mainly in the South Island. Astino is used for their flagship electrostatic filter products but they have other products as well. “We use a range of micron from fine through to coarse for different products.”
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AUCKLAND WOOL innovator Lanaco say NASA should determine within about six months whether its woolbased filter technology will be used in the Orion spacecraft for upcoming deep-space exploration missions. Designed by Lanaco, the Helix filter is one of several filter systems being evaluated by NASA to protect astronauts in the event of fire. Lanaco chief executive Nick Davenport told Rural News there are a number of features of wool filters which make it inherently good in that application, compared to anything else. “We are a real outlier and it just fits,” he says. “It has already been through initial tests. Because it is so good in terms of its ability to catch the particles we
think it has good possibilities. “The materials we are sending for evaluation are exactly the same materials that people are using on the street these days (for face masks). So it is not like it has been developed specifically for NASA. All the attributes are already there and already benefitting people. So it gives people assurance that what people are currently buying is quite special.” The Helix filter is sourced from the company’s purpose-bred Astino sheep and is being tested for use in Orion’s emergency life-support system in the event of onboard fires. The Helix filter could be used as a pre-filter layer for emergency personal equipment and cabin air systems, preventing clogging in other filter layers by removing thick contaminants like molten plastic.
Shaun Tan, Lanaco head of technology, recently returned from the Johnson Space Centre in Houston and is confident that the Helix filter can deliver on NASA’s requirements. “The Helix filter is currently used in protective equipment in high contaminant situations like construction and mining, but firefighting in space represents a new challenge for our R&D team,” says Tan. Lanaco’s wool-filter technology made headlines in 2017 following the launch of anti-pollution face masks now popular in several Asian and Indian mega-cities. Davenport says wool is an outstanding fibre. “Its electrostatic properties catch small harmful particles, its protein structure captures gases and harmful toxins and yet the fibre is bacteria and flame resistant.”
RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
Kaumatua pumps controversial issues Sir Tipene O’Regan speaks at the NZIAHS Water in Canterbury forum held recently at Lincoln. RURAL NEWS
NGAI TAHU elder statesman Sir Tipene O’Regan has backed genetic modification and the export of bottled water in a challenging address to a gathering of agricultural scientists at Lincoln. He told a forum on Canterbury’s water resource, organised by the New Zealand Institute of Agricultural & Horticultural Science, that, “bottled water is the greatest, single opportunity this economy has”. In a wide-ranging address, he also said rising sea levels were a commercial opportunity in the form of revitalised estuarine lakes as protein sources. “We’re not thinking broadly enough.” O’Regan noted that in his final report to the Crown, the retiring chief science advisor Sir Peter Gluckman had urged the country to reconsider genetic modification, saying genetically modified grass could significantly reduce our usage of water. He says genetic modification has all sorts of potential benefits. “The anti-GM brigade could be called the ‘pro-diabetes brigade’
because diabetes sufferers are kept alive with insulin made by genetically modified bacteria.” He said only one thing is worse than GM in Canterbury and that’s
water bottling. He said it takes 40L of water to produce 1L of milk, but we then drain all the water out and sell it as milk powder. “The export value of the water itself
tions are terrifying, but he believes it offers opportunities for a different way of thinking about estuarine lakes and the flatlands surrounding them. “Why would I like to see those estuarine lakes restored? Because they could be one of the biggest sources of protein we’ve got. I just go back to Mahinga Kai.” Eels have huge commercial potential, he said. “I can get more for a kilo of smoked eel in Asia than you would ever get for a kilo of orange roughy -- vastly more.” O’Regan says the whole country lives off 50mm of topsoil and the population is set to double. “If we can’t rethink our model, we’ll be sending our children to an extremely fragile and difficult existence.” He says we must think of other ways of growing grass. And NZ also faces a “heritage issue” of phosphate in the soil. “We destroyed the fundamental economy of Nauru to achieve that and we are now one of the few countries still at it, doing the same thing to areas of the Sahara. That [cannot] continue; it is not sustainable,” he said.
is vastly greater than that of the milk powder. We don’t seem able to get our heads round that. We have these ridiculous arguments all about puddles and ditches, while there’s great big conundrums like that sitting in front of us.” NZ should be harvesting and storing water, he said. “The West Coast ‘pours itself out’ into the Tasman Sea, while the Waimakariri flows out into Pegasus Bay. That is a phenomenon going on right down the eastern seaboard from Napier to Foveaux Strait,” O’Regan said. “Hawkes Bay goes into almost orgasmic spasms over Ruataniwha, while billions, trillions of litres of water are bubbling up every day just outside the Napier wharf.” He said the greatest thing about the South Island is that it is an engine for the production of water, and the West Coast would only get wetter with climate change. “If this was the 1930s we’d have our engineers out there dreaming. We wouldn’t be throwing it away. The biggest thing we’ve got is water. Find the engineering solutions to store it and use it more creatively.” He says some sea level rise predic-
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NZ HOPS Ltd has at least quadrupled the value of its co-operative during the past 10 years. Chief executive Doug Donelan says the Tas-
man-based 27-member producer co-op has grown from about $8 million to about $35m gross revenue. But he says the co-op believes growth needs to be managed to ensure the significant increases in
volumes that are coming on stream can be marketed. “There are others who believe we could triple the current volume. My view is that attempting that would be reckless,” Donelan told Rural News.
“Cycles exist in the international hop market and it’s easy to get caught on the wrong end.” Donelan noted in an industry update earlier this year that mature craft beer markets like the US are showing
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market signals of slowing down. However, overall the craft beer market domestically and internationally is quite buoyant with significant growth in emerging markets. Donelan says there are now more hops in the ground than at any time previously. Most of the increase is quite recent – in only the last two or three years. “But generally the volume has been quite static between 700 and 800 million tonnes.” He says craft beer has contributed much to industry growth as more hops are used in certain beer styles favoured by the craft segment consumer. Big brewers actu-
ally produce a large amount of craft beer these days. “Our cooperative has a broad customer base which for the most part is high value specialty hops for craft and higher value beer products.” About 75% of the hops produced by NZ Hops is exported. All commercially grown hops in New Zealand are grown in the Tasman District, however there are trials underway in Central Otago and Hawkes Bay. “Hops are latitude sensitive which means they require a specific day length to flower and mature, and they need cold winters and calm, sunny, stable growing
conditions, low wind and good rainfall,” he says. NZ Hops has a breeding programme and owns the plant rights. “The hop breeding programme continues to develop new and unique hops with two new varieties in grower trials this season and approaching commercial release,” Donelan says. “Two other promising selections will also be advanced next year into grower trials as NZ Hops Ltd continues to focus on creating a point of difference for its customers while keeping pace with the international brewing market.” @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews
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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
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LIC CHIEF executive Wayne McNee says the co-op remains well placed in the face of mergers of global dairy genetics and herd improvement companies. He notes that the dairy genetics and herd improvement sector saw two significant mergers in the last 12 months. “We expect there will be more mergers… This means our global competitors are getting larger,” he told Rural News. LIC, the world’s fifthlargest animal genetics company, has an advantage over other global players in its focus on pastoral dairy. Most others focus on high input farms in the US, Canada and Europe and have only a small presence in NZ. Apart from selling frozen semen straws, LIC also provides integrated dairy systems to farmers in South America, UK, Ireland, Australia and South Africa. McNee says LIC has partnerships with breeding companies overseas; in Australia it distributes CRV’s products. Dutch co-op CRV Ambreed is LIC’s biggest competitor in NZ. Addressing LIC’s annual meeting last month, chairman Murray King noted that the future growth and sustainability of the NZ dairy industry will be underpinned by innovation and investment in R&D, on which LIC spends at least
5% of its revenue ($13.2 million in the 2017-18 year), well above the NZ primary sector average of about 1%. King says LIC has always spent heavily on R&D on behalf of its shareholders and the industry. “For some time we have been talking about our work to transform the business and deliver a more sustainable and agile cooperative. “We are now more match-fit than ever and better positioned to deliver great outcomes for our farmers. “We are taking what we learned from our transformation programme, the methods we have adopted and efficiencies we have gained to unlock new opportunities and deliver even more benefits for our shareholders. A sustainable and prolonged industryleading focus on innovation and R&D is critical to that.” Over the last year, LIC separated into two businesses -- a herd improvement company (LIC) and an agritechnology subsidiary (LIC Agritechnology Company). LIC’s core products Minda, AB and herd testing remain with the co-op. Minda is owned by the co-op but operated by the subsidiary. It has also sold its Deer Improvement subsidiary in Otago and its herd testing and diagnostics laboratory facilities in Riverlea,
MONEY WELL SPENT? FARMER-OWNED co-op LIC says the $20 million cost to transform the business has been money well spent. LIC chief executive Wayne McNee says the revamp is contributing to the co-op’s success: it posted record total revenue of $236m in 2017-18 -- up 16% on the previous year. McNee, a former director-general of the Ministry of Primary Industries, says new processes adopted during its transformation are working well. The LIC annual meeting in Hamilton last month heard that the transformation delivered a one-off benefit of $30m and recurring benefits of $60m annually. In his report to shareholders, LIC shareholders council chairman Mark Meyer questioned the $20m bill. He asked if the same results could have been achieved at lower cost.
Hamilton which included a leaseback arrangement to allow continued operation of LIC services at the site. In July, LIC simplified its share structure, bringing together its
existing two classes of shares into a single class. LIC recorded its firstever loss in 2015-16 and then began cutting its R&D spending. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews
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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
Curtis turns off the tap NIGEL MALTHUS
TEN YEARS at the helm of Irrigation New Zealand is soon to end for chief executive Andrew Curtis, who has announced his intention to leave the post and strike out on his own in March next year. It has been 10 years of change for Curtis, a time when irrigation technology and efficiency have progressed in leaps and bounds. However, irrigation has been pilloried in some quarters as the enabler of environmental degradation. It might then come as a surprise to some that the British-born Curtis claims solid environmental credentials of his own. His degree and post-grads are in environmental and conservation management. He worked for wildlife trusts before
becoming an estate manager in southwest England, for a “very, very green” woman keen on sustainability and initiatives – such as wind generation and habitat restoration, and her husband “who didn’t want to do anything unless it made money”. “That role set me up with my love of farming,” says Curtis. So do New Zealand greenies hate irrigation? “They do and they don’t. Some of them aren’t as well informed as they could be,” Curtis told Rural News. “Don’t get me wrong. Irrigation in certain places is not a good thing. That’s where we’ve probably pushed a boat a little bit too far,” he says. “There are some places which you really shouldn’t irrigate,
because it does intensify land use and actually the environment can’t cope with it in those places. So actually, I am in agreement with that, definitely. “However, in other places, irrigation is great. It is actually going to benefit the environmental footprint. “What we’ve failed to do, to date, is recognise some of the environments where irrigation – which leads to certain land uses – probably is not a good thing, unless it’s done in certain ways.” Curtis and his wife Josie came to New Zealand in 2000, initially on working holiday visas to pick fruit. Curtis then joined the Hawkes Bay Regional Council, working with farmers on irrigation, wind erosion and soil health, before moving into strategy, including
After 10 years at Irrigation NZ Andrew Curtis is standing down.
early planning for the Ruataniwha Dam. Curtis was “touched on the shoulder” by Irrigation NZ in 2009, which necessitated moving the
family to Canterbury. “Water is important in Hawkes Bay, but the scale of water use in Canterbury is second to none in New Zealand.”
They now live with daughter Holly, 14, and son George, 7, on a 10-acre block at Kirwee, where he runs a small herd of Belted Galloways, mostly to sell calves to lifestylers. Curtis says he has seen huge changes since he started with Irrigation NZ 10 years ago. The early days saw the advent of water metering and some of the early telemetry, but it was still too expensive for the average farmer. Then came water metering regulations, which forced the adoption of remote metering and with it, falling costs. “That, to me, was a catalyst for a whole lot of other things happening, because as soon as you had a meter that was telemetered, it suddenly morphs into soil sensors, climate stations, various
other sensors,” he says. “That is the revolution that’s happened over the last ten years.” New Zealand is now one of the highest sprayirrigated percentage countries in the world, with only about 7% flood irrigation left. “Everything else is spray and of that almost 60% is ultra-modern spray systems, either drip-micro or pivots. If you look at the degree of technology in New Zealand it’s massive in terms of modern kit,” Curtis explains “I’ve just come back from Nebraska, which is like the home of the centre-pivot, and even over there they’ve still got lots of old systems hanging around. Whereas we’re far more advanced than them in many areas.” TO PAGE 27
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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
Dairy is not evil ANDREW CURTIS believes there will always be a place for dairy. “I keep saying it: it’s not about too many cows, but how the land is managed,” he told Rural News. Curtis says he knows some “very, very good” dairy farmers with good environmental footprints
and some “very, very bad” dairy farmers with horrible footprints – and the same with good and bad cropping farmers. “So, let’s stop going on about the land use thing because it’s all about land management practices,” says. “We’ve got a limits regime in place now
and the limits regime basically says set the limits at a catchment level.” Curtis has seen “a lot of fuss” over the dairy development of the Simons Pass Station in the Mackenzie. “But, having seen that development, they’re retiring an awful lot
of that land. And that land’s going to be wellmanaged; so instead of it being pine-infested, heiracium-infested, rab-
bit-infested -- as much of it is at the moment -they’re going to set aside management funds to restore that properly.”
BIG DOES NOT ALWAYS MEAN BAD! CURTIS SAYS he cannot understand the current government’s position that “large is bad.” “Actually, big is beautiful because it helps you change quickly. I know there’s the whole irrigation/dairy thing going on, but scale is really powerful.” Curtis says the state of the art of irrigation now is automated, centre pivot systems with variable-rate application. Not everyone needs it, but most soils are highly variable in New Zealand, making it beneficial. “Give it another five years and the human element will be removed because you’ll actually have a series of sensors talking through to the machine,” he says. “And the machine can decide for itself whether it irrigates today or not.” Curtis believes the next move, as is now starting to happen in the USA, is to regard irrigators as applicators, applying variable rates of water, nutrients and chemicals as, when and where required. “They’ve got variable rate fertigation working over there now, where you can actually look at where you need to target nutrients and apply nutrients just to those areas,” he explains. “And the benefits of fertigation is you can apply little amounts of nutrients frequently. In theory, there are less losses either from or volatilisation or leaching.”
Curtis turns off the tap FROM PAGE 26
Curtis says a big change has been the advent of farm environment plans (FEP); not just the farming leaders but also the “average guys” are now doing what needs to be done. Irrigation schemes themselves have modernised, from old open channels to highly modernised, piped, remote-controlled, wateron-demand systems. Governance structures have also developed from “a bunch of farmer directors and a couple of racemen” to very professional management structures. The big schemes have
driven change on farms the quickest, compared with the independent irrigating farmer with his own bore. “The schemes are driving change quickly at the moment. This is what scale does for you.” Curtis will stay in the Irrigation NZ role to March next year, but already has mapped out his next move. He’ll run two complementary consultancies: one providing practical, independent irrigation advice for individual farmers; and the other more strategic – with councils, industry bodies and larger schemes.
Have your say on NAIT changes We’re proposing changes to the NAIT (National Animal Identification and Tracing) Act and regulations. The changes are based on recommendations from the NAIT Review and lessons from the Mycoplasma bovis response.
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%overagriculturaland to phase out, or avoid, councils to set limits to maintain or improve water quality, of deposits fund history New Zealand allocation of their region’s freshwater resource. The particular regulations imposed to agribusiness achieve these objectives will vary between each local authority. However, red meat farmers in every region across New Zealand are increasingly required to employ industry good practice in relation to land management practices that contribute to the loss of contaminants (nitrogen, phosphorus, global agribusiness sediment & faecal microbes) from their farming systems. research analysts
28 MARKETS & TRENDS
sharing market outlooks
New Zealand currently does not have a National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity. While local authorities still have the ability under the RMA to regulate land clearance on-farm to farmers to connect Content supplied by Rabobank – Grow with the bank farmers for farmers with by worldwide , founded prevent loss of biodiversity, without national standards or bottom lines the integration of biodiversity protection into land-use planning has generally been limited to areas of specific significance, or large-scale land clearance. 12630
RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
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New Zealand currently has a long-term target of reducing net emissions to 50% of 1990 levels by 2050 (see Figure 1).The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is the primary tool to meet this target. The ETS puts a price on GHG emissions intended to create a financial incentive for businesses to invest in technologies and practices that reduce emissions.
transparent communication between regulators, the industry, and farmers. New Zealand standards in line with key competitors Red meat production standards, and the emphasis placed on each particular production standard, vary between counties depending upon their specific farming systems, the impact of those systems on the environment in which they operate, and the relevant stakeholders. However, the three aspects of red meat production that are most commonly the focus of public and regulatory attention are: • environmental sustainability (including freshwater use and pollution; loss of biodiversity/ land use change); • greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; and
• animal welfare The current state of play for NZ red meat sector – Freshwater focus of regulation Almost every aspect of environmental management in New Zealand is governed by the 1991 Resource Management Act (RMA), including regulation of red meat farmers’ land use, water use, and loss of contaminants from their farming systems to waterways. The 2011 National 2/11 Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPSFM) requires all regional councils to set limits to maintain or improve water quality, and to phase out, or avoid, over-allocation of their region’s freshwater resource. The particular regulations imposed to achieve these objec-
Figure 1: NZ has the highest proportion of GHG emissions from agriculture in the developed world, with just under half of NZ’s agricultural emissions coming from the sheep and beef sector 90 million tonnes CO2
IN ORDER to address local concerns over the impact of livestock on the environment, regulation of the New Zealand agricultural sector is set to tighten over the next 12 to 18 months. This will require increased investment into the ethical and sustainable aspects of New Zealand’s red meat production systems. While in the short to medium term, the associated increases in production costs will be challenging to pass on in full to New Zealand’s offshore consumers, changing global consumer trends and market requirements ensure there are benefits to be realised from investing into these aspects of the New Zealand red meat sector. Realising these benefits will require open and
60 30 0
2018 Land use, land-use change and forestry Industrial processes and product use Agricultural Proposed net-zero target
2050 Waste Energy Current long-term target
Source: New Zealand Productivity Commission – ‘Low-emissions economy’ August 2018
tives will vary between direct production costs each local authority. New Zealand currently However, red meat farmhas a long-term target of RaboResearch | Realising the Sustainable Advantage | October 2018 ers in every region across reducing net emissions New Zealand are increasto 50% of 1990 levels ingly required to employ by 2050.The Emissions industry good practice Trading Scheme (ETS) is in relation to land manthe primary tool to meet agement practices that this target. The ETS puts contribute to the loss of a price on GHG emiscontaminants (nitrogen, sions intended to create phosphorus, sediment a financial incentive for & faecal microbes) from businesses to invest in their farming systems. technologies and practices that reduce emisGHG Emissions – no
sions. Under the ETS, the agricultural sector is not required to purchase and surrender emissions units to the government for the emissions it creates. As with other New Zealand households and businesses, sheep and beef producers have had to absorb any ETS-related cost increases associated with their on-farm consumption of electricity
and transport fuels. Animal welfare – Protected through strong legislation and codes Animal welfare in New Zealand is administered within a legislative framework created by the Animal Welfare Act 1999 (‘the Act’). The Act goes further than just preventing cruelty and places a duty of care on framers to meet their animals’ needs. There are specific obligations relating to the provision of food, water, shelter, and treatment, and a ban on the wilful and reckless ill-treatment of animals. Key competitors facing their own regulatory pressures All major red meat producers throughout the world operate under some form of regulation in relation to the ethical and sustainable aspects
In September 2017, the NSPFM was amended to set a national target of making 90 percent of
Figure 2: UK among highest-ranking countries based on environmental health and ecosystem vitality
60 Country Rank
EPI Score *
Note: The Environmental Performance Index ranks 180 countries on 24 performance indicators to provide a gauge at a national scale of how close countries are to established environmental policy goals (across all aspects of the economy, including but not limited to the performance of each country’s agricultural sector). The EPI is produced jointly by Yale University and Columbia University in collaboration with the World Economic Forum. * EPI Score [0=worst, 100=best]
Figure 3: Key red-meat producing regions are facing significant annual costs to meet swimmable waterways standards 25,000,000 20,000,000 15,000,000 10,000,000
Source: MfE ‘Regional information for setting draft targets for swimmable lakes and rivers’, 2018 Note: This data represents the aggregate livestock unit cost for all red meat producers within each of the above regions. It does not represent the relative cost per livestock unit, which will vary between regions.
sions. wise threaten the viability Future-proofing RaboResearch | Realisingthe the Sustainableof Advantage | October 2018 the operation, and/or New Zealand red meat necessitate a significant sector one-off capital spend. By progressively Banks are also increasinvesting in ethical and ingly incorporating an sustainability production applicant’s ability to meet improvements that go certain production stanbeyond minimum comdards into their lendpliance standards, proing assessments. Farmers ducers will help to reduce that invest in these prorisks that could eventuate duction aspects of their for those who are unable farming operation now to meet acceptable stanare going to be in a strondards of production in ger position when seeking the future. capital in the future. For processors, and At an individual the sector as a whole, farm level, this investfuture risk primarily ment will help protect comes in the form of repagainst future regulatory utational damage, and changes that may other-
the flow-on effect that damage could have on market value and access. If New Zealand is unable to meet the non-regulatory production standards prescribed by major food retailers it will increasingly find itself excluded from these sales channels and unable to access these markets. • To obtain a copy of the full report – Realising the Sustainable Advantage – How investments in sustainability can benefit the New Zealand red meat sector - please contact Rabobank on 0800 722 622.
Animal welfare: New Zealand and the UK are two of only four countries globally (along with Switzerland and Austria) to receive an ‘A’ ranking under the World Animal Protection’s Animal Protection Index. Three countries received the lowest possible ranking of a ‘G’ (Belarus, Iran & Azerbaijan). Table 1: World Animal Protection Index NZ
Recognition of animal sentience
Protecting animals used for farming
Laws against animal suffering
Compliance with animal health standards
Weigh Up Track Ahead
Source: Animal Protection Index 2014
GHG emissions: While each country has committed to reducing its GHG emissions under the 2015 Paris Agreement, and have introduced various initiatives to reduce their GHG emissions, currently no country has placed a price on their agricultural emissions.
RaboResearch | Realising the Sustainable Advantage | October 2018
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ent management over the next 12 months. Any nutrient management system that caps or reduces nutrient allocations has the potential to limit sheep and beef farmers’ ability to increase their future production. Consumer expectations At a global level, many consumers are progressively asking questions about how red meat is being produced and want 5/11 to be reassured that the red meat they are purchasing was produced under conditions they consider to be acceptable. Consumer preferences and attitudes when purchasing red meat products are driven by a wide variety of factors. While consumer surveys consistently show that the ethical and sustainable aspects of production are important to consumers, there are other values that currently have a greater influence over their purchasing deci-
the Environment has estimated the additional on-farm cost for New Zealand’s red meat producers for meeting this new target to be approximately NZ$ 80m per annum, at an average annual cost of NZ$ 3,186 per sheep or beef farm, or NZ$ 0.87 per stock unit The Minister for the Environment has also indicated that it is likely that the government will be introducing a new National Environmental Standard for nutri-
aspects of their production systems. Freshwater – further reform on the way In September 2017, the NSPFM was amended to set a national target of making 90% of New Zealand’s rivers and lakes swimmable by 2040. To help achieve this target, new stock exclusion rules have been proposed, which will require increased on-farm investment in fencing and other mitigation measures. The Ministry for
Bay of Plenty
of their production systems, albeit the particular focus of those regulations varies in each country. New Zealand regulations set to tighten In the short to medium term, it looks likely that New Zealand red meat farmers will be required to comply with increased regulation in relation to each of the above production standards. This will require New Zealand red meat producers to make higher levels of investment in
MARKETS & TRENDS 29
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New Zealand’s rivers and lakes swimmable by 2040. In order to help achieve this target, new stock exclusion rules have been proposed, which will require increased on-farm investment in fencing and other mitigation measures. The Ministry for the Environment has estimated the additional on-farm cost for New Zealand’s red meat producers for meeting this new target to RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018 be approximately NZD 80m per annum, at an average annual cost of NZD 3,186 per sheep or beef farm, or NZD 0.87 per stock unit (see Figure 3 for annual regional breakdown). The Minister for the Environment has also indicated that it is likely that the government will be introducing a new National Environmental Standard for nutrient management over the next 12 months. Any nutrient management system that caps or reduces nutrient allocations has the potential to limit sheep and beef farmers’ ability to increase their future production.
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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
Velvet prospects looking sound PROSPECTS FOR the velvet market during the 2018-19 season are expected to be reasonably stable, says Deer Industry NZ (DINZ). It says apart from a brief downward dip in prices two years ago, driven by uncertainty about regulatory changes in China, NZ velvet production and prices have increased for eight years. The outlook for this season sees consumption in Asia increasing in line with production growth in NZ. However, DINZ Asia manager Rhys Griffiths cautions that this trend cannot continue forever. He also warns that there are always unknowns that could upset the market – such as an escalation in the trade war between China and the United States. But, based on all the current known factors, Griffiths believes NZ deer farmers can expect another good year. “Major velvet exporters and DINZ are working together, building demand with major health food companies in Korea,” Griffiths says. “These companies prefer to deal direct with their NZ suppliers and put high value on price stability. It gives them the confidence to invest in product development.”
A New Origin café in Seoul, South Korea : Branded health foods based on NZ velvet have transformed the Korean market. Creating a similar product category in China is a priority for the NZ deer industry.
He adds that branded health foods based on NZ velvet have transformed the Korean market, and creating a similar product category in China is now a priority for the industry “In contrast, for the commodity traders who still buy two-thirds of NZ velvet, price instability can be a good thing. So despite good prices we are putting a lot of energy into building strong relationships with manufacturers and marketers in our major markets. We are taking control of our own destiny and making the commodity
traders less relevant.” Griffiths says 200 tonnes of the expected 725t 2018-19 harvest will go to health food companies selling high value branded products in South Korea, a market segment that didn’t exist 10 years ago. “Since then, following the lead of the Korean Ginseng Corporation, 30 companies have developed and marketed 73 velvet-based health food products, most of which are enjoying strong consumer demand. Of these, 55 are based on NZ velvet, with the NZ
provenance strongly promoted.” Griffiths says NZ wants to repeat this success story in China, where, along with Australia, it is the only legitimate source of imported velvet. This valuable status is the result of a regulated control scheme for deer velvet harvest implemented by the Ministry for Primary Industries in August 2017, which set stricter onfarm hygiene, traceability and cool chain standards for velvet. Griffiths says DINZ has been working with Chinese regulatory agencies to provide a clear pathway for imports of NZ velvet to manufacturers in China. “Health food marketers in China are very much aware of the success of velvet-based health foods in Korea. But they want to be sure that the velvet they are buying is legitimate and is available in sufficient quantities at stable prices before they spend the large sums needed to develop and market new products.” Griffiths says it took several years for DINZ and exporters to interest Korean health food manufacturers in developing velvet-based products. He believes it will be the same for China,
where DINZ is talking to firms thinking of taking the plunge. “Over the coming years we expect direct exports to Korean manufacturers to grow, aided by the annual reduction in the Korean tariff on dried NZ velvet. More of the velvet that goes to China will be consumed there and less of it will be re-exported to Korea,” he says. “In Korea, affluent consumers will be offered NZ velvet-based products in uber-trendy cafes in sophisticated shopping malls. There is nothing in New Zealand that compares with Yuhan Pharmaceuticals New Origin stores, where you can buy an awesome smoothie and then take it through to their apothecary for a matching single-serve health ingredient to sprinkle across. It’s a wonderful fusion of old and new that will normalise NZ velvet as a very high-end food ingredient.” Griffiths points out that LG (known in New Zealand for its electrical appliances) has 22,000 door-to-door sales staff, many of whom are selling healthy food products. “They and Lotte, a Korean multinational, are really amping their promotion of NZ velvet products.”
RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
Kiwifruit may be the ticket GROWING CONFIDENCE in the kiwifruit sector is providing new opportunities for pastoral farmers. They have an opportunity to be part of the horticulture success story without necessarily having to sell their entire farm to do it. The latest Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Situation and Outlook report paints a highly positive picture for the primary sector overall, with horticulture standing out as an emerging force for 2019. Horticultural exports are forecast to rise by 13%, topping $6 billion and the boost is largely coming from improved apple and kiwifruit values and yields for the season. Last season’s kiwifruit production was 25% up on the poor yields the year before. Coupled to the conversion to greater areas of high value SunGold kiwifruit, some orchardists are experiencing 90% higher orchard gate returns compared to Green varieties. For farmers in parts of the upper and central North Island the improvement in returns can offer a double barrelled opportunity to have a foot in both the horticultural and pasto-
ral sector, spreading their risk, optimising their property’s return and even helping inject some additional capital value into it. ANZ’s report on kiwifruit industry investment released late last year highlighted the broadening opportunities beyond traditional kiwifruit growing areas, including parts of Northland for the SunGold variety. University of Waikato has estimated kiwifruit earnings in that region will more than double to $72 million by 2030, as will the number of people working in the sector. The ability of SunGold to grow well outside of its traditional areas in Bay of Plenty is also opening up opportunities for larger iwi land holders in remote Eastern Bay of Plenty districts. Bayleys Te Puke rural real estate agent Snow Williams says he has a database bulging with buyers interested in kiwifruit orchards in the BoP, and his greatest challenge is finding orchards for each buyer. “It is fair to say supply is quite tight; any growers who have orchards and are successful are not really in a mind to sell at this point, and many are keen to expand; and
then there are those seeking entry into the orchard market. It’s keeping competition hot for good properties.” He sees an opportunity
for farmers in areas suitable for Green and SunGold kiwifruit to consider looking over the fence at their horticultural options.
MPI’s latest SOPI report paints a particularly positive outlook for kiwifruit.
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SNOW WILLIAMS has one client who recently split 40ha off their pastoral property for kiwifruit. “But we are not seeing as many as you may think, and pastoral farmers tend to stick to what they do; but it is not beyond the bounds to look at options.” Williams says some kiwifruit options could be a useful lifestage choice for older farmers on smaller farms in suitable areas. “You could be on a 60-70ha unit and approaching retirement, but possibly not wanting to leave the farm. You could put a reasonable portion of it into kiwifruit, even lease it out for the income, and keep some of the area for drystock grazing. As farmers age we could expect to see more of this happen.” Kiwifruit management can integrate well into a pastoral farming calendar, with the busy picking season coming as pastoral focus tapers off into autumn, while winter pruning comes when things are quieter onfarm. “You can do as much, or as little, as you choose given the management options and skills out there.” The ANZ kiwifruit investment report cautions that any greenfields development must be appropriately capitalised or be backed by other income to support outgoing cashflows for the first few years.
RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
32 OPINION EDITORIAL
Dunne in style IT WAS once jokingly said that the next most-important job after the All Blacks coach is the head of the Ministry for Primary Industries. Joking aside, there is some truth in this because MPI plays a largely unsung, yet critical, role in the lives of every New Zealander. With the prospect of a world war unlikely, the next most-serious threat to NZ is in biosecurity, food safety, trade and people’s perception of how the precious land we live on is farmed. For the last five years, Martyn Dunne has been the director-general of MPI or, if you like, the guardian of our nation. It is he, like his predecessors, who has worked to protect our largely pristine environment from harmful overseas incursions. MPI, with 3000 staff, is not the largest government department, but it administers more regulations than most others and it has a range of operational arms to enforce these regulations. It also has many different tasks to perform, including very public biosecurity at airports, animal welfare tasks, and providing input onto trade negotiations and market intelligence for the primary sector. The challenges of MPI have required Dunne to apply his extensive military, diplomatic and administrative skills to the daily challenges it faces. As the head of MPI, he has not sought the limelight, but quietly and firmly worked behind the scenes to build a department that is fit for purpose, fit for the times and future-proofed to give his successor a head start. Dunne has been a true leader in all his public service roles and the primary sector has been well served during his tenure in the role. Being a public servant is not easy – the critics are often caustic and uninformed – but under his watch MPI has fronted this professionally and made changes where necessary. But it hasn’t backed-off making hard decisions were necessary. Industry leaders have acknowledged that Martyn Dunne has made MPI a better organisation during his five year stint there. And as well as acknowledging this, we must also recognise that his entire 50 years in the public sector have helped make NZ a better place for all.
RURALNEWS TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS
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THE HOUND Arrogant twit
One law for all?
YOUR OLD mate is unsurprised at how much arrogance is taking over Government MPs – after only one year in power. A good example is when Horticulture NZ recently made a submission on proposed new employment laws and the negative impact these would have on growers and their businesses. Hort NZ chief executive Mike Chapman says he was surprised by the antics of Labour MP Kieran McAnulty who dismissed the organisation’s concerns as “utter nonsense”. Chapman says Hort NZ submitters were left speechless when they were told they did not understand what the Bill proposes. However, the Hound is not surprised. He reckons the “utter nonsense” is that an arrogant little twit like McAnulty gets to sit in Parliament and make stupid laws that impact on employers and people trying to run businesses.
YOUR CANINE crusader is usually not a fan of politicians showing as hypocrites. However, your old mate is happy for PM Ardern, Trade Minister Parker and Justice Minister Little – all of whom marched in the streets in opposition to the TPP less than two years ago – to be shown as utter and total hypocrites in welcoming the legislation passing the CPTPP (new name, same basic deal) through the NZ Parliament last month. Other hypocrites include Deputy PM Peters and his NZ First cronies who rallied against the trade deal in opposition – talk about lions in opposition and little lambs in government. The Hound suggests the only non-hypocrites in the current coalition are the Greens who still oppose the deal, but they are a bunch of nutjobs so who cares?
THE HOUND would like to know why Greenpeace activists who break the law never get punished. Earlier this year Greenpeace head Russel Norman and a fellow eco-terrorist were charged with disrupting the legal business of an oil company off the Taranaki coast but they were discharged without conviction. And just last month, a bunch of Greenpeace ‘rent-a-crowd’ arrested for protesting earlier this year at the site of a new dairy farm in the Mackenzie Country were not convicted, illegally locking themselves onto machinery being used to dig a pipeline for the legally proposed dairy farm at Simon’s Pass near Lake Pūkaki. It seems the judiciary in this country is giving Greenpeace activists carte blanche to break laws and not face any punishment – while other New Zealanders don’t enjoy the same largesse.
THE HOUND reckons former agriculture minister and speaker of the House David Carter is heeding calls for him to get out of the political game. Carter (and former Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson) was one of the MPs mentioned as being past their use-by dates during the infamous taped phone call between National leader Simon Bridges and the very fecund and disgraced MP Jami-Lee Ross. Your old mate understands that Carter is already preparing for life after Parliament, having put his hand up for the upcoming board elections for rural co-op Farmlands. Expect Carter to hand in his notice soon if he gets on the Farmlands board.
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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
Rhetoric won’t tackle climate change ‘CLIMATE CHANGE is our generation’s nuclearfree moment’ sounded terrific in the run-up to the election. New Zealand is still free of nuclear energy power stations. Whether the nuclear-free energy stance should be reassessed in the light of climate change is not yet the issue. However, it might have to be considered as we address the emissions trading scheme (ETS) and how NZ can achieve any reduction in greenhouse gases (GHG). The GHG Inventory covering 1990-2016 (released in April 2018)
of price increases instead of suggesting that people rethink their fuel use. The irony of thousands of people boycotting fuel pumps on a Sunday to indicate outrage about prices rather than concern for the environment appears to have been missed. Alternatives to cars
and fossil fuel, though expensive, do exist. The government has set out to improve public transport and is encouraging a shift to electric vehicles with increased availability of recharging stations. Anybody concerned about GHG emissions can wait for the bus or buy an electric car.
The same cannot be said for taxing ruminants that produce protein (meat and milk) for the same GHG cost per hectare as potatoes, pumpkin or broccoli. The Paris agreement allows countries to choose a mitigation approach that will make a difference. Professor
David Frame, University of Wellington, suggests putting the emphasis on long-lived gas (carbon dioxide has a weak, but near permanent effect on temperature) rather than the shorter-lived methane (which has an intense but transient effect). Adopting this approach would allow
other countries to bring agriculture into their equivalent of the ETS, and NZ would again be showing leadership. • Dr Jacqueline Rowarth CNZM CRSNZ HFNZIAHS has a PhD in Soil Science and has been analysing agri-environment interaction for several decades.
animals. The GHG impact of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere lasts far longer than that for methane, and scientists and academics have pointed out that there might be better ways for
The same cannot be said for taxing ruminants that produce protein (meat and milk) for the same GHG cost per hectare as potatoes, pumpkin or broccoli. indicates that in 2016 agriculture contributed 49.2% of gross emissions and the energy sector contributed 39.8%. The land use, land-use change and forestry sector offset 28.9% of the gross emissions, mostly due to an increase in forested land of almost half a million hectares between 1990 and 2016. These data explain why environmentalists are suggesting that destocking will solve the GHG problem (as well as creating the other environmental benefits for which they have been campaigning). The destocked land can then be used for horticulture, arable or forestry. Although the environmentalists are right in that some components of GHG (methane and nitrous oxides) would be reduced, there are many other consequences that should be considered before any ‘solutions’ are adopted. These include the impact on the economy, rural depopulation, sediment during cultivation or forestry harvesting, increased fertiliser and herbicide/pesticide use in horticulture and cropping, and the fact that for some horticultural crops GHG emissions (calculated as carbon dioxide equivalents) per hectare can be greater than those from
calculating impact and hence achieving change. The focus on methane reduction in NZ reflects the approach of other countries under the Kyoto agreement. Industrial countries were able to make big reductions in GHG by ‘cleaning up’ industry and reducing reliance on fossil fuel energy. NZ already has renewable energy supplying at least 80% of electricity requirement, which means that achieving reduction through renewables is difficult. Even more challenging is that fuel-related emissions have increased 81% since 1990. Part of the increase is simply population growth from 3.33 million to 4.69m between 1990 and 2016. The other part is reliance on vehicles: NZ has the fourth-largest vehicle fleet per capita in the world. The emissions fuel tax, currently about 5.5c/L for petrol and 6.5c/L for diesel, was announced by the Labour Government in 2005 as part of its ‘polluter pays policy to curb emissions’. Most people have simply absorbed (after complaints) the increased costs. Thirteen years later the emissions tax is till part of fuel costs, but the current government appears to be upset about the impact
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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
All hands to the pump FENTON WILSON
FRESHWATER QUALITY has been in the news for some time and with the range of views on offer you could be excused for being confused about the subject. It’s immersed in a sea of words – ‘swimmable, wadeable, National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management, the National Objectives Framework, riparian management, consent to farm, farm environment management plans and lag effects’ – to name but a few. It is clear the subject, like a waterway after a storm, is murky at best. This all started 200-odd years ago, when man first decided to get rid of the vegetation that was constraining the means of growing food to feed the family and eventually a growing export trade back to the British Isles. Over the generations it has been burnt, cut, rolled, sprayed and root raked off our young, fragile New Zealand hills and the effects of this are coming home to roost now. Sediment mobilised at a greater rate once the hills were deforested and the impacts of contaminants such as sedi-
Testing continues regardless of the weather and results do not differentiate between summer storms or winter high flows. It’s not perfect and precise, but planting in high risk areas will certainly help. ment in our waterways are detrimental to natural ecosystems that thrive there. In fact, the term ‘lag effect’ means some of the realities of this development are just surfacing this decade. Like it or not, this generation must now start a reversal of the trend. We also, in our wisdom, decided to build towns, then cities next to rivers or coasts to house the growing population of our young country. The concentration of humans next to fragile natural ecosystems has also had a detrimental effect, but the regulators can be slow out of the blocks when dealing with the bigger towns. This is due in part to the fact that some urban infrastructure is approaching end-of-life and needs big financial injections to fix it, which compounds the issue. There is also the reality that
designs of the 1950s are not fit-forpurpose today and to change system design is expensive and problematic. Some communities cannot afford to pay, including Auckland. In times of rainstorms, excess runoff is combined with overflow sewerage and all this pours into the Auckland bays. This was the design of the time as it was deemed ok to let excess volume go. The old adage was ‘the solution to pollution is dilution’, but in anyone’s language that is not acceptable today. After any large rainstorm the Auckland bays are generally not swimmable and that’s a fact. It’s a big job to fix our towns nationwide. But we are just getting started and it’s hard to get real traction because the costs are constraining progress.
You may wonder why the green, non-governmental organisations (e.g. Greenpeace) are not thrashing Auckland about water quality. But then you quickly realise that’s where most of their funding comes from. The good old cocky is a far easier target and dairy is the easiest target of all. Confusion about the complex realities of national water quality reigns supreme. I reckon the water quality discussion needs all parties to get into some sort of agreement on what we want. Most of our waterways are swimmable most of the time, certainly when people want to swim (and that is in summer and not when there are storm
T CEN U L NS TRAOFING TRANSLUCENT RO ROOFING
events). During high flows, and generally three days following, the water quality drops due to sediment overload and E.coli surges. But ask yourself, who wants to swim then anyway? Testing continues regardless of the weather and results do not differentiate between summer storms or winter high flows. It’s not perfect and precise, but planting in high risk areas will certainly help. However, we are better today than when the big scrub cutting gangs were working in the 1970s and 80s. They stopped years ago. The challenge is huge and solutions not obvious, but we need good science from our regional councils, sensible regulation from central Government and buy-in from all our community. It’s time for all hands to the pump because improvement in rural landscapes and municipal areas is worth chasing together. NOTE: Water quality trends in your area can be accessed at the LAWA website. • Fenton Wilson is a Hawkes Bay farmer and regional councillor and was a Kellogg scholar.
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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
OPINION 35 AGRI LOADALL 3 YEAR FINANCE
PM Jacinda Ardern and Damien O’Connor launching the Mycoplasma bovis recovery package at Julie and Bruce Stevenson’s Wairarapa farm after they were cleared of M.bovis and had restocked. – PHOTO SUPPLIED
One year down the track DAMIEN O’CONNOR
I’VE BEEN asked several times what I’m most proud of after one year in government. My initial reaction to that is, we’re only just beginning, but that beginning has seen plenty of action. We’ve been working with the primary sectors to boost the value of what farmers and growers get for their great Kiwi-made products. The $40 million-a-year Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures fund is helping to do that by backing projects that move us from volume to value. We’ve launched extension services at the Ministry for Primary Industries to help those working the land get the information they need to run their operations sustainably and profitably. We introduced a manuka honey standard for export to weed out unsustainable cowboy operators and boost incomes. A domestic standard is also being consulted on. A national organics standard is also out for discussion. We’ve put $5m into developing Overseer as an onfarm tool to monitor environmental outputs. We’re working with
industry to try to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis at a projected cost of $886m over 10 years. The eradication plan shows the Government’s commitment to rural communities. Spring bulk milk testing is under way and there are positive signs the eradication programme is on-track. For the first time we now have more properties back in business than are infected. We’re working with farmers to improve waterways and accelerate the good work already underway around the country. We’re being open and honest with the farming community, and other sectors, about the need for climate change action. We put an extra $9m in the budget for biosecurity to protect our key industries from pests and disease and introduced a rural proofing policy to ensure that ‘shinybums’ working on policy in Wellington take care to properly consider rural NZ when developing initiatives. We’re fixing the National Animal Tracing System (NAIT) because its proper use helps us in biosecurity responses to protect the engine-room of our economy. We’re reviewing DIRA
– the legislation that set up Fonterra -- and general public consultation on that will start in the next few weeks. We encourage all farmers and Kiwis to have their say. And we’re committed to pursuing high-value free trade agreements that open markets for our exporters and ensure the benefits of trade flow through to all New Zealanders. These investments are paying off. The economy grew 1% in the last quarter and the biggest driver of that was the primary sector – up 4.2%. The Ministry for Primary Industries’ situation outlook released this month also showed a rosy picture of NZ’s economic engine. Primary sector revenue is forecast to reach $43.8 billion for the year to June 2019 – an increase of 2.5% on 2018. That’s helped drive the highest confidence level among sheep and beef farmers since the survey begun in 2010: 68% are confident about their businesses and future. By taking a smarter approach we’re helping the primary sectors get more value out of what they produce. • Damien O’Connor is Minister of Agriculture and Biosecurity
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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
Sheep milking farmers wanted SUDESH KISSUN firstname.lastname@example.org
FARMERS BETWEEN Auckland and Taupo can
now take the plunge into sheep milk, says Maui Milk general manager Peter Gatley. The company, a joint
venture between Waituhi Kuratau Trust (WKT) and the Chinese company Be Well Food Group, Shanghai, is offering
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supply contracts. A field day will be held at Maui Milk’s Waikino Station Farm on the western shores of Lake Taupo on November 21 to update farmers on genetic improvement and farm system development. Maui Milk processes its milk at the Innovation Waikato dryer in Hamilton. The company is willing to collect new milk within two hours drive from the dryer. Maui Milk sheep milk powder is sold in China. Gatley says he is regularly contacted by farmers keen to make a change. “They all want profitability, stability and sustainability. They know about the success of the dairy goats, but many
prefer the concept of sheep and grazing systems. “One of our farms is all outdoors, the other makes some use of barns, but it’s still a grazing system. The big breakthrough was the importation of genetics. Prior to this season, no one in New Zealand had ever milked a modern dairy ewe. “Now that we’re milking the new genetics it’s time to put some numbers on the table: capital, operating expenses, litres, kgMS, payout and the bottom line.” Gatley doesn’t expect a large number of conversions to sheep farming because farmers are cautious by nature, he says. He points to the Dairy Goat Cooperative at
Hamilton, now a world leader in dairy goat infant formula. “It went through a slow start as well; now they have a waiting list of farmer suppliers.” Gatley also points out strong parallels with other types of farming. “Once you have decided on your farm system the costs are largely fixed. We already know what the expenses look like, but there is a lot of potential to increase income from milk. “In the past, large scale operators in this country have struggled with lactation yields per ewe of only 100 to 150 litres. Barn systems in other countries put out 600L plus, but we look to the hybrid grazing system
in France where 400L is standard.” Grazing offers NZ a competitive advantage in production cost and product positioning. It is also the preference of most would-be new suppliers in NZ. They don’t want to spend their life in a barn, says Gatley. The system at the Waituhi Kuratau farm is all outdoors -- no barns. The system at Waikino is also a pastoral system and the barns are there for lambing and occasional use during climate extremes. “Having both systems enables us to compare the two. We may find both work well and it becomes a matter of preference, just as in the dairy cattle industry,” says Gatley.
BETTER BREEDING GENETICS HAS been a major focus of Maui Milk; Gatley spent at least 20 years in LIC and founded Deer Improvement. Geneticist Jake Chardon spent a lifetime in genetic improvement; another geneticist, Marion Beniot, hails from the south of France and holds a masters degree in genetics.
Chardon made many trips to Europe, sourcing semen and embryos from there and UK. Gatley says Maui Milk used three northern hemisphere breeds to create a crossbred ewe for the southern hemisphere, called Southern Cross. “The concept is no different from
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the Kiwi cow: genetic diversity and hybrid vigour, with selection of milk volume, components, udders and temperament. We now have rams with two generations of progeny tested sires in their pedigree and sisters milking in New Zealand. “When we started in 2015 that was just a dream.”
RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
Novel plumbing for Massey research farm MASSEY UNIVERSITY’S sheep and beef research farm is to begin nutrient leaching research using underground water and nutrient collection. Keebles Farm (287ha), near Massey’s Manawatū campus, now has water collection under each paddock to allow all water to be collected and studied. Deputy head of the School of Agriculture and Environment Professor Paul Kenyon says the farm will be the first to use a collection system of this type for sheep and beef research in New Zealand. The system allows simultaneous collection of soil water from each of the separate research plots. This allows the researchers to examine the effects of differing herbage types and/or stocking rates on leaching at the same time on the same type of soil and across the seasons and years. The project is led by Dr Lydia Cranston, Associate Professor Dave Horne, James Milner and Dr James Hanly. “We are continuing to progress our understanding of what goes on beneath the soil in farms,” says Cranston. “But like any good research project, you need the right tools to measure it accu-
at Massey to learn about what Massey is doing at Keebles, as a similar system is being installed at UCD. The pilot study will compare nitrate leaching when sheep are grazing either a winter brassica forage crop, a plantain based mix, or a ryegrass/white clover mix. Animal performance including ewe liveweight and condition score, lamb weaning weight will also be monitored for understanding of the effect of each forage type on the overall farm system. The system’s high stocking rate will reflect an intensive sheep production system. “There is clear potential for our two groups to work together on this research,” Boland says. “Being in two different hemispheres will allow for quicker progress in understanding the potential impacts across the various seasons because for example we will be able to investigate two winters in a 12 month period.” In the future, the research site may be used to look at the effect of grazing management and other mitigation procedures on nitrate leaching and look at alternative water contaminants.
Dr Lydia Cranston and Associate Professor Dave Horne examine the pipes. Ryan Willoughby, Massey University.
rately. We’ve known for some time that to measure nutrient loss and water runoff from paddocks is quite simple, but it costs a lot to install.” A similar system has been used in Massey’s Number Four dairy farm for
several years, most recently to evaluate the effectiveness of plantain to reduce nitrate leaching. “We are excited to get out there and use it. Many of us are ready to test ideas we’ve long theorised.”
The trials will start in six months, including a PhD student supervised by Cranston on nutrient loss under intensive sheep grazing. Associate Professor Tommy Boland from University College Dublin is now
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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
Effluent monitoring paying dividends AN INNOVATIVE approach to monitoring dairy farm effluent runoff is reaping rewards for farmers and the environment. Taupo milk processor Miraka, with about
100 suppliers, is offering bonuses to suppliers who meet the five criteria set out in its Te Ara Miraka Farming Excellence programme: people, environment, animal welfare, milk quality and pros-
perity. NZ agricultural technology company Regen is helping Miraka farmers manage their effluent more effectively with a smartphone app. This texts daily effluent irriga-
Regen chief executive Bridgit Hawkins.
tion recommendations to farmers, and logs data to prove compliance, meeting the company’s caring-for-the-environment criteria. Miraka suppliers received at least $3 mil-
lion in bonuses during the 2016-2017 season for meeting the five key criteria. Regen chief executive Bridgit Hawkins says her company’s work with Miraka’s farmers is
About Regen Founded in 2010, Regen is a New Zealand company aiming to improve the environment with technology for farming, with real-time data to provide specific recommendations. The company offers scheduling services for water and effluent irrigation and a nitrogen use calculation service. www.nzregen.co.nz
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bringing a new level of transparency to farming practice. She says this is an issue that’s even more important with the Government’s new five-year water improvement plan released last month. “With Miraka’s focus on kaitiakitanga, they’re encouraging incremental gains across their farming community, something we fully support,” Hawkins explains. “Effluent is an issue that farmers deal with day in, day out. Managing it well is key to sustainable farming because it reduces nitrate leaching and the impact on our waterways – an issue the Government has highlighted in its plans to improve water quality.” Miraka general manager of milk supply Grant Jackson says the goal of Te Ara Miraka is to minimise the impact on whenua and protect resources for future generations. “Our farmers now have a better appreciation
of the value and impact of their dairy effluent. Using Regen’s technology they’ve taken the complication and compliance out of day-to-day farm management. Now, our farmers are proactive and know what they need to do and when.” Hawkins says ultimately sustainable farming and milk production is about more than just effluent management. “It’s important the dairy industry continues to innovate and extend its products and services to support our farmers in meeting the challenge of sustainable farming,” she adds. “Doing the right thing can be hard. However, Te Ara Miraka makes it clear what the right thing is – and how to achieve it, benefiting farmers and the environment”. Miraka recently held field days in Taupo and Tokoroa for its suppliers, where Regen presented on best-practice effluent management systems.
Check out our websites www.ruralnews.co.nz www.dairynews.co.nz
RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
ANIMAL HEALTH 39
Achieving target weights in hoggets
VETERINARIAN AND farmer working together to improve stock performance must emphasise two aspects of hogget growth, say the authors of a guidebook published by Massey University Press. These are, firstly, regular recording of bodyweight from weaning to first mating; and secondly, the monitoring of animal health and feed requirements. Guessing the thrift and weight of ewe lambs and hoggets is not reliable; many a farmer who claims to have a ‘good eye’ for stock has been astonished when confronted with ‘hard data’ of weighed sheep. Weighing sheep produces a permanent record against which we can measure progress, watch for lack of progress and diagnose the cause. It also demonstrates to the farmer the wide variation in liveweight inherent in any flock of sheep and creates a spirit of achievement and interest. There is a large range of sheep-weighing systems available, ranging from basic cage models to sophisticated electronic auto-drafting systems. Weighing devices are available that have the ability to collect a large amount of data that can be downloaded for analysis. This can be done at
have feed reserves available and stock their farms more conservatively. Clinical examination With sheep problems it is very important to become a good observer and be able to readily recognise signs of health and ill health. Features to observe within a flock for example include: Size variation, weight and body condition. Fleece: look for evidence of flystrike and any
defects such as dermatophilosis, lice and the quality of the fleece. Lameness: look for evidence of footrot, scale and occasionally, rickets. Coughing: common in hoggets but the cause is often hard to diagnose without the necropsy of several selected cases. Enzootic pneumonia is always a consideration. Note particularly if sheep cough when first moved. Scouring/diarrhoea: in
most cases this is due to parasitism. (For further information refer to The Sheep: Health, Disease and Production). • An extract from the chapter ‘Hogget growth, pneumonia and diseases of hoggets’ in The Sheep: Health, Disease and Production by DM West, An Bruere and Al Ridler; fourth revised edition published 2018 by Massey University Press.
Guessing the thrift and weight of hoggets is not reliable.
mob level or, if sheep are individually identified with electronic ear-tags, at the individual animal level. Weighing is not a laborious procedure and can usually be done during some other yarding task, e.g. drenching, crutching and shearing. Body condition scoring of sheep Unlike cattle, sheep cannot be body condition scored ‘by eye’ because of the confounding effect of the fleece. Instead they should be tightly packed into a race or crush and condition scored by pressing the thumb onto the spinous processes and the fingers onto the transverse processes of the lumbar vertebrate. Condition scoring is a skill requiring experience. It assesses the amount of muscle or fat cover
of these regions and is scored on a 1 to 5 basis. A condition score above 2.5 is usually considered satisfactory. Clinical approach to hogget health and disease While achieving target weights has been emphasised as the key to good animal health and hence good financial returns to the farmer, the veterinarian must be able to successfully and quickly diagnose any degree of ill health or poor feeding which is impairing this attainment. Dealing with such an investigation is essentially similar to any other clinical examination. History Specific areas to cover may include: ■■ time of lambing and weaning ■■ feed supply at lambing and through lactation
lambing spread and lambing percentage ■■ age of docking ■■ grazing management of ewes and lambs ■■ drenching with anthelminitics (times and materials used) ■■ use of trace elements ■■ records from previous years (often these are anecdotal and not reliable ■■ topdressing programme and any soil or pasture analyses done ■■ stocking rate. Any investigation of hogget ill thrift should always include a clear picture of the overall farm stocking rate, cattle/sheep ratios and whether store animals are being held which normally should have been sold. Experience will show that many farmers are ‘high stockers’ while others like to ■■
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MADE FOR NEW ZEALAND. CONTROL THE RISK OF TOXOPLASMA AVAILABLE ONLY UNDER VETERINARY AUTHORISATION. ACVM No: A4769. Schering-Plough Animal Health Ltd. Phone: 0800 800 543. www.msd-animal-health.co.nz NZ/SPV/0917/0002a (1) © 2018 Intervet International B.V. All Rights Reserved. 1. Wilkins, M, O’Connell, E and Te Punga, W. Vaccination of sheep against Toxoplasma abortion. Surveillance December 1992
RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
40 ANIMAL HEALTH
Improved antibiotic resistance test for dairy BAYER HAS improved its antibiotic resistance test in dairy cows, adding four new antibiotic families. The test is important for preventing the spread of antibiotic resistance to mastitis treatments in cows. Bayer improved its DairyAntibiogram (DAB) antibiotic resistance test by adding more antibiotics and more concentrations to the list. Launched last year, DAB involves the testing of bulk milk supply for resistance to antibiotics that treat mastitis. If resistant bacteria are
present, then a veterinarian can prescribe a more effective antibiotic. Following requests from veterinarians, Bayer has broadened the DAB test to include four extra antibiotics – Cefuroxime, Oxytetracycline, Lincomycin and Neomycin -- and at different concentrations. This is in addition to the six antibiotics already tested: Penicillin, Cloxacillin, Ampicillin, Cefazolin, Tylosin and Amoxycillin. DAB can now assess 10 different antibiotics for resistance and collect
About DairyAntibiogram DairyAntibiogram is a new test that shows how sensitive bacteria are to different mastitis treatments. The test is easy to have done as it is performed on bulk milk samples taken from milk processors. For more information about DairyAntibiogram, farmers should consult with their veterinarian or visit www.dab.bayer.co.nz.
twice as much data. Dairy veterinarian Grant Fraser, of Matamata Veterinary Services, says the DairyAntibiogram has been successful especially for farmers who don’t realise they have an issue. “We can now adjust
Matamata Veterinary Services dairy vet Grant Fraser and Bayer NZ North Island territory manager Stacey Waters.
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usage and get better cure rates; it’s technology that enables us to do our jobs better,” he says. “It’s helped drive mindset changes with our farmers and simplify treatment plans; we’ve also been able to grow our clinic ancillary services, like in-house cultures, which guide how you apply DAB data and adds value.” Bayer dairy veterinarian Dr Ray Castle says the upgrade to DAB is important as it now covers all antibiotics used to treat mastitis. “Mastitis infects 10-20% of the national dairy herd. As a veterinarian, you want to make sure you’re using the right antibiotics in the most responsible and effective way possible, which this improved test will allow.” Bayer has also made submitting test requests and managing the results easier and faster with the
launch of the DairyAntibiogram website (www.dab. bayer.co.nz). “The original DAB test was paper-based and quite admin-heavy. We’ve now streamlined the test request process by putting everything online, making it cleaner and easier to get right first time,” says Castle. “A vet can now log in, request a test and view its progress. Once the results are back, the website has a farm summary report tool that assists the vet in making a decision or recommendation on how to manage mastitis and the appropriate treatment to use on a particular farm. “A personalised farm summary report can be created and all results are stored on the website. Also a farmer can access the website, initiate a DairyAntibiogram test request, select their vet clinic and find out more information.”
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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
ANIMAL HEALTH 41
Keeping M.bovis at bay during mating DAIRY FARMERS are using a range of tactics to keep their cows and farms safe from Mycoplasma bovis this mating season. The disease, which spreads mostly via close physical contact between infected animals, makes using bulls exposed to other stock an added risk, says DairyNZ. So some farmers think twice about the traditional combination of artificial insemination (AI) and bulls; instead they consider extending AI to avoid bulls, or they reduce the number required. Farmers have recently been quizzing DairyNZ as they weigh up the risks and benefits of each approach. DairyNZ response manager Hamish Hodgson says the best thing farmers can do to protect their herd and farm is “do their homework”. “Unfortunately there isn’t a silver bullet; there are pros and cons associated with both AI and bulls,” he says. But few farmers are making drastic changes, Hodgson says. Most appear to be sticking with AI and bulls. “Few farmers have elected to use a full AI system due to the likely lowering of overall fertility stats, perceived costs and increased
labour for accurate heat detection. “Those using bulls should still do their due diligence, check where they’ve come from and whether they’ve been in herds with a history of disease. This is extremely important, especially if they’re older bulls that have done a few mating seasons on other farms.” Hodgson has heard of a spike in demand for virgin bulls with minimal exposure to other animals, reducing the biosecurity risk. Farmers have also been asking about M.bovis tests for bulls, Hodgson says. “There is a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test that is highly sensitive and will detect if M.bovis is present in a sample, but the complex nature of the disease can make this challenging. “Because infected animals only shed the bacteria intermittently it is dependent on M.bovis being present where the sample is taken, and on the day the animal is tested. This means a result of ‘not detected’ doesn’t necessarily mean it’s disease-free. That’s why we’re recommending farmers gather as much information as possible about the source of any bulls and don’t rely on
PCR results.” It’s recommended farmers using bulls keep them separate from their main herd for at least seven days to allow time
for the disease to present itself if they’re infected, Hodgson says. Any farmers concerned about the health of bulls should
contact their veterinarian before introducing them to their herd. www.dairynz.co.nz/mbovis @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews
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DairyNZ’s Hamish Hodgson.
RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
42 NZ AGRICULTURAL SHOW
Wool man boss of the show “It’s a great product and if we can showcase it a bit more, if we can do anything for the industry, it’s all good.”
TIMARU WOOL broker Tim Black (44) was elected earlier this year as the youngest-ever president of the Canterbury A&P Association. Now running his own firm Black & Associates, he has been in agriculture all his life, having worked on a farm straight from school, then studying at Lincoln, then working as a stock and station agent before his 15 years as a wool auctioneer. Black is passionate about wool, saying New Zealand is “still a nation of sheep” despite the recent drop in numbers. He says the Merino market is “really good” now, even for second pieces and short wool. However, he concedes the crossbred market is “struggling”. “It’s traditionally been carpet wool. Years ago, you were wealthy if
you were able to put a woollen carpet down. Nowadays everyone has a carpet but it’s not made of wool.” Meanwhile, Black believes that one day “the tide will turn” and people will realise wool’s benefits. Every time a jersey is washed it loses fine fibres, which doesn’t matter with biodegradable wool but the world’s waterways are filling with plastic, he says. Brands such as Icebreaker have
Timaru-based wool broker Tim Black is the youngest-ever president of the Canterbury A&P Association, the organisation that runs the NZ Agricultural Show.
done well selling Merino to the activewear market.
“It’s a fantastic product; there’s nothing bad about it at all. Buy once, buy well; no-one ever regrets buying quality,” Black says. He has been involved in the show all his life: “I haven’t missed a show yet.” This is a family association, with his parents also involved. His father Bryce recently retired as its veteran horse-ring marshal after 70 years with the show. Black says he is rapt about wool being a focus of the show this year. “It’s a great product and if we can showcase it a bit more, if we can do anything for the industry, it’s all good.” Being “lucky enough” to be the youngest show president, he also wants the show to focus on youth. While conceding that the average age of the people involved in the event has risen over the years, he says
“a bit of a swing” is occurring and young people are being employed in agriculture. “For young people involved with the A&P now, it’s looking promising for the future.” This year’s show -- for the third year running -- will have a live wool auction supported by PGG Wrightson, Carrfields and NZ Merino. “A lot of people have never seen a wool auction. It’s sold in a different way -- fast and exciting. You’re actually putting the hammer down after you’ve started the next lot.” He is also hoping for big things from a fashion event introduced to the show last year by North Canterbury’s coloured wool expert Bev Forrester. Black says they intend to “make a spectacle of it” this year with international and local designers represented.
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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
NZ AGRICULTURAL SHOW 43
Same show but with a different name READY TO ROLL
THE COUNTRY’S largest annual A&P Show, Canterbury, has rebranded itself the New Zealand Agricultural Show. The new name heralds the show’s greater emphasis on innovation in farming, underlined by a new partnership with Blinc Innovation, Lincoln. Event director Geoff Bone says the name change followed long talks with members, volunteers and committees. “It was the largest A&P show in the country, and had the largest concentration of rural sports such as woodchopping, shearing and endurocross. The equestrian competition was the largest in the South Island and among the top two or three in the country,” he says. The show was already a national platform for many of the participants. “It made a lot of sense strategically to set up and start leading that. We have a lot of engagement with the Ministry of Business and Innovation, the Mayoral Forum and other national bodies that want us to promote agriculture to a national and international audience,” says Bone. Meanwhile, Blinc will take over a space introduced to the show last year as the Innovation & Technology Marquee, renaming it the Blinc Innovation Hub. Bone says the marquee
Bone says four weeks out from the show entries were already at least 60% to 70% of last year’s despite disquiet about Mycoplasma bovis. He says they have worked with exhibitors and MPI and are confident exhibitors supported the changes made to ensure the safety and security of their animals.
Georgia Henderson, of Christchurch, giving her son, Hunter, 15 months, his first farm experience by getting up close to a lamb in the Mike Greer Homes City Farmyard at the show in 2016.
will be scaled up considerably – 800m2 compared with last year’s 100m2 – to include first-time small start-ups free of charge. It will show startups and industry innovation and offer “a space for opinion, debate and learning”. Panel discussions will cover topics including: • How we are going about creating a sustainable future • The role new business models play in capturing value for farmers and New Zealand • How we value our water and protect this resource • Our roles in biosecurity • Innovation: hearing from innovators and what they are doing. “We see the Blinc Innovation Hub as becoming a pivotal exhibition for the show,” says
Bone. Toni Laming, Blinc Innovation chief executive, says it was an opportunity for Blinc to get involved and ensure the Innovation Hub’s value to its audience.
“Blinc Innovation is focused on connecting farmers, growers, rural advisors and the wider industry to innovate and land outcomes to grow and create our future industry.”
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DIRTY JOBS GET EASIER! Based in the Central North Island the Handypiece team are hard out producing new stock and repairing existing Handypiece’s at this time of year. But they will take time out of their workshop schedule to be at the NZ Agricultural Show in Canterbury to spread the word about making dirty jobs as simple as possible when working with sheep, cattle, deer, goats & alpacas. We hear that even the occasional large dog gets a trim with the Handypiece! Three years on after the launch of the new Handypiece Pro sees it described as the best tool on the farm. Smaller and stronger, 100 gms lighter than a standard handpiece with a powerful brushless motor, no greater heat build-up than you get from a traditional wall powered plant. The Handypiece Pro has the added feature of variable speed from 2400 – 3500rpm. Dagging, crutching and trimming cows tails operate well at about mid speed of 2700 rpm, while anyone wanting to get a nice cut while shearing can wind it all of the way up to 3500rpm. Now alpaca shearers can use a traditional handpiece that is slim to hold but now with the speed that they can reduce to the same as a clipper. The new motor now means the battery lasts even longer as it is possible to crutch up to 300-400 sheep from one charge. The Handypiece team have an extensive manufacturing workshop with a section for
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Dairy farm staff member: “We mainly use the Handypiece Pro for trimming our dairy cows tails. It’s the best way ever to do them. We also use it to clean up the few sheep the boss has around”. Ex-shearer: “I’m an ex-shearer & thought I would find the Handypiece Pro awkward, but now after using it I feel it’s more efficient than the traditional hand piece on our flexi in the shed. Perfect for small mobs.” Lifestyle block shearer: “I use to set up my portable plant at each property I went to and always required mains power or generator. But now I leave that at home and just take the Handypiece Pro in the kit bag and set up in zero time. No power needed. Customers always comment on how quiet it is.”
servicing & repairs also. Dave Short (inventor & manufacturer) being a farmer himself, knows how frustrating it is to be without a tool you rely on while it is repaired. All parts of the Handypiece Pro unit/kit can be replaced or repaired with a minimal turn around period which they are proud of. Satisfying feedback are comments/requests like “I’m sending my old Handypiece up to you for an overhaul & service. You better send me down a new kit so I don’t have down time & then we’ll always have a backup”. The kit also comes with a Lithium battery, battery charger, belt, holster and pouch all made from heavy duty leather, 5mtr extension cord, completed with a purposely designed carry kit bag. Handypiece has a comprehensive website at www.handypiece. co.nz where it is possible to see several video clips of the Handypiece being used in different applications or come to see the Handypiece Pro at the NZ Agricultural Show in Canterbury – site E46 Handypiece Pro’s on display. Small block holder: “I am new to having stock on our lifestyle property, and wanted to be able to deal with flystrike and daggs myself. The Handypiece Pro enables me to do this and then I still get a professional in to do the shearing. Best of both worlds.” Dairy farmer with multiple blocks: “Great service explaining what I needed. We are new to using anything that looks like a hand piece so needed the advice!” Sheep & beef farmer: “I want to compliment you on the Handypiece Pro. We use to use clippers for years but the Handypiece is allot more powerful & easier to hold”.
David Short (inventor) in his sheep yards at home
RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
44 NZ AGRICULTURAL SHOW S AT SIEE US TE F2 7
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DOG OR SHEEP? Valais Blacknose sheep, sometimes described as the cutest sheep in the world, will be making their debut at the New Zealand Agricultural Show (formerly the Canterbury A&P Show), in Christchurch from November 14 to 16. Originally from Switzerland, the breed is known for its shaggy and curly wool and the striking black patches on face and legs. Lindsay and Sally Strathdee, of Motueka, have partnered with Wairarapa breeder Christine Reed to build up what is believed to be NZ’s largest flock, from embryos imported from the UK. The Strathdees will bring five animals to the show, where they will offer to sell English Leicester ewes in-lamb with Valais, for others to start their own flocks. The Strathdees say the Valais’s adorable appearance is matched by their warm temperament -- “more like dogs than sheep”. And they have commercial value in the flavour of their low-fat meat, fast-growing fleece and ability to breed year-round. The Strathdees say Switzerland no longer allows exports of the breed, but they plan to sell embryos to the US where a business partner reports huge demand.
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GETTING MAINS power to remote stock troughs can run to $80,000 a kilometre, says solar power specialist Alastair Frizzell, of Frizzell Agricultural Electronics, of Kirwee, Canterbury. And with the increasing cost of fossil fuels, solar is now less expensive than either mains or diesel pumps, he says. Frizzell will show his systems at the New Zealand Agricultural Show, notably his work with ECan in using solar power to help protect the endangered Canterbury mudfish. In one installation, Frizzell has provided a solar powered pump, pumping bore water into a small tributary of the lower Selwyn River to keep it viable year-round as a mudfish habitat. Farmer Graeme Odell has fenced off a whole shallow gully and will plant it in natives to help protect the endangered fish there. Frizzell says the installation shows the scale possible with solar power. “Most people think of solar pumps as being little solar fountains in
Alastair and Nick Frizzell of Frizzell Agricultural Electronics at a Dunsandel site where they have installed a large solar array to pump bore water into a vital Canterbury mudfish habitat. RURAL NEWS GROUP
a fish pond somewhere, whereas the system we’ve put in for ECan has 90 large solar panels. Its 14kW pump pumps 40 litres a second from a well. “As far as we know it’s by far the largest solar pump system installed in this country.” In another ECan/DoC mudfish project in the upper Selwyn catchment, the fish are protected by an electronic underwater ‘electric fence’ running at a frequency that doesn’t affect mudfish but deters predators like trout. A smaller solar array powers that scheme. Frizzell says the installations show the capabili-
ties of the technology and the scale of what is possible. “The spin-off for the farming sector is that we can put in large systems if they need to supply stock water, even irrigation. Nowadays often it’s more economical to use solar panels to power those systems, even quite large ones, rather than running mains power.” Frizzell says it is easy to fence animals out of streams and dams to prevent environmental damage, but then it costs to supply an alternative source of water. Rather than piping to troughs from a central location, small solar pumps can
service individual troughs from a nearby stream. “The economics stack up in the rural sector.” His company’s main focus has been stock water systems, but it has also trialled solar-powered irrigation, partnering with a company providing machinery used in Australia. “This season we are installing a number of centre pivots, typically smaller ones, but we’ve been doing trials on bigger units as well. We want to prove them in New Zealand conditions -- they’re different from Australia.” @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews
RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
MACHINERY & PRODUCTS 45
Upgrades for JD’s 6R series MARK DANIEL firstname.lastname@example.org
JOHN DEERE is updating its lineup of 110 to 250hp 6R series cabbed tractors for 2019. Three new, optional features are claimed to enhance tractor performance and control, including the all-new CommandPro Control multi-function joystick with IVT transmission (as seen on the 6230R and 6250R), variable ratio steering and a 155L/ minute hydraulic pump. Other new features include an engine-oil service door, telematics using JDLink services and a 4200 Generation 4 CommandCenter display at no extra charge. CommandPro is a customisable, ergonomic joystick that enables operators to control tractor speed and direction, and implement functions from a single control lever. “These enhancements let the operator spend more time looking out in front of the machine instead of looking down at controls and switches when the tractor is moving,” says Anne Anderson, product marketing manager with John Deere. Configurable buttons enable operators to customise the control lever to best fit the job or operator preference. These then can be saved as profiles, such as ‘baling’ or ‘mowing’. To make tight turns
BRAND RECOGNITION BRAND RECOGNITION has given John Deere 88th position in the Best Global Brands Ratings – moving up four positions from last year. The ranking, awarded by brand consultancy firm Interbrand, also estimates that the value of the JD brand is now about US$5.4 billion, up from a value of US$3.65 billion in 2011. Interbrand says its brand valuation is based on financial performance, the influence on purchase decisions and the strength of the brand to create loyalty and sustainable customer demand.
easier, a new variable ratio steering option reduces steering wheel rotations by one-third at speeds of less than 14km/h. “With one revolution of the steering wheel, front wheels turn faster and farther. Less steering effort and arm movement are required to turn the machine during loader work or while making a headland turn,” Anderson says. Variable ratio steering requires a John Deere AutoTrac Ready equipped tractor and is activated using the Generation 4 CommandCenter display. 6145R–6215R tractors can be optioned with a 155L/min hydraulic pump to decrease frontloader cycle times and capacity for larger implements. Other detail changes include a small door added to provide access to the engine-oil service area without the need for opening the tractor hood -- said to be particularly useful when the tractor is equipped with a frontloader and loader hood guard.
In the cab, the 4200 Generation 4 CommandCenter display is now included in the base equipment package,
John Deere is updating its lineup of 110hp to 250h 6R Series cabbed tractors for the 2019 season.
providing more display surface area for viewing tractor and precision-ag functions and it requires fewer button presses to
make changes. In addition, a oneyear JDLink Connect plus 5-year JDLink Access and RDA subscription gives
customers the ability to monitor their machine and receive remote support. Using integrated tech-
nology, customers can track machine location and hours, and analyse machine and fuel usage. “They can set geofence and curfew alerts, maintenance tracking and other alerts to keep up to date on the status of machines,” Anderson explains. “The technology also lets customers send setup, prescription and documentation files to a machine in the field via wireless data transfer. Customers get increased uptime with proactive diagnostics.”
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46 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS
One tractor keeps cropping farm on track MARK DANIEL email@example.com
ROSS AND Averill Smart farm on the flat land of Mid Canterbury between Rakaia and Methven. The 171ha irrigated farm grows wheat, barley, peas for processing, grass,
white clover seed and potatoes on contract. The crops are grown 50:50 -- contracted and open market. During autumn/winter the farm fattens about 2200 lambs that arrive after harvest and are all gone by September.
The Smart family, third-generation farmers, arrived there in 1981 and by 1983 Smart had bought his first Deutz Fahr. This air-cooled, 5-cylinder DX 85 still does active service, mostly light duties such as powering an auger at harvest time.
Today’s main workhorse is a DF 6165RC that arrived in September 2017 to replace a M600 and now shows 600 hours use. The 171hp machine pulls a 7.2m, 50 spring tine Sunshine cultivator, a 24-run disc drill, a Kverneland 6-furrow
Ross and Averill Smart have relied on Deutz Fahr tractors to help run their Mid Canterbury cropping farm for the past 35 years.
Vari-Width plough over the potato ground and a 10-disc KV mower in the grass seed operation.
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“The tractor has a little more power than we probably need,” Smart says of its having replaced the 140hp M600. “But our philosophy is to have one tractor capable of all the jobs on the farm.” The tractor bears stunning modern design by Giugiaro of Italy and the latest technology from Germany. The 6-cylinder Deutz engine meets Tier 4 (final) emissions regulations, and achieves industry-leading fuel consumption, constant power from 2100 to 1600rpm and – importantly – constant torque from 1900 down to 1100 engine revs. The RC-designation offers a transmission with five main speeds and six powershift steps, with varying degrees of control from manual, through semi-automatic to fully automatic operation of speeds and powershift steps, dependent on pre-set speed and engine load. Add to this a longtravel front suspension set-up with anti-rise and anti-dive, 50km/h capabil-
ity and a suspended cabin and this is really a great package. “Many older farmers claim that tractors are getting too complicated and high-tech,” Smart says. “The 6165 offers the best of both worlds; whether you choose to use the automation or control the tractor manually, either way it’s easy to use.” He has proven this: once shown how to use the headland management functions he soon used them. So much so that he is now speaking to the dealer to retro-fit an auto-steering system to further improve productivity. Smart succinctly sums up the choice of Deutz Fahr: “It was an easy choice; we’ve had Deutz on the farm since 1983. They perform extremely well and are well supported by a great team at our local dealer Power Farming Ashburton and nationally by Power Farming NZ.” @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews
THE NEW GENERATION ALL-TERRAIN AT3 The new Cooper AT3LT™ & XLT™ is the perfect tyre for New Zealanders who use their vehicle for work, carrying weight and towing. Durable Tread Technology makes this the no.1 All-Terrain tyre for New Zealand’s harsh high chip and volcanic road surfaces. Best in Class for mileage, with 44% more tread depth than original equipment tyres Most comprehensive mileage warranty in the industry, up to 80,000kms 3 meters shorter wet stopping distance than competitors, through higher silica content Our quietest All-Terrain tyre ever, from the world’s first tyre to use whisper grooves
Visit coopertires.co.nz or call 0800 453-367 to find your nearest retailer.
RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
MACHINERY & PRODUCTS 47
Merc ute sets a new standard MARK DANIEL firstname.lastname@example.org
IT TOOK a while to get here, but now it’s arrived the Mercedes X-Class has created a stir at the premium end of the buoyant ute market Let’s cut to the chase: it’s good, very good. While the motoring ‘experts’ mutter about it being a Nissan Navara in a fur coat, it’s not hard to dismiss these sour grapes in a close look at the engineering, the overall specification and the fit and finish. You might ask why does this matter because it’s just a ute? Yes but these are no longer just working vehicles; they’re dual-purpose. Many will never venture out of the cities. Rural News drove an X-Class 250D for a week in rural Waikato and while a few of its German traits puzzled us, the more we drove it the more we liked it. First impression, important when you’re picking a vehicle that’s going to be a partner for a few years, is that it’s right up there. A broad, handsome front end makes it clear this is a Merc, detail lines in the flanks suggest purpose, the practical back end has a step set into the bumper, and the well-deck has a secure sliding cover and clever
load securing within. Back to the front, power (140kW /450Nm) comes from a 4-cylinder 2.3L twin-turbo unit never found wanting. For a bit more boogie, a V6 190kW option is also
not needed for our expeditions, was there if things got tough. Add to this 222mm ground clearance and 600mm wading depth, then rural life shouldn’t prove too stressful for this ute.
Acceleration was brisk, yet smooth, with changes imperceptible. There is also the option of manual shifting. available, but that’s probably hard to justify given the performance of the four, mated to a 7-speed auto box. Acceleration was brisk, yet smooth, with changes imperceptible. There is also the option of manual shifting. Suspension up front is a double-wishbone setup, and the rear takes the form of multi-links. The Mercedes development team has obviously tweaked the rear end, as generally it doesn’t exhibit the harshness normally found in most utes set up for a one-tonne payload and 3.5t towing capacity. Off-road during our test (don’t tell the lovely lady from Mercedes NZ) we found that the selectable 4WD system – with high and low ranges – kept the big German kept moving. An added bonus was knowledge that the rear diff lock, although
In the cabin the finish is what you’d expect from this premier marque. Nut brown leather covered the seats, the upper dashboard, door caps and arm rests, and a faux-wood finish on the face of the dash. The seats were firm and supportive -- a typical German trait -- and adjustable for all shapes and sizes, although the vertical adjustment for the seatbelts were a little limited for this 1.83 tall driver. Controls on the dashboard and the steering wheel are plentiful, probably best understood on a quiet evening with a whiskey and the operator’s manual. The 8-inch touchscreen dominating the centre of the fascia is clear and informative, although the touchpad/ scroll-wheel next to the gear shifter was distracting. Add in a great sound system, an extremely
The X-Class ute sports a broad, handsome front-end that makes it clear it is a Mercedes.
As you’d expect, safety functions are to the fore: cruise control/speed limiter, lane keep assist, active braking system,
useful 360-degree camera system and a park assist function and you have technology shown to its best use.
downhill speed control and much more. Our test vehicle had the optional Style Pack: privacy glass, side steps,
roof rails, 19-inch alloys and a quirky electric sliding window in the rear cab glass that should keep Shep happy.
EAT GR ING RK NS WO ANIO P 46 COM CE 19 N I S
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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
48 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS
It’s a real cracker at breaking up the soil MARK DANIEL firstname.lastname@example.org
THE PRACTICE of subsoiling – by no means new – is acknowledged by farmers and contractors as helping improve
drainage and creating healthier soil conditions with increased worm activity that ultimately result in higher yields. Many subsoilers tend to leave an uneven surface and are often
unable to go deep enough to penetrate the compacted pan layer to achieve the required results. Alpego claims its Super Craker overcomes this problem with spe-
cially designed legs that enter the ground surface at an optimal angle, The Alpego Super Craker sub-soiler is especially designed to penetrate through compacted soils to depths of up to 600mm.
“No need to replace shafts, modules or bearings if we hit something with our SIP”
Mowers by Webbline Your Grass Harvesting Specialists
Three sets of SIP Silvercut Mower Combinations working in South Canterbury.
allowing the machine to penetrate through the compacted pan layer to depths of up to 600mm, while breaking the pan with minimal mixing of the subsoil into the upper soil profile. The company says its machine leaves the profile of the soil such that in a dry season the moisture stored deep down can move freely up the soil profile to the plant. However, in a wet season the opposite occurs with the excess moisture freely draining away, resulting in higher cropping yields in all seasons. This sub-soiler would suit contractors and maize growers looking to improve their crops suffering from soil compaction. It’s made from Swedish high tensilerated steel and has castiron clamps to fix the legs
to the frame. Three models are offered from 3 to 5m working width, suitable for tractors from 100 to 500hp, and a choice of shear-bolt or hydraulic auto-reset systems offer protection from foreign objects. Either 500mm or 600mm legs allow the user to penetrate to different compaction depths. Meanwhile, a Franter double-spiked rear roller crushes clods left on the surface, leaving a level and semi-cultivated finish ready for the next pass before final planting, and helping to conserve moisture. Either share bolt or hydraulic auto reset protection suit all conditions. www.originagroup.co.nz @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews
The SIP Mower Secret Excellent Shear-Pin System Follows the Ground Superbly
“The shear-pin system is excellent, we can replace them in 10 minuites, and there is no need to replace shafts, modules or bearings” Chris Reymer, Reymer Ag Contracting, Waikato
“The SIP has eliminated the scalping problem which I had with my earlier mower and leaves a far superior finish.” Pete Nelis, Dairy Farmer, Waikato
With over 50 years experience selling equipment to New Zealand contractors and farmers, Webbline is well placed to offer you their huge source of knowledge that ensures the right equipment is matched to your specific farming needs, the first time. Talk to the team at Webbline Agriculture about getting the best out of your new mower.
SIP Disc Drive Safety System (DDSS)
In the event of disc overload, four brass shear-pins absorb the force of the foreign object impact. This leaves the cutter bar, spindle shaft and mowing disc intact. The repair and replacement of shear-pins takes 10 minutes with a cost of only $25 that has you back working as normal.
Call 0800 932 254 now for an expert assessment or visit www.webbline.co.nz for more details.
GUMBOOTS, JANDALS, T-SHIRTS In recognition of the 60th anniversary of the Red Band gumboot, manufacturer Skellerup has released a range of commemorative, Kiwi-themed tee-shirts in time for summer. The MR Vintage regular fit, crew-neck tees are made of 180gsm and 100% soft combed cotton, preshrunk and available in a wide range of sizes.
RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
MACHINERY & PRODUCTS 49
Mowers get silage contractors off on right foot email@example.com
THE LALICH family has a dairy farm and contracting business at Ngarua, near Morrinsville. A manager looks after the farm, leaving father Trevor and son Daniel free to pursue their contracting business. The operation does some cultivation, but mostly harvests grass for dairy and goat farmers in the region. It offers a full harvesting service from cutting to raking, tedding, baling and wrapping. “A lot of farmers have their own mowers,” Trevor Lalich told Rural News. “But more and more get us in to do the whole job.” The Lalichs’ machinery brand of choice is Pottinger, including a Jumbo 6010L loader wagon and an eightrotor 8.91T tedder. The mowing side of the operation falls to a Pottinger A10 double rear butterfly mower with a variable working width of 9.25m-10m when paired with a 3.5m front mower.
Trevor says it is a robust, wellbuilt machine that gives a good cut and despite its large working width it is quite manoeuvrable. “It is easy to lift one or both rear mowers when working in smaller paddocks,” he says. The front and rear mowers have enough overlap to eliminate striping when turning, while also offering the ability to adjust the cutting width from the cab with the ISOBUS monitor. This system also controls how the mowers lift at the headlands to cut right to the headland swath. When turning, the ISOBUS system also reduces the working width of the rear mowers to increase the overlap between the front and rear mowers, so there is less striping when encountering and moving around obstacles like water troughs or pylons. “We largely work on flat paddocks,” Daniel Lalich explains. “However, if we do work in rolling country the system allows us to easily
Daniel Lalich says the Pottinger A10 double rear butterfly mower is a robust, well-built machine that gives a good cut.
reduce the working width from 10m to 9m from the cab hydraulically – again to avoid striping.” The geometry of the three mowers sees a centre-mounted pivot on each cutter-bar to give optimum ground tracking via a hydraulic suspension system that is fully adjustable to suit ground conditions. “As an example, you can increase the pressure when the mower is
bouncing around too much on rough ground or you can ease it off in wetter ground, so it doesn’t dig in. “You can do it manually from the monitor or you can set it to automatic mode, so the system adjusts the pressure depending on the conditions. We usually leave it on the automatic setting.” The mowers have Pottinger’s exclusive ‘Y’ drive transmission gearbox.
These operate at 1000 rpm and are fitted with dual slip clutches on each side of main central gearbox, but not on the PTO shafts to eliminate backlash. A non-stop hydraulic breakaway system lets the mowers swing back in the event of a of collision. At the same time, the cutter bar moves upwards on a ball joint, allowing the cutter-bar to lift over obstacles.
TOR U BUY ANOTHER TRAC
AND IF YO
E IM T R U O Y E S R U WE’LL REIMB DEMO A DEUTZ-FAHR
At Deutz-Fahr we believe you’ll like our quality range of tractors so much – we’ll guarantee it. We also understand your time is valuable… so demo any Deutz-Fahr tractor and if you decide to buy an opposition tractor we’ll give you $1,000 for your time.** That’s how confident we are.
Deutz-Fahr tractors are synonymous with reliability and quality, ranging from 75 to 340 horsepower and proven locally and globally by farmers and contractors alike. To organise a time and place to try a Deutz-Fahr tractor contact your local Deutz-Fahr or Power Farming dealer today!
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0800 801 888 | deutztractors.co.nz | Fb deutzNZ Offer valid until 30/11/18. * Finance rate of 3.75% is based on 30% plus total GST deposit and/or use trade-in, then 36 monthly payments. Terms and conditions and normal lending criteria apply. ** Terms and conditions apply. Go to deutztractors.co.nz/trydeutz for detailed terms and conditions. Contact your local dealership for more information.
ONE NAME COVERS IT ALL
RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
50 TRAVEL / RURAL TRADER ADVERTORIAL
Canada, Alaska – ‘postcard perfect’ ate their busy Motueka store, they’re also seasoned experts in hosting tours all over the globe. So intoxicating are Canada and Alaska, they’re heading back there in May 2019 on a 26-day almost all-inclusive tour that incorporates the famous Yosemite National Park, Calgary, Lake Louise and Jasper. Then, after you’ve finished exploring all the
A JOURNEY through the breathtaking heart of the Canadian Rockies before cruising along Alaska’s mesmerising Inside Passage is an epic adventure everyone should experience once in their life, says Phil Harris, of World Travellers, Motueka, who’s returning for another ‘fix’ of the fantastic. Husband-and-wife team Phil and Jane Harris not only own and oper-
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welcome reception and farewell dinner to get to know and farewell newfound friends. Also included is sightseeing that takes in all the highlights, such as The Butchart Gardens, and next-level experiences such as a visit to the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary or a River Safari to Grizzly Bear Valley.
to return to Canada and Alaska again in 2019.” So if Alaska and Canada are on your bucket list, May 2019 is as good a time as any to tick them off. You can find out more by getting in touch with Phil using the contact details below, or see their website www.worldtravellers. co.nz/motueka
Rockies has to offer, it’s time to board your cruise of Alaska’s Inside Passage. Cruising holds a special place in Phil and Jane’s hearts. “It’s one of those travel styles that becomes addictive, it’s just so easy.” Holland America Line will take good care of you as you cruise to places like Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway. But no Alaska cruise is complete without Glacier Bay National park, which certainly lives up to its name. Hopefully you’ll catch a thundering Glacier as it calves and crashes into the frigid sea
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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 6, 2018
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24/10/18 2:51 PM
Rural News 06 November 2018