Page 1

NEWS

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

MANAGEMENT

Review calls for urgent action on livestock emissions. PAGE 8

A chariot that will attract many.

Solar halves farm’s power bill. PAGE 38

PAGE 42

TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS MARCH 5, 2019: ISSUE 671 

www.ruralnews.co.nz

Sweet and sour SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

FONTERRA’S MILK price review last week was a mixed bag, says Federated Farmers vice president Andrew Hoggard. Most farmers will be happy with the 30c lift in the milk payout range but worried to see the dividend range dip by 10c. Hoggard says for most farmers the milk price “is the main thing that matters”. “The milk price is sweet; no complaints there,” he told Rural News. “But when farmers delve deeper and realise their return on investment is down, there will be some cause for concern.” Hoggard remains hopeful Fonterra’s portfolio review will help bolster returns from its branded business. The co-op will update farmers on the review when announcing its interim results on March 20.

Fonterra last week lifted its 201819 milk forecast price to $6.30-$6.60/ kgMS, up from the $6.00-$6.30 range announced in December; forecast earnings were revised down to 15-25 cents per share, from 25-35c/share. Chairman John Monaghan says the improved milk price forecast reflects the increases in global milk prices over the last quarter.  “Since our last milk price update in December, global demand has strengthened,” he says. This is driven mostly by stronger demand from Asia, including Greater

China. The European Union’s (EU) intervention stocks of skim milk powder (SMP) have also now been cleared for the season and, as a result, Fonterra expects demand for SMP to be strong. The co-op will not pay an interim dividend; any full year dividend can only be paid at the end of the financial year and will depend on the coop’s full year earnings and balance sheet position. Monaghan says although the milk price is strong the co-op’s earnings performance is not satisfactory and

it needs to deliver farmers and unit holders a respectable return on their investment. The board is making progress on a full review of the strategy which includes a review of the dividend policy, he says. “We are taking a close look at our business with our portfolio review, where we can win in the world, and the products and markets where we have a real competitive advantage. We need a fundamental change in direction if we are to deliver on our full potential. We TO PAGE 4

Best of the best Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor congratulates Eugene and Pania King, owner/operators of Kiriroa Station, Gisborne and one of three finalists in this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy competition for excellence in Māori Farming Award announced at Parliament last month. See more on the event and profiles on all the finalists pages 36-37. PHOTO BY ALPHAPIX.NZ

DRYING OUT PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

REPORTS FROM many regions say the green grass seen on farms in January has now turned brown. Certainly this is so on the east coast of both the North and South Islands. In Waikato, the farm consultancy company AgFirst says things are looking dry on farm. Steven Howarth told Rural News they had a good spring and summer with plenty of feed. But this has burnt off and the promised rain that fell a week ago wasn’t the quantity they were looking for. “The conditions have created some challenges for farmers with some struggling to get space at processing plants to get their stock killed,” he says. Howarth says lamb performance has also been variable: good growth rates for some while others struggle with the dry conditions. Beef cattle have had a good summer, says Agfirst, but now the challenge is getting stock killed after farmers held them back to put on extra weight. With rain and warm temperatures, the warning is out to farmers to monitor spore counts as there is a risk of facial eczema in some regions, notably the King Country. “But countering that some cold spells have reduced the risk,” Howarth says. Apart from this, Howarth says relatively good livestock prices have helped keep up morale onfarm.

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

NEWS 3 ISSUE 671

www.ruralnews.co.nz

Labour pains rack growers PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

NEWS������������������������������������� 1-24 MARKETS��������������������������26-27 AGRIBUSINESS�������������� 28-29 HOUND, EDNA���������������������� 30 CONTACTS����������������������������� 30 OPINION��������������������������� 30-33 MANAGEMENT�������������� 35-38 ANIMAL HEALTH������������ 39-41 MACHINERY AND PRODUCTS���������������������� 42-46 RURAL TRADER������������� 46-47

HEAD OFFICE Top Floor, 29 Northcroft Street, Takapuna, Auckland 0622 Phone: 09-307 0399 Fax: 09-307 0122 POSTAL ADDRESS PO Box 331100, Takapuna, Auckland 0740 Published by: Rural News Group Printed by: PMP Print CONTACTS Editorial: editor@ruralnews.co.nz Advertising material: davef@ruralnews.co.nz Rural News online: www.ruralnews.co.nz Subscriptions: subsrndn@ruralnews.co.nz ABC audited circulation 79,599 as at 30.09.2018

HORTICULTURE’S BIGGEST challenge is the lack of people prepared to work in the industry, says Ben James, the president of Hawkes Bay Fruit Growers Association. And school is where the problem starts: horticulture is stereotyped as poorly paid work for people who struggle at school, but that perception is simply not true, says James. “For example there are schools in Hawkes Bay that don’t offer horticulture in their curriculum yet it is the mainstay of employment in the region,” James told Rural News. “Part of that is teachers’ perceptions that horticulture is where dummies go – the end of the employment spectrum. “Misinformed opinions are hard to change and you would be amazed to hear how many young people have never seen an apple tree or an orchard full of apples.” And it’s not only what is being said that’s the problem. James says often

Ben James says there’s a misinformed view that horticulture is for dummies.

the only photographs people see of horticulture are of people picking fruit. “That does not accurately portray

the highly skilled and well paid jobs and career opportunities the sector offers.”

In the orchard he manages he employs 120 seasonal staff and six permanent staff who don’t pick fruit but manage staff and do higher skilled work. He points out that a qualified orchardist with a level 4 certificate in fruit production can earn about $22/ hour even before they step into a management role. Despite the career progression the industry now offers it is extremely hard to get staff. Technology plays a major role at the post-harvest stage, and now there is talk about what role technology may play in harvesting. “Technology is happening in spraying and irrigation,” he said. “While there is a lot of talk about technology we are still a long way from having something that can pick fruit. That’s partly due to our canopy design and the need for artificial intelligence to pick the right fruit.” James says horticulture is in an exciting phase with excellent jobs and good opportunities to build a long term career in the industry.

A nice little earner LANDCORP IS paying members of its contentious environmental reference group (ERG) $1500 a day each – far more than other government body payments. This has been revealed in answers to an Official Information Act (OIA) request by Rural News to the Government-owned farmer (trading as Pamu Farms). “Each ERG member and the chairman is paid a flat fee of $1500 per day they attend the ERG meeting,” Landcorp’s OIA response says. “In addi-

tion, the chair is paid an hourly rate for meeting preparation.” During the 2017-2018 year, the state farmer also paid $2740.11 in travel costs and another $2451.43 in accommodating out-of-town ERG members for the four meetings it held in Wellington. Landcorp set up the ERG in 2015 after protests about the state-owned farmer’s Wairakei Estates forestryto-dairy farm conversions north of Taupo. Its members over the years have

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included several high-profile farming critics, including two controversial environmentalists – freshwater ecologist Dr Mike Joy, farming critic and now Landcorp’s head of environmental; and former Fish and Game chief executive Bryce Johnson. Current members of ERG include outspoken freshwater campaigner Marnie Prickett who also chairs the committee, Forest and Bird campaigner Anna-Beth Cohen, earth systems scientist and Māori specialist Dr Daniel Hikuroa, well-known ecol-

ogist Guy Salmon and the ubiquitous Mike Joy. Meanwhile, it looks like members of Landcorp’s ERG are on a pretty good wicket at $1500-a-day, compared with other Governmentpaid bodies. Members of the Primary Sector Council are paid $500 a day, with chair Lain Jager earning $800 a day. The Tax Working Group members earned $800 a day and chair Sir Michael Cullen earned $1000 a day. • Consultants cash in on tax push – page 7

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4 NEWS

Fruit fly restrictions set to be lifted this would be good news for residents and traders of affected suburbs; it will also please Hawke’s Bay apple growers preparing to harvest new crop. “I was in Hawke’s Bay recently and growers are focused on operations up here; they are ready to

SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

RESTRICTIONS ON moving fruits in some parts of Auckland could end next week if no more fruit flies are discovered. Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says

Fruit fly file ❱❱ Three Queensland fruit flies and two Facialis fruit flies found 548 traps in three suburbs; Devonport, Northcote and Otara 422 bins have collected around 3000 kg fruit (normal fruit waste in these suburbs) ❱❱ 140 biosecurity staff and contractors and industry partners on the ground.

harvest apples and would hate to see restrictions into valuable markets.” Two suburbs of North Shore, Devonport and Northcote are facing Controlled Area Notices (CAN) following the discovery of fruit flies; two single Queensland fruit flies were found in Northcote and one in Devonport. Two single male Facialis fruit flies have been found in separate surveillance traps in Ōtara, south Auckland where restrictions are also in place. This restricts the movement of certain fruit

and vegetables out of the controlled area to help prevent the spread of any fruit flies if any are present. “Hopefully with the operations underway, we have caught all fruit flies present and we can move on and declare these areas free of fruit fly,” he says. Lifting of restrictions will allow Biosecurity NZ to wind back ground operations in the three suburbs. Nearly three tonnes of fruit waste has been collected from the three suburbs affected; the normal amount of fruit waste in these areas.

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Biosecurity NZ’s Catherine Duthie amd Agriculture minister Damien O’Connor addressing the media at Northcote last week.

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will provide an update on the strategy and the progress made on the portfolio review at our interim results on March 20.” Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell says the underlying performance of the business is not where it needs to be.   “The main pressure points on our earnings are the three we highlighted in our Q1 business update: challenges in our Australian ingredients and our foodservice businesses in wider Asia. We are making inroads in addressing them but they will not be solved overnight.  “And since our Q1 business update, we have also felt the impact of difficult

trading conditions in Latin America, mainly due to geopolitical situations in some countries. “In addition, the increase in the milk price, which is the primary cost input in our non milk-price products, has put pressure on the margins for those products, and they significantly contribute to our earnings. “We remain committed to financial discipline. We are making good progress on our portfolio review and asset [sales] in order to reduce our debt by $800 million this financial year. We are also on track to meet our targets for capital expenditure and operating expenses,” says Hurrell.


RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

NEWS 5

Water tax a wet idea – irrigators NIGEL MALTHUS

A PROPOSED nationwide water tax would affect all Kiwis, says IrrigationNZ. More discussion is needed on how it would impact households, farmers and businesses, the lobby group says. While the Tax Working Group’s proposals for a capital gains tax have grabbed most of the news headlines, flying under the radar has been a suggestion of a national tax on all water use --irrigation, hydro-generation, domestic and commercial. IrrigationNZ chair Nicky Hyslop says the proposal is “somewhat different” from that floated by Labour before the election. “It won’t just affect irrigated farmers; it’ll affect all New Zealanders across the board.” Hyslop says a water tax would raise power and food prices for households and businesses, push up rates bills to pay for the irrigation of parks and reserves, and would be a direct tax on household and business water use. “It was proposed as a way of funding restoration of waterways, but a water tax just won’t fix it,” she says. “While we all want to see cleaner rivers, often the solutions to improving rivers require people to change their existing practices onfarm and [as a means of preventing] urban wastewater discharges into rivers. “Just allocating money will not be the most effective solution,” Hyslop says. “Farmers and growers in many regions may face significant water tax costs in excess of $10,000 a year, making it more difficult to fund the environmental improvements we all want to see occur to improve waterways.” Hyslop believes a water tax would also unfairly target drier areas of the

country. “We need to think about whether a water tax is equitable, as water use varies hugely across regions based on rainfall. For example, a Christchurch resident uses an average of 146,700 litres of water per year, while the average New Zealander uses 82,800 litres. “Someone living in Christchurch would pay nearly twice as much in a water tax as someone living elsewhere and would also pay more in rates because in a drier climate the council will use more water to irrigate their local parks. “Is taxing lower-rainfall regions such as Canterbury, Otago, Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough more heavily through a water tax a fair way to fund river restoration nationwide?” Hyslop says there are similar equity issues for farmers and growers. Farm-

ers in dry areas like Central Otago rely on irrigation, while many other regions have poor waterways but little irrigation. “Only 7% of farmers use irrigation nationwide; why are those farmers being targeted to pay a tax which 93% of farmers won’t pay?” Meanwhile, Hyslop says a tax on hydro-electric generation would also add to power bills at a time when the Government wants to encourage renewable energy to meet climate change targets. IrrigationNZ also disputes a suggestion in the report that a water tax would encourage greater investment in water storage. “If you look at the most recently approved water storage project – the Waimea Dam – a price increase for the dam construction nearly resulted in it

not being built. “Introducing a new tax on water use will add to the long-term costs of this and similar projects and make them less viable and less likely to be built. We need more investment in these projects to ensure we have enough water to supply our growing population and get through more frequent droughts.” Hyslop says there are already “huge levers” in farming practices that ensure farmers only want to apply as much water as they need. “Every time we turn on an irrigator it’s expensive for electricity.” “Many areas now face variable water charges so a lot of existing systems are already putting a lot of pressure on water efficiency. That’s demonstrated by the fact that water use per hectare over the past 10 to

Irrigation chair Nicky Hyslop.

15 years has dropped dramatically through new technology and better management. “We’re already seeing that and we don’t need a water tax to achieve it.” Farmers and irrigation schemes have spent $1.7 billion to modernise their systems since 2011. “Introducing a major new tax will reduce the ability of farmers to replace an older irrigation system with a more water efficient model.” Hyslop says IrrigationNZ shares Government’s concerns over water quality and will continue talking about possible remedies.

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

6 NEWS

Ghost group opposes vote PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

AN ANONYMOUS group called Concerned Growers Collective is opposing two Zespri resolutions now before growers which the group claims would cause “irreparable damage” to the industry. Zespri went on a roadshow in the past two weeks asking kiwifruit growers to vote in support of two resolutions: 12 month marketing and ownership by Zespri of all plant variety rights (PVRs). The poll will finish on March 15 and is counted in two ways; resolutions generally need 75% support. The mysterious Concerned Growers Collective has told growers a ‘yes’ vote “will lock in a new strategy for Zespri whereby it earns 85% of its profits from licences that should belong to you and New Zealand, and also allow it to grow and sell kiwifruit from anywhere in the world (other than China and Chile) ahead of yours”. The group, which would not field someone to speak to Rural News, claims on its website and in printed

The anonymous “Concerned Groers Group’ is opposing two Zespri resolutions currently before growers.

material that members are second generation growers who wish to remain anonymous to ensure discussion “is focused on the issues not personalities”. “Sadly, there is a history in the industry of personalising and characterising issues, which distracts from sensible and informed debate,” the group says in a statement. “While these resolutions are good for Zespri shareholders, there are significant risks to New Zealand kiwifruit growers that have not been

considered fully or even debated by the industry. “A ‘yes’ vote will permanently change the drivers of Zespri from marketing New Zealand-grown kiwifruit to a corporate that is focused on the international fruit trade and variety development to the benefit of its shareholders.” The group claims it has sent letters to all growers through NZ and is getting positive support. It says the resolutions are in essence asking growers to approve: • Zespri moving from a marketer

of NZ-grown kiwifruit to a grower in offshore countries including other southern hemisphere countries • Marketing kiwifruit grown in those countries 12 months a year • Owning, using and managing kiwifruit plant variety rights developed in NZ by Zespri and Plant & Food Research Ltd, using funding from the Government and growers. The collective says it supports the single point of entry and that NZ has desperately fought to maintain that status under international pressure to deregulate. “Ownership of PVRs by Zespri will greatly decrease our ability to defend this position,” the group claims. “The proposal to entrench ownership of kiwifruit varieties also misappropriates the investment of NZ growers and the NZ taxpayer in the kiwifruit industry, particularly the new varieties of kiwifruit being developed by Plant & Food Research Ltd for Zespri.” The dissidents want grower ownership of PVRs under a separate entity.

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ZESPRI SAYS it is disappointed at the “inaccurate” claims being made by the anonymous Concerned Growers Collective. Zespri chief grower and alliance officer David Courtney says contrary to the group’s claims, the Government has never refused to authorise Zespri carrying out 12-month supply activities or ownership of plant variety rights (PVRs), he says. Over the past 20 years these activities have added huge value to our industry, says Courtney. “This is reflected in the considerable increase in average returns, orchard values and Zespri’s profitability and returns to growers over successive seasons,” he says. “We believe securing grower support for these activities through the producer vote will enable us to continue to invest with confidence in our 12-month supply strategy and plant variety rights, and deliver positive orchard gate returns for New Zealand growers. “To walk away from these activities is to walk away from our shelf space and our consumers. “Voting against our 12-month supply activities and PVR ownership would mean the industry would be turning its back on the same 20-year strategy that has served it so well and ultimately have a negative impact on New Zealand grower returns.”


RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

NEWS 7

Consultants cash in on Pamu’s tax push answered until February. Rural News’ questions were lodged GOVERNMENT-OWNED FARMER on December 6, 2018 and should, by Landcorp spent almost $14,000 just law, have been answered within 20 on consultants in preparing its contro- working days of lodgement. However, versial submission to the Tax Work- bureaucratic delays and holiday shutdowns delayed the answers until Febing Group. This has been revealed in answers ruary 14. Rural News submitted several quesprovided by Landcorp (trading as Pamu Farms) to an Official Informa- tions via the OIA regarding Landcorp tion Act (OIA) request by Rural News, and its taxpayer funded operations. submitted last December but not This followed revelations that, last year, the state farmer had made an undisclosed submission to the Tax Working Group more than a month after submissions had closed. Landcorp’s submission advocated – among other ❱❱ 1 25 farms things – capital gains, ❱❱ 1,480,620 stock units water and environmen❱❱ 661 permanent employees tal taxes. ❱❱ Total value $1.81 billion The state farmer conceded that it engaged ❱❱ Annual revenue $250 million international consultancy ❱❱ $29m profit for the half year ended firm Ernst Young and wellDecember 31, 2018 known irrigation critic Peter ❱❱ Dividends paid: $5m in 2017-18, $0 Fraser to help the company in 2016-17, $0 in 2015-16, and $0 in prepare its paper. 2014-15. “EY was engaged to help scope and draft the TWG subDAVID ANDERSON

Landcorp numbers

Landcorp chief executive Steve Carden.

mission, and Peter Fraser did some limited peer review…”, it says in the OIA response. EY was paid $11,141.93 plus GST for its work, while Fraser – who Landcorp says only attended one meeting along with its staff and Treasury – was paid $750 plus GST. “Pamu staff who primarily worked on the submission were the finance controller, the acting finance controller and the head of environment,” the state farmer said

Landcorp’s ‘head of environment’ is a former academic and dairy farming critic, Alison Dewes. She was a member of the company’s environmental reference group for two years until she took up her current role at the state farmer in January 2018. Despite the amount of time and work spent by its own staff on the TWG submission, Landcorp cannot account for these costs. “It is not possible to break down the staff time in relation to work on

the submission, as it formed part of the overall day-to-day work of relevant staff and is not accounted for separately,” its OIA response says. Meanwhile, Landcorp’s late submission to the TWG and advocacy of more taxes – which has raised the ire of the farming sector – will continue to raise suspicions that it was done to appease its current political masters. This follows the TWG recommending the implementation of a capital gains tax, and taxes on water extraction and environmental pollution. When asked in the OIA about the late submission, Landcorp denied any political collusion, claiming the late submission was… “a result of a key staff member being overseas on bereavement leave”. All other submissions to the TWG had to be made by April 1, 2018. However, it also conceded via the OIA that, “The submission was sent by EY to the Tax Working Group (TWG) on May 31 [2018].” This indicates that the submission could have been sent in by the deadline, despite the supposed ‘key’ staff member’s bereavement leave.

26/02/19 1:35 PM


RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

8 NEWS

Review calls for urgent action on livestock emissions NIGEL MALTHUS

A CALL for “urgent acceleration” in developing greenhouse gas mitigations for use in the primary sector is contained in a review by the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC). The centre says it has succeeded in fulfilling its initial brief, but “is yet to provide useful mitigations” of greenhouse gases (GHG) for farmers to use. “A summary of available approaches, many of which could be seen as farming best practice, indicates they would probably amount to no more than a 10% reduction in emissions at best,” the review says. “Some approaches such as low GHG feeds and low methane sheep are nearing market-ready status, but others with potential high impact – such as inhibitors and vaccines – have still a way to go. “With Paris Agreement targets, new policies looming and increasing consumer and environmental pressure, there is a need for urgent acceleration of programmes if the NZ primary sector is to respond

The review has called for an ‘urgent acceleration’ in mitigating rural sector greenhouse gas emissions.

as required to remain viable in a low carbon world.” The NZAGRC is a partnership launched in 2010 by NZ agricultural greenhouse gas researchers and the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium (PGGRC). It is largely funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) through a contract due to expire in June but with an agreed extension to 2020. The review was done under the terms of NZAGRC’s contract with MPI by a panel of NZ and Aus-

tralian experts and stakeholders. Their report said the centre maintains high quality in its research, publications, collaborative programming, national and international science relationships and personnel expertise, and had built a high quality international profile. However, it says the actual impact of the science on reducing NZ greenhouse gas emissions is still to be realised. “There is still a shortfall in feasible and practical mitigation options. This is recognised inter-

nationally as a scientifically challenging area for the agriculture sector. “Our discussions with stakeholders and our own views strongly support the need for the research by NZAGRC to continue and to expand significantly, given the scale of the challenge and opportunities. The past investment will be lost if the promising research is not supported into the future. “There are substantial risks for the primary sector from market responses, new policy development and public pressure that must drive

future GHG research and product development. This is a stance strongly supported by stakeholders.” NZAGRC director Dr Harry Clark welcomed the report, noting that it strongly endorsed the research programme’s performance to date. “New Zealand is a small country, but we punch above our weight in climate change-related agricultural research. The reviewers noted the high quality research and international recognition enabled by the NZAGRC through showcasing its

scientific activities and capability internationally.” The panel called for a more integrated research structure that encompasses science, extension and commercialisation. “Greenhouse gas research should not be seen in isolation from broader issues within the sector, e.g. water, nutrients, diversification and land use decisions. Therefore, future structures should account for this.” It also calls for a review of the centre’s scope, noting that forestry, for example, is cur-

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rently excluded. “There is little emphasis on horticulture and cropping and other changing land use initiatives. It is difficult to envisage a future greenhouse gas centre which is not working on -- or at least is in partnership with others working on -- forestry, use of trees in farming systems, other plant crops and management systems, initiatives on water and nutrient leaching, trade-offs and offsets in management practices, etc.” Meanwhile, the report acknowledged the excellent working relationship between the centre and the PGGRC, but said that looking ahead there seemed “no logic” in maintaining them as separate entities. “A single, integrated entity would better support an effective future in greenhouse gas research and mitigation.” The PGGRC is funded by DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb NZ, PGGWrightson and others, matched dollarfor-dollar by MBIE. The report says any merged entity would have to maintain continued industry engagement and co-funding.


RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

NEWS 9

What kind of Brexit? PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

THE EUROPEAN Union’s Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, says he hopes Britain’s exit from the EU will end up as an emergency landing rather than a straight-out crash. Hogan was an Irish politician before taking on the influential and powerful role of EU Commissioner for Agriculture He told Rural News, on a recent visit here, that the UK’s exit from the EU depends on whether the British House of Commons can come to some agreement by the end of March, when Britain is scheduled to leave the EU. “When you read the newspapers it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen, but I remain optimistic that some deal will ultimately be reached,” Hogan says. “It would be unthinkable for UK industry, agriculture, jobs and the financial services if Britain crashed out. It would be a major blow to them.” Hogan believes the UK Prime Minister Theresa May understands the Irish backstop issue, which is proving to be a major sticking point in the negotia-

EU agriculture commission Phil Hogan (right) and Irish ambassador to NZ Peter Ryan.

He says the negotiations are not only important to trade for Ireland, but there is a risk that the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement could be broken by paramilitary groups in the north and south of Ireland. Hogan says the EU, like most European countries, has been making contingency plans to deal with whatever happens on March 29 when Britain is scheduled to leave the EU.

tions. But the way some ‘leave’ campaigners are behaving in the House of Commons shows they have little interest in the fragile peace in Ireland. “The island of Ireland needs to be protected from the worst excesses of Brexit,” he says. Hogan believes the Brexit negotiations are as important to Ireland as the 1921 peace treaty with the UK, which set up what is now the Republic of Ireland.

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OPTIMISM OVER EU/NZ FTA EU AGRICULTURE Commissioner Phil Hogan is optimistic that a quality free trade agreement (FTA) between the EU and NZ can be negotiated before the end of 2019. Hogan is responsible for the agricultural dimension of the FTA from a EU perspective. He says good progress is being made in the negotiations, of which there are three more formal rounds scheduled before mid 2019. “I am optimistic that not only can we do a deal, but a quality deal,” he told Rural News. Hogan, who grew up on the family farm in Ireland before moving into politics, says agriculture will always be a sticking point with NZ because it is a sensitive issue with European farmers. But he’s confident that a deal can be negotiated and that 98% of the tariffs and other impediments to trade can be lifted, leading to greater trade liberalisation. Two major issues are of concern to NZ: tariff rate quotas (TRQs) which affect access of sheep-meat to the EU, and geographic indicators (GIs) which mainly affect the dairy industry. Hogan says the TRQs are more

related to Brexit and are an issue for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to deal with. However, he believes the issues on GIs can be resolved. An example of a GI is the name given to a particular cheese such as Gouda, which is linked to a specific town or region in a country. “Geographic indicators I suppose can be described as rural intellectual property in the EU,” he said. “They are well accepted [in NZ] in the wine industry, but now there are one or two names in the dairy sector that we are worried about. But I think we can resolve those.” The positive side is the great deal of good will around the FTA negotiating table. “It would be unthinkable, in an era when there is so much global disturbance on many issues, that the same values and objectives of likeminded countries like NZ and the EU couldn’t do a deal. “If Mr Trump wants to remain protectionist we have to remain open for business and we are very strong supporters of the multilateral trading system,” he adds. “As a result of this, I think NZ and the EU will come to an agreement.”

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

10 NEWS

Wet spring softens PGW’s result PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

A WET spring across the country and a delayed recovery were largely the reason for a softer half year result for PGG Wrightsons (PGW). Chief executive Ian Glasson, last week, announced earnings of $17.8 million to December 31, 2018 versus the record $23.4m for the same period the previous year. “The factors impacting performance have been felt across the rural sector and we have confidence that we have held, and in some cases grown, our market share,” Glasson says. As the seed and grain business is in the process of being sold to DLF Seeds A/S it was no longer included in the results. The sale is now only conditional on Overseas Investment Office approval. PGW recorded an after-tax profit of $0.3m for the six months to December 31, 2018. Glasson says late last year they signalled that the rural services business had been trading solidly but the half year result would be behind last year’s. “That prediction has proven accu-

rate. In December 2018 the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) reported that many eastern and inland parts of the South Island recorded double their normal rainfall for that time of the year. “Wet spring conditions throughout the country have favoured milk and beef production, with an increase in production by 6% in both sectors due largely to strong pasture growth. “In contrast, wet growing conditions in most regions have delayed pasture renovation and the establishment of arable and winter feed crops. These wet conditions were felt across most of our Rural Services businesses, impacting the sales mix and some delayed spending.” The Rural Supplies, Fruitfed Supplies and Agritade businesses – which come within Rural Services -- showed growth and they were confident they would revert to growth this year. A defective-product claim impacted the retail and water group’s otherwise excellent trading result, says Glasson. “In September 2018, a settlement was reached with a supplier and a number of growers in relation to a defective spray supplied to PGW and

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resold to fruit growers.” While customers were fully compensated, PGW was only partially, with a shortfall of $1.8m. The agency business, incorporates livestock, wool, real estate, insurance

and financial referral commission, contributed $1.6m operating earnings for the period. “Our livestock business benefited from the favourable conditions for farmers due to good feed supply

across most of the country which was buoyed by sustained high sheep and beef commodity pricing (with tallies for all stock and all sales channels similar to the previous year). “However, this was offset by continued caution in the dairy sector due to the ongoing effect of Mycoplasma bovis and the lack of supply of good quality dairy livestock.” While livestock was down on earnings at the half year mark, it rebounded in January 2019 and is on track to match the 2018 full year result. “Despite holding its market share, our wool business was materially impacted (circa $2m) by several factors during the first six months of financial year 2019: mainly the reduction in the number of bales sold compared with the same period last year (a significant number of bales that had been stockpiled by growers were sold), wet conditions delaying shearing and the export business was adversely affected by weaker global demand which flowed through to soft international pricing for crossbred wools.” The real estate business had a slow start to spring and summer except for horticulture and viticulture.

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

NEWS 11

Fonterra’s fake milk foray SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

FONTERRA SAYS it has taken “a minority stake” in a US company promoting alternative protein. Motif Ingredients is a food ingredients company that develops and commercialises bio-engineered animal and food ingredients. Fonterra has bought a stake for an undisclosed sum. Judith Swales, head of Fonterra’s global consumer and foodservice business, says the move is part of the cooperative’s plan to stay at the forefront of innovation to understand and meet the changing preferences of consumers. “Farmers expect their co-op to get the most value from every drop of their milk and also keep an eye on tomorrow to futureproof their co-op for generations to come,” Swales says. “Dairy nutrition will always be at our core, but we also want to explore how we can capture more value from new types of nutrition. “The complementary nutrition category – where plant, insect, algae and fermentation-pro-

duced nutrition co-exist alongside animal proteins, including cows’ milk – is fast evolving. It’s not a case of either/or, but both.” Fonterra, like other dairy players, has been critical of plant-based proteins masquerading as milk products. However, it now says plant-based protein may also have a place in future. “If we fast-forward 30 years, there’ll be two billion more mouths to feed and there simply won’t be enough food to go around just using today’s methods,” says Swales. “A combination of traditional and complementary nutrition sources will be required to meet the world’s increasing need for food, especially protein. “Consumers around the world will continue to want natural, grass fed dairy as a premium source of nutrition. At the same time, we recognise that no two consumers are the same. As diets and preferences continue to evolve, we want to be there, providing people with choices.” Fonterra says its stake in Motif will help the co-op be part of this

emerging next-generation fermentation-produced nutrition sector. Motif has been set up by Ginkgo Bioworks, said to be a world leader in its field. Using a process similar to that used to make insulin, vitamins and beer, Motif seeks to use genetic science and fermentation technology to re-create and sell animal proteins and food ingredients, including those similar to

dairy ingredients. Media reports say Motif has raised US$90 million from investors, including Fonterra; others include Ginkgo Bioworks, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Louis Dreyfus Companies and Viking Global Investors. Fonterra has taken a minority stake in US-based alternative protein company Motif Ingredients.

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

12 NEWS

A few landminds to negotiate PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

THE EUROPEAN Union’s (EU) proposed restrictions on the use of geographical names in products could have implications for NZ exports to other regions – including China, a trade expert says. “As part of negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) the European Union (EU) wants New Zealand to adopt strict regulations about the way certain geographical names are used in international trade,” explains executive director of the NZ International Business Forum,

Stephen Jacobi to the Hawke’s Bay branch of the NZ Institute of International Affairs about the EU FTA and Brexit He says while names of wine regions like Champagne are already restricted here, what the Europeans want is more about names associated primarily with dairy products and some meat products. “This new strict regime would not only apply to products marketed in NZ, but also to our exports to other markets,” Jacobi says. “Think of feta cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, even cheddar.” He adds that NZ’s

view is that these names have become generic – rather than relating to a certain geographic region. “Fonterra now supplies large amounts of mozzarella cheese to China: every second pizza in China is covered with it,” Jacobi points out. “That’s a lot of pizza and a lot of cheese!” The EU has proposed restricting many geographical indications now being reviewed by our officials. Jacobi says some of them may not pose difficulties, but others certainly will. “However, there is a principle at stake here.” He says another

potentially complex issue with the EU FTA, relates to agriculture. “Some parties in the EU’s agricultural producing nations are not enthusiastic about what might be included in an FTA with NZ. “However, the FTA negotiations are an opportunity to promote and advance growing exports of high-quality food products including horticulture and wine.” Jacobi says the export boost at the NZ end is likely to be huge. “EU modelling suggests the deal could add as much as 0.5% to NZ’s GDP – a gain of up to $2 billion.”

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He says Brexit also casts a big shadow over tariff rate quotas (TRQs) for our sheepmeat, beef and dairy products. The European Commission and the British Government have proposed that upon Brexit the TRQs will be split in half. “That poses a lot of difficulties for NZ exporters who have, over a long time, developed markets in Britain and EU, which they manage according to market trends and consumption patterns and in the light of flows of British products to the EU and European products to Britain,” he explains. “NZ exporters will Stephen Jacobi

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GOLF DAY FOR FARMERS FARMERS IN the lower North Island will have a chance to go on a course for a day and perhaps come home with a prize or two. This year is the 50th anniversary of the Farmers Golf Tournament at the Rangitikei Golf Club near Bulls. The tournament is popular with farmers and others in rural industries who enjoy a great day out – even agricultural journalists. Tournament organisers are hoping for an especially good turnout this year. The event will be held on Tuesday April 16. Contact Geoff Ingram 06 3231277

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

NEWS 13

New dairy plant opening a big milestone SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

THE COUNTRY’S second-largest dairy processor will showcase its newest factory to farmer suppliers on March 7. Open Country Dairy’s Horotiu plant has been producing milk powder since August last year. OCD chairman Lauria Margrain told Rural News that the plant has been

ment system and our new annual fixed milk price scheme,” he told suppliers. “These have all been to ensure our competitiveness and to add value to the business. “Most of these initiatives are still in their infancy but as we evolve as a business we will expect all our stakeholders to benefit from these changes and we will con-

“On March 7, we will have an opportunity for our suppliers to have a look around the plant.” operating at full capacity since August last year. “On March 7, we will have an opportunity for our suppliers to see and have a look around the plant -- their first opportunity to see where their milk gets processed.” OCD, which exports to 60 countries, now owns four processing plants: Waharoa, Awarua, Wanganui and Horotiu. The company is majority-owned by the Motueka-based agribusiness Talleys, the owners of meat company Affco. OCD’s new Horotiu plant is next to Affco’s meat processing plant and headquarters. Chief executive Steve Koekemoer said in the company’s January newsletter to milk suppliers that the new plant opening is a “big milestone”. He also cited as highlights the new division Open Country Brands and the launch of an organic programme. “We also launched our 12-month rolling milk price forecast with 4 settlement periods pay-

tinue to innovate.” The new OCD plant at Horotiu is next to a major freight hub being built by Ports of Auckland to transfer goods by rail to its port. Last year, OCD was announced as the first major freight customer of the Waikato freight hub. It is a key part of Ports of Auckland’s railconnected North Island freight hub network which links Kiwi businesses with New Zealand and global markets, says the port’s chief executive Tony Gibson. “This new facility will give Waikato farmers a more efficient and environmentally friendly way to send their exports overseas, improving their competitiveness and sustainability.” Koekemoer noted the advantage of having their warehouse located between NZ’s two dominant ports -- Auckland and Tauranga. “Strategically the new Waikato hub will allow us to continue our export growth while lowering

DEVELOPING MARKETS OPEN COUNTRY Dairy recently exhibited at the weeklong annual Gulfoods show in Dubai. It had two stands, one of them developing sales channels for its branded AwaRua Organics products OCD chief executive Steve Koekemoer attended the show and visited key clients in the Middle East. “The Middle East is an important export region for us and has become strategic over the years as we’ve diversified our product mix and markets,” he said.

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

14 NEWS

Punter goes cherry picking PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

IT IS not always the fastest-growing or biggest returns which influence decisions on investment in various sectors, says MyFarm head of research Con Williams. MyFarm has begun promoting investments in permanent crops in about eight different sectors, he told a recent Auckland gathering. Worth about $20 billion to $22b in market capitalisation, those sectors have grown about 10-12% per annum over the last five to six years. “That is going to start to slow up because some of those asset values are starting to get a little bit ‘toppy’ – quite ‘toppy’ if you are talking about SunGold in the Bay of Plenty – and probably [future investment] is going to be more organic, bare land development and that sort of stuff,” he says. When assessing permanent crops, MyFarm looks at the stage of growth of a sector – whether it is steady, upturning, booming, in its peak or in downturn. “We think about that from asset valuation, sector production value and sector prices points of view.” They also look at capacity expansion including access to labour, intellectual property and capital and where MyFarm has a specific advantage. They look at investor demand and the real estate cycle. Some sectors have good returns but the volatility can be high. In the kiwifruit sector, the ability to shift growing production of SunGold into a range of markets and hold prices at $10/tray orchard gate price is an impressive result, he says. “Zespri has seen some challenges

historically in China and how they operated there. They have changed that model and you’ve certainly seen some success when they achieve 22% compound growth of SunGold varieties or all kiwifruit volumes into that market year on year.” The North American market is also growing, providing the industry with two very large markets. But SunGold orchards in Bay of Plenty are now selling at $1.1 million to $1.2m per canopy hectare depending on quality. Whether there are better investment opportunities elsewhere needs to be assessed. The investment company has financially analysed bare MyFarm’s Con Williams land lease models or a full ownership and development “Asset values have probably got models outside Bay of Plenty. “That certainly shows that within potential upside when we look at the four-five years you can probably get returns and some of the location facreturn on your contributed capital of tors. Hawkes Bay generally is growing quite strongly. PVR and club varieties 15 to 18%. “When you think about risk/reward preferred by Asian markets are still a versus paying over $1m per canopy big theme. It has got a lot of growth hectare at 7-8% [return] using an $8.50/ potential.” Williams says the owners of smaller tray orchard gate price long term… the numbers suggest perhaps you should orchards with older structures or be looking at bare land development older varieties have the opportunity to regraft into new varieties. in those other regions.” “You have got a lot quicker turnIn apples, Williams says New Zealand is ranked world class. Productivity around to production. The trade-off averages 60 tonnes/ha and some of the is that the lifespan of that is probanew club variety, PVR protected apples bly 12 to 15 years and then you need at high planting density are achieving to replant. A lot of investors like the return in the earlier years instead of 100-130t/ha. Apples probably have one of the waiting five to six years for apples.” MyFarm is promoting investment better export market spreads in Europe in hops, which Williams describes as and across Asia.

a niche industry for investors with good IP. “NZ has some unique varieties that we think the global brewer market will appreciate and we think there is growth opportunity there. “The focus is in Nelson because that is where all the industry structure is and it is a known area to grow hops consistently and there are reasonable land prices.” Challenges include getting skilled staff for larger gardens, the supply chain model direct to brewers still needs to be proven to achieve premiums and some global volatility around the market is dominated by Germany and the US. MyFarm’s most recent investment offering, a cherry orchard in Central Otago, is higher risk, higher reward, Williams says. Cherries are a high quality product with a specific export window – the Chinese new year. China takes about 90% of NZ exports. “It is a highly perishable product. In two to three days it is on its way to the Asian market; it has a shelf life of maybe four to six weeks if you push it.” Williams says cherry growers have had a good run in China with high disposable incomes for high quality products going into the gift market and festive season purchases. Central Cherries (an investment partnership between Freshmax and MyFarm) will be a big part of industry growth set to double in the next few years. “Quality is absolutely important. If you look at the price premium between, say, 28 to 32mm cherries with high Brix levels versus something 26mm in size, there is an 85% price differential.”

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SWEET SUCCESS THE MANUKA story is still very strong, says Williams. “The big change in the market place is that the Government has come out with a formal definition of what is manuka honey. “A lot of other honey that had previously been blended with manuka honey has dropped in value right back and the high UMF honey is continuing to hold its value or even go a bit higher. That has been a key market change and will continue to be a driver of the value of high UMF honey.” Waimarie Manuka Ltd Partnership is MyFarm’s first offer for investors to invest in a manuka honey plantation. It is the result of a partnership with Comvita which has considerable commercially sensitive IP gleaned from 12 years of research on 1000 different sites. “DHA, which is the precursor for UMF activity in manuka honey, is a lot higher in plantations than wild capture. That comes down to the husbandry, but also the set-up, the types of genetics in manuka plants; that is going to be key to success.” There is competitive pressure from forestry and carbon and meat farmers putting some pressure on asset prices. “The commercial model is not entirely proven around that. There is also some informality in the sector and how it works.” The industry still has a lot more work to do to protect its brand, Williams says. With carbon forestry, the big advantage of carbon is that it provides cashflow in via manuka or forestry plantation. It is also added to returns.


RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

NEWS 15

DIRA’s done it’s dash – Fonterra SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

FONTERRA FARMERS says the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001 (DIRA) has achieved its purpose. In its submission to the DIRA review, the Fonterra Shareholders Council says it’s time move forward with “a new Dairy Industry Act”. “The status quo will not suffice. The New Zealand dairy industry no longer needs a ‘Restructuring’ Act - or an Act that focuses on Fonterra alone, if the Government is looking to shape the entire industry for the future,” the council says. The submission, signed by shareholder council chairman Duncan Coull, wants the open entry provisions of DIRA to go. It also wants an end to access to regulated milk by export processors. Goodman Fielder should not be entitled to regulated price milk for its export products and there needs to be a clear pathway to de-regulation, the council says. Fonterra farmers point out that DIRA enabled New Zealand’s dairy industry to evolve by facilitating the merger of Kiwi Cooperative Dairies and NZ Dairy Group. “That, together with the end of statutory control of export marketing by the NZ Dairy Board, has contributed to a competitive domestic market and has enabled

the merged entity (Fonterra) to compete strongly in international markets and as a result make a significant contribution to the economy. “In 2019 a majority of NZ’s dairy farmers have choices as to who they supply their milk to and the public has wide choice in the dairy products they buy. “It is imperative to now refresh DIRA’s purpose, recognising the current environment but with the future top of mind.” They want the industry to focus on the future. The global environment is changing at a rapid pace and is impacted by a wide range of factors; domestic environment also is vastly different from 2001. What hasn’t changed is that sustainable dairy farming has a critical role to play in NZ’s future prosperity and economic and social wellbeing. As noted in the October 2018 NZIER report to the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (NZIER report): a) the dairy industry remains NZ’s only industry of global scale, operating in at least 140 countries; b) dairy is NZ’s biggest goods export by far, the dairy sector accounting for 20% of total exports; c) dairy provides economic opportunities in many regions where there are few alternative

sources of jobs and income; and (d) dairy is uniquely important to NZ amongst all the developed nations. The council says DIRA needs to evolve in response to changes in the domestic market, where milk volumes Fonterra shareholders council chair Duncan Coull.

have plateaued; limited land remains that is suitable for conversion to environmentally sustainable dairying and competing processors have emerged in number since 2001. Processors compete vigorously for farmers’ milk in Waikato, Canterbury and

Southland – Fonterra is not dominant; and a marked reduction has occurred in Fonterra’s national market share. There is also significant risk of industry over-capacity, and regions increasingly rely on the dairy industry for its economic and social contribution.

The council warns that if over-capacity led to plant closures the impact on some regional communities would be hefty. A Ministry of Primary Industries discussion document on DIRA notes flattening milk supply growth and anticipates more intense competition

for farmers’ milk. The council says the dairy industry is now in a new phase. “There is an existing footprint of stainless steel processing capacity with limited potential to grow the raw milk pool to flow through [the plant].” @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

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FOREIGN TAKEOVER FONTERRA FARMERS say DIRA incentivises inefficient entry by large processors. “Whilst establishing a plant requires capital and longterm investment, and businesses seek to generate sufficient returns to recoup that investment, the reality is that the majority of processors are backed by foreign capital and large global businesses,” the council says. The farmers say it’s time to shift the narrative and focus away from today and the past, from Fonterra alone and its dominance, to the wider industry, the future and value creation for New Zealand – “for our people, communities, land and economy”. “The status quo will not suffice; DIRA needs to become a dairy industry Act. When considering the options for change, the council encourages MPI and the Government to be ‘NZ Inc’ focused, to ensure NZ reaps the rewards of its dairy industry; and be future focused: don’t be constrained by what exists today, anticipate future trends and advancements.”

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

16 NEWS

Face up to the facts MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

FARMERS MUST accept individual responsibility for the industry’s poor health and safety record, says an industry health and safety leader. Tony Watson, general manager of the Agricultural Leaders’ Health and Safety Action Group (ALHSAG), says “no one wants to see anyone injured on the farm”. “There is a clear expectation by our consumers, communities and regulator that we need to do better or face the threat of greater regulation. “We all need to step up and take individual responsibility for our unacceptable health and safety performance.” On average, 17 people die and almost 550 farmers are seriously injured each year in farm workplace incidents. “Farmers can take simple steps to reduce the chances of things going wrong. Safety protection is a no-brainer and not enough farmers are using the right equipment to stop people getting hurt,” Watson says. “Tractors come with safety frames. But with many farmers using quad bikes, why are we not insisting these come with the same level of protection, or [with a query whether] they are the right vehicle for the job.” Fewer farmers died and serious injuries in workplace accidents declined in 2017 to the lowest figures since 2009. However, fatalities in 2018 were back to the long-term

ALHSAG general manager Tony Watson.

average of 17 people per year. Watson says safety for farmers’ families, staff and themselves should begin with such questions as what could go wrong? What am I doing about it? Is it enough?” The busy autumn period brings with it big jobs, long hours and typically contractors visiting the

farm, so it is always a good time to address health and safety, he says. “A good starting point is to review any issues that occurred in the past year, anything that’s changed and make a plan to mitigate any risks. “Many regions have more feed than usual, so long grass may hide

obstacles or ruts that are normally easy to see and might create a hazard risk. “Farmers need to slow down, wear the seatbelt in the ute or tractor and consider fitting a safety frame or roll bar to their quad.” @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

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BRAKE FAILURE BRINGS BIG FINE A GORE farm machinery company’s shoddy repairs to a tractor have landed it with a fine of $239,063 and reparations of $103,459 awarded to an injured farm worker. “Vehicle service industries must ensure diligent workmanship, systems and practices in the work they do to prevent injuries to users,” says WorkSafe head of specialist interventions, Simon Humphries. His comments arise from the recent sentencing in the Gore District Court of farm machinery business Agri-centre South Ltd for its ineffective repairs to the brakes on a tractor it supplied: the brakes failed and the machine ran over a worker. Michele Bastiaansen suffered leg wounds and fractures to her neck vertebrae, humorous and wrist when she fell from a trailer being towed by a tractor driven by her husband Francis. The company in 2015 bought (as a trade-in) a 2002 New Holland tractor, determined that the brakes were not working properly, and so replaced the brake master cylinders, expecting this work to rectify the problem. But it did not determine why the parts had failed. During a pre-purchase trial in early April 2016, the Bastiaansens were using the tractor and a trailer to transport timber to a shed with Mrs Bastiaansen aboard the trailer. While driving up a 25-degree slope, Francis Bastiaansen applied the brakes but they did not stop the tractor. The combination rolled backwards down the incline, jack-knifed and the trailer detached from the tractor. Mrs Bastiaansen was thrown from the trailer into the roadway where the tractor rolled over her. WorkSafe found that Agri-centre South did not tell its staff about the tractor’s repair history, did not ensure the tractor had working brakes and did not get the warning lights reconnected and working after the repair job. “The vehicle servicing industry, including companies servicing farm machinery, needs exceptional diligence to ensure the safety of the users of vehicles and plant,” Humphries said.


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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

NEWS 19

Deer numbers bouncing back “If this growth rate continues, it’s one that our venison markets should be able to handle.” strong product prices, is able to compete better with alternative land uses. This has been a key objective of Passion2Profit, the deer industry’s Primary Growth Partnership programme.” The 2018 increase in hind numbers of about 5% is seen by DINZ as sustainable if it continues in coming years. “If this growth rate continues, it’s one that our venison markets should be able to handle. By and large it is coming from the expansion of herd numbers on existing deer farms and to a lesser extent from newcomers to the industry.” Coup says the industry does not expect to see a large influx of new deer farmers. “Modern deer farming is a specialist business,” he explains. “To successfully farm deer you need to make a significant investment in fencing, facilities and skilled staff. “Velvet harvesting facilities need to meet the high standards of world markets.” He adds that the modern generation of

deer farmers are highly skilled deer managers and savvy business people. “They share information and experience and most of them have close working relationships with their venison marketers and velvet buyers.”

Chart depicting trends in deer numbers

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FARMED DEER numbers, including breeding hinds and fawns, increased in 2018, says Statistics New Zealand. This follows a small recovery in stag numbers in the 2017 census. Deer Industry NZ (DINZ) chief executive Dan Coup says the trend is a strong indication of growing farmer confidence in the viability of deer in a drystock farming operation. Hind numbers in the year to June 30, 2018 recovered to 413,400 from a low of 392,300 in 2017, according to provisional figures. “This is the first firm indication that the longrun decline in deer numbers that began in the late 1990s has ended and that a recovery is underway,” he says. “Even more interesting is that the statistics indicate a dramatic increase in hind productivity. Farmers reported that 84% of hinds weaned a fawn in 2018, compared with fewer than 73% in 2008.” Coup believes this increase probably reflects the efforts farmers have been putting into improving hind nutrition and management. “It also means deer farming, along with


RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

20 NEWS

Drought bites top of the South NIGEL MALTHUS

FARMERS ACROSS the top of the South Island are pinning their hopes on forecast rain to ease a drought some say is shaping up to be the worst since 2001. Pastures were tinder-dry across the top of the South, contributing to the huge wildfire near Nelson. Irrigators were having their allocations cut, townies were being asked to conserve water, and travellers picking up rental cars were being presented with apologetic notes explaining why they hadn’t been washed. “It’s not yet an official drought but it won’t be long before we’re starting to have those talks,” Takaka dairy farmer and Golden Bay Federated Farmers president Wayne Langford told Rural News. Local farmers had already had two drought meeting with DairyNZ during February.

“We’re all hoping that we will have seen rain before then. If we haven’t then we won’t have seen rain all month,” said Langford. “That’s when some pretty drastic decisions will be made. That’s when we’ll start talking about drying off early.” Langford, who comes from a longtime Golden Bay farming family, milks 250 cows on his unirrigated 93ha a few km south of Takaka. The last rain it had was just 6mm in January. He uses a summer crop of lucerne as a way of “putting green in front of the cows” but said even lucerne was struggling in the heat. Langford said most of the dairy farmers in the district were already on once-a-day milking. The only one at the meeting who was still milking twice a day was on irrigated land, but irrigation was on the verge of being shut off as the Takaka River flows dwindled.

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Langford said the district had had a good spring, but even so the ground was only wet on top with nothing underneath. “The fortunate thing about our spring was we continued to get small rain events, 20-25mm, almost on a weekly basis or more. But what we didn’t get was a 100mm or 200mm rain -- which is really common for Golden Bay, but we haven’t had one of those since July.” Amanda Tait, who is sharemilking 340 cows with her husband Richard on a property just north of Takaka township, says they hope to keep milking “at the moment” but are expecting a huge loss of production. “There’s just no grass. I went walking around yesterday and it just shocks you. Even the weeds are dying,” she said. Tait said they had decided to let a worker go, while she would be going back to work to make ends meet. “We

Golden Bay Federated Farmers president Wayne Langford says the top-of-the-south drought is starting to bite. RURAL NEWS GROUP

just have to do something.” They were also culling their empties far earlier than usual. “We sent 25 cows away yesterday, so that’s pretty heartbreaking. Because we don’t send them till the end of the season; we don’t send them all in one go.” The Taits have some irrigated paddocks but they were just “keeping green” and not growing. “We’ve got 40ha irrigated but the

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council just shut us down to 50% the other day, so that’s dire.” Paddocks that haven’t responded well have been shut off to keep what water they have for the paddocks that appear to be doing OK. Their last rain was Christmas day “and that wasn’t really a rain,” Tait said. Even with rain, she said it would take at least a month for things to start growing again.

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

NEWS 21

The struggle for a good worker PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

BIOSECURITY ASIDE, most farmers will tell you the biggest challenge facing the primary sector is a shortage of good, qualified people. Central Hawkes Bay woolbroker Philippa Wright is one of many rural employers who struggles to get staff. In sourcing seasonal labour to help out over the busy summer

months, Wright has been fortunate to get staff. School and university holidays coincide with when she needs extra staff, and Wright says the local collage has been helpful in identifying good young workers. The late season this year was a bit of a problem but she got by in the end in finding seasonal labour. But the nightmare is finding permanent staff. Qualified people are hard to find – especially

truck drivers, she says. “I advertised for a truck driver and got two applicants; one of them didn’t even have his licence,” she told Rural News. “Ask anyone in transport and they will tell you they are desperate for young qualified drivers. But a heavy traffic licence costing $1000 is a lot of money for a young person to find, even if they would like the job,” she says.

WHO WANTS TO WORK SHEEP? to be “too physical” and people are looking for easier jobs. This applies also to some older farmers who are moving away from sheep to beef because they can’t get labour and they themselves find the physical handling of sheep tough going. Hindmarsh says getting labour is the biggest problem facing the sheep and beef sector.

Finally, Wright decided to employ a person who didn’t have a licence because he had worked in the wool industry before and she felt if she helped him out at the start by funding the cost of getting a licence he would stay in the job longer. “It’s worked out incredibly well for me:

he’s doing well and he sees it as a career. But when you make that decision at the start there is always the risk things won’t work out.” Wright believes that in many instances the primary sector is not doing enough to attract young people. There are good examples of what should be done, she says, for

example shearing contractors who act as ‘parents’ for young people by providing transport, accommodation and even someone to ringing them up to make sure they are ready for work the next day. They also bring in people from overseas to help out and this is something she supports.

@rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

13035

MEANWHILE A Beef + Lamb NZ farmer council member in Hawkes Bay, Michael Hindmarsh, says a decline in sheep numbers is at least partly due to the fact that young people don’t want to work with sheep. He says farmers are looking at other options such as trees and cattle. Hindmarsh believes the work appears

Hawkes Bay wool broker Philippa Wright.

“But there is a group in our society that don’t have the same provisions made for them. They don’t have vehicles or families who are supportive, they don’t have people to wake them up in the morning and remind them to go to work. “Many don’t own cars and in the provinces that it is hard because there is no reliable public transport.” Wright says the cost of a basic driver licence is $200 and if they fail they have to pay again to re-sit the test. She believes the authorities have made it more difficult – and very expensive -- for people to pass the driving test. “The result is many young people can’t work on farms.”

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

22 NEWS

Irish tackle water clean-up TEAM APPROACH

PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

LOCAL SOLUTIONS to local environmental problems: that’s Ireland’s plan for improving the quality of water in rivers and lakes. Jenny Deakin, head of the catchment unit of the country’s Environmental Protection Agency, spoke at the annual conference of Massey University’s Fertiliser and Lime Research Centre. She said that while Ireland’s water quality is good compared with other EU countries, there are still problems. Her unit, new in the EPA, works with farmers to solve their local pollution problems. She says Ireland had monitored water quality for 30 years, but this changed in 2000 when

JENNY DEAKIN has a team of catchment scientists who do stream walks and find out where the nitrogen, phosphorous or sediment is entering a stream. Once they have identified the problem they pass this to another team specialising in dealing with agricultural pollution. These ‘sustainability advisors’ do not have a regulatory role but are instead solution seeking. Really pleasing, says Deakin, is the Irish dairy industry’s big buy-in to the scheme. “Ten of the 20 advisors in my team are funded by the dairy industry. So the dairy industry is onboard and that’s a change for us – the industry taking the lead.” The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) is also in support. “They realise that the clean and green image of Ireland is important to protect and they need to demonstrate green credentials.” The sustainability advisors, whose advice is free to farmers, “are helping them to understand what is going on in their local stream, farm and catchment area and make the changes needed.” She points out that no farmer in their right mind gets up in the morning and deliberately sets out to pollute a waterway.

Jenny Deakin

the European Union introduced a ‘water framework directive’ and

so they had to change their monitoring to meet the EU rules.

“The commission wanted to look more at the ecological health of

the rivers and waterways, rather than just the nutrient concentrations. It’s a more rounded protocol, in place only since about 2010.” Water quality had improved since about 2012 but then slowly started to decline, by 3% between 2016 and 2017. While farming in Ireland and NZ are similar, dairying does not predominate, but instead beef, with 140,000 beef farmers vs only 15,000

dairy farmers. So the impact on waterways is more evenly spread than in NZ, where dairy is seen as the chief polluter. “In Ireland, beef is definitely in the mix because beef is widespread, and we know of water quality effects from outside the dairy areas as well,” Deakin explains. Ireland’s beef industry is not profitable these days, and to stay in busi-

ness farmers work offfarm; so they pay less attention to environmental issues with greater effects on some poorly drained soils. “Ireland doesn’t have the same public reaction you have here with the ‘dirty dairy’ campaign and all that; we don’t have that sort of campaign,” she says. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

NEWS 23

M.bovis levy awaits farmer approval NIGEL MALTHUS

DAIRY FARMERS could end up paying more for the Mycoplasma bovis eradication effort if they do not endorse DairyNZ’s proposed levy. It also keeps them “a seat at the table” to have a say in managing the continuing response. Those were the key messages of a series of consultation meetings held NZ-wide where farmers were asked to endorse a levy of up to 3.9c/kgMS under the Government Industry Agreement for Biosecurity Readiness and Response (GIA). Otherwise, MPI would implement a levy under the Biosecurity Act, rather than the GIA – and the amount and payback period would be at its

“However, we’re 100% owned by farmers so if farmers aren’t happy with how this is going, then we need to change it.”

discretion, farmers have been warned. “That’s certainly what we’ve been advised by the Government,” DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle said following a meeting at Darfield last month. “The general feeling of those who turn up -- for most afterwards -- is that they now better understand the issue and they understand what’s being asked. It’s not about whether or not you want to pay it, it’s how you want to go about doing

Dairy NZ chief executive Tim Mackle fronting at the Darfield meeting held last month.

it.” The consultation period ended on February 28. Farmers have been asked to vote either in hardcopy or online – with the results to be collated on March 8. DairyNZ expects to confirm its approach with MPI on March 29 and the levy could be operative by June 1. Asked if the farmers’ vote would be binding, Mackle said it would be, “in the sense that if the minister’s satisfied there’s enough support, then

yes,” he explained. “However, we’re 100% owned by farmers so if farmers aren’t happy with how this is going, then we need to change it.” Some farmers remained unhappy with the 94%-6% split decided between dairy and beef, but Mackle said there was a review clause built into the operational agreement which could see it change. DairyNZ board member Colin Glass told

the meeting that a biosecurity levy was already in place under the GIA, which DairyNZ signed up to last year. It was currently set at a maximum of 0.26c/kgMS – appropriate to a “small scale foot and mouth incursion” – but had not yet been incurred. The GIA also gave the dairy sector a seat at the table with Government to manage the response, Glass said. “The key point is that

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without GIA industry has no involvement and no governance role at all in handling biosecurity incursions and the Government can levy whatever it likes.” Glass said the

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

24 NEWS

Fire finishes farmer’s season NIGEL MALTHUS

THE SEASON is over for the only dairy farmer directly affected by the huge wildfire that blazed for several days in the hills southwest of Nelson. Sharemilker Michael Shearer runs 360 cows on a property in the Teapot Valley, west of the town of Brightwater. The fire broke out the day before Waitangi Day and grew to cover an estimated 2300ha of largely forestry land, with hotspots still being damped down two weeks later. It did not get onto Shearer’s farm. Fire came right up to the tanker track on the boundary and could have spread further but for 25ha of firebreaks cut into the farm. He says the farm is now “a mess”. Pasture, fences, irrigation and water lines have all been damaged and he doesn’t expect to be able to milk on the property again before next season. “A lot of it’s unknown damage until you turn things on. It’s going to

take till winter to get everything back in order,” he told Rural News. Shearer is temporarily milking on the property of Brightwater farmers Bruce Ealam and his son Cameron, who he says had been “nothing short of amazing, helping us out”. The fire had broken out on Tuesday, February 5, in Pigeon Valley, a few km south of Shearer’s farm. By Thursday, the fire was raging all around. With a state of emergency already declared, they moved his herd about 9pm across the Waimea River to a block leased by the Ealams. Then about midday on the Friday they were moved again, to the Ealams’ hop farm between Brightwater and Wakefield, where the cows could be milked. The property is a recent conversion from dairy to hops, with a still-workable dairy shed. But Shearer says he’d probably dry the cows off and move back to his farm as soon as he

Michael Shearer, the only dairy farmer driven off his land by the Tasman fires, has found grazing at a Brightwater property with a working cowshed, but will soon have to dry off the herd. RURAL NEWS GROUP

had access. The growing regional drought, which contributed to the fire, meant the Ealams were on allocated water with little to spare and would soon be starting their hop

harvest. “I don’t think we’ve got too many options,” he said. Drying off will mean the loss of about 3.5 months production, or

about 40,000kgMS. “The infrastructure’s damaged enough – laneway, paddock-wise – that we can’t be walking them to the shed every day and trying to repair the

farm at the same time,” Shearer told Rural News. “So, it’ll just take the pressure off from walking them and it’ll be one less job to do.” How much of the fire-

break damage and production loss would be covered by insurance remained “up in the air,” Shearer said. He’d received loads of baleage and hay from the convoys of donated feed trucked in from the south, and the Ealams had also opened their silage for his cows. Fonterra had supplied him with some water. Shearer said drought had been the big problem for the region “but quickly that problem got forgotten”. The Thursday night evacuation was “the worst,” and his cows were “pretty spooked by the whole situation.” “On the Friday when we milked them it took a long time.” They had since settled into their temporary home. Shearer is an awardwinning young farmer who is currently staying in Brightwater with his wife Cheryl and three children aged five, three and four months old. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

GDT looks at European auction system PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

EACH MAJOR market has its own needs and that requires that, to remain relevant, Global Dairy Trade (GDT) has to regularly look at ways of innovating the auction design and its operating model. So says GDT director Eric Hansen, whose comments follow the European

Energy Exchange (EEX) and GDT successfully ending initial talks on setting up a joint venture to operate a European-based auction mechanism for European dairy products. “We have trialled similar variations in other markets (e.g. a multi-seller pool for generic lactose products in the US),” he told Rural News. “By  partnering with a credible European entity such as the Euro-

pean Energy Exchange, we are exploring options to provide our European customers with  a more local platform with distinct European characteristics.  “GDT and EEX have now completed consultations with over 50 key participants in the dairy supply chain and a final decision on a possible joint venture will be made later in 2019.” 

The initiative between EEX and GDT received a high level of interest in the market during the evaluation process. Sellers and buyers in France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Switzerland, the UK, and buyers in Asia, were consulted, GDT says in a statement. EEX and GDT will now enter the next phase of the project to further develop the scope of possible services,

obtain commitments from potential customers, validate commercial viability and agree on a partnership arrangement between EEX and GDT. EEX is the leading energy exchange in Europe and it offers contracts on power and emission allowances, and freight and agricultural products. EEX is part of Deutsche Börse Group. Global Dairy Trade is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fonterra.


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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

global agribusiness research analysts sharing market outlooks

26 MARKETS & TRENDS

Rabobank supports clients from farm to fork in

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100 000

12630

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

Disease, weather impact on beef Australia

we estimate that there were approximately 1m head of cattle in the area.

Australian beef exports, 2014-2018

VERY DRY conditions continued to affect much of eastern Australia through late 2018 and into 2019. Slaughter numbers are up, exports are up and prices, while good, are flat. With forecasts for the upcoming three months suggesting average to below-average rainfall, market conditions are not expected to change. Despite higher slaughter numbers and dry seasonal conditions, cattle prices have remained relatively firm over the summer period. Early year weaner sales held up well, with the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator trading between AU$ 4.60/kg lwt and AU$ 5.10/ kg lwt through January and into February. Reflecting the drier conditions, cattle slaughter was up 10% in 2018

Chinese retail meat prices, Jan 2016-Jan 2019

China

at 7.8m head. Female slaughter was up 23%, while male cattle slaughter was down 1%. Production was up 7% for 2018 at 2.29m tonnes, with carcass weights down due to the higher female slaughter. Australia’s export dynamics changed course in 2018. Typically, in years with higher female slaughter numbers, the production of lean trimmings increases and Australia’s exports to the US increase. In 2018, due to an easing of demand

in the US and growth in demand in Asian markets, more product flowed to Asian markets (see graph). This represented the largest share of total exports to be sent to Asian markets in ten years. In early February, northern Queensland suffered extensive flooding. Covering an area of 13.5m ha (three times the size of the Netherlands), an estimated 800 (mainly) cattle properties were flooded. Stock losses are yet to be determined but

CHINESE RETAIL beef prices have increased for nine consecutive months since May 2018. The price in January reached a record high at CNY 69.5/ kg (see graph). Rabobank believes that the drivers of strong beef performance are: limited beef supply given stagnant local production; increase in beef demand due to a consumption shift from pork, given concerns around African swine fever; and a decline in beef supply via unofficial channels due to increased border policing. We expect the strong performance to continue in 2019, as the above conditions will likely remain unchanged. The China Statistics

Bureau recently revised down the beef production figures. Beef production was revised down by more than 10% for the recent five years compared with the original figures. This suggests that domestic beef supply has been lower than what people thought, and per capita beef consumption in China is below 6.5kg/ year. Figures for 2018 production were also released, showing beef production was 6.44m tonnes, up by 1.5% YOY.

Domestic beef production grew by only 0.28% CAGR between 2009 and 2018. China’s official beef imports increased by 50% in 2018, to slightly over 1m tonnes. This is the first year that China’s beef imports have exceeded 1m tonnes.

EU THE EU recorded an increase in beef production in 2018, of about 2.0% YOY, driven by firm prices, drought in northern Europe, and nutrient-related regulatory

constraints on herd sizes. However, this momentum has started to change in 2019, with average prices down by about 3.5% YOY. Overall, we expect EU beef production and consumption in 2019 to be down slightly on 2018 levels: production could be down by as much as 1% YOY, while consumption is expected to drop marginally, signalling a stronger role for imports. Brexit presents a potentially significant disruption in European beef markets after Q1. The risk of a ‘hard Brexit’, is currently considered almost as likely as a ‘soft Brexit’. The outcome is particularly important for the UK beef industry as it is the biggest importer of beef from the EU-27 countries. The UK also exports 62% of its frozen and fresh beef to EU-27

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

MARKETS & TRENDS 27

COUNTRIES

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

UK beef trade, 2017-2018

countries – mainly Ireland (36,000 tonnes) and the Netherlands (18,500 tonnes) – (see graph). Rabobank’s view is that for the balance of 2019, UK beef imports will be mainly sourced from within the EU. Notwithstanding, the depreciation of the British pound expected under a hard Brexit scenario could cause strong competition to supply the UK. It is also unclear if, or how, part of the EU beef import quotas would be allocated to the UK.

US US CATTLE and beef

producers have been bombarded with market-driving influences in recent months. The biggest challenge has been the weather. Since last fall, cattle producers in most production regions have been hit with rain, sleet, snow and winter conditions that have made daily cattle care and feeding a challenge. It has also limited cattle performance, and lighter than expected carcass weights have encouraged a larger slaughter schedule to compensate for this. A plethora of trade deals and dynamics is

adding uncertainty. These are the ongoing trade dispute with China, the need to conclude a bilateral trade agreement with Japan that addresses Japan’s tariff rates on US beef, positioning to open trade talks with the EU, and securing Congressional support for the USMCA (NAFTA 2.0). If the worst winter feeding conditions in years and the uncertainty of unsettled trade relationships were not enough, the disruption of a partial government shutdown, which altered the release of key USDA cattle market reports, has had the industry, at least partially, flying blind on market information.

The combined effect of so many simultaneous market disruptors has increased volatility and also caused a level of market paralysis. Producers are so uncertain in making market decisions that they are avoiding, or slowing down, making any decisions at all. Fed cattle prices have been confined to an exceptionally narrow range of US$ 122/cwt to US$ 125/cwt year-to-date (see graph). We expect additional price strength through March into early April that could support prices up to the US$ 130/ cwt level before making a seasonal peak. Feeder cattle prices have been drifting lower seasonally but, like fed

Five-Market Area Steer Price, Jan 2017-Feb 2019

cattle, have been confined to a narrow trading range of US$ 141/cwt to US$ 145/cwt.

NZ beef exports, 2017-2018

New Zealand DOMESTIC CATTLE prices have been relatively stable since midNovember. Favourable weather conditions during late 2018 and into early 2019 have supported pasture growth, slowing the flow of cattle to the processors. This shortage of supply, combined with improving US imported beef prices and strong Asian demand, has seen a modest improvement in farmgate returns since the start of 2019. Prices in both islands are still slightly behind where they were at this stage last year, with the North Island -6% YOY and the South Island -2% YOY. Rabobank expects some softening of prices over the coming quarter as domestic slaughter rates pick up. Dry conditions over the last month

have started to limit feed availability in some parts of the country, and will likely see farmers offload increasing numbers of cattle. In addition, the seasonal increase in New Zealand’s cow kill will soon be in full swing, as New Zealand dairy farmers start culling nonproductive cows. This increase in supply of manufacturing beef products is likely to put some downward pressure on US imported beef prices. As of mid–January, New Zealand’s beef production was down 11% YOY. The strong performance of key Asian

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

28 AGRIBUSINESS

Hort firm putting $20m into Northland PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

SEEKA IS spending $20 million on building a packhouse, packing machine and coolstores at its new Northland

facility over the next two years. “We are seeing a significant increase in trays supplied by new growers with 250 million committed so far. Once complete our Northland facility

will be world class and a leader in the Northland kiwifruit community,” says chief executive Michael Franks. Seeka made a profit after tax of $7.42m in the year to December 31,

2018 – 27% more than the previous year. Earnings before tax were $26.22m, up 13%. Earnings per share were $0.37 – up 16%. Franks told Rural News the 8300 sq.m new pack-

house facility at Kerikeri has been built and the processing machine is largely installed. It will be ready for the harvest in a few weeks. Orchard sales have been good since Christ-

Seeka is upping its kiwifruit investment in Northland.

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mas and Seeka will update the market in the next two to three weeks. Support has been great from growers in Northland and having Northland’s first near-infrared (NIR) technology will help some get a better yield out of their fruit. “We have signed significant growers, who previously used to have their fruit trucked out of Northland to get it packed, but who now are going to get it packed locally. We are delighted they are doing that and supporting us. “We are pretty delighted with how things are going up there.” Franks says the $32.31m purchase of the Northland kiwifruit packhouse, orchards and related business from Turners and Growers Horticulture was a highlight of the year. Additionally Seeka bought 19.9ha of Zespri SunGold licence for $5.66m for grafting. “This significant and successful acquisition was the result of substantial planning as Seeka sought to grow its Northland operations alongside its loyal grower base,” he says. “The business seamlessly transitioned midharvest and performed operationally and financially to expectations. As planned, Seeka imme-

diately began selling the Northland orchards to buyers prepared to commit to a long term Seeka supply contract.” Of the 140ha of available orchard land worth $24.2m, 54ha is under conditional contracts worth $7m and 86ha remains to be sold this year. New Zealand kiwifruit volumes rebounded in 2018, Franks says. Seeka packed its second-highest volume -- 31.4m trays, 23% more than in the previous year including 10.8m trays of SunGold. Fruit performance in store was good, particularly in SunGold, where Seeka delivered industry-leading results. Franks says while kiwifruit is Seeka’s foundation crop, the company has business in avocados, pears and kiwiberry. The company had increased earnings at the Delicious Nutritious Food Company in the second year of operations – pretax earnings of $0.46m (2017: $0.29m) A major investment plan is underway to handle forward growth in volume from growers. Upgrades costing $18.56m at Oakside will increase packing and coolstore capacity over two years in addition to the new packhouse and coolstores at Kerikeri.


RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

AGRIBUSINESS 29

Fonterra keen for a slice of A2 PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

THE a2 Milk Company and Fonterra are working closely through “the next wave of commercial opportunities together,” says a2 managing director and chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka. “We remain focused on ensuring our partnership will generate significant additional value for both businesses,” she says. They have significant future growth plans, of which an important first step is building the milk pool growth in Australia and New Zealand, she said at the release of a2’s half years results to December 31, 2018. The company announced last Wednesday a 55.1% jump in half year after tax profits of $157.7 million and revenue up 41% to $613.1m. Fonterra said it will be signing up farms to supply milk for the a2 Milk in the 2019-20 season. Its first A2 milk pool will be in Waikato around its Hautapu site and will support the production of ingredients. About 100 farms will be needed for next season. Mike Cronin, Fonterra managing director of co-operative affairs, says signing up New Zealand farms will significantly increase supply of high qual-

ity milk to The a2 Milk Company. “It clearly shows the strength of our strategic relationship, and our shared commitment to fast-track market growth and enable farmers to create additional value from their milk.” The location of the milk pool was determined by the need for a site to manufacture the specific product in demand, produce relatively small batches and adapt easily to product demand changes, Cronin said. “While other regions were considered, ultimately the decision must be demand-led. The ability to efficiently manufacture a range of products to meet that demand was the over-riding factor in choosing a site. As demand and product lines grow, we’ll look to expand the milk pool to enable more farmers to participate.” Most of the value from the relationship with The a2 Milk Company will be returned to all co-op farmers through the dividend. Participating farms will also receive a premium for their milk. Hrdlicka says the company is passionate about the dairy industry in New Zealand and Australia being healthy long-term. Meanwhile on a2 half year results, Hrdlicka says it was a strong result underpinned by growing market

CHINA ONLINE THE a2 Company says it’s pleased with the new ecommerce rules in China, says Hrdlicka. “We think they bring important protection to consumers,” she says. “They are consistent with laws that exist in other markets around the world, they improve the sophistication of channels and lift confidence in consumers in the channels; we continue to see daigou and cross-border ecommerce channels sitting well in that framework for the future.”

A2 managing director Jayne Hrdlicka

share in all key markets and a record market position in each of the regions. In infant formula the company’s consumption share in China was 5.7% for year one in eight key cities for the 12 months ending December 31, 2018. It is up from 5.1% in June. China revenue growth was 83% and brand leadership in Australia is at 35.7% of total market sales. “We have released for the first time a broader measure of our China infant formula market share which includes b, c and d lower-tier cities. We recorded a 5.4% share on this basis

over 12 months – up from 4.7% as at June 2018. It is a positive signal with respect to growth in lower-tier cities. “Australian fresh milk, which is our most established product range, saw double digit sales growth of roughly 12% and a record market share position of roughly 11%.” In the last six months they have spent much time in deepening their understanding of consumers in China, and are “step changing” their investment in China to build more brand awareness. “We know our brand awareness in

China still has a lot of scope for growth and that our consumers, once they have trialled our products, typically are among the most loyal and committed in the category. This signals opportunity for further growth.” Marketing spending in the second half of 2019 will be double the first half, most going to brand building in China. They expect revenue growth in the second half to continue broadly in line with the first. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

30 OPINION EDITORIAL

EDNA

Reality bites PRIME MINISTER Jacinda Ardern’s claim, made after her much-hyped European visit earlier this year, that a completed free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) by the end of this year was on the cards, is proving to be as hollow as most political promises. Any proper analysis of the PM’s assertion at the time would have shown that her enthusiasm for such a deal was always more rhetoric than reality. It is clear that agriculture remains a sensitive issue and the recent visit to New Zealand by European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan has only highlighted this fact. For one, the Brexit melee has identified a major issue over tariff rate quotas (TRQs) for our sheepmeat, beef and dairy products sent to the EU. NZ has strongly rejected the EU and UK government’s proposal that upon Brexit the TRQs be split in half. As trade expert Stephen Jacobi points out, this poses huge difficulties for NZ exporters who manage, according to market trends and consumption patterns, flows of their products to the EU and to Britain. However, both the EU and the UK have ignored NZ’s concerns – and the objections of other trading partners with similar arrangements – and now risk years of trade litigation at the WTO. This is hardly the sign of a trade partner willing to compromise. Another issue underlined by Hogan’s visit is that the EU’s proposed restrictions on the use of geographical names – or geographic indicators (GIs) – on products will also have implications for NZ exports to other regions, including China. As part of negotiations for the FTA the EU wants NZ to abide by strict regulations on the way certain geographical names are used in international trade. This new strict regime would not only apply to products marketed in NZ, but also to our exports to other markets: think of feta cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, even cheddar. NZ’s view is that these names have become generic rather than relating to a certain geographic region. As Jacobi points out, Fonterra now supplies large amounts of mozzarella cheese to China: every second pizza in China is covered with it. That’s a lot of pizza and a lot of cheese. It seems Ardern’s fanciful FTA claim is now hitting reality. If she or anyone believes a comprehensive FTA, including agriculture, with the EU will be completed by the end of this year, then we have a porcine aerodrome we can sell her.

RURALNEWS TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS

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

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

THE HOUND No interest? THE HOUND’S concern about the Government’s interest – or lack of it – in the farming sector was highlighted recently, following the recent Fed Farmers’ dairy section annual meeting held last month. This event had meaty issues up for discussion, including the review of the DIRA, industry training and worker shortages, where reaction input from the Government would have been useful and vital. However, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor could not make the meeting and instead sent former kindergarten teacher and first-term backbench list MP Jo Luxton. While your old mate’s spies at the meeting reported that Ms Luxton was very pleasant, her ignorance of the industry and inability to answer any questions raised a few eyebrows.

Woolly thinking YOUR CANINE crusader had to laugh at a company’s recent attempt at virtual signalling that turned out a complete balls-up. Last month, in a hail of publicity, fashion company Boohoo said it would no longer make items from wool; it was responding to the animal rights group PETA’s call for the online retailer to take a stand against the wool industry, which it claimed was “alarmingly abusive to sheep”. PETA also claimed that the wool industry “wreaks havoc” on the environment. However, Boohoo’s boo-boo was soon exposed by customers and sheep industry people who pointed out that shearing was an essential part of the welfare of a sheep and professional shearers rarely treat sheep cruelly.

PRODUCTION: Dave Ferguson ........................Ph 09 913 9633 davef@ruralnews.co.nz Becky Williams ........................Ph 09 913 9634 beckyw@ruralnews.co.nz REPORTERS: Sudesh Kissun ....................... Ph 09 913 9627 Pamela Tipa ............................ Ph 021 842 220 Peter Burke .............................Ph 06 362 6319 Nigel Malthus ...................... Ph 021 164 4258 MACHINERY EDITOR: Mark Daniel ............................. Ph 021 906 723 or 07 824 1190 SUB-EDITOR: Neil Keating ............................Ph 09 913 9628

The full story

Costly cut

YOUR OLD mate has been astounded by the one-sided news media coverage of the land tenure review process which the Government recently unilaterally ended. It is clear media have decided this was an “evil process” from which farmers have “profited and the country’s conservation estate suffered”. However, that is not true. “An area of Crown pastoral land the size of 153 Hagley Parks (25,300ha) is still likely to be privatised under tenure review,” claimed one hyper-ventilating journalist. However, in the same article the writer buried the fact that more land – 25,822ha – will become part of the conservation estate from the last eight leases under review. So it hasn’t all been bad, as some in the media like to claim.

YOUR CANINE crusader was interested to read that the move by Christchurch City Council to not use Roundup has cost ratepayers in that city an extra $2 million more than forecast – in the second six months of 2018 alone – to maintain the city’s roads and footpaths. Apparently, councillors are now considering whether they should find another $850,000 to plug the gap in the parks and roads budgets caused by the more expensive, environmentally friendly options. The tree-hugging set was delighted when three years ago the council voted to cut its reliance on Roundup, after a highly disputed report claimed it “may be carcenogenic”. The Hound suggests this just goes to prove that the adage ‘don’t vote for politicians as it only encourages stupidity’ is pretty accurate.

NATIONAL SALES MANAGER: Stephen Pollard ....Ph 09 913 9637/021 963 166 stephenp@ruralnews.co.nz

WELLINGTON SALES REPRESENTATIVE: Ron Mackay ......... Ph 04 234 6239/021 453 914 ronm@ruralnews.co.nz

WAIKATO SALES REPRESENTATIVE: Ted Darley .......... Ph 07 854 6292/021 832 505 ted@ruralnews.co.nz

SOUTH ISLAND SALES REPRESENTATIVE: Kaye Sutherland Ph 03 337 3828/021 221 1994 kayes@ruralnews.co.nz

ABC audited circulation 79,599 as at 30/09/2018

DIGITAL STRATEGIST: Jessica Wilson ........................ Ph 09 913 9621

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


RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

OPINION 31

Time to regulate all stock agents FEDERATED FARMERS meat and wool council is calling for compulsory regulation of stock agents. No-one likes more rules and regulation, but to protect all parties in the sale of livestock we believe it is the best way forward. Discussions about this topic have run hot and cold for years, but we believe it is time for some finality. The NZ Stock and Station Agents Association has created a code of conduct and set up an independent body that can adjudicate on complaints about the actions of stock agents. However, with all respect to the association, membership and thus adherence to the code is voluntary and we understand it currently only covers about 65% of all stock transactions.   Less reputable agents – a minority in the industry – are unlikely to become voluntary members and even if they do, when trouble arises they can simply resign and continue to trade. A fully enforceable and regulated industry would be able to stop agents trading, and could impose redress.

A fully enforceable and regulated industry would be able to stop agents trading, and could impose redress. As well as potential losses from fraudulent transactions, Federated Farmers members have also raised concerns about biosecurity risks where there is misrepresentation – either accidental or deliberate – and limited ability to seek redress in a voluntary system. Another potential regulation that deserves debate is one that would require any stock agent who trades livestock on their own behalf to do so through an auction system or another agent, and not conduct the transaction on their own behalf. A lot of ill-feeling is caused when a stock agent buys from a farmer when it’s not clear he is acting on his own behalf, keeps the animals on his property for a day or two, then on-sells at a substantial profit. Feds’ meat and wool council does not envisage an increased cost to the farmer from regulation because, for most companies and agents, there would not be a huge

change from how they are now operating with their own internal processes. We are hoping for a positive response from the Government to support this. Some will try to tie our advocacy for regulation to complaints made in relation to a former employee of a stock trading company in the South Island.  However, irrespective of the current SFO investigation into that, it is well past time

Feds meat and wool chair Miles Anderson.

some sensible regulations were brought in to cover stock agencies. The vast bulk of stock and station agents operate in an exemplary manner. We need regulation to be fair, to give them protection also – not just the farmers. • Miles Anderson is Federated Farmers’ meat and wool chair

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

32 OPINION

Keep Dira, but change needed In a submission by Westland Milk Products – New Zealand’s second biggest dairy cooperative – to the review of the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act (DIRA), the co-op says the legislation is still needed, but with some changes. A summary of its submission follows: DURING THE deliberations that gave birth to the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001 (DIRA), Westland chose to remain an independent processor so as to maintain processing on the West Coast. The company believes New Zealand needs strong, independent processors that work as part of ‘NZ Inc’ and that it is important to counter any global perception that NZ has a state-supported monopoly. Westland agrees with our economic experts, TDB, in that the DIRA

enabled Fonterra to be set up as a near monopoly/monopsony in NZ’s dairy markets. DIRA was designed to be the counterbalance. It included provisions designed to foster competition at the farmgate and to protect NZ dairy product consumers. The key ‘contestability’ provisions that apply to Fonterra are: • Open entry • Open exit • No discrimination between suppliers • The right for Fonterra suppliers to supply up to 20% of their weekly

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production to an independent processor •The setting of the base milk price. In addition, the Dairy Industry Restructuring (Raw Milk) Regulations 2012 (DIRA regulations) require Fonterra to supply raw milk to Goodman Fielder and independent processors (IPs) subject to certain conditions. DIRA was originally envisaged as temporary legislation with automatic expiry provisions once certain milk-supply thresholds were met. Those automatic expiry

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the DIRA. The DIRA contestability provisions have helped protect the longterm interests of NZ dairy farmers, consumers and the nation’s overall economic wellbeing. It is recognised that the dairy industry’s environmental impact has worsened as intensification has increased and as land has been converted to dairy. We consider that, at the margin, DIRA’s open entry provisions may have contributed to this outcome and could be phased out without imposing significant costs. We would not want to see unfettered open entry available for new dairy conversions. The environmental situation has been acknowledged by farmers and efforts are in place to mitigate the adverse effects of dairying. However, any further environmental protections required should be imposed by environmental legislation, such as the

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Resource Management Act (RMA), rather than through the DIRA. Although fit for purpose, we recommend these changes to the DIRA, including to the milk price methodology which would increase the transparency of the calculation and appear less manipulated. • We contend that open entry (and open reentry) could be phased out. - To be clear, by open entry and re-entry we mean milk from new dairy conversions. We do not mean that Fonterra could choose not to collect milk from an existing dairy farm. Westland does not wish to see a situation whereby any farmer could have their milk not collected. • The base milk price provisions remain crucial but these are changes we recommend: – Fonterra’s average currency conversion rate should be excluded from the calculation

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PAGE 24

– Non-Global Dairy Trade (non-GDT) sales should be excluded from the calculation – The asset beta used should not be that of the hypothetical efficient processor but that of the industry – Full accounting separation and reporting of Fonterra and Fonterra Brands NZ (FBNZ). Full accounting separation and reporting of Fonterra and FBNZ is required to ensure that FBNZ’s ability to compete in the domestic market is not being subsidised by another part of the business. Westland believes there are some unintended outcomes from the DIRA, such as dominant behaviour displayed by Fonterra. To prevent this type of behaviour, we consider the legislation could be strengthened in a way that prevents the ability to abuse market power, and maintains and encourages true contestability.


RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

OPINION 33

Levelling the playing field TIM WARRINGTON

FAMILIES HAVE been the cornerstone of New Zealand farming for generations. Today’s farming mums and dads fed chooks as kids, milked cows and learned to drive on tractors and dirt bikes.  These people, who grew up on the land, are the lifeblood of the agricultural industry, weathering floods and enduring

versations together,” Wilson says. “For example: Is your operation best practice for you? Are there ways to farm smarter?  Are your farming activities time- and cost-effective?     “So, farming women of New Zealand, plan a day off the farm and come to the expo to spend time working on your business,” Wilson says.  “We are bringing

assist rural students to access education opportunities.”

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“Spend the day exploring the exhibits, listening to industry leaders and talking to specialists. And don’t forget your other team members: managers and shepherds will hear ways to make life easier and in return do better financially.”

industry innovators to the East Coast Farming Expo at the Wairoa A&P Showgrounds for two days -- March 6 and 7 -- so you can have a chance to discover new ideas in a specialised environment.    “Spend the day exploring the exhibits, listening to industry leaders and talking to specialists. And don’t forget your other team members: managers and shepherds will hear ways to make life easier and in return do better financially.   And it’s not just the financial side, Wilson says. “No one can deny the stresses of working the land, so farming smarter will have many positive, far-reaching benefits which will help the whole family.”    Wilson says she is thrilled to welcome Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) to this year’s expo.  “RWNZ, an integral part of the rural landscape since 1925, is a charitable membership-based organisation that supports people in rural communities through learning opportunities, events and connections. “They offer scholarships and bursaries to

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droughts and everything else nature throws at them.  In 2019, farming in New Zealand often remains a family affair, but the roles have changed, and often it’s the farming women who call the shots: they have levelled the ploughing field. Women are more involved with onfarm decisionmaking than ever before, and they should be as their signatures are on the mortgage documents too. It’s often women who spend evenings working the books and crunching the numbers, as well as their dayto-day involvement in the running of the farm. It’s women who are dissecting analytics and identifying opportunities to farm smarter and have a better work/life balance. Alone, or with a partner, today’s farming women are breaking new ground.    East Coast Farming Expo manager Sue Wilson encourages these talented women to attend this month’s event in Wairoa.     “The expo provides a platform for farming women and men to have the important con-

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Leading top dressing company Super Air has played a major part in a product trialling process that has seen well over 700 tonnes of AeroLime spread to ensure that it meets all specified safety requirements and preload procedures. AeroLime has consistently met the flowability requirements throughout these trials.

With NZ Beef and Lamb predicting 2018-19 lamb and beef exports to both break $3 billion for the second time2, the launch of AeroLime is timely for hill country farmers, particularly given the wide range of benefits that low rate liming can deliver over time for this sector3. Trials have shown that these include: increased pasture production, less pasture litter, increased worm activity4, improved wool production, and faster lamb growth.

Super Air Manager John Elliott commented, “Everything we do at Super Air starts and finishes with pilot safety so we have been really happy to be part of this process”.

Graymont is committed to manufacturing AeroLime to a high standard. Farmers should contact their usual approved transporters and contractors to order.

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1. Safety Guideline – Farm Airstrips and Associated Fertiliser Cartage, Storage and Application. Jointly published by the Civil Aviation Authority and Department of Labour (2005). 2. 2018-19 lamb and beef exports forecast to both break $3 billion for the second time (2018, September 14), NZ Beef + Lamb. Retrieved from https://beeflambnz.com/newsviews/lamb-and-beef-exports-forecast-both-break-3-billion-second-time. 3. O‘Connor, M.B.: Foskett, H.R.; Smith, A. 1981. The effect of low rate of lime on North Island hill country pasture and animal production and the economics of use. Proceedings of NZ Society of Animal Production 41:82-87. 4. Stockdill, S.M.J. 1966. The effect of earthworms on pastures. Department of Agriculture, Palmerston, Otago.

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

MANAGEMENT 35

Vital to manage hoggets prior to breeding HOGGET BREEDING, done correctly, can increase the number of lambs weaned on a farm each year and their lifetime performance. Massey University’s professor Paul Kenyon says successful hogget mating depends on following a few rules in February-May. “With the good summer we have had, many farmers may be considering breeding hoggets for the first time. Failure to follow simple rules can result in disappointing performance in this year and following years for the young ewe.” Kenyon says hoggets need to weigh at least 40kg, but more accurately weigh a minimum of 65 - 70 % of their subsequent mature weight. From these figures a farmer can figure the ideal minimum weight for hoggets at breeding. “Farmers need to monitor the live weights of their hoggets through to breeding and adjusting their feeding levels to ensure these minimums are met,” Kenyon says. “The minimum live weights are individual hogget minimums and not a flock average. If some hoggets within the mob do not achieve the minimum they should not be bred but instead

SINGLETONS VS TWINS THE SHEEP Research Centre at Massey, with funding from Beef + Lamb NZ, has two long-term hoggets studies underway. The centre is looking at the possible effects of selecting singletons and twins born to hoggets as replacement ewes, versus those born to mature ewes. It is also looking into the possible long-term consequences of very heavy hogget breeding weights on lifetime productivity and efficiency.

Massey University’s Prof Paul Kenyon.

managed throughout winter-spring as traditional non-bred hoggets. “Hoggets too light at breeding are less likely to wean a lamb and are more likely to display poor two-tooth performance and less likely to last in the flock.”

An alternative or extra tool to select hoggets suitable for breeding is body condition score (BCS). “Hoggets should have a minimum BCS 2.5 at breeding. Having this extra condition will increase their chance of becoming pregnant and help them

buffer the demands of pregnancy and lactation.” He says exposing hoggets to vasectomised rams (teasers) can increase the proportion of hoggets bred and those bred early in the breeding period. “Teasers should be introduced 17 days prior to the first day of breeding. Ideally teaser-to-hogget ratios should be about 1:70 although responses can still occur at rates of 1:200. “Teasers should not to be used as a short-term fix to ensure lightweight hoggets are cycling at breeding. Teasing lightweight hoggets may help them get pregnant but farmers are just setting up these hoggets to fail.” Kenyon says hoggets are shy breeders, so farmers need to ensure they have enough ‘ram power.’ “An ideal ram-to-hogget ratio is

1:50. So well before breeding farmers need to consider how they will have enough rams and which rams are the most appropriate. When choosing a ram, farmers need to consider the potential impact on birth weight.” He advises avoiding rams from breeds likely to produce large heavy lambs at birth, or those with big shoulders, due to the risk of birthing difficulties. “It’s important when preparing hoggets for breeding to ensure they are vaccinated against abortive diseases. Also, any factor that limits growth such as parasite burdens or mineral deficiencies can have a significant negative impact. “Farmers should consult their local vet about an appropriate health management plan.”

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

36 MANAGEMENT

Sheep and beef focus for 2019 Two farms from the North Island east coast and one from Central Hawkes Bay are the finalists in this year’s Ahuwhenua competition for the top Maori sheep and beef farm. This year’s finalists are Whangara Farms located 35km north of Gisborne; Te Awahohonu Forest Trust; Gwavas Station at Tikokino, 50km west of Hastings; and Kiriroa Station at Motu, 70km north west of Gisborne. Peter Burke gives a rundown on each. THE FINALISTS were announced by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor at a function at Parliament attended by

politicians and agribusiness leaders from NZwide. The Ahuwhenua Trophy is the leading

award for excellence in Māori farming, inaugurated in 1933 by the Māori leader Sir Apirana Ngata and Governor-General

Lord Bledisloe. The objective was and still is to encourage Māori farmers to improve their land and overall farming

position as kaitiaki. On a three year rotation, the trophy is competed for by Māori farmers in the sheep and

Ahuwhenua Trophy committee chair Kingi Smiler.

SF HUSTLE IS A

beef, horticulture and dairy sectors. The chair of the Ahuwhenua Trophy management committee, Kingi Smiler, says the high calibre of this year’s finalists shows the strength of the Māori agribusiness sector. Selecting the three finalists from an impressive field of entrants was no easy task, he said. “This competition is prestigious and people actively seek to enter this event to showcase the quality of their farming enterprises. What makes Māori sheep and beef farms so special is that in most cases they are in remote hill country areas which in itself

SUPER STAR IT’S OFFICIALLY RATED 5 STARS IN THE NORTH ISLAND & UPPER SOUTH ISLAND BY THE DAIRYNZ FORAGE VALUE INDEX (FVI).

makes farming operations challenging throughout the year, but especially in times of adverse events.” Smiler says the resilience and innovation shown by these people is an example to all New Zealanders that hard work coupled with clear strategic objectives and excellent farm management can produce outstanding outcomes. He says over the years the Māori agribusiness sector has grown exponentially, not only in sheep and beef, but also in dairy and horticulture. Māori are rapidly moving into the value-add space to increase returns from their assets.

GET 5-STAR RATED SF HUSTLE™ WORKING ON YOUR FARM. TALK TO YOUR LOCAL SEED SPECIALIST OR VISIT SEEDFORCE.CO.NZ ”DairyNZ provides no assurance or warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or reliability of information in the Forage Value Index or at www.dairynz.co.nz/fvi. DairyNZ has no liability for any reliance on that information”.

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EXCELLENCE CELEBRATED DAMIEN O’CONNOR says this year’s finalists are at the top of the game and provide the inspiration and example for others to get out and do better and grow the economy of NZ. “We have to encourage excellence and better performance – right across agriculture and horticulture,” he says. “We have a few challenges in the areas of training, but this government is committed to provide better opportunities for young people – Maori and others – to get into agriculture.” O’Connor couldn’t resist a comment on the capital gains tax controversy saying it’s nice to be involved in a sector in the agricultural industry that doesn’t rely on capital gains to benefit its people. “I acknowledge the progress that has been made in Maori farming where you don’t rely on the purchase and sale of land to generate benefits and long may that continue.” Originally, O’Connor wasn’t scheduled to be present at the announcement of the finalists. He had planned to be in Egypt for trade talks, but with further discoveries of fruit fly in Auckland, he decided to cut short his trip and return to NZ. Field days will held at the three finalists’ farms in April and the winner will be announced at the awards dinner in Gisborne at the end of May.


RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

MANAGEMENT 37

Ahuwhenua finalists stand out WHANGARA FARMS WHANGARA FARMS is just north of Gisborne, on Highway 35, and is a partnership of three Māori Incorporations. This allows the three partners to join commercially, but also retain their own identity. It’s an 8500ha (6900ha effective) property, on which is run 75,000 stock units of which 45,000 are sheep and the balance cattle. It’s a mix of steep and flat land, with 17 full time staff employed. Whangara Farms has also been a significant contributor to R&D in the region. It’s has been a Beef + Lamb NZ demonstration farm, a BLNZ innovation farm and a BLNZ beef progeny test site. Last year, the property became the first farm outside Europe

Whangara Farms

to be awarded flagship status by the McDonalds restaurant chain. It is only the 28th farm internationally to attain that status. Whangara is also a Farm IQ focus farm and AgResearch pasture and forage plot trials are held on the property. Chair of Whangara Farms, Ingrid Collins, says their vision is to be an outstanding business delivering ongoing sustainable returns. GWAVAS STATION HISTORIC GWAVAS Station, in Central Hawkes

Bay, is owned by Te Awahohonu Forest Trust, which won the Ahuwhenua Trophy in 2013 with its other farm, Tarawera Station, on the Napier Taupo Road. The farm comprises 1000 ha and the owners lease an additional 178ha, making the property 989ha effective. The property has an irregular shape, with State Highway 50 bisecting the farm at the north eastern and eastern ends. About 70% of the area is flat-to-easy-rolling country, and the balance

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moderately steeper hills and steep faces connecting with lower terraces and riverbeds. Gwavas Station sits in a region that can experience summer dry conditions and has a complex range of mainly free draining soils. These comprise Takapau silts and Tukituki gravelly sands on the flatter areas, Poporangi and Mangatahi soils on some intermediate terraces and rolling hills, and Gwavas sandy loams on the remaining easy and steeper hills. The farm winters nearly 12,000 stock units comprising about 50% cattle and 50% sheep. The property is farmed as an intensive dryland, finishing property, which complements the Tarawera Station breeding operation. Between 14,000 and 16,000 lambs and about

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800 cattle are finished annually depending on the season. The farm is effectively run with three, full time labour units -the farm manager and two shepherds. KIRIROA STATION EUGENE AND Pania King are the owner/operators of Kiriroa Station in the Motu Valley, 70km north west of Gisborne. Kiriroa is a 483ha (357ha effective) sheep and beef property of which 60ha is flat, 200ha medium hill country and the balance steep hill country. The Kings trade cattle and finish all stock onfarm and are now wintering 3800 stock units – a mix of 40% cattle and 60% sheep. Soil types are mostly pumice with some sedimentary. The property has an annual rainfall

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of 2 - 2.5m. Motu Valley is regarded as summer safe, but has long, cold winters. Regular snow falls are not uncommon. Some parts of the farm are 732m above sea level For the Kings, Kiriroa is a special place. They feel lucky to have taonga like the Motu River and consider themselves kaitiaki to the 2.2km of the river flowing through Kiriroa. The Motu Valley is home to weka and,

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

38 MANAGEMENT

Solar halves farm’s power bill PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

SUNLIGHT HAS has helped halve a Woodville dairy farmer’s power bill for his dairy shed. A year ago, Matthew Jackson was paying more than $2000 a month to power his shed but now the monthly bill is down below $1000. About eight months ago Matthew and his wife Suzanne decided to take the bold step of installing solar panels to generate at least some of the power to run their 27 cup herringbone shed. The Jacksons run 250 Friesian cows on their 100ha farm. On average, they produce about 120,000kgMS/year. They have owned the farm for the last four years and had been contract milking on the farm for the previous four years. Jackson has worked on dairy farms since he left school at 16, and even before that he was doing morning and afternoon milkings while still at college. For the Jacksons the fact that power was becoming more expensive was the game-changer to switch over to solar power. “It didn’t seem to matter how much

Sunlight has cut Woodville farmer Matthew Jackson’s dairy shed power bill by half.

we did – such as using power between 10 pm and 4am. The power bill was essentially the same,” he told Rural News. “So we looked into this and, in the end, it ticked all the boxes. We were very surprised when we were told the returns we could get out of it.” The solar panels provide power to the shed as soon as the sun has risen,

which means that for the early milking power is bought from the grid to power the shed: they don’t have batteries to store power. Jackson says the technology is not there for this, as far as they are concerned. But by afternoon the solar power is at its peak and the shed is run entirely from the 66 panels on the roof, which means it provides power for the after-

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noon milking. “At about five in the afternoon the sun goes off the panels, but we are well finished by then and a lot of the chilling of the milk is done by the panels as well,” Jackson explains. “Our hot water cylinders are now run during the day by the solar power so we have two hot washes a day just because we can and because the hot

water is there. Overall we get about 55% of our electricity from the panels.” He says there is only one month of the year – July – when the cows are dry that there isn’t a direct benefit. During the day the panels produce more power than is required to run the shed. “Surplus power goes back into the grid, but the power company only pays us 8c/kWh for what we put back into the grid. But it costs us 30 cents to buy power from them. So what power we generate just comes off our power bill and even if it is only eight cents it helps,” he says. As well as installing panels on the dairy shed roof, the Jacksons have installed an additional 10 panels on the roof of their house. This power is used to heat water in the house. Maintenance is also low. For Jackson, it just means giving the panels an annual clean. And he says these are expected to last for 25 years. While some farmers may baulk at the set-up cost of $43,000, Jackson says the economics stack up. Since he installed the system last July, he’s saved nearly $6000. He and Suzanne are happy with their decision.


RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

ANIMAL HEALTH 39

Farmers reminded of animal transport rules WITH THE culling season underway, the Ministry for Primary Industries is reminding farmers that each animal is their responsibility until it is accepted by a processor or saleyard. MPI’s director of animal health and welfare, veterinarian Dr Chris Rodwell, says while most animals travel without any problems, he has a simple message: “Don’t risk [sending] unfit stock; it’s not good for the animals and if they don’t arrive in acceptable condition you could end up with no return and a fine of $500.”   Rodwell summarises MPI’s advice in six key points:  “Plan ahead and talk to your stock agent and transporter: tell them if any stock are too tall for a standard truck, ask them how long the trip will be and ask for plenty of notice so you can ensure stock are in good shape for travel. “Don’t assume your stock are going to the nearest works – it’s not

always the case. The longer the trip, the harder it is on the animal. “Prepare stock before the trip: stand them off green feed for 4-12 hours, provide hay or baleage and always have water available.  “Dry off your dairy cows to avoid metabolic issues; if that’s not possible, dose them with calcium and magnesium, stand them off green feed a few hours before loading and milk them as close to pick-up as you can.  “Call your vet if you’re unsure about any animal; if in doubt, leave it out.  “Finally, use the Fit For Transport app designed to make it easier for stock owners, agents and transporters to select animals before transport.”   The app will help ensure the welfare of animals during transport and avoid the risk of fines for sending animals that are lame, have ingrown or injured horns, have injured or diseased udders or have eye

MAKE IT EASY FOR TRANSPORTERS FARMERS ARE responsible for selecting and presenting animals for transport. • Do not present calves that are unfit for transport • Make sure the truck has easy access • If holding calves in a large pen, provide a means of controlling animal movement e.g. boards or a moveable gate, so that animals are easier to catch • If you can, be there for pick-up to help with loading and to ensure calves are handled with care • Have an appropriate loading facility, e.g. ramp or raised pen.

HEALTH CHECK TO BE fit for transport calves must be presented as follows: • Healthy: eyes are bright, not dull or shrunken; ears are upright; no visible disease (e.g. scours), deformity, injury, blindness or disability • Strong: able to bear weight on all four limbs, not slow or unsteady; able to rise from a lying position and move freely around the pen • Hooves: firm and worn, not rounded or soft • Navel: dry and withered, not pink/red, raw or fleshy • Fed: at least half the day’s ration of colostrum (or colostrum substitute) is given not more than two hours before pick-up.

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WE’RE MAKING SOME CHANGES TO IMPROVE THE NAIT SYSTEM. Help build NAIT’s capability and protect New Zealand’s primary industries. Confirm or update your NAIT account Identify the land you manage animals on Need Help? Call 0800 482 463 7am–6pm (Mon-Fri)

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

40 ANIMAL HEALTH

Don’t balls-up ram selection PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

DON’T BALLS-UP your ram selection is sage advice for farmers about picking sires as mating time approaches. Vet Barney Askin, a speaker at a recent Beef + LambNZ field day at Massey University’s Tuapaka research farm, says farmers need to be decisive about what they are trying to achieve in their mating programme Askin says when farmers are choosing their own rams they need to work closely with their ram breeder and select appropriate rams. “Choose one or two indices to try to make a genetic gain rather than trying to improve on everything at once. It might be they want to improve fertility or lamb

Barney Austin

weaning weights, but it’s very hard to improve everything at the same time.” Askin says farmers need to be clear about exactly what they want to achieve in their sheep mating programme. He says when it comes to choosing the individual rams a lot of personal preference goes into it.

“Different sheep farmers like different types and styles. The most important things are sound testicles and sound feet and they should always be buying from brucellosis accredited flocks,” he says. At the field day, Askin had a number of rams in the sheep yards and he took time to demon-

Getting the right ram means a ‘hands on’ approach to selection.

strate to the group the type of problems that can occur with rams’ testicles. It was a ‘touchyfeely’ session of a strictly rural nature. He pulled out rams with testicular defects and gave the

If in doubt, leave it out

k On the truc Job done

BIOSECURITY ASIDE, most farmers will tell you the biggest challenge facing the primary sector is a shortage of good, qualified people. Central Hawkes Bay woolbroker Philippa Wright is one of many rural employers who struggles to get staff. In sourcing seasonal labour to help out over the busy summer months, Wright has been fortunate to get staff. School and university holidays coincide with when she needs extra staff, and Wright says the local collage has been helpful in identifying good young workers. The late season this year was a bit of a prob-

Check the Fit for Transport app on your phone – it’s free to download – or consult your vet. Stock on the truck is still your stock. Transport is stressful for livestock. Make sure they’re fit for the entire journey. Sending unfit livestock could mean a $500 fine.

farmers a chance to feel the problems for themselves. “Of the rams I rejected with testicular problems, one had an abscess in the top of his testicles, another has testicular atrophy which means the testes had shrunk, and another had soft flabby testicles probably because he was too old,” he says. While farmers may be able to do an initial check of the rams themselves, he believes the final check should be made by a person with the professional skills to make

a decision on whether to reject or accept a ram. Sound feet are also important when selecting rams. A ram with bad feet will not range far and wide to mate and will have difficulty mounting a ewe. Askin said that when selecting a similar-sized or small ram for hogget mating “the theory is that when you are using animals of the same breed you are less likely to get hybrid vigour, which you get when you are cross breeding”. “Cross breeding

could result in outliers and lambs too large for hoggets to give birth to easily.” Askin says many farmers pay close attention to choosing the right rams, but others seem to place less importance on it and essentially leave the decisions to the people they are buying rams from. He says it’s also important to re-assess ram selection every few years and see if new ram types will offer new options in genetic gain. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

NEW OSPRI BOSS

STEVE STUART has been appointed chief executive of OSPRI New Zealand, the agency managing NAIT and TBfree. OSPRI chairman Barry Harris says Stuart brings “a wealth of industry experience to the position”. “He has had an extensive career in regulatory and compliance roles in a range of industries, including fisheries, biosecurity and most recently immigration.” “I am excited about joining OSPRI and the opportunity to lead an organisation that plays an important role in the primary sector,” Stuart says. “It has potential to contribute to the future of NZ’s biosecurity and traceability frameworks and position OSPRI for the future.” Stuart will take up the role on March 25 in Wellington.

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

ANIMAL HEALTH 41

Improve NAIT reporting or face consequences A CLOSER watch will be kept on the NAIT accounts of farmers and NAIT users who choose not to record or confirm livestock movements, warns OSPRI. While more farmers are seeking help to get their accounts up to date, they must do more work to reconcile accounts where movements have not been completed. “There is no silver bullet to fix outstanding or unresolved livestock movements in the NAIT system. But we are patiently working through those historical issues with farmers where movement records are incomplete,” says Kevin Forward, head of NAIT. Compliance and enforcement are jointly managed by NAIT Ltd and the NAIT compliance team at the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) as prescribed in the NAIT Act 2012. Farmers and persons in charge of animals (PICAs) showing poor engagement records with NAIT are first issued with a notice to remind them of any unrecorded or unconfirmed movements in the NAIT system. As the management agency for NAIT, OSPRI’s priority is to ensure farmers understand their NAIT obligations and if

necessary guide and support them in updating their accounts, says Forward. “NAIT monitors their response and actions to see if they are making any changes. If they aren’t, NAIT will escalate the situation with MPI and NAIT inspectors will be alerted.” MPI has 30 NAITauthorised officers in the field to assist with compliance activities; their work may include visits to saleyards and meat processing plants. While the Mycoplasma bovis response and assisting MPI has been the primary focus, Forward said NAIT is making progress with long-standing issues related to incomplete movements found in the NAIT system and actioned by farmer queries. “We acknowledge there are inconsistences going back several years but this accounts for generally around 2% of incomplete movements in a given year. “Seen in perspective, at least 51 million movements have been recorded in the NAIT database -- 3.6 million were recorded this past January.” NAIT has also been ‘cleaning-up’ the NAIT information system: a

recent system upgrade required farmers and PICAs to update their existing user account details and declare all their NAIT locations using Land Information New Zealand land parcel

identification numbers. “We’re giving farmers and PICAs every opportunity to get their NAIT account sorted. We’ve also rolled out an extension and education campaign to support all NAIT users and

the NAIT team will be present at the regional field days,” says Forward. Farmers who choose to ignore NAIT will be identified and referred to MPI’s NAIT compliance team for follow-up.

Kevin Forward

CONSULTATION OPENS UP OSPRI HAS invited the primary industry’s supply chain, livestock tag manufacturers and NAIT users to get involved in discussing the scheme: the consultation is now open. The NAIT and TB-Free systems manager says three standards are being revised to make the NAIT system fit for purpose; many of the changes result from the NAIT review. The standards affect device manufacturers, accredited entities and information providers that provide services to manage NAIT accounts on behalf of farmers. Two technical guidelines are also proposed, relating to the manufacture and performance of NAIT devices such as RFID tags. Head of NAIT Kevin Forward says the consultation ensures that industry has an opportunity to comment on the revised standards before they are finalised and come into effect. “We believe this approach is in the best interests of the entire industry and will address a number of issues with the way the current NAIT scheme operates.” Consultation closes March 29.

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

42 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

A chariot that will attract many MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

THE JEEP brand distributor in New Zealand – Ateco – says 2020 will see the arrival of a vehicle aimed at tapping Kiwis’ unquenchable thirst for utes. The Wrangler-based Jeep Gladiator looks surprisingly like the AEV conversion that led to The Brute we featured a while back. That’s not surprising given the starting point. It has a chassis stretched by 790mm, a 490mm longer wheelbase, larger axles and brakes and a unique suspension set-up. It can tow 3470kg and carry 725kg in its tray. The ‘new’ ute is powered by the same upgraded 3.6L PentaStar petrol V6 as used in the Wrangler, offering 212kW

and 352Nm torque. By 2020, a 194kW/600Nm 3L V6 diesel will also offer a more practical choice. Petrol versions will be offered with a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission; the diesel will be offered as an 8-speed auto only. The Gladiator will come in a range of trim levels including Sport, Sport S, Overland or Rubicon, with the latter aimed at the high-end, bling-laden market. This will see features like aluminium-bodied Fox shocks, a 4:1 lowrange transfer case and 33-inch mud tyres. Add to that 282mm of ground clearance, then Gladiator Rubicon is sure to suit the weekend warrior tribes. As you might expect, the Jeep has off-road prowess with a range of

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systems including Command-Trac, Rock-Trac, third generation Dana axles and, of course, diff locks. The crew-cab layout

can be specified with soft or hard tops and a novel fold-flat windscreen; and there are options of cloth or leather upholstery. Rear seat passen-

gers will benefit from the stretched chassis with a huge improvement in rear legroom. A host of features brings the Gladiator up to

date: keyless entry, pushbutton start, 7 or 8.4-inch touchscreens, lots of USB points and a 115V outlet. At the business end, a steel bed has four cross-

members for reinforcement of the floor, and a dampened aluminium tailgate. Ease of use is ensured with integral tiedown points.


RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS 43

Is big data all smoke and mirrors? WITH A booming global population and always want to paddle their own canoe more food required from farmland, the in the direction they choose. For example, look at the control modsolution, apparently, lies in more data. Data is the buzzword: there lies suc- ules -- ridiculously expensive -- installed cess if we all buy into it; but if we don’t in many tractor cabs, in contrast to the cheap smart devices that are freely availwe’ll be left in a cloud of dust. But in reality the massive production able. The pro’s will shout “this is the era of increases won’t appear any time soon. Promotors of the ‘big data’ concept ISOBUS connectivity”. Yes, many tractors would have us believe algorithms will don’t have lights that work, never mind replace people on the ground, so that the connectivity. Also worrying are the questions “what ‘people of the land’ will be sitting on their data do I need? in what homestead porch watchformat is the data being ing 2001 A Space Odyssey generated? and who actually on their smart devices. owns the data?” The first Of course, automashould be easy to answer, tion will help to make us because farmers will surely more efficient by reducdecide what they want to ing time and inputs. But record, collect and interpret the pro-data lobby forget -- although the manufacturer to ask the question, “will will likely decide on the data it lead to the doubling of CRUSHER’S COMMENT format. That requires that production that’s needed Mark Daniel they stop puffing out their by 2050?” I think not. chests and shouting “ours is What automation will expose us to is the risk of losing the expe- best”; much better to develop a common rienced agronomists and advisors who platform whose results will always belong now walk the paddocks of New Zealand; to the farmer. So, buying into ‘big data’ may seem their passing will make way for anaemic laboratory-based interpreters who will easy, particularly if you buy into the marlook for abnormal patterns in their data keting blurb such as, “our high-tech product, created at huge expense, will help streams. Casting adrift the experienced people feed the 9.5 billion souls who will inhabit who between them have many seasons Earth by 2050 -- all by doubling producworth of experience is akin to giving a tion”. But in fact it will do no such thing; boatie the helm of an ocean liner because, the need is for more efficient agriculture and the best utilisation of produce by of course, now it has an auto pilot. Likewise, townie journalists’ fascina- better distribution and much less waste. Marketers need to understand that the tion with drones and robotics changing the world of agriculture arises from very average farmer can see through bulldust limited knowledge of day-to-day farming. at a 1km range, so they had best take an Of course, these devices are useful honesty pill and change course. Then the and rather cool, particularly in livestock advert would read “we’ve made something production, where they will allow more clever that will make your life a bit easier time for stockmanship; but it would be and more efficient”. A large-scale Chilean livestock and absurd to suggest that a farmer or stockman won’t need to get out on the farm. cropping farmer, on a recent vsit to NZ, The theory that farms are, or could be, pointedly summed up the issue of ‘big factories without roofs will lead to rural data’: “I currently have around 35 differareas dying, farmland reverting to its native state and accumulated knowledge ent streams of data arriving at my smart device or office PC every day. I’ve been being lost. But look at the practical side of responsible for 33 harvests on our family embracing the 21st century and capturing farm and the only real thing that has ever lots of data. Some may trumpet the need ruined our plans or compromised the harfor a common platform with standardisa- vest is the weather. Having data is intertion of control architecture and connec- esting, but in the end it all comes down tivity, but individual manufacturers will to experience.”

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

44 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

New Zealand setting the standard MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

NEW ZEALAND is punching above its weight in addressing the world’s needs for protein and animal management. So says Datamars, the Swiss company that recently bought Tru-Test and Simcro. Datamars’ global chief executive Klaus Ackerstaff, on a recent visit here, said NZ’s linking animal ID, management and decision-making “could be one of the country’s greatest contributions to world agriculture”. The merger combines Tru-Test’s animal

weighing, electric fence, milk meter and data systems and Simcro’s animal health delivery products with Datamars’ animal ID technologies. Ackerstaff says agriculture’s biggest challenge is to produce more with less, while reducing environmental effects and ensuring animal wellbeing. Central to this process will be ‘knowing’ animals at an individual level, understanding their growth and health needs and having the necessary data to decide how best to farm them. Ackerstaff says his company’s vision is for full farmer control of

animal feeding, health treatment and attention to their individual needs. “Tru-Test and farming partners in NZ have laid the groundwork for integrating animal identification, animal performance management and business decision making intuitively and workably onfarm,” he told Rural News. “Buzzwords like ‘smart integrated solutions’ mean nothing to farmers unless they’re practical and intuitive. “So NZ’s integrating identification with animal management and data driven decisionmaking could be [a huge] contribution to world

Datamar’s global CE Klaus Ackerstaff.

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agriculture.” Ackerstaff says TruTest’s data aggregation system was the ideal platform for farmers to manage animal health, wellbeing and production, make decisions and measure the resulting difference – with ‘measurability of difference’ being the standout achievement for

farmers. “It’s one thing to make a difference, it’s another altogether to know exactly what that difference is, how it was achieved and how it can be repeated or improved on,” Ackerstaff said. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

DEPTH CONTROL MADE EASY GLOBAL POSITIONING specialist Topcon has released details of its Norac tillage depth control system, which uses existing technology proven in the Norac boom height control package. Using ultrasonic sensors, the system maintains correct and consistent depth control of tillage implements, while automatically compensating for differing soil types and changing terrain. The company says most tillage implements present an ideal platform for sensor placement and offer the scope for the collection of data for improved agronomy; so the Norac gear is likely to lead to more ‘intelligent’ tillage. It is designed to operate with all tractor types. Operation is claimed to be ‘set and forget’: the correct working depth is maintained in all conditions. Using patented technology, the Norac system is not constrained by age, brand or models of tillage equipment. It doesn’t even need a Topcon display, meaning the system can be installed on any trailed tillage equipment with hydraulic lift control and a display that supports an ISOBUS virtual terminal. The system allows the operator to do the job correctly with minimal fuss, and it helps reduce soil compaction and wheel slip in wet conditions. Added benefits are reduced fuel consumption and time in the paddock. – Mark Daniel

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS 45

Drills making a name worldwide MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

A RECENT demo day in Waikato allowed farmers and contractors a closer look at Allen Custom Drills. The drills are making a name for themselves in New Zealand and further afield. The Allen drill story starts in the late 1990s when Mid-Canterbury farmer and contractor Dave Allen was looking for a heavy-duty drill for crop planting; he wanted a spec that included strength, triple discs and, most of all, cost effective operation. The first drill was drawn on a barn floor, developing into a superstrong frame with Accord pneumatic metering to deal with small seeds and triple disc openers. Over the years, drills

manufactured for customers incorporated features that suited their individual applications, hence the following at home and overseas. Son Craig Allen bought the business about seven years ago, and today, with his wife Deb and eight involved in fabrication and assembly, he runs the business in Ashburton. Five basic models can be customised to suit customers’ requirements; machines are sold in Australia (it takes 25% of production), US and Europe. Proven componentry includes the metering system whose layout has twin seed and single fertiliser tanks as the main choice; these account for 95% of sales. Toolbars can range from 3 to 12m, with a choice of wavy ‘turbo’

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Ashburton-based seed drill manufacturer Allen Custom Drills are earning a big reputation in NZ and further afield.

opener discs or banks of scalloped cultivator discs – all mounted to the frame using a rubber sausage-style suspension system for improved shock absorption. Wing sections are active, using a pressured hydraulic system to ensure penetration and accurate placement on undulating terrain.

The most popular ranges are the C-D (contour drill) and E-D (ergonomic drill) series. The C-D series maintains the triple disc concept, with elements grouped close together to make the unit compact, said to be better for undulating terrain. Their 17-inch diameter discs in a twin-row set-up

Twin-disc seeding coulters are mounted on a simple parallel linkage, with following press wheels helping to maintain a consistent seeding depth as well as consolidation. Units are typically finished with a HIAB crane unit for independent loading when away from the yard.

'

are well suited to dealing with high levels of trash. Maintenance-free sealed hubs reduce operating costs. Seeding legs work as a parallelogram, adjustable in banks to reduce moving parts, working ahead of 13-inch x 3-inch press wheels. Working widths range from 3m to 6m with 5or 6-inch spacings and tare weights of 4.5 to 8.1 tonnes. Control is via the RDS Isoscan seed rate controller, enabling control of up to four bins and monitor blockages, a 7-inch touch screen and seeding rates of 1 - 400kg/ha. Users can also choose ISOBUS control if preferred. The E-D series is a stripped-down version, with a fixed frame and no-frills configuration, while still incorporating many of the ‘Allen’ fea-

tures. This drill -- in 3m or 3.5m working widths -is aimed at smaller farms or those with tractors up to 110hp. The triple-disc layout sees the normal opener disc, then 16-inch staggered discs set across two rows, again using maintenance-free bearings, with mounting arms using the same rubber-sausage suspension system. Rubber-suspended coulters with individual adjustment are again followed by press wheels. The Accord seeding system can be fitted with e-drive, using a radar sensor to measure ground speed or the more upmarket RDS units, offering the same ability to work at seeding rates of 1 - 400kg/ha. www.allencustomdrills. co.nz @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

46 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS / RURAL TRADER Check out our websites www.ruralnews.co.nz www.dairynews.co.nz

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itive in all product ranges, with plough and compactdisc harrow sectors growing well as did seeder and cultivator sales. Lemken gained a range of mechanical hoeing equipment by taking over the family-run Dutch company Steketee. It sees good scope for this gear, given the demand for sustainable, environmentally sound cultivation methods. An advanced camera-system makes these machines (up to 12m working width) wellsuited for vegetable and grain crops, allowing farmers to opt for chemical-free weeding. In 2018 Lemken spent €8.5 million on factory expansions and upgrades, notably new logistics for more efficient supply of materials to assembly lines. Staff numbers grew by 165 employees to 1635, including 49 employees from Steketee and growth in factory workers and extra personnel at Lemken India.

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Central Districts Field Days

TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS

FEILDING MARCH 14-16, 2019

MARCH 5, 2019: ISSUE 671  www.ruralnews.co.nz

Show offers something for all AT LEAST 26,000 people are expected to flock to Manfeild, Feilding this month for New Zealand’s largest regional agricultural event – Central Districts Field Days. Now in its 26th year, this event has plenty to offer farmers and foodies, tech-heads and townies. “We’re excited about this year’s event,” says Stuff events and sponsorship director David Blackwell. “Record numbers of exhibitors and great new areas and activities are sure to make Central Districts Field Days a community event to remember.” Showcasing everything from international innovators to local growers, the layout at Manfeild is rejigged to make way for 600+ exhibitors. Must-sees this year will include Mission Aviation Fellowship’s ZK-MAF aircraft which will be landing on site. And there will be local innovations like the cloud-based automatic Zeddy feeder and the futuristic Halter stock control system that uses a network of technology to revolutionise herd management. “With a heap of special deals exclusive to the event, plus the chance to have a yarn with sellers and exhibitors, it’s a great time to get the latest trends and developments in farming and agriculture,” says Blackwell. “And there’ll be fun and freebies for the

A record number of exhbitors are booked for this year’s field days.

whole family.” The National Excavator Competition will see the crowning of NZ’s 25th Operator of the Year, and there will be the ever-popular Central Districts fencing competition. Kiwi Freestyle Motocross (FMX)

CD FIELD DAYS HIGHLIGHTS • The 25th anniversary of the National Excavator Operator Competition • Waikato company Halter presenting a groundbreaking, futuristic stock control system • Palmerston North farming innovator Zeddy showing its cloud-based automatic feeder technology • Talent Central’s Agriquest, a new Amazing Race-style event for year 11-13 students.

favourites Franklin Farms will bring its daredevil show to the event for the first time. “We are practising our Supermans, Tsunami flips and a special jump that takes us 23m from ramp to landing,” says Nick Franklin, team director at Franklin Farms. New this year, event organisers have worked with Talent Central to put on an Amazing Race-styled contest for year 11-13 students. This will show the range of employment opportunities in agribusiness and horticulture; at least 500 lower-North Island students are expected. “This is a chance for employers to reach students in a fun, interactive

Key details

way,” says Sonia Griffin, Talent Central’s When: Thursday 14 March 2019 AgriQuest coordinator. Saturday 16 March 2019, 9am - 4.30pm To top it off, the field Where: Manfeild, South Street, Feilding days will host the final in the AdTech Hackathon and a bar serving beers from the on the Saturday. Now in its third year, this competition presents award-winning Palmerston North teams of forward-thinking tech talent micro-brewery Brew Union. The lifestyle courtyard will include to create solutions for NZ’s primary industries, all in a time-based format. wellbeing, home and garden and other “The Hackathon suggests the sort specialty stalls. A new Central Districts Field Days of innovations that could transform the agricultural industry, and a chance digital event guide will help visitors to meet the minds that will make it sort their itinerary. Visitors can even pin where they parked their car on the happen,” says Blackwell. The show’s premium food court map and enter competitions offering a will have live music, local food stalls share of $20,000 of prizes.

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

2 CENTRAL DISTRICTS FIELD DAYS

Gearing up for another success FONDLY KNOWN as ‘the best day off the farm all year’, Central Districts Field Days is gearing up for its 26th event. Now the largest regional field days in New Zealand, its roots stretch back to 1993 when Don Eade started it as an annual event. Many of its features remain unchanged: • Its location at Manfeild, which requires that a ‘paddock’ be transformed into a ‘mini town’ in a matter of days • The line-up of farm machinery and tractors, hallmarks of the industry and to the people who come to see them • The thousands of visitors and hundreds of exhibitors, united in their passion for a thriving agricultural community. But, of course, the three-day event has also grown up over time. Sales manager Cheryl Riddell says the event started with 230 sites occupied by exhibitors; now it has 550. Businesses clamour to take part because of other exhibitors’ success, she says.

“The opportunity is immense for businesses to connect with customers, and vice versa.” “For example, Lumberland got 74 leads to quote on farm buildings during the last field days, plus another 15 the following week. “The opportunity is immense for businesses to connect with customers, and vice versa. It’s a great way for people to get what they need all in one place and to have some fun.” This opportunity hasn’t gone unnoticed; other events have sprung up to make the most of the groundswell. The field days now rounds out NZ AgriFood Investment Week, which started in 2016, and follows the rural games which began in 2015. About 30,000 visitors regularly attend and events are held within the show, e.g. the National Excavator Operator competition that has been at Central Districts field days right from the start.

Central Districts Field Days sales manager Cheryl Riddell.

“The excavator competition is a lot more exciting than it may sound to some. Attempting to manoeuvre big machinery to do intricate tasks like pour a cup of tea is great entertain-

ment, and the way farming machinery comes to life at the event like this is what makes it so captivating to visitors,” Riddell says. The event requires an annual set-up

of everything from basic infrastructure like water and power, to erecting hundreds of sites over a matter of days. Cheryl has attended every event and says “It’s worth it”.

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

CENTRAL DISTRICTS FIELD DAYS 3

$400k given to Massey for innovation THE PROVINCIAL Growth Fund (PGF) will pay for a new ‘Rural Innovation Lab’ based at Massey University’s Palmerston North campus. The under-secretary for regional economic development, Fletcher Tabuteau, recently announced the $400,000 grant. He says the lab will help equip farmers and growers in ManawatūWhanganui to think afresh, particularly on digital farming. “It will help to develop and potentially support the commercialisation of new ideas and technologies which will improve land use in the primary sector,” Tabuteau claims. “For ManawatūWhanganui in particu-

lar, land use optimisation is a central plank in the region’s economic action plan. This project will help to unlock new economic opportunities.” Supporters of the lab include Palmerston North City Council, Microsoft New Zealand, Massey University and local economic development agencies.  “The lab is a model example of local people, businesses and the community progressing a project that aligns with their economic aspirations,” Tabuteau said. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor has welcomed the Provincial Growth Fund’s support of this project, which shows “the Government and primary sector work-

ing together and working smarter to extract more value from great kiwi products”.

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$10M FOR HB KIWIFRUIT ORCHARD A LARGE Hawke’s Bay kiwifruit orchard changed hands in February for $10 million. It was the first kiwifruit holding outside Bay of Plenty to top the $1 million per canopy hectare benchmark. PGG Wrightson Real Estate agent Stan Robb, at Te Puke, marketed the 9.86 canopy hectare Gold kiwifruit orchard near Clive, Hawke’s Bay. He says the sale, to Te Orea Whanau Trust, a Bay of Plenty investor with large kiwifruit interests, shows the sector expanding beyond its heartland. “Zespri is issuing licences to grow 750ha of extra Gold kiwifruit yearly from now until 2022. Much of that expansion will be by converting Green kiwifruit orchards, particularly in Bay of Plenty,” Robb says. “Existing growers investing outside their traditional patch is one way to meet that demand, bringing their skills, the sector’s infrastructure and the economic weight of large specialist businesses into regions relatively undeveloped for kiwifruit.” Benchmark values for premium standard, optimum altitude Te Puke Gold kiwifruit orchards, either with early start fruit or producing about 20,000 trays/ ha, are now $1.2m per canopy hectare.

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An extra $5,948 + GST in their bank account bank account to date, which equates to a 22.3% cash Return on Investment in the first year. Their system will be fully paidoff in under 5-years and delivers an annual saving off their farm expenses of $37.30 per cow.

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

4 CENTRAL DISTRICTS FIELD DAYS

Post driving made easy MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

FENCEPRO IS well known for its range of post drivers to suit all types of operation -basic farm-spec machines to high-end units for contractors who work in the toughest environments. The latest offering from the Palmerston North company is the Mule Series V, developed from an idea to make post drivers easy to fit to a wide range of vehicles. Besides easy fitting, the design brief was to maximise the drop speed of the block, eliminate rope whip and use standard 0.5 inch QRC couples on the pressureand-return lines to make plumbing simple. This latter point brought a challenge: as the hammer block descends it needs to displace a large volume

of oil on the return side of the hydraulic circuit. This usually means that standard 0.5 inch couplers will not let oil pass quickly enough, so restricting the falling speed of the block. To overcome this issue, Fencepro has designed the Versatile Hydraulic System, an ingenious hydraulic circuit that requires only a small amount of oil to pass down the return line as the block descends. This allows the block to fall at maximum velocity, so increasing driving power. But this leads to another complication: a free-falling block suffers from rope whip, an issue that has safety implications and causes premature rope wear. Usually, a slight hydraulic restriction stops the rope from coming loose, but this

tempers the driving force of the hammer. To counter this Fencepro devised Activeblock, which effec-

Mule Series V ensures post driving isn’t all brute force.

Central Districts Field Days Site G27

tively eliminates rope whip by taking up any rope slack after the post or a rock spike has been hit, so eliminating both issues. The system can be fitted to the maker’s Mule or Ultra series drivers and is recommended for Versatile series machines because the system increases the problem of rope whip. Note that the Mule units can be ordered with or without the Versatile system. While plumbing post drivers to farm tractor hydraulic systems is a simple task, the same can’t be said for excavators or dozers. Tractors usually have a free flow return port, but excavators require a separate high-flow case drain set-up that can be costly. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

PUSHING BOUNDARIES HEINIGER NEW Zealand released its Icon FX shearing handpiece late February to catch the regional field days and the Golden Shears event in Masterton. R&D and testing will see the FX pushing the boundaries of shearing, thanks to the Swiss quality, precision and reliability in its Icon brand, the company says. The Icon FX stands out with its bright orange colour, flock and back-joint cover. It will sit alongside the current Icon Cyclone to offer shearers more choice in a new handpiece. A redesigned, slimmer barrel provides better handpiece balance and offers increased comfort and ergonomics to reduce strain. It also has superior manoeuvrability, control and grip. Heiniger says the lighter FX requires less effort and time to start and stop each blow, helping users to shear more efficiently and maximise their tallies. www.heiniger. co.nz


RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

CENTRAL DISTRICTS FIELD DAYS 5

Tractors for hire MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

NORWOOD HAS opened a new division called Norwood Hire, offering short-medium term hire contracts on tractors and equipment. The service will suit contractors, farmers and anyone needing to relieve

seasonal pressures without the cost of buying more gear. And hirers will get to use the latest agricultural technology. All hire contracts include scheduled servicing costs as part of a competitive hourly rate. “The hire division is an opportunity for us

to provide our customers with the best machinery, without requiring the financial commitment of a traditional purchase,” says Norwood Hire manager Greg Moore. “Hiring also allows them to access the latest machinery and technology, letting them get the

job done.” At the conclusion of the hire contract, the machinery can be purchased from Norwood with up to 100% of hiring costs to be deducted from the selling price. See the ‘hire equipment’ page at www.norwood. co.nz

Norwood Hire is now open for business.

Commercial Buildings

AUTOMATION FOR TEAT CARE HAS ARRIVED AN INTELLIGENT new Auto Mix + Spray unit from GEA’s FIL division is said to set a gold standard in teat spraying, providing farmers with an accurately mixed solution applied ‘fresh’ at every milking. Accurately mixing and using teat spray to combat seasonal differences is the critical factor in maintaining teat condition, says FIL national manager Colin May. “Farmers might be using the best products, but teat spray solutions can vary depending on who does the mixing and their understanding of what’s required to combat seasonal differences,” he says. “Most teat sprays suggest a mix ration of maybe 1:6 or 1:9; that can be confusing, and adding extra emollient adds yet another level of complexity”. May says the Auto Mix + Spray unit offers 97% accuracy, so removing the human error and guesswork inherent in manual mixing. FIL can also help farmers tailor a teat care plan including recommended mix rates to meet seasonal changes. These rates can be loaded and locked into the unit’s memory for daily use until a change of ration is required. When environmental conditions change, or a deterioration in teat condition is detected, the unit’s settings can be altered in single percentage points from 5% - 20% to counter changing patterns of teat condition. Being pressurised, the system can be retrofitted into a wet-it or wand system, an ambic system or onplatform spraying systems (such as iPUD) or installed as a standalone unit in the dairy shed.

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

6 CENTRAL DISTRICTS FIELD DAYS

Upgraded quads on debut MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

KEEP AN eye out at the Central Districts and South Island agricultural field days for the new range of Suzuki KingQuads. Major upgrades are seen in both the 500 and 750 models following months of onfarm testing in New Zealand. This is on top of evaluations made by technical staff from Japan visiting NZ to test prototypes.

Suzuki NZ has also commissioned two test units for ongoing use on Kiwi farms for extended monitoring. Other than changes to the machines’ physical appearance, the biggest changes to the new KingQuad are the way they ride. Revised suspension and gas filled shock absorbers are connected to a chassis with greater rigidity, achieved by using thicker wall section for the main frame rails.

Suzuki KingQuads have undergone upgrades based on onfarm testing in NZ.

The rear sway bar set-up has also been redesigned for a more stable ride but still retains the smooth ride all Suzuki ATV’s are renowned for.

Improvements to the electric power steering system makes for less rider fatigue and raises comfort for long days out working.

The fuel injected, liquid-cooled, fourstroke engine remains unchanged on the 500 and 750; the only differences are in the CVT transmission on the 750. Engine-braking is reckoned class-leading on all Suzuki ATVs, whether towing a trailer or descending a hill. Towing capacity has increased to 600kg on the 500cc and 750cc – up 150kg from the previous models.

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Joule Shield wooden post claw insulator.

Modernday insulators STRAINRITE FENCING Systems says it has developed the Joule Shield wooden post claw insulator to address the limitations inherent in older insulators. The new insulators are said to cope with modern energisers that deliver much greater voltage than older units, while also giving more effective stock control. Strainrite says that while existing design insulators were effective with older, lower-output energisers, higher currents can result in power loss, lack of fence efficiency and increased running costs. Tests show the Joule Shield insulators withstand 50% more voltage in a dry-conditions test and up to 100% more voltage in simulated rain. The insulators are designed with low profile, heavy-duty jaws for extreme load endurance and multiple shield plates. The latter increases the surface area and tracking distance, helping reduce potential power leakage. The multi-shield design is inspired by the insulators seen on high voltage power lines; they have structural webbing and thicker walls for strength and durability, using UV stabilised polymers. www.strainrite.co.nz

Something for EVERYONE! Cervus Equipment will have everything from ride-on mowers, compacts & Ag Tractors on display. There is sure to be something for everyone. We look forward to seeing you there. Sites C31-C34 Feilding - 15 Darragh Road - 06 350 0042

0800 333 734

CervusEquipment.co.nz


RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

CENTRAL DISTRICTS FIELD DAYS 7 KEEPING TABS ON EACH COW

Three-metre drill joins offering MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

THE LATEST addition to the Power Farming drill stable is the Aitchison Airpro AP 30-24T. Based on the key features of the successful 6m machine, the drill retains the same layout and drilling units as the Seedmatic range, but has a new air-transport system and e-drive metering control. Offering a 24-row layout with 5-inch row spacing, the unit also incorporates a 550mm frame stagger to allow the passage of trash or debris. Up front, a mechanically adjustable drawbar allows the machine to be pulled level, irrespective of tractor drawbar height, with a hydraulic option if required. As with the Seedmatic range, a front gang of individually sprung 12-inch disc openers give a lead in

for the seeding tines. The layout allows the unit to cope with turf or trash and leave a clean, neat slot for seeding, using hydraulic depth control that is adjustable on the move. Seeding tines, with doublecoil springs for positive penetration in difficult conditions, carry an inverted-T point. This creates a tilth and a trench into which the seed and fertiliser is placed. Tines carry seed and fertiliser tubes mounted on the same bracket to ensure accurate placement in the trench. Depth gauge wheels use threaded adjustment for accurate depth control, while oversized transport wheels allow for quick headland turns or moves between jobs. Drill hoppers use a split configuration, allowing a central access platform for safe, easy loading. The platform is accessed via steps at one end and has a drop-down ramp to access trailers or ute beds at the

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handypiece ■ Ideal for shearing sheep, alpacas, goats and cow tails. ■ Variable speed from 2400-3500 rpm. ■ Latest brushless motor technology means minimal heat build up ■ 1400gms means 100-200gms lighter than standard handpiece. ■ At 2700 rpm the 12-volt lithium battery will catch up to 300400 sheep, 400-500 cow tails. ■ Tough alloy switch box with auto rest fuse for overload or lockup – clips to belt.

other. An optional HIAB hydraulic crane can also be specified for easy loading of big bags. Air flow is produced by a hydraulically driven fan, easily adjusted for volume. This can ‘feather’ air flow to ensure small or light seeds are not blown from the seeding trench. At the rear of the machine, an ear roller system consolidates across the full working width. The Aitchison drill controller enables control of three seed boxes and calibration of all metering devices using the integral AutoCal function. The system can also memorise calibration settings for multiple seed types, offer on-the-move seed rate variation and store job data including customer, farm, field, seed type, area covered and quantity used – all downloadable to a USB drive.

FIELD DAYS SPECIAL receive an extra lithium battery

H FASTER H LIGHTER H VARIABLE SPEED

note their production at each milking and shed light on any health issues early on.” Luff also points to the new milk cooling regulations that require farmers to meet new standards. “Selecting the right cooling solution could mean significant savings as milk cooling accounts for up to 30% of the total energy costs of a dairy farm.” He says Waikato Milking Systems’ range of cooling options ensure farmers

economically meet industry standards and save ongoing operational costs. Farmers interested in upgrading their current dairies will have the opportunity to discuss their options including electronic cup removers, pulsation and cluster options at the Central Districts Field Days. Luff says when combined these products offer improved efficiency and a further opportunity to reduce costs.

EFFLUENT SPREADING PROBLEMS? We have the answer!

Ferbo SMART REEL Computer controlled diesel engine drive for:

SEE US AT SITE CD FIELD DAY SITE 077 or SIAFD SITE 126

❱❱ No blockages in drive system ❱❱ Very accurate retraction speed ❱❱ Easy adjusted application rates ❱❱ Low damage to crops ❱❱ GSC Cell and PC available application ❱❱ Liquid shut off available ❱❱ MDOD Pipe.

See us at CD Field Days Agbits Site G14A

MAKE DIRTY JOBS EASY View in action go to www.handypiece.co.nz

Freephone 0800 474 327

ADDING MODERN technology to a dairy farm is an effective way of increasing efficiency, boosting productivity and better managing your cows. Waikato Milking Systems has been at the forefront in this arena – delivering fully integrated management tools to provide an increase performance and automation in the dairy. The company’s NaviGate dairy management system was launched in late 2018, drawing interest from farmers globally. “The system can be easily retrofitted into most dairies to provide farmers with the tools to identify and respond to the most issues,” says WMS sales manager for Taranaki / Manawatu Brian Luff. “It allows getting to know cows individually,

email: dave@handypiece.co.nz

We also supply and install most water and effluent products

“Godsend! Effluent gone from hard to easy. Staff love it! Quick set up, precision. Nil crop damage.” – Brad Cockerell, Mercer

0800 426 296

www.irrimax.co.nz


RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

8 CENTRAL DISTRICTS FIELD DAYS

Mule new farming pack horse MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

THE KAWASAKI Mule (multi-use light equipment) first saw the light of day in 1988 and became the generic name for what we now know as a UTV or side x side. The latest offering from the Japanese manufacturer, is the ‘farmerfocused’ Mule Pro-MX, a mid-sized machine sitting between the threeseat PRO-FX and the compact SX. Measuring 2795mm long x 1525mm wide, with a wheelbase of 2005mm, the Pro-MX should offer good mobility and manoeuvrability in tight areas, even more so with its 4.2m turning radius. The frame has ladder-style construction in high-grade square section steel, and high stress areas such as suspension mounting points are braced with high tensile plates. The construction follows the Japanese shinari principles that allow elasticity -- objects can bend then return to their original position. This means the Pro-MX has a good balance of lateral and torsional stiffness that in turn

The Mule Pro-MX is a ‘farmer-focused’ mid-sized UTV.

imparts good handling and rider comfort. Power is delivered by a water-cooled single cylinder 700cc engine with fuel injection pushing out a modest 45hp and 58Nm torque. Working with a CVT transmission, speed increase is linear across the whole speed range, and good engine braking imparts con-

fidence to riders of all abilities. Electrically selectable 2WD/4WD and diff lock can be accessed easily for changing conditions. First impressions of a test machine onfarm are that it’s boxy, with a wheel planted in each corner, robust flat panels and a ROPS structure that is square, unlike other brands that taper

as they rise. The manufacturer says this design gives a bigger safety cell – better if there’s a crash. Entry and exit are easy by ‘saloon style’ doors that also keep the cockpit area clean, and high enough for users to pull electric fence standards from the seat. A comfortable bench-style seat

offers good support, and a tilting steering column allows adjustment for different body shapes. Multiple stowage areas in the dash, with bins under the seat and the bonnet, are a nod to dayto-day farm use, and a 12V DC socket, cup holders and quad headlights add to practicality. A turn of the key brings the engine to life, and it settles quickly and is exceptionally quiet, even as the machine moves through the rev range. Other standout features are the slick selection of the high, low or reverse positions and the finger-light electric power steering. This allows precise placement of the machine with no effort and should allow the operator to concentrate on the terrain. The double-A arm suspension set-up at each corner and twin-tubed shocks provide a supple, comfortable ride, and 270mm ground clearance imparted by the alloy wheels shod with 25-inch tyres allows you to tackle tough terrain. A large load bed, rated to carry 317kg, has gas-assisted struts to aid tipping and a useful tie down rail around its top edge.

See Site us at O-2 0

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

BALE FEEDERS • Feeds any size bale • Self loading • Feeds bailage, haw, straw

SHEEP CONVEYORS

“Designed by a Farmer for Farmers” Mystery Creek See us at Field Days H26 CentralSiteDistricts Field Days Site G14 & G15

PHONE 0800 4 AGBITS | 0800 4 242 487 WEBSITE www.agbits.co.nz

• Low power draw • Variable speed • Ask about different trailer options

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

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


RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

CENTRAL DISTRICTS FIELD DAYS 9

Footwear biosecurity in the boot MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

FARM BIOSECURITY raises questions about rural professionals visiting farms then needing to clean their footwear. The Jacson Cube, a compact, lightweight, allin-one boot cleaning and disinfecting system folds up for the boot of a car or ute.

It’s the idea of business partners Rusty Knutson and Jacqui Humm of Jacson3, developed over the last two years. The idea emerged when Knutson, collecting calves for export, saw many farmers struggling to restrict the spread of diseases such as rotavirus and cryptosporidium between mobs of animals.

MOWERS MAKE THE CUT NEW CLAAS Disco Move 3600 and 3200 mowers, with mowing widths of 3.4 and 3m respectively, 1m of vertical travel and 30 degrees lateral movement, allowing them to work efficiently and safely in rough paddocks. This is a feature of their highly manoeuvrable headstock that allows the mower to move independently from the tractor front linkage. Likely to appeal to contractors, the Move has 600mm of travel upwards and 400mm down, making it ideal for uneven fields, and the ability to pivot up to 30 degrees laterally improves its ability to follow contours or swing backwards to avoid obstacles. The headstock includes several features proven on existing Disco models, including Active Float integrated hydraulic suspension and the low pivot point from the Profil range. Active Float eliminates the need for suspension spring coupling points on the tractor and suspension pressure can be adjusted during operation using a single-acting hydraulic service. Coupled directly to the tractor front linkage or by using an a-frame, the front linkage remains fixed during operation, with the mower raised and lowered via integrated hydraulics. Convenient Kennfixx hydraulic couplings are fitted as standard, on the left or right side of the headstock to suit the tractor, and the suspension pressure gauge can be mounted similarly for optimum visibility.

Thorough cleaning and disinfecting of boots on entry and exit from each property was obviously difficult to do well with just a basic bucket, brush, and spray bottle combo. So came the Jacson Cube for cleaning and disinfecting lots of shoes. It’s made from heavy polypropylene; the three main components -- body, lid and car-boot tray/footbath -- weigh 10kg empty and 15kg when filled with water or disinfectant. It takes one minute to set up and two to pack away.

$

25K

A rotating brush is mounted on an aluminium spindle which is mounted to a rhino-plastic grating that keeps debris and contaminants away from the body. A hand-brush can be used to shift stubborn debris while using the integrated handle in the lid for support. An integral power-spray applicator draws disinfectant from a 3L reservoir and uses a spray tip with enough pressure to shift debris. The body contains storage for disinfectant,

gloves, wipes and hand sanitiser. For set-up the unit is connected by a 13-15mm hose-tail, from where liquid is directed upwards into the brush assembly. From here it cascades over and under the footwear, whose motion causes the brush to rotate. It’s also designed for use without a water source, by using the integral reservoir, carried in a vehicle boot; this can double as a footbath if used with an optional integral disinfectant mat.

CSL Chillboost TO SORT MILK COOLING? REALLY?

If your chiller can cool your milk within two hours of completion of milking but your blend temperature is marginal then all you may need is a CSL Chillboost

195 + GST each

$

H

USUALLY LESS THAN $500 SUPPLIED AND FITTED

H

Call CSL on 0800 10 7006 to order yours now Not the answer for everyone but will assist even if other cooling shortcomings exist. Proven in the field by over 400 installed nationwide.

See us at SITE J27-J28

Need help with your stock water system? Come and see Pete.

Freephone 0800 800 262 Web www.iplex.co.nz

The Jackson Cube is an all-in-one boot cleaning and disinfecting system.

Central Districts Field Days Site K38 Iplex Lane (next to Farmlands)

0800 10 7006 www.corkillsystems.co.nz


RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

10 CENTRAL DISTRICTS FIELD DAYS

Bigger tractor means bigger gear THE MURRAY family-owned distributor FarmChief says that as tractors get more powerful there is also an opportunity to update the machinery being used. They say that in doing so farmers and contractors can reduce costs by saving time and fuel, and preserve soil structure with fewer passes. At the Northland field days the company will show high-performing implements such as the Rollmax folding trailed rollers. Offered in 4.5 to 9.5m working widths, the French manufactured machines use German steel for key components such as the 70mm section axle. These implements are said to have the strongest roller rings on the market, allowing the manufacturer to offer a six-year ring warranty. They use clever geometry to maintain even weight distribution for best consolidation and germination. The units are also said to be stable on undulating ground and in the transport position. For working the tough stuff, particularly in primary situations, FarmChief’s primary discs will be exhibited, e.g. the SOL-V 32 66 23 offset discs.

Ben Parkhurst has operated a set of 4500 Express Plus Speed Discs for four seasons.

With high weight-per-blade ratios these discs can incorporate crop residues easily while opening the ground

to promote more rapid aerobic breakdown. This gets paddocks back into production more quickly. An exten-

sive range is available from 2.7 to 6m working widths. For even faster turnaround, Express

Plus Speed Discs can be used for primary or secondary cultivation. These can be used for working ground after winter feed, stubble incorporation or to break-up paddocks after compaction – typically at twice the speed of conventional discs. Available in widths from 3 to 6m, the discs can operate at up to 16km/h. The optimum disc angle achieves greater precision and accuracy, and the fitment of SKF sealed bearings reduces maintenance costs. For example, Pankhurst Contracting, Greta Valley, North Canterbury cultivates about 1000ha a year on sheep and beef properties between Amberley and the Hurunui River. Ben Pankhurst has operated a set of 4500 Express Plus Speed Discs for four seasons and says the machine has done a lot of work in harsh conditions, including winter green-feed paddocks that’ve been heavily pugged by cattle. “They work well in all soil types and on steep and rocky terrain,” he says. “Their versatility has changed the way we work the ground, at much lower running costs for us and our customers.”

STOCK HANDLING Stop breaking your back

Get the goss on the new product being launched at Mystery Creek

without breaking the bank. Call in to see us at Central Districts Field Days Site O17-O18

0800 227 228

www.combiclamp.co.nz

Efficient

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Affordable


RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

CENTRAL DISTRICTS FIELD DAYS 11

Seminar aims for fresh ideas ERIN KAVANAGH-HALL

WAIRARAPA’S PREMIER sustainable farming seminar is kicking off for the sixth year running, with its first international speaker. Registration is now open for the annual Farming for the Future conference, hosted in the region since 2013, to be held at Carterton Events Centre on March 27. The one-day event will feature presentations from a range of primary industry experts from Martinborough to New Hampshire. Topics are targeted at farmers and farm industry specialists looking to adapt farming and business practices in a rapidly changing environment. The conference will include talks from experts on goat dairy and ethical milking, clean water policy and new research into managing agricultural emissions. Keynote speaker Gary Hirshberg – Farming for the Future’s first overseas presenter – is known in his native USA for taking Stonyfield Farms from start-up to a global leader in organic dairy. Farming for the Future is the brainchild of the South Wairarapa Biodiversity Group (SWBG) and organised in partnership with the Mangater-

dairying system that allows bobby calves to ere Restoration Society remain with their moth(MRS). ers while milking. MRS member and soil The featured Wairscientist Esther Dijksarapa presenter will be tra says the seminar aims Martinborough’s Amanda to help farmers and farm Goodman, co-founder of Nursery, Moore Stephens cles who can help them specialists, scientists and programme will be a industry specialists find Markhams Wairarapa, come up with local and policy makers the opporspeed-presentation segThe Drunken Nanny, an creative yet practical solu- award-winning producer CRS Software, Steens sustainable solutions.” tunity to bounce off each ment in which four tions for their businesses of artisan, gate-to-plate Farming for the Future Honey, Beef + Lamb New other, and share ideas. people give six-minute in a time of increased Zealand and BW O’Brien is sponsored by Greater “It will be a good netpresentations on issues goat’s cheese, kefir and environmental awareness pasteurised milk. & Co. Wellington Regional working opportunity relating to agriculture. and changing climate. Council, Morgans Road Dijkstra says the event they can meet people Also new to the www.farmingforthefuture. “We ask our speakers Nursery, Akura Plant outside of their usual cirgives farmers, industry Farming for the Future org.nz. to tailor their presentations so they’re relevant for the local audience,” Dijkstra says. “We want people to come away feeling enerTHE HEART OF CENTRAL HAWKE’S BAY KEEPING YOU GOING SINCE 1950 gised and ready to try new things to enhance their farming, industry or policy practices. Agriculture is a critical contributor to our economy and our communities, and we need to do all we can to help make sure farming in New Zealand is responsive, resilient and cuttingedge.” This year’s conference will feature five major speakers, with Radio NZ journalist and presenter Susie Ferguson acting as MC. The New Zealand speakers include clean water policy campaigner Come and Marnie Prickett; Sinead Contact us for more information check out the Allen Leahy from the New Zealand Agricultural GreenCustom drill. TransAg Road house Gas Research Site C14, C15 & C16, along Email: info@sntltd.co.nz Centre; and Canterbury with a wide range of Case IH Web: stevensonsandtaylor.co.nz farmer Glen Herud— products at Field Days prices. 2294 Takapau Road, Waipukurau known for founding a

STEVENSON & TAYLOR • Tractor sales and service • Fully equipped engineering & machinery services • Outdoor equipment sales and service • Full parts and retail store • Hire tractors and equipment available

06-858 6041

& Delivering:

Sustainable fertiliser programmes + Consulting services + Soil & herbage testing + Nutrient & soil analysis by experienced field consultants +

Freephone: 0800 300 315

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AgriBio offers both fresh liquid probiotics and also a probiotic and NZ natural Zeolite blend, available for all animals Stop by to see how we can enhance your animals health!!

Freephone: 0800 246 349

www.agribio.co.nz


RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

12 CENTRAL DISTRICTS FIELD DAYS

Finalists set for East Coast Ballance environment awards THREE FINALISTS have been selected for the East Coast Ballance Farm Environment Awards, one each from Wairoa, Central Hawke’s Bay and Hastings district. They are dairy farmers Nick and Nicky Dawson, Patoka; sheep and beef farmers Dave Read and Judy Bogaard, Frasertown ; and the Flemington lamb and beef finisher Watergreen Tourere Partnership owned by Pete Swinburn and Suzanne Hoyt and Bruce Isles and Danelle Dinsdale. The three finalists will be profiled at an annual awards dinner at the Napier Conference Centre on March 20. As well as a supreme winner, several category

ABOUT BFEA RUN BY the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust, the awards champion sustainable farming and growing through an awards programme across 11 regions. The East Coast covers the geographic area covered by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and the Gisborne District Council. The 11 regional winners are profiled at the National Sustainability Showcase in Hamilton in June, with each in the running for the Gordon Stephenson Trophy.

Nicky and Nick Dawson

award winners will be announced. Dawsons NICK AND Nicky Dawson have been farming a 186ha (effective) dairy farm Glenelg at Patoka since

moving there as 50:50 sharemilkers in 2001. They went into a 75:25 equity partnership with Opiki dairy farmers Stuart and Ann McPhail, trading as Great Glen

ROTOWIPER....

IT JUST GOT BETTER!

Farming Ltd, in 2004. It is now a 50:50 partnership. The number of Friesian-cross cows on Glenelg dropped from 500 to 360 five years ago and the operation will move to once-a-day milking before Christmas. Production is 514kg/MS per cow and 1234kgMS/ha – well ahead of district and national averages. Daily water use is 27L/cow in the shed; the industry average is 70L/cow. One fifth of the farm is retired from grazing

and stock are excluded from all waterways. A consistently low nitrogen leaching rate is monitored via a working farm environment plan. Read and Bogaard DAVE READ and Judy Bogaard have been farming Waiau Station, near Frasertown, since 1996. The 1213ha property is steep East Coast hill country run with 592ha Allington Farm at Kotemaori. Together the business is a breeding and finishing operation carrying 12,604 stock units.

SEE US ATSITE S53, S54

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Single height adjustment Roller drive disengagement Fold-up drawbar Tank leveller adjustment New strong design frame New stub axle hub arrangement All covers now stainless steel

Dave Read and Judy Bogaard

Read is breeding his own bare breech, low input sheep (no docking, fewer dags) and his cows are bred for parasite resilience. The business has 4450 ewes, 1100 hoggets (mated), 590 cows and 170 replacement heifers. The farm has a 20ha QEII National Trust covenant as well as 38ha fenced bush, 15ha wood lots, 20ha regenerating manuka and 120ha unfenced bush. The property has about 4000 poplars and willows for erosion control, shade and shelter, and fodder when needed. Watergreen Tourere Partnership WATERGREEN TOURERE Partnership includes two farms totalling 1482ha (1271ha effective) carrying 14,000 stock units. The two properties have been run together

since 2011 with Pete Swinburn and Suzanne Hoyt living on farm. Their primary focus is lamb finishing supported by bull beef – finishing 20,000 to 30,000 lambs a year and selling 1000 1500 cattle. There is 130ha of forestry and a 16ha QEII National Trust covenant, plus fenced riparian areas and native bush. Poplar poles have been planted extensively for erosion control for 60 years. Fifteen kilometres of stream edge has been fenced. One of the partnership’s goals is to keep N nutrient losses within the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s Plan Change 6 limits (currently 11 versus their allowable limit of 18.6). The farm is a validation property for a precision fertiliser project trial and is a Beef + Lamb NZ Innovation Farm.

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48 Bremners Road PO Box 333 Ashburton www.rotowiper.co.nz P: 03-308 4497 M: 027-311 9471 E: dougal@rotowiper.co.nz

Suzanne Hoyt and Pete Swinburn.

• Automatic flystrike application • Releases lambs onto their feet

FREEPHONE 0800 DOCKER 0800 362 537 www.vetmarker.co.nz

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Ph 06-835 6863 • Mob 021-061 1800 Jetter Video: www.craigcojetters.com


RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

CENTRAL DISTRICTS FIELD DAYS 13

Fire tractor a hit ALTHOUGH IT’S painted like any fire truck and has flashing lights and a siren, a Case IH Farmall tractor named Kahu isn’t fighting fires. Instead, its Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s (FENZ) way of starting conversations about fire safety, developing greater resilience, fire prevention and volunteer sustainability in rural

industries. National risk reduction manager Rob Saunders says the tractor signals FENZ’s intention to reduce the risk of fire in rural homes, buildings and vegetation. “It’s a tool to help engage with the community in a fun and unique way. Kahu has been traveling the country to appear at numerous com-

munity events.” Unveiled at National Fieldays 2018 at the FENZ site, the tractor got a great response from children and adults alike. The site also had a burntout tractor, and the two machines led to discussions about maintenance, spotting bird nests and

accessibility and water availability for firefighters. Kahu was at lots of events last year including the Poverty Bay A&P show in Gisborne, Omokoroa School where it was used to help educate children about fire safety, and Turangi for the annual Christmas parade.

See at Central Districts Field Days

Making dirty jobs simple THE UNPLEASANT job of dagging sheep got a whole lot easier four years ago with the launch of the cordless Handypiece. Despite primarily for sheep work, it’s also working for cattle farmers in trail trimming and branding preparation, plus work with goats, alpaca and deer. Four years later there comes the Handypiece Pro, weighing about 100 grams less than a standard handpiece. It has a brushless motor that limits heat build-up and variable speed control adjustable between 2400 and 3500 rpm. The new motor now means the battery lasts even longer, crutching 300-400 sheep with one charge. Dagging, crutching and trimming cows’ tails goes well at a mid-point speed of 2700 rpm, and for a superior finish while shearing you can dial up the maximum speed to improve quality. To alpaca shearers this means a traditional handpiece that is slim to hold, with speed control that can be reduced to that of a clipper. Supplied ready to go to work in a carry bag, the kit includes a lithium battery and charger, belt, a holster and pouch made from HD leather, plus a 5m cord. Handypiece servicing and repairs support purchasers. – Mark Daniel

Fence further with less Electric Fence Dropper & Insulated Line Post Electric Fence Droppers maintain wire spacing, reducing the number of posts required in a fence line. When combined with Gallagher Insulated Line Posts it provides a flexible, cost effective solution for permanent electric fencing.

0800 731 500 www.gallagher.com


RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

14 CENTRAL DISTRICTS FIELD DAYS

Tackles the toughest beasts MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

WAYNE COFFEY designed the original Combi Clamp sheep handler 16 years ago while managing a hill country sheep property east of Taihape. Combi Clamp’s cattle handling history began with the import of the Ritchie Auto head yoke, from the same Scottish company that manufactures the sheep handling equipment. Unlike anything else on offer in the New Zealand market, it solved many cattle handling issues. However, long lead times from the UK resulted in obtaining a licence to manufacture the head yokes in Palmerston North. Today, the business is still owned and operated by the original family, who manufacture all products in Manawatu. With cattle weighing becoming the norm and the need to improve general health and safety for cattle handling, the need for a quality cattle crush featured strongly in Combi Clamp’s plans. Bringing together practi-

cal ideas from farmers with clever engineering, the Combi Clamp is designed to be user-friendly. It has automatic catching, controlled forward and rearward release of the animal, automatic resetting to catch the next animal and safe access to all areas of the animal. Made in NZ to high standards using quality materials, units are hot-dipped galvanised. Standard units have a 75 x 50 x 5mm main frame, a Corten steel floor and rubber flooring for a long life and quiet operation to reduce noise and keep cattle calm. They also have an auto catch/auto reset head bail, heavy-duty hinges to resist sagging, heavy-duty slam catches on gates and easy access for lubrication. Top-access gates on both sides of the crush allow access to the animal’s upper body and back; these work with split gates on both sides of the unit. Options include a rear remote for the head bail and an offside gate opener for drafting out of the opposite side from the operator.

Combi Clamp cattle handler.

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Call in and see us at the Central Districts Field Days and find out how the right choice of tyres can make your job easier.

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


RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

CENTRAL DISTRICTS FIELD DAYS 15

Bold new face for Holden ADAM FRICKER

HOLDEN IS putting SUVs front and centre of its plan for the future. It’s a case of giving the people what they want and other brands have done the same over recent years. The ‘hero’ of Holden’s range of SUVs is the US-built Acadia, which starts life as a GMC. The car wears its Americanness with pride. And fair enough too – it looks great without being ostentatious. With the ZB Commodore selling in low numbers, this could be just the car to head up the Holden range in a market that traditionally favours large, six-cylinder petrol cars.

It uses the same 3.6L V6 petrol and 9-speed automatic that you’ll find in the Commodore -- a smooth and powerful combination. It’s big with proper seats for seven people (not just kids). And it’s extremely quiet and comfortable. Size, power, space and comfort – all the hallmarks of the traditional big Aussie cars we all used to aspire to. Rural News drove the top-spec LTZ-V AWD for a week and it did the job of commuter, family wagon, load hauler and open-road tourer all with total ease. Like similar large SUVs designed for the USA (Highlander and CX-9, for example),

This range-topper is packed with features to make it more comfortable in the cabin and safer on the road. Plenty of active safety technology like autonomous braking and lane keep assist – all clever stuff and getting less intrusive and more effective all the time.

the Acadia is built for comfort rather than track days at Hampton Downs. However, it is nicely balanced and handles a windy road well, reverting to understeer only when you’re really pushing it. The LTZ-V has adaptive shocks and

the ride is always plush but never wobbly and unsettled. A bit of finetuning for Australian roads has made the Acadia perfectly set up for ours. This range-topper is packed with features to make it more comfortable

in the cabin and safer on the road. Plenty of active safety technology like autonomous braking and lane keep assist – all clever stuff and getting less intrusive and more effective all the time. The traffic sign recognition worked a treat, flashing the speed limit of any given stretch of road onto the dashboard. No excuses, officer. Boat owners might like the hitch guidance

feature that not only uses the rear view camera to help you line up the draw-bar but also lets you check on it while driving. With power and torque of 231kW and 367Nm it has the grunt to tow, although braked towing capacity is limited to 2000kg. If you overcompensated for something and bought a big 3-tonne boat, you’ll need a Holden Trailblazer instead. The Acadia is a big vehicle, so less suited to city car parks perhaps,

but otherwise an ideal car for Kiwi families. It comes with a threeyear/100,000km warranty and three-year free service plan. It also comes with plenty of attitude, a rare commodity among modern family wagons. If the LTZ-V’s $71,990 price tag is out of your reach, you can still get into a 2WD LT for $49,990. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

The Acadia is the ‘hero’ of Holden’s new SUV range.

Visit us at Central Districts Field Days. 14-16 March 2019. Site S55-S56.

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

16 CENTRAL DISTRICTS FIELD DAYS

Solar power lifts profits A Woodville, Tararua dairy farmer is halving his dairy shed power bill with a solar power system he will pay for in six years. And it has no batteries. Peter Burke reports. IT MIGHT be called a ‘blue skies’ solution and in a way it is. Eight months ago Matthew and Suzanne Jackson boldly decided to install 66 solar panels capable of generating some – but not all – of the power to run their 27-cup herringbone shed. Milking shed power

Solar-powered milk shed on Matthew Jackson’s Woodville farm.

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had been costing them $2000 per month; since their solar power start-up it does not exceed $1000/ month. The Jacksons run 250 Friesian cows on their 100ha farm and on average they produce 120,000kgMS/year. They have owned the farm for four years after contract milking there for the previous four years. Matthew has worked on dairy farms since he left school at 16 and before that he milked morning and afternoon while still at college. The rising cost of electricity was the prompt for the Jacksons’ switch to solar power. “It didn’t seem to matter how much we did, such as using power between 10pm and 4am, the power bill was essentially the same,” Matthew said. “So we looked into solar power and in the end it ticked all the boxes; we were surprised at the returns we were told we could get out of it.” The panels power the shed only from sunrise so, because the Jacksons have no storage batteries, they must buy power for the early-morning milking from their power company. In the afternoon, when

solar power is at its peak, the roof panels entirely power the afternoon milking, Matthew says. “About 5pm the sun goes off the panels but we are well finished by then; and a lot of milk chilling is also done by the panels. “Our hot water cylinders are now solar powered so we have two hot washes a day just because we can – the hot water is there. “Overall we get about 55% of our electricity from the panels.” Only in July, when the cows are dry, is there no direct benefit from solar.” During the day, the panels produce more power than the shed needs. “Surplus power goes back into the grid, for which the power company pays us 8c/kWh. It costs us 30c/kWh to buy power from them, so the credit we get from the power we generate comes off our power bill; even if it is only 8c/kWh it helps.” Maintenance is low: the panels need an annual clean and are expected to last 25 years. The system cost $43,000 but Matthew says the economics stack up. Since start-up last July he reckons he has saved nearly $6000.

Celebrating 100 years in June 2019


RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

CENTRAL DISTRICTS FIELD DAYS 17

Forage harvester in a league of its own RURAL CONTRACTOR Steve Murray, who runs the family business BA Murray Ltd, Rangiora, has run New Holland selfpropelled forage harvesters for 20 years. However, Murray reckons his newest machine, an FR650, is in a league of its own. “We’ve used New Holland FR harvesters, and FX series before them, going back to 1998,” he says. “We like New Holland for their reliability, strength and manufacturing quality so we’ve stayed with them.” Murray bought the FR650 last season and says it is a huge improvement on previously owned FR600, FR 9060 and FR 9050 models. “Besides being much stronger the FR650 is more fuel-efficient,” he says. “Despite it being more powerful (653hp) it’s burning less fuel.” Fitted with the new 6-cyl Cursor 16 engine, specifically for forage harvesting, the unit has an “almost instantaneous” transient response. Compared to a similar FR9060 (fuel consumption 100L/h) the FR600 burns about 80L/h. “They say you can get a 20% fuel saving with it and we would have done that at least over again, burning just under half what we used to burn,” Murray says. “Even when running in Eco mode, the engine will still deliver its full horsepower.

Although when harvesting grass silage it isn’t working as hard as it would in maize; we used it on maize last year and the increase in productivity was outstanding.” The FR650 has many technology improvements, particularly in the feed rollers and cutterhead areas. The cutterhead is available in three configurations to match chopping requirements, with 2 x 8, 2 x 10 and 2 x 12 knives for a length of cut range of 6-33mm, 5-27mm and 4-22mm, respectively. The Hydroloc feed roll drive system enables the operator to adjust the length of cut to match crop conditions on the go. The autoload function sees to filling trailers or trucks to 75% of capacity before the operator needs to take over manually. Other useful features include yield mapping with GPS data, crop moisture readings and an efficient metal detection system. Murray says fuel saving is one of the FR650’s major benefits. “We can’t charge more [for fuel] for the work we are doing, because the farmers aren’t getting paid any more,” he says. “We have to find efficiencies in our operation, so we give the harvester a bigger feed to make fewer runs in the paddock with reduced fuel usage.”

Canterbury-based rural contractor Steve Murray reckons his newest New Holland, self-propelled, forage havester – a FR650 – is in a league of its own.

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

18 CENTRAL DISTRICTS FIELD DAYS Hari-Hari dairy farmer Zane Harris says the arrival of the new Pottinger NovaCat Alpha Motion 301 front mower will slash his mowing times.

The S200 Portable Solar Fence Energizer.

Innovation, sound advice on offer MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

TWO YEARS of product development will be on show at the Gallagher Group site, showing lots of innovation, says the company’s national sales manager, Darrell Jones. “On the fencing front, we will showcase the Insulated Line Post fence system,” Jones says. “There will also be plenty of advice on how to make the most of this lightweight, durable fencing option.” And to enhance effectiveness over longer runs the Electric Fence Dropper will be available for the first time. This allows post spacing to be extended, so lowering costs. It suits multi-wire sheep, goat and cattle

The TWR-5 Weigh Scale and Reader.

compromising on wire spacing.” Jones says farmers considering remote solar power for the electric fence energiser will get to see the company’s extensive solar energiser range; this includes the re-launched S200 Porta-

fences, including the Insulated Line Post and any wood or steel post systems. “These are easily attached with a screwdriver and available in packs of ten, as a simple means to reduce fencepost spacing without

ble Solar Energiser. “The S200 has been re-engineered to enhance battery life and give effective power delivery regardless of daylight conditions or battery status.” High sheep and livestock prices will justify farmers looking closely at Gallagher’s award winning TWR weigh scale range, Jones says. “These are easy to use, with an intuitive menu and a clear display screen easy to see even in bright conditions,” he explains. “The system’s simplicity extends to its compact nature, combining the EID reader hardware into the scales. This makes setting up simple: just connect the TWR to an EID antenna panel and you’re ready to go.”

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ZANE WYATT farms 240ha effective at Hari Hari with his wife Tania, milking 500 Jersey Friesian-cross cows. The arrival of a new Pottinger NovaCat Alpha Motion 301 front mower will slash his mowing times, a bonus given the changeable weather conditions in the region. Wyatt bought his first Pottinger mower – a NovaDisc 305 rear mower -- in April 2018. “I chose it for its good reputation and price,” he says. “And the machine has been faultless, bulletproof and easy to put on and take off the tractor.” Because of the performance of the rear mower, Wyatt added a NovaCat Alpha Motion 301 front mower, taking delivery in October and having it installed by the dealer. He says it’s “really quick” and easy to use. “I knocked over 20 acres in two hours yesterday without pushing too hard,” he said.

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“A tractor and rear mower would take me nearer six hours to get 20 acres done. With this being our first frontmower we are amazed at how well it travels. Output is huge with no blockages, even in a very thick crop.” The NovaCat Alpha Motion 301 has 3m working width and can mow up to 3ha/hour. Its suspension has 500mm of vertical travel and inclination angles of 12 degrees upwards and 9 degrees downwards to prevent the cutter bar from damaging the sward. The design allows the guide arms to respond actively to changes in terrain and to the mounting frame itself, resulting in the cutter bar tilting upwards over bumps and downwards into hollows. A rounded, low profile front edge lets the cutter bar move smoothly over the ground and separate the crop from the sward. At the same time, the mower uses the rounded conical surfaces of the mower discs to let the crop flow smoothly and uniformly, for maximum capacity regardless of conditions.

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

CENTRAL DISTRICTS FIELD DAYS 19

High-tech spraying for orchards MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

FMR GROUP ten years ago launched its V-Series vineyard sprayers that improve canopy penetration and chemical application, and reduce spray drift. The 2010 release of its R-Series recycling sprayer raised the bar even higher, allowing vineyards to reduce costs further by recycling spray that would otherwise have been lost as spray drift. Using the technology in this design FMR has now turned its attention to the orchard industry. Working with Richard and Tristram Hoddy, Vailima Orchards, Tasman district, the company has adapted the same base technology as found in the V-Series to design and build a 3-row sprayer specifically for orchard spraying. The O-Series uses key technologies common to all FMR sprayers, including a tangential fan system from Weber, Germany, and Arag valves and electronic control

equipment from Italy. Air-blast or air-shear systems have traditionally relied on high pressure/ low volume jets to deliver spray, but high levels of off-target drift and potentially uneven application to target surfaces risks low efficiency in such setups. Spray drift increasingly bothers rural operators -- especially growers -- as they are pressured to clean up their acts, chiefly by adopting new technology or techniques. The Weber tangential fan works differently, producing a full length ‘curtain’ of low velocity, high-volume air which is uniform from top to bottom of a tree. This air curtain emerges from the tangential fan with a turbulent twisting action that creates leaf movement and facilitates canopy penetration and even application to target plant surfaces. The even air curtain of high volume/low pressure air allows the sprayer to be set up quickly to suit specific canopy styles and to minimise off-tar-

FRONTLOADER MAKER SETS UP IN CHINA A WORLD-LEADING manufacturer of frontloaders and associated implements -- Alo AB -- has set up a factory in China. The plant is said to be running smoothly as planned. Located at Ningbo, it has the space and capacity needed for this maker of 30% of the world’s loaders for tractors 50hp and bigger. Alo now has factories in four countries, sales companies in 11 regions and customers in 50 countries. About 90% of its output is exported. The Chinese plant has 22,172m2 of production area and 1750m2 of office area, twice that of its old factory. The plant is reckoned the most advanced implement factory in the world. It is located four hours by truck from the port of Shanghai, and one hour from the port of Nighbo – the fourth largest in the world. Alo says it will double production of implements and subframes and hugely increase the production of loaders. Most welding is done in one of 10 automated robot cells; an automated powder coating line has twice the capacity of the firm’s previously biggest line and the products are reckoned better-finished than those of the car industry. – Mark Daniel

get drift. Operator comfort and safety are notable in all FMR sprayers, so the tangential fan system is quiet – even when run at full speed -- so improving operator comfort. The hydraulically driven fan can be run at

speeds easily adjusted to suit conditions. Meanwhile, the Arag Bravo electronic control system allows full control from the cabin, using a GPS speed sensor on the sprayer to automatically control system pressure and flow to achieve the

FMR orchard sprayer.

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

20 CENTRAL DISTRICTS FIELD DAYS

50 years of experience PPP INDUSTRIES Ltd, New Zealand-owned company, has been designing, manufacturing and installing innovative agricultural equipment for at least 50 years. It installed NZ’s first in-shed dairy feed system in 1967 and has since been improving its products with new features and the latest technology. The systems made by PPP are commissioned NZ-wide by dedicated installers, with sales support from dealers from Kaitaia to Invercargill. Standard herring bone (HB) feed systems are equipped with the new Evolution dispenser or the Experto Feeder. Both systems can be optioned with mineral or molasses add-ons. And the Experto system also allows for the integration of EID readings in HB sheds. Rotary systems come with highback, stainless feed trays with antirobbing bars and tray supports. These can also be fitted with platform dispensers for feed and mineral add-ons. PPP offers a wide range of gen-

An Evolution Dispenser set up in a shed.

eral spare parts for most feed systems, off the shelf and at competitive prices. Whether you’re milling for small-scale farming operations or commercially, the Skiold disc mill system can be configured for any size operation. A key advantage is the ability to mill grain to a higher standard than other systems, and

less maintenance than on traditional roller mills. To dispense minerals to stock accurately and effectively, an inline or platform mineral dispenser system can replace drenching and paddock dusting, saving time and money. PPP systems are available to handle powders or pellets; addi-

tion rates are from 30g to 140g/ kg of feed, and powders are kept moving by in-built vibrators PPP press screw separators remove solids from liquids or slurry type waste. The company first imported separators in 2001 and has extensive knowledge of system design and operation.

AGCO HITTING ITS STRAPS A GROWING share of the world market for tractor giant AGCO looks to be paying dividends. Net sales in 2018 rose by 12.6% to US$9.4 billion. North America had a 16% surge to US$2.2b with growth in sprayers, grass and grain handling/storage. Sales decreased slightly in western Europe, but the company’s Europe and Middle East region increased 17% to US$5.4b. For 2019, the company expects the upward trend to continue, forecasting net sales of US$9.6b. AGCO says it is planning a big extension in France at its Beauvais plant, regarded as the home of the Massey Ferguson brand. It has already enlarged the site by the 8ha with a 30,000sq.m. logistics department; and it has since bought an adjoining 15.7ha including 4.5ha of buildings. Newly completed the site will be 54ha, employ 2500 people and make 18,000 more units per annum. In the last six years, the company spent €300m on the Beauvais Centre of Excellence, has launched 14 tractor ranges since 2015 and plans to make 14 more ranges by 2023.

TAKE THE HISUN CHALLENGE We challenge you to compare a Hisun UTV or ATV with an equivalent model of any other leading brand in New Zealand. Because we’re confident that feature for feature, spec for spec, you won’t find a better-value work machine for your farm or lifestyle block. Come visit us on our Central Field Days stand, site G17

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Hisun is a registered trademark of Hisun Motors


RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

CENTRAL DISTRICTS FIELD DAYS 21 What’s on?

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10.30am - 12.30pm Pony Rides and Petting Zoo

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10.30am - 11.00am Ultimate Canine Dog Show with Chelsea Marriner

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Able Bromar Spaces Feeders Safety ‘n’ Action

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10.00am - 12.30pm Solo Artist – Laura Evans

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National Excavator operator championships

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WorkSafe New Zealand

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Rober tson Isuzu Trucks

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THURSDAY

PUBLIC ENTRY (GATE 3)

10.30am - 12.30pm Pony Rides and Petting Zoo 11.00am - 11.15am

IDU Kodama Japanese Drum Team

11.15am - 11.30am

Rosie the Cow (Under the Star Marquee)

11.30qm - 12.00pm Freestyle Motocross

CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITES

SERIOUS ABOUT FENCING!

12.30pm - 1.00pm Police Officers Karen & Casey with Police horses Piper & Zepher 12.30pm - 1.15pm

Palmerston North Boys High School stage band

12.30pm - 3.30pm Solo Artist – Eilish Rose

BREAKING NEWS

1.00pm - 2.00pm

AgTech Hackathon Expo

1.15pm - 1.30pm

Rosie the Cow (Under the Star Marque)

1.30pm - 1.45pm

IDU Kodama Japanese Drum Team

1.30pm - 3.30pm

Pony Rides and Petting Zoo

2.00pm - 2.30pm

Freestyle Motocross

2.30pm - 3.00pm

Ultimate Canine Dog Show with Chelsea Marriner

MACHINERY REVIEWS

2.30pm

Cuisine Gift Basket Prize Draw

COMPETITIONS

3.00pm

Suzuki CD Field Days Price Draw

3.00pm - 3.30pm

Police Officers Karen & Casey with Police horses Piper & Zepher

AND MUCH MORE...

All Day

Pedros Band

All Day

National Excavator championships

All Day

V8 Super Car Simulator

MANAGEMENT STORIES MARKETS & TRENDS

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QUALITY • TESTED • PROVEN VISIT US AT CENTRAL DISTRICTS FIELD DAYS

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New Zealand manufacturer of quality fencing tools & equipment


RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

22 CENTRAL DISTRICTS FIELD DAYS

Expo covers meaty issues ‘ROBUST CONVERSATIONS’ will be heard aplenty at the East Coast Farming Expo, say the organisers. Meaty issues have always been standard fare at the event, addressed by New Zealand’s best speakers. “Speakers are unafraid to tackle the tough topics and attendees are not shy about asking the hard questions.”  For example, rural broadcaster Sarah Perriam, the keynote speaker on March 6 and 7, will talk about marketing premium produce and changing the public’s perception of farmers to passionate food producers. She will speak at the Bayleys A&P Muster on March 6, an evening event.  The managing director of Agrarian, St John Craner, will tell why red meat is the ‘real deal’, why synthetic meat is the best thing to happen to us and why it’s an opportunity we can’t watch go by. His presentation will cover the practical steps taken on farm to be on the front foot.  Soil scientist and agri-environment analyst  Dr Jacqueline  Rowarth  will

tackle super foods, sustainable intensification and NZ’s opportunity. And investment adviser Fleur Gardiner will talk about off-farm investments, preserving and growing capital and building personal investment portfolios. The general  manager of  Beef + Lamb  NZ’s  market  development team, Nick Beeby, will speak on ‘Taste Pure Nature - the New Zealand  Red  Meat  Story’. His talk will cover building the new country of origin brand, the role origin plays in the pathway to purchases, and how NZ is perceived internationally.   The managing director of agKnowledge, Doug Edmeade, will speak on ‘Climate Change – A Skeptic’s View’, and Julia Jones will talk about  ‘Creating  Opportunity  Within  Disruption’. Jones is keen to inspire a new generation of food producers.  • More: www.eastcoastexpo.co.nz @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

NH Agriculture has picked-up an award for its methanepowered concept tractor.

Methane power wins award NEW HOLLAND Agriculture has won the Good Design Award for its

CENTRAL DISTRICTS FIEld Days We’re ON OUR WAY VISIT US AT SITE K8 TO SEE OUR RUGGED RANGE. 14TH-16TH MAR. RUGGEDVALLEY.co.nz | 0800 4 RUGGED

methane-powered concept tractor from the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. The concept tractor, unveiled in 2017, was recognised for its design features and alternative fuel technology. CNH Industrial’s design team developed a fully-integrated design where the hood, front and rear fenders and the

fuel tank create a flowing, stylish look. Wrap-around glazing provides 360-degree visibility with 20% more glazed area than a standard tractor. The floating glass domed roof with integrated precision land management receiver is ‘panoramic’. The 6-cylinder NEF methane engine delivers the same power and torque as its standard diesel equivalent, plus 30% running cost savings

and a 50% reduction in drive-by noise. In field conditions the tractor produces at least 10% lower CO2 emissions and reduces overall emissions by 80% compared to a standard diesel tractor. Its environmental performance further improves when fuelled by biomethane produced from crop residues and waste from farm-grown energy crops, which results in virtually zero CO2 emissions.

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

CENTRAL DISTRICTS FIELD DAYS 23

‘Going genomic’ breeding is gaining favour with NZ dairy farmers, claims World Wide Sires.

Genomics key to smaller, efficient herds “The size and depth of that data set provides a very high level of accuracy in genomic prediction, and that has led to the confidence we are now seeing amongst American farmers. “The NZ experience with genomics is at odds with the rest of the world largely because this country simply doesn’t have the large data set of genotyped animals needed to generate strong reliabilities consistent with daughter performance. “The Productivity Commission’s report, highlighting the need for the herds of the future to be smaller and more productive, reinforces that farmers need to be using sires selected for that purpose. “Three or four years ago, when many of the NZ-bred daughter proven sires on offer to Kiwi farmers today were selected, the breeding imperative was different: we were still in a growth phase. “A quick look at the latest dairy statistics confirms the productivity of the NZ national herd is increasing slowly: e.g. 20 years ago average kgMS/ cow was 301, ten years ago it was 330kgMS and today it is ‘only’ 380kgMS. “Contrast that with the genetics that World Wide Sires’ parent AB

cooperative Select Sires has generated: upwards of 550 kgMS/cow per year. And those cows are bred to last.” The figures speak for themselves, Lina said. Milk 414 (average NZ herd size) cows doing (the average) 381kgMS or fully feed and milk 286 cows and produce 550kgMS. “Both scenarios deliver the same end-result, confirming that it is possible

for farmers to cut back on numbers without negatively impacting on the profitability of the farm – with less cost, stress and impact on the environment.” Lina said the breeding logic of ‘going genomic’ is one which is finding favour amongst Kiwi farmers and they are expecting continued high demand. @rural_news

Find us at Central Districts Field Days Site S49

Phone: 0800 80 85 70 Email: sales@burgessmatting.co.nz Website: www.burgessmatting.co.nz

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THE CALL for dairy farmers to prepare now for a future with a smaller herd of higher producing cows depends on access to dairy sires superior to their contemporaries of even a year ago. This is the message World Wide Sires will be giving farmers at the South Island Agricultural Field Days at Kirwee from March 27 to 29. Hank Lina, World Wide Sires’ general manager for New Zealand, said “in the US and around the world, farmers are recognising that genomic sires are light years ahead of daughterproven sires because they have been selected for the traits farmers need today and tomorrow – not yesterday. “Demand for genomically proven bulls in the US is now greater than for daughter-proven: 70% of all semen sold in the US is genomic. This gives farmers the advantage of a level of genetic gain never before possible. The genetic superiority of today’s genomic bulls is light-years ahead of traditionally proven bulls.” Lina said World Wide Sires “began genomically proving bulls in 2009 based on one of the largest base populations in the world comprising at least 2 million genotyped animals”.

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RURAL NEWS // MARCH 5, 2019

24 CENTRAL DISTRICTS FIELD DAYS

It all happens in threes! MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

The Subaru XV (above) and Forester (right) being put through their paces.

oped by Leadfoot owners Rod and Shelley Millen. These ranged from flat grass paddock to climbs over dirt mounds and descents into blind hollows. Nearly always the adverse cambers had drivers and passengers sitting too close to each other (where were the Subaru stunners when you needed them?) but

the clever trio traversed the course with ease. They were enjoying technology such as the Symmetrical All Wheel Drive System that shares power to all four wheels to maintain traction – even in tough conditions; or X-Mode which cleverly manipulates engine, transmission, AWD and brakes to optimise travel

HECTON STOCK WORKER

Forester,” said Stephens. “And being presented with the award on Seven Sharp was the cream on a great year for us.” More importantly, 2018 was Subaru NZ’s record year for sales – 3632 vehicles.

“And that upward trend is building: in January 2019 we delivered 380 new vehicles – our best month ever.” Subaru is hitting the mark with its AWD and outdoor image appealing to ‘Let’s Do It’-minded

INCLUDES: • Clamp & Draft Unit • Dagging Race • Stands

The fastest most versatile sheep handler on the market. The Hecton Sheep Handler is ideal for dagging, crutching (half & full belly), foot trimming, vaccinating, wool sampling, mouthing, eye wigging and loading of A1 cradles

INCLUDES 2 ANTIBACKING WINGS

USE LEFT OR RIGHT HANDED WITH REVERSIBLE CLAMP

HECTON SHEEP HANDLER HECTON LEAD UP RACE

INCLUDES 2 ANTIBACKING WINGS

HECTON SHEEP HANDLER WITH SHORT RACE

03-215 8558 info@hecton.co.nz www.hecton.co.nz See us at Central Districts Field Days Site 021

← CHOOSE A LEFT OR RIGHT HANDED DAGGING RACE OPTION

Kiwis. The revitalised mid-sized Forester SUV tripled sales since its launch in September. And the Outback and XV – large, compact SUVs – had monthly sales of 100 and 140 units respectively.

With the addition of load bars and tag reading equipment the Hecton Stock Worker is a very versatile cost-effective unit which is suitable for both sheep and goats.

TRU-TEST WEIGHING

in difficult conditions at speeds of up to 40km/h. The X-Mode came into its own during the steep downhill sections, tackled with aplomb. Subaru marketing manager Daile Stephens said 2018 would be a year to remember. “We were stoked to scoop the Car of The Year title with the new

The Hecton Stock Worker is a fast and efficient way to take care of a wide range of those stock handling tasks, with proven solid construction, the Hecton Stock Worker holds your stock still while performing various tasks such as • dagging • mouthing • ear tagging • capsuling • drenching • inoculating • 3 way drafting, and more

DO THINGS really happen in threes? It seems so for the motor industry’s off-road favourite Subaru. At the recent petrolhead heaven -- the Leadfoot Festival at Hahei, Coromandel Peninsula (Rural News attended only to report the facts) – Alistair McRae, of the Scottish McRae rallying dynasty, made it three in a row by consecutively winning the dash up the 1.6km hill climb course in a blistering 47.99 seconds. More mundane -though equally exciting for your reporter -- was a look at another threesome in the shape of the Outback, XV and Forester model ranges. These were all driven over an off-road course recently devel-

The Hecton Sheep Handler is available in both manual and air operated options and with minimal adjustments can handle a wide range of stock sizes (ewes & lambs can run together). Stock are held in a comfortable position during operating allowing full access to the underside of the animal, no heavy lifting is required and the operation is easy on the back. The Hecton Sheep Handler is a quick, safe and efficient way of handling stock with minimal physical effort.

Profile for Rural News Group

Rural News 05 March 2019  

Rural News 05 March 2019

Rural News 05 March 2019  

Rural News 05 March 2019