Page 1

DAIRY AWARDS

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

NEWS

Hard work pays off for Northland couple. PAGE 14

Golden anniversary for machinery families. PAGE 32

Research shows that rural doctor numbers are on the decline. PAGE 9

TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS MAY 21, 2019: ISSUE 676 

www.ruralnews.co.nz

MPI’s behaviour on bovis beastly NIGEL MALTHUS

FARMERS AFFECTED by Mycoplasma bovis need help and support, but MPI treats them as guilty parties, claims Mid-Canterbury Federated Farmers dairy chair Chris Ford. “People are truly unaware outside of our region what is actually happening in Ashburton and Mid-Canterbury.” Ford called it “embarrassing” for MPI that it announced a surge in the eradication programme -- expected to bring a sudden rise in the number of farms under formal suspicion -- when stock was already starting to move for winter. He says with about 1100 farms expected to be canvassed in the surge and MPI able to do only 80 to 90 calls a week, the process will take until July by which time there would be one million cow movements. Ford has declined to be part of a new group, co-ordinated by Ashburton District Mayor Donna Favel, which aims to support Mid-Canterbury farmers caught up in the outbreak. Although there are other Feds representatives in the group, Ford says he would not sign a confidentiality agreement required by MPI. “I can’t advocate for my farmers if I’m under confidentiality and privacy.”

Favel says the surge announcement, just before Easter, gave rise to “concern and speculation” over the Easter break. She was surprised that it had not been disclosed during MPI’s roadshow meetings in the previous few weeks. Her group includes representatives

from MPI, DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb NZ, Mid Canterbury Rural Support Trust, Vet Ent and the Canterbury District Health Board. Favel says its aim is to help facilitate discussions between MPI and relevant organisations “to ensure information is consistently shared in

a timely and targeted manner with the district’s farming community”. “M. bovis has inflicted a great deal of stress and uncertainty on our people and we each recognised that something more needed to be done to help support our farmers during this time of need.”

The district is the worst affected in the country, said Favel. Those around the table seek to better understand the district’s preparedness and understand the implications to farmers, service providers, stock and the community. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

A straight furrow The 64th National Ploughing Championships were held earlier this month at Chertsey in Mid Canterbury. Close to 50 plough men and women competed in four classes: conventional (Silver Plough), reversible, vintage and horse drawn. And a new class – ‘contemporary’ – was offered for people learning to plough. The event was held on Wilkinson’s farm and attracted good crowds of spectators both days. As well as the ploughing there were demonstrations of old and new farm equipment, all attracting much interest. Among the oldest competitors on the plots was a former dairy farmer, John Stalker (81), from Lincoln. Stalker first contested the Silver Plough then became a judge, but liked the look of the older tractors and took up ploughing again. He’s been ploughing most of his life. • See more from the event pages 26-27

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 21, 2019

NEWS 3 ISSUE 676

www.ruralnews.co.nz

Trade talks on target - just PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

NEWS��������������������������������������1-16 AGRIBUSINESS����������������18-19 MARKETS�������������������������� 20-21 HOUND, EDNA���������������������� 22 CONTACTS����������������������������� 22 OPINION����������������������������22-24 NZ PLOUGHING CHAMPS����������������������������26-27 ANIMAL HEALTH����������� 28-29 MACHINERY AND PRODUCTS���������������������� 30-34 RURAL TRADER������������� 34-35

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

EUROPEAN UNION and New Zealand trade officials are still hopeful that agreement on a free trade agreement (FTA) will be reached by the end of the year. About 30 EU negotiators and a similar number of NZ trade officials had another round of talks in Wellington last week. However, both sides admit that the political desire to sign a quality, comprehensive agreement by year end is “ambitious”. Last week, both sides held a public briefing in the capital for stakeholders. All the main primary sector organisations attended and many questioned the two chief negotiators – Martin Harvey from NZ and Peter Berz from the EU. Harvey says both sides are motivated to complete the negotiations. They agree on a lot more things than they disagree on. Berz described the negotiations so

Head NZ negotiator Martin Harvey (left) and his EU colleague Peter Bortz in Wellington last week.

far as very constructive with neither side trying to impose its views on the other. Obtaining a quality FTA would hugely benefit the primary sector if tariffs were lifted and greater free trade was enshrined in a deal. But the EU negotiators have frequently pointed out that the farmers of Europe also have an interest in the FTA and some tough sensitive issues are still clearly not resolved in the discussions to date.

All ‘Barred’-up over bovis SOUTH CANTERBURY rural consultant Sarah Barr says there is a huge degree of anxiety on the ground over the surge in the Mycoplasma bovis eradication effort. She told Rural News the announcement of the surge, made just before Easter, was worrying for people who had been previously caught up in the effort. “People who know they’ve got traces, but haven’t yet been followed up. And people who aren’t involved but are concerned that now they may be.” Barr says the impacts of the dis-

ease are enormous across the wider industry, with many stock agents having reduced incomes. “I wouldn’t say [stock sales] have been completely paralysed, but they’ve certainly been significantly impacted as a result of that announcement.” Barr was previously the Rural Support Trust’s South Island (except Southland) M. bovis response coordinator but she resigned from that role last July over dissatisfaction with MPI’s handling of affected farmers. However, she has continued to work with a number of M. bovis cli-

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ents “because they don’t have the luxury of resigning”. As a consultant, Barr specialises in rural succession planning and team development. Her M. bovis support work is still funded by MPI but at a much lower rate than when working in her own right. “I’m just fortunate that I’m selfemployed and I’ve been able to put my life on hold to an extent and support these people,” she said. “It matters too much.” Barr declined to comment on how MPI is now handling the response. “I don’t want to form a view

there,” she told Rural News. “All I’m concerned with is helping the farmers, which I can do on the ground well – help them minimise the pain and anxiety that being part of the M. bovis response inevitably leads to.” Barr says she is sure there are people coming out the other side who haven’t had as terrible an experience.” However, she believes anxiety remains for those still trying to get themselves out of the programme and for those worrying they might yet be caught up in it. “We cannot minimise the pain being felt by many.” – Nigel Malthus

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Market access for agricultural products remains difficult despite the global trading environment for agriculture having changed hugely. Notably, the EU is now the biggest global exporter of dairy products – bigger than NZ. Some European cheeses are on the shelves in NZ shops. Given this foray by the EU into the global dairy export market, it seems illogical that the EU continues to subsidise its farmers. This issue is sure to

be raised by the negotiators if it hasn’t already. Food safety and sustainability, including the environment, are likely to feature prominently as the talks go on. The provenance of NZ’s food exports aimed at the top end of the consumer market will have implications onfarm given the issues of how NZ deals with greenhouse gases and climate change. The power of the consumer is now being realised. One of the sticking points in the FTA negotiations is geographic indicators (GIs). An example of a GI is the name given to a particular style cheese such as Gouda which is linked to a specific town or region in a country. The question is what – if any – restrictions the EU may place on NZ using a name such as Gouda. Both Harvey and Berz say GIs, and all the other agricultural issues, are currently being worked through. However, as they have said before, these may be the last elements of the FTA to determined.

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4 NEWS

Beekeepers struggle as honey money gets sticky understand things aren’t always even.” But after an outstanding 10 years of increasing value for most NZ honey, the correction “has been a bit of a shock – absolutely”. But global demand for health and wellness products continues to grow and NZ is “absolutely perfectly positioned” to take advantage of that growth. “So there is optimism in there,” Kos says. “One of the big things for us is we have work to do in how we can grow the value of all our NZ native and pastoral mono-flora honeys.

PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

THE HONEY market downturn has impacted the profitability of many beekeeping businesses, particularly those producing the non-manuka honeys, says Karin Kos, chief executive of Apiculture New Zealand. “We can expect to see some rationalisation over the next few years,” she told Rural News. “This industry like any other primary sector industry does deal with ups and downs in pricing and weather. Being part of the primary sector we

“We have some fabulous honey, it is high quality, it is excellent on the international market, it is well regarded. As an industry we have work to do on how we can position that story and grow that value.” She says the Apiculture NZ board has met to look at the opportunities and how they can be realised. “It might be [one of the Government funds] on offer. We are just at the start of how we do that,” Kos told Rural News. “The levy didn’t go through but there is a lot

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of support for work in that space. I have been around talking to members. I had a field day on Sunday in Canterbury. There is a lot of support for looking at how we build the value for those other honeys. “I am sure the industry will be prepared to come together and look at how we could fund that.” While the market has been challenging,

honey export sales continued their rise with a 6% increase in 2017-18 to $348 million driven by higher export volumes and prices. Kos says one interesting trend is export volumes to the United States have risen sharply, eclipsing China as our largest market. “That has been a very interesting trend. It is a huge market, there is huge opportunity but it is

also relatively new particularly to the NZ manuka honey story,” she says. “That is where we are starting to see some increased sales and retail presence there.” Kos’ comments follow the release of the Ministry for Primary Industries 2018 Apiculture Monitoring Programme Report which shows the 201718 honey season was a mixed bag for beekeepers with honey volumes and

hive yields up by 35% and 21% percent respectively over the 2016-17 season. But average honey prices were lower than the previous year for most honey types apart from monofloral manuka honey. “Unfortunately, we are continuing to see falling prices and sluggish sales over the 2018-19 year as we compete with global honeys that typically sell for lower rates than our beekeepers have received over the last four to five seasons,” says Kos. While total registered hive numbers (up 11%) and registered beekeeping enterprises (up 9%) continued to increase over the 2017-18 year, Kos says it is unlikely this growth, particularly in the commercial sector, will continue given current market conditions. “We can expect to see some rationalisation over the next year as beekeepers consider their options in this tough market.”

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THERE WERE some very red faces after the presentations to the winners of this year’s National Ploughing Championships. After the medals and trophies had been presented and new happy faces were being congratulated, the lists of points won by each competitor were handed out. Suddenly

there was a look of horror on the officials’ faces as they reviewed the details and saw glaring mistakes. NZ Ploughing Association president Willy Willitts told Rural News that a “computer glitch” had caused a miscalculation of the points for all sections except the horse ploughing. This meant that the people who supposedly had won on the night had to be told a few hours later they

hadn’t. There was disappointment and frustration all round and Willitts says the association intends to review what happened and make sure it never happens again. The eventual winners were: Silver Plough – Scott McKenzie from Clinton; reversible -- Bob Mehrtens, Timaru; vintage – Paul Houghton, Hamilton; horse plough – Sharon and John Chynoweth, Oxford. – See pages 26-27

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 21, 2019

NEWS 5

Nats stunned by methane target DAVID ANDERSON

NATIONAL’S CLIMATE change spokesman Todd Muller says the proposed target for methane reduction puts the New Zealand agricultural sector at “real risk”. Muller has spent the best part of 12 months negotiating with Climate Change Minister James Shaw to get a workable, bi-partisan deal on agricultural emissions. He told Rural News the proposed methane targets are “widely overdone” and set an “unjustifiable target” for the NZ farming sector. “There is a body of credible advice – such as recently from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) and Victoria University’s David Frame – that advocates far more sensible targets for methane,” he says. “Why James Shaw has just plucked this number from an IPPC report – which is hugely profound in the 26-47% range – is beyond me.” Muller says he was surprised by the methane targets and was given no indication of this until just before they were announced. He says his discussion with Shaw over the past year had been constructive and he was hoping for a more realistic target on methane.

“Why James Shaw has just plucked this number from an IPPC report – which is hugely profound in the 26-47% range – is beyond me.” “However, after eight weeks of silence (from Shaw before the targets were announced) it is now clear that this is a Labour, NZ First and Greens deal. “Methane reductions of this volume without the necessary onfarm innovations – which we do not have currently – mean the only option for farmers is destocking and this will have huge ramifications for both the rural and wider NZ economy.” Muller says his caucus was yet to meet and discuss what National’s formal response would be to the methane targets and the overall bill. He expected this to happen by late May. In the meantime, he also was expecting the farming sector’s leaders to voice their concerns about the proposed methane targets. “My expectation is for them to voice their concerns most strenuously and strongly.” Meanwhile, National’s agriculture spokesman Nathan Guy has reiterated the concerns expressed by farming bodies about the Climate

Change Bill. “Their concern is that the methane reduction target (minus 24-47% by 2050) is not backed by solid science,” he says.

“The economic analysis is eye watering and shows billions of dollars in costs that will bite rural communities hard.” He says farmers will continue to make changes onfarm backed by good science and technologies. Guy also claims that despite NZ First supporting the methane target, the blowback from the rural sector will cause the party to “squirm and ultimately shift positions”.

National’s climate change spokesman Todd Muller.

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 21, 2019

6 NEWS

Farmers zero in on methane targets PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

FARMERS WOULD have to reduce livestock numbers unless methane targets in the Government proposed climate change Bill were changed, Beef + Lamb NZ has warned. BLNZ has sharply criticised the Government, saying the proposed legislation treats the pastoral sector unfairly. The Carbon Zero Bill sets a target of reducing all greenhouse gases, except biogenic methane, to net zero by 2050. It also seeks to reduce emissions of biogenic methane within a range of 24% to 47% below 2017 levels by 2050, including reducing these to 10% below 2017 levels by 2030. Also, an independent climate change commission will be set up

to advise the Government and to monitor and review the targets. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern claims climate change is now front and centre in NZ awareness and that it’s the biggest challenge facing NZ. She says NZers have demanded action and the Zero Carbon Amendment Bill is actioning that call. “In developing the legislation we have listened to the science and the industry and the result is a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius to avoid the worst impact of climate change,” Ardern says. BLNZ’s chief insight officer Jeremy Baker says while it supports the intent of the Bill it disagrees with the details. It is strongly challenging the Bill’s claims and is

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demanding the Government hears its case. Baker told Rural News that BLNZ had talked to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Climate Change and the Minister of Agriculture before the Bill was presented to Parliament and were told that they heard its arguments. However, the Bill was based on the evidence of the International Panel on Climate Change. Baker says the problem with that report is that it asks more of methane than of CO2 because everyone knows it’s going to be very hard to reduce CO2 emissions. “We would have to get everyone driving electric cars, get rid of all the energy produced using fossil fuel and stop flying,” he explains. Baker refutes Shaw’s claim that the bill is

Beef + Lamb NZ’s Jeremy Baker.

‘equitable’ and says the pastoral sector is being asked to do more than others. He says the targets set by the Government are too aspirational and he believes farmers will be unhappy about the legislation. “In some ways, sheep and beef farmers have

fewer options than dairy farmers in terms of feed additives or inhibitors that could be fed in a more intensive manner,” Baker says. “We were actually focusing on the tree sequestration option for offsetting methane and the Government

has essentially said you can’t do that. Farmers are pretty miffed about that.” Technology is talked of as an option, but both Shaw and Ardern agree that right now no specific technological option exists that offers a ‘silver bullet’ answer. Shaw also agrees that the target is aspirational, but believes there is enough technology to get the process started. Baker says technology has yet to offer a perfect solution. “We have invested a huge amount since 2002 through the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Coalition to work on this and there is a lot of work going on,” he says. “For example, a capsule that might change the rumen gut, and vaccines, but they are a little further down a track. Work has been done on

feeds but these don’t look terribly promising.” Baker points to work done in the last 30 years whereby sheep numbers have halved but the amount of meat produced remains almost unchanged. He says the amount of emissions to produce one kilogram of meat has been reduced dramatically and has enabled the sector to reduce its emission by 30% since 1990. “But to essentially be asked to do that again over the next 30 years to 2050 is a pretty tall order.” Baker says BLNZ will make submission to the select committee on the Bill and even if its submissions are not listened to they won’t give up. He says when the review of the targets takes place in 2024 his organisation will continue to seek change.


RURAL NEWS // MAY 21, 2019

NEWS 7

No surprises, claims Ag Minister PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

AGRICULTURE MINISTER Damien O’Connor is not surprised at farmers’ reaction to the proposed legislation. He says the provisional target for methane – at the top end of the range – was always going to cause alarm. He says it’s not for him to judge where it might end up. He claims the initial challenge of methane reduction of 10% by 2030 just continues what has been occurring in agriculture for the last 15 years. “Even now people are working on such things as plantain and other methods of reducing nitrogen fertilisers and a number of initiatives to keep ahead of climate change impact.” O’Connor points to the

Damien O’Connor

review in 2024 when the Climate Change Commission will not just consider the target objec-

tives in terms of climate change but also the effect on communities and industries and will “take

a responsible approach” to setting the final target. He says in some ways the farming community is worrying unnecessarily. “We are going to work with the industry to get good outcomes here,” O’Connor told Rural News. “We must also remember that we are trading our products into markets around the world that are also committed to climate change mitigation. “They are expecting us to do the same thing here and that’s all we are doing.” O’Connor claims the Bill will give certainty to the primary sector, which he says has been dealing with endless mixed messages on the subject. @rural_news

FARMERS MIFFED WHILE MOST other primary sector organisation have voiced support for the Bill they question the details, especially the methane targets. DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle says the target is based on global scenarios not grounded in the NZ context. He says the range for methane, combined with reducing nitrous oxide to net zero, goes beyond expert scientific advice on what is necessary for NZ agriculture to limit global warming to no more than at 1.5° C. “It is very important to get the range right. If we get this wrong it will have significant impacts on the dairy sector and on the economic, social and cultural wellbeing of NZ,” he says. Fonterra’s Carolyn Mortland says the methane target is very ambitious and will require big investment in R&D to give farmers the solutions they need to achieve. Change and challenges have been a constant for farmers going on for decades, she says. “We are telling farmers to recognise that our customers, consumers and communities want sustainable, ethically produced food. We will support our farmers in all sorts of ways to achieve that,” she says. Federated Farmers Andrew Hoggard has described the Bill as “frustratingly cruel”, saying there is nothing he can do on his farm today that will give him confidence to ever achieve these targets. He says NZ farmers are already playing their part in tackling global warming and are willing to do more. “But hearing the Government setting arbitrary targets based on a random selection of reports and incomplete data will leave some farmers wondering what’s the point?” he says. • Deer farmers disappointed – page 12

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13/05/19 3:00 PM


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RURAL NEWS // MAY 21, 2019

NEWS 9

Rural doctors thin on the ground – research PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

THIRTY-SIX PERCENT of rural general practitioners intend to retire in the next one to five years, a new study shows. Meanwhile, 39% of rural general practices report a current GP vacancy, the Royal College of GPs general practice workforce study shows. The New Zealand Rural General Practice Network says the figures show the Government commitment to establishing a network of rural health training hubs is now critically important to reversing a continued decline in the rural health workforce. Chief executive Dalton Kelly says there are worrying trends for general practice across NZ, particularly in rural communities. “The Minister of Health’s announcement earlier this month that he supports the establishment of a network of hubs within rural communities to train the medical workforce inside our rural communities could not have come any later,” he says. “The latest research shows us now very clearly that we haven’t got a minute to wait in addressing the structural problems with the rural health workforce. The proposed network of rural training hubs for a range of medical professionals is the key to

this challenge and urgency is now the key.” Kelly says the Royal College’s research made for grim reading: • Excluding registrars, 34% of GPs intend to retire in the next five years and 57% in the next 10 years • More than half of all GPs are aged over 52 • 36% of rural GPs intend to retire in the next one to five years • 39% of rural general practices report a current GP vacancy • Rural respondents were twice as likely to identify as short-term employees or contractors than doctors in urban centres • 52% of rural respondents are providing medical training for others, compared with 36% in urban centres • International medical graduates now make up nearly half (46%) of rural GPs • 75% of rural GPs also provide after-hours care, much higher than for those in urban centres. Dalton says they have seen a statistically significant increase on last year’s numbers of GPs who are burnt out (26%). “We can also see in the survey that rural GPs are working longer hours and taking on more emergency and after-hours work,” says Dalton. “The research reinforces what we’ve known for some time. It’s getting tougher and tougher to provide

medical services in our rural communities. We’ve got large numbers of unfilled vacancies, a retirement boom is now upon us and we’re increasingly relying on longer hours and short term and international GP cover to get by. “Unfortunately, just by the sheer weight of numbers, it is going to get worse before it gets better. “While the problem is now crystal clear, we are delighted that the solution is also taking shape. The announcement from the Government that it will move ahead with designing and establishing a network of multidisciplinary health training hubs across rural NZ is precisely the structural intervention we need. “We need this solution at scale and with the sector working cooperatively together to get this new system working as quickly and efficiently as possible. “We think there is an important opportunity for NZ to appoint a rural health commissioner, as has recently been done in Australia, to coordinate and lead the urgent work required to start to build a sustainable rural health workforce,” Dalton says. He says there will also have to be a focus on a wide range of short-term actions that will help bridge between the current situation and the creation of a sustainable and fit-for-purpose domestic rural health workforce.

NZ Rural General Practice Network chief executive Dalton Kelly.

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 21, 2019

10 NEWS

Tip Top sale no sweet fix SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

SELLING THE iconic ice cream business Tip Top won’t end Fonterra’s financial woes, says broker Grant Williamson, of Hamilton Hindin Greene.

The $380 million paid by Tip Top Ice Cream’s new owner Froneri is “a drop in the bucket” towards improving the co-op’s balance sheet, he says. “Fonterra still has to more to do to strengthen its balance sheet,” he told

Rural News. The sale price of Tip Top Ice Cream was $100m more than the business’s book value. The co-op last year posted its first full-year after-tax loss of $196m and immediately said it would review its assets.

Fonterra has sold Tip Top for $380 million.

At its half-year result announcement in March, Fonterra said it was on track to reduce its debt by $800m by the year’s end. Fonterra will also sell its stake in DFE Pharma – a 50/50 joint venture set up in 2006 with FrieslandCampina. Also under review is its controversial 18.8% stake in the troubled Chinese company Beingmate. Froneri, the world’s third largest ice cream manufacturer, will retain the Tip Top brand and absorb all employees into its workforce. Williamson says there were some concerns that Fonterra may not have been able to get a good price as Tip Top’s factory at Mount Wellington is getting old and needs substantial upgrade. But many businesses were interested. Fonterra chose a

global ice cream maker who was willing to pay a premium for the business, he says. Commenting on plans for the business, Tip Top managing director Kim Ballinger says as part of the Froneri business Tip Top will benefit from the new owner’s scale and expertise. Froneri chief executive Ibrahim Najafi says it has always admired Tip Top as an iconic brand in New Zealand with a long proud history. “Our vision is to build the world’s best ice cream company. An important part of our strategy is to develop local market successes and roll them out across our other markets. “Our consumers are at the heart of our business and we intend to invest in the Tip Top brands, products and manufacturing facility to ensure

About Froneri ❱❱ Created in 2016 as a joint venture between PAI Partners and Nestlé ❱❱ Froneri is second largest manufacturer of ice cream in Europe, the third largest worldwide and the number one private label producer worldwide ❱❱ Present in 20 countries with revenues of $4.2 billion (2017) and 10,000 employees worldwide.

we continue to excite the market and NZers with delicious high quality ice cream made from fresh NZ milk and cream.” Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell says the sale was a bittersweet moment for Fonterra. “Since we took ownership of Tip Top in 2001 a lot of work has gone into ensuring it remained NZ’s leading ice cream company.” A big attraction in the sale to Froneri is that Tip Top and Kāpiti ice cream will be continued use of fresh milk and cream from New Zealand grassfed cows, Hurrell says.

“We’ve signed an agreement with the new owners to supply milk which ensures that Fonterra farmers will continue to be part of the Tip Top story. “We will also retain full global ownership of the Kāpiti brand and will be licencing its use for ice cream to Froneri. This means our popular Kāpiti cheese isn’t going anywhere.” Hurrell says Fonterra understands the strong connection NZers have with Tip Top and it is important for the co-op to see that it’s in good hands.

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 21, 2019

12 NEWS

Deer farmers disappointed by target THE DEER sector has joined a growing chorus of farming groups – and others – describing the Government’s targets for methane reductions as unrealistic. Deer Industry New Zealand says it is disappointed by the announced emissions reduction targets for

agriculture. Dr Ian Walker, chair of Deer Industry NZ (DINZ), says that under current conditions these targets will only result in significant reductions in stock numbers. “Even if tools and technologies were available to reduce methane and nitrous

oxide in the future, the level of reduction would effectively mean that the agriculture sector was being asked not just to cease its own contribution to global warming, but also offset the contribution of other sectors.” Walker says the deer industry, as part

of the pastoral sector, is prepared to play its part in climate change mitigation. “We do not deny human-induced climate change nor our responsibility to mitigate. The pastoral sector is willing to target net zero global warming impact from agricultural

gasses. But the targets for methane announced by the Government go beyond net zero global warming impact. DINZ cannot support these targets,” he says. “The rationale for methane to be reduced by between 24 and 47% by 2050 has not been made clear to us. Deer Industry NZ chair Ian Walker.

“We can only assume that the Government expects agriculture to make ‘headroom’ for other sectors to continue emitting.” Walker says this is unfair for the sector, but also a bad choice for NZ because in the absence of new mitigation technology a 47% reduction in agricultural methane emissions will require a 47% reduction in pastoral farming outputs. “This could reduce rural employment and export revenues from meat, milk and fibre by half, or about $12 billion a year,” he says. “The Government has expressed no plan for how this employment and export revenue could be

replaced and NZers’ living standards maintained.” Walker says reducing agricultural methane emissions is only a temporary solution. It buys time but does not address the fundamental cause of climate change, which is the release of fossil carbon into the atmosphere. “The deer industry alongside other pastoral industries supports the pastoral sector reducing nitrous oxide to net zero and gradually reducing and stabilising emissions of methane so that its levels in the atmosphere do not increase (i.e. no additional warming effect from livestock agriculture). “The pastoral sector including DINZ will continue to support research on agricultural greenhouse gas mitigation options and development of a robust framework to enable farms to transition to lower emissions. But DINZ considers there is little sense in sacrificing NZ’s economic backbone.” @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

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HORTICULTURAL PRODUCE company Seeka has indicated lower than expected kiwifruit volumes across Australia and New Zealand. Based on the volumes to date, the company estimates that the full year crop packed by Seeka will be 8.3% on average lower than its pre-season estimates. “The effect is industry wide, and reflects unseasonably hot and dry growing conditions which have led to a smaller size profile and total crop volume in both Australia and NZ,” it says. In NZ the company says it has packed about 97% of its expected SunGold harvest, and has packed about 33% of its expected Hayward, and so is better able to estimate the full year earnings. In total Seeka expects to pack 33.543 million class 1 trays versus 30.233m in harvest 2018 and its earlier expectation of 36.327m at the time it last gave guidance. The company claims its Australian harvest has been significantly impacted by the record high temperatures and dry growing conditions. It is predicting a total Green Nashi crop of 900 tonnes (down 18% on 2018) and a kiwifruit crop of 1900 tonnes (down 26% on 2018). Seeka now expects 2019 group earnings before tax to be $32.5m to $33.5m versus the previous guidance in April of $36.5m to $37.5m, and versus the previous year result of $26.2m (prior year excludes IFRS 16 adjustment).


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RURAL NEWS // MAY 21, 2019

14 NEWS

Hard work pays off

NO PIG IN THE MUCK

SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

NEWLY CROWNED 2019 Share Farmers of the Year Colin and Isabella Beazley plan to use their win to enhance their dairying careers. The 50/50 Northland sharemilkers say winning the prestigious title means so much to them. Colin Beazley told the 600 farmers and industry leaders at the awards night in Wellington that they have worked very hard this year to get here. “This win will open doors for us and we’ll happily look at each one of them,” he says. “We will use this win to move forward with our careers and take our business forward.” The Beazleys, both aged 31, are 50/50 Sharemilkers for Neil Jones and Wendy Crow-Jones, milking 330 cows on the 163ha Wellsford property. The couple have entered the awards twice previously and were third place getters last year in the same category. They took home $52,000 in prizes. Share farmer head judge Kevin McKinley, DairyNZ, says the Beazleys impressed the judges with their resilience, teamwork and attention to detail. “They are a great team and complement each other in their roles onfarm.” Other big winners on the night were Canterbury’s Matt Redmond, the 2019 New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year, and Nicola Blowey, also from Canterbury, the 2019 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year.

A poignant moment of the awards was the presentation ceremony for the 2019 Fonterra Responsible Dairying Award winners, Damian and Jane Roper, Taranaki. They received the John Wilson Memorial Trophy from Belinda Wilson, wife of the former Fonterra chairman who passed away earlier this year. Mrs Wilson was accompanied on stage by Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell.

The Algerian RPR deposit consists of one deep (35m) layer, with a thin vein(1-1.5m) of dolomite running through it. This dolomite reduces its citric solubility in short lab tests, but has no adverse effects on its field performance.

Hurrell said Wilson, as a successful farmer, was keenly aware of the need for, and benefits of, farming in a sustainable and responsible way. “John was a hugely respected leader of our co-op and the wider industry and the driving force behind this award. Its establishment was his idea so it’s only fitting that the trophy be named in his honour and memory.” The prestigious award rec-

It contains 12.7% P, which all becomes available to plants. It also contains about 7% free dolomite, which adds to its intrinsic liming value. No non-RPR gets mixed with it.

Like all true RPRs, it has a short crystal a-axis, which creates instability or ‘reactivity’, greatly increasing its dissolution in even slightly-acid soils. This is caused by it’s high substitution (>20%) of phosphate by carbonate in the crystal lattice. It has relatively low dust compared to some other RPRs It has passed rigorous XRD and mixes of RPR and non-RPRs, crystallographic testing and even the low dust level it has conducted by the IFDC, who can be eliminated with only have consequently defined 3% Controlled-Moisture it as a ‘Highly Reactive (CM) water. Phosphate Rock’.

ognises dairy farmers who demonstrate leadership in their approach to sustainability and who are respected by their fellow farmers and their community for their attitude and role in sustainable dairying. Judge Gavin Roden, NZDIA trustee, said the Ropers are passionate, enthusiastic and energetic with an ability to motivate people around them. “They are determined to be better than just compliant,” he said.

It was rated in the highest reactivity group in an international review of the use of phosphate rock as fertilisers by the FAO (2004). No Moroccan rocks were.

From restoring bush on their property to its former natural state to creating a lake and monitoring the water quality, the Ropers impressed the judges with their commitment and passion. The 2019 awards also marked the retirement of NZDIA general manager Chris Keeping after 18 years in the role. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

It passes all known longer-duration (60-120 min) citric acid solubility tests used overseas, both ground and unground. To our knowledge Fine grinding typically increases RPR citric P solubility by 2-3% P in any given test.

QUINFERT ALGERIAN RPR Protecting Kiwi Waterways It also has low levels of all other heavy metals such as uranium (U), mercury (Hg) and chromium (Cr). Note some Moroccan phosphate rocks contain high Cd and U.

THE NEW Zealand Pork Industry Board has appointed Hannah Ritchie as its new senior environmental advisor, effective May 14. She was a farm biosecurity project advisor for Environment Canterbury and has worked with regional councils, rural industry bodies and central government. NZ Pork general manager David Baines says the environmental advisor role is a crucial part of the work in pig farming. “Our ability to support farmers with the latest information and advice is key,” says Baines. “Our industry is focused on the environment and producers facing an increasing complex range of compliance requirements. “Producers must have expert representation when local and central government and other agencies are considering changes that could affect farming operations.” Ritchie graduated in environmental science and worked seven years for Environment Canterbury. She was responsible for managing the regional council’s onfarm biosecurity programme and the Chilean needle grass awareness programme. Ritchie lives near Oxford, North Canterbury, on a sheep and beef farm with her husband and daughter.

It has a low cadmium (Cd) content of 18ppm or 140mg Cd/kg P. This is only half the limit used by some other companies in NZ. It is below BioGro’s maximum, and is registered.

Quinfert Algerian RPR has not yet been shown to meet the Fertmark 30-min citric acid test and consequently is not an ‘RPR’ as defined in the Fertmark Code. This test is used nowhere else in the world. It has been concluded by the International Fertilizer Development Centre in Alabama to have better or equal agronomic performance than North Carolina RPR. The IFDC have also demonstrated that it has equal agronomic performance to Gafsa (Tunisia) RPR, but much lower Cd than Gafsa.

Phone 0800 QUINFERT (0800 784 633), Office email info@quinfert.co.nz, Bert Quin mobile 021 427 572


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RURAL NEWS // MAY 21, 2019

16 NEWS

Wool man launches antisynthetics petition PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

EVERY TIME you wash synthetic clothes, micro fibres of plastic are washed into the waterways, says Devold Wool Direct general manager and member of the International Wool Textile Board, Craig Smith. He presented a petition to Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor this month asking for a law change so that any garment with less than 50% of natural fibres must carry a warning on micro fibres. “If a garment came into the country and it was less than 50% natural fibres then a warning

needs to go on that garment to let people know what they are buying,” he told Rural News. “People don’t understand that when you go and buy a garment made from petro-chemicals, every time you wash it little beads of plastic come off and go into the waterway.” Smith told Rural News the petition was first launched in Italy by Giovanni Schneider, chief executive of the Schneider Group, an international natural fibre company. It was raised at an executive meeting of the International Wool Textile Board Schneider is now trying to get the petition

through Italy and he has challenged all the other member countries of the IWTO to get it brought into law in their own countries. “So that is what I am doing,” says Smith. “I met with the Campaign for Wool and the Minister for Agriculture last week and now I am dealing with MPI and getting the right vehicle and the right way to put it in front of government to get it made law. “It is hugely important we tell our consumers what their garments are made of and put a warning label on garments to say ‘this garment is not 100% natural and every time you wash it micro

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plastics will do down the drain and into our waterways’. “Every second day you see a whale or a fish being washed up with a stomach full of plastic and stuff. So it is really making people aware of what is going on in the marketplace. It’s part of an international campaign to draw attention to the issue.” The micro plastics can make their way through the food chain into human digestion. Smith says this is another way the Government can help the environment and he thinks it should sit high on the Green Party’s priority list. “They could say it was something that was good for the environment but also helping the wool growers of New Zealand. “The crossbred industry can do with all the help it can get at the moment.” He says it always astounds him that people lay synthetic carpets and let their children or babies on it with the amount of VOC (volatile organic compound) gases that are released. “Also we pride ourselves on having good sports teams and really

Craig Smith

looking after them but they all go out and play in plastic garments made from petrochemicals or synthetics. That is not good for the player or the environment. It astounds

me what they are doing.” The environmental qualities of wool need to promoted, he says. Wool is recyclable all the way through. “Wool has so many

benefits and we as an industry need to take responsibility and say we forgot to tell people how good wool is. “We need to take that on the chin.”

NZ GROWERS GET BEHIND CAMPAIGN ABOUT 80% of wool growers in New Zealand are paying a Campaign for Wool levy, says Craig Smith. “It is voluntary. With that money we are looking to get the best value we can,” he says. They have education programmes in America and are currently working with New Zealand Institute of Architects on an education programme on wool products

such as carpets, insulation and curtains. “It is great for the environment and it is great for people’s health as well.” Education programmes are being held for Year 6 and 7 children in North and South Island schools. Prince Charles has signed on as patron for another few years. “He does a lot more for us than people realise,” says Smith.

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18 AGRIBUSINESS

NZ organic milk in new Aussie formula PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

NEW ZEALAND milk will be used for a new certified organic grass-fed infant formula offering by Bubs Australia Ltd. Beingmate will be the distributor in China but in a partnership agreement with Bubs, not Fonterra. Bubs says it will be the first company to offer Australian made certified organic grass-fed infant formula, after entering into a supply agreement with Fonterra Australia to produce Bubs Organic new infant formula range. Fonterra will supply Bubs with organic milk powder, sourced from its organic milk pool in New Zealand, which will be manufactured at its plant

in Darnum, Victoria. The conditional supply agreement runs for an initial term until July 31, 2021. The Bubs Organic new range of infant formula will be available in Chemist Warehouse pharmacies throughout Australia within three months. Export to China’s crossborder eCommerce channel will follow shortly afterwards. Bubs recently bought Australia Deloraine Dairy, an infant formula plant that is approved by CNCA (China’s certifying authority). Pending approval the new range of formula may be physically distributed to China’s Mother and Baby stores. Kristy Carr, Bubs Australia founder and chief

executive says in a statement: “Premium product offerings are the fastest growing segment of the infant formula category, and we are now able to offer two nutritional options – organic and goat, to suit individual dietary needs. This will tap into the global consumer trend towards natural, sustainable and organic food production. “Bubs is a key player in

the goat dairy infant formula sector in Australia and has made inroads into China. It can now offer an Australian made certified organic grass-fed infant formula with both prebiotics and probiotics, in addition to Omega-3 DHA and Omega-6 ARA.” Bubs told the Australian stock exchange that it has agreements with Beingmate, Alibaba’s

Tmall and Chemist Warehouse. The joint venture with Beingmate is to distribute and promote Bubs goat and organic cow milk infant formula “throughout Beingmate’s network covering 30,000 Mother and Baby stories in China”. Bubs Australia holds a 49% interest in the joint venture which will run for an initial term of 10 years.

NUTRITION MARKETING CODE LAUNCHED THE INFANT formula industry has acted “with great responsibility and integrity” by revising its marketing code of practice, says the Infant Nutrition Council (INC) chief executive Jan Carey. The Code of Practice for Marketing of Infant Formula in New Zealand restricts the advertising and marketing of infant formula products for children up to 12 months of age. It was revised after INC applied to the Commerce Commission to extend the restriction that applied to products for children up to six months old. The INC represents most infant formula. Carey says they sought the restriction because they believed the improved health outcomes that would flow from it would outweigh the detriments arising from the lessening of competition between formula makers. “We recognised the importance of aligning the marketing practices of infant formula that is the sole source of nutrition for infants up to six months with breast milk substitutes for infants up to the age of 12 months. “The commission agreed, and their decision underlined exactly what the industry is trying to do – put the health of babies and mothers first. The industry has acted, in my view, with great responsibility and integrity by revising the code. – Pam Tipa


RURAL NEWS // MAY 21, 2019

AGRIBUSINESS 19

Dairy’s top woman backs recycling PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

DAIRY WOMAN of the Year Trish Rankin has a message for all farmers: recycling systems work and it is worth doing your bit. “There is a misconception that recycling just gets stockpiled somewhere,” Rankin told Rural News. “Actually, it doesn’t. Everything that is sent to AgRecovery gets recycled. I think if people knew that they may take the time to triple rinse their containers and take them to their local AgRecovery depot to drop them off to recycle.” Rankin was named New Zealand’s top dairy woman for 2019 by

“Farms use lots of products. A lot comes wrapped in plastic or stored in plastic. It is a bit concerning how much rubbish we created on our own farm so that is where my idea came from for my Kellogg project.”

Dairy Women’s Network on May 1. The teacher, mother of four, environmentalist and dairy farmer – with husband Glen – in South Taranaki has undertaken the Kellogg Leadership Programme this year. Her research project is: ‘How can a circular economy model be developed on a NZ dairy farm’. “Farms use lots of

products. A lot comes wrapped in plastic or stored in plastic. It is a bit concerning how much rubbish we created on our own farm so that is where my idea came from for my Kellogg project,” Rankin says. The Kellogg programme run by Rural Leaders Trust is to improve leadership skills through investigating and

MULTI-TALENTED, MULTI-TASKER and member of the NZ DEL network, Rankin is also chair of the Taranaki DEL group. In 2018 she was elected to the national executive for the NZ Dairy Awards and last year was selected as a NZ Climate Change Ambassador as part of Dairy Action for Climate Change. The Dairy Women’s Network trustee who heads the Dairy Woman of the Year judging panel, Alison Gibb, says “what impressed the judges was Rankin’s selfawareness, her preparedness to grow and focus her ‘make it happen’ attitude towards problem solving environmental issues.” The other finalists were Kylie Leonard who farms north of Taupo, Julie Pirie from Ngatea in Waikato and Southlander Emma Hammond.

Dairy Woman of the Year Trish Rankin.

researching a problem. “My problem was how I could improve my dairy farm waste? From that I looked around and saw what was happening around the world and in New Zealand. The Minister for the Environment is pretty big on introducing the ‘circular economy’ to New Zealand.” Instead of using a product then throwing it or the packaging away, the concept is to end up

with zero waste, through recycling, revamping or putting it back together in a new way. “My project was to start doing some of that concept on my own dairy farm and I have just finished the research and I am writing my report which is due in June to present in July to the Kellogg course. “So it is pretty exciting stuff. Lots of outcomes around what to do

with plastic and what we can do onfarm so things don’t have to be stored in plastic or wrapped up in so much plastic. “But also making sure those awesome places like AgRecovery and Plasback get their messages out on what you can recycle because I think if farmers actually knew how easy it is they would do it a lot better,” Rankin says. “There is a huge

amount of misinformation and a real lack of good quality education out there not just for farmers but the general public on recycling. “So, what can we do, how can we improve it, what can farmers and manufacturers do better, what do retailers need to do better? I am addressing all of those things in my report.” @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

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RANKIN AND husband Glen have been farming for about 18 years and are starting their third season as sharemilkers on a 143ha Parininihi ki Waitotara (PKW) farm milking 450 cows in South Taranaki. Rankin balances teaching part time at Opunake Primary School and being onfarm full time with Glen and their four boys, aged six to 14. Rankin says she is both a farm assistant and chief executive of their farming business, having learnt over the years to milk, drive tractors, feed stock and do fences as well as sort out the health and safety and human resources. She came from a townie background and had never been on a farm until Glen went farming. An active Dairy Enviro Leader (DEL)


RURAL NEWS // MAY 21, 2019

global agribusiness research analysts sharing market outlooks

20 MARKETS & TRENDS

Rabobank supports clients from farm to fork in

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

Outlook remains positive Dairy THE LAST of the summer heat combined with minimal rain in parts of the country has made an impression on New Zealand milk collections. Milk flows have pared back, with March 2019 milk production

behind 8% compared to the same time last year. This pulls season-to-date milk collections lower to 3.2%. In light of the sharp decline in milk flows for March 2019, Rabobank now expects full-season production to land closer to 2% YOY by the close

of the season. Commodity prices remain elevated as the supply crunch continues. US milk supplies were 0.4% lower for March 2019 YOY. Germany, France, and the Netherlands continue to act as a handbrake on European milk production, with February 2019 milk flows lower by 0.2% YOY. Australian supply is anticipated to plummet 8% YOY to a two-decade low. Rabobank expects commodity prices to remain elevated for Q2 as the supply crunch continues. New Zealand shipments of dairy to China reached new levels for March 2019. Exports for March 2019 saw the highest volumes shipped for the month of March, ever. Total shipments to China for the first

three months of 2019 are higher by 40% YOY. Based on our forecasts for global supply and demand across the coming 12-month period, Rabobank anticipates a milk price of NZ$ 7.15/kgMS for the new 2019/20 season.

North Island Bull Price

Beef RABOBANK EXPECTS farmgate prices to largely hold firm over the next month, with some upward movement possible on the back of strong market returns for manufacturing beef. Prices on both islands made steady gains through April, as improving export market returns started flowing back to the farmgate. At the end of April, the North Island bull price was 3% higher MOM, averaging NZ$ 5.15/kg cwt, while the

Zealand and Australia. The US imported beef price has primarily been driven by the supply and demand factors between these three countries. China’s recent emergence as a serious competitor for manufacturing beef has created a new dynamic in the global trade of this product, to the benefit of New Zealand (and Australia) producers. Heavy cattle supplies through February/March, when large parts of the

South Island bull price was up 5% MOM to NZ$ 4.95/kg cwt. These prices are largely on par with prices at this stage last year. Throughout 2019, competition from China for manufacturing beef has driven up the price for US importers to secure supply. The US imported beef price is now up 15% YOY. Traditionally, the US has essentially been the only major buyer of manufacturing beef from New

country started to dry off, has New Zealand’s cattle kill sitting up 5.7% YOY, as of 30 March. Slaughter data shows a strong beginning to the national dairy cow cull (up 7.5% YOY), and a particularly heavy bull kill in the South Island (up 13.9% YOY). Supplies have eased slightly in recent weeks, but with the national dairy cow cull still in full swing, processors should not find it difficult to fill capacity in the short term.

Sheepmeat RABOBANK EXPECTS some small upward price movement during May as declining availability of stock for slaughter increases procurement competition between processers. Farmgate prices lifted marginally through April,

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MARKETS & TRENDS 21

COUNTRIES

Content supplied by Rabobank – Grow with the bank founded by farmers for farmers continuing to trend upwards from midMarch when the seasonal peak in production saw prices hit a seasonal low point. At the end of April, the slaughter price in the North Island averaged NZ$ 7.30/kg cwt (3% higher MOM), while South Island lamb averaged NZ$ 6.80/kg cwt (1% higher MOM). The North Island slaughter price is now up NZD 0.10/kg cwt YOY, while the South Island slaughter price is

export volumes were up 6% YOY, while export receipts grew 9% YOY. The season-to-date average value of New Zealand’s lamb exports is NZ$ 10,637/tonne, up NZ$ 184/tonne on last season’s average value. Export data also reveals that New Zealand continues to redirect an increasing proportion of exports away from the EU, towards China and the US. From October to March, export receipts to the EU (including the UK) accounted for 37% of Zealand’s total export receipts (down from 48%), while export receipts to China accounted for 29% (up from 22%) and the US 14% (up from 10%).

down NZD 0.25/kg cwt YOY. This difference reflects the significant increase in South Island lamb supplies through March/April, with dry weather conditions over that period resulting in farmers offloading stock in large numbers. Export data for the first half of the 2018/19 season (October to March) shows solid growth for New Zealand’s lamb exports. New Zealand’s total lamb

Horticulture WITH NEW Zealand’s reliance on Australia as a key avocado export market and production growth occurring in New Zealand, diversification of export markets remains key. Chile’s

move into China, the world’s fastest growing import market, provides an example of market diversification in the face of rising production and competition. As New Zealand production grows and competition across the Southern Hemisphere heats up on production, quality of fruit, market access and a diversification strategy is key. With access now granted to China, New Zealand rightly sees China as part of this strategy. China is the world’s fastestgrowing avocado import market, off a low base, but still with a ten-year CAGR of 44% for imports to 2017. A decade ago, the US was the only story in town for Chilean avocado exports. But as avocado production has grown across Latin America, Chile has faced increasing competition in the US and has reacted well to this with a diversification strategy to new mar-

kets. Countries within the EU represent the largest growth market for Chile, but China is also rapidly expanding. Chilean production continues to grow with new plantings underway, and Rabobank expects this to continue in the medium term.

Exchange rate WE MAINTAIN our forecast that the NZ$ will fall to USc 63 within 12 months, as monetary policies in the US and NZ diverge. In the US, we still see no further monetary policy tightening in 2019,

with the OCR set to stay put at 2.5%. The minutes of the FOMC meeting on 19 & 20 March (released in April) show that muted inflationary pressures and downside risks to the economic outlook led the committee to remove all hikes for 2019 from the dot plot. In New Zealand, we think the next rate move is down. The RBNZ itself has clarified that it also now believes this. In late March, the Bank stated: “Given the weaker global economic outlook and reduced momentum in domestic spending, the

more likely direction of our next OCR move is down”. The likelihood of a cut was then increased by CPI data, which showed only a 0.1% QOQ and 1.5% YOY increase, a big downside surprise on both fronts. At USc 66.3 on 26 April, the NZ$ was down almost 3 cents since late March, as the market came to terms with the increased likelihood of a local rate cut. Rabobank forecasts the NZ$ to hit 63 US cents by March 2020. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 21, 2019

22 OPINION EDITORIAL

EDNA

Killing the golden cow? TARGETS PROPOSED for cuts to methane in the Government’s Zero Carbon Bill have left the agricultural sector aghast at just exactly how it will meet these targets without the necessary technologies or major culls to livestock numbers. The bill, backed by Labour, NZ First and the Greens, is due to go before a select committee in June and proposes reducing methane by 10% from 2017 levels by 2030 and 24-47% by 2050. Farm sector leaders say achieving this goal would only be possible if science were able to deliver methane-shrinking technologies such as inhibitors for cows and sheep. However, these are not yet available. Beef + Lamb NZ, DairyNZ, Deer Industry NZ and Federated Farmers have all condemned the 2050 methane target as being far too draconian. They say that without the necessary methane reducing technologies farmers and the NZ economy will suffer grave economic consequences. Farming groups are arguing that the sector should not be required to reduce its current contribution to warming because carbon emitters in transport and other sectors are not being asked to do that. BLNZ says being asked to do that isn’t fair. It insists the goal for all gases should be “no additional warming”. BLNZ spokesman Jeremy Baker points out that if methane inhibitors were to arrive on the scene the organisation would be happy for the 2050 target to be revised upwards. “At moment the only option is to reduce livestock numbers.” The Government’s methane targets appear to be drawn from a range of calculations in an IPCC report that said countries must cut methane by 35% by 2050. Climate scientists generally agree that methane does not need to fall to zero or even close to zero to reduce warming. Farmers will also not have the option of offsetting methane via carbon sequestration, ie planting trees, which other industries will have in reducing their emissions. As BLNZ argues, it’s unfair to ask farmers to help reduce their warming from methane unless getting to negative emissions by CO2 capture is also part of the picture. The way the proposed livestock methane target reduction looks now it is very much a case of the Government killing the golden goose – or more correctly the cow, sheep and deer – of the NZ economy. That would indeed be a pyrrhic victory for the Government and the country as a whole.

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

“We’re recycling methane, cutting out fossil fuels, and converting to wind power all in one process!”

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

THE HOUND Jobs for the boys YOUR CANINE crusader has yet more to report from his growing list of ‘Landcorp fails’. The latest comes in a new political appointment to the failing state farmer’s board of directors. Late last month, the SOE put out a media release stating: “Landcorp Farming Ltd’s (Pamu) shareholding ministers have made a new appointment to the board. Doug Woolerton will join the board from 1 May …”. However, what the media statement failed to mention is that the two ‘shareholding ministers’ are none other NZ First’s Winston Peters and Shane Jones and the new Landcorp director Doug Woolerton happens to be a past NZ First MP and long-time confidant of Peters. So much for the claims made by Peters who attacked the “brorocracy” of political appointments before entering Government.

Poacher/ gamekeeper THE RECENT announcement by Silver Fern Farms that Richard Young is the new chairman of the meat co-operative got this old mutt thinking this is a true case of ‘poacher turned gamekeeper’. According to the Hound’s recollection, Young first burst onto the scene as the leader of meat industry meat sector ginger group MIE and then got himself elected to the board of SFF as a representative of this group. However, much to the disappointment and criticism of his former MIE mates, Young seemed to quickly become inculcated by the SFF board and towed the company line and not MIE’s. Your old mate reckons there will be much gnashing of teeth about Young’s promotion by whatever is left of the MIE rabble.

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

No idea

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A MATE of the Hound reckons it is rather ironic – and totally appropriate – that the failing Australian-owned and controlled Stuff media group (which is up for sale) is using a dairy farmer who went pear-shaped as a font of all knowledge in its fast disappearing farming pages. As your canine crusader’s informant points out, the Aussies made such a ‘Stuff’-up of their farming publications in NZ that they killed them off last year and now they have a guy who went broke pontificating about how farmers and the agriculture sector in this country should succeed. Your old mate suggests it is a case of the blind leading the blind and reckons this little-heard-of farming ‘expert’ is about as successful as Stuff’s former farming publications in this country.

FONTERRA HAS copped a fair bit of stick from the Hound over the years. However, on this occasion your old mate would like to give the dairy co-op some well-deserved praise. It has changed a tanker collection time so that 35-year-old Andrew Oliver (one of about eight people in the world living with Fryns-Aftimos syndrome) can keep to his nightly routine of watching the tanker collect his dad Ken’s milk before going to bed at a decent time. Apparently, Andrew, whose mental age is about six, would not go to bed until the milk tanker had been -- a problem when the collection time was 2am. However, after his dad phoned Fonterra’s call centre to explain the family’s problem, the co-op decided to change its entire milk tanker schedule in the Te Rapa district to oblige.

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 // MAY 21, 2019

OPINION 23

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Could quads be on the way? A STOUSH is brewing in the quad arena in Australia. Honda and Yamaha say they will stop selling quads if recent recommendations made by the Australian Competition and Consumer Authority (ACCA) are brought into law. Such law would require that within 12 months all quads would need to comply with certain engineering standards, and within 24 months they would have to be fitted with operator protection devices (OPDs) aka crush protection devices. Yamaha Motor Australia director Brad Ryanif claims, “the science behind these draft recommendations is both faulty and selective”. He says rider behaviour as easily the biggest contributing factor to quad safety. Ryanif’s claims are backed up by the three latest coronial inquiries that concluded, “enforced behavioural standards, rather than product modifications, are the solution”. Honda Australia has said much the same, calling on the Government to mandate the wearing of helmets and to make it illegal for under 16-year-olds to ride adult-size machines. Robert Toscano, managing director of Honda AU, believes the ACCA is essentially ‘experimenting’ with farmers’ lives, given that the automotive industry’s modelling and research has indicated there is no net benefit from the use of OPDs on quads. “The results showed at best that fitting an OPD offered a 50:50 chance. For every injury or fatality it prevents it can cause another one.” Toscano said no reputable company can meet a proposal that lacks engineering and design rigour. “Any company that tries to meet the standard will be open to the conclusion that it is playing with farmers’ lives,” he said. Interestingly, the chair of Australia’s Farmsafe committee, Charles Armstrong, described the com-

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ments of Honda AU and Yamaha AU as infantile. But he also said, “Last month, two Australian families lost a child to quad bike accidents”. Which raises the question, what was a child doing riding such a machine? In New Zealand, where WorkSafe has said it will make a major announcement on quads later this month, the manufacturers, Motor Industry Association (MIA) and Federated Farmers remain opposed to the mandatory fitting of OPDs. Manufacturers have declined to comment on a situation that is “not on the table for discussion in NZ at the moment”. MIA chief executive David Crawford says the manufacturers his organisation represents are correct in not passing comment, given that there is no data to confirm that there would be a net safety gain. He said that of the devices on the market, he knew of none that had been independently tested to provide such data. Crawford says the devices being marketed are bolt-on and they do not meet any design, engineering or fitment standards because none exist. Most such devices are made for fitting to a machine’s rear carry rack which is usually made from smallsection box steel and has a load capacity of 40 - 60kg. Crawford says that while OPDs are usually well within this limit, the dynamic forces during a quad roll –

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particularly at speed – exceed these ratings by many times. “We believe there are better ways of governing safety, including the compulsory use of high-quality helmets, initial and ongoing training, far better maintenance, selecting the most appropriate machine for the job and keeping youngsters off full-size units.” However, the general manager of the Agricultural Leaders Health and Safety Action Group, Tony Watson, commenting on the opposition to fitting OPDs, said, “If you want to go and talk to a family who have lost a loved one on such a device, that appears to have [few] or no redeeming safety features, they won’t really care too much about data.” This brings emotions – rather than hard facts – right to the table. It also raises questions about the suitability of these machines for such tasks, given Watson’s comments which suggest he believes such machines are inherently unsafe. This writer believes it borders on reckless to promote devices that are not manufactured to a recognised standard. So it would be wrong to move and legislate this position until such a standard is set, following extensive independent testing. Also, fitting such devices restricts ‘active riding’ of quads, a technique required to deal with changing terrain.

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 21, 2019

24 OPINION

A defence or just more hot air? WINSTON PETERS

THE REACTION to the Government’s announced climate change policy has been interesting to observe. On one hand some environmental purists have considered that the policy doesn’t go far enough. On the other, some agricultural sector groups, notably Federated Farmers, consider the setting of a methane target of 1% a year until 2030 too ambitious. Any government will say that if both sides of the spectrum are

unhappy with the policy then they’ve got it about right. So, too, with climate change. Nevertheless, it is useful to point out New Zealand First’s position when negotiating with our coalition and confidence and supply partners on developing an enduring response to the challenge of our changing climate. First off, we all have the sense that our weather patterns are disturbed. The intensity and frequency of storms create increasingly difficult challenges for both cities and the regions in

terms of risk and disaster recovery. As New Zealand’s Foreign Minister I am also acutely aware of our Pacific neighbours, for example, Tuvalu and Kiribati, experiencing climate change and rising sea level as existential threats. The last National Government presumably recognised this also by signing the country up to the Paris Agreement in 2016, thereby committing NZ to the goal of limiting global average temperature increases to 1.5° Celsius. The status quo, therefore, was seen as unten-

Winston Peters

able which is why New Zealand First sought in its coalition agreement with Labour the creation of an independent Climate Change Commission and the introduction of a (net) Zero Carbon Bill. We were pleased that

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the Climate Change Commission were stripped away. We listened carefully to the many thoughtful members of the agricultural sector and these discussions helped inform the position we took in negotiations. We also paid close attention to the raft of officials’ advice and the effective bovine-induced biogenic methane target, if projected out to 2050, of 26.7% landing squarely inside the consensus of multi-agency advice we received. While the response has been mixed to the Government’s climate change announcement, some of the rhetoric of agricultural sector leaders has been dangerously over the top. New Zealand First never lost sight of the fact that NZ’s contribu-

tion to global warming is a paltry 0.17%. While brand NZ is most certainly enhanced by our setting ambitious climate change targets -- and we firmly believe the country needs to exhibit leadership and do its share to try and limit global temperature increases -we’ve struck a balance that allows for a managed and predictable transition. To this end, New Zealand First is committed to assisting the agricultural sector through that transition with hugely discounted emissions costs, better tools and knowledge to help them manage emissions and other environmental factors, plus increased investment in R&D on ways to reduce emissions. • Winston Peters is Deputy Prime Minister and leader of New Zealand First.

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 21, 2019

26 NZ PLOUGHING CHAMPS

Ploughing in the mist Heavy fog added to the atmosphere of the 64th National Ploughing Championships, held recently at Chertsey, near Rakaia, in Mid Canterbury. Peter Burke reports. TRACTORS AND horses paraded to their respective plots on a cold foggy day and close to 50 plough men and women competed in four classes: conventional (silver plough), reversible, vintage and horse drawn. And a new class -- ‘contemporary’ -- was offered for people learning to plough. The event was held on Wilkinson’s farm and

attracted good crowds of spectators both days. As well as the ploughing there were demonstrations of old and new farm equipment, all attracting much interest. Colin Millar, New Zealand’s representative on the international ploughing body, says the competition paddocks were excellent and he praised the Wilkinson family and local organisers for this.

“The ground was very well prepared and in good condition,” Millar told Rural News. “This makes it more uniform which we try for so that all competitors are ploughing similar plots. “Sometimes the paddocks are lot smaller and they have different soil types or condition in different paddocks, whereas here they were all the same which was bril-

liant.” Local organiser John Davison and his team from the Rakaia Ploughing Match Association spent three years planning the staging of the Chertsey event. They asked Kate Wilkinson (a former National Party minister), whose family own the farm, if she would agree to holding the event there. “She said ‘yes’ and we

have been fortunate to have so much land available on a wonderful site. I have ploughed all over NZ and I have watched friends plough all over the world and it doesn’t plough any better than at Rakaia.” Davison says his team met regularly right up to the start of the competition but once the big event started the NZ Ploughing Association took over. His team was busy fixing broken gener-

ators, tractors, etc. Getting new members is a constant challenge for the ploughing association. It responded by introducing a new class – contemporary. NZPA president Willy Willets says this idea has proved a winner with four young people competing. Unlike the other classes, coaches were available on the day to help the new plough people improve their skills. “This event has been

a fantastic success. Many of the new farmers have produced very straight ploughing furrows, which can be very hard,” he explained. “Straightness is very hard for people to learn and to a degree you either have it or you don’t. Two or three of them have very good straightness for beginners. Talking to them afterwards I found them are keen and ambitious which is good going into the future.”

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NEXT YEAR the National Ploughing Championships will be held at Takapau, Central Hawkes Bay. Willy Willetts says the site is a good one and organisers from there were at Chertsey to see how this event was run. He feels very positive about next year. But not feeling so positive is Colin Millar, chairman of the World Ploughing Organisation. Next year the world championships are scheduled to take place in Russia at a site he says is a 3.5 hour train ride from Moscow. He’s due to go there at the end of June to look at the site and get a contract for the event signed by the Russians. “I am not looking forward to going but I know that when I come home I will have enjoyed it,” Millar told Rural News. “I am meeting the head steward from

Chairman of the World Ploughing Organisation Colin Millar.

Denmark and I’m going as world chairman to assess the site, which is a huge responsibility. If there are issues we will have to try to convince them that they need to fix them because it’s too late to organise another country now.”


RURAL NEWS // MAY 21, 2019

NZ PLOUGHING CHAMPS 27 Horses steal the show

Jess Cunliffe in action.

A happy contemporary ONE COMPETITOR in the contemporary class was Jess Cunliffe from Ashburton. A fourth generation farmer and recent Lincoln University graduate, she’s now working on a large arable farm in the district. Her parents have an arable and horticulture property where they grow asparagus, pumpkins and courgettes. Cunliffe normally drives large machinery and noted that the Ford tractor she was driving in the ploughing competition was about 200hp smaller than what she normally drives. “I got into this competition because they were advertising that they wanted more young people in it and dad wouldn’t teach me to plough. “So I thought these fellows would and here I am. I practiced at home before this but I have only ploughed in two matches. The soil is a bit fluffy but it’s gone alright I think and while I don’t have much experience compared with other people I am quietly confident.” Most competitors are male but Cunliffe is unfazed. She says ploughing is about precision, being technically correct and learning to read the furrows and adjust the plough accordingly. She hopes to spend a couple more years in the contemporary class before entering the main Silver Plough competition. “Dad raised us as perfectionists and we have to be just right. You are not going to get world ploughing championships on a margin of error,” Cunliffe says. Going to the world champs is on her long term agenda but she says she may do her OE then come back and compete.

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A FEATURE of the championships is the horse plough contest sponsored by Rural News Group. Six competitors vied for the attractive trophy – four from the South Island and two from the North Island. Competing for the first time was John Booth from Ashburton assisted by Jim Earl. Booth’s day job is shift engineer at the local freezing works and he owns 20ha near the town where he and his partner Gay run Clydesdale horses. These pull carts taking brides and grooms to and from weddings, participate at A&P shows and occasionally transport coffins for funerals. But one day while Booth was cutting chaff using horse power some friends suggested he have

Sharon and John Chenowyth, winners of the horse ploughing contest.

started ploughing and now I have the bug and have been doing it for the last 18 months.” Booth says his uncle, in his

a go at the ploughing. “The next day my mates brought me a plough, I went down to my uncle Bill’s place,

90s, loves to have him down on his farm with the horses practising his ploughing. When Booth left school he used to muster sheep on horseback but later moved to big machinery. But having been stricken with the ploughing bug he hopes to do more matches. “It’s been great, the comradeship between the old folk on the sideline and the horseman. We are all having a good time and that’s we are here to do.” Keeping a close eye on the horse ploughing was Ian Robb, the convenor and head steward of that class. His job is to make sure competitors stick to the rules and assist the judges if necessary on technical issues.

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 21, 2019

28 ANIMAL HEALTH

Udderly important research provides answers WHILE UDDERS are vital for lamb survival, surprisingly little research has been done on udder health. Massey University veterinarian Kate Griffiths sought to rectify the problem by leading a three-year trial looking at the impacts of udder faults on a sheep breeding system. Through the study, Griffiths also wanted to initiate a standard scoring system for udder health. She shared the early results of the trial at two B + LNZ Farming for Profit days in Canterbury recently. The study involved 1200 two- and fourtooth commercial Romney ewes run on a Massey University farm. These ewes were followed for three years and had their udders examined and scored four times annually for factors such as defects, symmetry, appearance and teat positioning, at pre-mating, set stocking, tailing and weaning. Lambs were matched to the dams and data such as lamb weights and survival to weaning was also collected.

What to cull for CULL: ewes with black mastitis, ewes with big lumps in the udder – especially at the bottom of the udder and ewes with rock hard udders. DON’T CULL: superficial lumps near the udder but not part of the udder (they can be golf-ball size lumps in front of the udder). These lumps are quite common at weaning (affecting 3.3% of ewes in the study) but disappeared post-weaning.

As part of the study, several commercial farmers and vets were also surveyed about their experiences with udder health. Griffiths says that while 85% of the farmers surveyed as part of the trial were actively examining ewe udders, the time, the method of examination and the factors upon which culling decisions were made differed widely. Preliminary results show that udder defects are important, and lambs born to ewes with lumps or hard udders are three to five times more likely to die. There was also a 5-35gm/day decrease in lamb growth rates

Lambs born to ewes with udder defects are three-five times more likely to die.

in ewes with diseased udders. Griffiths says that premating is a critical time to palpate udders and as part of the study an udder score given to each ewe proved to be a good predictor of lamb survival to weaning. Lambs born to ewes with hard udders had a 30% chance of dying while lambs born to ewes with lumps in their udders had a 40% chance

of dying. By comparison, lambs born to ewes with normal udders had a 12% chance of dying. This means there were much higher lamb mortality rates in ewes found to have defective udders at their premating check. Griffiths says that unlike dairy cows, sheep don’t respond well to treatment for udder problems so at this stage

culling is the best option. There is some suggestion that some udder problems are developing in the dryoff period post-weaning, so areas for further investigation include weaning management – particularly in early weaning -- and the impact of high lamb growth rates and alternative forages on udder health. The study found that

88% of ewes that were found to have udder defects at weaning still had those defects four to eight weeks later, but more defects also appeared in the flock and this highlighted the need to carry out a pre-mating udder and teat palpation to identify which ewes are likely to have poorer performing lambs. In the future, the study will look at the change in udder scores in

subsequent seasons, the economic cost of keeping or culling ewes with different udder scores, milk quantity and quality and histology of ewes with diseased udders and the economic viability of different treatment options. • The study was funded by Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Massey University and The C. Alma Baker Trust @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews


RURAL NEWS // MAY 21, 2019

ANIMAL HEALTH 29 BAN FOR EMACIATED SHEEP

Top price at the sale was $5000 for a 10-year-old cow .

Strong cow sale for Angus stud MEADOWSLEA STUD Angus, at Fairlie, says its third annual production cow sale saw solid demand from stud and commercial buyers at its onfarm sale on May 1. The annual draft, 10-year-old cows led the sale prices, with the top two old cows making $5000 each. Both sold to Piko-Burn Angus of Tuatapere. The young R2 stud heifers also sold strongly with a top price of $3300 to Wether Hills Angus of Dipton. Meanwhile, 40 heifers on offer made an average of $2300. All 93 stud females sold for an average of $2200, with 25 selling for stud transfer and the balance to commercial herds. Stud principal David Giddings said the sale was an endorsement of Meadowslea’s focus on fertility and maternal traits that drive all the profitability in any beef herd. “The 10-year-old cows have proven they are the right type of cattle for the hill country environment by producing a good, early calf every year and staying in good condition through droughts, snowstorms and everything nature can throw at them. “These old cows that have lasted the distance were all medium framed and deep bodied with only moderate growth figures, but all very strong in rib fat covers. Clearly, this is nature showing us what is the right balance of figures for this environment.” He says Meadowslea has focussed on breeding hill country cattle that will thrive and perform in adverse conditions. “We’ve selected for strong rib fat covers and have proven that these animals handle the harsh conditions much easier and produce at higher levels in a sustainable way.” Giddings claims selection over the last 25 years for easy doing cattle has led the stud in a different direction from most other Angus studs in Australasia and resulted in Meadowslea having some of the highest rib fat EBVs in the breed. “Now science has recognised there is a direct link between increased rib fat covers and better fertility in heifers and cows. This coupled with daughters of bulls that have bigger scrotal size results in heifers reaching puberty earlier and rebreeding earlier over their entire lifetime.” Meadowslea Angus has its annual bull sale on Friday June 21 and ‘Bull Walk’ open day on Tuesday May 21. Both events are being held on-farm, State Highway 8, Fairlie.

LATEST STORIES EVERY DAY Get up-to-date news at www.ruralnewsgroup.co.nz

A TAIHAPE farmer is banned from owning or being in charge of any livestock for five years after the deaths of dozens of ewes on his farm. William ‘Bill’ Chase (65) earlier pleaded guilty to four charges under the Animal Welfare Act, including two charges of reckless ill-treatment of an animal resulting in the animal’s death, when he was sentenced in the Palmer-

ston North District Court earlier this month. He was also ordered to serve three months community detention. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) says when its animal welfare inspectors responded to a complaint about the welfare of Chase’s animals in August 2017, they found 30 ewes in various states of decomposi-

tion as well as dying ewes, 22 of them so emaciated they had to be euthanised. One third (100) of the remaining ewes on the property were assessed by a veterinarian as having a body condition score of 1 or less. The code of welfare governing sheep and beef cattle requires that urgent remedial action must be taken to improve the condi-

tion of any animal in this state, or the animal must be destroyed humanely. MPI’s manager of animal welfare compliance, Gray Harrison, says the scene that greeted the MPI animal welfare inspectors was extremely unpleasant. Harrison says the situation could have been avoided if Chase had supervised and looked after his animals properly.

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 21, 2019

30 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

Holden’s big SUV adventure ADAM FRICKER

DETERMINED TO reinvent itself as an adventurous SUV brand, Holden recently invaded the far flung Chatham Islands, shipping in its entire SUV range and an army of motoring journalists. Holden’s reason for staging this brand reboot on the Chathams was a bit tenuous: it is claimed the Chatham Islands rose from the sea 65 million years ago, and this year Holden celebrates its 65th anniversary in New Zealand. Well, the numbers match. And if they wanted to mark this milestone with the big SUV adventure to end them all, they came to the right place. To be fair, they delivered on that goal. Before we boarded the Air Chathams Convair 580 turbo prop for the 2.5 hour flight, PR man Ed Finn said all 650 people on the islands knew Holden

was in town and “there’s a lot of positive chatter on the bush telegraph” about the impending invasion. The locals were looking forward to showing us the best the islands had to offer, and as it turned out that’s exactly what they did. Lying 860km due east of Christchurch and covering just 966 sq km way out in the roaring forties, the Chatham Islands aren’t just a “farflung outcrop of NZ” as Holden described the place. It feels like a different country. Indeed that’s how the locals seem to view themselves, referring not to “the mainland” but to “New Zealand”. Part of it, but – after at least 800 years of isolated habitation – not part of it. So, five briefly clean and shiny SUVs set out in convoy across the largest island, Chatham Island -- 90,000ha of mostly flat, low-lying country

Holden’s SUV range exploring the Chatham Islands. Inset: A 150-year-old stone cottage on Chatham Island.

where the vegetation is all hunkered down and bent to the brutal winds that howl in from the South Pacific. Dead rusted-out vehicles are a common sight, testament to the saltladen conditions. Luckily it was dry, as the Holdens were all running road rubber. The fleet consisted of the compact yet capable Trax, the mid-size Equinox, the big and brash Acadia, the Coloradobased Trailblazer – a true off-roader, and the smart

executive’s Calais Tourer – not a true off-roader. The roads are almost exclusively gravel and quite well maintained. All the cars handled them with ease, proving comfortable and capable. Off-road, the only vehicle that had trouble with the deeper ruts was the Tourer, lacking the approach and departure angles of the other cars and having only 142mm ground clearance. It’s a great all-road car though, with a 3.6L V6 engine supplying 235kW at 6800rpm and 381Nm at 5200 rpm

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to all four wheels on demand. The big Acadia shares the same engine and despite not being a true ladder-on-frame SUV like the Trailblazer, it cleared the off-road sections with all its bodywork and undercarriage intact. It’s a big rig and a real alternative to the Highlander. If it is too big for you, the mid-sized Equinox is also well suited to most Kiwi adventures. The Equinox is the most popular SUV in the General Motors global

vehicle range and is sold in 116 markets. Its 2.0L turbo petrol engine delivers 188kW of power and 353Nm of torque. Generally, it impressed in this harsh environment and is dynamically sound on all road types, with enough ground clearance for some light offroading. The compact Trax was a surprise, going where the 4WDs went despite only having 2WD. It is available in 4WD, but in the dry the 2WD went everywhere we pointed it, only bottoming out at speeds, umm, not suited to the conditions. The 1.4L turbo engine is a willing performer and the car felt solid and planted on gravel roads.

The only one the locals would have considered buying, largely because it was the only diesel and petrol costs about $3.50/L, is the Trailblazer. The Trailblazer LTZ has a 2.8L Duramax diesel engine with 147kW of power and 500Nm of torque in the automatic model. It runs a 6-speed automatic transmission with shift-on-the-fly 4WD and tows 3000kg. It felt more at home on the Chathams, capable of doing it all. Based on a truck, it felt substantial, grunty and durable – just what you’d need on the harsh, salty islands where vehicles go to die.

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 21, 2019

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS 31

‘D’ is for a very dear Doe! MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

THE SUCCESS of a recent UK auction of 1960s tractors should be a prompt to see what’s lurking in the gloom of your old machinery shed. At the Cambridge Vintage Auction, a 1968 Doe 130 tractor sold for GBP 71,000 (NZ$141,000) with an additional 5% buyer’s premium on top. The tandem tractor (serial number D663) was based on bringing together two well-known Ford 5000 tractors. The

auctioned machine was reckoned among the last of the 130s to be made. Its provenance was even more interesting. It was sold new to George Pryor, of Navestock, Essex. He was the farmer and inventor whose original concept led to the famous Doe Triple-D tractor. The 130 designation reflects the combined horsepower of the two 65hp Pre-Force Ford 5000 skid units. The first of these units was launched in 1964 when the Doe 130 retailed for

GBP2850 (NZ$5700). It was a roaring success, with 73 sold in 1965, of which 14 were exported. Production of the 130 ended in 1968 by which time 170 units had been built. Then demand dropped away as mainstream tractor manufacturers began selling their own higher horsepower machines. After 1968 only three new tandem tractors were built, in this case using Ford Force 5000 ‘skids’ of 75hp, resulting in the Doe 150 model. The original tractors

This 1968 Doe 130 tractor sold for $NZ141,000 at the Cambridge Vintage Auction in the UK.

emerged from George Pryor’s experiments in 1957 to bring together two Fordson Major tractors around a central pivot point. His large acreages of heavy Essex clay soils spurred him into developing a power-

ful 4WD tractor. The tractor performed beyond expectations and Pryor, then a customer of local dealer Ernest Doe and Son, received a visit from Ernest Charles Doe. They agreed to put the tractor into production.

The first production machines were based on Fordson Power Major ‘skids’ and launched in 1958 as the Doe Dual Power. In 1959 the tractors were re-badged as Doe Dual Drive, leading to the now familiar Tri-

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 21, 2019

32 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

Golden anniversary for machinery families MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

ANY COMPANY that has a 50-year relationship with a supplier is justified in feeling proud. One such company, Tulloch Machines, of Masterton, recently celebrated its golden anniversary with supplier Krone,

in Spelle, Germany, with a celebratory evening followed by a well-attended open day. Both family-owned companies, who operate closely together, have the same ethos in working with dealers and end users. The Tulloch-Krone story goes back 50 years,

when Graeme Tulloch was operating a retail machinery dealership and contracting business in Wairarapa. The machinery in use then centred on finger bar mowers and direct cut harvesters. This gear had limited output, and more critically had customers struggling with

long, wet grass and poor consolidation in the stack. That led to butyric fermentation and major effluent leaching problems. Tulloch took on the challenge to find a better system. In 1968, he travelled to the US to study wilted, fine chop harvesting systems, and he

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Tulloch Machines of Masterton recently celebrated its “golden anniversary” with German-based supplier Krone.

eventually imported a Gehl fine chop forage harvester. This led to increased efficiency and better consolidation but was hampered by the finger bar mowers’ inability to produce a large enough swath to make the most of the harvester output. So the following year, on the recommendation of an American contact, Tulloch set off on a six-flight trek to Europe, a trip he remembers his secretary told him cost more than her annual salary! Tulloch ended up in northern Germany at Spelle, the home of Krone, where he saw a new drum mower conditioner called the TM4/270. He struck a deal and despite the then Department of Trade and Industry not wanting to issue an import licence he brought the first shipment of machines to NZ. The mo-co combined well with the Gehl fine chop machines and quickly pushed up daily outputs to 45 acres/day, a huge improvement on the more typical 15 acres/day. Word travelled quickly

about the performance of the machines and the first shipment sold out fast. A second shipment of slightly smaller machines followed, arriving without the required import licence but selling quickly before the bureaucrats got wise to them. For 50 years Tulloch’s relationship blossomed with Krone, and Gehl, and by 1977 Tulloch commanded 60% of the NZ grass machinery market. Tulloch grew fast and TFM Ltd in 1976 opened new premises in Masterton. By then it was also importing grassland products from JF and Mengele. The business was sold in 1984 to AIC International (formerly International Harvester NZ) which was owned by the Australian Investment Corporation. By 1988 – and following the collapse of AIC in 1986 – the financial pressures had become too great for TFM Ltd, which went into receivership. A new business, Tulloch Farm Imports, was set up in 1989 by Graeme and David Tulloch and this bought the assets of

TFM Ltd. Over the next two to three years the new company thrived, buoyed by a general resurgence in farming. Graeme Tulloch retired ten years later, handing over the reins to his son John, now home from Denmark where for 13 years he had worked as an aircraft design engineer. Today, John Tulloch remains the managing director of Tulloch Farm Machines, leading a team of dedicated and experienced employees, some of whom have spent 25 years with the company. Things have changed a little since the first Krone TM4/270 mowers arrived. Notable new arrivals were the Big-M self-propelled mower and the Big-X selfpropelled harvester with up to 1200hp. Also there are Big-Pack and Comprima, large square and round balers, Swardro 14m rotary swathers, and of course – not forgetting where it all started – an extensive range of mounted mowers in multiple configurations. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 21, 2019

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS 33

A good read

100HP TRACTOR & LOADER

$82,900 + GST

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MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

FOR A good read on a dark winter night pick up Grass-Grain-Graeme: Tales of a Rural Entrepreneur by Graeme Tulloch. His 140 pages cover his early life and his start in agricultural contracting, then the founding of a successful machinery and import business now 50 years into its partnership with the German family owned company Krone. His story of dealings with the Department of Trade and Industry in the late 1960s and early 70s confirms his perseverance in getting to his required result. Writes Tulloch, “We found the Krone TM4270 mower conditioner was the ideal solution to dealing with our thick wet grass, so set about getting an import licence to run one in our own contracting business. It was declined. “After three equally unsuccessful meetings with Trade and Industry I headed down to Parliament in Wellington to

Graeme Tulloch’s book is an interesting read.

seek support from our local MP, Haddon Donald. “In the foyer of Parliament, I bumped into L.T. Daniell, a farmer and one of our contracting customers, who [heard] my predicament and said: ‘You had better come with me and meet the Prime Minister. It pays to talk to the butcher and not the block.” “The next thing I know we’re in PM [Keith]

Holyoake’s office, taking afternoon tea from a silver tray and being asked to tell my story. Twenty minutes later I’m back at the counter in the Trade and Industry office, where the required licence was handed over by the less than happy officer who had declined it a few hours earlier.” • Get a copy by contacting Tulloch Farm Machines, Masterton.

SIMA EVENT CHANGES ITS TIMING FRANCE’S SIMA farm machinery expo says it plans to change the timing of the event in response to feedback from exhibitors and international visitors. In the past it’s been held in February in odd-numbered years on the outskirts of Paris. But the next -- the 99th -- will take place in November 2020 (8-12) and from then on in November of even-numbered years. The organisers say “the change will fit in more logically with business decision-making cycles in Europe.” SIMA wants to run its event at the same time of the year as the German Agritechnica event that takes place in

Hanover in odd-numbered years. It is likely that SIMA, by running later in the year, will attract a bigger audience, as during this season in Europe work on the land is limited giving visitors more time to attend. Rural News understands his hasn’t pleased the organisers of Italy’s largest event, EIMA, held in Bologna on even numbered years. It is next scheduled for November 11-15, 2020 and will be vying for the same exhibitors as SIMA, meaning scaled-back displays and fewer international visitors unlikely to attend both events. – Mark Daniel

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 21, 2019

34 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS / RURAL TRADER

Square-off in the tractor market MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

JOHN DEERE and Mahindra have squared off in the US over the latter’s advertising claims. John Deere complained that its Indian rival had been exaggerating the number of trac-

tors it had sold. The National Advertising Review Board (NARB) in the US told Mahindra it should modify its claims to being “No. 1 selling tractor” and “over 2.1 million Mahindra tractors sold”, and that it should cease referring to “best warranty” and

“superior oil protection”. Deere complained to the National Advertising Division (NAD) in 2018, saying the “No. 1” claim was misleading and did not disclose the total number of tractors included as Mahindra and Mahindra-owned Swaraj branded products. It also

excluded certain vehicles from the definition of ‘tractors’. The NAD also recommended that Mahindra cease claiming “the industry’s best warranty”. But it did not preclude the company from making truthful claims for specific attributes of

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Mahindra has appealed the NAD’s recommendation to the NARB, which suggested that the “No. 1” claim be qualified with a clear disclosure of all the tractor brands involved and an indication of the time period to which the claim relates. Mahindra argued that

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 21, 2019

RURAL TRADER 35 DIESEL HEATER

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