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Questions over goat industry report. PAGE 14

New Holland extends hay and forage range. PAGE 39

Former rugby boss tackles climate change issues. PAGE 25




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Questions over goat industry report. PAGE 14

New Holland extends hay and forage range. PAGE 39

Former rugby boss tackles climate change issues. PAGE 25


Farmers flabbergasted SUDESH KISSUN

FARMERS ARE flabbergasted to learn that Fonterra borrowed money to pay dividends over the last few years. A Fonterra supplier meeting at Matamata heard that the board has now changed this policy: future dividends shouldn’t require the co-op taking on more debt. Federated Farmers Waikato president Andrew McGiven says it’s hard to fathom why this was done. “Maybe it was pressure to hit numbers for performance incentives,” he told Rural News. McGiven says for many farmers the worst business practice is to pay a perceived profit from debt. “It was interesting and alarming, to say the least, how over the last few years that dividend was paid: it was essentially borrowed money to pay these. “The directors present [at the meet-

ing] put up their hands to say this has now stopped and the company now needs to focus on making cash profits while decreasing debt.” The Matamata meeting was attended by directors Leonie Guiney and Andy Macfarlane. In 2015, Fonterra paid 25c dividend, in 2016 40c, in 2017 40c, and in 2018 10c. This year the co-op did not pay a dividend after posting a $605 million loss, mostly via writedowns of assets to the tune of $826m. A Fonterra spokeswoman told Rural

News that in past years its dividend “was funded through debt at times”. This approach has now changed, she says. “Previously, the dividend policy included the consideration of near term earnings projections, investment priorities, gearing targets and existing or likely market conditions that may impact Fonterra or our shareholders. “Our new dividend policy guidelines state that the payment of a dividend should not require our co-op to take on more debt or reduce our co-

An eye opener Pukekohe High School’s head of agriculture, Dave Matthews, is keen on getting students interested in agri and hort and opening their eyes to the career opportunities in the sectors. About 150 of the school’s 1600 students are in agri courses. Many are already exposed to the sectors, coming from farming families or local lifestyle blocks. Matthews says he spends a lot of time challenging students’ and their parents’ perceptions that agri or hort careers are not a good idea. The local MP for Hunua, Andrew Bayly (Nat.), and council people, are taking notice. So are several prominent local businesses. • See full story page 8.

op’s ability to service existing debt.” Last month, Fonterra also announced a change in strategy, moving away from supplementary global milk pools to a NZ-based milk pool. Fonterra chairman John Monaghan says the new strategy sounds simple and the best strategies often are. “Simplicity shouldn’t be confused with a lack of ambition,” he said. Fonterra’s earnings range forecast for 2019-20 starts at 15-25 cents/share. The five year plan is to achieve a target of 50c/share.

BOVIS COMPO OFF TO COURT A SOUTH Island farming couple whose farm was the first discovered with Mycoplasma bovis are taking legal action against the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). South Canterbury dairy farmers Wilma and Aad van Leeuwen claim that MPI’s compensation process has left them millions of dollars out of pocket. The country’s M. bovis outbreak was first reported on one of their farms in July 2017. The van Leewens claim they’re owed $3 million for animals killed under MPI’s eradication programme, with millions more in claims still to be filed. They say stock destruction isn’t the only cost of M. bovis. They claim they’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars gathering information for MPI, along with increased interest and overdraft payments. Last week, a judicial review was filed in the Wellington High Court on extending compensation to farmers. “MPI has made it clear right through that it considers that professional fees and bank charges should not be recoverable under the statutory scheme,” said lawyer Grant Cameron. “We say they’re wrong, so we’re asking guidance from the High Court.” MPI says it has already paid out $96.5m in compensation to farmers affected by M. bovis, but won’t comment further while the matter is before the courts.

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Fonterra must win back trust FIVE CANDIDATES


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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: Ovato Print CONTACTS Editorial: Advertising material: Rural News online: Subscriptions: ABC audited circulation 79,553 as at 31.03.2019

A CANDIDATE for the upcoming Fonterra board election says the co-op needs to get farmers back on board and regain their trust. Victor Rutherford, an equity partner in a 600-cow farm near Dargaville, believes Fonterra has the potential to be as successful as the small Waikato processor Tatua. “There’s an old saying: if you keep doing what you have always done and expect to get a different result, it’s not going to happen,” he told Rural News. “Fonterra is still strong but it needs to be reinforced to a level far beyond where we are now. “We must do this in order to get farmers back on board.” Rutherford says the co-op cannot afford to have “a waiting list of people” at Open Country Dairy (OCD), New Zealand’s second largest processor. “Tatua farmers aren’t on the waiting list at OCD. They are not unhappy, they love their co-op and are proud of what they have achieved. “I think Fonterra has the potential to be very similar.” Tatua last week announced a final payout of $8.50/kgMS, after retentions,

FIVE CANDIDATES are vying for two Fonterra directorships this year. Incumbents Andy Macfarlane and Donna Smit retire by rotation and are re-contesting. The other three candidates are Philipp Haas, Cathy Quinn and Victor Rutherford. Apart from Rutherford, the other four candidates all took part in the independent assessment process. Rutherford is a self-nominated candidate with the written support of at least 35 farmer shareholders. Voting starts October 15 and closes 10.30am on November 5. Results will be announced later that day.

Victor Rutherford is the only self-nominated candidate running for the Fonterra board.

for last season -- $2.15 more than Fonterra’s final payout of $6.35. Tatua’s earnings equated to a payout of $9.66/kgMS, of which $1.16/ kgMS was retained by the co-op. Rutherford says Tatua’s results show farmers need “more than just change”. “It’s aspirational and uncomplicated that Tatua can return $6 in a

$3.90 year… and now Tatua is paying $8.50 after retaining $1.16, when Fonterra is paying $6.35. “Farmers need more than just change... I have a strong determination that Fonterra needs to be better than even our new strategy suggests.” Rutherford, a dairy farmer for the last 23 years, believes his business background and farming knowledge

“would add some perspective to the decisionmaking process on the board”. He is a strong believer in Fonterra farmers holding 100% ownership and control of the co-op. “That’s my main motivation. If our co-op isn’t there OCD will be setting the rules. Fonterra cannot fail. Whatever it takes we must get farmers back on board.”

Edna’s inspiration passes on MALCOLM EVANS

‘EDNA’ HAS died. May Mossman, my last link to the smell of Pennyroyal and newly sawn macrocarpa, to shearing sheds, wool bales, lanolin, freshly cut hay, dust, diesel, the rattle of sheep dags — and the inspiration behind the Rural News cartoon character Edna -- has died. As kids we grew up on stories of magical Matiere in the King Country. There our Mum, on holiday from Auckland, rode in a gig to dances and served country kitchen scones with

plum jam and cream at haymaking time -- when hay was stacked not baled, cows were milked by hand and candles and kerosene lamps lit her way to bed. And when we were old enough, by trains from Tauranga via Paeroa and Frankton Junction, we got to go there too and that’s where I first met May. A daughter of the King Country, May Richardson married Jim, my Mum’s cousin, in the 1950s. Together, carrying on their respective families’ long association with the King Country, they farmed and raised a family

there and were stalwarts of its community. Matiere is now almost deserted, but the little church on the hill where May and Jim were married is still there. Except that now, instead of the sound of hymns, it hums to the sound of a craftsman woodworker making the iconic Solvej baby swings which are exported to the world. Holidays on “the farm” at Matiere – with their mix of fun and farm work, horse riding, ragwort grubbing, eeling in the river and rabbit shooting – were all that our Mum had told


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us they could be, and with the added interest of things boys can get up to were made even more unforgettable. But it was my memories of unforgettable May toiling in that environment that came bubbling up when 40 years ago I came to create a character who reflects so much of what rural women have meant to farming in New Zealand. Passing peacefully last week, May of Matiere, the stoic Mossman matriarch, was in her 96th year. • See Malcolm Evans’ latest Edna cartoon page 26



China still hungry for NZ dairy SUDESH KISSUN

DEMAND FOR New Zealand dairy products should remain solid despite China’s mixed economic outlook, says Imre Speizer, Westpac. He says China’s dominance as an export destination, particularly for whole milk powder, has been evident in official monthly trade data for some time.

Stats NZ figures for August confirm the trend of rising dairy export volumes since 2016, with China now importing about as much as it did at the previous peak in 2013. Speizer says while the outlook for China’s economy is mixed, consumers are still buying dairy products. “The outlook for China’s economy is mixed: over the remainder of 2019 we expect the pace of activity to slow further, but over the long term its var-

ious stimulatory initiatives should prove supportive. “Against this backdrop, consumer activity has held up well, China so far sucWestpac’s Imre Spreizer cessfully engineering a rebalancing of the economy towards domestic consumption.” Last week’s Global Dairy Trade

(GDT) auction also reflected increase demand from China. The GDT auction resulted in little change to prices overall: the price index rose 0.2%. The key export product, whole milk powder, fell 0.2%. But Speizer notes that the multimonth trend in whole milk powder prices remains positive, with a total gain of 5.8% since bottoming in July. Prices overall have been fairly stable since June, the headline index now sit-

ting at the three-year average. Whole milk powder at $3141 is slightly above the three-year average of $3060. Westpac is maintaining its payout forecast at $6.50/kgMS. Fonterra’s payout price range remains unchanged at $6.25-$7.25/kgMS. Futures markets for the milk payout are now pricing $6.85, up from $6.75 last month ago but about the middle of the $6.65-$6.95 range prevailing since June.

$31k Californian junket for PSC members DAVID ANDERSON

TAXPAYERS FORKED out at least $31,000 sending Primary Sector Council (PSC) members to an agribusiness bootcamp at Stanford University in California, USA, in July. This disclosure follows an official information (OIA) request by Rural News to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) on August 1, 2019 enquiring about PSC spending and costs. The answers were at last provided on September 20 (a day after the September 24 issue of Rural News had gone to print), following MPI requesting an extension of the official OIA 20-working day limit on August 27. MPI confirmed that a total of $31,270 was spent sending three PSC members – chair Lain Jager, Steve Smith and John Rodwell – to the Te Hono Stanford Bootcamp. It also confirmed that fellow PSC members Nadine Tunley, John Brakenridge and Steve


WT 200

WHO MAKES UP THE PSC? THE 15 member PSC is chaired by former Zespri chief executive Lain Jager. It’s 14 other members are Nadine Tunley, Puawai Wereta, Tony Egan, Julia Jones, John Brakenridge, Stephanie Howard, Mark Paine, Julian Raine, Neil Richardson, Mirana Stephens, John Rodwell, Steve Saunders and Steve Smith. According to MPI, council members are paid a daily rate of $800 for the chair, $500 for members and $650 for members acting as chair or leading a sub-group.

Saunders also attended … “but not in their capacities as PSC members”. The PSC was set up in April 2018 by the Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. At the time, O’Connor claimed… “This group of agribusiness leaders aims to help the primary sector get more value from its work by providing strategic advice on issues, opportunities and challenges facing the primary industries and developing a sector-wide vision guiding strategies....” But 18 months since its formation the PSC has yet to deliver anything

tangible. Rural News’s OIA request also enquired after “the reasoning, rationale and cost analysis behind the decision to send members of the PSC to attend Te Hono Stanford Bootcamp”. “The Te Hone Stanford Bootcamp is an annual week-long intensive programme held at Stanford University for people in chief executive and other senior governance positions in the primary sector,” MPI replied. “The Te Hone (sic) Stanford Bootcamp presented an opportunity for

the PSC to engage around 70 senior leaders representing around 25 of the largest food and fibre companies in New Zealand,” the ministry added. “They discussed the forward vision and action plan for New Zealand’s primary sectors, given the changing environment. This collaborative discussion among sector leaders was recommended as a way of building on prior sector engagement and gaining commitment to the vision.” MPI claims the cost of attendance by the members was included within the annual PSC budget. Meanwhile, MPI has also confirmed that the total expenditure on the PSC from April 2018 to August 2019 was “approximately” NZ$363,000 (GST inclusive). “This represents costs invoiced to MPI and excludes MPI secretariat salary costs as these are funded from MPI’s baseline budget,” the ministry said. @rural_news


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NEWS 5 Farmer morale low – MP



NEW ZEALAND IS the only country actively considering a compulsory price on biological greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from agriculture, the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) confirms. This was indicated in an international review of agricultural policies commissioned by the Interim Climate Change Committee, MfE says, in answer to questions from Rural News. “However, that is not to say that other countries are not directly or indirectly regulating emissions from their agricultural sectors.” It claims the option has been discussed repeatedly overseas, most recently in Ireland. The Government recently consulted on policies to reduce emissions from agriculture, MfE says.  The key proposals consulted on were:

THE PARIS Agreement does recognise the importance of food security, preserving our food systems and ensuring our global food production systems are resilient to the impacts of climate change, MfE concedes. “However, the agreement also states that developed countries should continue taking the lead by undertaking economy-wide absolute emission reduction targets and that developing countries should move to economy-wide emission reductions targets over time.  This includes emissions reductions in the agriculture sector.”



From 2025, pricing livestock emissions at farm level and fertiliser emissions at processor level. In the interim either a price on all agricultural emissions at processor level via the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) from 2021 or a formal sector/ Government agreement to deliver a workable and effective farm level pricing scheme by 2025. “Consultation on poli-

cies to reduce agricultural emissions has finished. The Government is currently considering feedback from consultation. Final decisions on agriculture have yet to be made.” Several of NZ’s global competitors have adopted GHG emission targets specifically for agriculture, or targets for gases generally not covered by existing ETS -- such as the target of a 30% reduction in non-ETS emissions across the EU by

2030, MfE claims. “Some of those countries have implemented market based mechanisms for agricultural GHG or afforestation schemes on agricultural land (eg Australia, California, several Canadian provinces). “But these currently mostly function as voluntary offset schemes which limit their uptake. “Most of NZ’s key competitors in western Europe and North America have stringent targets and policies to limit pollution from nitrates, phosphorus and ammonia, driven by national policies and targets. “Constraints on these pollutants drive production efficiency and indirectly limit GHG and/ or production increases. Several countries including China employ price mechanisms for these pollutants (such as taxes and trading schemes) as well as limits.”

NORTHLAND NATIONAL MP Matt of meetings all over the country in King says he has never seen farmer smaller towns,” he said. “The minister needs to front up to morale so low. “Depressed, under pressure, made these meetings, telling people exactly to feel ashamed of their profession -- what they are proposing to do because there is a lot of misinformation and a you name it,” he told Rural News. This follows a recent farmer pro- lot of people don’t understand what is going on -- what is protest at Ruawai, whose posed.” organiser Mark CamKing says only one eron hopes will go meeting on water had nationwide. been scheduled for One farming consulNorthland -- in Whantant King spoke to says garei. she is dealing with cli“What is written ents every day who are into some of those depressed and unhappy discussion documents over what is happening is pretty scary stuff. and the portrayal of The Zero Carbon Bill, farmers in the media. for instance, has limits “Some people are which no farmer will saying it is like never Northland MP Matt King. ever be able to meet, before, like an unprecedented attack on rural New Zealand.” with no tools to allow them to do One older farmer told him it was it. The only way they can do it is cut worse than when farm subsidies were production. That makes no sense,” he claimed. withdrawn in the 1980s. “We are the most efficient low “The Paris Agreement has a clause that exempts food production. No emissions profile producers of animal other country is even talking about protein in the world. If we cut our proputting agriculture into their emis- duction a less efficient producer will sions trading schemes,” King told take up the slack. And therefore overall global emissions will go up. That is an Rural News. “We are the only one. That will put undeniable logical fact. I don’t know us at a massive disadvantage if none how they can counter that. “We want some balanced conversaof our trading partners are doing the tion, we want urban people to undersame. “In fact many of our trading part- stand what is coming at them. It is not ners subsidise their farming industry, only rural people who will be hit by but we don’t. Not only will we be being this water thing. The zero carbon thing taxed an additional tax, we also will will hit us more than anyone else. But be competing against others who are the water proposal is massive for the whole country. subsidised.” “A lot of people think ‘oh the farmKing also believes the proposed water reforms don’t need to be rushed ers can pay’ but in fact some of the city areas are way worse and will be hit to through. “There needs to be more time, the tune of billions of dollars.” – Pam Tipa more consultation and a whole range

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Danger looms for UK and Irish UK and Irish farmers are united in their concern about the way the Brexit negotiations are heading, with a no-deal looking a real possibility. Every day in the UK and Ireland, Brexit is on the front page of most newspapers. Rural News senior reporter Peter Burke reports from Ireland. JUST LAST week, leading Irish diplomat Michael Collins was quoted in The Irish Times newspaper as saying the critical border issue between the north and south of Ireland was “blissfully ignored” during the referendum. But despite the criticism being heaped on him, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson seems resolute on leaving the EU on October 31. This has sparked a strong response from the presidents of the Irish Farmers Association and the UK’s National Farmers Union who met at

the recent 88th National Ploughing Championships in Co Carlow Ireland. They told Rural News it is very worrying for the farmers they represent. Minette Batters, of the NFU, says her organisation has been working hard to ensure Prime Minister Boris Johnson understands the challenges of agriculture. She was pleased Johnson came to Dublin for talks with the Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, despite Varadkar having said after the meeting that there is still a “very

wide gap” on Brexit. Batters hopes that despite this Johnson will better understand the implications of Brexit for agriculture. “This is getting very dangerous now. It’s now approaching the 11th hour of these negotiations and time is not on our side,” she said. “Building the Prime Minister’s understanding in the complex area of trade is going to be a challenge. It’s about getting him to commit to an orderly departure and the no-deal has to be taken off the table.”

Irish farming head Joe Healy and UK counterpart Minette Batters at the Irish ploughing champs.

Batters says the NFU has been working hard, ever since the referendum, to ensure Britain leaves the EU in

an orderly manner and maintains free and frictionless access to the EU market. This must be achieved, she insists.

“These are worrying times for farmers in Ireland and England – who I represent – because there is no certainty. There is



a crisis in the beef industry in both countries and that is primarily due to the uncertainty Brexit has created,” Batters said.




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farmers “We want an end to the uncertainty and to the politicisation of Brexit. We want to do the right thing for farmers and the right thing for consumers.” Irish Framers Association president Joe Healy, who has strong New Zealand connections (he has relatives here), claims certain parts of the Irish agricultural sector could face “armageddon” if Brexit is not sorted out properly. He agrees with Minette Batters that a deal should be worked out that is fair to Irish and UK farmers. Healy says the challenge for Irish farmers is that the EU is negotiating on their behalf and they have no direct say in the negotiations. “From an Irish farmer’s point of view we have tried to keep agriculture

to the top of the political agenda, be that with the EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier or other EU leaders,” he said. “No country has the potential to be as badly affected as Ireland because of our close trading relationships with the UK. For example, 50% of the beef we export goes to the UK so it’s a crucial market not only for Ireland but also for the EU.” Healy points out that $70 billion of agri food products from the EU go into the UK every year and if, for some reason, that was stopped and these products remained in the EU it would decimate the EU markets. Healy believes – not unexpectedly – that for NZ, the issue of lamb exports will be a challenge in the present NZ/ EU FTA.

NEW ZEALAND PLOUGHING ON WITH BREXIT PLANS WHILE ONLY 300 people were involved in the actual ploughing, a record 297,000 people were busy browsing the 1700 sites at the 88th National Ploughing Championships at Fenagh, County Carlow over the three days. While most sites were occupied by machinery companies, there was also a strong political presence – much like NZ’s National Fieldays. The various political parties were busy wooing voters and there was a parade of leading politicians. President Michael D Higgins opened the event and, unlike NZ, the church leaders had a major role in the opening ceremony. A cardinal and two bishops of different churches took 15 minutes to bless the event and the site. They were also credited with being responsible for the best weather ever at the event. NZ had a strong presence too, with its site acting as a hub for NZ companies exhibiting. A standout number of sites offered farmers advice and updates on Brexit. Specialist staff were on hand to talk to farmers

NZ meat industry special envoy on Brexit Jeff Grant.

about potential problems over Brexit. Observing this was the NZ meat industry’s special envoy on Brexit, Jeff Grant. He says there’s no doubt confusion exists about what the impact will be on October 31 if Britain leaves the EU as planned. Grant says NZ, like everybody else, is waiting to see if the British Government can find a solution to the Irish backstop or border issue, which is a fundamental problem. “Brexit is 24/7 in London. Every

day the news reminds you of the effect of the impasse of Brexit and this is starting to have an economic and social effect,” he told Rural News. “While some may see the antics as black humour, this is about the future of this country (UK) and how it trades and for NZ it’s important that we are seen as part of that new trade opportunity.” While the focus remains on Brexit, Grant says the spotlight is now on the new EU Commission which takes office on November

1 following the EU parliamentary elections which were held in late May. The EU parliament must now get to know and brief new EU MPs so that they understand the issues affecting the NZ red meat sector. The EU parliament must also know the composition of the agricultural and trade committees likely to play a crucial role in the shape of the NZ/EU Free Trade Agreement. “The European Parliament is something we have to understand because the EU Commission make recommendations on free trade agreements and they go to the 750 members of the EU parliament,” Grant told Rural News. “They have to vote in favour of that FTA and we have seen a shift in the EU parliament in the last election, with more Greens and people from the far right sitting in that parliament. It’s going to make it more difficult because the middle ground is not as strong as it was in favouring NZ.” But Grant says NZ is seen as a good country to do a deal and work with and he is still confident of a positive outcome to a FTA.

1/10/19 10:38 AM



Eyeing up ag’s opportunities MARK DANIEL

IN AN electronic world, getting teenagers interested in careers in agri-

culture or horticulture is an uphill struggle. And all the more as the rural-urban divide seems to be widening. So it’s good news that

one teacher is thinking outside the circle, with a Pathway for Students to Agriculture and Horticulture. Dave Matthews, a

native of northeast England, started out teaching in low-decile schools in south London before migrating to New Zealand in 1999. He first

The ag and hort sectors offer huge career opportunities, says Dave Matthews.

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taught in south Auckland and north Waikato. He became head of agriculture at Pukekohe High School in 2017, inheriting a department ‘treading water’ at best. He set about getting children interested in agri and hort, key industries in the immediate area. His course now has about 150 students (year 10-13) from the school’s 1600 roll. Many students already know about the sector, coming from farming families or the many lifestyle blocks in the area. Others choose the subject as they don’t always do well studying the three Rs. At the start of their journey, year 10 students are given a general taste of ag and hort, learning why they are important to the area and broader NZ. They also look at plant science and get to grow crops from seed to harvest in growing units set up on the school premises. “As well as the classroom stuff, we like the kids to get their hands dirty,” Matthews told Rural News. “But most of all they learn transferable skills. “Even if they don’t pursue a career in the sector, maybe in later life they will end up with a vegie patch at the bottom of the garden.” During the school year, students go on many field trips, eg to local dairy farms to look at milk production, and collect native seeds on Awhitu Peninsula. In due course, these are propagated at the school and end up on local farms to help landowners do riparian planting or create wildlife reserves. The studies are aimed at “opening students’ eyes to the possibilities in the sector,” said Matthews.

Year 11 students visit properties such as Limestone Downs, a commercial sheep farm near Port Waikato. There they do day-to-day husbandry tasks such as ear tagging, drenching and tail docking. As one would expect of the Pukekohe location, much of the course content is the food chain, with a focus on plants, fertiliser and soils. Matthews says he spends a lot of time challenging students’ and their parents’ perceptions. They don’t always consider an agri or hort career viable. His endeavours have drawn the attention of the local MP for Hunua, Andrew Bayly (Nat.), council people and, importantly, several prominent local businesses now offering workplace experience. Older students spend one day per week for 10 weeks working in these businesses, experiencing day-to-day operations and learning, for example, fork truck operation, UTV driving and health and safety. Students have found work in the sector after leaving school and have gone on to technical and mid-management positions locally, NZ-wide and overseas. “The students just need their eyes opened to the opportunities out there, in many cases using technologies that other industries only dream about,” Matthews said. “My job is to show them what they can aspire to. In some cases that means pupils... can get more hands-on skills and really shine.” Matthews says not many NZ schools teach agri subjects and those which do are usually rural. @rural_news



Farmers urged to be vigilant SUDESH KISSUN

THE $750 million New Zealand pork industry needs farmers’ help to keep out the deadly African swine fever virus. NZ Pork wants farmers to review their on farm biosecurity precautions especially on farm workers returning from countries confirmed with AFS. Farmers have been told to look into arranging no-contact time and standdown periods for workers when they return from overseas, NZ Pork chief executive David Baines told Rural News. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the virus has spread to 11 Asian countries, including the Philippines, after decimating the pork industry in China. NZ Pork says the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) recommends to all countries that the way to prevent the spread of ASF is for workers and visitors to stay away from pigs for at least five days after returning from overseas. Additionally no pork products of any kind – local or imported – should

Key points... ●●

African swine fever outbreaks have been confirmed in 11 countries including South Korea and East Timor


Pork supply in China is diminishing, driving pork prices to record highs


Pork shortage across Asia will drive demand for higher imports of protein into the region.

be brought onto a pig farm. Baines says experienced international farm workers, including those from the Philippines, play a large and positive role in NZ’s agricultural sector and work right across the country. “We’re asking farmers and their staff to take a close look at the risks, for example if workers are travelling home to visit family and may come into contact with backyard pigs, and take precautions to manage them. “The industry is concerned that the disease could be brought into this country through contact with infected animals or even on an item of clothing

NZ’s $750 million pork industry is at risk if ASF hit our shores.

and transmitted to the local pig population. “Even if a farm only raises a handful of pigs or if a worker just comes into contact with another farm that does, our real fear is that this disease could be picked up and spread into the commercial herd – with potentially catastrophic effects on our industry.” ASF is transmittable when pigs

come into direct contact with infected animals, or indirect contact with contaminated objects, or are fed contaminated pork products. While ASF can be fatal for pigs, humans are not susceptible to the virus. BiosecurityNZ says it is taking the threat of ASF extremely seriously and closely monitoring the situation overseas.

New Zealand doesn’t import live pigs. “Pork may only be imported into NZ if it meets our strict import conditions. “We are constantly reviewing our import conditions (including for pork products) and we can implement additional safeguards based on best available science,” it says. Last month, ASF outbreaks were reported in seven places in South Korea and on 100 farms in East Timor, just north of Darwin. Baines says while the disease is getting ever-closer to our shores, it is difficult to quantify the level of risk. “We know there are a number of potential pathways for the disease to reach NZ. One is illegal importation of infected meat. “For example, earlier this year the Australian Government announced that testing of a sample of intercepted pork products – seized from mail and passenger luggage over a two-week period – had found ASF contamination in about 15% of the pork. “Australia has very similar tourist profiles to NZ, so it is likely that NZ faces the same level of risk.”



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‘Gran’ shows how it is done It was hard for Suzanne Giesen when her husband John died. She was just 32, had five children aged from 1 to 11 and had a farm to run. More than 50 years later she is still living and working on the farm. Jill Galloway reports. “WHEN JOHN died, my father-in-law said I should go into town. I have never lived in town and I wanted to stay on the farm,” Suzanne Giesen told Rural News. The Giesens had leased the farm for 10 years, with the right to buy. When John was around, they set about improving the property. “There was gorse in almost every paddock. I don’t think there was a stock proof fence on the place. The gorse was so thick you couldn’t walk through some paddocks.” They lived in a two bedroom house on the

property. There was a caravan and an old army hut which some of the children slept in. “We went to what was then State Advances to see if we could build on to the cottage. They said no, but we should build a new house. We bought a mill cheap as the guy was retiring, and we built most of the house from macrocarpa milled from the farm. The house cost $14,000.” Suzanne still lives in this house today. When it came time to buy the property the owners wanted to set a new price to take account

of all the improvements John and Suzanne had made. But the farm price had been set 10 years before. They bought the farm. One year into buying it John was electrocuted on the property while saving his son Robbie. His death was a big shock to the older children and Suzanne. It was tough with five little kids so Suzanne leased out half the farm so she could be at home with the children. “They didn’t miss out. We did things we could often do on the farm. No going out. Pony club,

For more than 50 years Suzanne Giesen has been running her 137ha property in Manawatu.

polo cross, tennis, and there was skiing.” When John died the mortgage payments fell to Suzanne. And she was up to the job. “I worked in the shearing sheds as a rousie just to keep the wolf from the door.” And there was farm work to be done.

Suzanne says help from unexpected people kept her going. “It came from unexpected quarters, for instance someone would just arrive with a load of wood and ask where I wanted it unloaded.” The kindness of people helped a great deal.

Suzanne’s son Hamish says that when they were young his mother used to leave him reading while she went to do things on the farm. “I would be there sometimes for eight hours, just reading,” he laughs. All five children went to boarding schools

-- some to Woodford House, some to Wanganui Collegiate and one to Feilding High School to do agriculture. “Scholarships were a great thing and meant they could go to such schools,” said Suzanne. They all came home to the farm during holidays. Fast forward to today. Suzanne is 84 now and still working and living on the property. She says her family has been wonderful and she couldn’t have farmed without the help of her two grown sons who live nearby. Hamish lives just out of Halcombe in Manawatu and Robbie lives in Halcombe. Robbie and his wife Sandra have the tavern in Halcombe, a small Manawatu town a few TO PAGE 11

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Keeping the boys ‘on their toes’ FROM PAGE 11

kilometres north-west of Feilding. But Robbie says most of the work is in the evening, so in the day he also drives a truck for local pig farmer Neil Managh. Hamish works as a trainer for Fonterra. While Suzanne rides her quad (side saddle) around her lambing ewes twice a day, the sons help with the docking, drenching and weighing stock Until recently Suzanne was doing the dagging, but now she leaves that to the ‘boys’. “I don’t go around the lambing ewes if it is pouring. It just disturbs the ewes and lambs,” she said. Two farm dogs on her farm belong to her and she looks after two of Robbie’s dogs. And there are pet lambs, one an orphan which had to be mothered onto a ewe. It is all in a day’s work for the plucky octogenarian. Suzanne was the first person in Manawatu to rear bull calves. “The calves were kept on the cows for four days until I could pick them up. They had a really

good start. I didn’t know about scales then. But they were very healthy.” She built calf sheds (which are now implement sheds) and a new woolshed with a shower and kitchen. The one thing Suzanne doesn’t like doing much now is driving the tractor, which she leaves to the ‘boys’. Robbie says his mother still does all the farm finances and makes all the decisions. “She doesn’t like doing the finances but she does them. “ And health and safety is a newish thing to Suzanne. She says the farm only supports her. It is not big enough to cope with a family. “In the pub everyone knows her as Gran. She has 13 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren,” said Robbie. The farm is now freehold after all the hard yards Suzanne has done. And although she is 84 she has no plans to leave the property. Any change might mean she leaves the farm and loses her health. They are discuss-

ing how to manage the property when Suzanne retires. This coming year she will take on dairy grazers again. The owners weigh and drench the animals. Suzanne says it is easy for her. She just opens gates

to make sure the young dairy cattle are well fed. The ‘boys’ want her to cut her ewe numbers back so there is less for her to worry about. But Suzanne Giesen loves the farm she has worked so hard for.

Suzanne Giesen with her boys Robbie (left) and Hamish who are called in to help out on the farm.

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NZ concerns over US-Japan FTA PAM TIPA

THE US-JAPAN trade deal might impact on New Zealand beef, cheese and other exports to Japan and is almost certainly in breach of World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, says a trade expert. It will also lessen the incentive for other countries – including the US – to join the CPTPP, the 11-country Asia Pacific deal which New Zealand has signed up to. The US pulled out of that deal. The US-Japan deal includes new market access for about $7 billion in US farm exports, according to fact sheets from the US trade representative Japan will eliminate or lower tariffs -- and in some cases create new USspecific tariff rate quotas -- for a range of farm products including beef, pork, wheat and cheese, says NZ International Business Forum associate director Stephanie Honey. In return, the US will reduce or eliminate tariffs on a few dozen Japanese agriculture exports and on industrial goods including machine tools,

“Under GATT/WTO rules, free trade agreements (FTAs) must cover ‘substantially all the trade’ in order to be excused from the otherwise fundamental rule of ‘MFN’ (that is, not providing special favours to one trading partner over others).

fasteners, steam turbines and bicycles. Along with other elements “essentially this is the same ambitious outcome as CPTPP, but goes modestly further in some areas,” said Honey. “The agriculture part of the deal explicitly replicates the earlier package in the CPTPP,” she told Rural News.   “It means NZ will face increased competition in the Japanese market from US farm products – including beef (NZ exports of fresh and frozen beef were worth over $166 million last year), cheese ($381m), whey and whey products ($35m), wine ($14.5m) and a range of horticultural products including cherries ($381,000) and frozen processed potatoes ($3.3m).”  Honey says more worrying is the

‘demonstration effect’. “Under GATT/WTO rules, free trade agreements (FTAs) must cover ‘substantially all the trade’ in order to be excused from the otherwise fundamental rule of ‘MFN’ (that is, not providing special favours to one trading partner over others).  “The agreement reputedly covers over 90% of US food and agriculture exports to Japan, but agriculture exports accounted for less than 10% of total US exports of goods and services to Japan.”  It is hard to see how this deal meets the GATT benchmark, Honey adds.   “How other [disadvantaged] trading partners react remains to be seen.” It may be that the US and Japan

Stephanie Honey says a potential US/Japan FTA would have negative impacts on NZ beef, port, wheat and cheese exports to Japan

will argue that this is simply an interim step on the way to a more comprehensive package, which is allowed under GATT rules, she says. “The signalling is clear, however.  Fundamental trade policy principles on non-discrimination, comprehen-

siveness and agreed rules (for example, enforcement) no longer seem to be a foregone conclusion.   “We have already seen suggestions that the EU would want to exclude agriculture from any trade agreement with the US, and that the US would likewise contemplate post-Brexit ‘micro-deals’ with the UK.   “None of this bodes well for tackling some of the more intransigent distortions in the global trading system, nor indeed for a producer of ‘sensitive’ products like New Zealand.” ExportNZ executive director Catherine Beard says Japan will apply the same commitments it has made under CPTPP for import liberalisation for some US agriculture imports.  “Unfortunately for NZ this includes beef and cheese and other products of interests. “This agreement will therefore potentially see the US, once more, competing on a level playing field with NZ exporters in the Japan market.  This threatens to erode some of the most important gains achieved through CPTPP.” The deal is potentially subject to challenge in the WTO, she says.

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Questions over goat industry A 2017 commissioned Massey University report on the NZ Goat Industry to chart the future for domestic and export goat products will disappoint many farmers, industry insiders and academics, says long-time industry expert Garrick Batten. In the first of two articles, he outlines why the research produced egregious results, and claims it has been further compounded and confused by three NZ Society of Animal Production (NZSAP) papers repeating misinformation.

MASSEY STANDS behind this research, but others claim it fails on grounds of academic integrity and in practical farming advice. The report presents a picture of information from different sources with little consideration of interrelationships and

produces conflicting statements on the same subject. For instance, it claims that goats are not compatible with sheep slaughter machines. This is despite the fact that some plants are already using them. The report also makes a bald statement about goat meat having a “slow start”, contradicting export tonnages in 1982 of 773 tonnes; 1996: 1424 tonnes; 2004: 1100, and 2016: 850 (plus another 500 tonnes in local consumption). There is constant confusion from text peculiarities – such as ‘goats’ being adult dairy goats, but all-ages fibre and meat goats. Maximums

weight. Cull Angoras are more likely to weigh 16-18kg not 25kg. Dairy goats are 25kg not 40kg, and feral goats 11-12kg from historical averages – not 9 - 20kg used elsewhere. That was part of a deliberate attempt to justify a Boer carcase worth $750 FOB, using unsubstantiated average FOB value of $30 per kg. These inaccurate carcase weights, sloppy conversions and analysis by reverse engineering a computer model destroyed any credibility of this section of the report. Meanwhile, some aged references describe current situations such as 1997 management, 2006 and 2011 for practices,

are used as industry averages for prices, kidding percent, carcase and fibre weights. The report also includes irrelevant information, eight typos, casual correlation between text, tables, references and comments -- all showing poor editing and adding to general confusion. Examples of confusion from misused facts were current meat production using different schedule values of $2.50 per kg for feral goats, when it was $3.50-$4.00 as for other breeds. An exports table of 90% feral meat stated $6.93 for all, except minor Boer $30. Another example is artificial adjustment of both numbers and carcase weights to fit a magnified 25kg Boer slaughter

2010 for interest level and 2011 for health status. An unidentified majority of farmers contributed opinions, although few were interviewed. Some references in the research are selectively interpreted to suit perceived conclusions – such as ignoring a weaning liveweight of 17.4kg and substituting an eightmonth weight of 30kg when the reference adult figure was 38kg. Other parts of the study have no relevance, eg using US retail prices, including meat products not from NZ, and not confirmed by USDA data. One NZSAP paper used unrelated Australian export kg value of $8 for all breeds in a heroic effort to change the meat section. But an average



report ABOUT THE AUTHOR GARRICK BATTEN has a long professional and practical career in the goat sector. He has farmed goats for 30 years and developed the internationally known Kiko and more recently Kikonui pastoral goat breeds. He has delivered papers at local and international conferences on various goat topics and written several goat books. His latest book is: ‘Big Buck$ for Pastoral Farmers’. It is especially for livestock farmers new to commercial goat farming. Available from:

More info Garrick Batten has delivered papers at local and international conferences on various goat topics and written several goat books. His latest book is: ‘Big Buck$ for Pastoral Farmers’. It is especially for livestock farmers new to commercial goat farming. It is available from:

eight-month commercially raised Boer carcase valued at $8 is still not worth $144. This discredits the report itself. Some text and tables are just confusing, eg average daily milk production of 2.7-3.5 and 3.8 litres. A key text example states that almost all the dairy goat herd produced non-cheese dairy products, yet both the report and NZSAP papers assumed that 20% -now and in the future – would be cheeses sold at inflated prices. One statement had over 9000 Angora goats producing 3kg mohair, another 4kg, for export of 15 tonnes— plus 15% local use. The report’s summary ignored imperfect information sources later

noted in the NZSAP papers, but recognised unavailable production costs and processing and marketing information. Yet without reasonable data, the report concluded meat has the greatest potential based on premium cuts from a Boer herd built from zero to 7175 in 25 years on 23 farms. However, it ignored its own national output table showing local consumption of other goat meat sources increased from 22 to 34% in three years. One NZSAP paper favoured milk products potential based on growth from zero to $185m in 30 years, but did not examine that future. The historical

mohair clip decline was not compared with the speculative forecast of increased value. In summary, the report uses models that cannot be believed. These can either determine inputs for a required output or produce an output from assembled inputs. Either way, inputs need to be currently factual, practical and relevant. In this report they are not. There have been two years of attempts to get the report withdrawn to save academic embarrassment and the industry’s future from damage. Initial approaches to authors were ignored until higher intervention, a year later, made one amendment. Another approach got the three derived NZSAP papers reviewed. A final approach to the Massey University provost, under its Code of Responsible Research Conduct standards, eventually got ignored. • A second article will interpret the report with more information for farmers.



Farmers confidence plummets PAM TIPA

FARMER CONFIDENCE has plummeted in the last quarter, with Government policy cited as the chief reason, says Rabobank. Dairy farmers recorded the biggest drop in confidence about their own farm business performance, while horticulturalists remain the most optimistic Farmers across all sectors are increasingly pessimistic about the year ahead, the latest quarterly Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey has found. The net rural confidence reading plummeted to -33% in the latest survey, down from 2% in the last quarter. The survey, completed in late August and early September,

found the number of the nation’s farmers expecting the rural economy to worsen in the coming 12 months had risen to 41% (from 23% last survey), while those expecting an improvement had fallen to 8% (down from 23%). A total of 48% were expecting similar conditions (down from 54%). Rabobank New Zealand chief executive Todd Charteris says farmer confidence is now at its lowest level since the March 2016 quarter, with concern over Government policy identified by farmers as the key factor for their negative view. This is cited by 68% of farmers holding a negative outlook in the latest survey, he says. Farmers across all sectors are now less optimistic than in the last quarter about the pros-

pects for the agricultural economy in the year ahead. Government policy remains the key worry, with a host of other concerns also identified. Farmers’ expectations for their own business performance also declined across all sector groups, but remain at net positive levels overall. Investment intentions were marginally back on last quarter. “Government policy relating to freshwater reform and future greenhouse gas obligations presents a major chalRabobank NZ chief executive lenge for farmers and, at Toddtime, Charteris. this it’s clear farmers view policy direction as the major challenge to the future prosperity of the sector,” said Charteris. “Rabobank remains wholeheartedly com-

mitted to supporting our New Zealand food and agribusiness clients, along with their communities, through these challenges. In doing so, we recognise the importance of this sector to NZ’s wider economic success over the coming years.” Charteris says the latest survey period concluded just before the Government released its freshwater policy statement on September 5. “Given the reaction to this policy statement from farmers and farmer advocacy groups over recent weeks, it’s clear the contents of this document have further eroded the brittle confidence in the sector. However, we won’t get a gauge on how significant an impact this has had until our next survey is released in mid-

DAIRY IN THE DUMPS DAIRY FARMERS recorded the biggest decline in their outlook for their own farm businesses in the year ahead. There is now an even spread of dairy farmers expecting their farm business performance to improve and to worsen (both 21%). Similarly, sheep and beef farmers were split on the prospects for their own businesses, with 20% expecting an improvement and 20% expecting performance to worsen. Charteris says horticulturalists continued to be the most buoyant of all sectors, with 37% expecting improved performance from their business in the coming year and only 9% expecting performance to worsen.

December,” he said. Other reasons for their pessimistic outlook included the performance of Fonterra, negative public perceptions of farming and turbulence in overseas markets. “Despite farmgate prices for NZ’s key commodities remaining relatively strong, there is a wide range of concerns now weighing on farmers’ shoulders, and the cumulative effect of these has

seen overall confidence slide dramatically.” Farmers across all sectors were also significantly less optimistic about the performance of their own farm businesses in the coming 12 months. Those expecting their business performance to improve totalled 24% (down from 31% in the previous survey). Those expecting their business performance to worsen rose to

20% (from 10%), while 55% expected no change (down from 58%). Charteris says the net farm business performance reading of +4% this survey was well back on the +31% recorded in June. “While well back on last quarter, this is still considerably more optimistic than how farmers are feeling about the outlook of the overall agricultural economy.”


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THE GOVERNMENT is spending nearly $6 million to stop Australian beekeepers marketing their products as ‘mānuka’ honey. The Mānuka Honey Appellation Society is being granted $5.7 million from the Provincial Growth Fund, including a $1.7m loan, to help in its bid to secure international property rights. Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has accused Australian honey producers of trying to steal what is indigenous to New Zealand. “The Aussies are trying to promote themselves as the owners of the mānuka honey brand. That is wrong culturally, a type of economic larceny,” he said. Mānuka honey sells for as much as $400/kg and has purported medicinal benefits. The funding is aimed at supporting a NZ industry push to trademark mānuka honey in China and shut Australia out of the market. Jones said the money would be necessary to meet the costs of securing international recognition of the mānuka property right and certification in key markets. Honey producer lobby Apiculture New Zealand has welcomed the Gov-

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ernment’s move. “The funding is critical in realising the benefits of comprehensive protection of NZ mānuka honey primarily for consumers and producers,” said chief executive Karin Kos. She claims it will deliver wider economic and regional benefits for communities and iwi throughout NZ. A research component will also form part of the overarching activity as a way of advancing the understanding and distinction of mānuka honey. “The Provincial Growth Fund provides a structured approach to bringing together industry, iwi and the Government and that will support the implementation of best available science and ensure protection of the term,” Kos said. She says the move is a big step in the right direction and welcome news for NZ beekeepers as it will help to generate long-term value for the industry and provide stability for the future. Kos says NZ currently exports $350m of honey, but believes it has the potential to grow into a billion dollar industry. But Australian honey producers are irate about the move by NZ to

trademark the term ‘manuka honey’ in China. China is a huge market for the honey, so the move may cost the Australian honey industry up to a billion dollars in export revenue. Lindsay Bourke, president of the Tasmanian Beekeeper Association, has slammed the NZ Government for the move. “We’ve been very nice, now we’re getting really sick of it because it’s a lie,” he told Melbourne radio station 3AW. At this stage, the Australian Government has declined to intervene on behalf of its beekeepers. Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie said her office was “seeking clarification” from the NZ Government. Manuka honey is produced by bees which feed off nectar from leptospermum scoparium, a type of tea tree. Bourke says Australia has many more species of manuka than NZ has. “There are 84 manukas in Australia, New Zealand only has one,” he claimed. “The little manuka tree they’ve got in New Zealand is the exact same one they had in Tasmania, way before New Zealand popped up out of the ocean as an atoll.”

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Banking on gumboot move STAFF REPORTER

IT’S A change of scenery, customer and supply chain for Skellerup’s incoming agri division head, Hayley Gourley. The high profile former chief of Rabobank’s New Zealand operations has been with Skellerup, the owner of the iconic Red Band gumboot, for just under a month. The Christchurch company was an instant switch for Gourley (nee Moynihan), whose presence at Rabobank gave the Dutch owned, global bank a Kiwi identity and voice in the agri industry. At Skellerup she is managing a range of products and people, enjoying the initial feel of working for a national “household name,” she says. “The best way to describe Skellerup from my perspective – and I guess what attracted me – is that it’s a very firmly owned organisation,” Gourley told Rural News. “And Skellerup has a global presence, which was really the opposite of my previous role, which was clearly a global organisation that happened to have a New Zealand presence.” The amount of international and domestic travel involved in her former job also tilted her

towards a new challenge. Living in Canterbury, and with a young family to consider, Skellerup offered her a head office located in Christchurch. Three weeks into her new management position, Gourley expected Skellerup would offer plenty of opportunities to apply her banking experience, from product development through to relationships with customers. The agri division makes products for the dairy industry, including rubberware, as well as animal hygiene products and well known rubber footwear brands. The listed public company recently reported record pre-tax earnings of $41m – up 5% on the previous year. Total company profit is from revenue of $245m, which is up 2% on the year before. Gourley’s agri division earned just under $23m – up 10% on the previous comparable period. In a statement to NZX, the company said its operational gains in agri in the past year offset the impact of softer markets including North America and Australasia. Gourley says that for her the company’s “whole value chain” approach to developing, manufacturing and marketing product is an exciting part of the business.

THRIVING IN CHALLENGING TIMES IN SKELLERUP’S annual report, chair Liz Coutts pointed to some of the wider challenges for the company and other NZ exporters. She says the annual result is particularly pleasing “in a year when the geo-political environment presented challenges and tariffs that directly impacted on our bottom line”. Coutts pointed out that one of SkelFormer Rabobank NZ boss Hayley Gourley is now heading up Skellerup’s agri division.

One of the firm’s recent successes is a breakthrough partnership with Europe-based ADF Milking to supply a teat dip for post-milking. The design of the product included square barrel geometry with automatic dipping and flushing to optimise milk production, cut costs and improve cow welfare. Skellerup was able to move from a prototype to detailed R&D within six months at its Christchurch plant. The new liner was trialled on farms in Australia and NZ over the following six months before a move into full production. It had taken three years for the product to hit the market. In its annual report Skellerup said since the launch, ADF Milking had markedly grown its market share year-onyear.

For her part, Gourley expects to apply some of her old skills to managing her part of the business. “The economics side means I understand the markets we operate in, from a rural background, whether that’s here in NZ or internationally. That certainly helps a lot.” Banking was also about interpersonal skills, she said. “Banking teaches you a number of things, one being relationships with people and customers because, ultimately, in a bank money is a commodity and it comes down to interaction with people.” Finance also gives a great insight into best business practice and what can go wrong. Every business has layers of complexity, but banking has taught her to recognise the “key drivers” in most operations, she said.


lerup’s advantages across its diversified divisions is having teams in NZ and elsewhere. Product design is done in NZ, Australia, US and Europe, while manufacturing and assembly are global, with staff spread from Christchurch to Asia, Europe and North America. Like other NZ exporters with overseas units, it is effectively a 24-hour business.



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Global Connections... It’s all about the people!

There’s nothing quite like seeing the world through your own eyes and it’s even better when it involves meeting great people! Whether you’re enjoying a tasty “asado” BBQ with a warm farming family on the Argentine Pampas, chatting to locals at a livestock auction in the UK, experiencing life high in the beautiful Swiss Alps, picking up cooking tips in a Japanese home or even trying to communicate with a lively stallholder at a French market and finding the only phrase you have in common is “All Blacks!”, it really is the people you meet that you remember most from your travels. A nice Maori proverb springs to mind: “He aha te mea nui o te Ao? Maku e kī atu, he tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata!” meaning: What is the most important thing in the world, it is people, it is people, it is people! For the past 30 years or so, Farm To Farm Tours has been taking rural Kiwis across the globe to explore new places, make new friends, meet colleagues and get a taste of other cultures. We’ve found what people really want is to mix the best places and experiences the world has to offer with getting up the driveways to see what’s going on with people who live and farm there. That’s where we come in - we connect you with great people! As well as the locals you meet overseas, you’ll travel with a group of people you are likely to have much in common with. The fantastic friendships formed on our tours is one of the reasons we keep doing what we do - and why people keep coming back! We also have some wonderful tour leaders and language guides who are there to help you get the most out of your travels.

Our tours are very inclusive: generally flights, tips and many meals are included. Most of our tours also attract a tax deductibility component for bona fide farmers due to the learning aspect (check with your accountant of course!). Add to that, we are proud to have more than 50% repeat clients each year - the best endorsement we can get! Why not take a break, escape some of New Zealand’s cooler months and see what’s out happening out there in the world for yourself. We guarantee you will meet plenty of great people along they way and return home full of inspiration! Kirstie Macmillan - Farm To Farm Tours

What our travellers say... “The hospitality was exceptional. For us it was about travelling with like-minded people and the really good mix of farming visits and touring the regions we were in... It is simply a wonderful way to see the country and meet the people who live there”. B. VOSS Ph 0800 38 38 747

West Coast USA CALIFORNIA, OREGON, WASHINGTON Fantastic San Francisco & Napa Valley Iconic sites and experiences Productive Willamette Valley Superb farm hospitality Innovation and scale Add on Midwest or Canada!


SOUTH AMERICA AWAITS Wonderful cultural experiences Beef, dairy, sheep & horses Cropping, fruit, coffee & wines Spectacular Andes & Patagonia Breathtaking Iguazu Falls Buenos Aires, Santiago & Rio


Canada & Alaska

Midwest USA THE HEART OF USA! Magnificent Chicago, iconic sights Great Plains of the Midwest Vast Lake Michigan & island stay Switched on friendly farmers John Deere plant in Iowa Varied production: huge, small, old, new

Chile, Argentina & Brazil


BEST OF THE WEST! Beautiful Vancouver & Victoria Majestic Rockies & Lake Louise Meet warm Canadian people Exciting Calgary Stampede Alberta beef, arable, dairy, fruit & more USA & Alaska Cruise options


Tours for rural people - Travel, learn and enjoy! Spain & Portugal

UK & Ireland

ENGLAND, WALES, SCOTLAND, IRELAND Charming villages and countryside Farms, estates, homes & gardens London, Edinburgh, Belfast, Dublin Connect with local farmers Royal Highland Show Flexible return & stopover options



France, Switzerland & Italy


HIGHLIGHTS OF TURKEY Istanbul and cultural gems Gallipoli’s Anzac Cove, Chunuk Bair Fruit, livestock, dairy, cropping Beautiful coastlines & weather Aegean Sea cruise Incredible Cappadocia!

SPAIN & PORTUGAL - OLE! Mediterranean & Atlantic coasts Merino, wine, beef, port, dairy, cropping, citrus & more Delicious regional specialties Relaxing multi-night stays Blue skies and colourful villages


EUROPE FARMING FOOD & WINE! Delightful culture throughout Paris to Provence, Luzern to Rome Diverse farms and enterprises Beautiful cities rich in culture Stunning Swiss Alps and lakes Magnificent food and wine!



Africa - South & East TANZANIA & SERENGETI Ultimate small group tour Serengeti National Park Thrilling safari experiences Meet local farmers Ngorongoro Crater Zanzibar “Spice” Island

SOUTH AFRICA & VICTORIA FALLS Superb wildlife encounters! Diverse farming and hospitality Cultural gems throughout Victoria Falls & Hwange Nat. Park NAMPO field days MAY/JUNE

Norway, Denmark, Sweden & Finland STUNNING SCANDINAVIA Progressive farms & enterprises Welcoming Scandinavian people Stylish, sustainable cities Majestic fiords & beautiful regions Fantastic Finland extension Wealthy & healthy countries


DISCOVER JAPAN! Unique cultural experiences Delicious cuisine, vibrant markets Wagyu beef, fruit and veg, tea, rice Meeting local people Picturesque regions Traditional Kyoto & modern Tokyo


Greece & Crete

GREECE & ISLANDS Food, wine and farming Idyllic blue skies & clear waters Intriguing ruins and rich history Friendly locals and hospitality Crete & NZ WWII memorials Mediterranean life at its best!


Escorted - Great experiences - Great companions! Australia

Cuba & Mexico

- Queensland - Victoria & NSW - Western Australia - Tasmania PLENTY OF AUSSIE OPTIONS! True blue Aussie hospitality! Outback stations and farms Best of coastlines and cities Iconic experiences and sights Comparing farming lifestyles Shorter, closer tour options





Chatham Islands


CHINA - OLD MEETS NEW Dairy, sheep, beef, silk, fruit & rice Wonderful cultural experiences Beijing & awe-inspiring Great Wall Incredible Terracotta Warriors Yangtze River Cruise & Shanghai Unique Inner Mongolia

CENTRAL AMERICA ESCAPE! Colourful Mexico rich in culture Avocados, arable, dairy, tequila! Intriguing Cuba & Havana Iconic sites and warm beaches Large and small scale production Meet the locals!

WEEK LONG CHATHAM’S STAY Stay on a beef and sheep farm Great local hospitality Interesting farms and history Unique marine and birdlife Fishing and Pitt Island options Perfect for your small group!



Professional Expertise

Let us customise a technical tour so you can add value to your business: • Visit your key markets • Keep abreast of global trends • Attend international events • Discover new opportunities • Check out your competition • See innovation and technology • Compare notes with colleagues Farming all over the world faces many of the same challenges: fluctuating prices, trying to mitigate environmental impacts, labour and political issues, technology etc. See how others find solutions to some of these issues.

Trusted for more than 30 years, we have an extensive network of agribusiness and farming contacts all over the world. We also have experienced agricultural consultants and B.Agr.Sc graduates on our team which helps us understand your objectives. We will work closely with you and international networks to ensure we connect you with the right people in the right places. Flights, hotels, coaches, knowledgable guides, great visits - get in touch and we’ll ensure high quality tour experiences for your agricultural group.


We connect you with great people Trusted tour operators for over 30 years The best endorsement you can get! Wonderful people who add value to your tour We include many meals, activities, tips etc Our tours are stimulating and educational You’ll stay in high quality accommodation Travel with great people and have a great time! We really care about your tour experience Just the right mix of town, country, farming, leisure We get you up those driveways! Subject to IRD, can be benefits for business travel

What our travellers say... “We unanimously agreed it was the best group trip we had ever been on. The perfect balance of farms, towns etc but the farm visits were extraordinary! We could not fault the organisation and stimulation we enjoyed through travelling with Farm To Farm Tours”. D. BARTON

About Farm To Farm Tours We want our tours to stimulate your natural curiosity - including curiosity about the farming world - through travel and people-to-people experiences. The vision of Farm To Farm Tours’ founder and registered farm management consultant, Ross Macmillan, was to enable farmer clients to travel, learn and enjoy! We remain driven by this. Our friendly team of travel enthusiasts understand your travel objectives. What’s more, we have an extensive network of leading farming and special interest travel contacts around the globe, enabling us to offer you exclusive, informative and memorable experiences in over 40 countries. We are a proud founding member of Agricultural Tour Operators International, a professional body promoting quality special interest tour operations and global partnerships.

Farm To Farm Tours PO Box 239, Rangiora 7440 NEW ZEALAND Phone: +64 3 313 5855

Nic, James, Desray, Linda, Ross, Rochelle & Kirstie

Follow us:

Ph: 0800 38 38 747




Tough, but profitable year STAFF REPORTER

PGG WRIGHTSON (PGW) ended a bumpy year with record profit, a “transformational” sale of its grain and seed business and many changes of board and management. The sale of its seed division to the Danish owned DLF Seeds helped the listed rural services firm to a record after tax

estate and wool. Commodity prices were generally strong, especially in New Zealand dollar terms, so many customers enjoyed good returns even where production fell. It was a similar story in sheep and beef markets: PGW’s Fruitfed business benefitted from rising conversion of livestock farms to orchards and vineyards,

cashflow (including the Seed & Grain business), prior to sale, from operating activities was a $49m outflow. PGW negotiated and entered into new bank facilities in July 2019 providing for core facilities of up to $50m and a working capital facility of up to $70m.

PGW declared a fully imputed final dividend of 7.5 cents per share, which was paid on October 2. This brought the total fully imputed dividends for the year to 15.0 cents per share on a post share consolidation basis. Findlay said that after the sale of PGG Wrightson Seeds, the

board made changes to head office roles and back office set-up “to best serve customers and our re-sized operation.” The company expected the benefit of reduced costs to flow through progressively, with estimated savings exceeding $2.5m in the 2020 financial year.

PGG Wrightson chair Rodger Finlay.

PGW distributed $234m to its shareholders from the proceeds and set up a strategic partnership with DLF, which continues to use the PGG Wrightson Seeds brand. especially in Northland and Marlborough. Chief executive Stephen Guerin said farm conditions were mostly positive, helped by above average rainfall and temperatures and strong pasture growth in many regions. The weather was less kind to horticultural and arable customers though, with cool conditions during key times during spring affecting pollination and a hot, dry summer limiting the yield potential of harvests. As a result, production estimates were a mix of good and bad news compared to the 20172018 season. Commodity prices were generally strong, especially in NZ dollar terms but the impact of M. bovis on dairy and beef and “the pace of regulatory change that affects the agriculture sector” was keeping farmer confidence low, Guerin said. The proposal to increase the amount of capital banks are required to hold had the potential to reduce the amount of debt capital which might be available to agriculture. “As a result, we are seeing a more cautious approach to investment and expenditure by customers most impacted by these factors.” Net group cashflows were $199m, a figure which mostly related to the cash received for the sale of Seed & Grain, leaving a cash balance of $210m at June 30. Net


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profit of just under $132m in the year to June 30. PGW distributed $234m to its shareholders from the proceeds and set up a strategic partnership with DLF, which continues to use the PGG Wrightson Seeds brand. Chairman Roger Findlay said it would continue to work with PGG Wrightson Seeds to bring its products to PGW customers and the seed category would remain profitable for its retail business. The 2019 financial year was operationally challenging for PGW, Findlay said. “Farmer confidence in parts of the agriculture sector remains subdued, constraining farm spending and so our revenue growth over the year.” Recent months had seen a tightening in the credit environment, he said. There were also strains within PGW, including a small increase in overdue debtors and increased provisions for doubtful debts. As a result, PGW finished the year slightly under the lower end of its operating EBITDA guidance range of $25m. Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) affected PGW’s Livestock and Rural Supplies businesses, with a drop in the number of dairy herd settlements, tallies, less demand for dairy beef and a “more cautious approach to spending in the dairy sector across a range of farm inputs”. It was also a tougher year for real


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

Confidence down, prices hold firm Rural confidence RABOBANK’S SEPTEMBER quarter survey of New Zealand farmers shows that New Zealand rural confidence fell significantly across all major commodity sectors. Confidence fell in all major commodity sector groups. In all sectors,

those expecting the ag economy to deteriorate outweighed those expecting it to improve by at least 20%, with a 37% negative differential in the dairy sector. Farmers overwhelmingly cited government policy and intervention as the key reason they

expect the ag economy to deteriorate in the next 12 months. 28% of all survey respondents believed that both the ag economy would deteriorate and attributed this to government policy and intervention – a level never seen before in the history of this survey. The result is particularly striking given that the survey took place before the Government released its proposed amendments to New Zealand’s freshwater regulation on 5 September, which was greeted with dismay by many in the rural sector.



Global dairy commodity prices mostly held their ground in September. While Oceania butter prices continued to modestly decline, pow-

these factors remain key downside risks to our forecast farmgate milk price, should there be an impact on demand evident over our forecast period.

Beef Rabobank expects farmgate prices to hold firm during October, as prices in both islands start the 2019/20 season marginally ahead of where they were at the start of last season. Farmgate prices con-

ders and cheese prices largely remained steady. Global dairy market fundamentals continue to remain well-balanced with modest growth in global milk production along with steady import demand across a number of key markets, helping to support prices. RaboRe-

search reaffirms its forecast milk price of NZ$ 7.15/kgMS for the 2019/20 season. Our forecasts have not assumed a recession scenario for the 2019/20 season. However, there is a noticeable slowing of global economic activity and confidence is waning – and

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tinued to edge upwards through September, although higher-thanusual supplies of cattle for this stage of the season did somewhat reduce procurement competition, limiting the upward price movement. At the end of September, the North Island bull price was 2% higher MOM, averaging NZ$5.70/kg cwt, with the South Island bull price moving up 4% MOM to NZ$5.50/kg cwt. Prime cattle prices

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Content supplied by Rabobank – Grow with the bank founded by farmers for farmers in the North Island held steady at NZ$6/kg cwt, while South Island prices firmed slightly to NZ$5.90/kg cwt (+1% MOM). Export data for June to August show a significant jump in New Zealand’s beef exports to China, as the ongoing impact of African swine fever sees China increasingly rely on imports to make up for lost domestic protein production. New Zealand’s export receipts to China for the three months totalled NZ$425.56m, a 111% increase on the corresponding period last season. Rabobank expects China’s momentum of strong beef import growth to continue for the remainder of 2019, helping to underpin healthy farmgate pricing for at least the first quarter of the 2019/20 season.

Sheepmeat Rabobank expects the arrival of new season lamb supplies over the next month to see farm-

high demand from China, combined with a favourable NZ$ exchange rate, to support strong export returns for the remainder of 2019. The impact of Brexit on the highvalue chilled Christmas trade market remains the biggest downside risk for New Zealand exporters at this stage.


gate prices gradually starting to come off the record levels reached in September. Strong export returns, driven primarily by Chinese demand and a weakened NZ$, should ensure an easing of pricing rather than any sharp declines. Farmgate prices continued to trend upwards during September, largely in line with the normal seasonal pattern, pushing prices marginally above

last year’s record-highs. As of mid-September, the slaughter price in the North Island averaged NZ$8.60/kg cwt (3% higher MOM), while South Island lamb averaged NZ$8.40/kg cwt (4% higher MOM). Prices last season peaked in September at NZ$8.55/kg cwt in the North Island and NZ$8.30/kg cwt in the South Island. Rabobank expects ongoing

New Zealand total fruit and vegetable export values rose by healthy margins YOY to June 2019. Both categories grew at virtually the same rate of almost 19%

MARKETS & TRENDS 23 to provide a total lift of NZ$ 0.6bn in FOB export receipts. How the global economy performs over 2019-2020 will be a key influencer for horticulture exporters to get a repeat performance. Against this export backdrop, total fruit and vegetable imports were down YOY, led by fruit but with vegetable imports registering a slight increase. Alongside this, we saw an 8.8% drop in the New Zealand food price index for fresh fruit and vegetables between June 2018

and June 2019. Meanwhile, freshwater reforms are on the table, and with a short timeframe for submissions, it is important for all New Zealand growers to understand the implications for current business models as well as land use change into the future.

Foreign exchange We forecast the NZ$ to reach USc 61 within 12 months. The NZ$ was trading at just under USc 63 on 20 September down fractionally on its late-August low.

The steadying of the NZ$ was driven at least in part by the unwinding (for now) of several risks which alarmed markets in the prior month. Trade talks between the US and China were resumed, some tariffs were delayed, and protests in Hong Kong eased somewhat after the government ditched its extradition bill. Economic data was mixed – breaking a run of unequivocally bad news the prior month. We stick to our view that the feedback loop between trade policy and monetary policy is likely to lead to another US insurance cut before the end of the year. But we change our call for the most likely timing from October to December. While US rates will likely be cut, we expect a slowing global economy and loose local monetary policy to continue to put pressure on the NZ$ in the next 12 months.

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Not everyone hates farmers PAM TIPA

FIFTY-FIVE PERCENT of New Zealanders hold a positive view of the primary industries versus 12% who are negative, new research shows. UMR Research surveyed a representative general public sample of 1000 respondents to discover NZers’ perceptions.

NZers are almost five times as likely to hold a positive view of sheep and beef farming as a negative one (54% positive vs only 12% negative). And NZers are twice as likely (51%) to hold a positive view of dairy farming as a negative one (20%). The star of the surveyed industries was horticulture: 68% of NZers were positive

According to UMR Research 55% of New Zealanders hold a positive view of the primary sector – compared to 12% who are negative.


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about hort vs only 4% negative. The forestry industry also rated well: 56% of respondents were positive vs only 9% negative. Auckland respondents were more positive towards dairy farming (56%) vs Christchurch people (41%). Young respondents (18-29) and women were generally less positive towards the primary industries they were asked about. Respondents aged over 60 and men were generally more positive. Marc Elliott, executive director of UMR Research, says the research results were at odds with the perceptions held by many farmers. “The strong theme we have heard from farmers in the past is that they do not feel well liked by their urban counterparts. “However, when you poll the general population, this is simply not true,” he said. But, said Elliott, “one in five New Zealanders (20%) declaring a negative view of dairying is not insignificant, and it shows our primary sector has work to do to improve its environmental performance”. “However, anyone who takes time to look around our primary industries will see a lot of activity

towards becoming more sustainable. “For example, land and environmental plans, retiring erosion prone land into native reserves, fencing off and planting around rivers and streams. “From working in this space over many years we have observed that New Zealanders on this topic are concerned particularly about impacts on water quality. “However, almost in the same breath, they acknowledge the many jobs and the fantastic quality of food from our primary industries from which they directly benefit. “If farmers think urbanites are expecting more from them, they are, and farmers need to deliver on this. “But the primary industries must take heart that most New Zealanders know which side their bread is buttered on.” Elliott told Rural News the research wasn’t commissioned. Instead UMR chose to do the research as they knew farmers are better liked than they think they are. As most of UMR’s research is among farmers, Elliott wanted them to hear a good message for once. @rural_news

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Former rugby boss tackles climate change issues full cost of the Paris Moffett believes the RURAL CANTERBURY Agreement. This is likely cost to Kiwis of the ETS blockholder David to exceed $4b per annum and the Paris agreement Moffett has turned from over 10 years, and that’s are considerable. giving advice on farm just for starters.” The Government’s succession to the future He adds that the own estimates put the of farming itself. only way to pay for this cost at $14 billion to $36b Moffett has launched would be through new from 2021 to 2030 and a political party to help taxes or a reduction in that is likely to be the tip New Zealand farmers services. of the iceberg depending struggling with climate “As an example, we on supply and demand taxes. pay 6.2c/L of petrol and for carbon credits. He says NZ’s heavy 7.2c/L of diesel reliance on as an ETS International “Many of them are of dubious levy,” Moffett Emissions explains. Trading honesty and accountability “Incredibly Scheme we also pay (ETS) credits and are rife with corruption.” GST on the dangerously total fuel excise which He says to put that exposes the country to means paying an 11c/L into context, ACC raised one of the world’s most tax on taxes. Together $5.9b in 2018-19 with volatile markets. that represents 17c/L and operating costs of $726 Moffett says he has 18c/L of hidden taxes.” million. researched the Paris Moffett says every “With over 2000 Agreement and concluded farming family is saddled employees ACC at least it will be costly for NZ. with that burden, which Today, the former New contributes to the NZ is often made worse economy.” Zealand Rugby Union The agricultural sector because of reliance on boss has 10ha across fuel to not only run their long favoured managing properties at Ashley its own emissions scheme agricultural enterprises and Broomfield, North but also to travel long but had succumbed to Canterbury, where he distances to get kids Government pressure, runs small numbers of to school, go shopping, Moffett claims. sheep and horses. make doctor visits and The Government As founder of the New the like. recently announced that NZ Party, Moffett wants The New NZ Party the agriculture sector NZ to withdraw from would only be hit with 5% believes that declaring a the Paris Agreement, of their actual obligations climate emergency based which binds the country on our emissions is the under the NZ ETS. to a range of targets for height of irresponsibility. Moffett says the New reducing greenhouse gas Moffett says the NZ Party doesn’t have an emissions. CO2 anthropogenic issue with the ag sector “Paris makes it emissions by NZ of 0.17 or other sectors paying compulsory for us to % of the total agricultural this low rate, but believes contribute tax payments emissions (AE) were business is being lulled to other economies,” he meagre by comparison into a false sense of claims. with many of our ag security. “Many of them are sector competitors. “Unfortunately, of dubious honesty and Expressed as a accountability and are rife everyone in every sector percentage of the total will still pay for the with corruption.”

CO2 fraction, which included AE, the result is 0.00006%, Moffett says.

Former NZ Rugby Union chief executive David Moffett is now turning his focus to politics.

Glenview Romneys Bred for high performance and ‘cast iron’ constitution

We deliberately challenge our Romneys by farming them on unfertilised native hill country in order to provide the maximum selection pressure and expose ‘soft’ sheep.


Over the last 5 years ewes (including 2ths) have scanned between 190% and 216% despite droughts.

GROWTH RATE Over the same period weaning weights (adj. 100 days) have exceeded 36kg from a lambing % consistently above 150%. & SURVIVAL COMMENTS: • All sheep DNA and SIL recorded. • No crops are grown and no supplements are fed. • Ram hoggets have been eye muscle scanned since 1996. • All ewe hoggets are mated. • Breeding programme places a heavy emphasis on worm resilience – lambs drenched only once prior to autumn. • Scored for dags and feet shape. DNA rated for footrot and cold tolerance. • We take an uncompromising approach – sheep must constantly measure up.

We aim to breed superior Romneys that produce the most from the least input.

Glenview Romneys & South Suffolks GEOFF & BARB CROKER Longbush, RD 4, Masterton email: Phone 06-372 7820

“By simply adding magnesium to the lime pellets we have totally transformed our farm. The Optimise version of dolomite was fast and effective and I wouldn’t have believed it if it wasn’t my own farm.



Don’t blame the messenger! IT APPEARS the only people surprised by the plummeting levels of rural confidence across the country are the Government and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. For months we have seen an endless stream of reports – from Rabobank, BNZ, ANZ, NZIER – all depicting a growing lack of confidence and concern in rural New Zealand. Only last month, an open letter was written to the Government by an agricultural consultancy head, Chris Garland, outlining why farmer morale is at an all-time low. Garland, of Baker Ag, called for more consideration for the rural sector’s lot in the face of ever more onerous regulation. “This Government’s approach to environmental policy is undermining the mental health and wellbeing of the pastoral sector,” he explained. Showing just how out of touch O’Connor is with the current feeling in the rural heartland, his response to the letter was a ridiculous tweet blaming the rural media and farm advisors for the current rural malaise. “If farm advisors and rural media weren’t so keen to repeat negative political rhetoric farmers might feel appreciated,” he claimed. Really, minister? Your answer is to blame the rural media but you need to take a closer look in the mirror. O’Connor and his Government should be basking in the glory of strong commodity prices and a positive outlook for the primary sector. Instead the Government is confronted with a rural sector that is as worried and despondent as during the reforms of the Rogernomics era in the mid-1980s. In the latest Rabobank survey, farmers overwhelmingly cited Government policy and intervention as the key reason they expect the agri economy to deteriorate during the next 12 months. The bank described this as: “a level never seen before in the history of this survey”. The two main Government policies causing the most worry in rural NZ are the impending Zero Carbon Bill and how agricultural emissions will be treated, and the proposed amendments to NZ’s freshwater regulations. Instead of lashing out at the rural media and others in the sector for relaying exactly how farmers are now feeling, Damien O’Connor should take ownership of his Government’s actions and polices as the real reason for the waning levels of confidence down on the farm.


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

“A licence! – for what? – according to the greenies, farmers have made this river uninhabitable!”

Want to share your opinion or gossip with the Hound? Send your emails to:

THE HOUND Angry pills?

Too late?

I’m alright

Chipping in

A MATE of the Hound attended the huge meeting in Timaru, last month, on the Government’s proposed freshwater reforms. Hundreds of anxious farmers turned up to hear officials – as well as Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Environment Minister David Parker – discuss the topic. He says meeting attendees were urged by the facilitator, Wairarapa sheep and beef farmer David Nelson, to be respectful and courteous and he says they were. But our observer reckons both Parker and O’Connor seemed to have missed this memo and were, more often than not, antagonistic and dismissive of many of the questions and concerns raised from the floor. He is unsure of exactly what the ministers were on that night but suggests that in future they both cut down on ‘angry pills’ before they attend any future farmer meetings.

YOUR CANINE crusader was recently contacted by a concerned reader who’s been prompted to do some research, given the relentless attack upon agriculture in NZ by the incumbent government and other extremist groups. “My topic was the composition of the human fart, which is made up of 60% nitrogen, 20% hydrogen, 10% carbon dioxide, 5-10% methane and 1% hydrogen sulphide (the smelly bit),” our scientific friend informs. “I think action needs to be taken -- a serious cull or mitigation through administration of a GM vaccine,” he goes on. Meanwhile, the Hound’s correspondent believes the other burning issue is the health & safety aspect. “Both methane and hydrogen (35% of the composition of said fart) are FLAMMABLE!” he explains. “Something must be done!” His proposal is an immediate declaration of a ‘Fart Emergency’. “Alas, with all the hot air coming our way since the coalition took office.”

THIS OLD mutt has been contacted by many concerned individuals about the role the former Synlait boss John Penno is playing in pimping the Government’s freshwater proposals. Penno scored himself a nice gig as the head of the Freshwater Leaders Group and has been touring the country trying to sell the water reforms and telling farmers they will no longer be able to convert to dairy or irrigate. But many have pointed out to your canine crusader that it’s rich of Penno (who has certainly got rich) to be calling on farmers NZ-wide to clean up their act. Especially while developing Synlait, he cut down acres of forests in Canterbury, converted it to dairy land, raised the N and P levels in the waterways around central Canterbury and then sold out to the Chinese. Talk about pulling the ladder up behind you, Johnny-boy!

THE HOUND was intrigued to read an article recently, on the Newsroom website, that shows that Education Minister Chris ‘Chippy’ Hipkins was pushing strongly behind the scenes for a merger of Lincoln and Canterbury universities. According to the report, Lincoln was “dragged into merger discussions” by the education minister. Hipkins told Newsroom he had concerns about Lincoln making little progress on implementing the recommendations of a 2017 advisory board report and faced a range of financial risks. In the end, Hipkins pulled the plug on the merger plan in July this year, claiming the estimated cost ($124$160 million) “far outweighed the benefits”. The minister says disestablishing Lincoln is now off the agenda and a merger will not be needed -- “as long as Lincoln delivers on its potential”. Watch this space.

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Digging deeper into soil’s black box ORGANIC MATTER is the black box of the soil: it determines many factors in biological activities but predicting the outcomes of those biological activities is not easy. With sand, silt and clay, organic matter affects soil structure, porosity, drainage and nutrient availability. It supports soil organisms by providing energy and nutrients for growth and reproduction. When these organisms die they contribute to the organic matter. The recycling is not complete because the mineralisation of the organic matter, which is about 58% carbon, releases carbon dioxide and also releases nutrients. The fate of those nutrients depends on rainfall and drainage, activity of plants and other soil organisms and ability of soil and organic matter to ‘hold’ nutrients in the soil profile. It is one of the conundrums of organic matter that it is both a source and sink of nutrients. Another conundrum is that organic matter holds water, but if it dries out it can be difficult to wet up again. Overall, it adds considerable value to agriculture because it supports plant growth. It has also been proposed as adding value through carbon credits. Like trees growing, when soil organic matter is increasing it sequesters carbon. But unlike tree trunks, the soil organic matter is associated with nutrients which have value in themselves. The cost of building a tonne of carbon into the soil has been estimated at five times that of the carbon credit at present prices of fertiliser. Of course, money isn’t the only reason to build soil organic matter, but our soils are already rich. A Ministry for the Environment and StatsNZ report, Our Land, indicated that 95% of New Zealand’s soils are in the target range for soil organic matter. This means that adding more requires a significant change in

On a yearly basis, changes in soil organic matter are small and against a large background are difficult to measure. In addition, in NZ variability is very high across the landscape.


Jacqueline Rowarth management – increasing nutrient input (such as fertiliser) or decreasing offtake (by reducing stock numbers, for instance). This is the basis for regenerative farming, and America has reported an increase to 6% organic matter by using lax rotational grazing. NZ is already, on average, at 8% organic matter under pasture. America and Australia are discussing bringing soil carbon into a reward system for farmers. This sounds attractive until the details are considered. On a yearly basis, changes in soil organic matter are small and against a large background are difficult to measure. In addition, in NZ variability is very high across the landscape. A further problem is that organic matter is eroded during drought because the soil organisms breaking it down continue their activity, but plants aren’t growing and replenishing it. Farmers could then be faced with a liability. And who would do the measuring? Another person with a tick-box clipboard? It is likely that soil organic matter will be included in farm environment plans as an indicator of good management. And farmers already know about good soil management. We know that to increase worms (and other soil organisms), water and nutrients make the difference; the area where the effluent has been sprayed tends to be a hive of activity. The difference on the Canterbury Plains now in comparison with 20 years ago is considerable. Irrigation and nutrients have built up the organic matter and erosion has been reduced. Dust storms are almost a thing

of the past. The presence of soil organic matter is part of what makes

NZ a good country for farming. Most of the time it is maintained in balance, with nutrients

in equalling nutrients out. Changes such as additional nutrients and water, as has happened

on the Canterbury Plains, can increase the quantity of organic matter. Changes such as removal of water (drought) and nutrients will decrease it. Research, much of it funded by the NZ Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre, is continuing with the aim of understanding more

about the ‘black box’, but at the moment adding it to any sort of carbon trading is not advised. • Dr Jacqueline Rowarth has a PhD in Soil Science (nutrient cycling) and has been analysing agrienvironment interaction for several decades. @rural_news

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A change in rural neighbourhoods? OWEN JENNINGS

DON’T BE surprised if you get new neighbours soon. They may not be farmers. Most likely they will

be foresters. Your new neighbours may be Kiwis, but it is more likely they will be large offshore companies seeking carbon credits. Don’t get the idea you

may outbid these potential neighbours. It is not that they have deeper pockets – that’s a given. It’s the cold hard fact that they can make a truckload more money plant-

ing trees than you can out of running stock. They can make at least twice your net per hectare and within a short time it could well be ten times that. The

carbon price per tonne could go up 5 to 10 times in the next short period. It is an amazing potential windfall on its way and you cannot get a cent of it. The Ardern-Peters Coalition has barred you from getting a slice of this emerging bonanza. Some facts: 1. Farms are already being purchased across the North Island for trees. At least 12 have changed hands in the Taumarunui area. At least 100,000 ha in Wairarapa has gone to pines. 2. On average, a meat and wool property nets $500 to $700/hectare. At about $25/tonne a forest investor can get more than that today and still have the discounted income from the trees. Imagine what that looks like if the carbon price doubles and trebles and more as predicted. 3. Existing farmers cannot get this windfall.


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How unfair is that? 4. Trees don’t employ people for 25 years and then it’s all over in a month or so. What is that going to do to your community, the services, the school, your fuel bill? 5. NZ is already a net carbon sink. We sequester more than we produce. Any more trees means we are subsidising our competitors. 6. We produce food with a lower carbon footprint than anyone else. When your neighbours go, that food will be produced by someone else overseas with a much larger carbon footprint. How dopey is that? 7. The Coalition has already broken the Paris Accord which states very clearly that no mitigation measures should reduce food production. Talk about cherry picking! 8. Cutting up to 40% of sheep and beef farmers and up to a third of dairy

farms under the Zero Carbon Bill as predicted by some economists will gut our already vulnerable economy. Does Winston understand that and care? 9. On top of new water regulations and other compliance costs, these emissions measures will tip over some highly stressed farmers. Does PM Ardern -- the Queen of Kindness -- care? The Zero Carbon Bill states very boldly that it is about “leadership”. It’s not leadership, it’s virtue signalling, grandstanding on the world stage. If it was leadership of integrity the Coalition would be much more attentive to the huge damage their measures are causing you, your family and your community. • Owen Jennings is a former ACT MP and past national president of Federated Farmers.

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At least we’ll have somewhere to swim JOHN JACKSON

DAMIEN O’CONNOR in late August told TVNZ’s Q + A programme, when explaining the soon-tobe-released Essential Freshwater proposals, that he expected the cost to farmers to be in the order of 1 to 2 % and that they’d be able to absorb those costs. Really? 1 to 2 %? Not since Rogernomics has the launch of a document caused so much conjecture or concern amongst farmers. At their busiest time of the season they are fronting up in droves to meetings NZ-wide to express their concern at what appears to be an ideological, impractical nonsense document produced with no input from farming.  I did some reading and attended a meeting hosted by MfE. There we were told what the document didn’t mean (and reminded frequently that it was only a discussion document) and at another meeting with Beef + Lamb NZ we had it explained what it could mean. It appears all winter grazing of crops could be outlawed due to pugging restrictions and probably nutrient loading of runoff. Nitrogen river levels in dairy industry waterways with an expected 6.9mg/L – which was formerly considered an environmental target proven barely manageable — have been reduced to 1mg/L. This would make the continuation of dairy, as we have known it, in many areas impossible. For those who remain, fencing along waterways would need to be removed and reinstated 5m from the bank which would consume a fair chunk of what was previously considered productive land. In the hills beyond, across both islands, the previously necessary and considered good management of rotational grazing mobs of stock would no longer be able to be practised, as 18 su/ha in a paddock with a waterway

is now deemed environmentally threatening. If constraints on physical land area and practice weren’t enough, there are many grandparenting restrictions and applications that would restrict and confine any increased production potential a new purchaser might envisage. Mind ,you such reforms would help reduce NZ’s greenhouse emissions from agriculture. Firstly, we could disband our ICCP scientists, such would be the necessary massive reduction in stock numbers. We could also disband the recently appointed group the Government wished to have consider the implications of winter grazing practices. This practice would no longer be applicable in any form, so that would save money. Other positive downstream effects which the Government has until now been struggling to address would include a flurry of housing stock that would come to market. This would happen as bankers forced ‘fire sales’ by farmers of all available housing stock (and anything else) not immediate to their farm business. And the few horticulturalists who would comply with the new freshwater protocols would no longer be short of seasonal staff. People previously employed in some capacity by the pastoral sector or its associated industries would then be available to help pick apples and the like. So that’s sorted too.  Capital inflows from foreign countries would be welcomed as they would again prop up our already indebted agricultural processors. The greatest benefit, of course, would be that we would have swimmable and drinkable water NZ-wide which we could all enjoy. This would be more necessary than ever because, as we know when we compare greenhouse gas output, we

would be producing less of our efficient product to send to a growing world population. So our inefficient competitors overseas would ramp up their production, consequently further warming

the world. Where better to spend your time if you are out of a job, or it’s too hot, than at your local swimming hole? • John Jackson completed a Bachelor of Agricultural

Commerce at Lincoln University and read social studies at Oxford (philosophy, politics and economics). He farms sheep and beef at Te Akau. @rural_news

John Jackson



Hands-on experience for students JILL GALLOWAY


GETTING OUT of the classroom cranks the handles of many Massey University agriculture students. They run small farms, weighing ewes and lambs and checking pasture intakes and pasture residues. There are three groups of five each, made up of agriculture students and some studying commerce and animal science. All are third and final year bachelor course students. A lecturer in the School of Agriculture and Environment, Danny Donaghy (DairyNZ professor of dairy production systems in the School of Agriculture and Environment), runs the farmlets. Donaghy says the aim is to give students an idea of managing pregnant ewes through winter. He is helped by technician and manager Mark Osborne and head shepherd Brian Smith.

LAMB WEIGHTS varied from 13.8 to 14.5 kilograms and lamb numbers went from 23 to 26 per small farm. Ewe weights varied at the start from 60 to 72 kilograms and two groups put on 30 kilograms of nitrogen in an effort to boost growth. Each group was asked what they would do differently. Most would change the rotation and when they set stocked ewes prior to lambing; others doubted the need for urea. Prof Donaghy says each of the

The farmlets started with 16 in-lamb ewes each in early May and the study ended late September. All three groups were winners, says Donaghy, but one did better with lamb weights and the number of lambs and ewes. “It is a safe place to try to manage new things,” said student Jack Arthurs-Schoppe. He and Graham Johnson, in the same group, say it is interesting learning out-

students will give a report on their farmlet and there is to be an oral interview as part of the process. “They will also be asked about their pasture predictions in May versus the reality through winter. And what if they were in different regions, for example Northland or Southland, how would they expect the pasture to growth then? And what if they had to take ewes and lambs through to weaning? All these things we ask students to think about.”

side the classroom. “It is good and interesting this practical learning. You can see how your application yields results,” Johnson told Rural News. Some of the group of 15 are keen to try farming, some want to be shepherds, one was keen on agronomy and others wanted to be rural professionals such as bankers and farm advisers. Each group had an eight paddock farmlet of equal area and they

started with the same number of ewes. Each group had a different rotation and set stocking strategy. Two groups lost two ewes before lambing to bearings and a cast ewe which died within hours. Johnston and ArthursSchoppe say they went out to check ewes once a day and farm staff went around lambing ewes three times a day. But the cast ewe was on her back and died between the groups’ checking.

This made a difference to lamb numbers: 23 was their final number and the other groups had 25 and 26. “They got in-lamb ewes and had to run

them from May to September. Those winter months are always difficult,” Donaghy explained. “We start with lectures indoors and then they have to put all they

have learned into practice on the farmlets. And they can only use grass-based systems. They are allowed to put on nitrogen fertiliser but that’s all -- no supplement.”


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Close friends work SUDESH KISSUN

THE NUMBERS speak for themselves on the Morlands Farm equity partnership: operating profit is $1000/ha above the Waikato average. Operating expenses are $1.30/kgMS lower than an average Waikato

Cows on Morlands Farm, Pokuru, Waikato.

farm. Equity growth from profit on Morlands Farm is forecast to top $2.5 million in 10 years compared to under $1m for the average farm in the region. So what makes this equity partnership tick? The equity partners, couples Pete Morgan and Ann Bouma and Peter and

Jenny Sinclair, opened their farm in Pokuru to about 200 people for a Pasture Summit field day last month. Morgan and Bouma and the Sinclairs are in their second season farming together in an equity partnership: they were neighbours 20 years ago and have remained close friends. Now in their second year as equity partners, the couples have equal say in running the business Morlands Ltd, split into two farms, milking about 300 cows each in two milking sheds. The Sinclairs own a

25% share of Morlands Ltd, which Pete and Ann already had set up. Morlands leases Pete and Ann’s original 154ha milking platform at Pokuru, and owns the remaining 110ha, which includes a 65ha neighbouring block the partnership bought during its first season. Morlands also owns 500 cows, the machinery and 40,000 Fonterra shares. Morgan acknowledges there are no templates or farm equity partnerships. Both Morgan and Peter Sinclair run separate halves of the farm but share machinery and

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wonders in equity partnership synergies. All decisions on farm are made by all four partners, who each have a key role running the farms. Morgan is the business manager while Pete Sinclair looks after maintenance/operations. Ann, a qualified vet, looks after animal health and shares calf rearing duties with Jenny, who is also a DairyNZ farmer engagement group member on environment. Ann also looks after the accounts. Morgan says their equity partnership runs a three-tier decision-making process: first, is there evidence a proposed solution will work; secondly, will it work on the farm; thirdly, will it be financially viable for the farm? Morgan says the solution must take the business in the direction “we want to go”. “We can pass the first two hurdles but drop it at the third because it still doesn’t keep us going forward,” he said. “We keep filtering decisions through these three layers. It helps our EP.” Morgan also believes in keeping things simple on the farm. “We make sure we don’t end up doing things we don’t need to do: we strip things right back to a basic level. I call it efficiency but others may call it being lazy.

“If I see something that needs doing I [ask myself] ‘can I actually ●● 235ha effective do it with less ●● 630 cows milking on two milking sheds energy, less ●● Total production $220,000kgMS money and ●● 940kgMS/ha less time?’ ●● 2.7 cows/ha “When you ●● Pasture harvested: 12.2t DM/ha complicate ●● Operating expenses $3.67/kgMS things they get ●● Operating profit $3000/ha. more expensive and things ing at production dockets break.” from Fonterra. Morgan says like any “It’s not about probusiness, profitability is duction, not about gross the key. income,” he said. “It’s “We boil it down to Pasture Summit chair Colin Armer and one of the host farmers Peter Sinclair at the about how lean we could everything you do: every field day. keep the business and paddock you put the this dovetails well with cows into, every time our philosophy of keeping you think about feeding it simple and very objecsomething out. tive. “Every time you make “I’d rather wear a lean a decision, think about business as a badge of what is the profitabilhonour than production ity impact that’s going to per cow and production have. per hectare.” “I believe if you need The farm keeps a tab more than six numbers on feed costs, buying to work something out some hay and a few hunyou are over-complicatdred kilos of PKE per ing things.” cow. Morlands’ operatRobust UDOR Italian “We realised early ing expenses last season ceramic plunger pump on that feed costs could reached $3.67/kgMS, with brass head. blow things out. We compared to $5/kgMS for 10 models, both never saw truly indepenthe Waikato region. direct drive and with dent evidence of anything While labour and low rpm pump and else. stock costs were about gear box. “I’m not dissing the the same, Morlands’ feed Genuine Honda with feed companies. Hardcore costs were under $1/ 3 yr warranty. evidence in the induskgMS, compared to $1.75 try over the last 40 years for Waikato. shows there are lots of Morgan says they hidden costs associated don’t dwell too much on with feed.” productivity, barely look-

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Avoiding triple drench resistance Triple drench resistance is appearing at an alarming rate, particularly in the North Island. But it can be prevented by correct management. DANNEVIRKE VET Simon Marshall says farmers need to be aware of this emerging issue and farm management strategies need to be implemented to protect long term drench efficacy. Marshall, who is the national spokesman for Wormwise (internal parasite management strategy funded by Beef + Lamb NZ), defines triple drench resistance as

existing when a previous susceptible population of parasites can no longer be killed with the same chemical, ie the parasites have developed the ability to withstand that chemical. Triple combination drenches, which include all three drench families, were released in 2004 and initially proved very effective. While there are plenty

Workshops BLNZ runs Wormwise workshops. Contact your local BLNZ extension manager to request a workshop in your area.

of farms where one or more drenches are still effective, vets and farmers are now seeing parasites which can withstand all three chemicals

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Farmers need to be aware of the growing issue of triple drench resistance.

and, in some cases, this is forcing farmers to completely change their farm systems. Marshall says while using triple active drenches is a great idea, if the use of these is not coupled with farm management practices which help control internal parasites, it puts the business at risk of significant productivity and profitability losses. One of the first steps farmers should take in understanding and managing the internal parasite status of their farm is to discover the efficacy of their drenches with a faecal egg count reduction test (FECRT). Marshall recommends doing one of these tests every two to three years in early summer when most internal parasites

are present. If a problem is found, this test may need to be done more frequently. “Some farmers are doing it annually which is a big outlay, but it is recommended otherwise they could be using drenches which are ineffective,” he said. He admits FECRTs are a blunt tool, but they show farmers that any changes they have made in their drench use and management have had an effect.   FECRTs can be used to determine worm burdens in individual stock classes such as twotooths before mating or hoggets over winter. Even mixed age ewes can be tested at times of stress such as pre-lamb. A simple drench check – where a FEC is

done seven to 14 days after drenching – can also give farmers a clue to the efficacy of their drenches. For farmers finishing lambs, doing this test at the start of the season (spring, early summer) will give them an idea of what drench family they should be using that year. A larval culture will give farmers an insight into what species of internal parasite they are dealing with on their farm. “Regular monitoring will help farmers understand the efficacy of their drench programme.” Marshall says all these tests should be done with a vet or animal health provider who is able to interpret the results and advise on any changes in management practices. Every time farmers use drench they risk develop-

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ing resistant worm populations. But taking a whole system approach to the management and control of internal parasites will ideally reduce input costs and allow farmers to use drenches in a more useful and targeted way. “Taking a whole system approach doesn’t happen overnight and it requires constant monitoring and measuring and potentially making changes along the way.” In light of the emergence of triple-drench resistance, Marshall recommends all livestock farmers attend a Wormwise workshop or work alongside their vets or animal health professionals to develop a plan to manage internal parasites and retain the efficacy of their drench programme.



NZ’s ‘worm detective’ to hit the world stage PAM TIPA

A MASSEY PhD student known as the ‘worm detective’ for his work on sheep worms will represent New Zealand on a huge global stage in Germany in November. Seer Ikurior was one of 45 competing NZers and Pasifika, of whom 20 were chosen to pitch their ideas at an annual event called Falling Walls Lab New Zealand. This was held recently by Royal Society Te Aparangi recently, supported by the German Embassy in Wellington. Falling Walls Lab is described by the Royal Society Te Aparangi as “an opportunity for next generation innovators and creative thinkers to share – in three minutes – their research project, business model or social initiative relevant to the world today and compete to win a trip to the FWL finale in Berlin”. Ikurior will be among 100 finalists making their pitch at the global Falling Walls Lab final in Berlin in November. His research is aimed at helping farmers to more sustainably control gastrointestinal nematodes in grazing ruminants. These cost the NZ sheep industry about $300 million a year. Ikurior calls himself the ‘worm detective because he so admired

fictional detectives as a child. “The current way to detect worms is to count the eggs of worms in lamb faeces, which can be a tedious process for a large flock,” he said. “My research uses GPS monitors and activity sensors to monitor the movements and activity patterns of infected and uninfected lambs, to see if there are monitorable differences in distance travelled and behaviours.” So far, his results show that infected lambs idle more and move less than uninfected. He is now working on a behaviour index of activity trends and movement patterns that identify lambs with worms versus those who do not. “I hope that by integrating this information into existing electronic identification ear tags, the farmer will be able to target treatment to only infected lambs. Targeted treatments means worms are exposed less to anthelmintic drugs and form less [drench] resistance.” Last year Ikurior won the Future Leader Award as part of the Royal Society Te Aparangi Early Career Researcher video competition. He was also voted the People’s Choice Award at Massey’s doctoral Three-Minute Thesis final. The Falling Walls Lab event is inspired by the

fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989. The question is asked at every Falling Walls gathering: which walls will fall next? Last year, at least 3000 applications were submit-

ted for 77 Falling Walls Labs that took place in 57 countries worldwide. NZ representative Ankita Poudyal won third place with her presentation ‘Breaking the Wall of Inefficient Filters’.

Massey PhD student Seer Ikurior will represent NZ in Germany in November promoting his research that aims to help sheep farmers sustainably control worms. PHOTO: MASSEY UNIVERSITY

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JD’s new 6M series breaks cover MARK DANIEL

JOHN DEERE’S country manager for New Zealand, Mark Hamilton-Manns, says JD’s 6M series tractors are a rugged workhorse well received by all sectors of agriculture. So he must be getting excited about the news of the new 6M series following its recent launch in Europe and North America. Now not far from NZ, the new 6M will replace the current 6M, 6MC and 6RC ranges, with

John Deere’s new 6M series.

models in 4- and 6-cylinder layouts. The fourpots will see three new models of 90, 100 and 120hp, dubbed 6090M, 6100M, and 6120M

respectively. These units have a shorter wheelbase (2400mm) resulting in a tight 4350m turning radius. They will be powered by engines to

Tier 4 Final emission regulations and have a new raked hood that offers much better forward visibility, particularly when combined with


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a frontloader. This is also enhanced by a slimmer steering wheel cowl and can have an optional panoramic cabin roof. Despite their reduced

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wheelbase, the models retain the full-frame concept, allowing the fourpots to operate at a maximum weight of 10.45 tonnes, with a useful payload of 4.7t. Also new for the 6M is a cabin rated to a 70dB(A) noise level, with controls to the right of the driver and a comprehensive display panel on the right-hand A pillar. The new 4-cylinder variants will have 4.5L Power Tech EWL engines and Intelligent Power Management (IPM) to boost output by an extra 20hp in PTO and transport tasks. The existing 4-cylinder units use the PSS block, while the 6-cylinders take the 6.8L PVS engine, both to Tier 2 emission standards. Gearbox options will include Power Quad, Auto Quad and Command Quad Plus. The first two variants have four-step powershift, while the Command Quad Plus will effect automatic gear and range changes without use of the clutch pedal. Other notable features include EcoShift that delivers 40km/h at

only 1590 engine revs and AutoClutch that brings the tractor to a stop with just the brake pedal, said to be ideal for loader work. They are said to be easy to configure for multiple situations or operator needs. Options include mechanical cab suspension and the maker’s wellknown Triple-Link front suspension. Additionally, an electro-hydraulic joystick has programmable switches including direction changes and a comprehensive 360-degree LED lighting package. The new series can be equipped with up to four mechanical or electrically activated remote hydraulic valves, with the latter option a first for the 6M series. All models can be equipped with the Starfire 6000 satellite receiver and the 4240 and 4640 Greenstar display terminals. Depending on the level of precision required, when using AutoTrac automatic steering SF3 and RTK signals and the free SF1 option are available.

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KV’s triple mower offers great versatility and capacity MARK DANIEL

RECENT TRENDS in high capacity triple mower set-ups have led to operators requesting a wider choice of swath size and shape. In developing the KV531000BX, grassland specialist Kverneland has devised a way to produce a single swath from its 10m working width as well as several other variations. This includes three single swaths, a half width spread -- in order to move the crop away from a fence line -- or full width spreading. Standard swath plates are slid into position for the desired swath width, while for conditions requiring wide spreading, FlipOver wide spreading vanes are engaged in seconds. The KV BX uses a twin belt swathing system, offering the ability to constantly adjust working width and overlap without the need to stop and reset ground pressure.

If side-shifted to adjust overlap, belt speed immediately adjusts to compensate for the distance the crop needs to be moved. Conversely, when increasing the overlap in corners, belt speed is lowered to ensure that the crop is placed

as intended. Automated belt speed adjustment relative to working width does the job of adjusting the belt speed to working width, to create the same uniform swath width regardless of the position of the mowing units.

Working in heavy crops and following with a machine equipped with a narrow pick-up can present challenges. The BX offers the possibility of positioning the swath belts at different operating heights, to deliver the crop on top of the swath made by the

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36,000 bales. 402379. Palmerston North.

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2008, c/w maize and grass fronts, in good all round condition. 403686. Te Awamutu. 0800 66 79 663 All prices are plus GST. Errors and omissions accepted.

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rops c/w Sigma FEL, 4,096 hours 403979. Te Awamutu.

As new seed drill, seed only, 75mm spacing, double disc coulters, opt weight packs inc. 402570. Christchurch.

$39,900 Vaderstad Rapid 300C 3m box drill The most versatile drill on the market, fert and seed, good tidy used drill. 403784. New Plymouth.

$25,000 New Holland RB150 round baler Rotor Cut, ISOBUS, workshop checked and in tidy condition. 403791. Hastings.

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$95,700 New Holland BB1290 Standard square baler

front mower, so forming a narrow, box shaped swath. Delivery height is set by adjusting the belt hydraulically on-the-go, allowing the 3m wide belts to deliver swaths for a specific pick-up unit. The BV 53100 also offers the ability to adjust the conditioner plate at the front and rear, helping to create an efficient crop flow towards the swathing belts. When the mowing units are activated for headland lift, an integrated belt boost function automatically speeds up to clear the belts before they are raised, leaving a clean and tidy headland. Once raised, the AutoStop function stops belt rotation, which resumes when the units are lowered. During transport, the belt units are positioned within the cutting units, while for periods when they are not required the complete units can be removed using their A-frame mounting design and quick-fit hydraulic connections.

$27,995 Duncan Renovator Mk4 24-run, seed and fert 403880. Mosgiel.

$19,500 Giltrap RF9 side feed wagon New sides and scales, in good condition. 403237. Morrinsville.

$19,900 Sam 5 tonne fertiliser spreader Plastic bin, in tidy condition. 403661. Morrinsville

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8R gets golden gong THE LATEST John Deere 8R series tractors, yet to be released, have already won the only gold medal at the upcoming Agtritechnica event scheduled for November. Full details are scarce, but an 8R with an electro-mechanical eAuto-Powr transmission is claimed to be the first IVT (infinitely variable transmission) of its type.

Rural News understands the layout of the new gearbox sees the integral hydraulic motors being replaced by electrical units, while an integrated generator will deliver 100kW (135hp) for secondary/ external use. To demonstrate the concept, John Deere has partnered with Belgian company Joskin, which has created a modified

version of one of its tri-axle slurry tankers. The unit has both rear axles driven electrically, effectively creating an 8WD combination. The companies say this will increase traction and reduce wheel slip, while at the tractor end the electrical portion of the gearbox will improve efficiency and reduce maintenance costs.

Retro-fit intelligence now a reality UNTIL NOW the possibility of taking data from existing mechanical implements and feeding the information into farm management systems has been a pipedream for most farmers. But the German manufacturer Lemken has cracked it. The company’s iQblue connect is a retro-fit kit that connects implements and existing machinery with Tractor Implement Management (TIM) systems. This allows many functions of basic mechanical implements to be automated and integrated into digital documentation. It works on the basis that TIM performs work functions which are triggered by the implement. Operators only require a single iQblue connect module, which can be used with a range of implements. The module connects to the tractor via an ISOBUS interface, and has GPS and a mobile data connection for communication, for example, to the farm management system. Data is transmitted via the agrirouter, a cross-manufacturer platform for exchanging data between machines, farmers, contractors and software applications. Depending on the intended use, a sensor kit is permanently installed on the implement to record the required information and pass it on to the iQblue connect module. This means no further equipment is required as the tractor is used for controlling implement functions. For example, a plough is fitted with a sensor to determine the current working width, from where iQblue connect calculates the target working width from the GPS position and transmits this information to the tractor. The variable working width is then adjusted via the tractor’s hydraulic system. In the case of semi-mounted cultivators, working depth can be detected by a sensor, then it combines with target working depth from maps provided by the agrirouter to subsequently send a command to the tractor to adjust the working depth. A single iQblue connect module can be transferred quickly and easily from one implement to another without special tools, automatically adapting to the implement it is connected to at any given time.

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NH extends hay and forage range MARK DANIEL

NEW HOLLAND launched several new implements at the SIMA 2019 exhibition in Paris, extending its hay and forage range to offer customers a wider choice. The first of these models will arrive in New Zealand in time for spring 2019. “The addition of mowers, tedders and rakes completes our forage tools offering already headlined by the NH balers and FR foragers,” said New Holland brand manager Rod Gardner. The new additions include a wide choice of front- and rear mounted mowers, plus offset and centre-pulled trailed versions, mounted and trailed tedders and side and central delivery

The Mega Cutter triple mower.

The Dura Disc mower. Pro-Rotor rake.

rakes. A plain disc mower line-up has also been extended with three entry-level DuraDisc mowers in working widths from 2.0m to 2.8m, said to be simple to operate and maintain, while delivering high performance. The Mega Cutter

triple mower has adjustable working widths from 8.4m to 8.6m for high output. These are aimed at farmers and contractors who need to keep ahead of high output large balers and forage harvesters. Both ranges are complemented by the offset, front and trailed DiscCut-

ter mowers. For operators looking to dry mown grass for hay or high dry matter silage, three new entry ProTed tedders are on offer, as are five ProRotor rakes in single rotor and twin rotor layouts. Plans are in place for a nationwide roadshow.



THE FUTURE FENDT 700 & 800 SERIES | 1 4 4 – 2 8 7 H P Fendt 700 & 800 Series tractors are superior high-horsepower machines that deliver in terms of compactness, flexibility and performance. These tractors not only feature smart and efficiency enhancing technologies, but now come with an impressive 1.99% finance rate* and a bonus technology pack valued at over $9,600^ that includes; Trimble Receiver, VarioTronic TI Auto and Section Control. There’s never been a better time to step into a Fendt 700 or 800 Series tractor and take your farming operation to new heights. Contact your local Fendt dealer today. *Offer ends 31 October 2019, while stocks last. Finance with an interest rate of 1.99% p.a. available on Hire Purchase agreement based on minimum 30% deposit, the GST component repaid after 4 months and monthly repayments in arrears over a 36 month term. Fees and lending conditions apply to approved GST number holders who use the equipment for business purposes. Finance is approved by AGCO Finance Pty Ltd, GST number 88-831-861. ^Units must be ordered before 31 October 2019 and installed before 31 December 2019. Indent units and Fendt 700 PowerPlus Series do not qualify for technology package. Contact your local Fendt dealer for full terms and conditions.

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Tech talk gets easier MARK DANIEL

FOR TEN years or so, technology such as GPS, auto steering, precision seeding and variable rate fertiliser application have helped boost farmers’ profits.

The only real problem, particularly for operators of mixed fleets of differing brands, has been the inability of machines to ‘talk’ to one another. Now comes DataConnect, a venture between Claas, 365 FastNet and John Deere. It’s described

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A collaboration between Claas and JD is described as agri’s first direct cloud-to-cloud data exchange solution.

as agri engineering’s first direct cloud-to-cloud data exchange solution. The collaboration is part of the Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AIEF) project that allows manufacturers to talk to one another using an agreed common interface. Currently, farmers or contractors with machinery fleets of differing brands have only been able to record, process and document data using the respective equipment and web portals of the individual brands. But DataConnect allows users to exchange their data via a common interface, and to monitor and control




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OVER THE years, the rake driver’s job has got much tougher as selfpropelled forage harvesters have gained horsepower and big bales have got even bigger. This trend has led implement makers to introduce four-rotor swathers just to stay ahead of the game. One such machine from grass and cultivation specialist Kuhn recently had the company laying

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times, the rig hit 22km/h and an output of 32ha/hr. Offered in working widths from 9.5 to 14.7m, the GA 15131 has a self contained, 100% hydraulic drive system. This allows precise measurement of the load on each rotor, while a ‘boost’ function sees the front rotors travelling 20% faster than the rear units to produce a light, airy box shaped swath.

claim to a world record for swathing. On a farm in the dairy area of central Jutland, Denmark, local farmer Mikael Skeldal piloted a John Deere 6250R pulling a Kuhn GA 15131 Gyrorake to cover 188.9ha in eight hours. The event, verified by the German DLG organisation, was carried out in four undulating paddocks averaging 23.6ha/hour. At

BUFFALO BOOTS - spring sale!

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the fleet via the favoured system. The concept allows

means data will still be available in each of the brand’s portals and this can be exchanged in real time from one cloud to another. A key benefit means that all machine configurations are available in one system. This enables the exchange of important machinery data, eg past and current location, fuel levels, work status and forward speed. The system will also likely be able to transmit agronomic data in due course. DataConnect is scheduled for release at Agritechnica ‘19 in November.


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Hail or windstorm, lightning or frost, they can all hit when you least expect it. So it makes sense to safeguard your livelihood with Arable Crop cover from FMG. It protects your crops while they’re growing, and for up to 12 months after they’ve been harvested. We’ll even pay up to 80% of replanting costs if you have a loss within 40 days of planting. So ask around about us. Or better still, give us a call us on 0800 366 466. This is a summary of our product and is subject to our specific product documentation and underwriting criteria which can be found on our website or by calling us on 0800 366 466.

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Profile for Rural News Group

Rural News 08 October 2019  

Rural News 08 October 2019

Rural News 08 October 2019  

Rural News 08 October 2019