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Lights, camera, action on sheep. PAGE 29

New John Deere 7R series waiting in the wings. PAGE 35

Primary ITO to apply for more Trade Academy placements. PAGE 12

TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS NOVEMBER 5, 2019: ISSUE 688 

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MANAGEMENT

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

NEWS

Lights, camera, action on sheep. PAGE 29

New John Deere 7R series waiting in the wings. PAGE 35

Primary ITO to apply for more Trade Academy placements. PAGE 12

TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS NOVEMBER 5, 2019: ISSUE 688 

www.ruralnews.co.nz

$6b hit from water reforms SUDESH KISSUN sudesh@ruralnews.co.nz

THE GOVERNMENT’S proposed freshwater reforms could derail the dairy industry and cost New Zealand $6 billion annually from 2050. This stark warning was delivered by DairyNZ last week in its submission to the proposed Essential Freshwater package. “The proposed freshwater changes

would result in significant declines in milk production: it’s a serious threat to the international competitiveness of New Zealand’s dairy sector,” said DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle. Following the Government’s September release of proposed freshwater regulations, DairyNZ initiated three studies into the potential economic: two of these economic studies are independent and all three have been peer reviewed.

The economic analysis shows potential significant impact: by 2050, total milk production is forecast to fall by 24% and all national exports by 5.2% or $8.1b. Tax revenue from dairy is also forecast to more than halve by 2050, with an annual loss of $0.54b at the national level. The flow-on effects of less milk production are far-reaching and particularly severe for several New

Doggy welcome for minister Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor got a very rural welcome when he arrived at Feilding High School last week to launch an initiative designed to encourage more young people to choose careers in the agri sector. There to greet him was Phoebe Smailes (16) and her two huntaways Bracken and Sage. Phoebe has already made a name for herself in the dog trialling world as the youngest female (at 14) to compete in the national championships. She comes from a sheep and beef farm at Ohingaiti, central North Island, and is following in her father’s footsteps as a dog triallist. She plans to do a bachelor of agri-commerce at university and aims to be a farm consultant. More on the skills action plan on pages 4.

Zealand communities. Southland, Taranaki, Marlborough and West Coast are likely to be most negatively affected. By 2050, GDP could fall in Southland by up to 3.6%, Taranaki by up to 2.9%, Marlborough by up to 3.2% and West Coast by up to 2.9%. Waikato would also be significantly affected. Federated Farmers vice president Andrew Hoggard says the potential economic impact on regional

economies is staggering. “Is this level of economic pain in regional economies justified or are there better ways of improving water quality?” he said to Rural News. “We believe looking at each catchment and focussing on issues in each catchment is the way to go, rather than imposing a national bottom line.” Hoggard says the freshwater reform is one of the issues facing farmers. “Farmers aren’t just facing this one issue, there’s the zero carbon bill: all strikes are coming at once.” Hoggard says DairyNZ’s economic modelling of the proposed freshwater reform shows regional communities will be hugely impacted. Mackle describes the proposed Essential Freshwater policy package as one of the largest economic challenges posed to the dairy sector in a generation. “Its full effect could lead to a fall in our GDP of $6b by 2050, without even adding additional costs related to climate change,” said Mackle. “Farmers care deeply about the environment and have been doing their bit to protect the environment and our waterways for some time.” Mackle says farmers are “absolutely onboard” with continuing to play their part in improving waterways. However stringent changes cannot be to the detriment of farming’s future and the communities they support. “We need to approach this carefully, balancing environment and economy. We can achieve both goals by working closely together on this issue.” • Submissions flood in – p3

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NEWS 3 ISSUE 688 www.ruralnews.co.nz

NEWS��������������������������������������1-19 AGRIBUSINESS��������������� 20-21 MARKETS��������������������������22-23 HOUND, EDNA���������������������� 24 CONTACTS����������������������������� 24 OPINION��������������������������� 24-26 MANAGEMENT�������������� 28-29 ANIMAL HEALTH������������ 30-31 NZ AGRICULTURE SHOW����������������������������������32-34 MACHINERY AND PRODUCTS���������������������� 35-39 RURAL TRADER�������������39-40

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: editor@ruralnews.co.nz Advertising material: davef@ruralnews.co.nz Rural News online: www.ruralnews.co.nz Subscriptions: subsrndn@ruralnews.co.nz ABC audited circulation 79,553 as at 31.03.2019

Winning the battle? THE MINISTRY for Primary Industries believes the fight against Mycoplasma bovis is being won – albeit slowly. According to the latest report to MPI from the independent M. bovis technical advisory group (TAG), achieving eradication is feasible. The TAG also supports the changes made to the programme over the last six months. It expects the disease to peak mid 2020 and then start to tail off. The latest figures show 4% of New Zealand’s 24,000 farms have been under restrictions and required testing due to possible exposure to M. bovis. So far, of the 201 farms found to be infected 185 have since been cleared of stock and declared safe to repopulate. TAG’s report says there had also been signs of “improved operational performance” over the last six months, including a downward trend in the number of farms testing positive for the disease. “Given currently available data, the TAG concludes that achieving biologi-

cal freedom from M. bovis is feasible in New Zealand, and both Government provided that the number of unde- and our industry partners remain comtected infected herds is not large, mitted to achieving eradication while reducing the impact of infection has not estabthat process on affected lished and spread within farmers as much as posthe non-dairy sector, and sible. that the rate of trans“The battle isn’t won mission to new herds is yet. We still have hard reduced,” the report said. work to do and there will TAG has also supbe more farms placed ported the development under restrictions while of a herd accreditation testing is conducted. We programme, which will also know that there are allow farmers to purareas, like compensation, chase cattle from farms MPI director general Ray where we need to conthat are unlikely to be Smith. tinue to improve.” infected. Smith claims that, so far, more than “The report has provided us with assurance that the programme is work- $100 million in compensation had ing, and that we’ve made the right been paid out and for most people the changes and improvements over the process is effective. “However, we know that some compast six months to improve the programme and support affected farmers,” plex claims are still taking too long and we are working on reducing that wait.” MPI director-general Ray Smith says. “M. bovis is one of the greatest • Bovis compo battle heads to court biosecurity challenges we have faced – pages 10-11

Submissions flood in SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

THE GOVERNMENT will take the next few months to go over 12,000 submissions and work on the proposed Essential Freshwater package. Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor told Rural News that as a result of submissions he would expect changes to the freshwater proposals. Submissions closed last Thursday. He says DairyNZ’s analysis, released last week, is “a valuable contribution” to the body of evidence the consultation has produced.

O’Connor in recent weeks encouraged stakeholders to propose solutions to water quality issues. He thanked all the sector groups and farmers for their work on the proposals. “We’ll take the next few months to go over the more than 12,000 submissions and work on the proposals: that will include talking to sector groups. O’Connor says the Government has heard the concerns regarding nutrient bottom lines: this will be looked at closely. “Our consultation document was clear that no decision would be made on nitrogen and phosphorous

bottom lines until comprehensive impact analysis has been completed.” O’Connor says there are several areas of DairyNZ’s report worth noting. “Critically, the baseline used in DairyNZ’s report excludes existing requirements. Actions required under the 2014 National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management are ignored. “Many of the changes identified in the report would have needed to be made under existing policy.” He agrees with DairyNZ that the right solution will balance environmental sustainability with economic prosperity.

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LAMB ON A ROLL LAMB PRICES hit an all-time high of $8.60/kg early last month. BNZ economist Doug Steel says prices are more than 27% above their five year average for this time of year. “Prices have been very strong over recent weeks as we pass through what is the typical seasonal peak period before new season lambs come through in volume. “But there is more to it than just seasonal strength, with lamb prices hitting an all-time high above $8.60/kg in early October.” For the season ending September 2019, average lamb prices hit a record $7.60/kg - only 20c above the record set last season but significantly higher than the five year average of $6.00/ kg. Steel expects sheepmeat demand to remain high. China remains the key, with a very sharp lift in the share of NZ sheepmeat exports heading there in recent times. Meat Industry Association chief executive Tim Ritchie says over 50% of sheepmeat exports are heading to China this year. He says sheep and beef exports to China are booming because of the misfortune of the pork industry, under attack from African swine fever virus. But Ritchie says NZ lamb exports to other Asian countries are also on the rise. “It’s the beauty of having many doors open around the world: it’s all about market access,” he told Rural News. He says there’s nothing in the horizon to suggest that lamb prices could fall. – Sudesh Kissun

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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

4 NEWS

Back to school for farmers – to teach! PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

WE NEED farmers and others from the agri sector to talk to young people in schools if New Zealand is to make progress in getting more of them to make the wider agri sector their career choice. That’s the view of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) chief executive Tim Fowler, who spoke at the launch of the Food and Fibre Action plan – a pan agri approach to fill the labour shortage in the sector. The action plan has had input from a group representing the various primary sector groups including dairy, sheep and

beef, horticulture, the meat industry, Federated Farmers, MPI and various training organisations. The report focuses on getting industry to identify the skills they see as needed, promoting career opportunities, having fit for purpose training courses from vocational level to PhDs and ensuring that employers provide a quality work environment. The TEC is charged with delivering the training programmes and as part of this has created a food and fibre careers hub. Flower says the food and fibre sector is mission-critical to NZ. He says that as part of the initiative, better careers

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experts to demonstrate all the various career options that support the food and fibre sector. “What brought this home to me was when I was on a plane sitting next to a cow cockie who I was telling about this problem,” Flower said. “He then described to me the variety of things that go on in his farming business. Not just the on farm stuff, but the business and technology skills that are required. We have got a job to do and there is no two ways about it, but it is fundamental that we get it right.” Finally, Flower believes money is not really the issue in terms of funding courses. He says the issue is the lack of demand and hence the plan to attract more people into the sector.

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Flower believes there is a need to address this issue of providing kids at a young age with an idea of what actually happens on farms. “In my view we need farmers in schools -preferably in primary schools,” he told Rural News. “It’s been demonstrated internationally, by a lot of research, that the stereotypes around biases of what kids can and can’t do are formed at the ages of seven and eight. So if we are trying to get kids into the food and fibre sector at the age of 15, 16 and 17, then clearly the horse has bolted.” Fowler says it’s not just about getting farmers into the classroom. He adds there are plans to get software engineers, entrepreneurs, robotics

MICHELLE GLOGAU is the chief executive of GrowingNZ, a group made up representatives from the various agri sector organisations and tasked with promoting career opportunities in the food and fibre area. She was a member of the skills working group that helped produce this latest initiative. Glogau says while some of the other sectors look much more exciting and sexier for young people, it’s a case of better messaging and dispelling myths – such as farming is all about early morning starts and living in sometimes isolated rural environments. “That clearly isn’t the case and there are a whole host of other roles that can take place in the rural community or in the city and all contribute to our primary sector,” she told Rural News. “We are really excited about ‘Inspiring the Futures’. And having the opportunity to shift those perceptions at primary school level and also in secondary schools where students are starting to make their subject and career choices.” Glogau says while teachers play a role in determining a young person’s career, she adds that families are also influential. “The challenge is to influence them as well.”

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NEWS 5 NOT A BAD EARNER RURAL NEWS’ OIA also asked about the criteria, interview process and make-up of the panel that went into deciding the composition of the 16 member FLG. “The Minister for the Environment and Minister of Agriculture asked the Ministry for the Environment to seek suggestions on their behalf for suitable people from relevant primary sector agencies and representatives,” MfE responded. “Ministers then assessed the candidates and selected a group of people… to ensure the success of the FLG and the Government’s Essential Freshwater programme.” Some of this ‘selected’ group included many vocal farming critics such as the former Fish and Game boss Bryce Johnson; Environmental Defence Society executive director (former DoC head) Hugh Logan; fresh-

water campaigner Marnie Prickett; and Landcorp’s head of environment Alison Dewes. According to MfE’s website, the FLG met 11 times in total from October 2018 until June 2019. Chair John Penno was paid a $1000 daily meeting fee, while group members were paid a daily meeting fee of $500 each. “Note that not all FLG members have chosen to claim the fees,” MfE explained. Farmer members Tom Lambie and Graham Gleeson claimed no fees, neither did Traci Houpapa and Beef + Lamb NZ executive Corina Jordan. Chair John Penno claimed the most in daily fees at $18,000, Dewes claimed the next highest amount of $12,942, Logan was next at $11,500 and Prickett the fourth highest claimant at $9500.

Freshwater Leaders Group chair John Penno.

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FARMERS ARE not the only ones to be lumped with the heavy costs of the Government’s proposed new recommendations for freshwater. Preliminary findings show that taxpayers will also pay profusely for preparing David Parker’s wideeyed vision of “achieving a noticeable improvement in five years and restore our waterways within a generation”. With the submission period now closed on the freshwater proposals, the primary sector waits in trepidation to see what exactly the final recommendations – and on-farm costs – will be. In the meantime, the costs to the taxpayer of coming up with these proposed recommendations are

already mounting. An Official Information Act (OIA) request by Rural News has discovered that just one of the four advisory groups, established to provide advice and recommendations on freshwater reforms to the Government, has already accrued nearly $400,000 in “baseline and non-baseline” costs – up until October 1, 2019. Rural News’ OIA related only to the costs and makeup of the 16-member Freshwater Leaders Group (FLG) chaired by former Synlait founder John Penno. The FLG is just one of the four separate advisory groups established by the Government to come up with its proposed water reforms – alongside the Maori Freshwater Forum, Science and Technical Advisory Group and Essential Freshwater Regional

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6 NEWS

Deal done on ETS PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

DEALING WITH agricultural emissions is very much on the radar of farmers, says Beef + Lamb NZ chief executive Sam McIvor. He told Rural News that recent surveys of farmers by BLNZ show that dealing with agricultural emissions is a high priority, as are animal health and farm efficiency. His comments come after primary sector leaders and the Government late last month struck a deal which means farmers won’t have to start paying for their emissions until 2025, provided they make progress in finding ways to measure and price emissions at farm level. There will help from

PM Jacinda Adern, Climate Change Minister James Shaw, DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle and Beef + Lamb chair Andrew Morrison.

the Government and incentives for agriculturalists proactive in dealing with their on farm emissions. The plan will see both parties working together to develop practical and cost effective ways to measure and price emissions at farm level by 2025. Meanwhile, legislation will still be passed put-

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ting agriculture into the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) from 2025, with a 95% discount rate. But the Government has put a ‘backstop clause’ into the legislation. This states that if it is proven that the agricultural sector hasn’t made sufficient progress by 2022 the Government will inter-

vene and put the sector into the ETS earlier at processor level. McIvor says the advantage of the agreement with the Government is that it puts agriculture more in the driving seat. He says arbitrarily putting farmers into the ETS now would have resulted in a lot of volatility.

“My experience with farmers, over a long time, is that once you put the facts in front of them and the decisions are made then they just want to get on and do the right thing,” he told Rural News. “Now that we have this legislation, we need the Government to tell us what to do. “Farmers are really interested [in the range] of Government policies coming out that are broadly in the environmental space, such as water, elite soils and biodiversity. I think farmers are trying to work out how to put all these things together in our farming systems.” McIvor says that to date the Government can be criticised for not having struggled to look at these things in a holistic way.

SHOULDER TO SHOULDER GOVERNMENT MINISTERS and industry leaders are standing shoulder to shoulder in support of the deal. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the agreement is a world first and moves NZ closer to its goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable food producer. “We need a plan that supports our environment… and our primary sector. A plan that is practical innovative and achievable,” she said. Ardern says it’s great to see primary sector leaders sharing the same aspirations as the Government. Climate Change Minister James Shaw is equally upbeat, describing it as a huge step forward in NZ’s collective effort to combat the climate crisis. Shaw says they could have forced the sector into a pricing regime that it was completely allergic to and that would have been unsustainable. He says the agreement reached reflects a level of consensus that has never been reached in NZ before. “Our farmers are among the most adaptable, competitive, efficient, productive and innovative in the world. We are the first country to legislate the pricing of agricultural emissions. The world is looking to us for leadership and we will be the first to make it ok for others to follow,” he said. Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor joined in the self praise, describing the consensus as historical although not perfect. He says if there is one sector that recognises the value of cooperation it is the farming sector. “Where we cooperate we succeed. Consumers are increasingly wanting to know that what they buy is good for them and good for the world. What we are doing is putting a price on emissions that will incentivise best practice in farming to build on our reputation as the best farmers in the world.” O’Connor says the agreement is a huge opportunity.


RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

NEWS 7

Farmers accepting, detractors grumble PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

THE AGREEMENT’S genesis was in the document He Waka Eke Noa – Our Future in Our Hands, developed by the primary sector. The Government has taken on board the proposals in this document and dropped its own proposals, which were unveiled in July of this year. Beef + LambNZ chairman Andrew Morrison said at the media conference at Parliament that he was extremely proud to be there. He says the deal is a good outcome for farmers and for NZ. Morrison says it gives all the agricultural organisations and the Government an opportunity to map out a plan to manage NZ agricultural emissions. “I believe this partnership will ensure we deliver the framework that will work for NZ and provide us with the best chance of meeting our climate change challenge. This is another example of NZ showing leadership based on sound science and practical solutions.” Morrison says it’s vital to NZ’s economy to show global consumers that we’re playing our part in address-

Beef + Lamb NZ chair Andrew Morrison.

ing climate change. DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle also spoke at the press conference. He told Rural News that the sector is grateful that the Government listened and proposed a prag-

matic solution. He says this is a win-win situation, where the Government wants to get moving forward at the same time as the sector wants the right approach and time to work through the issues.

“I think farmers will appreciate that. We have got to be able to measure things at a farm level and put farms plans in place so that farmers have clarity on what they need to do to manage emissions.”

Mackle says it’s important to continue with research and development on mitigation options. He added that DairyNZ is not entirely happy with the Government’s intervention arrangement and doesn’t believe it is necessary. Predictably, environmental groups have voiced their disapproval, with Greenpeace describing the deal as ‘as a major sell-out’. Spokesperson Gen Toop claims the government has buckled to the lobby power of the dairy industry and big agribusiness. “The Government is protecting the short term profits of a few in the dairy and agricultural sector at the expense of the rest of us and the future of our entire planet,” she claims. The Environmental Defence Society (EDS) says farmers will need to perform or lose all credibility. Its chief executive Gary Taylor says his organisation cautiously welcomes the announcement.. “I also question whether the five year timeline has a sufficient urgency about it. Surely this scheme could be designed in two years,” he says. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

NEWS 9

A blaze of yellow SEVERAL THOUSAND hectares of South Island farmland is a blaze of yellow as the annual rapeseed crop welcomes the spring. Cropping farmer Warren Darling is one whose display regularly wows the public, since his farm straddles State Highway One just south of Timaru. His 120ha of rape is at “peak flower” and he expects to harvest at the end of January. Darling has been growing the crop for about 12 years, along with wheat and barley. He is now also trying sunflowers, beans and industrial hemp, in an effort to find compatible crops to move to a four-year rotation. He says it is not hard to grow. “It fits the rotation for us, because we are able to use a different family of chemistry on our weed problems, that sort of thing. “And because of our location we seem to be getting reasonably good yields as well. The return’s reasonably good with it.” Darling doesn’t burn off the post-harvest residue but will dig it back into the soil, ready to sow in wheat about April. He is contracted to supply Rolleston-based Pure Oil New Zealand, which produces a number of lines including coldpressed pure virgin rapeseed oil, retailed under

the Good Oil brand. Managing director Nick Murney says his suppliers make up close to 4000ha of both higholeic and standard rapeseed and also, latterly, sunflowers. Most growers are in South Canterbury and Southland, with some in North Canterbury. Rapeseed is not grown in Mid Canterbury to avoid cross-pollination problems with that district’s brassica seed producers. Murney explains that the factory was originally built by Solid Energy to produce biofuels, which he describes as “a sunset industry before it was a sunrise”. However, as an edible oil producer the factory is going from strength to strength and is now running at 85% capacity compared to 28% when they took it over. Murney says the higholeic Good Oil brand has been in the market about four years and is “going really well”. They have recently added a cold-pressed virgin sunflower oil under the same brand. “And it’s not just human food; we’re in petrochemicals, stock food and in beauty products. There’s lots of different sectors that we sell our products to.” The company makes an equine stock feed and oil-based supplements under the Leg Up brand. Meal is also sold as feed for pigs, poultry and dairy calves.

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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

10 NEWS

MPI accused of shonky actions NIGEL MALTHUS

CHRISTCHURCH LAWYER Grant Cameron is accusing MPI of negligently – or worse, deliberately – running a Mycoplasma bovis compensation system that as far as possible delays and minimises payments to affected farmers. Cameron, a specialist in class actions, confirmed that he is talking with several other law firms, with dairy industry expertise and M. bovis affected clients, and a class action is now on the cards. He is also acting on behalf of the Van Leeuwen Group, on whose property the disease was first detected in mid-2017, seeking a High Court declaration on whether they can claim compensation for professional fees incurred as a result of the outbreak. Cameron told Rural News that whether professional fees should be claimable was just the first phase of the overall strategy. He said every farmer with M. bovis faced two major problems: the first was the MPI response and how MPI sees the compensatory regime.

The second was dealing with the farming operation’s own bankers because they can “take fright” and start to apply pressure of one form or another depending on the particular farmer’s circumstances. Cameron said it was not just the Van Leeuwens. He had other farmer clients in the same position, as did other law firms he was in discussion with. “So the first thing is that the MPI compensatory regime should be fair and restore the farmer to a position they were in before the outbreak. That system doesn’t work and I think I would be that blunt about it. “MPI pretends that it works and suggests that it’s paying a lot of farmers within a short period of time. We’ve seen no evidence of that at all. What we’ve seen is that there is the occasional interim payment. “There is a wider practice of delaying over extraordinary lengths of time. In the Van Leeuwen’s case it is over two years, but I know of other ones almost as long.” Cameron said it was plain that MPI had no proper system in place “and we

Aad and Wilma Van Leeuwen.

will certainly be bringing evidence ultimately before the court to show that they were almost inventing it as they went”. He claims there was also a general attitude of delay as long as possible in the hope the farmer would accept a lower amount and go away. “We think there is probably a deliberate strategy to minimise payments to farmers. “This is a very serious situation because if they don’t receive quick and

full recovery then they are necessarily going to be in strife with their bank and with their creditors so their whole operation will be threatened. “So what we have is a system that is either negligently being operated or, worse, is being operated to a strategic plan designed to save money for the Crown. Under either scenario that is extremely serious for farmers and the farming community.” Cameron said it is serious for the country because it is a policy under-

lying the Biosecurity Act, and there is “an absolutely necessity” for farmers to report serious disease outbreaks as soon as they occur to avoid devastating the national economy. “There has to be a statutory incentive for people to report honestly, fairly and right up front. “And the quid pro quo is a fair compensation regime that puts farmers back in the position they were in, and they can expect full fair and quick payment. That is demonstrably not happening.” Meanwhile, Cameron has asked the High Court for an urgent hearing of the Van Leeuwen’s judicial review application, and is hoping it can be heard before Christmas. It is asking specifically whether or not the compensation regime covers professional fees. “In respect of professional fees and bank charges, we are asking the High Court to declare that these things are covered by the compensation regime. “That will be many millions of dollars for the dairy community. If that case succeeds, farmers will be a helluva lot better off than they were before.”


RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

NEWS 11 WE REJECT THE CLAIMS – MPI “WE UTTERLY reject Mr Cameron’s suggestion that the M. bovis programme tries to delay or minimise compensation payments to farmers, or that we only make ‘occasional interim payments’,” says M. bovis programme director Geoff Gwyn In a statement to Rural News, Gwyn said over $6 million has been paid in compensation to the VLG group and, to date, $105.5m had been paid out in compensation to farmers affected by M. bovis. “In a number of instances we have paid

more than what was claimed, as we have assessed that the farmer’s loss is larger than what they’ve calculated.” MPI says as at October 29, 2019 it had 25 open and active claims (without payment) over 60 days (not including the claims that are on-hold/ awaiting information from the claimant), out of the 242 open M. bovis claims. “We have a dedicated team of people working very hard to clear those claims as soon as possible,” Gywn added.

“The rolling 4-month average of 23 working days is an average timeframe. While we do our best to pay claims as quickly and fairly as possible, the more complex or higher value claims do take longer.” Gywn says the M.bovis programme is responsible for correctly paying out compensation. “This is funded by taxpayer and farmer levy money and it is important that we make sure that every claim is accurately processed.”

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

It’s more complex – Minister COMPENSATION ISSUES are “always complex,” says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “There have been some ridiculous claims and there have been some mistakes made. I don’t think it’s easy to point fingers at any particular part of the process to say who’s at fault here,” he told Rural News. Asked to comment on complaints by some M. bovis affected farmers that they are out of pocket because of expenses ruled unclaimable under the Biosecurity Act, O’Connor emphasised that the eradication programme was jointly run by MPI with DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb NZ, so farmers themselves were contributing to the cost. “We are always working to try to improve the compensation process but it’s governed by legislation and by determination by BLNZ and DairyNZ and MPI to pay fair compensation but not to pay it when it’s not justified,” he said. But the Government is committed to a review of the Biosecurity Act. Some ex gratia (outside the strict criteria) payments had also been granted. “Those decisions are made keeping in mind the fact that farmers themselves are contributing to this. They want a fair outcome and we have endeavoured to be fair at every stage, but there are technical and legal obligations that have to be adhered to.” Meanwhile, O’Connor said the TAG (Technical Advisory Group) report on the eradication programme would soon be finalised and released. “Indications are we’re still on track [having worked through] the challenges we have encountered with testing, the technology and with prioritisation. The programme has not been perfect but we’re still on track for eradication and we think that’s well worth the effort.”

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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

12 NEWS

Primary ITO hopes for training boost PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

PRIMARY ITO will apply to the Ministry of Education for more Trades Academy places with demand from schools now outstripping supply, says Nigel Philpott, Primary ITO chief executive. The Government is funding 2000 more Trades Academy places, where secondary students combine full-time study with experience in

“We’ve had to say sorry to some students and schools because we’ve reached the cap of the funding we receive, so the increase is very welcome.” the workplace, as well as 2000 Gateway places where students have job placements along with classroom learning. It’s too early to say how many Trades Academy places will be avail-

able next year, Philpott told Rural News. The ministry has the final decision on whether to allocate places to Primary ITO. “This year Primary ITO had 830 Trades

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Academy places,” he explained. “When we asked schools in July for their requests for 2020, demand significantly outstripped this number so we are extremely confident that there is more demand from schools and secondary students for places in Primary ITO’s Trades Academy. “We are working with schools now to determine exactly how many places to apply for. Since the Government announcement of an increase in Trades Academy and Gateway places, we have been contacted by a number of schools reaffirming their interest in enrolling more students. “Our early indica-

tions are still that schools have around 1100 students wanting to take part. We have the materials and support ready for schools looking to deliver the Trades Academy programmes themselves. “We also have a network of Primary ITO tutors around the country and can strengthen this team if required.” The 4000 more trades training places in schools will help meet demand from students to learn about farming and horticulture, Philpott says. The trades academies are across a number of sectors but Primary ITO currently has New Zealand’s biggest Trades Academy.

“We know there is strong demand for a place in our Trades Academy,” says Philpott. “We’ve had to say sorry to some students and schools because we’ve reached the cap of the funding we receive, so the increase is very welcome. “New Zealand needs more skilled and innovative people in the primary sector, and the Trades Academy and Gateway programmes are a great way of introducing secondary school students to a career.” Philpott says it was good that agriculture was specifically noted by the Government as an area for trades training. “It’s a great signal that there’s a bright future in the sector. The Trades Academy and Gateway help improve the connection between the world of work and the world of school. “It gives us more opportunity to grow the pipeline of people in the primary sector.” The Trades Academy is partly led by teachers in schools, supported by Primary ITO and partly by a network of Primary ITO tutors around the country.

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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

NEWS 15

OCD cops record fine for stink SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

WAHAROA RESIDENTS are looking forward to getting on with their lives without “unwanted intrusion” from a nearby milk processing plant. Waikato Regional Council investigations and incident response manager Patrick Lynch says it has the greatest sympathy for the Waharoa community trying to live with the terrible impacts of stench coming from the Open Country Dairy plant. Last month OCD, NZ’s second largest dairy processor, was fined $221,000 on being convicted for discharging objectionable odour and unlawfully discharging wastewater. The case was brought against OCD by the council following many com-

plaints from local businesses and residents of Waharoa, near ●● Total fines of $221,250 Matamata, ●● $2000 paid as reparation to each of through two 17 affected residents periods in ●● A vehicle provided and maintained 2018. by OCD to provide security for the This is community the fifth ●● Enforcement order prohibiting prosecution company from discharging odour of the Wahabeyond its boundary. roa plant relating to to the complaints and unlawful discharges into began investigating. In the environment, and the March 2018 the council largest fine imposed for found the odours arose any prosecution under from the failure of the the Resource Managecompany’s wastewater ment Act in Waikato.   pond liner. This resulted Residents reported in contamination of the ongoing, persistent and Waitoa River.   objectionable odour. In her ruling, Judge They described a range Melanie Harland said the of debilitating effects, eg odour impacts on resihaving to keep doors and dents were “profound windows shut, headaches and, of their kind, seriand vomiting. The council responded ous”.

OCD’S COSTLY STINK

OCD was fined $221,000 for discharging objectionable odours from its Waharoa factory.

Judge Harland also issued an enforcement order, which the company agreed to, prohibiting further objectionable odour from the site. The order also requires the company to have a plan to keep the community and council informed of issues at the plant that may result in objection-

able odour being discharged. On top of the fine, OCD also agreed to pay $2000 reparation to each of the 17 residents and businesses affected by the odour. Justice Harland also noted that at a restorative justice conference OCD also agreed to donate a

vehicle to provide security to the community. “It continues to pay the costs associated with the operation of the vehicle, which amount to some $40,000,” she said. Lynch says the council investigator has communicated directly with the complainants following the court decision.

“I think it is safe to say they’re just wanting to get on with their lives without unwanted intrusion from this company’s activities,” he told Rural News. “As ever, we will be vigilant for complaints received from members of the public and respond accordingly.”

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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

16 NEWS

Alliance back in the black NIGEL MALTHUS

CO-OPERATIVE MEAT processor the Alliance Group will be returning profit back to its farmer shareholders this year. Chief executive David Surveyor has told a meeting of farmers on Banks Peninsula that when the result is published later this year, the profit will be “meaningfully up”. “Think about it as returning to the level of profitability that you would expect for a company of its size,” he said. Unlike last year, there would be a pool payment made, although he could give no figures. Surveyor says it was a matter of getting the balance right between profit redistribution and

“There’s still a heap of stuff we can do to get more value out of the business and return it to you as farmers. We are absolutely determined we are going to capture that and deliver it back.” reinvestment. He told the meeting it was a fundamental challenge for all the processors in the sector to ensure they had enough “gas in the tank” to reinvest and move collectively out of the “commodity” space. Surveyor was speaking at a meeting of the Alliance’s annual roadshow, in which the cooperative’s senior people report on its performance to farmers throughout its catchment area and to staff in its

various processing plants. He said a feature of the year was a huge amount of volatility in livestock pricing, with competitors being “consistently inconsistent” and farmers being offered lots of different prices even within a week. It was a challenge to Alliance’s ability to manage in that highly volatile environment. Surveyor warned that plant-based protein was growing exponentially, albeit from a “very, very small base”.

Alliance chair Murray Taggart.

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position red meat and the price of red meat. So we’re not seeing any impact at all,” he told shareholders. “What we are trying to do is position our business as the natural food space, and they are very much in the processed food space.” Surveyor said a very pleasing development was its 50% acquisition (announced in March) of the Scales Corporation’s Meateor pet food business. He says this represented a clear change in company strategy, to move up the value chain. Alliance chairman Murray Taggart told the meeting that stock numbers were down significantly but despite that Alliance had ended

up in a “very sound” profit position. “There’s still a heap of stuff we can do to get more value out of the business and return it to you as farmers. We are absolutely determined we are going to capture that and deliver it back.” Taggart said the board’s perspective was that it had made good progress but there was a lot yet to be done. He said the last few years the co-op had been working to get costs out of the business, which was now moving much more to the value-capture stage. “It’s a lot more fun playing in that space,” he added. However, Taggart warned that there was a significant “wave of compliance” coming, for

farmers and the business. Banks were looking like having to hold more capital in support of rural loans. “We’ve seen the demise of the interest only loan and now it’s interest and principal – so that’s more cash going out of farming businesses,” he explained. “Then we’ve got the emissions trading scheme, which will come with a cost to farming. “Lastly we’ve seen the well publicised freshwater proposals that the Government’s put forward.” Taggart said it is important for farmers to get in and do what they can to mitigate their environmental footprint where practical and financially viable. “There’s not much point in waiting till you’re forced to by the rules.” He said it was important for farmers to turn out, and keep turning out, to consultation meetings and to put in their submissions on legislation. “I know it feels like an effort, but Beef + Lamb NZ and Federated Farmers have got some templates to make it a lot easier.” Taggart said Alliance, as a company, believes strongly that we must care for the environment “But that’s got to be balanced. Balanced with care for farming and farming communities. You can’t have one without the other.”

Fight For A Fair Go For Farming

Rural New Zealand has had a gutsful. We don’t want our farming communities wiped out by government backed blanket pine afforestation taking over our quality beef and sheep farms We ask the Government to stop and reconsider their policies that do everything to incentivize forestry for land use at the expense of pastoral farming including fast track approval for foreign investors to buy our farmland to plant pine trees and claim a large income stream from carbon credits. We ask for recognition that our farms already have more than a billion trees that the Government haven’t counted and grow using the natural biological gases that our animals give off. Our farms are an ‘ecosystem’ not a factory.

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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

18 NEWS

Changes needed, but sensibly MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

WITH THE submissions period for proposed water reforms ending last week, the National Party was out and about in the

Waikato dairy heartland putting its spin on things. It ran a meeting in Morrinsville, organised by Waikato MP Tim van der Molen, and introduced Todd Muller, the party’s spokesman for agricul-

ture, biosecurity, food safety and forestry. Muller claimed the Government is painting agriculture as a sunset industry despite it being New Zealand’s biggest export earner.

On water quality, Muller said National and the rural populace accept some rivers are under stress. But he said research shows 33% of rivers are much improved.

National’s agriculture spokesman Todd Muller speaking at the Morrinsville farmer meeting.

“Labour’s framing of its speeches on water issues leaves a lot to be desired, with talk of a catastrophe coming and the current state of rivers going to hell in a handcart,” said Muller. He said the Government is using a select

“Farmers and landowners need to be more vocal and not just rely on producer organisations such as Federated Farmers, Beef + Lamb or Dairy NZ to take their message to the general public.”

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such as Federated Farmers, Beef + Lamb or Dairy NZ to take their message to the general public,” he said. This point was reinforced by local dairy farmer and businesswoman Rebecca Walling. “I was shocked by

group of scientists to deliver a message without consideration of the economic effect and that it fails to engage the whole population of NZ. “In the recent local government election rounds, Wellington was framing water and climate issues as purely an agricultural problem,” said Muller. “This is despite the fact that during high rainfall Auckland beaches have to be closed because of sewage contamination, and that the fire at Sky City dumped millions of litres of contaminated water into Auckland harbour.” Muller discussed how farmers and landowners should frame their responses to the proposed changes. He said the attendance and sentiment at recent farmer meetings had put immense pressure on the rule makers in Wellington and people should be “bending the ears” of their local MPs. He reminded the audience that most NZ First MPs are in Parliament because of National voters’ choice over Labour. “Farmers and landowners need to be more vocal and not just rely on producer organisations

Winston Peters suggesting that water issues for farmers were of their own making,” she told the meeting. “We have to get together and engage the general public using all forms of social media available to us.” Muller said Labour is not on the right side of science, but agreed that there is a need for improved freshwater management. “But it needs to happen over time, using greater consultation with farmers and landowners to achieve the agreed results. We don’t believe a big stick will solve the problem because farmers need to be able to farm.” He said the current proposals don’t consider the cost to farming and that adding costs would disadvantage NZ producers against overseas competitors. The meeting was attended by mostly rural folk -- no one under 40 -- and it was obvious that the age-old topic of urban-rural divergence is still a major issue. Urban dwellers were said to be still unaware of the problems in their own back yard and to have no shared experience of water and climate issues. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews


RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

NEWS 19

Fonterra wants change to water rules SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

FONTERRA WANTS the Government to remove suggested minimum required levels of nitrogen and phosphorous in streams. In its submission on the Government’s Action of Healthy Waterways proposal, Fonterra says it “strongly opposes” some of the minimum required levels for dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and dissolved reactive phos-

phorus (DRP). Farm Source Group director Richard Allen says the discussion document does not contain sufficient economic analysis to justify the proposed bottom line values. Fonterra believes that in-stream bottom lines should only be used where there is a direct link to the outcomes sought. “The inclusion of DIN and DRP as attributes does not well represent biological ecosystem

health, and the impacts of these attributes on individuals and communities is not well understood.” The co-op supports a DairyNZ proposal to consider a total nitrogen bottom line that reflects a more conservative protection level for fish and other organisms. Under the Government’s proposal, regional councils would amend regional plans by 2025 to meet new ecosystem health standards. Modelling suggests reduc-

tions in nitrogen losses of 25-80% would be required to meet these in affected catchments. DairyNZ says it supports policies that protect ecosystem health alongside swimability. “We do not support the proposed nitrogen and phosphorus bottom lines as the most effective way to achieve this. DairyNZ’s position is that these new ‘ecosystem health’ nutrient thresholds are not scientifically robust and are unlikely

to achieve improvements in waterway health as sought by the community.” Fonterra is also opposing the suggested 5m fencing set-backs. Instead it wants the focus of regulation to be on fencing waterways not currently fenced. Excluding cattle from waterways has significant benefits in enhancing ecological

quality, water clarity and reducing risk to human health. As adopters of stock exclusion ahead of regulation, Fonterra farmers have spent a lot of money and effort to exclude stock from over 98% of the waterways covered by the proposal, the co-op says. “Farmers should not be forced to relocate

these existing fences unless there is a clear scientific rationale for doing so,” Richard Allen said. “Common sense tells you that farmers who have voluntarily fenced waterways years before it was mandated should not be punished for having done the right thing. “Instead, the focus should be on waterways that haven’t been fenced.”

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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

20 AGRIBUSINESS

Give farmers time – Massey scholar PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

FARMERS UNDERSTAND they must work with the Government to improve the environment,

says a noted Massey University scholar. Grace Burmeister was named winner of the prestigious 2019 William Gerrish Memorial prize at the university’s recent

annual agricultural graduation dinner. About 200 people attended – students, agribusiness leaders and sponsors. She says the environmental side of things is

huge and will not be fixed overnight. It will take time. “Dairy farmers have been hit a lot lately and the morale of farmers in general is very low at the

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Grace Burmeister

moment,” Burmeister told Rural News. “So there will be a change, but I think the Government and everyone else needs to understand that this has to come progressively. Otherwise you are going to get mental health issues coming through.” Burmeister, who’s just completed a bachelor of commerce degree, says she’s always been passionate about the dairy industry. She has worked on her parents 1000 cow farm near the Tui Brewery in the Tararua district, and says she knows what it’s like to be ‘down and dirty’.

She went to Fielding High School to get agricultural experience. “I guess from there my passion for the industry grew even more when I did an ag commerce degree at Massey,” Burmeister said. “As a result of this, I am going into banking next year as part of a graduate agribusiness programme with BNZ. I have always been passionate about banking. I’ve always been interested in the economics and financial side of farming, so I made it my goal to get into banking and I have got there.” Burmeister likes to

see the success stories of farmers and see them reach their potential. Working as a banker will allow her to do that. Winning the William Gerrish Award came as a surprise, an honour and a privilege, says Burmeister, who cruised through high school without topping her class. “I live and breathe the ag sector,” she told Rural News. “I love it and think there is always going to be potential in the sector and always a job there. So I guess if you are keen on something just go ahead and do it,” she said. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

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MEGAN ROBERTSON, who has just completed her bachelor of agricommerce degree, is this year’s Massey Agricultural Student award winner. The award acknowledges her all round contribution to the university. She also won the Young Farmers’ Sally Hobson award for her service to the club. Growing up on the family dairy farm on the West Coast, Robertson always knew she would pursue a career in agriculture. “I studied agriculture, via correspondence, when I was attending Nelson Girls College and this sparked more interest,” she said.

“From there, I decided to go to Massey University to pursue my passion for agri commerce majoring in international agribusiness.” Robertson now has a job with Fonterra Farm Source on its agribusiness graduate programme, based in Hamilton. Further on she’d like to be in a governance position in NZ agribusiness and has a longer term goal of going back on farm and running her own business. Robertson has a passion for getting young people into the industry and has been talking in schools and helping at agri-kids competitions.

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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

AGRIBUSINESS 21

Uncertainty causing stress and anxiety PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

NEWLY ELECTED DairyNZ director Tracy Brown says there are more moving parts in the industry now than in the whole 25 years she has been in dairy. “That uncertainty is creating a whole lot of stress and anxiety. Because of that people aren’t sure what to do first. A lot of people are quite challenged in that space,” Brown told Dairy News. DairyNZ needs to help provide clarity of direction and “we really need to look after our people,” she said.  “I am humbled and honoured to have received such a strong mandate to represent dairy NZ farmers and families.” She has just completed a governance and development programme and she thrives on a challenge. “I’m excited about what lies ahead. I’m looking forward to it. Brown believes the way forward for DairyNZ and the industry is looking after its people and coming up with good solutions. “There is a lot of really

tough stuff but there will be opportunities. The way forward is being a little bit innovative and thinking about things differently than the way we have done things in the past.  “Still respecting and observing the way things have been done in the past but being brave about how we can face things in the future and perhaps look at things a different way.”  Brown says she wants to hear from farmers about where they see the challenges and how they need to be supported to go forward. One of her key strengths is being a good listener. “I don’t have all the solutions, those will come from within our farmer base. My role is enabling people and ensuring resources are allocated in a way that will help people move forward.”  Initially her priority will be to meet the farmers and staff. An upcoming round of levy meetings will give her broad opportunity to connect with farmers.  She has already worked with DairyNZ, from an operational perspective but also in strat-

FARMERS TO HIT WELLINGTON FARM LOBBY group 50 Shades of Green is planning to have farmers march on Parliament in “a provincial get-together” in Wellington later this month. 50 Shades of Green was formed earlier this year over “the blanket planting of good farmland [having] reached crisis proportions”. Andy Scott, the group’s chairman, said the message needs to be told to a larger audience. “The blanket planting of good farmland has reached crisis proportions. Add to that the water proposals, land use changes and the consistent campaign against rural businesses, and we have a problem,” he said. “We’ll be telling our story to a city audience by coming to Wellington. The politicians aren’t listening to us so hopefully the general voters will. Scott says farmers will meet at 11am on Thursday November 14 before marching to Parliament to arrive at 1pm. He adds that there has been interest in the march from across the rural sector. “It isn’t just farmers coming to town but representatives of all of provincial NZ from farmers to bankers, stock agents to rural advocacy groups and suppliers though to real estate representatives,” he said. “We’re expecting a good turnout of people from the provinces.” More: https://www.50shadesofgreen.co.nz/save-ourfarms-protest-walk/

egy. “But I have to switch my lens a bit more now I am on the board to governance and get a much deeper understanding of the organisation. So that will be the first six months or so.”  Longer term she has a couple of key goals. The first is helping farmers

through the change process. “The pace of change is overwhelming at the moment for people and it seems to be speeding up. Farmers need support with relevant science, timely information and good people to help

them with their decisionmaking. “The second one is providing strong leadership and direction. We need to prioritise and focus on what we can influence. We need to improve connection and engagement of urban and

Newly elected DairyNZ director Tracy Brown.

rural and engagement of our farmers.” We need to help develop regional solutions for regional issues, she says. While much is happening there is also considerable variation between regions.  “We need to create outcomes from wise and relevant levy investment.”

She wants to gain a full understanding of how the levy is being invested and “what’s the science and the research so we can improve our farm systems, increase our profitability, lower our footprint and decrease our risk. “There are definitely a lot of moving parts.”


RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

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22 MARKETS & TRENDS

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Significant impact from RABOBANK NEW Zea“These impacts will vary land believes the Govconsiderably from farm to ernment’s proposed freshwater reforms will farm, depending on location have significant implicaand farming system. For some, tions for New Zealand’s food and agribusiness meeting these new requirements sectors. will represent a major challenge In its submission to the Ministry for the Envi- and come at a considerable ronment, the bank says cost.” the proposals as they stand are unnecessarily harsh and would have themselves to be resiling waterways from cities a detrimental impact on ient, innovative and and farms,” Rabobank the rural sector, which is New Zealand chief execu- adaptable. already facing pressures In its submission, tive Todd Charteris says. from regulatory change. “However, for the reasons the bank says the proIt says there will be a posals most relevant outlined in our submislikely impact on producsion, we are not confident to farmers and growers tion costs, operational include the introduction the proposed freshwater complexity and future of more stringent nutrireforms, in their current land-use development ent bottom line requireform, will achieve those opportunities. ments, new national stated goals in a fair and “We support the Govpractice standards and ernment’s goal of improv- balanced way.” interim controls on land Rabobank says New ing the quality of New use intensification. Zealand food and agriZealand’s freshwater and METAREX INOV enterRURAL NEWS 265W X 200H “Our assessment, businesses have provenMM reducing pollution

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freshwater proposals the proposals as both complex and demanding, with the consultation timeframe being extremely tight during a busy time in the farming calendar. It adds that these series of reforms represent a substantial challenge for farmers and growers. “The proposals also appear to underplay the significant progress many farmers and growers have already made in improving freshwater management on their properties and in stepping up their environmental sustainability practices,” Rabobank says. Rabobank says a thriving food and agribusiness sector is vital for both New Zealand’s national economic progress and the continued wellbe-

Rabobank says the proposed water reforms present a serious challenge to farmers and growers.

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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

24 OPINION EDITORIAL

Realism or rhetoric? IN THEORY everyone is happy with the deal struck between the Government and the agricultural sector over emissions. PM Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw waxed lyrical about how their agreement with the ag sector was a ‘world first’. A ‘win-win’, said Tim Mackle of DairyNZ. Another example of New Zealand showing “leadership based on sound science and practical solutions” claimed Beef + Lamb NZ chair Andrew Morrison. But is everyone absolutely happy? The Government has inserted into the legislation a clause that says if the sector doesn’t do what it wants it will use this to drag the sector kicking and maybe screaming into the ETS. The Government is putting the acid on the ag sector. The environmental group EDS says farmers need to perform and is quite sceptical of the arrangement. Greenpeace was typically cataclysmic and hysterical, labelling the Government as “sell-outs”. Meanwhile, DairyNZ’s Tim Mackle doesn’t think the Government ‘backstop’ (an unfortunate choice of word) is necessary. What the backstop signals is that for all the rhetoric about a good deal, the Government fundamentally doesn’t trust the ag sector. If it did trust it why put it in? The word ‘backstop’ is simply another word for ‘threat’. One senses that it is also the Government appealing to green voters and telling them ‘we will control farmers – don’t worry’. Yes, folks the election campaign has begun and the agri sector will likely be caught up in the scramble for votes. All the flag waving and lovey-dovey rhetoric at Parliament the other day is nice, and hopefully it will work out. But this deal has the appearance of an arranged marriage, rather than one born out of unrequited love. Yes, farmers and horticulturalists have managed to get time to sort out their ag emissions. However the ‘backstop’ deadline built into the deal will unlikely do much to lift morale in the sector. Ahead of it are water, land use and biodiversity issues that are still unresolved. Hopefully the farm sector groups – Beef + Lamb NZ, DairyNZ, Fed Farmers, Hort NZ and all – which have done a good job on agricultural emissions can make similar progress with the Government and bureaucrats on these thorny issues. So despite all the spin, uncertainty and a lack of confidence remain in the agriculture sector.

RURALNEWS TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS

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

“OH – these Halloween kids look scary – they’re dressed up as the England rugby team!”

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

THE HOUND Stink!

Interesting…

Hot air?

Job hunting?

YOUR OLD mate understands the country’s second largest dairy company, Open Country Dairy (OCD), has just had a ‘stink’ month. During October OCD copped a record fine of more than $221,000 for a “vomitus stench being emitted from its Waharoa factory”. ODC now has the proud record for the largest fine imposed for any prosecution taken under the Resource Management Act in the Waikato region. The convictions and fine were imposed in the Morrinsville District Court by Judge Melanie Harland, who stated that the odour impacts on residents were “profound and, of their kind, serious”. Judge Harland also issued an enforcement order that requires the company to have a community communication plan to keep the community and council informed of any future issues at the plant that may result in objectionable odour being discharged.

IT APPEARS many dairy company competitors of Fonterra are worried that some of the proposed changes to the DIRA regulations will give the country’s largest dairy co-op an unfair advantage over them. OCD, majority owned by the Talley family, claims that allowing Fonterra to pay a different farmgate milk price to shareholders, will enable the dairy co-op to: “pay an anti-competitive farmgate milk price in regions with the most competition, while paying lower prices to farmers in less competitive regions”. The Hound notes that the Talleys and the NZ First party (who have been vocal in their criticism of Fonterra) have had a very close association over the years. Meantime, Parliament’s primary production select committee is scheduled to report back on the DIRA Bill next February. Keep an eye out for that one.

WITH THE Government wanting to implement huge costs on the livestock farming sector by making New Zealand the only country to include farming in an ETS, this old mutt thought it might actually get serious about funding mitigation research. However, it seems PR stunts and warm fuzzies are the order of the day, going by its most recent effort. Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor gained huge media attention for the Government’s backing of a project that “could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle”. But this “backing” amounted to a piffling $100,000 granted to the Cawthron Institute to see if a native seaweed might be turned into a greenhouse gas-busting cattle feed supplement. The joke is that $100,000 is far less than O’Connor and his office staff would spend a year on travel, and apparently AgResearch has already rejected the seaweed option.

A MATE of the Hound reckons outgoing special agricultural trade envoy Mike Petersen, who is due to finish his current role at the end of the year, is currying favour – and job prospects – with the Government by backing its moves to lump agriculture into the ETS. Petersen was recently quoted in media as telling farmers to “get on with it” in reducing their carbon footprint. The politically savvy Petersen said: “If people think this is being dreamed up by NZ politicians to get at NZ farmers then you need to think again”. Your old mate’s informant claims that with lines like this it won’t be too long before Petersen finds himself appointed to another well-paid, taxpayer-funded gig on one of the many working groups, advisory panels and talkfests the Government is so fond of setting up.

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

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


RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

OPINION 25

Saving us from ourselves JOHN JACKSON

THE GOVERNMENT’S policy to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand is working directly against the goals of the Paris Accord. NZ’s pastoral farming is a low emissions process. Studies published in the NZ Crown Research Institute (CRI) assessment of agricultural production systems the world over show NZ is “head and shoulders” above its competitors. This goes well beyond our on farm production.  With regard to NZ lamb sold in the UK, ocean shipping made up 5% of the final product’s carbon cost – voiding the belief that meat produced on this side of the world is environmentally unsustainable. I am told that Ireland is the world’s next most efficient producer of dairy product. However, NZ can produce dairy products here and ship there and it still has lower emissions than local Irish produce. Incredible! Our traditional beef systems are towards the lower end of the emissions scale and why wouldn’t they be? We are an island nation whose climate is as good as anywhere in the world for the production of grass fed produce. By volume we are the largest exporter of dairy product in the world, the largest exporter of lamb, the largest exporter of venison and the sixth largest exporter of beef. This is due to our natural advantage. According to the Paris Accord, this ‘national circumstance’ should factor into the way we go about our business in addressing climate change.  Back to the Paris Accord, which New Zealand is a signatory to. The guiding principles of the agreement mention food production specifically...: “Recognising the fundamental priority of safeguarding food security and ending hunger and the particular vulnerabilities of food

production systems to the adverse impacts of climate change”. Article 2 (b) states: “Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development in a manner that does not threaten food production”. Meanwhile, Article 4/19 states: “All parties shall strive to formulate and communicate long term, low greenhouse gas emission strategies mindful of article 2 taking into account their common but differentiated responsibilities and capabilities in light of different national circumstances”. It appears neither NZ’s CRI science nor the guiding principles outlined in the Paris Accord appear to have appealed to the intellect of our MfE representatives. In an article by Pam Tipa (Rural News, Oct 8), MfE concedes that NZ is the only country considering a compulsory price on biological GHGs. The article goes on to say: “However, that is not to say that other countries are not directly or indirectly regulating emissions for their agricultural sectors”. Not only this, but MfE explains – as if this is now the overriding objective – “…developed countries should continue taking the lead by undertaking economy-wide absolute emission reduction targets and developing countries should move to economy-wide targets over time. This includes emission reductions in the agriculture sector”. Talk about bending the rules to fit the ideology! We now have four classes of countries. The ‘no’ adopters, the slow adopters (developing) and the leaders (developed) – and then NZ (the developed ‘fall guy’ for agriculture GHGs) all out on its own.  For the umpteenth time, any proposal to tax methane emissions of our livestock and fertiliser N at source will be a direct disincentive to NZ’s

pastoral output. While it may reduce NZ’s total agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, it will only encourage international producers to increase their market share using much less carbon efficient methodologies. Last month’s announcement that

John Jackson

agriculture will not immediately be included in the ETS, is a belated realisation by this government of the stupidity in not understanding NZ’s ecomonic strengths. The ideology of MfE – on both GHGs and freshwater proposals set

out in their respective discussion documents – will not only lead us to a warmer world faster. It will also lead NZ’s nation status from fully developed to developing. The first of its kind! Someone needs to save us from ourselves – and quickly. Not only for

our own sake, but also the planet’s! • 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. 

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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

26 OPINION

More training needed for farm advisors TONY RHODES, a recently retired PGGWrightson agricultural consultant and technology transfer professional, has worked with farmers, scientists and other rural professionals since graduating from Lincoln University in the early 1970s. This year, he was

chosen as the recipient of the Ray Brougham Trophy, awarded by the New Zealand Grassland Trust to a person judged to have made a significant contribution to the pastoral industry. When asked to reflect on his achievements, Rhodes was hard-hitting about the future. Where

COMMENT

Jacqueline Rowarth

will the technology transfer experts of the future come from? Where are the people who understand farming from different perspectives? Who can bring the science through the business lens to the farm? Who can take agriculture through the research lens to the scientist and bank man-

ager? And who can assist to integrate soils, plants, animals, environment and economics? The tertiary educators are doing their best to create the platform for the rural professionals. But schooling and tertiary education have undergone big changes since the 1970s – so has

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on advice and guidance. This must be objective, informed by ‘best practice’ and impartial – focused on the needs of the adopter, the client and the environment in which they are functioning. In this regard, there is good news from the Government. Part of the environmental package associated with bringing agricultural GHG emissions into the ETS is funding to assist change. Some of it will be needed to upskill those who are doing the advising and

“For a MAF farm advisor ongoing professional development was an intrinsic part of work. Attendance at workshops, seminars and conferences and formal training programmes were the norm.”

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the work done by consultants. When Rhodes graduated, subsidies and minimum support prices put the focus on production. Removal of subsidies in the mid-1980s led to an era of productivity – a focus on production per unit of labour, fertiliser and land. This decade the focus has been more on ‘environment first’. Consultants have taken the courses (for example, on nutrient management and, more recently, on greenhouse gases) and

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assisted their farmer clients to adapt. The biggest change of all has been the relationship between farmers and organisations. When Rhodes graduated, he joined the equivalent of what is now the Ministry for Primary Industries. He was part of the large network of professionals from the DSIR, including MAF scientists and district scientists who did the field trials to check suitability and adapt the results, where required. The farm advisors took the results from the district scientists to the farmer. Rhodes, a farm advisor, was the conduit, working between the developer and practitioner and back again -- with a two-way flow of information. Part of his role was to set the results from the scientists in context, keeping economics, environment and social aspects in balance. “Farming systems are complex,” he said. “And decisions don’t always appear rational at first glance. Part of my role in assisting change has been to scrutinise what is happening on farm, and why – and then try to plot a ‘better path’ with the farmer.” In the current era, Rhodes is adamant that we need a fresh emphasis

guiding. “It used to be part of the job,” explained Rhodes. “For a MAF farm advisor ongoing professional development was an intrinsic part of work. Attendance at workshops, seminars and conferences and formal training programmes were the norm.” Nowadays, the fully commercial consultancy environment means that ongoing professional development is a substantial personal cost. “Since privatisation,” said Rhodes, “farmers have paid for advice, and consultants have made their own time and paid their own dollars for professional development.” He suggested that contracts funded by the Government in the future should incorporate programmes that involve recent graduates and support professional development.” For Tony Rhodes, recipient of the Ray Brougham Trophy, the job has been fantastic. Tony’s talk is available here: https://www.youtube. com/channel/ UC7XxtCftfvPSsESD8Dse9A?view_as=subscriber   • Dr Jacqueline Rowarth is a trustee for the New Zealand Grassland Trust. She was president of the New Zealand Grassland Association from 2011 to 2013.


RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

28 MANAGEMENT

Farmer group is all action FIRING UP effective farm health and safety plans is helping King Country farmers who joined a Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP) Action Group based around Ongarue. Joel Fraser, who farms sheep, beef and deer on 850ha 30km northeast of Taumaranui, says his joining the group soon led him to make small, but important, changes to his farming processes. Fraser learned about

the RMPP Action Network from Rabobank and found plenty of interest among other farmers locally. “There are a few guys around this way of a similar age and situation to me, so we talked about it and thought it sounded like a very good idea,” he said. “It’s been great and pretty useful to just get off the farm and meet up with people, and get

useful information at the same time. So far we have mainly looked at farm management practices.” Anna Cuming and Paul Brough, who are Rabobank agribusiness managers in Waikato, were the connectors who contacted farmers to float the idea of joining an Action Group. Cuming keeps on at the group meetings. “I cover a large area as part of my role with

Rabobank, so I knew a lot of people in the region,” she said. “Paul and I got in touch with some local farmers and organised a meeting to tell them more about the RMPP Action Network. “Quite a few of the younger group knew each other already. A number of them are farming on family land and have similar issues they want to deal with. They challenge

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and encourage each other well with a lot of banter.” Rob Macnab, a director and consultant with Total Ag, agreed to facilitate the groups. “He has been proactive with the group,” Cuming said. “It is an added benefit that he has an established network within the agriculture industry which has helped him source the required subject matter experts, often at short notice from around the country.” The group early on completed its required extension plan and members are working towards completing their KPIs. It is also working on environmental policy for each farm. “Their farms are in difficult locations for an

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“That workshop was run by Beef + Lamb NZ (B+LNZ) and a risk management expert, which the group found useful.” Most of the group members did not have H&S plans prior to the workshop, Fraser says. “It was very good. We got the folder from B+LNZ and realised that 80% of it has been done for us. What most of us still needed to do were our hazard identification plans, and we left the workshop knowing how to do that. I’m working through mine and the plan should be completed within the next couple of weeks.” Cuming says the RMPP funding has been useful. “It means the group can bring in experts.”

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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

MANAGEMENT 29

Lights, camera, action on sheep! Remote sensing cameras and GPS are being used by Massey University researchers to see what, if any, damage sheep cause to waterways in the hill country. Peter Burke reports. A PROJECT led by Dr Rene Corner-Thomas, with help from PhD student Aloyce Bunyaga, is trying to get hard data on how sheep use and interact with water on hill country farms. The trial work is being done on Massey’s Tuapaka research farm, near Palmerston North. Here 40 ewes have been fitted with GPS tracking devices and 14 video cameras have been placed at intervals along a 230m stretch of a stream on the property. The cameras are triggered or activated by animal movement. The trial has run for two weeks and has produced a massive amount of data which now has to be analysed. Corner-Thomas says sheep until recently had been completely ignored in the conversation about the impacts of livestock on waterways. She says they have observed while working with sheep for many years that they are

not keen on getting their feet wet. “They don’t seem to spend time standing in water, so our theory is that sheep only need water when there’s good reason to go to the waterway, ie to drink or to graze the areas beside the waterways where the grass is lush,” she told Rural News. “We know that sheep have quite different behaviours from cattle in respect of water, and cattle have had a lot of research done on what they do around water. The research shows cattle will defecate five times more frequently when they are beside a waterway than in the rest of their daily life.” The objective of the research, Corner-Thomas says, is to determine if sheep have impacts on the waterway so that management options for dealing with sheep can be devised based on hard data and not anecdotal observations.

The stream where the trial has taken place is a typical small hill country waterway about one metre wide and no more than 30cm deep. “One potential option, if sheep don’t use waterways, is to use a single wire electric fence that keeps cattle out but still allows sheep into riparian areas. “This might be a way we can to some degree keep on top of weeds and also allow greater flexibility in our sheep production systems,” she explained. Corner-Thomas says it’s possible that in the winter and spring, sheep in Manawatu, where the trial is being run, can get their entire daily water needs straight from grass. “They don’t need to drink water, but if you offer them a water trough a percentage of sheep which will use it,” she explained. “But we believe there is a percentage of sheep which just don’t go to the water

Dr Rene Corner-Thomas and PhD student Aloyce Bunyaga set up a camera.

trough so there is a real variation from sheep to sheep in terms of drinking water.” She says there is also a possibility that reaction to water could vary

from breed to breed, but the current trial is using Romney sheep because they make up such a large percentage of the national flock. So far, the trial – using

pregnant ewes with a single lamb – has been done in the winter, but the trial will continue into the spring, summer and autumn using the same sheep.

Corner-Thomas says they selected only singlebearing ewes because they knew they would have slightly lower water requirements than a twin or a triplet bearer.

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Aloyce Bunyaga.

FROM TANZANIA TO PALMY SINCE HIS boyhood in his home country Tanzania, Aloyce Bunyaga dreamed of coming to New Zealand. Tanzania has only about 40,000 sheep and they are not highly valued. “When I was young I read much about NZ and later learned about the good education Massey University offered,” he told Rural News. “It was my dream to come here and I am pleased the dream has come true.” Bunyaga did his master’s degree at Massey between 2014 and 2016 and

is now in his first year of PhD studies working on this sheep study. Bunyaga says he’s had great support from the university and its staff and is enjoying the project. He says much of the set-up work for the cameras was done off-farm and it took just on two days to set them up in the field. With the field work for this part of the trial over, the work is ongoing though the data is the next step. “It’s demanding but fun,” he said.

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: bob_barb@slingshot.co.nz www.glenviewromneys.co.nz Phone 06-372 7820


RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

30 ANIMAL HEALTH

What about genetics in worm control? GORDON LEVET

THE ARTICLE entitled: ‘Avoiding triple drench resistance’ (Rural News October 8), based on comment made at a Wormwise Workshop meeting, suggests that no mention was made of the genetic option of breeding for worm resistance in sheep. As a ram breeder who has bred for this trait for the last 33 years, I am not surprised at this omission. At most Wormwise workshops this genetic option receives little attention. If it is mentioned there is likely to be a negative comment like: “pursuing this option will come at a cost of lost productivity especially in the area of growth”. This is incorrect. Dr John McEwan, a world renowned parasitologist of Invermay and advisor to the Worn FEC group of breeders, has always insisted that breeding for the resistance trait must run in parallel with positive production traits. Further, in the latest Wormwise Handbook July 2019, the genetic option of breeding for resistance receives scant attention – fewer than 200 words in a 28-page booklet.

So, the Wormwise establishment, together with their financial backers, Beef + Lamb NZ – funded by farmers – does not take the genetic option seriously. All this against a background of widespread and growing drench resistance, no new chemical drenches in the pipeline and growing farmer concern. I would like Beef + Lamb NZ and those connected with Wormwise to consider the following facts: ●● Parasitologists about 35 years ago stated that breeding animals that are resistant to worms was achievable and a realistic option given a 25-year time frame. ●● About 30 years ago, Australian scientists proved that worms had no defenses against the immune system. ●● In 1990, a national programme was set in place by the Ministry of Agriculture to breed for the worm resistant trait known as Worm FEC. Protocols to achieve this aim were agreed to by Dr Tom Watson of Ruakura and Dr John McEwan. About 30 ram breeders initially joined the programme and over the

Ram breeder Gordon Levet.

years membership has fluctuated between 25 and 30. Members were faced with a large amount of work and considerable cost with no reward. Today there are still about the same number. Two years ago, they formed Worm FEC Gold to promote the concept – much the same as the FE Gold Group. Most of these ram breeders have some

way to go to achieve flocks that will be totally resistant to all worm challenges. However, they are determined to reach this goal. They would be greatly encouraged if commercial farmers supported their efforts. Many farmers appear better versed in the genetic option for the control and eventual elimination of the worm problem. I believe that those

involved in the Wormwise presentations should consult with the likes of Dr John McEwan, who has spent a lifetime working in this field, so they can present all options. Currently, ram breeders breeding for worm resistance are not recognised. Is this a fair go? After all, they are spending money and hard physical work to benefit their clients and blazing the trail for the sheep industry. With drench resistance problems growing and no new chemical drenches in view, the sheep industry is facing a crisis. We will never defeat worm challenges with chemicals, so the natural option of breeding animals with more reactive and aggressive immune systems is the only long tern viable option. The Wormwise personnel and Beef + Lamb NZ’s board should be promoting the breeding for this trait while we still have some time before the ‘super worm’ reaches total dominance. • Gordon Levet is a third-generation farmer on the same property at Wellsford, Northland, that his grandfather acquired in 1874. The property has had a Romney sheep stud for 97 years. www.kikitangeo.co.nz

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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

ANIMAL HEALTH 31

NAIT helps breeder manage bulls Bull breeder Peter Maxwell manages a bull stud in central Auckland. For effective bull management he updates his NAIT account regularly and uses secondary visual tags along with NAIT tags. What is the size of your operation? We are a small business operator with about 60 cows and 24 yearlings. At present we have 12 clients NZ-wide. Do you lease your bulls? Never. All our bulls are sold after being born and raised at Cornwall Park.

to NAIT tag? Yes, if you do it straight after birth, though we use a head bail when they are difficult to tag. We also tag our bulls with a secondary visual tag and that makes it easier for identifying them and their NAIT number when they’re out

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in the pasture. It would be unusual to lose a NAIT tag and a visual tag at the same time, and if the NAIT tag falls out you can quickly restore the tag number in the system by checking the visual tag. Managing bulls can be risky in the current Mycoplasma bovis climate? Because our focus is on selling bulls, we aren’t in the position some bull leasers may find themselves in with having to quarantine bulls coming back to the stud. We have taken steps to mitigate a disease outbreak by an embryo transplant with one of the bulls. This means we can replicate our current herd and ensure the genetics are protected. Is the industry changing as a result of Mycoplasma bovis? Definitely. It’s noticeable our buyers are recording and confirming NAIT movements a lot sooner after the sale. Some larger commercial bull operators might find it challenging to keep on top of their obligations with more animals and clients to manage, but with NAIT you simply need to prioritise and keep on top of it and be vigilant. How often do you update your NAIT account? If I’m selling bulls, I’ll be there at least once

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We purchase service bulls every two to three years from a trusted provider in Hawke’s Bay. How long have you been breeding bulls? I’ve been doing it here for over 12 years. The Cornwall Park stud opened in 1991 and started breeding Swiss heritage Simmental bulls from 1996. Do you specialise only in the Simmental breed? It’s our choice of bull. We have over time acquired a breed which is more civil, quieter and meatier. They are unique when you consider they share the park with about four million visitors a year, so their docile temperament is key, and we have a policy of not buying females. Now, almost all our bulls are genetically polled. Who looks after your NAIT obligations? I’m the PICA [person in charge of animals] at the park. The bulls are generally tagged and weighed on the day of their birth. I’ll pop by the office to activate the tags in the system to register them in NAIT. This ensures our bulls have lifetime traceability. I have a tag reader but rarely use it. When selling bulls I’m responsible for recording and confirming the movements with the buyer’s NAIT number. Are Simmental bulls easy

a week. We run a calving book too. It’s easier if you prioritise the recording of movements and over time it’s got easier to do. A good practice is to check the status of your animals and their tags

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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

32 NZ AGRICULTURE SHOW

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COMPETING IN the livestock contests at the New Zealand Agricultural Show is not for the fainthearted. Over 3000 animals and exhibitors are on site, all vying for a prestigious ribbon and recognition amongst their peers. Very determined competitors can be found amongst the younger entrants. They give up weekends on the pitch or nights watching television to put in the months of preparation needed for a chance at winning a medal. No one knows all this better than Charlie Herbert (14), son of this year’s president of the show, Chris Herbert. Charlie has attended the show since he was born and has competed in its cattle section since he

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was just five. Charlie explains what he loves about being a part of the show community. Q. When do you start preparing to ensure you and your animals are show ready? A. Teaching the cattle to lead is the hardest part, so we start that in April! Every school holidays after that is spent working with them. We also have to keep an eye on dad and make sure he has our cattle in a good paddock so they are well fed and looking their best. Q. What do you look forward to most about coming to the show each year? A. Meeting loads of new people and spending time with others who share the same interests as me. The other breeders are always willing to help me out and provide advice. It’s the best place to learn from others and get better. The breakfast in the members’ marquee is also a highlight. Q. What’s the biggest challenge about competing at the show? A. Competition is so high every year and I am always competing against people with a lot more experience than me. But this is the best way to improve, learn from others and come back better every year. It makes me determined. Q. What parts of the show are your family involved in? A. My whole family is involved in supporting the cattle section and we get together with other committee members at

Charlie and his brother Louie Herbert in the ring in 2017, when they won a second place ribbon for the all breeds pair.

working bees before the show. Mum helps get all the ribbons ready too. Dad is president of the show this year which is pretty cool. But mum and dad help us with exhibiting every year. Q. If you were going to have a go at anything else at the show what would it be? A. I’d like to be a steward to help the show keep going.

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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

NZ AGRICULTURE SHOW 33

New president keen to see cattle return NIGEL MALTHUS

THIS YEAR’S president of the New Zealand Agricultural Show says the main focus is to restore cattle numbers after the severe hit they took last year from fears of spreading Mycoplasma bovis. Chris Herbert has taken the overall reins of the show after six years as head steward and four

as cattle chairman. He believes they have succeeded because of the strength of the biosecurity protocols put in place. Herbert said they had to fight “really hard” to have a cattle competition at all last year. However, the biosecurity protocols developed with MPI were shown to be practical and workable and are

now being adopted by other shows around the country. “The dairy entries have gone up because people have looked at what we did last year and said ‘this is not so bad after all’,” Herbert told Rural News. Overall cattle entries are back up to 316 from 238 last year. “We’re not setting

the world on fire but in saying that, with the protocols that we’ve got in place, I don’t think we could cope with too many more.” The protocols include unoccupied space between herds in the cattle pens, which greatly limits the overall capacity, along with one-way traffic and two-metre spacing between animals

2019 New Zealand Agricultural Show President Chris Herbert. RURAL NEWS GROUP

in the ring. The New Zealand Agri-

cultural Show – formerly the Canterbury A&P Show – will run from November 13 to 15. Herbert says a barbecue competition will be new this year. Such competitions are “a big thing” in the US where 10-12 teams compete in an 18-hour competition to produce the best slow-cooked barbecue, with competitors staying up overnight to tend and baste the meat.

The Blinc Innovation Hub has also “really taken off,” Herbert says. Although re-branding was a bit of a gamble, he claims the NZ Agricultural Show branding was starting to get recognised. It is still the country’s biggest show by far. “Even with the worst cattle numbers we’ve ever had I think we’re probably still double the next-biggest show, which would be Hawkes Bay.”

2019 New Zealand Agricultural Show President Chris Herbert with his wife Katrina and sons Charlie (left) and Louie.

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FAMILY AFFAIR THE CANTERBURY A&P Show – now rebranded the New Zealand Agricultural Show – is a true family affair for this year’s show president Chris Herbert. While Herbert stopped showing cattle after he became the cattle chairman about five years ago, his sons have taken on the mantle of showing and parading animals from the family’s Blonde d’Aquitaine cattle stud in North Canterbury. Herbert says Louis (16) and Charlie (14) started parading calves when they were five and graduated about five years ago to showing full-size animals, against adult competition. “They’ve taken over and done it themselves,” he said. Their best result has been a second-place ribbon for a yearling pair in an all-breeds class. As early as the Easter school holidays they start choosing which animals to prepare and show. This year the boys plan to show “a beautiful steer”, two yearling bulls, a senior bull and a cow with calf at foot – if she calves in time. The boys’ mother Katrina is the self-professed “go-fer” making sure they have the support they need. The family runs the country’s only Blonde d’Aquitaine stud, alongside a beef finishing operation on 400ha at Omihi, in North Canterbury. Herbert runs no sheep but buys in calves in autumn and carries them through to finishing. Blonde d’Aquitaine is a meat animal from the Pyrenees region of France, originally bred as draught animals to pull carts. Herbert says the breed came to New Zealand in the same shipment as Charolais and Limousin in the 1970s. In its heyday there were half a dozen Blonde d’Aquitaine studs in Northland and one near Murchison but his is the only one remaining.

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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

34 NZ AGRICULTURE SHOW

Winning wines gain judges’ applause TOP WINE judges last month tasted a variety of the best aromatic wines New Zealand has to offer. At least 260 wines were judged over two days by a blind panel of judges headed by Jim Harre. In the New Zealand Aromatic Competition, Spy Valley Envoy Johnson Vineyard Riesling 2013 was named as Beck & Caul Supreme Champion Wine in Show, after winning the top spot in the Champion Museum Class. The judges commented that it boasted a “mouthwatering acidity and freshness that belies its age” and applauded its intense aromas of fresh lemon, making it a must for summer wine lists. Runner up was awarded to Two Rivers Juliet Riesling 2019, after being named Champion Riesling. It was noted for its concentrated and balanced fresh grapefruit notes and spicy acidity.

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The judges said the wine showed layers of complexity. David Clouston, the founder and winemaker of Two Rivers, said of the win: “The continued success of Two Rives Juliet Riesling is a true testament to the site and shows the vineyard’s potential to make great wines.” The Macvine Champion Canterbury Wine in Show was awarded to Mount Brown Estates’ 2019 Riesling. The judges praised definition and

textural acidity and applauded it as a perfect example of a Riesling. Catherine Keith, director of Mount Brown, was ecstatic about the win. “This is the third trophy for our riesling in as many years, so we are very excited about it. Making a great wine consistently, across vintages, is very hard to do.” The judges said they were impressed with the high quality of wines on offer in both competitions, awarding 22 golds, 62 silvers and 104

bronzes. “The blind judging process ensures quality wins out and the results list truly deserving acclamations,” said Jim Harre. The Canterbury Wine competition also announced Omihi Road’s Gewürztraminer 2014 as the Canterbury Champion Gewürztraminer. For results go to: www.theshow. co.nz/wp-content/ uploads/2019/10/ New-Zealand-WineResults_2019-1.pdf

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THE LATEST results from the Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) Genetics dairy beef progeny test are signalling good prospects for dairy farmers. B+LNZ says the test results show “excellent dairy-friendly beef bull options are available to dairy farmers, and dollars to be made”. Since 2016, 86 bulls have been progeny tested. The bulls are suited to mating with dairy cows – based on their birth weight and gestation length – and they produce calves suitable for beef finishing. Research lead associate professor Rebecca Hickson says that, of all of the bulls assessed to date, there was a 56kg difference between the best and worst bull for yearling weight. “At $3/kg liveweight that translates to a $168 difference per head.” On birth weight and calving ease, B+LNZ says the results reveal many low-birthweight beef bulls produce calves similar to, or lighter than, calves produced by an average Friesian bull, when

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Calves were weighed up to 10 months of age, so the table’s ‘yearling’ weight is actually two months shy of yearling.

bred over crossbred cows. On gestation length and days in milk, B+LNZ says bull selection has a big impact on gestation length and therefore days in milk. The average gestation length EBV of the progeny test bulls was 281 days – slightly better than the dairy breed average of 282 days. Here is how dairy farmers can use the results: the five bulls identified above are the sires that tick all the boxes – low birth weight, short gestation and good growth. Other bulls were strong in par-

ticular traits, but the listed bulls excelled in all traits. Says Hickson: “These five bulls in particular offer great value to dairy farmers and finishers.” From a big picture perspective, the test reinforces that dairy farmers can be confident that beef EBVs reliably predict performance in a dairy beef system. “Selecting bulls on EBV allows dairy farmers to make informed decisions on bull choice within a breed,” says Hickson. The full sire list can be found at blnzgenetics.com.


RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS 35

New JD 7R waiting in the wings MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

JOHN DEERE has updated its lineup of 7R series tractors for 2020, with a choice of seven models from 210 to 330 horsepower. The 210, 230, 250,270, 290, 310 and 330 models offer corresponding horsepowers. All-new cabin design, said to be the largest ever, gives the buyer an extra 5cm of headroom and a 24% wider entry path. Customers can choose from three specification packages – Select, Premium and Ultimate. The Ultimate cab includes a new leather seat with electronic adjustment, heating, ventilation and massage features, smartphone integration with a 16.5 cm (6.5 in.) touchscreen display and multi-speaker system. Also in the Ultimate spec are a leather wrapped steering wheel, footrests and carpeted floor. In addition, Select, Premium and Ultimate visibility packages are offered. For more efficient night operation, Ultimate visibility has 22 work LED and eight convenience LED lights, to give operators 360 degrees of lighting coverage. The package also has electrically heated telescopic mirrors, wipers and sunshades on the front, right side and rear, and integrated rear cameras. A key change is the the

The John Deere 7R 210 is standard equipped with a John Deere e23.

replacement of the previous hydro-pneumatic cab suspension system with a mechanical system designed to work with the suspended seat and triple link front axle suspension for a smooth, comfortable ride. All 7R tractor models for 2020 are fully integrated, capable and supported in their technology. “John Deere made several precision ag technology updates that make it easy for customers to remotely monitor and manage tractor and field operations and to enable more timely transfer of prescriptions and data,” said Tammy Lee, marketing manager, production agriculture for John Deere. Each new 7R tractor comes standard equipped with an integrated Gen 4 4600 CommandCenter display, StarFire 6000 integrated receiver and AutoTrac activation. “Additional premium or automation activations are available so customers

can upgrade and choose the level of accuracy they prefer. The StarFire

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The e23 PowerShift transmission is fitted as standard, offering three modes of operation to automate gear selection and RPMs to maintain the desired ground speed based on load. Alternatively, customers can choose the optional Infinitely Variable Transmission (IVT). Generally, improving dependability and simplifying routine servicing was a priority of John Deere for the new 7R tractors. “We’ve improved hydraulic and electrical routings, relocated and

improved access for other components, simplified systems and improved onboard diagnostics,” Lee said. “In addition, the number of hydraulic connections has been reduced, decreasing the number of potential leak points, with new decals under the hood panel providing more service and maintenance information.” Ordering and pricing information for the 2020 models will be available in December, with shipments expected to begin in May.

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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

36 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

Euro sprayer industry to get a shake-up

COURT ACTION

MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

PROLONGED DROUGHT in Australia and a downturn in agriculture in the US and Ukraine are affecting the European farm machinery sector. Exel Industries, the owner of many spray machinery brands, eg Hardi, Tecnoma, Evrard and Agrifac, has closed two factories, at Noyers-Saint-Martin and Saint-Denis-de L’Hotel. Production will be transferred to Beaurainville and Epernay, respectively. This consolidation into ‘centres of excellence’ will see Beaurainville focus on self-propelled sprayers sold under the Matrot, Evrard and Hardi brands. And Epernay will specialise in self-propelled units for Berthoud and Tecnoma. The company’s factories at Belleville and Norre Alsley (Denmark) will develop and produce mounted and trailed machines for Berthoud/

Tecnoma and the Hardi/Evrard brands, respectively. The company says the restructure will allow it to focus more on the global brands to make them stronger, clearer and more distinctive. The Evrard, Matrot and Berthoud brands will offer a range of premium

products for large-scale arable farms, while Hardi and Tecnoma will be aimed at the mainstream market. “This consolidation is not only designed to stimulate innovation and new product development, but to lower production costs and improve quality,” said group chief

executive Guerric Ballu. “The centres of excellence will also allow us to develop new technologies in precision agriculture, electronics, robotics and artificial intelligence.” @rural_news

CLOSER TO home, Hardi Australia has failed in a bid to merge two legal actions pending against the company in relation to its Hardi Presido self-propelled sprayer. One is in the NSW District Court, the other in the NSW Supreme Court. In the District Court case, Anthony and Kristine Good of ‘Stradbroke’, Cootamundra, NSW, had launched proceedings against Hardi Australia and South West Tractors regarding the purchase of a Presidio 2700 sprayer. It has alleged that the representations were misleading and deceptive in contravention of section 18 of the Australian Consumer Law because the spray unit did not have a 4WD hydrostatic drive and was a 2013 model. The Good’s say they would not have bought the spray unit if they had known the true facts. They claim as damages the purchase price of the spray unit and consequential loss which includes the loss of a crop. The second case, a class action, will be fought in the Supreme Court by Greenshades Pastoral, on behalf of customers who bought a Presidio spray unit between April 2013 and December 2018 for use in farming. Representations included that Hardi Australia in a brochure misrepresented spray units as rugged and built for demanding conditions, having class leading field performance and flotation and a rear axle which oscillated to maintain traction on all four driving wheels.

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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS 37 TRACTOR OF THE FUTURE? WE’VE SEEN lots of information lately about autonomous tractors, particularly from CNH Agriculture. And though global entity John Deere has been a little slow off the mark, it put this right at a recent dealer event in Valencia Spain, showing attendees a new concept perhaps suggesting its direction. Its cab-less tractor will have a rated electrical output of about 680hp with zero emissions. But there is so far no information on the exact specifications of the powertrain, although it was dis-

Keep an eye on your stuff RURAL CRIME affects many farmers and owners of lifestyle blocks. It might be general pilfering, theft of tools or farm bikes or, as recently in Taranaki, about three tonnes of calf milk replacer and rearing pellets. The Uniden App Cam Solo 4G might be a useful way of keeping an eye on your property, particularly outlying blocks without electricity supply. The camera comes enabled for mobile connection, using 3, 4, or 5G signals and able to run for 24 hours with a rechargeable battery which can be topped up by a solar panel. Users will need to install a SIM card, then by a cellphone connection the camera will notify of any activity within its range. At this point the user can ‘go live’ via the Uniden Solo App then see what is happening at the location. Images can be sent to the Cloud or SD storage card for future reference. The camera has heat and movement sensors which will trigger an alert or notification to the user. The unit also has full audio capability, allowing users to listen to or speak with people at the location. Alternatively the system can be set to deter loiterers by activating a siren or alarm. The camera can also be used for remote monitoring of, say, reservoirs or ponds, cattle yards or lambing sheds. Waterproof to the IP65 standard, the unit is supplied with a silicon camouflage sleeve for discreet mounting, has a 110-degree field of vision and night vision capability. It is offered as a kit with a solar panel for recharging. Price $799 incl. GST.

played with tractors and lacked any visible steering mechanisms. The tractor contrasted with another concept, shown last year, which had a more conventional layout. It has a frontmounted cable drum and outrigger arm that carries 1000m of extension cable to deliver power to the all-electric 110kW power train. The latest concept was shown with a conventional three-point linkage, carrying a semi-mounted disc cultivator and seeding unit. – Mark Daniel

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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

38 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

Reverse steer avoids pain in the neck MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

GREG BOLLAND’S new reverse-steer Valtra N134 tractor eases his workload and prevents tractor driving from giving him neck and back pain. His business AMT Hedgecutting operates from Waimauku, northwest of Auckland, servicing clients in the greater Auckland area and the Far North. The business operates three hedge cutters suited to different-size jobs, and now comes Bolland’s first Valtra tractor. He settled on the Finnish brand after looking at various others and keeping an eye on local contractors who have been mulching for many years. “Mulching is pretty hard on tractors, but

Valtra has the forestry background we were looking for,” Bolland said. “So the fact that you can get them with forestry specs and factory belly guards makes sense.” Bought from Waikato Tractors, the N134 Valtra is optioned with the factory built Twintrac reverse steer system. This set-up enables the seat to rotate through 180 degrees, allowing the operator to look out the back window and steer using a supplementary steering wheel. “It’s nice to be able to look out the back window without turning your neck all the time and twisting around. It makes a hard job really easy,” said Bolland. “We use reverse steer for the heavier mulching jobs when we bring down big tops of trees. I just

front suspension, allowing me to eliminate the need to use a transporter for short distances.” Bolland says the 600 hour engine and 2400 hour hydraulic and transmission service periods reduce the cost of ownership. The tractor powers a linkage mounted Seppi forestry mulcher and a stump grinder, and it has frontloader mounted forks. The tractor also has frontloader forks that he uses to clean up sites.

Greg Bolland’s new reverse steer N134 tractor in action.

chopped down 30-yearold avocado trees and backed over them. With the stump grinding you can just sit there and look out the back window.” He says the Valtra has incredible power for a four-cylinder engine. “I’ve got the 50km/h transmission with the

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The Valtra N Series uses the same cabin as the larger six-cylinder T Series, said to offer visibility in all directions and a sub 70 decibel noise rating. For those operating loaders, an optional extra roof window gives better visibility of the implement. Other options include a choice of single or twin doors in the cabin, and the SkyView forest cab that has a large polycarbonate roof.

TECHY TYRES TACKLE TROUBLES TYRE MAKER Nokian is set to bring digital technology to those black, round items at the corner of your machine. Launch date will be next year. The Intuitu Smart Tyre System uses integral sensors that combine with a smart, app enabled mobile device to give realtime measurements of operating pressures and temperature. It’s designed with simplicity in mind. Simply download the app to your device and the system starts automatically to download information from the tyre. Nokian Tyres head of sales and marketing, Toni Silfverberg, says the app gives operators peace of mind. “It informs them about pressures and temperatures, helping to prevent damage and warning them of potential anomalies.” The system is also said to help keep tyres in optimal condi-

tion, in turn keeping machinery moving and reducing consequential damage and downtime. Nokian reckons the system will be particularly useful for fleet managers or contractors running numerous machines, allowing them to be monitored simultaneously and planned into routine maintenance. For agri users, optimal tyre

pressures will help to minimise soil compaction, resulting in increased yields, and benefits linked to rolling resistance have positive effects on fuel consumption. An additional 12 months warranty applies over the standard offering. www.nokianheavytyres.com @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

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RURAL NEWS // NOVEMBER 5, 2019

RURAL TRADER 39 Water Filter Systems

Innovation gongs for NH

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MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

NEW HOLLAND Agriculture has picked up three silver medals in the Innovation Awards at the upcoming Agritechnica, November 10 to 16 in Hanover, Germany. NH’s industry-first driveline concept for its high density BigBaler received a silver medal. The medal recognises its two-speed, powershift, start-up technology which delivers smooth baler engagement. Using two-stage logic, this protects the tractor and baler

Baler Mode on the T7 tractor range won an award.

drivelines and, with the baler’s much heavier, larger diameter flywheel it achieves more comfortable and efficient baling. The second silver medal is for innovations the brand has made to

less in-cab noise. Power requirement for threshing is said to be reduced by 16%, reducing fuel use and increasing the combine’s capacity by up to 10%. Baler Mode on the

enhance its CX combine harvester range’s fourdrum threshing system. The new Ultra-Flow staggered drum design smooths crop flow resulting in higher capacity, reduced blockages and

brand’s T7 tractor range was also recognised, as it significantly reduces the pitching motion of the tractor cab when working with large square balers. In operation, the tractor recognises when the baler is attached and activates Baler Mode. This acts on the tractor’s front axle suspension, adjusting stiffness in line with bale compression and reducing cab movement by up to 15% in the process. The system reduces variations in engine speed, leading to fuel savings of up to 12%. www.newholland.co.nz

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P: 0508 326 8888 • www.thetankguy.co.nz 5 DEC - Road WHILE STOCKS LAST! A: 30ENDS Turners – Feilding order all sizes now

BUFFALO BOOTS - spring sale!

Earthwalk Buffalo Boots have thick buffalo hide uppers which is 175% more crack and water resistant than normal leather. The nitrile rubber outsole won’t crack, split or break down in soil. And it is traditionally stitched to the leather upper so it won’t fall off. To make extra sure of this - the stitching goes all the way through the tread. The Lace Up boot offers superb ankle support on hill country, and a calfskin tongue & collar for great internal comfort. The Slip On boots are ideal for any work application. Sizes sell out quickly over Spring/ Summer - so please order early. PHONE

9am-5pm

0800 16 00 24

LACE UP

$115

$120

valued at $280 STEEL TOE X (with Scuff Guard)

valued at $320

STEEL TOE X (with Scuff Guard)

sizes 7, 9, 11 & 12 arrive late Nov

PLAIN TOE (without Scuff Guard)

sizes 7 &13 arrive late Nov

Other sizes in stock now! ONLINE

earthwalk.co.nz

ONE STOP WATER SHOP 300mm x 6 metre .......................... $410 400mm x 6 metre .......................... $515 500mm x 6 metre .......................... $690 600mm x 6 metre .......................... $925 800mm x 6 metre ........................ $1399 1000mm x 6 metre ...................... $2175 1200mm x 6 metre ...................... $3475 ALL PRICES INCLUDE G.S.T.

CHEQUES

SLIP ON

sizes 6 & 7 arrive late Nov

STEEL TOE (without Scuff Guard) all sizes arrive late Nov

PLAIN TOE (without Scuff Guard) all sizes arrive late Nov

earthwalk, r d 2, palmerston north

CULVERT PIPES

New Zealand’s CHEAPEST Culvert Pipes! FREE joiners supplied on request. • Lightweight, easy to install • Made from polyethylene

McKee Plastics Mahinui Street, Feilding Ph 06 323 4181 Fax 06 323 4183

sales@mckeeplastics.co.nz | www.mckeeplastics.co.nz

Buffalo Leather - Dark Brown 175% more crack resistant Leather Traditional Stitched on soles Wide Fit Nitrile Rubber Outsole Heavy Duty Elastic Sides (Slip On) Outsole won’t Crack or Split Calfskin Tongue & Collar (Lace Up) Deep Tread

sizes: 6 - 13 (NZ)

please add $12 freight per order

Phone

0800 625 826 for your nearest stockist

Joiners supplied FREE with culvert pipes


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individual merit with greater accuracy while reducing labour costs and increasing operational efficiency.

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operation. Call us direct on

equipment best suits your (freephone) 0800 837 274

0800 8 37 27 4 ( FRE E PH O N E ) • TEPAR I. C O M

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100 page handbook

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The Racewell DR3 Auto Drafter is a highly efficient, dedicated weighing and 3-way drafting sheep system.

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With 3,4 or 6 way drafting options the Racewell Handler is a faithful work mate that helps take the ‘handling’ out of sheep work.

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The top of the line model can weigh and draft automatically by weight or EID and also allows farmers to undertake a variety of other tasks such as crutching, dagging, drenching, vaccination and tagging.

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Cattle Yard Systems Yards ahead in safety and efficiency With a combined 75 years of design experience and construction of hundreds of stockyard facilities through New Zealand and around the globe, Te Pari can design and build you an innovative steel yard that will exceed your expectations. Talk to us about which plan best suits your operation or download a FREE copy of our Top 20 Plans at www.tepari.com

CASH FLOW

Pay 50% deposit upfront then the remaining 50% in 12 months with Zero Setup Fees on Cattle Crushes, Cattle Yards and Sheep Handlers.

Plan SY124

T&C Apply.

TH I S YARD FO R O NLY...

$ 1 8 7 31

+ ALL THE GST NO W

$ 1 8 7 31

IN 1 2 M O NTHS

+

Delivered and Installed. Includes Classic C1000 Headbail and Stepped Loading Ramp

Site works excluded.

TURNKEY

Plan SY167

PROFESSIONAL YARD

TH I S YARD FO R O NLY...

$ 2 5 5 75

+ ALL THE GST NO W

$ 2 5 5 75

IN 1 2 M O NTHS

+

Delivered and Installed. Includes Stepped Loading Ramp.

Cattle Crush & Site works excluded.

The Te Pari Cashflow Booster Finance offer is a 12 month hire purchase contract at 0%. Offer based on current retail price excluding GST with 50% deposit now plus all the GST payable at time of order and 50% in 12 months. Offer is facilitated by UDC Finance and is subject to usual lending criteria. The Te Pari Cashflow Booster offer is valid on confirmed New Zealand orders for Te Pari Livestock Handling Equipment and solutions placed between the 1st of Nov 2019 and 31st Dec 2019. Not available with any other special offer or quotation. Minimum order $20,000+ GST. Some equipment may be shown with optional extras fitted.

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Additional Bonus Offer:

Talk to us about which equipment

Get $1000 +GST of Yard upgrades for free

best suits your operation. Call us

when you confirm your Yard order before 31st

0800 837 274

November 2019

direct on (freephone) Check us out online at www.tepari.com and download a FREE Te Pari 100 page handbook

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Rural News 05 November 2019  

Rural News 05 November 2019

Rural News 05 November 2019  

Rural News 05 November 2019