Page 1

MANAGEMENT

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

Veteran cleans up prime beef contest. PAGE 29

Case has big bales all squared up. PAGE 36

NEWS Farmers in the gun from new laws PAGE 14

TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS DECEMBER 3, 2019: ISSUE 690 

www.ruralnews.co.nz

NZ lamb chopped DAVID ANDERSON

THE NZ meat industry’s challenges in the UK – already facing a number of issues due to the impending Brexit – have increased with UK retailer Waitrose planning to source all lamb from only British producers. The company has previously sourced some of its own-label fresh and frozen lamb from New Zealand during the UK winter months. However, Waitrose says this move will extend its commitment to UK lamb producers as it “focuses its investment

on the future of British agriculture”. The UK supermarket chain says it aims to complete the move to 100% British fresh and frozen own-label lamb by the summer of 2021. Currently all of Waitrose’s fresh chicken, pork, beef, eggs and liquid milk are sourced exclusively from the UK. “We are constantly looking at ways to innovate our product and are

actively looking to partner with new lamb producers around Britain to ensure we continue to offer great-tasting, high-quality lamb all year round,” said Tor Harris, head of corporate social responsibility, health and agriculture at Waitrose & Partners. Waitrose is a smaller UK supermarket compared with Sainsbury, Tesco and Asda.

Meat Industry Association chief executive Tim Ritchie told Rural News the Waitrose decision is disappointing. “I would describe it as a blip, not a disaster,” he said. “Of course, individual companies can make their own decisions. However, it is unfortunate considering the long relationship Waitrose has had

Hail Mary Dromore, Canterbury, farmer Brian Leadley in a wheat crop which he estimates has suffered 10-15% loss from last month’s big hailstorm that cut a swath through much of region’s cropping land. Leadley’s sweetcorn was at an early seedling stage with many plants flattened and his pea crop also took a hammering. Assessing the damage a few days after the storm, Leadley said some of his sweetcorn plants were “certainly” lost, but many were recovering quite well. However, some of those plants will have lost the central stem, in which case no cobs will form. Meanwhile, his peas also looked a lot healthier after some warm weather and a spray of liquid fertiliser and fungicide. – More on the crop damage page 4

TO PAGE 3

DANES MAY HAVE ANSWER DANISH RESEARCHERS have developed an ingredient that substantially cuts cows’ methane emissions, according to a newspaper report from that country. Like NZ, Denmark has ambitious climate targets, but it also relies heavily on agriculture. Methane emissions from the farming sector are often described as a key issue in curbing climate change. Working with dairy giants Arla, Danish researchers have advanced a substance (referred to as ‘X’) that can effectively stop methane emissions from cows – a potentially massive result in the battle against climate change. “In a lab at the University of Copenhagen, we have managed to document that when this substance is added to feed, there is simply no -- as in zero -- methane emissions,” Mette Olafsen Nielsen, a professor at Aarhus University, told JyllandsPosten newspaper. Australian researchers had already discovered that it is possible to reduce methane emissions from cows by 92-97% by adding a special substance to their feed. However, this substance is virtually unusable because it’s not something acceptable in the food chain. According to this latest report, the Danish material has already been approved by EU’s food safety authority EFSA, and can be added to the vitamin and mineral mixtures that go into cow feed.

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RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

NEWS 3 ISSUE 690 www.ruralnews.co.nz

Report outlines challenges SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

NEWS��������������������������������������1-19 AGRIBUSINESS��������������� 20-21 AGRIBUSINESS���������������22-23 HOUND, EDNA���������������������� 24 CONTACTS����������������������������� 24 OPINION��������������������������� 24-26 MANAGEMENT�������������� 28-29 ANIMAL HEALTH����������� 30-33 MACHINERY AND PRODUCTS�����������������������34-37 RURAL TRADER������������� 38-39

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

FONTERRA SAYS it didn’t shy away from its sustainability commitments despite a financially draining 2019. The co-op last week released its 2019 sustainability report -- the first to reflect its ‘triple bottom line’ goals of healthy people, healthy environment and healthy business. Chairman John Monaghan and chief executive Miles Hurrell say in the 2019 sustainability report that the last financial year brought significant challenges and change for the co-op. “There’s no question about it, it’s been a tough year. We always knew it was going to be, and should be pleased with the progress we’ve made. “That might sound strange, given our performance this year, but we are confident that when we look back at 2019 a few years from now, it will be to mark the beginning of a new period of success for the co-op.” After two consecutive years of losses, resulting from massive writedowns of assets, the co-op embarked on a new strategy -- learning from past decisions and agreeing on what the co-op should stand for today,

Fonterra chairman John Monaghan and chief executive Miles Hurrell.

Monaghan and Hurrell say. “Eighteen months ago, we may have said we’re a global dairy giant here to make a difference in the lives of two billion people through a volume ambition of 30 billion litres of milk by 2020. “Today, we stand for value. We’re a New Zealand dairy farmers’ co-op, doing smart, innovative things with New Zealand milk to create value for our owners, customers, and communities. “This is the right strategy for us, but

it requires us to make some different choices.” Fonterra’s healthy business targets include an 8.5% return on capital (ROC) by financial year 2022 and 10% by 2024. Last year its ROC was 5.8%. Fonterra targets earnings of 40c/ share by 2022 and 50c by 2024. Last year it achieved 17c/share: no dividend was paid. The co-op has a free cashflow target of $900m by end the of 2022 and over $1 billion by 2024. Last year it recorded

free cashflow of $699m. Under its healthy people target, Fonterra hopes to have 50% of its senior leadership team made up of women. Two of its seven-member executive team are presently women. The head of people and culture, Deborah Capill, has resigned and will leave in February 2020. Fonterra also wants “ethnic” representation on its leadership team of 20% by 2022 (9% last year). It also wants all Fonterra consumer branded products to have health star ratings by 2025 (68% last year). On healthy environment, Fonterra hopes to have all its 10,000 farmers equipped with farm environment plans: last year only 23% of its farmers had FEPs. It also hopes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing sites by 30% within 10 years. Fonterra says it will measure the success of its strategy and approach using triple bottom line reporting. “We will measure the health of our people, our environment and our business. Each comes with a number of performance targets, including return on capital, greenhouse gas emissions and the engagement levels of our farmers and staff.”

Waitrose to cut out NZ lamb

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

FROM PAGE 1

with NZ lamb.” Ritchie said NZ lamb played a very important role in the UK market by providing quality, fresh produce on the supermarket shelves during the British off season. “That why UK farmers need us as much as we need them by ensuring that quality, fresh lamb is on the shelves 365 days a year.”

chilled NZ lamb was sent Ritchie says while to the UK and another the volumes of NZ lamb $175m of frozen product. exported to the UK had This compares with $1.4 dropped over the last billion of NZ sheepmeat couple of years, due to exports to China during uncertainties over Brexit the same period. and increased demand While the NZ meat in China, it remains an industry is disappointed important market for NZ. Tim Ritchie by the Waitrose move, For the 12 months to the end of September, $213 million of UK farmers are – unsurprisingly –

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delighted. “We thoroughly welcome Waitrose’s commitment to stock 100% Welsh and British lamb from 2021,” NFU Cymru Livestock board chairman Wyn Evans said. “This is a really positive move by a major buyer of lamb in the UK which highlights that there is a strong appetite amongst consumers for Welsh and British lamb products.”

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RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

4 NEWS

Hail hard on Canterbury crops NIGEL MALTHUS

CROPS ACROSS a swath of Canterbury’s arable heartland have been damaged or lost to a couple of hailstorms which swept up the South Island’s east coast late last month. Hailstones the size of golf balls were reported in a big storm which hit on November 20, on top of a smaller but still damaging storm two days earlier. Federated Farmers arable vice chairman Brian Leadley, who farms at Dromore, near Ashburton, in the middle of the affected area, has himself suffered significant damage to milling wheat, sweetcorn and process peas. Leadley is also chair of United Wheatgrowers, the compulsory levy-funded organisation which administers a basic disaster relief insurance scheme for wheat crops. But there is no similar scheme for other crops and Leadley believes private insurance is not common, except possibly for some high-value crops such as hybrid vegetable seed or for growers in known hail corridors. During both the Monday and Wednesday storms, United Wheatgrowers have received about 50 claims for damaged wheat crops from St Andrews and Clandeboye in the south right through to Darfield and Leeston in the north. The claims had yet to be assessed. Leadley said he could not quantify the dollar cost, but the amount would be significant as the farms involved were about 130 to 600ha each. “Fair to say it will be pretty large for the total industry, given that we’ve seen 50-odd claims on wheat alone and you’ve got all

Dromore farmer and United Wheatgrowers chair Brian Leadley. RURAL NEWS GROUP

CROPS TAKE A BATTERING, HOPE REMAINS

Dromore farmer Brian Leadley is unsure how much of his young sweet corn will survive the battering of the mid-November hailstorms. RURAL NEWS GROUP

your wheat and your barleys,” he told Rural News. “I’m hearing that early autumn sown barley is pretty severely hit, possibly worse damaged than the early wheat. “And you’ve got all your early vegetable seed crops and vegetable crops as well.”

He said peas had been knocked around badly, particularly if they were flowering. Leadley is advising farmers to work closely with their agronomists to minimise losses and protect the surviving crop as well as possible and to act quickly. Common options could

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include applying fertiliser to give the plants a boost and fungicide to protect against disease. He expected advisers and assessors to be busy right across the affected district, and supplies of fertiliser and fungicides to come under “a wee bit of pressure”.

ON HIS own farm, Leadley’s sweetcorn was at an early seedling stage with many plants flattened. His wheat, planted in April and due for harvest late January, was still standing but looking tatty with ears broken and bent and grains knocked off. The yield is likely to be down about 10-15%. Leaves have also been split, providing an entry point for fungal disease. Leadly’s peas were at the flowering stage and suffered a lot of bruised leaf and flowers totally chopped off. “They’re a process pea so we have to work very closely with our agronomists just to make sure that what we’re doing is well within withholding periods, because they were due for harvest in about four weeks,” he told Rural News. Speaking again a few days after the storm, Leadley said some of his sweetcorn plants were “certainly” lost but many recovering quite well – although some of those will have lost the central stem, in which case no cobs will form. Leadley said his peas also looked a lot healthier after some warm weather and a spray of liquid fertiliser and fungicide. “Just a wee bit to try and give the plants a bit of a pick-up. It’s trying to help the plant but it might help me as well,” he said. “But the flowers that are gone are gone.” However, he had heard of one or two pea crops where the farmers have given up on harvesting peas and will instead cut it for silage. “That’s the only crops I’ve heard that of. Largely it’ll be yield loss rather than total loss.” Through the Foundation for Arable Research website, United Wheatgrowers is advising farmers that it is better to submit an insurance claim for eligible crops now, and withdraw it later if crops grow out of damage, than to submit late claims which are more difficult to assess.

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RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

NEWS 5

On farm technology impresses teachers PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

‘BLOWN AWAY’ by the amount of the technology on farm. That’s how a group of secondary school teachers from the lower North Island described a day out in the country. They were on a trip to learn about employment opportunities available in the food and fibre sector for young people. The trip was organised by DairyNZ and the Primary Industry Capability Alliance (PICA), made up of various primary sector organisations. This is the sixth year the trip has been staged. About 30 teachers visited Lewis Farms in Horowhenua, a major

PICA chief executive Michelle Glogau.

asparagus grower that also produces strawberries and runs a dairy farm. The teachers were shown the high-tech sorting and packing operation for the asparagus and they had a chance to see strawberries grown

hydroponically in large tunnel houses. At Massey University’s Keeble Research farm they were briefed on a project looking at the meat quality of lambs fed on different forages such as chicory and red

clover. Later, at the main campus, they heard about a study of the development of ‘hybrid meats’, a project which involves blending meat and plant proteins. Finally, the group visited dairy farmer James

Stewart’s property on the outskirts of Palmerston North. Here they saw the start of the afternoon milking – a first for many – and heard Stewart speak about his philosophy of farming, his people management and the massive amount of technology that he uses. The chief executive of PICA, Michelle Glogau, says the perception remains that the agri sector is all about getting up early and milking cows, wearing gumboots and doing hard physical work. Though some jobs that are like that, many other roles involve science and technology, she says. Working with teachers and taking them out in

the country to see what is actually happening is pivotal to giving them the knowledge to pass on to their students about the career prospects in the sector, she says. “Teachers are key influencers of young people’s career paths, but also we need to engage with parents which is

Stock up.

THEIR EYES HAVE BEEN OPENED JOHN BLEAKLEY, a physics and science teacher from Heretaunga College, Hutt Valley says it was great to see what is happening on farms. “We have issues with a lot of kids being unsure about their future and we are trying to think about possible vocations for them,� he told Rural News. “So it was interesting at the Lewis Farm to see how there’s a whole lot of technology in farming

these days that wasn’t there before and it’s going to grow. This is especially interesting for me because I have kids who are into robotics.� Shelly Pender, a careers advisor at Chanel College in Wairarapa and a former dairy farmer, says it was good to come and get an insight into the various farming operations. “We were able to see what people are doing not only for themselves and their own business, but for the future generations,� she

said. “It was good for teachers to see the career opportunities and to understand that there is more to farming than just putting cups on cows.� Pender says kids just don’t get the options that are on offer. For Carl McIntyre, of the Cornerstone Christian School in Palmerston North, the day was outstanding. He says it highlighted the broad range of career opportunities within the agri sector.

challenging,� she told Rural News. Glogau says at Lewis Farms it was interesting to hear them talk about having a seasonal workforce, but also their huge need for people who have tertiary qualifications to run the property, such as agronomists and engineers.

“I personally never realised the breadth of jobs and this was born out, especially going down to Lewis Farms and seeing the range of mechanical, engineering, computer and animal science they have within their group,� he told Rural News. “It was quite amazing and encouraging that just about anyone can find a job in agriculture, contribute to the economy and feel satisfied at the same time.�

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RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

6 NEWS

Winter grazing is everyone’s problem PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

THE GOVERNMENT taskforce report on winter grazing says farmers are not solely to blame for all the problems associated with this practice. It also points the finger at bank managers, seed merchants and other rural professionals, which it says must share some of the blame. Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor set up the taskforce after photographs of cows grazing in deep mud were widely circulated and drew strong community criticism. At the time, O’Connor slammed the situation as unacceptable and set up the taskforce to look at the practice, the extent of problems and to recommend solutions. The result is a 33-page report which delves into the issue and almost unbelievably says “there is not an agreed set of standards among farmers for good animal welfare practice”. In other words, there is no definition of what bad animal practice actually is. The authors of the report call for better compliance and communication on animal welfare issues. They

say there is a need for everyone in the agri supply chain to better understand exactly what constitutes bad animal welfare practices. To that end, one of the 10 recommendations by the taskforce states that animal welfare considerations must be elevated up farmers’ priority list and be seen in the same light as environmental issues. The man who headed the taskforce, the respected veterinarian and animal welfare specialist Dr John Hellstrom, told Rural News that most of their recommendations are pretty much common sense. The extension process – getting information out to farmers -is not working well and needs to be improved. Hellstrom says DairyNZ and Beef + LambNZ recognise there is a failure in the extension system and they are working to fix this. But Hellstrom says the taskforce insists that the problems of winter grazing were caused not just by farmers. “Farmers are almost dictated to by people in the supply chain -- particularly the banks, the seed merchants --

The taskforce has made 10 recommendations on improving winter grazing practices.

some of whom are snake oil salesmen -- and also the graziers. The vets give farmers good welfare advice, but even they are struggling to find the right way forward. “If a bank manager is putting pressure on the farmer to produce more to meet their interest payments that can be a problem. There wouldn’t be a bank manager in the country who

thinks of animal welfare as a consequence of what they doing to a farmer.” Hellstrom says the same issue applies to a corporate farmer living in Auckland who is only interested in the returns from the farm and doesn’t consider animal welfare issues on the farm in the South Island. Hellstrom says when they looked at the grazing contracts they could not

find any reference which pointed to animal welfare as being something of a priority. Seed merchants don’t realise that the advice they give farmers on where to put crops and which crop to use has huge animal welfare implications, he says. “We were careful in our report to say that this is not all the fault of farmers. “They are slam dunked by everything that is going on around them and they need support and other people also need to take responsibility.” Hellstrom says the taskforce is not advocating a ban on winter grazing, but says changes must be made urgently to mitigate the problems that prompted their investigation. The group has set key milestones to be in place next season. These include farmers being aware that having animals in poor grazing conditions is unacceptable and animal welfare material be included in all extension material and that farmers understand and meet their responsibilities. The report is also calling for better monitoring and compliance.


RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

NEWS 7 MINISTER’S VIEW DAMIEN O’CONNOR says winter crop grazing is necessary in some regions to provide enough feed for stock at a time when there’s not a lot of pasture. But he says farmers must have the right tools and advice to ensure animal welfare. O’Connor says NZ’s international reputation as a provider of high quality, sustainable food depends on getting this sort of thing right, as does our social licence to operate. “Some farmers manage this system very well but for those who don’t we’ve got to find a way of doing it better and help them do so,” he told Rural News. “Following the taskforce’s report, I’ve asked the Ministry for Primary Industries to work with farmers and industry groups to ensure farmers get the help they need.”

Govt policy will cost $80m PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

NZ’S APPLE sector is facing a potential $80 million loss in the coming season because of a looming labour shortage. Apples and Pears NZ chief executive Alan Pollard told Rural News that the main reason for this is the decision by the Government not to grant the numbers of overseas workers required under the RSE (recognised seasonal employer) scheme to meet the needs of the sector. RSE workers normally come from South Pacific countries including Samoa and Vanuatu and are employed in picking both fruit and vegetable crops. Pollard says the lack of labour is a risk for the industry. He says it’s great that Trade Minis-

Apple and Pears NZ chief executive Alan Pollard.

ter David Parker is going around the world negotiating quality free trade agreements (FTA’s) for NZ. “But if we are unable to pick the fruit on our trees and sell it in these new developing markets, our competitors will do

that and we will never get into these markets again.” Pollard says the Government announced an increase in the cap of RSE workers of 1550 for this season, with a further increase next year lifting the cap to 1600. However, he points out that

the industry collectively asked for 3500 workers this year alone. Pollard says they are now down to 40% of what they’d asked for, meaning that they won’t get all the fruit off the trees this year. “Up to 10% of the

crop could be lost because of labour shortages. Once a piece of fruit is mature you have got to pick it. You can’t leave it on the tree.” Pollard says to some extent the industry is a victim of its own success because the unemployment rate is very low in the provinces. He says some of that is because orchardists have taken on a lot more permanent staff and access by unemployed people is severely limited. “We have really good relationships with Work and Income and MSD to find us people, but the people are not there and labour is an issue,” he told Rural News. “This season a number of regions will be declaring labour shortages.” According to Pollard, the industry has been

asked by the Government to address a number of key issues, eg the removal of exploitation from the supply chain, making sure there is high quality accommodation that is not taking away accommodation from locals. That means building housing for workers on orchards. “We have demonstrated that we are meeting those challenges. In Hawkes Bay alone $30 million has been invested in new accommodation resulting in the provision of 1750 new beds on orchards for the 2019-20 season,” he said. “As far as the industry is concerned, the situation is totally unacceptable.” Pollard says it’s too late to do anything to change the situation for the coming season. • Reality of technology – page 10


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RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

NEWS 9

Hemp growers aiming high sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

NEW REGULATORY changes are forcing some horticulture and dairy farmers to look at a new crop – hemp. About 1300ha are now assigned by growers across New Zealand for the 2020 hemp crop. HempFarm NZ founder Dave Jordan

efits of a booming hemp sector will extend to construction, food and agriculture. “The wonderful thing about hemp is that it’s bigger than any sector because it fits with every other sector and helps reach the sustainable and compliance challenges every sector is facing. “Yes, we are expecting to set aside more land for

consumer demand as awareness of the multiple benefits and uses grows. “We totally believe it is a great crop for the environment and it fits in NUF0336_CRU_NEWERA_RN

SUDESH KISSUN

with our farming strategy. There is much to learn. This year we installed a drying facility and each year we continue to improve.”

About 1300 ha of hemp is expected to be harvested next year.

A NEW ERA OF WEED CONTROL HAS BEGUN

Dave Jordan, HempFarm NZ chief executive and founder director.

hopes the 2021 crop will increase four-fold. “Who knows, it could be more if we can sell our story well to the New Zealand public and business sector,” Jordan told Rural News. He says hemp cultivation has good environmental credentials: it requires much less water than most crops. “I think our industry will get a lot of support on water use once it is seen for what it really is: a must grow crop that uses a lot less water than many other crops.” A new processing plant is planned for Christchurch next year to supply hemp and hemp/ wool blended yarns, nonwoven materials for ecoplastics, hemp matting and insulation and other products. HempFarm NZ is funded by private equity. Jordan is ruling out a public listing anytime soon. “Any talk of a listing is premature at this stage as we are so focused on setting up our infrastructure and supply chains,” he said. “We do not have anything to add about when or if a public listing would take place.” Jordan says the ben-

hemp cultivation, and to pushing the limits matching markets with cropping -- pushing and urging markets to buy into the industry by purchasing products.” Jordan is urging more farmers to give hemp cultivation a try. “Be a part of a new industry that offers many options by way of planting, harvesting and choices in the value chain and markets. “Other advice would be to consider the infrastructure required. There are so many variables and challenges to be learnt no matter how good a cropper you are.” Wairarapa farmer Richard Kershaw, Moiki Farms, says hemp cultivation looks promising at this stage compared to other conventional crops such as wheat, barley, and ryegrass seed. Asked about its financial viability, Kershaw says he won’t know until the 2020 crop is harvested. Jenny Ridd, JJ Farming, will harvest her third crop in February next year. She says consumer understanding of the health benefits is growing quickly and they are confident there will be huge

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RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

10 NEWS

Small profit for Wools NZ PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

THE WOOLS of NZ board considers its 2019 financial outcomes to be satisfactory given “the first year as a fully commercial company, operating in a very challenging wool market”. Revenue for the year to June 30, 2019 was $22.8 million (versus $25.4m for the previous year) following the cessation of the Wool Market Development Commitment (WMDC), says the annual report. Total expenses were significantly down at $2.8m (2018: $4.3m), including a one-off impairment cost of $200,000 relating to the UK sampling joint venture.

Wools of New Zealand saw a $1.7m turnaround in profit before tax, excluding WMDC. Profit after tax and attributable to shareholders of the company was $100,000 (2018: $300,000). “The balance sheet remains strong with growing inventory levels due to growth in forward contracts,” the annual report says. Wool transacted through Direct-2-Scour was 6.2 million kg, representing an 8% improvement on last year. Following the resignation of chief executive Rosstan Mazey in September, there have been changes to the governance structure. Mark Shadbolt has stepped down as chair and into an exec-

utive director role, while Rebecca Smith, a director since August 2017, has stepped in as chair. Shadbolt will take a greater lead in developing partnership opportunities and negotiations while Smith will bring a refreshed strategy to the next phase of growth. In the market, the year saw weakening demand from China, which historically has accounted for at least 60% of total New Zealand wool exports. This year it decreased below 50%, the annual report says. “Total New Zealand wool export volume for the year ended June 30 2019 was back to 90,799 clean tonnes compared with the

prior year at 100,216 clean tonnes -- a reduction of 9.4%. “The US/China trade situation has provided an uncertain backdrop for global commerce, impacting on China’s ability to competitively operate as a transitional processor and manufacturer of wool products for the US and other markets. “Although Wools of New Zealand forward contracts are largely focused on the UK and European markets, the total impact of the reduced demand from China has weakened the overall supply and demand situation for New Zealand wool.”

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THE REALITY OF TECHNOLOGY AS THE apple industry faces a labour crisis, there is a lot of talk about technology playing a role in harvesting crops. However Apple and Pear NZ chief executive Alan Pollard reckons this is 10-15 years away. He says there is a move to introduce elevator platforms, which means that people who might have physical challenges can come into orchards because they don’t have to climb up and down ladders. “There is work being done on robotic harvesting, but this is a bigger challenge for apples than kiwifruit,” he told Rural News. “An apple tree you will pick three or four times, and you have to make a judgement on the colour, so you just can’t strip a tree,” Pollard explained. “The technology to do this is challenging and it means that a grower has to change the whole structure and layout of the orchard to fit the new technology.” At present, apple trees are three dimensional. However, to meet the needs of technology, trees would need to be grown as a two dimensional ‘wall’ and closer together. Pollard says about 10% of the orchards are being changed over to this system each year, but it will take a long time before all are ready for technology when it arrives. In the meantime, the industry will continue to rely on a diminishing local labour pool and see if it can get the Government to take a more pragmatic approach to the RSE scheme and allow more overseas workers into NZ. Pollard says the RSE scheme is highly regarded internationally and is transforming the New Zealand industry and providing much needed aid to Pacific nations. – Peter Burke

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RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

NEWS 11

Beef roundtable singing from sustainability song sheet PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

THE NEW Zealand Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (NZRSB) will call in the new year for people and groups to register their interest in being involved, says Justin Courtney, chair of the steering committee. An inaugural forum will likely be held for those who want to find out more, Courtney told Rural News. The NZRSB, launched last month, is part of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB), committed to ensuring the beef sector is economically viable, socially responsible and environmentally sound. Founding participants include ANZCO, B+LNZ Ltd, Greenlea Premier Meats, Fonterra, McDonald’s, Silver Fern Farms, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and farmer food producers. Courtney reports “incredibly positive” feedback since the launch from farmer producers and other interest groups who want to be involved.  “We have had interest from some other support agencies such as banks in particular, who said this is a good forum to understand the challenges and opportunities for our industry,” he said.  “We have also had interest from other red meat processors.  “We have been lucky that this set-up process has been a tight collaboration between Silver Fern Farms, ANZCO and Greenlea as well as B+LNZ and the Meat Industry Association who act as our secretariat. “But we are looking forward two other meat companies seeing value in this collaboration as well.  “The minister (Damien O’Connor) at the launch said it was an historic moment for New Zealand in having three of our red meat companies all praising each other on how we work together.” A point of difference with this group is it covers the whole supply chain, Courtney says. “We

have also got retailers and food service represented there as well as processors.” The roundtable also includes a group representing environmental and animal welfare -- an important aspect. One steering group member is the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) which has been instrumental in roundtables around the world. “We had a group of organisations take part in materiality assessment research, including Forest and Bird and Fish and Game.  “We will be welcoming their views so that we are abreast of what is important for people in New Zealand.”  Others instrumental in setting up the roundtable include Fonterra, McDonalds and Northland farmer David Kidd. The New Zealand roundtable will work with other countries on a range of programmes and initiatives to encourage and promote sustainable beef production methods. In the two-year process of setting up the roundtable they have gone through the process of understanding what the main issues are. “That answers the question, what is sustainability? Everyone talks about it and says we are sustainable but how do you really know?” An independent company called Thinkstep did the materiality assessment research for the roundtable and for the Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP), which highlighted the key issues for the industry. The report is available on the RMPP website.  “All food producers and retailers of that food are being asked good questions by the public and the community about how good that food is it for our community, asking, can you show proof?  “We believe the New Zealand story of red meat production, particularly beef, is a special one. It is a good story to tell because we are largely

grass-fed in New Zealand, we lead the world with our grass-fed farming practices and we support a lot of regional communities in how we farm and produce that food.   “The consumer

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RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

12 NEWS

Helping to bridge the rural-urban divide pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

THE URBAN rural divide is not just a New Zealand issue, says Courtney Davies, the New Zealand representative to the Bayer Youth Ag Summit, in Brasília, Brazil, in early November. Davies (23) says she comes face to face with this issue daily as an educator in environmental sustainability and the oceans with the Sir Peter Blake Trust. She is quick to try to shift misconceptions about agriculture among young people, she says. “When we talk to a lot of students about pollution their first thought is that it is from agriculture rather than thinking big-picture about population density and other factors.” She tries to give them a wider view. Brought up on a lifestyle block near Auckland, Davies has been active for many years in

A&P shows through her award-winning Ayrshire cattle breeding. She says communication was an important and similar thread throughout the Bayer Youth Summit in Brazil, attended by 99 young people from 45 countries. The summit, run in partnership with Nuffield Brazil, brings together young change-makers aged 18-25 to tackle the challenges of how to feed a growing population by 2050. Disconnection between consumers and producers of the food was a common theme, Davies says. “We’ve got the farmers producing goods for consumers but the consumers take it for granted,” Davies told Rural News. “They don’t understand why butter increases 50 cents or why the price of milk changes and how that reflects on the agricultural economy behind the scenes.” She says being able to

Courtney Davies is currently representing NZ in Brazil at the Bayer Youth Ag Summit.

show people and open their eyes to where their food comes from “will connect them more with farmers”. Davies believes misconceptions can occur because of extreme images in the media and the average Kiwi not having access to a farm. She was interested to see at the summit that other countries are dealing with similar issues -- even developing countries where the populations and economies may

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be more closely tied with primary producers. People need more critical thinking skills to have more awareness of the wider issues, she adds. At the summit they pitched ideas on tackling food security. “Mine was about education, similar to my current job using virtual reality. We could expand that virtual reality scope to include agriculture, bringing people digitally onto a farm especially for schools and communities that can’t be present on a farm,” Davies explained.

“If we can show them what it is like to milk a cow, [assure] them that, yes, calves get removed from cows but see the calves in pens with other calves: they are drinking milk and the cows are being treated properly. That beef goes from being in a grassy area to ending up on someone’s plate. “We could increase that awareness visually because I think a lot of people don’t understand agriculture.” Davies has a master of natural science (micro-

biology) from Massey University. In 2016 she won a Blake Ambassador Freshwater internship at NIWA working on understanding the link between urbanisation and dairy science. She hopes to work in agriculture, educating younger people and being part of science, governance, leadership and decisionmaking as well. “At times we have people making the decisions who don’t understand either. We need to educate young people but also create resources and tools and ways to communicate with the people in the positions who make these decisions.” Davies says going into the summit she knew New Zealand was ahead of the times in sustainable practices. Company visits included one talk on sustainable milk production presented by a New Zealander. “Just based on that I could tell straight away New Zealand’s agricultural and food production

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is well respected overseas and a lot of countries are trying to do something similar.” Some participants had heard about New Zealand but hadn’t been here so their perceptions were interesting. “They perceived it as very clean, with a clean green environment . “It was nice to see that and give them a firsthand-view explanation as to what we do here and how it could be different from their countries and to swap practices.” She saw a lot of digital innovation and technology which New Zealand could learn from. They visited one of the biggest high-tech farms in Brazil with 400,000ha of farmable land. Her takeaway impression was that while paying respect to the previous methods of farming, we need to be aware that times are shifting and embracing innovation and digital technologies is important. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews


RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

NEWS 13

NAIT ‘given the finger’ – Minister STAFF REPORTER

PRIMARY INDUSTRY “gave the finger” to attempts to overhaul the original National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) scheme, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. It was important that the minister had the ability to direct, O’Connor said in a parliamentary debate on the NAIT Amendment Bill. The industry body in charge of NAIT, OSPRI, was focussed on getting tags on animals and traceability, not the wider issues of M. bovis management, he said. “When we asked them for a bit of cooperation to help us [with M. bovis] they were, quite frankly, uncooperative and gave us the finger, quite frankly.” Under existing law “there was no ability for the minister to step in and ask them to step up

their game and focus on not just animal tracing but actually being part of a useful biosecurity system,” he said. Under the NAIT bill, OSPRI would no longer have a specific biosecurity function, but a clause in new legislation would allow the Government to instruct OSPRI to use NAIT for a biosecurity programme if required. O’Connor said NAIT needed to be amended because it was missing basic requirements, eg tags linked to a single location. It appeared a growing number of farmers had been sending stock to processing plants without tags because tags were inconvenient. Farmers would pay a $35 fine for untagged animals but some farmers found the penalty “too easy”. Now, a tag could only be left off it was genuinely unsafe to tag. Incon-

was snuck in to the NAIT Bill “late in the piece” and that it could give a minister excessive influence over the NAIT scheme. Guy said he hated to think a minister of the day could direct NAIT officers as to what they should be doing based on a particular government’s

priorities or expectations. “I would have thought that [the expectation of] any government, whether it’s a blue stripe government or a red stripe government, would be for NAIT to do the right job for farmers, for animals, for biosecurity, for food safety and the like,” he said.

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RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

14 NEWS

Farmers in the gun from new laws NIGEL MALTHUS

MANY FARMERS still don’t realise how they may be affected by the new gun laws introduced following the March 15 Christchurch mosque shooting. That’s the claim of Ian Brabbs, president of the North Canterbury Deerstalkers Association. The association, along with the Council Of Licensed Firearms Owners (COLFO) and other groups, put up a stall at the recent NZ Agricultural Show in Christchurch, saying

HUNTERS TO HELP OUT THE DEERSTALKERS Association is promoting a new ‘Farmer Assist’ programme where farmers who need help to tackle a pest problem can link up with approved hunters to do the job. The scheme aims to provide farmers with a professional-standard service for no fee. It runs through an online board where farmers can post details of a proposed job. Accredited hunters can register their interest and the farmer then gets to choose who he engages. DA members wanting to take part have to commit to the programme’s

it’s not just “militarystyle” automatic weapons

safety, animal welfare and ethical hunting requirements, and undergo a competency assessment. DA says the introduction of the programme was staggered across the country to ensure a substantial resource base of qualified members able to cover any farmer request, but it is now operational everywhere. Ian Brabbs said the scheme means that farmers can decide who gets onto their property. The approved hunters will also know that anyone else they see hunting there would be poachers who need to be reported.

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North Canterbury Deerstalkers member Andy Gillies on the Deer Association stand at the 2019 NZ Agricultural Show, aimed at alerting farmers to arms-control legislation which they say will unwittingly make criminals of many.

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rounds or it’s prohibited,” said Brabbs. Some weapons could be modified by a gunsmith to make them comply. But if the local gunsmith already has five years work in the queue, owners will be in breach when the buyback scheme ends, he said. Andy Gillies, a member of the Deerstalkers Association and other firearms clubs, was helping man the stall at the show. He described the buyback scheme as a “confiscation”. “Because it’s not a buyback,” Gillies told Rural News. “To say it’s a buyback implies the [police] own them in the first place.” Among other proposed rules is a return to the licensing of individual firearms. “We used to have registration for individual firearms. The police threw it out because it just didn’t work,” Brabbs said. Another proposal is that all gun clubs and shooting ranges would have to be certified, which Brabbs claimed could catch out farmers having their mates round on a Sunday afternoon. “If they put up a target in the back paddock and have half a dozen people come round, that’s suddenly a rifle range,” he told Rural News. “They’re in breach if that’s not certified.” Brabbs said the Royal Commission set up after

the March 15 shooting was not due to report until after the Arms Act amendments have been “rushed” through Parliament. “So they are amending things. They’ve got no idea what the Royal Commission is going to say are the actual important issues.” COLFO spokeswoman Nicole McKee said the ban on semi-automatic centrefire rifles – except for pest control operators who qualify for a special endorsement – was already having an effect on pest numbers on South Island farms. She says farmers could get together with their mates for a weekend shoot, but single-shot weapons could not give the same kill rate as semiautomatics. “Farmers are using bolt-action firearms and they’re not getting the quick follow-up shot,” she told Rural News. “The animals are dispersing and very few of them are being euthanised at the same rate.” McKee said they were already hearing of increased erosion, crops starting to be destroyed and pigs getting at newborn lambs. She had also heard of farmers being denied the endorsement that would allow them to continue to use centrefire semis, because they could not say that at least 80% of their business was pest control.


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RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

16 NEWS

Drought research looks at impacts PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

A NORTHLAND Regional Council scientist and her manager are investigating the differences between – and local implications of – two drought types in Northland. These are a hydrological drought and a meteo-

rological drought. Hoa Pham, the council’s resource scientist surface water, with the support of her manager, natural resources science manager Jean-Charles Perquin, has recently written an article on the issue for the New Zealand Hydrological Society. This will be presented at the

society’s upcoming conference in Rotorua this week. Pham says with Northland experiencing several droughts in recent years, their research is expected to provide valuable and useful information. She noted that over the period studied for the presentation (July 2018

- June 2019) the amount of water in some Northland streams had reduced “dramatically”. Pham says in very broad terms, the simplest explanation of meteorological drought is what most people understand a drought to be – a lack of rain over a reasonably long time making things

very noticeably dry. “It’s pretty easy to measure low rainfall and how long this has been going on.” But hydrological drought is arguably more complex and is what happens to the region’s actual hydrological processes -- its rivers, lakes, reservoirs and groundwa-

Hoa Pham, right, with her manager Jean-Charles Perquin

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ter -- especially over the longer-term. In some cases, the impacts of meteorological drought are still effectively impacting on local stream flows, which can remain lower than usual, more than a year after the rain comes again and a drought appears to be well and truly over.

The duo are now investigating the relationship between the two types of drought, including the historical impacts (including severity) of meteorological droughts, their influence on stream flows and how these can be used to model current and future impacts.

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THE NORTHLAND REGIONAL Council (NRC) is already keeping a close eye on the water situation in Northland with the region inching ever closer to another potentially dry summer. Figures released by the NRC in October showed the Mid North and Far North areas had typically received 33 - 40% less rain than usual over the past 12 months. The problem had been made worse by consecutive dry periods leading up to winter this year. In the first six months of this year, Kerikeri and Whangarei were the driest they’d been in more than 80 years (since 1935 and 1937 respectively). The situation hasn’t really improved since then, with lower than average rainfall through winter. Water restrictions are already in place in some areas.


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RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

NEWS 19

The new green gold? PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

THE WORLD avocado market is worth at least $9 billion globally and NZ Avocado is confident supply is increasing, but demand is increasing even more, says chief

diversify some volumes into the Asian market.   “We need to make sure the increasing volumes out of New Zealand have markets of value in the future so we are working hard with grower levies and supporting exporters in their promo-

Taiwan is a market that has increased significantly this season from a small base. executive Jen Scoular.   “We want to make sure we are continuing to grow premium avocados and deliver those to hungry consumers across the world,” she told Rural News. The avocado industry is working on a strategic plan to diversify mainly into the Asian markets. In a season update to Rural News Scoular said the Australian market is going well particularly in retail but wholesale is definitely impacted by supply and demand. “There is a good Australian domestic crop this year and the forecasting to the wholesale market isn’t always perfect so there are definitely ups and downs of pricing in that market.  “We are also very aware that domestic volumes out of Australia are increasing significantly so we are focusing on our strategic plan which is to

tions particularly into the Asian markets.” Scoular says Taiwan is a market that has increased significantly this season from a small base. “But that is a market more of our exporters are looking at.  We are still exporting to eight different Asian markets. That is important for us.  “There have been some challenges in shipping times getting to those markets and we have had challenges with a wet harvest season that packers and exporters are needing to manage.” Scoular says this is a medium volume year and the export markets are “going okay”.   “It is not going to be a super high value year this year but it is being managed well by our packers and exporters.” Scoular explains while avocados in New Zealand previously tended to

have a lower production year followed by a high volume year, a new pattern has emerged of low, medium then high years. In New Zealand this season large volumes are going through the market, she says. “We have had really positive promotional campaigns by most of the retailers as well as our own new TV commercial telling grower stories.   “We are seeing prob-

ably more bulk buying of avocados as consumers buy three rather than just one at a time.   “That is all very positive for us.  “We are happy with the story still coming out in magazines about the nutritional attributes of avocados. And the sharing of stories about how versatile they are and how easy it is to put avocado into every dish and every meal.”

The New Zealand Ambassador to Colombia Lucy Duncan (left) and NZ Avocado CEO Jen Scoular following the NZ bid win announcement.

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RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

20 AGRIBUSINESS

Chinese giant makes Aussie move Some of the Australian dairy brands now controlled by Chinese giant Mengniu.

SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

CHINESE DAIRY giant Mengniu has become one of Australia’s major dairy processors with a brace of recent purchases. The company agreed last week to pay $633 million for Lion’s dairy and drinks business -- the big milk brands Dairy Farmers and Big M. The Australian Federal Government two weeks ago approved Mengniu’s $1.6 billion bid for organic infant formula maker Bellamy’s. Mengniu in 2016 bought a majority stake in ingredients maker Burra Foods, Victoria. Australian dairy analyst Steve Spence, of Freshagenda, told Rural News that as a result of the Lion Dairy deal, Mengniu will collect about 1.2bn litres of Australian milk. “So it is one of the big five in the Australian dairy sector,” he said. Other big players are Saputo, Fonterra, Bega, and Lactalis. Mengniu also has a hefty stake in the Yashili infant formula plant in Pokeno, just south of Auckland.

Spencer predicts that Mengniu, like other major Australian processors, will face challenging conditions. He notes that Lion was for sale for several years and was drifting as a low-margin commodity milk business in a segment showing little growth. “The industry has a dwindling milk pool, especially in northern fresh milk regions of NSW and Queensland,” he said. “Increased competition for milk which will keep milk prices (and hence input costs to the Lion busi-

ness) elevated.” The deal could provide Mengniu a big milk pool to send to China in UHT cartons. But Spencer believes it will be a commodity product and not very lucrative. Spencer doesn’t expect Mengniu’s rise in Australia will change the landscape. “The industry landscape will only change if there is further major consolidation and surplus processing capacity removed, as milk production will not springboard back in the short to medium term.” Lion Dairy says the Mengniu deal

includes all white milk, milk-based beverages, yoghurt, juice and water ice brands and assets. Chief executive Stuart Irvine says it believes that Mengniu, a specialty dairy player, is an ideal owner to take the dairy and drinks business forward. He says Mengniu has a track record of investing in the Australian dairy industry. “Bringing the businesses together will help drive Mengniu growth in the Australian domestic market, while also accelerating aspirations in South East Asia and China.”

FEATHERS RUFFLED THE SALE of Bellamy’s to Mengniu has ruffled a few feathers. Former National leader Barnaby Joyce said he is “disappointed to see yet another piece of Australia sold to the Chinese”. He warned that the Government must ensure Mengniu meets mandatory conditions. Bellamy’s, Australia’s fourth-largest baby formula producer, already generates significant sales in China. However, the company has been constrained recently because it didn’t have the required approval for its products to be sold in Chinese retail outlets. Conditions imposed by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg include that Bellamy’s keeps its headquarters in Australia for at least ten years and that a majority of its directors be Australian residents. It also included that at least A$12 million be invested in improving or establishing infant milk formula processing facilities in Victoria. The Government says it has enforced these conditions with full knowledge of community concerns that a local baby formula is being snapped up by Chinese customers.

TO ALL FARMERS. FOR ALL FARMERS.

RURAL NEWS TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS

HORTNEWS

www.ruralnewsgroup.co.nz


RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

AGRIBUSINESS 21

Govt approves $80m for Lincoln rebuild NIGEL MALTHUS

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY says it is delighted that the Minister of Education has approved $80 million for new science facilities as part of a wider campus development programme. Acting vice-chancellor Professor Bruce McKenzie said the funding, to replace earthquake-dam-

and Food Research, DairyNZ, and other commercial entities,” said McKenzie. “The new science facilities on campus will allow the precinct to become the leading centre of land-based research in New Zealand. Research and teaching will take place across the precinct, leading to the devel-

“The new science facilities will lead to many more innovations in the land-based sector, particularly associated with food and fibre production. aged buildings, would enable a major step forward to even more valuable research outcomes for New Zealand, delivered in “fit-for-future” facilities. “The new science facilities will lead to many more innovations in the land-based sector, particularly associated with food and fibre production. “Ultimately, the campus development programme will deliver an increased return on investment in land-based research and education in New Zealand, and contribute significantly to a sustainable and productive economy.” The announcement by Education Minister Chris Hipkins follows a long period of uncertainty for Lincoln, which had planned a muchhyped $206 million joint facility in concert with AgResearch. That was finally abandoned after Hipkins rejected successive proposed business cases, and AgResearch has since announced plans for its own new building on the Lincoln campus. Lincoln says it continues to work closely with AgResearch. “A collaboration known as the Lincoln Precinct is at the intersection of a critical and growing mass of researchers, educators and facilities belonging to Lincoln University, AgResearch, Manaaki Whenua, Plant

opment of the world’s smartest and most sustainable food production systems.” Lincoln says its development programme includes new student social spaces, a revamped recreation centre, landscaping and a series of smaller projects designed to enhance the vibrancy of the campus and promote a positive learning, teaching and research community. It also includes energy diversification projects aimed at transitioning away from fossil fuels and achieving carbon neutrality within the next decade. McKenzie said the programme was about much more than just buildings and landscapes. “It’s about bringing people together and facilitating greater opportunities for collaboration. “This programme will help us to increase the number of New Zealand graduates who can make a difference to the landbased sector, and significantly contribute to a globally competitive agritech industry.” In his funding announcement, Hipkins said the money would assist Lincoln’s recovery by replacing damaged buildings with teaching and research spaces that are safe, modern, flexible and future-proofed, and which are attractive to students, staff, and research and investment

partners. “At the same time, Lincoln will be modernising the way it teaches, undertakes research, and partners with other agencies.” Hipkins said

AgResearch’s complementary facilities on campus will enable greater collaboration between students, researchers and commercial partners and make the Lincoln precinct a real ‘power-house of sci-

ence and research’, with an ability to tackle some of the biggest challenges and sustainability issues facing the land-based sector. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

Education Minister Chris Hipkins.


RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

Rabobank supports clients from farm to fork in

40

COUNTRIES

100 000

farmers to connect Content supplied by Rabobank – Grow with the bank farmers for farmers with by worldwide , founded 12630

22 MARKETS & TRENDS

global agribusiness research analysts sharing market outlooks

2020 – a year of growth WE EXPECT growth in most regions in 2020, but the impact of ASF in Asia overwhelms the outlook. In particular, China’s production losses will exceed the growth in all other regions combined.

Global Market Outlook

NEW ZEALAND Beef Beef production is expected to increase marginally in 2020, to 643,000mt, up 2%. This follows a small lift (+2.6%) in national beef cattle herd numbers over the last 12 months, increasing the number of steers and heifers that will be available for slaughter during 2020. A significant jump in demand from China, which has overtaken the US as New Zealand’s largest export market, will continue to put upward pressure on export returns and

underpin farmgate pricing at levels equal to, or above, those received in 2019. Limited availability of New Zealand supplies, combined with an expected easing of the New Zealand dollar, will underpin returns from the US market.

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supplies and strong demand from key export markets will likely support farmgate prices at record levels. With in-market pricing expected to remain firm in most markets, any favourable exchange movements could see export returns potentially move higher in 2020. New Zealand’s lamb slaughter for 2020 is expected to increase slightly (18.9m head, up 1%), following a

historically low lamb slaughter in 2019. New Zealand’s sheep flock numbers stabilised during 2019, to sit at 27.4m head (+0.4%).

AUSTRALIA The lowest cattle inventory in over 20 years will limit exports and keep prices strong. The sheep market also expects strong prices, on the back of steady production and strong exports.

Beef With high female slaughter in 2019, Rabobank expects breeding cow numbers to have been heavily reduced – and as a result, 2020 slaughter and production will be lower. In addition, any improvement in seasonal conditions will ignite producer restocking

demand and further limit stock available for slaughter – challenging abattoirs and feedlots to maintain throughput. Lower inventory numbers and strong global markets will continue to support livestock prices – in particular heavy finished cattle – through 2020. If seasons improve, there is considerable upside for all cattle prices, especially young replacement stock.

Sheep High sheep slaughter in 2018 reduced lamb availability through 2019, with slaughter numbers down 7%, as of August. With continuing dry conditions through many sheep producing areas in 2019 limiting the ability for widespread restocking, Rabobank expects that lamb slaughter will be about


usiness ysts et outlooks

Rabobank supports clients from farm to fork in

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RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

MARKETS & TRENDS 23

COUNTRIES

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

Beef

the same in 2020. Strong export markets – principally the US – will support lamb prices, but any upward price movements as a result of low numbers are likely to test margins.

NORTH AMERICA Beef We expect US beef production to be up slightly, by less than 1% in 2020. Non-fed slaughter could also be up a little, as a result of liquidation. We expect the calf crop to come down slightly, reflecting weather conditions at calving and in spring. We expect carcass weights to return to trend, offsetting any reduction in numbers. With only a fractional increase in production and solid exports, US fed cattle prices are expected to change little. We expect a spring high of USD 128/cwt to USD 130/ cwt, and a summer low of US$ 100/cwt to US$ 105/cwt.

US domestic demand should remain strong, especially for high-quality product. Exports should be supported as trade issues are resolved.

EUROPE

increase in 2019. This muted response will keep prices elevated in Europe in 2020. The ASF situation in eastern Europe is a source of uncertainty for production. In addition,

Pork and beef production will move in opposite directions in 2020, with pork up slightly and beef down.

Pork Despite the strength of exports, we expect a modest supply response in Europe, with production up by 1.25% in 2020, after a marginal

environmental policies, especially regarding manure management, are pressuring herds in Germany and the Netherlands, home to 24% of the total EU sow herd.

Beef production has been under pressure in 2019 from low margins, which have pushed the market back into the slow decline seen before 2015. We expect similar conditions in 2020, but with scope for margins to improve. Margins along the chain have been affected by several factors. These include reduced forage and increased feeding costs, low poultry prices, environmental policy driving up costs for operations in northwestern Europe, ongoing restrictions on

exports to Turkey, and a structurally lower British pound, in the EU’s major domestic import market. New export opportunities with Asian countries will be a positive for beef exporters in 2020. However, consumption is expected to return to the long-term trend of slow decline, encouraging processors to increase their focus on value-adding.

CHINA We expect production to increase across all poultry species, driven by pork substitution opportunities Beef imports will continue to grow, despite the rapid growth in 2019

Beef: Beef production will likely grow at about 2% to 3% YOY in 2020, which is slightly faster than in 2019 – although this is still modest compared with poultry. Beef cattle farmers could not respond quickly to the pork supply issue in 2019, due to the long lifecycle of cattle. In addition, beef prices are already too high for beef to substitute for pork. However, we expect a stronger beef production response in 2020, as the price difference between beef and pork narrows, which attracts middle- and highincome households to beef consumption. China will need to increase imports to meet the strong demand.

Outstanding opportunity in Golden Bay This high performing farm has been run to modern farming practices & is showing strong production figures. With around 83 effective hectares, this compact farm has fertile soils & a strong fertiliser history, along with higher than average rain fall, around 3m per year. The current sharemilkers are contracted until the end of the 2020 season; this farm is offered for sale as land & buildings only. The 26 bale Herringbone shed is maintained to a high standard with a compliant effluent system & modern milk cooling unit. Water is supplied from the Kaituna River, via K-Line irrigation. The class one bridge provides secure, all year access across the river. Both the farm houses are presented to a high standard providing a comfortable place to call home. The Collingwood Community offers a well-regarded area school, with most amenities available just a short drive away in Takaka, all this set in beautiful Golden Bay! With Fonterra’s positive forecast and record low interest rates now is your time to jump in, or if dairy is not for you this would also make a great dry stock property… Viewing strictly by appointment only, call me for further details of this outstanding farm. Listed at $2,990,000 plus GST (if any) JAMES MACKAY

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RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

24 OPINION EDITORIAL

EDNA

Action needed now HOUSTON - OR more correctly Wellington – we have a problem. And that problem is a shortage of workers right across New Zealand’s primary sector. The latest example is the apple sector (story page 7), which is facing a potential $80 million loss in the coming season because of a looming labour shortage. Apples and Pears NZ chief executive Alan Pollard told Rural News that the main reason for this is the Government’s decision not to allow the numbers of overseas workers required under the RSE (recognised seasonal employer) scheme to meet the needs. Unfortunately, the apple sector’s woes follow a long line of other primary industries struggling for workers – dairy farming, kiwifruit, strawberry, meat processing and rural contracting to name but a few. Meanwhile, as these crops fail to get harvested and planted, impacting severely on our largest export-earning sector, the Government seems to be twiddling its thumbs. Of course there are no easy answers. However, a good first step would be to immediately raise the numbers of RSE workers allowed into NZ and relax the restrictions on immigrant workers for the primary sector. Claims about giving NZers’ jobs first are all well and good. However, it is fancifully unrealistic in an already tight labour market where locals are either unwilling or unable to do this much needed work. As Alan Pollard rightly points out, the lack of labour is a risk for the industry. “If we are unable to pick the fruit on our trees and sell it in these new developing markets, our competitors will do that and we will never get into these markets again,” he said. The Government must be much more proactive in fighting back against the demonisation of the primary sector as the source of all the country’s environmental woes. Allowing this narrative to gain traction only makes it harder to attract people to work in the agricultural and horticultural industries. Meanwhile, the Government and the primary sector also need to work together to implement long term solutions, such as more training, ensuring better work conditions and promoting the exciting, rewarding, long-term career opportunities in the primary industries. It may be too late to do anything to change the situation for the coming season, but action needs to be taken to change it for the seasons to come.

RURALNEWS TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS

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

“We must get to the beach more often this summer!”

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

THE HOUND Killer sheep

Remember

Rural revolt

Useless

A MATE of the Hound recently attended an open day at the Spring Sheep Milk operation, held at Matangi in Waikato. At least 300 visitors showed up -- so lots of interest. Of course, the customary health and safety humdrum was enforced, with everyone decked-out in high viz jackets and forced to sit through a 40-minute presentation. The safety measures including having all these interested onlookers standing behind a fence to watch the sheep being milked. Our mate reports there was also an ‘evacuation plan’. Apparently he didn’t realise sheep were so dangerous. By all accounts, the old edict ‘run like f**k’ is no longer appropriate when the proverbial hits the fan.

YOUR CANINE crusader has long identified Shane Jones as, without doubt, the biggest buffoon in Parliament. So his clownish and boorish antics at last month’s 50 Shades of Green rally in Wellington were unsurprising. In this old mutt’s opinion, Jones is a mouthy, underachieving, blowhard – summed up perfectly by him booking up hotel porn to the taxpayer when he was a Labour MP. Jones is the very embodiment of the untrustworthy, useless, narcissistic types who infest the NZ First Party. Let’s hope farmers and other rural voters do not forget just how Jones and the rest of Winston’s motley rabble have derided and dismissed the sector since being in government and vote accordingly at the ballot boxes next year.

YOUR OLD mate hears that the antics of the Government – especially the NZ First component – are fuelling motivation out in rural NZ for a fledgling new political party aimed at ensuring the return of the blue team at next year’s general election. According to this old mutt’s sources – who are close to the action -- the new movement’s strategy is to start conversations across rural NZ in “woolsheds, local halls, rugby clubs and around kitchen tables” – similar to the rural rallies held in Dargaville and Wellington last month. The Hound hears that proponents have “had a gutsful of continual government policies, rules and regulations that filter down to the people in provincial towns and communities, negatively impacting their businesses and local economies….” Word on the street (rural that is) is that more action will likely be seen in rural Waikato very soon. Watch this space.

THE HOUND notes that one of the country’s poorest financially performing state-owned enterprises – the Government farming entity Landcorp (or as it calls itself in a typically virtual signalling way) Pamu – still loves to spend big on promoting itself. Recently this money-losing outfit hired the halls of Parliament and put on a lavish function, trying to impress political and PR types in Wellington about how innovative and great it is. Of course, no mention was made of Landcorp losing huge money, paying no dividend and having more inept, taxpayer-funded people on its advisory boards than the United Nations. Appropriately for an outfit that’s all sizzle and no sausage, its minister in charge is Shane Jones. Your old mate suggests it is serendipitous that such a joke of a SOE should have such a joke of a minister as its boss.

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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ABC audited circulation 79,553 as at 31/03/2019

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

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


RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

OPINION 25

Analysis of regenerative ag needed THE GROUNDSWELL supporting the restoring powers of regenerative agriculture is mostly based on examples from overseas. The big question should be, do the examples stack up in New Zealand? If yes, no problem. If no, what might happen? Would there be any unintended consequences? Answering these and similar questions is the goal of scientific research. The foundation for advancing knowledge is laid by identifying the problem and then analysing what has gone before: • What is the starting point? • Relativities – what comparisons are being made? • Context – what are the concerns? • Science -- what ‘facts, evidence and data’ support those concerns? • Alternatives – are there any with more ‘acceptable’ outcomes? Professor Richard Teague, grazing systems ecologist and professor at Texas A&M AgriLife Research, is an advocate of regenerative agriculture, and puts the state of the research simply. “In science, we have to try to understand what’s going on. No single experiment solves all the problems. But all the data we’ve collected suggests that the more people who manage their soil better, either in grazing or cropping systems, the more carbon will be sequestered in the ground.” Regenerative agriculture as explained by Professor Teague uses cover crops, no-till, crop diversity, little or no chemical fertilisers and pesticides, and livestock integration to promote healthier ecosystems by rebuilding soil organic matter. (Soil carbon, which is over half of soil organic matter, has undisputed positive effects on soil chemistry, physics and biology.) His description includes subdividing existing paddocks with electric fences, grazing for one to three days maximum and giving adequate recovery. In the Dallas area, he estimates 60-90 days in the growing and non-growing seasons,

COMMENT

Jacqueline Rowarth but in dry areas double this recovery time will be required. Using the regenerative agriculture approach, Professor Teague states that soil carbon increase has been measured at eight tonnes per hectare per year. The journal article from which this figure came was authored by researchers from Universities of Georgia and Florida. It reported changes in soil carbon over a 10-year period when degraded cropping soil was returned to grazing. The pastures in the research were ‘managed for maximum forage production, employing N fertilisation, irrigation and selective rotational grazing with a 15 to 45-day rotation’. The increase brought the soils from about 10 tonnes carbon/ha to 30-40 t/ha in the top 30cm. This was ‘equivalent to under native forests’. The authors commented that such a high rate of carbon accumulation wouldn’t be maintained indefinitely following conversion to intensively grazed pasture but that further slow accumulation might be possible. The authors then discussed New Zealand pastures with soil C stocks estimated as high as 109 to 138 tonnes carbon/ha. Citing the work led by Professor Louis Schipper at the University of Waikato, they pointed out that once these soils reach a higher soil carbon, they can become susceptible to carbon loss if management changes. Clearly the starting point, relativities, context and science are important. New Zealand soils are not degraded and the Ministry for Environment has stated that ‘soil total carbon was within target range for

95% of tested sites’. Instigating principles out of context could have significant and potentially detrimental unintended consequences. In particular, where current management is optimal for grass harvesting by ruminants, Professor Tony Parsons (now retired from Massey University)

has shown that a change in stocking rate and inputs would result in a decrease in soil carbon and more nitrogen being released to the environment. Professor Teague has stated that he is ‘careful not to extrapolate is the data from bite-sized, snippets to something

headline-worthy’. The same does not appear to be true of some advocates who are promoting regenerative agriculture as the answer to climate change. It certainly might help with carbon sequestration in some degraded soils, where there is access to irrigation and nitrogen,

but most of New Zealand has already done what is being promoted. Doing better than we are already doing takes scientific research done in context, with appropriate examination of unintended consequences. Anything else could distract good farmers from managing their opera-

tions optimally with negative implications for environment and economy. • Dr Jacqueline Rowarth is a soil scientist with a PhD in nutrient cycling. Her research has focused on phosphorus, nitrogen and carbon. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews


RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

26 OPINION

New farm debt mediation law Proactive and well-prepared farmers and lenders stand to gain from the introduction of the Farm Debt Mediation scheme, according to Scott Abel and Bridie McKinnon from law firm Buddle Findlay. THE FARM Debt Mediation Bill is predicted to pass into law in New Zea-

land before Christmas, making mediation compulsory before lenders are

able to enforce farm debt. The scheme is expected to be opera-

tional by July 2020. Farm debt levels have risen to almost NZ$63 billion

this year, and farmers are particularly exposed to factors such as climate change, disease and offshore market volatility.

Q. Is Space the final frontier, or just another tool?

A.

There's always room for improvement.

Every day, satellites pass over New Zealand and you should smile, because they’re taking pictures. They’re part of LIC’s new SPACE™ (Satellite Pasture and Cover Evaluation) service. Sign up and you can get images of your farm with detailed pasture data reports, so you don’t have to walk the farm. You can see pasture cover by colour variation, get the estimated dry matter per hectare and use the information to help you manage your pasture renewal. It’s space-age stuff and we’re covering more and more of New Zealand than ever. It’s helping make New Zealand sheep and beef farm management even more… out there.

LIC_1017_RN_AR

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Farms are often operated as family business, and many farmers have a strong emotional and historical attachment to their land. Decision making about the financial future of farms can be particularly difficult. What is farm debt mediation? Mediation is a negotiation facilitated by a third party, a mediator, to assist the parties to negotiate a solution to their disputes. Farm debt mediation is intended to provide a tool for farmers who might be struggling with high debt levels and who want to be proactive about managing their financial position before defaulting on their obligations with their bank. Enforcement action is typically taken by banks only as a last resort, however, the impact of enforcement on both lender and creditor can be significant. Farm debt mediation provides a tool to assist the parties to avoid such enforcement taking place. Mediation aims to assist the parties to find their own solutions to the issues they face. Those solutions might not save the family farm, but could help the parties to define the issues between them, understand the options available and agree a way forward. The Farm Debt Mediation bill has recently been reported back from a select committee with some important changes to the scope. The committee noted that the policy intent of the bill is that “anyone with a direct interest in farm debt mediation should be able to access the process.” A “farmer” is defined to be “a person who is engaged in a primary production operation” and includes a “principal debtor under a debt incurred solely or principally for the purpose of conducting a primary production business”. Mediation can be proposed by farmers at any

stage, and a creditor must agree to participate unless there is a good reason to decline the request. If a creditor doesn’t agree to participate, this is something that may be considered in an assessment of whether the creditor has acted in good faith. A creditor can only request mediation through the scheme following a default by a customer. They are free to propose mediation outside of the scheme at any stage. Under the proposed legislation, the farmer nominates a panel of three accredited mediators and the creditor must accept one of the three mediators proposed. The Bill proposes that farmers’ contribution to the mediators’ costs is capped at $2000. There remains an open question as to who will be responsible for the costs of any independent experts, such as accountants or farm consultants, whose expertise is often crucial to achieving a resolution of the dispute. The key to effective mediation The key to effective mediation is in preparation and in the choice of mediator. From a preparation perspective, it is important that participants consider what a good outcome looks like for them, and what a bad outcome would be, as well as what evidence helps their respective positions and what does not. Similar schemes have been operating successfully in Canada, the US and some Australian states for decades. The introduction of the scheme in New Zealand is a useful tool to assist farmers and their lenders to work constructively through some of the challenges facing the sector now, and into the future. • Scott Abel is a partner and Bridie McKinnon a senior associate at Buddle Findlay @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews


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RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

28 MANAGEMENT

Contract milking offers opportunities PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

CONTRACT MILKING is a good introduction to self-employment, says Northland AgFirst consultant Kim Robinson. Her advice to young people wanting to go 50/50 sharemilking is, to do one year of contracting milking first. “Contract milking teaches people how to become self-employed, to run their own businesses in a relatively simple way and a semi low-risk way,” she told a SMASH field day, near Wellsford. It gets people into “the zone” and teaches the farm and business skills, doing a budget and possibly employing people for the first time. Robinson outlined some thoughts on what makes contracts work well or vice versa. A contract milking agreement is not an employment agreement, but an agreement between two parties. If both parties agree, you can have any agreement you like. She says farmers and contractors should firstly get an up-to-date copy of the Federated Farmers’ contract. “You don’t have to stick to everything in it but it is a very good agreement.” Robinson recommends reading the Feds contract cover to cover. “It is about 50 pages and most people get to about page 25 and give up, but they should read it right through.”

AgFirst consultant Kim Robinson (left ) pictured with Kylie Guckert Northland SMASH field day host.

Regardless of the agreement there are some things that make contracts work and some things that don’t. Communication Communication is number one, says Robinson. “By this I mean formal communication, not just casual discussions at the milking shed or on the motorbike or tractor,” she explained. “You need to sit at a table together once a month and have a chat.  Talk about how things have gone in the last month, think about what is coming up in the next month, make a list of what needs to be done and who is going to do it…. “It is simple and it will take care of 95% of problems.

“Have a pen and paper and write a few things down.” Robinson says she hates dealing with trade-offs when a farmer or contractor pays for something that is not in the agreement and it is not formally sorted out. She says they should invoice each other each month and sort it out each month. Otherwise it can turn into a nightmare at the end of the year. Even if the contract milker is under financial pressure it is better to invoice them monthly so they know what they owe. “A farmer may want to give them a bit of relief in, say, August when not much money is coming in. But they should not add it up then present a

big bill in November.” She says an invoice each month, even if they don’t require payment then, will allow both parties to know where they stand. Areas of responsibility Robinson says a common complaint from contractors is that the farm owner butts in too much. A farmer’s common complaint is the contractor milks and feeds cows but doesn’t do anything on the farm. Alternatively sometimes a farmer owner doesn’t agree with what’s being done but says nothing. “And the contract milker says to me ‘I wish he would tell me what he wants’,” said Robinson. When signing the agreement it

needs to be clear how much input the farmer will have. A new contractor will need more. “Make sure you talk about it before you start being realistic and stick to what you have said.” Contractors need to be honest about their skill level and take into account different types of farms. “Asking for help is better than stuffing things up and then seeing the farmer lose trust in you.” Procedures Robinson says these are particularly important for farm owners who live on farms. “If you want things done in a particular way tell them who will keep the records, who will keep the compliance records, who will do herd records -- all those things,” she explained. “Both parties are responsible for health and safety. So, if you put a contractor on, don’t think you can wash your hands of health and safety. “Identification and minimisation of hazards is a joint responsibility.  So as a farm owner you can’t say, ‘well it is not my fault that the contract milker’s worker drove into the tree stump in the long grass. As a farm owner you should have got rid of that hazard to start with or at least minimised it, which means put a fence around it or similar.” Robinson says farmers have an onus on them to make sure a contract milker is acting in a safe way. Unsafe practices should be raised at monthly meetings.

GETTING A GOOD CONTRACT IN PLACE USUALLY A farmer wants to take on a contractor so they can step back from day-to-day management and not have to employ staff. “This means that someone else has to do that and you have to pay them the right amount for doing that,” Robinson said. “It is not just another labour unit. You want to somebody to take that stress off you and do all those jobs.  They need to

be rewarded accordingly so you would expect to be paying them more than just a normal farm wage.” She says an agreement should always include a budget for the contract milker showing an estimate of income and expenses based on actual farm figures. Robinson advises to be realistic on milk production -- not too conservative or optimistic.

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For the contractor, what they can earn is all about cost structure, not necessarily earnings per kilo. When asked the rate for a contractor she says anything between $0.80 and $8.80. One of her highest earning contract milkers ever was on $0.80 a kilo, but he had few costs and high milk production on a flat farm. If you make changes by agreement or renew the agreement everything

needs to be recorded. When preparing a contract, if you are financially tight as a farm owner, you can help the contract milker with their budget without it necessarily costing money. For instance, you could do the relief milking, rear calves or give them calves. Discuss how supplement costs will be handled. This can cause tension in, say, a bad autumn when the

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RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

MANAGEMENT 29

Veteran cleans up prime beef contest NIGEL MALTHUS

VETERAN CATTLEMAN John McCrory has set a record while easily dominating this year’s NZ Agricultural Show Prime Beef competition. McCrory won five of the six classes as well as the supreme championship. His animals also set a record for the price per kilo liveweight when sold at auction the following day. The Prime Beef competition is run in four classes for export quality animals – steer, heifer, pair of steers and pair of heifers – and two ‘local trade’ classes for lighter animals more suitable for retail butcheries. McCrory won all but the local trade pair. Meanwhile, his winning export quality heifer took out the Allflex Supreme Champion award. That animal was a 700kg Charolais/Angus cross. McCrory said he had done as well in previous years, but never better. “I don’t know how many times I’ve won. I’ve won quite a few times. I haven’t kept count,” he told Rural News. When sold at auction, McCrory’s winning pair of heifers went for $3.59 per kilo liveweight, a record – only to be pipped by his third-placed pair of heifers which went for $3.66. That was a record, said the Prime Beef competition convenor Mick Withers. McCrory, now 78, has previously bred Charolais cattle and run a dairy

farm but now concentrates on cropping and beef finishing on his Hollybank property near Dunsandel. He put up 29 animals in this year’s competition and all were sold. Withers explained that McCrory had made it “something of a crusade” to dominate the Prime Beef competition, targeting mostly Limousin and Charolais breeds and buying stock from a variety of sources including former Canterbury show president Warrick James’ Ben More Limousin stud. Because of a shortage of facilities at the Canterbury Agricultural Park, the competition is run about a week before the main show, when the cattle auction ring is coopted for the shearing competition. Withers told Rural News the competition was “quite a spectacle.” “If we had the facilities we’d do it during the show, but we can’t. “This year we had probably the biggest crowd we’ve had at the sale. We certainly had the largest number [of entries] and by far the best quality we’ve ever had.” McCrory’s winning local trade heifer, a black Limousin/Lowline cross, was sold to Meat@Millers, a butchery in the Christchurch suburb of Ilam. The butchery described the meat as “like butter”, which was proudly on display in the window under the winner’s ribbon.

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Dunsandel farmer John McCrory with his haul of cups and ribbons having all but scooped the pool in the NZ Agricultural Show Prime Beef competition. With him in his cattle yard is a 748kg steer of the same line as the heifer which won the supreme championship. The steer was also due to be auctioned at the show, during the Young Auctioneers contest. RURAL NEWS GROUP


RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

30 ANIMAL HEALTH

Facial eczema – the hidden killer MOST OF the damage caused by facial eczema (FE) is subclinical (no obvious external signs) and goes unnoticed until it’s too late, comments Agritrade. It takes 10 days from ingestion of spores to evidence of damage. If you wait until you think you have a FE issue, your stock will already be suffering ill effects. For every three in 100 animals that are clinically affected, about 70% of the herd may have subclinical FE. The disease causes damage to the bile duct system of the liver and subsequent liver damage. The liver is a vital organ aiding in the digestion of fats, the production of energy, detoxification of wastes and production of hormones. Liver damage results in a drop in milk production, poor reproductive performance and poor growth rates. However, farmers often only talk about the

For every three in 100 animals that are clinically affected, about 70% of the herd may have subclinical FE.

clinically obvious cases of skin peeling, facial swelling and restlessness. Chronic exposure to low spore counts (20,000) can cause significant damage. It’s not just the very high spore counts that have this effect. To protect your livestock this season you need to know what is happening on your farm. Pasture spore counting is

a good way of monitoring the spore contamination in your pastures. When the counts on your farm are trending towards 30,000, prepare for zinc supplementation of the cows. The Time Capsule provides consistent, protective zinc oxide for four weeks in cattle and six weeks in sheep. It consistently protects* more cattle against FE in your

TO ALL FARMERS. FOR ALL FARMERS. www.ruralnewsgroup.co.nz

protection for the length of the trial. The other bolus was neither fully protective nor consistent, never reaching 100% of animals protected. It is important to use the correct capsule for the weight of your stock as overdosing can cause health issues and underdosing will not provide the necessary defence. An extensive range of sizes is available to suit your needs. • Article supplied by Agritrade.

herd. In a 2019 NZ trial, approved by an animal ethics committee, conducted by an independent research company, the Time Capsule was tested using serum zinc levels* in cattle against another facial eczema bolus. It protected* 100% of the two groups of animals one week after treatment. The other bolus only protected 77%. The trial showed that the Time Capsule continued to give consistent

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PIG VIRUS ON THE MARCH SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

A NEW report warns that a virus decimating parts of the global pork industry could spread to more countries next year. Rabobank’s Global Animal Protein Outlook 2020 says frequent shipments of feed and live animals and the movement of people and equipment across borders will spread African swine fever (ASF). However, Rabobank’s animal proteins analyst Blake Holgate doesn’t expect additional countries to experience the same level of impact as China and Vietnam. The fatal pig disease has slashed China’s hog herd by as much as half since August 2018. Millions of pigs have died from or been culled to control ASF in China and other Asian countries, such as Vietnam. Holgate says the herd loss expected to be caused by ASF in 2020 should be lower than in 2019, as recovery extends well into the 2020s. While New Zealand and Australia officially remain free of ASF, both countries have stepped up biosecurity efforts to manage the threat. A report released last week by Australia Pork Ltd (APL) says the national economic impact from an ASF incursion in Australia could top $2 billion over five years. APL chief executive Margo Andrae says while there has been a significant increase in virus detection at their borders in recent months, it is crucial that all participants in Australia’s biosecurity system play their part in managing the threat. “The threat of incursion from African swine fever is not one we can take lightly. Not only is our pork supply at stake but the jobs of 36,000 Australians are at risk,” Andrae said. The latest testing figures released by Australian Border Security found that 48% of pork products seized at airports and in international mail during September 2019 were contaminated with fragments of the virus. This was in addition to three samples containing foot and mouth disease fragments, which were immediately destroyed. ASF has spread across Asia since its outbreak in China last summer. The disease made its way to South Korea in September and Japanese officials say it could hit there any day. The Japanese agriculture ministry is seeking parliamentary approval to allow pig culls as a preventive measure if the disease is detected in Japan. Meanwhile 20 cases of ASF have been found in Poland, the first outbreak in Europe.

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100% of farms have toxoplasma present. 88% of farms have campylobacter present. So what are the odds?

ABORTION STORMS. TWO DISEASES. TWO VACCINES.

When most farmers think abortion storms they think toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasma is everywhere and any ewe that contracts it may abort. But campylobacter also causes abortion, is nearly as prevalent and equally as deadly. Campylobacter can cost farmers 20-30% of their lambs.

AVAILABLE ONLY UNDER VETERINARY AUTHORISATION. ACVM No’s: A004769, A009535. Schering-Plough Animal Health Ltd. Phone: 0800 800 543. www.msd-animal-health.co.nz. NZ/TVAX/0915/0009(1) ©2019 Intervet International B.V. All Rights Reserved.

There are two diseases that cause abortion storms and preventing them takes two vaccines. So talk to your farmers about how the Toxovax®+ Campyvax4® combination gives them the best protection against abortion storms.


RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

32 ANIMAL HEALTH

$100k annual cost for dairy farmers FE can cost dairy farmers at least $100,000 each year in lost milk production.

DAIRY FACIAL eczema (FE) can cost farmers at least $100,000 each year in lost milk production, a

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against FE. “Blood testing is the best way to determine how badly affected the cows are if they have FE. However, getting farmers to do blood tests can be tricky because of the cost and time involved,” Cuttance said. The project team brought in AgResearch to examine the wellbeing of cows affected by FE to see if there are other ways of identifying symptoms. Steve Penno, director of investment programmes at MPI, said its support of the project recognised that FE was an issue that needed to be addressed. “Whichever way you look at it, it’s in farmers’ best interests to proactively manage this disease, by improving cattle health and wellbeing and the bottom line.” He says to help prevent the disease, farmers need to monitor the spore count on their own farm. They are advised to start a management programme when spore counts trend upwards to 30,000 spores/g and continue until spore counts are 10,000 spores/g or below for at least three weeks. Blood testing is advised to check the effectiveness of zinc administration.

recent study has found. The Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) Sustainable Farming Fund is supporting the Facial Eczema Action Group – made up of veterinarians, dairy farmers and rural professionals – to explore ways of raising awareness of FE so that more farmers take preventative action. Many cows don’t show clinical signs of FE. As a result, farmers often don’t know why milk loss is happening and end up drying off their cows early. “It’s hitting farmers hard in the pocket. They’re losing 0.140.35kg milk solids per cow per day,” said Emma Cuttance, a dairy veterinarian and head of Veterinary Enterprises Group (VetEnt) Research – which is leading the project. “We worked out that one of the herds in our study had lost $125,000 just in milk production.” She says zinc is currently the main way of treating FE. “But many farmers don’t administer enough to control the toxin that causes FE.” Trial work in 2014, examining zinc concentrations in the blood of 1200 cattle from over 100 farms in the North Island, showed that about 70% of cattle did not have enough zinc to protect

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RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

ANIMAL HEALTH 33

Getting on top of a lousy problem FOR STRONG wool sheep, lice infection is a nuisance more than a hefty financial cost. But, for fine wool sheep the financial toll is much greater, due to the impact on wool quality and yield and the pelt. Known as the sheep body lice, biting lice or chewing lice, Bovicola ovis is a 1.5-2mm long, yellowishbrown wingless insect. They do not fly or jump; they only walk. The female lives an average of 4-6 weeks and lays about 30 eggs in her lifetime. Eggs are laid on wool fibres within 12mm of the skin surface. Lice prefer temperatures around 35-40°C and, while eggs can tolerate the dry, they don’t survive high humidity or saturation. After 9-11 days, the eggs hatch into nymphs and another 21 days later they become adults. The complete egg-to-egg lifecycle takes 34-36 days and is spent entirely on the sheep. Lice populations are generally highest in autumn through to late winter and decline in summer.

Lice are transferred by very close contact between sheep. Within a flock lice spread slowly except when sheep are in poor condition. Well-fed and well-conditioned sheep are less susceptible to lice than undernourished poor-condition sheep. A lice-infected ewe will infest her lamb within the first 24 hours. So it’s important to ensure ewes are lice-free before lambing. If infested ewes cannot be treated for any reason, then it is imperative lambs are dipped as soon as practical, be that weaning or shearing. Every summer and/or autumn just before shearing, select and inspect at least 10 of the lightest sheep in your flock, or those sheep showing obvious signs of rubbing their fleeces. Pay extra attention to the midline of the back and shoulders and under the neck. Shearing can remove up to 80% of lice, depending on the closeness of the cut. A high lice kill at shearing can be further enhanced by offshears lice dipping. Dipping provides the most effective, persistent protection against on-

going lice challenge and the best time to treat is when lice numbers are at their lowest, usually in summer and/ or immediately off shears. Large lice burdens invariably show up at the worst time for treatment: in ewe flocks with more than six months’ wool growth, just prior to lambing. You have two options: 1) Do nothing. Further wool damage will occur and lambs will become lousy. 2) Apply a long-wool lice knockdown treatment to the ewes. No long wool treatment will eradicate lice, rather it will simply prevent further fleece damage and reduce the numbers of lice available to transfer to lambs. Both ewes and lambs should still be considered lousy and should be treated when next shorn. Use a product from a different chemical group to that used as the long wool treatment. A review of previous lice control measures should also be done and improvements made. • Source: Beef + Lamb NZ fact sheet more: www.beeflambnz.com

Shearing can remove up to 80% of lice depending on the closeness of the cut.

BIG DROP IN SHEEP MEASLES DURING PAST 12 MONTHS factors, such as higher ewe values, mean there’s less home-kill being fed to dogs on-farm, reducing the risk of C. ovis outbreaks. But much of the latest drop in prevalence results from a steady increase in the number of farmers dosing their dogs monthly. “While the reduction has been occurring over several seasons this is the most significant to

date.” However, Lynch says that’s no cause for complacency as sheep measles remains a quality

issue in the marketplace. Ovis Management has in the last 12 months worked to get its message to a bigger

audience by more use of social media, new branding and an updated website. “The goal, to share

the importance of preventing sheep measles, is not just for farmers but other dog owners who may unwittingly allow their dogs to carry and spread the parasite,” Lynch said. “ ‘Promote, protect and participate’ are the three pillars of the newlook branding. The message is that every at-risk dog, big or small, should be dosed monthly.” New Zealand now has

relatively low levels of sheep measles. An outbreak could cause a lot of damage in otherwise healthy stock. There are also real financial costs for farmers. At processing, infected animals result in downgrading or, in extreme cases, condemning of sheep or lamb carcases. www.sheepmeasles.co.nz @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

There’s no good time to have toxoplasmosis and campylobacteriosis. But there’s a really good time to vaccinate.

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When you think abortion storms, you probably think toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasma is everywhere and any ewe that contracts it may abort. But campylobacter also causes abortion, is nearly as prevalent and equally as deadly. Campylobacter can cost you 20-30% of your lambs. There are two diseases that cause abortion storms and preventing them takes two vaccines. So talk to your vet about how the Toxovax® + Campyvax4® combination gives you the best protection against abortion storms.

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A BIG drop in sheep measles prevalence has occurred during the past 12 months, says Dan Lynch, project manager of Ovis Management. “The national prevalence of sheep measles has dropped from 0.57% last season to 0.48%,” said Lynch. “At first glance, it doesn’t look huge, but in real terms it is. It’s a great result.” He says several


RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

34 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

Another reason not to leave the cab The Xerion 5000 (530hp) TS.

Claas Xerion gets on track MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

CLAAS HAS introduced crawler tracks, Stage V engines and the next generation CEBIS operating system to its advanced technology Xerion tractors. Claas claims the Xerion is now among the most technologically advanced tractors available. The machines have permanent 4x4 drive, all-wheel steering, continuously variable transmission and a choice of fixed, rotating or frontmounted cabins. The new Trac TS variation, available on the Xerion 5000 (530 hp) and 4500 (490 hp) models, have four crawler units fitted with 762 mm (30”) tracks. The larger tracks are said to increase the machine’s footprint by 25% -- compared with the largest single tyre available – yet maintain an external width no bigger than 3m.

A pendular suspension system allows the crawler tracks to adapt to changing terrain and ensures a high level of driver comfort in combination with the existing cab suspension. Both models now have MTU OM 471 Stage V engines that deliver higher torque at lower speeds. Peak torque has increased 6.1% to 2600 Nm on the Xerion 5000 and 4.3% to 2400 Nm on the 4500. And engine idling speeds have been reduced from 800 to 730 rpm, helping to reduce fuel consumption and unnecessary noise. Both models have a three-way exhaust gas aftertreatment system. This includes a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC), diesel particulate filter (DPF) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technologies. The aftertreatment system is located under the right side of the cab, avoiding the need for an external canister. The service interval for the new

engines has been doubled to 1000 hours, and the traditional dipstick has been replaced by a sensor; the oil level and top-up amount is displayed in the CEBIS terminal. The cab now has an armrest with an integrated CMotion multifunction control lever and touchscreen CEBIS operating system. The 300 mm (12”) display gives a clear overview of all key machine settings and allows direct access to steering, transmission and hydraulics settings. The function buttons on the CMotion control lever and the armrest can be freely assigned. Up to 20 different tractor/ implement combinations can be saved and directly accessed within CEBIS, which also includes a total of 10 different function buttons which can be freely configured with a range of control functions, depending on operator preference. @rural_news

are now working with leading tractor manufacturers to have commercial units available by the end of 2020. Meanwhile, Trelleborg’s award-winning ProgressiveTraction technology is now available in New Zealand, through TRS Trelleborg. The tyres are said to release extra power to the ground, reduce stresses on the soil and boost the machine’s road travel performance. In the paddock, the Progressive Traction has more traction, reducing working time and cutting operating and fuel costs. The doublelug tread reduces vibration, lowers energy dissipation and minimises fuel consumption, while extending service life. Inter-lug terracing at the base of each lug helps with mud ejection, so maximising the selfcleaning abilities of the tyre.

On the road, the sidewall design has lower rolling resistance and fuel consumption, more tolerance of shock loadings and gives more comfort to the operator. Trelleborg’s TM 1000 flagship tyre, designed for high horsepower tractors, has recently been upgraded to include the new ProgressiveTraction technology. It will be available soon in New Zealand. In field testing, the TM1000PT has achieved up to 3% less fuel consumption and up to 5% longer tyre service life. The performance of the ProgressiveTraction technology was seen in December 2014, when a MF5610 tractor equipped with the technology reached the South Pole as part of the Antarctica2 mission. On deep snow and ice, the tyres had extraordinary grip. www.trstyreandwheel. co.nz

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TRELLEBORG WHEEL Systems and Dana Inc have jointly developed a revolutionary central tire inflation (CTIS) system for farm machines. Dubbed CTIS+ Inside, the system will enable tractor drivers to inflate or deflate tire pressures directly from the tractor cabin, to pressures calculated by the Trelleborg load calculator (TLC) software. Trelleborg says such systems will greatly boost farming efficiency, making for more productivity and sustainability. It says research shows that correct tyre pressure can cut farming costs by as much as 20%. The new system builds on existing CTIS systems by integrating new and advanced components with pressure software data provided by Trelleborg’s TLC software. The company says that by 2025 one third of tractors over 120hp in Europe and North America will have a CTIS solution. And the trend may accelerate if the industry can offer an affordable, efficient, safe and easily used CTIS system. Trelleborg and Dana

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From 7m3 to 35m3. Molasses and mineral intake tubes for dietary requirements with front facing conveyor with side shift. Teaser rollers placed at door to break up clumps. 2 speed main gearboxes. Full chassis for strength. SOUTH ISLAND www.cochranes.co.nz Call Alastair Robertson | 027 435 2642 AMBERLEY | LEESTON | ASHBURTON TIMARU | OAMARU | WEST COAST


RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS 35

Air drill offers speed and capacity MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

THE GERMAN manufacturer Amazone claims its new Precea precision air-seeder is accurate and user-friendly even at operating speeds of up to 20 km/h. The new series comprises the rigid-framed 3000 model with 75 cm row spacing, the telescopic 4500-2 model with spacing from 45 cm to 80 cm and the Precea 3000-A unit that mounts to the company’s KX or KG rotary cultivators for one-pass seedbed prep and sowing. Available in New Zealand from next spring, and said to be ideal for sowing maize, the Precea uses a new pressurised seed metering unit. Seed flowing from the hopper is pressed against holes in the singling disc, with excess seed stripped off by three adjustable fingers to eliminate doubles. An optical seed monitor indicates misses or doubles to allow adjustments, or an optional SmartControl system adjusts the singling process automatically. The standard mechanical Speed Shaft drive system allows operating speeds up to 12 km/h without any compromise in accuracy. Meanwhile, the optional ElectricDrive

system, controlled via any suitable ISOBUS terminals, can offer operating speeds of up to 20 km/h. This option also allows seeding rate adjustment via the terminal to deal with, say, marginal rows or areas that are under application map control. Additionally, individual rows can be shut off to create tramlines or in areas of short or tapering ground. For soil engagement, all models use the PreTeC mulch seeding coulter unit, with soil opening achieved by a double disc unit that incorporates a furrow former. Once the seed has been placed with the aid of the catcher roller, V-pressure rollers close the furrow slot. Coulter pressures can be adjusted to a maximum rating of 220 kg using the standard mechanical system or to a 400 kg rating using the optional hydraulic system. A range of soil-engaging options includes clod and star clearers to remove clods, stones, straw or crop residue from the seeding area. The 55L airtight seed hoppers can be quickly emptied without the need for tools and can be fitted with fill level sensors for low-seed warnings. Depending on model, the Precea can also be fitted with a 950 or 1250L fertil-

iser bin and optional filling auger. Fertiliser is individually metered for each row and is actively conveyed by an air stream to the individually adjustable, double disc fertiliser coul-

ters to ensure continuous fertiliser feed. All models can be equipped with a new micro-granular applicator with a 17L hopper for micro-nutrients, insecticides or slug pellets.

DROUGHT BITES AUSSIE SALES REPORTS FROM Australia are that the long drought, particularly in the southern and eastern states, has resulted in a sharp decline in sales of tractors and farm machinery. The Tractor and Machinery Association (TMA) reports tractor sales were overall down 19% in August versus the same month last year. Comparative yearto-date figures were 12% behind 2018. A fall in sales was reported in all horsepower segments in nearly all states, notably previously buoyant Western Australia, where August sales were down 27% year-on-year and 6% behind year-to-date. New South Wales suffered a hefty decline, with August sales back 27% and 22% down for the year. In Queensland, sales were back 7% year-to-date, Victoria was 8% off last year’s mark and South Australia was hurting badly – down a massive 48% in August and 25% down year on year. By contrast, Tasmania was a shining light, about 7% ahead on the same time last year.

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19/09/19 12:43 PM


RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

36 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

Case has big bales all squared-up MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

FARMERS AND contractors seeking to pack more material into every bale are offered a new way to to reduce handling requirements and transport costs. A new model added to the top of the Case IH LB 4 XL (LB436 HD) large square baler range for 2020 embodies new designs and components and can make bales up to 22% more dense than the LB434 XL model (which produces the same 120 x 90cm bale size and remains in the range). Uniquely, the LB436

HD includes a new main gearbox and midmounted gearbox with gearshift overload protection for high power transfer and driveline safety. In addition, an innovative new twine knotter system, called TwinePro, is designed to boost productivity while eliminating field litter and bale contamination. The LB436 HD is also fully ISOBUS Class 3 compatible. The 2.35m pick-up has a mechanically driven top-assist roller and roller wind guard to ensure effective crop feed, and five tine bars are fitted with 5.5mm diameter

items for a clean pick up at high speeds. The LB436 HD is equipped as standard with Case IH’s Rotor Cutter chopping system: 29 knives with an adjustable knife selector allowing 7, 8, 14, 15 or 29 of the individually protected

knives to be engaged. In operation, when the PTO is engaged, the baler flywheel will speed up in two stages, from 0-684rpm and then from 684-1244rpm to its maximum 1445rpm at 1000 RPM PTO speed. The LB436 HD has

an adjustable precompression chamber with shear bolt protection and a plunger with a maximum speed of 48 strokes/ min. The plunger stroke is longer and its force is increased by 150% over that of the LB434 XL model. The compres-

sion channel is longer and while existing models have two cylinders for compression the LB436 HD uses seven. The new TwinePro knotter system offers a significant increase in tensile strength and increased daily produc-

tivity from greater baling efficiency with reduced twine breakage risk. The system is combined with redesigned needles and a new needle yoke reclaim system and electric knotter fans keep the units clean. Once the first standard knot is tied, a second knot is created for additional bale security, offering up to 30% more strength, says twine manufacturer TAMA. A tandem axle is standard, set up to minimise minimise scrubbing when turning by allowing the rear axle to pivot by up to 15 degrees, but this can be locked as necessary.

GONG FOR MF’S MID-RANGE TRACTOR THE MASSEY Ferguson MF 6700 S Stage V series has won the Agritechnica Machine of the Year Award in the mid-power tractor category. Five models, from 135hp to 180hp, all benefit from Engine Power Management (EPM). This boosts power by up to 20hp, which at 200hp makes the MF 6700 S the most powerful four-cylinder tractor in the world. Thanks to an advanced maintenance-free, ‘all-in-one’ after-treatment system the engines comply with the latest Stage V regulations. The only change required to meet the stricter requirements is a new soot catalyst that forms part of a

system. This is externally mounted, helping to retain the good visibility over the slim, narrow bonnet.

Longer service intervals of 600 hours for the engine and 1800 hours for the transmission are said to reduce

overall running costs. Transmission choices for the MF 6700 S Stage V models is either the Dyna-VT continuously variable transmission or the new Dyna-6 Super-Eco. This latest version of the wellregarded semi-powershift enables the tractors to achieve road speeds of up to 40km/hr at just 1500rpm, saving a lot of fuel. For optimum control, the Dyna-VT can be set to any forward speed at any engine rpm to maximise productivity. The latest Super Eco version reduces fuel consumption by reaching 40km/ hr road speed at just 1450rpm. MF’s Datatronic 5, 9-inch touch-

screen terminal is standard in the Exclusive specification and an option on the Efficient models. The ISOBUS compatible terminal offers tablet-style operation and provides full tractor and implement control. This can also be upgraded into a precision farming suite to include the MF Guide to MF Section Control and MF Rate Control. Alternatively, the Fieldstar 5 option is available on Essential and Efficient specification tractors. This uses the same intuitive touchscreen terminal to achieve ISOBUS compatibility and it can handle the complete MF Technologies suite.

ROUND BALEAGE TIPPER EasyCut Front Mower T h e E a s y Cu t Fr o n t M o w e r i s a v e r s a t i l e a n d innovative compact design. It includes all the benefits of a KRONE mower but with the additional flexibility of utilising either a PULL TYPE OR PUSH TYPE headstock.

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P u s h Ty p e pictured

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IT’S QUICK, IT’S CONVENIENT, IT’S EFFICIENT H NOW AVAILABLE AS A SINGLE OR DUAL UNIT H • Thick layers of plastic on bale ends provide superior protection against ground moisture and weather while stored. • No flat sided bales (simplifies feeding out). • Less storage area required. • Suitable for medium HP tractors. • 3PL mounted (no front axle stress). • Bale tipped in one easy movement. • No need to reposition bale before tipping. • Simply trip and flip.

CONTACT US FOR YOUR LOCAL DEALER

Fo r m o r e i n f o r m a t i o n c o n t a c t

www.tulloch.nz

06 370 0390

DEALERS NATIONWIDE

Maitland - RD5 - Gore Phone/Fax 03-207 1837 or 027-628 5695 www.james-engineering.co.nz


RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS 37

Silage pioneer makes final cut can Mid-West and a realisation that silage making in New Zealand was ripe for improvement. At age 32 Tulloch was on a mission to promote wilted fine chop silage throughout NZ – with a vision and no brake pedal. So began his long career in farm machinery distribution, which saw Tulloch Farm Machines become the leading NZ distributor of grass and forage harvesting equipment in the 1970s and 80s. Wilted, fine chop silage became, and remains, the chief way of conserving grass and

GRAEME HUGH TULLOCH: 25.6.1936 - 13.11.2019 ADVERSITY CAN bring with it a resilience that allows you to tackle the problems thrown at you and to emerge on the other side in a positive place. Among Graeme Tulloch’s first challenges was failing his school exams, probably due to dyslexia, and leaving school at 14. But by then he’d been driving tractors since the age ten. As a teenager, Tulloch’s practical skills shone through: looking after his father’s dairy farm for a long time when he was 13 and working on neighbouring farms sowing seed and making hay. After contracting pneumonia at 17, Tulloch found himself on light duties at a farm machinery business in Master-

ton where he helped sell the machines. Over time it became clear that he had an affinity with rural folk and he quickly developed a good reputation, not least for being 100%

honest in his dealings. Fast forward to 1968, when Tulloch was offered the NZ distribution rights for Gehl farm machinery. This led to a three-month study tour of the Ameri-

tor produces 99% less particulate matter than an equivalent diesel configuration and reduces CO2 emissions by minimum 10% and overall emissions by 80%. The ‘ToTY 2020’ Best of Specialised category was presented to the New Holland T4 V/N/F range for its advanced technology package. It has the maker’s Terraglide front axle adjustable suspension that gives a smooth ride and, coupled with Trelleborg PneuTrac tyres it provides greater traction when working on hillsides. It also improves fuel economy. The T4N Terraglide is said to achieve improved stability, especially with heavy front implements. The anti-dive/squat feature prevents pitching during braking and acceleration. The axle roll con-

Keith Holyoake to get the problem sorted. Another career highlight was his Masterton company’s production of silage wagons and a design concept for a round baler to increase output. To this day Tulloch’s name adorns the patent documents. He was for many years also a councillor in Masterton and was elected to the Wellington Harbour Board. He bought a town milk dairy farm in Carterton in 1978. He was a director of Wairarapa Town Milk and Hawkes Bay Milk.

The latter was sold to Kiwi Cooperative Dairies which later merged into Fonterra, with Tulloch negotiating the deal with the late Craig Norgate. In his seventies, Tulloch decided to study macro-economics at Victoria University which he had not had time to do when he was younger. Graeme Tulloch was a man of vision with an entrepreneurial nature. His drive and tenacity leaves a legacy that continues in a business still regarded as among the best in the NZ farm machinery sector.

NEED A NEW DIESEL TANK? • Bunded design - contains spills • Polyethylene construction - won’t rot or rust • NZ WorkSafe and EPA Compliant

Big wins for NH NEW HOLLAND Agriculture received two accolades at the recent Agritechnica 2019 agri show -- the world’s largest -- in Hanover, Germany. Its T6 Methane Power, the world’s first production methane tractor, was crowned the inaugural ‘Sustainable Tractor of the Year 2020’. And the T4 V/N/F tractor range received the coveted title of ‘Tractor of the Year 2020’ in the Best of Specialised category. The T6 Methane Power is the culmination of New Holland’s work on the use of alternative fuels through its Clean Energy Leader strategy and will be commercially available in 2020. Said to achieve 30% lower running costs, in field conditions the trac-

other crops to feed stock. Tulloch in 1969 formed an enduring relationship with the German company Krone, celebrating the 50th anniversary earlier this year. Tulloch’s first trip to Germany, via the USA, required six different flights. Over the years Graeme Tulloch took on a protectionist government that went out of its way to block the importing of superior machines, making an import licence a requirement for every piece sold. Tulloch personally fronted up to PM

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RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

38 RURAL TRADER WILTSHIRE & SHIRE®

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RURAL NEWS // DECEMBER 3, 2019

RURAL TRADER 39

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600 500 400 300 200 100 0

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QUADBAR 5 YEAR SURVEY

NUMBER OF QUADBARS 479

ROLLOVERS 61

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