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Oral-free rams sell well at annual stud ram sale. PAGE 22

Axial Flow combines updated for 2020. PAGE 25

Dairy leader’s award richly deserved. PAGE 9


Ag outlook positive PETER BURKE

THE LATEST MPI report on the state of NZ agriculture points to another good year ahead – with export revenue from the sector expected to rise by 3.3% in the year ending June 2020. In dollar terms, this means that the primary sector’s export revenue will total $47.9 billion. The rise in revenue, the report says, is due to an 8.4% increase in dairy revenue – meaning the sector will earn $19.6 billion dollars. Meat and wool will reach $10.4 billion – up 2.5%. Horticulture will increase by 4.7% to reach a total of $6.4 billion. Export earnings from arable will be up slightly – as will revenue from ‘other’ primary exports, which includes processed foods and dairy blends. However, forestry exports are forecast to fall by 12.8%. MPI says a lot of these gains can be attributed to rising global commodity prices and the weak NZ dollar. The report says that while there is uncertainty in the farming sector, there are indications that confidence is returning. In terms of the meat sector, the report notes the impact of African Swine Fever (ASF) in China has changed the face of global protein trade. With an estimated 40% of China’s pig population lost to ASF; that country has turned to NZ to make up this protein deficit. The report notes that NZ meat exports to China have risen from 20.8%

in 2017 to the present 39.9%. There is now demand in China for our prime cuts and also manufacturing beef, which has created competition with the traditional USA market. While the outlook for meat is positive, there is more bad news for wool with the value of its exports forecast to reach a record low of $490 million. Once again the horticulture star shines brightly with total exports up by

4.7%. Kiwifruit leads the way followed by wine along with apples and pears. It is perhaps important to note that while the statistics combine apple and pears, in actual fact pears just make up a small portion of total exports. Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says the results show an outstanding performance on the part of the primary sector. He says despite the decline in cow

and sheep numbers the outlook is very positive. He says the ongoing growth in the horticultural sector is another positive. He says considering the uncertainty the sector is facing at home – with weather events, changes in government policy and on the geopolitical front with trade issues – NZ farmers have done a great job. • Debt warning pg 7

Keeping up with the Jones’s THE MAN behind New Zealand’s newest agricultural training venture is a local farmer and entrepreneur – with a proven track record in the sector. Matt Jones launched Agri Training Ltd, based at the former Winchmore Research Station, near Ashburton, where an official opening was held just before Christmas. The facility will initially offer a two-year Diploma in Agriculture and an 18-month Diploma in Agricultural Business Management under City and Guilds accreditation. For Jones, it is the latest venture in a portfolio of recruitment and training companies covering agriculture and construction – with a reach as far as London. – See the fully story page 10

FONTERRA PIONEER EXPECTS MUCH BETTER ONE OF the architects of Fonterra says he’s very disappointed with the co-op’s performance over the years. Tirau farmer, Tony Wilding says farmers expected better when they formed the co-op in 2001. “It’s not the performance we had in mind when we formed Fonterra,” he told Rural News. Wilding received a New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year’s honours list for his contribution to the dairy sector and community. He was part of the negotiation team that merged Kiwi Cooperative Dairies and New Zealand Dairy Group, with the New Zealand Dairy Board to form Fonterra. With the negotiations tying up then NZDG chairman Henry van der Heyden and his deputy John Roadley for months, Wilding stepped up to serve as NZDG’s acting deputy chair. Despite his criticism Wilding fully supports Fonterra, pointing out he’s happy with the shift in strategy. Wilding is also happy that “the days of hiring high-flying overseas CEO” are over. He fully supports the appointment of New Zealander Miles Hurrell as chief executive last year. “There is nothing wrong with us, Kiwis”. • See ‘Dairy leader’s award richly deserved’ – page 9

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Trade rule upgrades needed PAM TIPA

NEWS��������������������������������������1-12 HOUND, EDNA����������������������� 14 CONTACTS������������������������������ 14 OPINION�����������������������������14-16 AGRIBUSINESS���������������������� 17 MARKETS���������������������������18-19 MANAGEMENT��������������� 20-21 ANIMAL HEALTH������������22-23 MACHINERY AND PRODUCTS���������������������� 24-26

THE MULTILATERAL rules-based system, including the World Trade Organisation (WTO), is more important than ever for international trade. Commercial law firm Chapman Tripp says the system is under significant stress and its rules need to be updated to reflect innovation and global disruption. “There needs to be an update to the rule book to address reform on new issues that weren’t part of the global trading system when the rules were written, such as digitalisation, climate change and sustainable development,” says Chapman Tripp international trade expert and partner Daniel Kalderimis. In this year’s International Trade – Trends and Insights publication, the

Daniel Kalderimis

firm took stock of international trade in 2019 and looks ahead to 2020. Uncertainty and disruption are key themes with the most immediate area of concern being the future functioning of the WTO’s dispute settlement system. As of December 10 the Appellate Body ceased to function because

it had insufficient members to hear an appeal. That is because of disagreements over its operation that have led the US to block the reappointment or appointment of members. “This is an issue of significant concern for New Zealand. As a small,

export-dependent country we rely on legal rules and processes to advance and defend our interests.” New Zealand is particularly vulnerable to global economic shifts,” Kalderimis said. “Fortunately, commodity prices for our key exports have remained reasonably strong to date despite global uncertainty. “We are also an innovation hub and that gives us good reason to be optimistic.” Despite the uncertainty, there were success stories and positive and exciting developments in 2019, he says. These include the conclusion of the NZ-China Free Trade Agreement upgrade, talks initiated on a climate change and trade agreement, the digital economic partnership with Singapore and Chile, and continued success on the world stage for ground breaking New Zealand companies.

RURAL TRADER��������������26-27

Another good season likely HEAD OFFICE Top Floor, 29 Northcroft Street, Takapuna, Auckland 0622 Phone: 09-307 0399 Fax: 09-307 0122 POSTAL ADDRESS PO Box 331100, Takapuna, Auckland 0740 Published by: Rural News Group Printed by: Ovato Print CONTACTS Editorial: Advertising material: Rural News online: Subscriptions: ABC audited circulation 79,553 as at 31.03.2019


IT’S EARLY days yet, but there are promising signs of it being another good year for kiwifruit. Zespri’s chief grower and alliances officer, Dave Courtney told Rural News that the feedback from growers on the state of the vines is very positive. He says towards the end of last year, flower numbers and pollination was looking good. He’s heard nothing that would suggest there were any problems. This news comes on the back of a good season for Zespri, which for the first time saw more gold kiwifruit sold in the market that the traditional green variety. Courtney says that the higher price paid in the market for gold meant that grower returns were better than in past years. And with more gold being planted, all being well, returns to growers will

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continue to increase. “Last season saw volumes slightly down on the previous season and the size of fruit was also smaller. But the quality was better and the season started earlier which allowed us to put strong volumes into the marketplace and that continued throughout the year. Courtney says Zespri plans to release more licenses for Gold this year and for the coming two years. He says there is good demand for the fruit based on market signals and Zespri has to be nimble enough to manage the growth in demand. But he concedes that there will come a point when this may slow. Courtney adds that work is also being done in the plant breeding programme to develop a green kiwi fruit which is ‘ready to eat’ when it reaches supermarket shelves. @rural_news

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Water strategy critical - Nats PETER BURKE

NEW ZEALAND needs to start looking at the water issue much more strategically, according to National’s spokesperson on agriculture Todd Muller. Muller believes there needs to be a deep conversation about water and the place it has in the NZ economy as well as the strategic pre-eminence it gives us over our competitors over the next 20 to 40 years. He says whenever we talk about water storage in this country everyone thinks you are just talking about irrigation and land use change. “Actually it is the enabler of the decarbonisation of the economy,” he told Rural News. “It needs to be seen through a much broader lens and I want to be somebody who puts voice as to what that might look like.” Muller says one of the problems with the discussion around water is that it has been focused on

LET’S CELEBRATE MULLER ALSO wants to see a change in the way farming is portrayed. He wants to orientate the approach to farming through celebrating the sector as opposed to condemning it and says he has very strong views on this subject. “The Labour party in particular all the way back to Lange (former Prime Minister) hold the view that agriculture is a sunset industry. They see the NZ economy as having to diversify away from its historical dependence on agriculture and primary industries in general. I think it infuses the way they think and underpins their ideology,” he says. Muller says he completely rejects this philosophy and his approach this year will be to re-orientate that conversation.

how to deal with problems within catchments – rather than a wider view and asking how water can be used strategically to unleash the economic horsepower of the country. He says NZ needs to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and focus on renewable energy. “The best way we can do this is to store water and use it more strategically,” he says. Muller reckons there also needs to be a conversation on land use. He

says, at present, land use change is being driven by a rush to plant trees to avoid the liability in terms of CO2 emissions. “The incentives we have in place at the moment are perverse. They are driving change of land use by encouraging people to put strong performing sheep and beef units into trees because of the future carbon benefit,” Muller told Rural News. “People should invest in trees because they can

National’s agriculture spokesman Todd Muller.

see the value in the Chinese market in 20 years; not because the government might give them a unit that might hold a bit of value in the short-

term. I think those incentives need to be seriously looked at.” Muller says in the coming year he’ll be advocating for a core

“Any idea that this should be dictated to by the top (government) is wrong,” he says.

policy of land use flexibility where market signals allow people to make their own decisions on what to do with their land.


Certainty promised – O’Connor AGRICULTURE MINISTER Damien O’Connor says farmers want greater certainty around water issues and he promises they will get this from the coalition government in the coming year. He told Rural News the Government understands the unease that this has created – along with a whole lot of other issues including high farm debt in the dairy industry. “But we will deliver a practical, realistic proposal on water that

satisfies the demands of the wider community, but also allows farmers – many of whom have been moving in this direction for years – to get to the point of better water quality over a generation.” O’Connor says in the coming year biosecurity will put constant pressure on the farming sector. He says all NZers need to be vigilant in respect of this issue and there is an ongoing need to improve our biosecurity systems.

O’Connor claims that in this election year the National Party will exploit the division between rural and urban communities at the expense of farmers. “This is an outrageous proposition that they have run out at every election. In my view, building a consensus on what we agree on is what we should be doing,” he says. Another issue on the radar this year says O’Connor is the outcome of Brexit and gaining a Free Trade


Agreement (FTA) with the EU. He says Brexit continues to create uncertainty and NZ will have to work hard to broker an FTA which is beneficial to both parties and to the world in general. “They need to see our commitment to climate change initiatives, know we have high standards of animal welfare management, that our production is efficient and ethical and that we have done a very good job is making ourselves very



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efficient producers of protein - particularly dairy and meat,” O’Connor told Rural News. “We have to get alongside their producers and say the world does need more high quality protein and we can both sell into their market and share some of the challenges of maintaining demand for livestock protein.” O’Connor believes we should be partners with the EU, not competitors. – Peter Burke

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Fewer lambs, less export volumes expected NZ SHEEP and beef farmers achieved a lower lambing percentage in 2019 than in 2018, according to the latest Lamb Crop 2019 report. B+LNZ’s Economic Service estimates the number of lambs tailed in spring 2019 decreased by 2.4% or 552,000 head on the previous spring to 22.7 million head. However, 2018’s lamb crop was a record. Most of the decline occurred in the South Island. The lower number of lambs is also expected to reduce the volumes processed for export in the first quarter of the 2019-20 season – from October to December.  Last year’s lambing percentage was 127.1% -- 1.5% lower than in spring 2018. This means 127 lambs were born per hundred ewes, compared with an average of 123 over the prior 10 years. Andrew Burtt, chief economist of B+LNZ’s Economic Service, says

The lower number of lambs will mean a reduction in volume for export.

the record high lambing percentage achieved in 2018 was always going to be difficult to match – with particularly favourable conditions that year. However, he was a little surprised by some of the regional declines in 2019 and says it is a reminder of the natural systems that farmers have to work with.  

“2018’s result was such a fantastic achievement that proved farmers were efficient and doing more with less.” Burtt explained. “It was always going to be difficult to set another record. But the South Island, and Otago in particular, really struggled in 2019 due to drier conditions leading to lower


“SPECTACULAR” – that’s how Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor describes the work of the Horticultural Export Authority (HEA). The organisation – headed by Simon Hegarty – promotes the effective export marketing of horticultural products. It does this by providing an exporting structure and support network for the NZ horticultural export indusHEA chief executive try. Simon Hegarty. HEA also liaises with sector stakeholder groups on matters relating to market access, trade barriers and their removal. It also plays a role in lobbying government on such matters on behalf of the industry. O’Connor says the HEA model is a spectacular success and has been instrumental in increasing horticultural

exports – such as avocados – that complement other major exports like apples and kiwifruit. “The HEA model encourages growers and exporters to agree and to collaborate, to maximise the coordination, distribution and marketing of their products,” O’Connor told Rural News. “The horticultural growers are directly connected to consumers and their organisational structures are appropriate and so we applaud them all.” He says innovation in the hort sector is critical for its long term success. O’Connor points to the plant breeding programmes in the apple and pear sector and the recent announcement of the commercialisation of the red kiwifruit as examples of successful innovation. “The launch of Zespri Red is an opportunity for the kiwifruit industry to keep ahead of the world,” he says.

feed availability,” he says. Lambs from ewe hoggets also fell in 2019, as fewer ewe hoggets were mated last year.  Meanwhile, the number of adult sheep processed is expected to increase 9.2% from 3.4 million head in 201819 to 3.7 million head in 2019-20.


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‘It’s bloody awful!’ SUDESH KISSUN

NEW ZEALAND farming leaders are in close contact with their Australian counterparts as bushfires ravage farms across the ditch. Federated Farmers president Katie Milne says she’s in contact with her National Farmers Federation president Fiona Simson. “We are working through what’s most useful help,” she told Rural News. “One saving grace for some is that there isn’t much to burn due to prolonged drought in some areas.” Milne says NZ farmers can support organisations like BlazeAid, a volunteer-based organisation working with fami-

lies and individuals in rural Australia after natural disasters such as fires and floods. “BlazeAid and breakaways looks to be the go,” she says. “We offered accommodation over a year ago when drought was bad, but had little uptake. “Timing is always an issue in disasters as people want to get into putting their lives back together – be it fire or drought.” Milne says some NZ farmers are part of rural fire parties who often travel abroad to help fight bushfires. Simson says many Australian farmers had lost homes, livestock and infrastructure. “While we don’t know exact numbers yet, there has been a significant

Fed Farmers president Katie Milne.

loss of livestock in parts of the country, most recently in areas such as northern Victoria and the south coast of NSW,” she says. “The most impacted

sectors include the dairy sector where large parts of the NSW south coast, and north eastern Victoria and continue to be under threat. “There are also

reported losses in the beef and sheep sectors in upper Murray region of Victoria, lower Riverina and Snowy Mountain areas.” Simson says the current bushfire situation is unprecedented. Simson, who farms on Liverpool Plains in northwest NSW, has also been impacted. “She has been lucky on her place as they saved 600ha of wheat crop that’s ready to harvest, when 40ha of it burnt when set on fire by dry lightning,” Milne told Rural News. “She said it was a miracle they could save it and a miracle it has grown well enough due to drought. It’s pretty bloody awful.” The bushfires are delivering another blow

to Australia’s dairy industry, already reeling from the effects of drought. ASX-listed dairy group Bega Cheese faces a further tightening in supply: about 30 to 40 of its farmers are affected around the towns of Bega and Cobargo. Shaughn Morgan, chief executive of the industry group Dairy Connect, says some farmers are reporting they had lost the bulk of their livestock. Morgan says the priority now was to fully assess the damage in the area and provide feed to farmers who needed it. The NSW Department of Primary Industries estimates about 3900 head of livestock have been killed or euthanised due to bushfires in the state this summer.

COOKED APPLES THREE OF Australia’s main apple and pear growing areas have been impacted by bushfires in recent weeks. Apple and Pear Australia Limited chief executive Phil Turnbull says the Adelaide Hills (South Australia) were hit just prior to Christmas. Bilpin (NSW) and Batlow (NSW) were impacted last week. It is too early to determine the extent of the damage in Batlow, as some growers are only beginning to gain access to their properties.  Turnbull says the apple and pear industry has faced an inordinate amount of challenges over the last 12 months. “In addition to fires, there is the on-going drought, hail storms, bird and flying fox damage, as well as excessive heat.”



Warnings on dairy sector debt PETER BURKE

MORE THAN a quarter of NZ’s dairy farmers have debt to equity ratios of more than 70% -- with some having as little as 4% equity in their properties. This fact is contained in the latest Ministry for Primary Industries situation and outlook report. It warns that with such high debt levels, owners of these farms may not be able to meet the challenges and changes which lie in store for the sector. The report paints a generally rosy outlook for the sector as a whole. It expects dairy export revenue to rise and a combination of factors likely to lead to high farm gate milk prices and robust profitability for the coming season. However, the report devotes an entire section on the debt issue. It notes that over the last two decades, conversions and profitability have resulted in a 20% increase in the country’s dairy platform, a 25% increase in the size of the dairy herd and 58% increase in total milksolids production. But this, the report says, has come at a price with dairy farm debt increasing by 267% since 2003 –

resulting in total dairy sector debt now standing at $41.4 billon. In a section headed ‘financial vulnerability in the dairy sector’; the MPI report notes that while the use of debt to fund business and industry growth can play an important role in economic success. But says it appears that with this expansion, the risk level has in the dairy sector has increased significantly. The report notes, for example, that the average debt per hectare on dairy farms now stands at $23.6k – three times what it was 20 years ago. It also

points out that despite low interest rates in recent years, the annual cost of servicing debt from production has risen 11 cents to the present $1.22/ kgMS. It adds that this sets the stage for problems in the future for those farming operations that are heavily indebted to meet the suite of environmental requirements that are already in place or have been signalled by the government. These include the ability to invest in technology and infrastructure to reduce the sectors impact on

freshwater quality and climate change. Consequently MPI is predicting limited intensification and a reduction in the size of the national milking and herd size. To add to the woes of some farmers, news that most banks are pulling back from the sector and requiring the active repayment of loans will also have consequences. The Reserve Bank’s announcement just before Christmas requiring banks to hold more capital is set to put a squeeze on credit to farmers.

FAIRWEATHER FRIENDS THE MINISTER of Agriculture has entered the debate on the actions of the banks labelling them as fairweather friends. Damien O’Connor says the debt levels in the dairy industry have been rising for a long time. He claims that six years ago the banks indicated they wished to reduce their exposure to agriculture. But were unable to because of low prices in the sector and were forced to back farmers. O’Connor says in the present crisis, banks need to share some of the responsibility for what’s happened. “They need to take a partnership approach to the solution and not put all the pressure on farmers. It’s an outrageous excuse on the part of the banks for them to complain about the Reserve Bank asking them to hold a bit more equity in their business – while at the same time creating this pressure on farmers to do the same thing,” he says. O’Connor says the partnership deal which farms had with the banks must continue but it must be a fair partnership.



Dairy prices bounce back AFTER A big drop just before Christmas, global dairy prices have rebounded. Last week’s Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction — the first for 2020

– saw prices rise for all products, and a 2.8% lift in the price index. Key export product – whole milk powder – rose 1.7%, in line with futures market predictions.

Westpac market strategist Imre Speizer says at US$3150, WMP price sits in the middle of the past nine-month range of US$3000-$3300. The other major

export product – skimmed milk powder – rose 5.4%. Butter rose 3.7%, anhydrous milk fats rose 2.3% and cheddar cheese rose 3.7%. Speizer says last

“The latter result possibly related to an increase in Fonterra auction volume.”



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week’s results were a partial rebound from the previous auction, where the price index fell 5.1% -with whole milk powder down 6.7%. “The latter result possibly related to an increase in Fonterra auction volume. Last night’s volumes remained steady apart from a reduction in cheddar volumes,” he told Rural News. Speizer says NZ dairy production volume this season is likely to be slightly below the previous one – given the cooler-than-normal spring and, more recently, soil moisture deficits in some regions. “That said, weather forecasters in Australia and New Zealand (Bureau of Meteorology, NIWA) indicate that although some parts of the Pacific Ocean are warmer than

average, El Nino models continue to remain at neutral settings and forecast such though till at least autumn 2020. “Futures market pricing for the current season’s Fonterra milk price haven’t changed over the past three weeks (unsurprising given futures trading activity is usually thin over the holiday period), after slipping from $7.39 to $7.35 following the price falls witnessed at the December GDT auction.” Open Country Dairy chief executive Steve Koekemoer expects stability to continue for the balance of the season. “No doubt, we will have a few forecast tweaks up and down, but we do not foresee a significant downside,” he says.


The effect of zinc oxide and elemental zinc boluses on the concentrations of Zn in serum and faeces, and on providing protection from natural Pithomyces chartarum challenge in sheep. J.J. Bennison et al. (2010) New Zealand Veterinary Journal (58:4, 201-206).

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Methven farmer Andrew Currie doesn’t know how old his vintage 990 David Brown is. “I’d be guessing,” he says. However, it’s not just some antique there for show. The tractor, parked up hard against a fence line on the highway near Methven, is doing sterling work as an anchor for the wire rope winching the travelling irrigator across a paddock of “very late” spring milling wheat. Currie says it’s doing a better job than the newer tractor he used two or three years ago, which – when he hooked up the wire higher on the tractor – was “doing wheelstands” when the irrigator neared the end of the run.



Dairy leader’s award richly deserved erated Farmers Wilding has worked tirelessly on the revisions of the various sharemilking agreements and has “a near encyclopaedic knowledge”. “On a personal note, I’ve had the privilege of working alongside Tony for the last five years,” he added.


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community/landowner co-chair of the Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust. He has built strong relationships between landowners and mana whenua. Wilding is currently a trustee and was chair of Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand until August 2019, and has also been actively

involved with the Pohlen Community Trust Hospital, the Okoroire School, and the Tirau Golf Club. Wilding says he loves serving the community and has no plans to slow down. As chair of Feds sharemilkers farm owners section, Wilding has worked closely with sharemilkers around the country.

Federated Farmers national sharemilkers section chairman, Richard McIntyre says the honour is well deserved. “Tony is an absolute gentleman who has represented the Sharemilker farm owners well, for the betterment of the sharemilking industry,” he told Rural News. “His wealth of experi-

ence in governance and in resolving sharemilking disputes has been of great benefit. “He understands the issues sharemilking faces from both points of view and then communicates this in a way to ensure a full discussion is had and a fair outcome is reached.” McIntyre says at Fed-


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DAIRY INDUSTRY leader Tony Wilding says he’s absolutely delighted to be rewarded for his work in conservation and education sectors. Unlike his stints in dairy companies, Wilding wasn’t paid for his work for promoting agri education and protecting the environment. Last month, he received the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year’s honours list for services to the dairy industry and community. “I’m happy that my volunteer work for conservation and education has been acknowledged,” he told Rural News. “My family and close friends are also delighted.” Wilding, 69, is still actively involved in the dairy industry: owning a 420-cow farm with his daughter and son-in-law in Tirau and chairing Federated Farmers Sharemilker Farm Owners Section. Wilding was a director of New Zealand Dairy Group for 14 years and the New Zealand Dairy Board for six years. He played a key role in the establishment of Fonterra, and was a director of the Dairy Research Institute. He was the first

“During this time, Tony has taught me a great deal about governance, chairmanship, finding consensus and working together to achieve a ‘fair’ outcome for all involved.” McIntyre says sharemilking is – and will be – in a far better place due to Wilding’s involvement



Training facility latest venture NIGEL MALTHUS

THE MAN behind New Zealand’s newest agricultural training venture is a local farmer and entrepreneur – with a proven track record in the sector. Matt Jones has launched Agri Training Ltd, based at the former Winchmore Research Station, near Ashburton. An official opening was held just before Christmas. It will initially offer a two-year Diploma in Agriculture and an 18-month Diploma in Agricultural Business Management under City and Guilds accreditation. For Jones, it is the latest venture in a portfolio of recruitment and training companies covering agriculture and construction – with a reach as far as London. Jones, who farms near Kirwee, started agricultural recruitment company Agstaff in 2001, which now has offices in Ashburton and Pukekohe. Another company, Canstaff, specialises in construction industry jobs and now has six New Zealand loca-

tions – plus Sydney, Manila and London. Jones also has a City and Guilds-accredited training company in London, teaching construction trades. He says that association was part of the reason they chose to go with City and Guilds for the new venture. He told Rural News they spent a long time considering an NZQA accreditation “but by the time we had done all our homework, it wasn’t a hard decision to say no.” Agri Training diplomas will be level six equivalent and tailored to New Zealand conditions. “City and Guilds give us the framework, but we write our own training program,” says Jones. “We’ve designed our training for New Zealanders and for the age groups that we’re looking at training to, that’s the key.” He believes there’s more flexibility in offering this training, than the rigid NZQA system.

Agri Training founder Matt Jones, left, and general manager Greg Barnaby in a classroom of their training centre, which is being established in the former Winchmore Research Station near Ashburton. RURAL NEWS GROUP

Jones also has a company called New Zealand Dairy Careers, established in 2012, which places and mentors young agricultural students – including exchanges with Irish providers. While Agri Training’s focus is to train young Kiwis, the Winchmore facility’s first ‘customers’ will be 65 exchange students from Ireland, visiting in January. The first batch of diploma

students, about 20 school leavers, is expected to begin studies in February. Jones says Agri Training has been “a work in progress” for about two years, and they were actively looking for a suitable site for most of 2019 before settling on Winchmore. The farm was acquired by the Crown in 1946 primarily for irrigation research but

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research activities on the property dwindled in later years, and AgResearch sold it off in early 2019. Jones says the buildings and facilities now being leased from Winchmore’s new private owners are “just perfect” for Agri Training’s purposes. He says they found it just as it was, when it wound down as a research facility seven or eight years ago. “Barring the coffee cup sitting on the table, everything was still in place. Every desk and everything in every office was still sitting there. “There was paperwork still sitting as it was, as if people stood up and walked out.” Jones says it was two months of hard work to get it ready for Agri Training’s official opening in December. “The last time it probably had money spent on it could have been 15, 20 years ago. So it’s taken quite a bit to get back – but great bones, great history,” he told Rural News.

AG FOCUS REMAINS AGRI TRAINING’S general manager Greg Barnaby says it’s great to be able to keep the theme of agriculture and education going on the Winchmore site. “We look forward to the next generation of learning being developed here with some really smart students with very bright futures ahead of them,” he said. “We ultimately want to produce students who are confident and highly capable of becoming community and company leaders. Our programme is such that we are anticipating students who are focused on long-term careers in this sector.” The programme will have specialist streams across dairy production, sheep & beef, deer, and arable.



Breakfast, lunch and muster all on menu THE EAST Coast Farming Expo is promising an exciting new line-up in 2020. February’s expo will be the fifth time the twoday event is held. It is hosted by Wairoa Community Development Trust and will be held at the Wairoa A&P showgrounds on Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27 February 2020.    Breakfast Expo manager, Sue Wilson says she is thrilled with the new line-up planned for the 2020 East Coast Farming Expo – not least of all the Agribreakfast. “If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then our Agribreakfast is definitely the most important meal of the year for farmers,” she says.  The Expo brekkie is being hosted by ‘Toddy Talks’ David Todd, who will speak about resilience on the land.  “There’s been a lot of talk – and some action – about resilience in rural

communities in recent times,” Todd says. Eastland Group, specialists in regional infrastructure – including ports, electricity distribution and transmission networks – is sponsoring the event. The AgriBreakfast is on Thursday 27 February from 7.30am - 9am. Lunch Wednesday’s FMG Agri-women’s lunch – from 11.30am till 1pm – is hosted by rural insurer FMG Advice & Insurance. The guest speaker will be Mavis Mullins. From shearing shed hand to corporate strategist and company director, Mullins has received widespread recognition for her services to the agricultural industry. She was inducted to the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame in 2018 and named Westpac Rural Woman of Influence in 2016.  Muster The popular Bayleys Muster returns again this

year with a panel discussion on how rural communities are changing. Speakers will include Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor. Wilson says the expo’s social events, including

the muster, will give farmers the opportunity to sit down and enjoy a wellearned break, while listening to expert speakers from across New Zealand. • More: www.eastcoastexpo.

Expo director Dave Martin, Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor and expo manager Sue Wilson.


CHINA CHANGES FONTERRA HAS appointed Teh-Han Chow as its interim chief executive for its Chinese operation. Chow, currently president of NZMP for Greater China, will hold the newly created role as the co-op works though the recruitment process for a permanent appointment. The co-op has confirmed that its president for Greater China Consumer and Foodservice, Christina Zhu has resigned. Zhu played a key role in the development of Fonterra’s Chinese markets. She also sat on the board of troubled company Beingmate as a Fonterra representative. The dairy giant paid $750 million for its 18.8% shareholding in March 2015, in a bid to gain access to Chinese consumers for its infant formula. Beingmate’s financial woes forced the co-op to write down the investment by $439m: it is now in the process of selling those shares. Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell says the creation of this new role on the Fonterra management team reflects the importance of the China market to the co-op: it will sit alongside the other regional CEO roles for AMENA, Kelvin Wickham, and APAC, Judith Swales. “Teh-Han, who is currently our President NZMP for Greater China and South East Asia, has agreed to take on this responsibility in an interim capacity while we work through the recruitment process for a permanent CEO Greater China,” says Hurrell. Before joining Fonterra in 2015, Teh-Han was the CEO of Louis Dreyfus in China, a leading merchant and processor of agricultural goods. He was also managing director Greater China for Simplot, a food and agribusiness company. – Sudesh Kissun





PSC’s starry-eyed vision NIGEL MALTHUS

LATE LAST year, the Primary Sector Council (PSC) unveiled it vision for the future of New Zealand’s primary industries. It centres on the Māori concept of Taiao, which emphasises respect for, and harmony with, the natural world. The council was established by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor in April 2018 on a two-year mission to provide strategic advice on issues and to develop a sector-wide vision for the future. In December, it presented that vision, entitled “Fit For a Better World,” in a high-powered launch at Lincoln University attended by O’Connor, Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern and a lecture theatre full of sector leaders. PSC chair Lain Jager said the vision was intended as an anchor for strategy and investment, and a guiding star for decision-making. “It’s a pathway to sustainable prosperity, sector confidence and the social license we badly need in the context of the global

Primary Sector Council chair Lain Jager, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor front the media following the launch of the Primary Sector Council’s ‘Fit for a Better World’ vision, at Lincoln University late last year. RURAL NEWS GROUP

challenges that confront us.” Jager explained that council member Miriana Stephens, of the Māori-owned agribusiness Wakatu Incorporation, had introduced the council to the concept of Taiao, which describes a deep relationship of respect and reciprocity with the natural world. “We propose that Taiao can be a distinctive guiding star for our agriculture food and fibre

sector and therefore it sits right at the heart of our vision,” he said. “If we are to embrace Taiao and capture the potential economic benefits of this way of thinking and behaving, we need to maximize the productive potential of our catchments and farm within safe environmental limits. That means a relentless focus on developing modern scientifically informed and technology supported

Jager claimed “Fit for a better world” was a uniquely New Zealand positioning, encapsulating Taiao as the guiding principle and delivering products through ethical and regenerative farming systems. O’Connor welcomed the release of the vision. “The international consumers who buy our world-class product increasingly want to know the story behind their food. They want to

regenerative production systems.” Jager said the council recognised concerns for the global environment, but the sector was already heavily engaged in the transition to environmental excellence and this must continue. As part of the effort, it was important to have a common framework and language describing our relationship with nature, which Taiao would provide.


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The PSC also believes it’s no longer appropriate to refer to “the primary sector”. Jager claimed this conjured up images of volume-driven extractive commodity production, which was no longer reflective of how New Zealand farming and would fail to attract the people and investment needed for future success. “Reframing the sector as the ‘agriculture food and fibre sector of Aotearoa/New Zealand’ celebrates our high value produce and the increasingly sophisticated farming processing and marketing systems and technologies we use.” Jager said New Zealand’s economic challenge and opportunity is to position it to meet the demand for high value food and fibres. “Climate change, water scarcity and degradation, and pressure on biodiversity is the context for many of our consumers and our children. By owning our environmental responsibilities on carbon, water, biodiversity, we can lead the world in truly sustainable food and fibre production.”

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know it’s climate friendly and sustainably produced, with high animal welfare standards and by a workforce that’s treated with respect and paid fairly.” O’Connor said NZ farmers and growers produce some of the highest quality food and fibre in the world but must adapt to our consumers’ changing needs. “I established the Primary Sector Council to provide fresh thinking and develop a vision to help sectors navigate the environmental and sustainability challenges it faces. “The council’s engagement with Kiwi farmers, growers, fishers, makers and crafters has resulted in a vision which the sector can rally around.” O’Connor said the council’s final report and recommendations are expected in March 2020. “The next step is taking the vision and turn it into a realistic and workable plan.” To enable this, he has established a new body called Food and Fibres Aotearoa New Zealand. “It will involve government, industry and Māori working together to deliver meaningful change.”


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Cloud in sector’s silver lining The latest MPI report on the state of NZ agriculture points to another good year ahead with export revenue from the primary sector expected to rise by 3.3% in the year ending June 2020. Published late last year, the Situation Outlook for Primary Industries (SOPI) report paints a generally rosy picture for the farming and horticulture sectors. It forecasts the primary industry’s total export revenue will hit $47.9 billion for the coming year. This revenue increase will come from an 8.4% increase in dairy export earnings, meaning it will earn $19.6 billion dollars. Meat and wool will reach $10.4 billion – up 2.5%. Revenue from the current sector darling horticulture will increase by 4.7% to reach a total of $6.4 billion. This is both impressive and vitally important for the future well-being (to use the current Government’s own twee terminology) of New Zealand’s economic future. However, this same rosy report points to a worrying cloud on the sector’s horizon – dangerously high levels of debt in dairy farming. The report devotes an entire section to the debt issue. Titled: ‘financial vulnerability in the dairy sector’, it notes that the use of debt to fund business and industry growth plays an important role in economic success, but with this expansion, the risk level in the dairy sector has increased significantly. It also highlights that more than a quarter of dairy farmers have debt to equity ratios of more than 70%, some having as little as 4% equity in their properties. The report says that over the last two decades dairy farm debt has increased by 267%. Total dairy sector debt now stands at $41.4 billon. MPI, quite rightly, warns that with such high debt levels, owners of these farms may not be able to meet the challenges and changes that lie in store for the sector. It warns that heavily indebted farms will struggle to meet the suite of environmental requirements that are already in place or have been signalled by the Government. This means it is now incumbent on both farmers and the banks to look at high farm debt levels and how these can be reasonably mitigated and managed. As Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor says, the banks need to share some of the responsibility for what’s happened and take a partnership approach to the solution – not put all the pressure on farmers. Sound advice. Let’s hope the banks take heed.


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

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

THE HOUND More waste!

Funny names

Thank god!


YOUR OLD mate notes that after almost two years of cosy meetings and more than $2 million wasted, Ag minister Damien O’Connor’s brainfart, the Primary Sector Council, released its ‘strategy’ on the eve of Christmas, last year. Despite O’Connor having the ‘Cuddler in Chief’ (PM Ardern) in tow at the launch, the PSC strategy was insipid – coming up with the big idea that NZ will become a world leader in regenerative agriculture and the oh-so woke Maori concept of Taiao! No wonder this forgettable piece of work was released so that it would disappear in the pre-Xmas madness. However, while the PSC is under the auspice of MPI, that organisation’s legions of communications advisors and PR were all too busy. Instead, the PSC – no stranger to freely spending taxpayer funds – hired an expensive, Auckland-based PR agency to spin its strategy. No amount of money or PR spin will ever make a silk purse out of this pig’s ear of a policy!

OVER THE years, a mate of the Hound’s has always been quick to point out to him people in roles whose names either match or clash with the organisations they work for. For instance, many moons ago the head of local red meat promotions agency Beef+Lamb NZ was a bloke with the highly appropriate name of Ian lamb. One that particularly tickled this old mutt’s mate was Roger Carbon who headed up the Environment Ministry a few years back. And now the namechecker has found another one – the chairman of Blueberries New Zealand is a guy named Dan Peach!

LIKE THIS old mutt, no doubt farmer shareholders are delighted to know that Fonterra is focusing on the important issues. Late last year, the ailing dairy co-op was proudly crowing about the fact that it had been awarded a Rainbow Tick for ‘diversity in the workplace’. According to the PR puff sent out by Fonterra: “The tick is achieved by demonstrating inclusivity of the LGBTTI+ community in the areas of employee training, employee engagement and support, external engagement and monitoring.” Co-operative Affairs manager Mike Cronin went on to spout: “Having the Rainbow Tick helps us to reflect the communities in which we operate and makes sure our workplace is an accepting one.” Thank god Fonterra is focusing on the big issues like the Rainbow Tick rather than silly little things like making a profit or being a successful dairy company – not!

YOUR CANINE crusader reckons it is ironic – and highly appropriate – that Shane Jones’ $3 billion electoral slush fund the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has exactly the same initials as the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGF)! The Hound suggests Jones is just like a gambling addict, but his $3-billion tab is funded by hard-working NZ taxpayers. While the mouth of the north is spraying around his bets on things like rat traps and bloody awful pine trees – in a desperate attempt to get re-elected – payback from the PGF looks paltry. Official figures show around $300 million of the fund has so far been spent with only 616 fulltime jobs created; meaning every one of these fulltime jobs cost $484,000 each! So perhaps Jones should go see the PGF about him gambling away the PGF kitty!

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2020 the year of ‘New-Gen’ ag A NEW thought for the New Year – New Zealand ‘generative agriculture’… or New-gen, for short. New-gen captures New Zealand’s approach to the soil-plant-animalenvironment continuum that makes up agriculture: animals have been moved in herds or flocks around the farm or station, enabling them to graze the pasture at its optimum quantity and quality and return dung and urine to the soil in situ. Earthworms have been introduced to enhance organic matter incorporation into the soil and water has been applied in some areas to overcome drought. The result is that organic matter has been maintained or increased. Efficiencies developed over the past 100 years have been based on science, informed by research, and honed by farmers. New-gen picks up on the interest in regenerative agriculture, but repositions New Zealand as the leader in achievement – the point being that you can’t RE-generate something unless it is DE-generated. New Zealand does not have deserts, desertification or dust bowls. That’s in contrast to some parts of Africa, America and Australia from where the proponents of regenerative agriculture come. New Zealand does have drought-sensitive areas, which could degenerate if not looked after appropriately. The Landcare Research website suggests that there are 50,000 km2 of dryland ecosystems in New Zealand, derived from firesensitive shrubland and dry forest ecosystems – mostly on the East Coast of both islands. Of note is that they are less than 800 years old, indicating that humans have been involved in their creation. Just as they were in the more recent development of the American dustbowl (and in some of the examples of desertification in Africa and Asia). Environmental concerns have been raised about agriculture on dryland areas, but these concerns


Jacqueline Rowarth overlook the fact that the landscape was altered several hundred years ago by the first human arrivals. Regenerative agriculture on degraded soils overseas has used a combination of animal management, fertiliser and irrigation to rebuild organic matter. What has been achieved, however, is still below what most of New Zealand already has, even in the dryland areas. Some research overseas is already pointing to a limitation in regenerative agriculture in that after a few years, organic matter stops increasing. Work in New Zealand has shown why – a dynamic equilibrium between inputs and outputs is reached. To alter the equilibrium requires another change – increasing inputs or decreasing outputs. Decreasing outputs means less food, which is not what the world desires. The question now should be what to do for the future. The Food Climate Research Network, based at the University of Oxford, has stated that increased production must be met through higher yields. The alternative is increasing the area of land in agriculture but doing so has major environmental costs in biodiversity – as well as soil carbon loss. The network has also explained that Sustainable Intensification denotes a goal but does not specify a priori (that is, based on theory rather than observation or experience) how it should be attained, or which agricultural techniques should be used. “The merits of diverse approaches in different locations and context should be evaluated care-

fully, taking biophysical and social contexts into account.”

And New Zealand has farmers who deserve to be acknowledged for their contribution to environment and economy. New-gen is for farmers wanting to continue doing the right thing by the environment while supporting food supply. New Zealand researchers

Knowing the starting point, as well as the possible input and output factors, are vital, so is knowing the global trends in temperature, water availability, energy and consumer thinking. New Zealand has scientists focussing on all the important aspects.

Efficiencies developed over the past 100 years have been based on science, informed by research, and honed by farmers. In short, there is no one-size-fits all for Sustainable Intensification.





can show the way, using New Zealand farmers as the example. New-gen – it’s what we do. • Dr Jacqueline Rowarth is a soil scientist with a PhD in nutrient cycling. Her research has focused on phosphorus, nitrogen and carbon.

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Meet the Farmer’s Chaplain WHEN I sit down to read something, especially something that’s new to me, I always want to know: Is this for real or is it merely opinions and theorising? I know authenticity doesn’t matter much to a lot of folks in today’s world, but it still does to

me. Is there some real life experience here; are there any actual ‘miles on the clock’? Has this really been lived out and proven in the life of the writer first? Good questions to consider don’t you think? With this as my prompt, I offer you


Colin Miller

what follows to introduce myself to you a little. Growing up in the Rodney area, my earliest childhood desires were always for farming, I never wanted anything else. In my early to mid-teens, I got myself a horse and dogs and worked for the five sheep

and cattle farmers around our small family dairy farm. I have been married to Elaine for 44 years and we have four adult children and three granddaughters. After we married and the family dairy farm had sold, we moved north to a farm

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worker’s position on 2,000 acres. Then 30 months later we moved again, to a farm manager’s job. Yes, I was ‘living the dream’ as the saying goes; horses and dogs, sheep and cattle, a hard bum from all day in the saddle, work I loved, and rodeos. We appeared to be on our way to farm ownership for sure. But all that changed rather radically when the good Lord interrupted our lives. So we walked away from the dream, and after some initial training, we entered the pastoral ministry with people. Over the next 35 years with people, we got to share with them their laughter and sorrows; everything from welcoming new-borns to laying to rest their departed – along with all the usual people dramas that happen in-between. Everything from hospital visits to prison visits; conducting weddings to picking up the pieces from marriage break-ups; times of joy and times of absolute heartbreak; we got to experience some real-life stuff. Great encouragement and great disappointment could fill the same week, at times even the same day. Added to that, this role and part of our journey has also taken me to 20 different nations to date. We now find ourselves living in the heart of the

fabulous King Country, on a family sheep and cattle farm. At my age I was kind-of hoping I had forgotten how to use a handpiece, but no such luck there with that one! I am enjoying being back working with horses again, breaking in our two young horses. Many people just do not realise the great work chaplains do in so many different areas in our communities. I have met military chaplains, one of these being from the US Navy, another from the Aussie military, another from here in NZ. I also know hospital chaplains, prison chaplains, school chaplains and sports chaplains – to name just a few from my journey. I even spotted an ‘airport chaplain’ in an international airport a few weeks ago. I personally thank Rural News for recognising this vital ongoing work in our communities and offering our farming sector in our great country this opportunity and support, for those who would appreciate that option being available to them. It will be an honour and privilege to journey with you a little each month. Till next month look after yourself and God Bless. • Colin Miller’s Farmer’s Chaplain column will run monthly in Rural News


WE’RE NOT A DOG I NOTE the Hound’s sour review of our Taste of Pāmu event (Dec 3, 2019). This is our annual opportunity to thank our many stakeholders and give an overview of the year (like an annual meeting in many ways). However, notwithstanding the Hound’s view of the event, I want to correct the assertion that we are a financially unsuccessful company, and specifically that we do not pay dividends. Over the lifetime of the company (formed in 1987), we have declared over half a billion dollars of dividends. We have paid the shareholder $70 million in dividends in the last 10 years alone. This includes $10 million over the last two most recent financial years. Can we do better? Yes, and we are working hard on this as well as how we can best assist the future success of farming under tighter environmental constraints. Warren Parker Chairman, Landcorp Farming Ltd



Xmas bonus for Alliance suppliers ALLIANCE GROUP made a $9 million profit distribution to its supplying shareholders just in time for Christmas. This was announced at the company’s annual meeting in Palmerston North in mid-December. Alliance had earlier declared a profit of $20.7m before distributions and tax, on revenue of $1.7 billion. “The profit result was the best trading result since 2010,” Alliance chairman Murray Taggart told the meeting. “While this year’s result enabled us to reward shareholders with a profit distribution, we recognise the need to lift the profitability further.” He said the company was increasing its focus on capturing greater value from its products as it continues its transformation into a world-class food and solutions business, shareholders were told. “Our goal is to build a more robust business with consistently higher profit margins to ensure we can maximise in-market value capture and take advantage of new manufacturing technologies to deliver even better returns to our farmer shareholders.” Taggart said the 2018/19 season

Alliance Group chair Murray Taggart.

had generally seen favourable farming conditions across the country, although severe storms during lambing in Hawke’s Bay and serious drought in Tasman made for a more challenging season in those regions. Operating cashflow was strong at

$40.4m and this enabled Alliance to pursue an aggressive capital expenditure programme while still finishing the year with 63.4% equity and a strong balance sheet. “The co-operative continued to invest in its plant network includ-

ing opening a new venison plant and upgrades at Dannevirke and Smithfield plants. This lift in capacity comes on top of the introduction of night shift lamb and beef at our Levin plant as the company responds to strong support from North Island farmers.” Taggart added that its new venison plant at Lorneville, near Invercargill, had delivered significant savings in overhead costs. “Venison is a key species for Alliance and with our Lorneville and Smithfield plants. We now have the most modern venison processing facilities in the industry.” Chief executive David Surveyor said the company is on track to capture greater market value and pass those gains onto farmers. “A visible example of this change was our purchase of 50% of the Meateor pet food business. This investment enables us to capture value from the next stage of processing in the pet food industry and supply directly into the large global pet food players.” Alliance’s food service business in the UK also achieved significant growth, he said. “We are expanding our food service

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programme in North America, Asia and New Zealand. The Te Mana Lamb and Silere Alpine Origin Merino lamb programmes have confirmed our ability to differentiate our product and capture a premium from the market. We are now looking to expand the premium lamb brand opportunity across our supply base.” Surveyor said the company had improved its performance in beef, but there was still more to do in this area. Global markets faced significant uncertainty over the past 12 months with the US-China trade war significantly disrupting trade in co-products such as wool and pelts, Surveyor added. “Elsewhere, there is still a huge amount of uncertainty around the EU-UK relationship and what the implications will be for our trade there. “In Asia, African Swine Fever has devastated the Chinese pig herd and herds in other affected countries throughout the region. The resulting protein shortage is supporting both sheepmeat and beef returns. “ He said the market outlook for the new season remains positive across all species.


The secret behind success – Page 6


! g n i k s i t i u r f i w Ki WS.CO.NZ WWW.RURALNE


Peter Burke


by consumers to A UNIVERSAL trend er lives is driving live better and healthi Zealand kiwifruit. the demand for New ve Don Mathieexecuti chief Zespri fits perfectly into son says kiwifruit strong demand that scenario, causing in all its markets. growth has Mathieson says sales

in that space “Kiwifruit is a real king this year: 150 mils and fibre and been strong again with all the vitamin about 120 million ts it has versus lion trays, up from the nutritional elemen we see Based on that trend fruits. trays last year. other by the SunA lot of that is driven strong demand.” is good growth group of congold variety, and there He says their target conto be very health also in Zespri green. that sumers tend but see we specific term, region“Looking long scious, which is not with consumers the board. Zespri is trend continuing tends to be across ts, great food green and both produc in great growth g wantin getting good with nutrition,” China going very with Asia, in items that are filled gold News. Mathieson told Hort

attractive price and sumers at a more d. well. has helped drive deman and they are that Taiwan is doing “It’s going well in Japan “At the same time, conr-one market in now our number-one once again our numbe great well and is seeing also are We per capita in the Asia this year. sumption market and have seen the Korea in growth world.” lly come down. consumers have always an duties start to gradua Europe duty on our ters of Zespri green, “We used to pay 45% been strong suppor but with NZ’s free consumers there exports to Korea, but Mathieson says them the duties be attracted to Suntrade agreement with are now starting to e Sunoff and we have believes this is becaus have started to come to con- gold. He is it kiwifru our sweeter taste and been able to offer gold has a slightly RURAL NEWS GROUP

Jack Frost never sleeps Cromwell orchardist d at Simon Webb picture ss sunrise after a sleeple night of frost-fighting. Overhead sprinklers d are a common metho frost ting of preven damage as water on buds releases a little as warmth into the buds ts it freezes, then protec of them from the worst the cold air. 7 – See more page

easy to eat. and continues “France is going well market for us. In to be a high growth a years, it has been the last couple of European region. real performer in the good growth in And we are also seeing s in Spain, the Benall our major market Italy.” and ny elux region, Germa


first issue of Welcome to the Hort News. is proud Rural News Group national to launch this new the fastpublication to serve sector. growing horticultural op one-st a is Hort News lture read for all horticu industry sectors, covering , markets, news, management nery, technology, machi opinion and more. Rural News Distributed with regions, in key horticulture the only be will Hort News tion publica ndent indepe horticulcovering the entire tural industry. it. We hope you enjoy Adam Fricker General manager Rural News Group

RTAIN, NTY IS CECO UNCERTAILE BECAUSEFM OP VER. CR AB AR G THERE’S So it you least expect it. ts they can all hit when from FMG. It protec lightning or frost, Hail or windstorm, with Arable Crop cover ted. ard your livelihood they’ve been harves to 12 months after makes sense to safegu growing, and for up within 40 days of your crops while they’re of replanting costs if you have a loss 466. 366 to 80% a call us on 0800 We’ll even pay up better still, give us Or us. about ting criteria tation and underwri planting. So ask around product documen is subject to our specific us on 0800 366 466. of our product and or by calling This is a summary on our website www.fmg which can be found

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Farmers welcome higher Global outlook

FARMGATE MILK prices are improving in most of the world’s major dairy-producing regions. Beyond that, the similarities break down quickly. In the US, the higher milk prices, combined with lower feed costs are resulting in higher on-farm margins. In the EU, low stocks of

roughage will strain margins over the winter. South American dairy processors are struggling to pass higher costs along to consumers due to challenging domestic economic conditions. Oceania continues to face persistent dryness in Australia and volatile weather in New Zealand, which has negatively impacted feed costs and

pasture growth. Butter has been the shining star of the dairy commodities throughout the general lull in dairy commodities over the past few years. Recently, however, excitement has subsided, and cheese and SMP have returned to the spotlight, as both have reached price levels not realized since 2014 (see Figure 1).


Through September, yearto-date EU milk supply is up 0.5% YOY or 570,000 metric tons (see Figure 3). The EU dairy herd is in contraction mode, according to recently released mid-year data. Germany and France, the EU’s two largest milkproducing countries, reduced cow numbers by 2.4% YOY (100,000 head) and 1.2% (41,000

head), respectively, during 1H 2019. In 2020, Rabobank does not see a significant growth of the EU herd, as feed availability and environmental compliance limit the potential for milk supply growth.


AFTER MONTHS of stagnation, US milk production is showing signs of life again, with 1.3% YOY increases in September and October. An additional 5,000 cows joined the national milking herd in each of these months, and milk per cow increased by 1.8% and 1.7% in September and October, respectively. This is the beginning of a return to more normal year-on-year milk

LOW COMPARABLES and more favourable weather conditions as of August, pushed EU milk production growth up to 0.8% YOY or 309,000 metric tons in Q3 2019 (July +0.4%, August +1.2%, September +0.8%). For October, based on preliminary figures, we expect a growth of around 0.5% YOY.

production growth of 1.3% to 1.5% in Q4 2019 into 2020 (see Figure 4). With a return to more normal milk production growth in 2020, combined with a looming domestic demand slowdown, the US will have a larger exportable surplus in 2020. Fortunately, low stocks and limited expansion in the rest of


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the world should present opportunities for export.


IN THE four months of the 2019/20 season, milk production fell 5.5%. This represents a loss of 190m litres, with falls recorded in all states and regions excluding Eastern Victoria (see Figure 7).

Rainfall deficits have been evident across much of the key dairying regions through November. Some recently released data showed the Australian dairy industry starting the new season on July 1 with 1.44m head of milking cows. This is 7% (or 107,000 head) below the

AVERAGE MILK prices in China continued to rise during Q3 2019, with current milk prices at CNY 3.83/kg, up 8% since June and year-on-year. On the other hand, the renminbi has depreciated against the US dollar by 2% since June, so that average milk prices in US dollar terms have risen by a smaller 6%. Imported Oceania WMP prices in China have strengthened by

7% since June, and, as such, the price discount of landed WMP has remained at 13% versus the average milk price in China. Year-to-October, aggregate WMP, and SMP imports grew by a strong 25% YOY. Rabobank expects 1H 2021 milk production to continue to grow, but the growth is likely to reflect a medium-term trend of 1.6% YOY.


due to consistently strong export volumes to China across the calendar year and weak New Zealand milk production over the spring months. Fickle weather has had a tangible mark on spring milk production. September collections were -0.7% lower and October fell by 2.6% YOY on a tonnage basis.

Demand has remained strong for New Zealand product and this will be reflected in export volumes tracking higher YOY for the month of November 2019. However, December 2018 volumes set a new record, and despite a modest global milk production setting, it will be difficult to beat this

EXPORT VOLUMES for the three months to October 2019 were higher by 10% on the same period last year, driven by exceptionally strong Chinese imports. Shipments to China for October 2019 were particularly outstanding, with volumes jumping 30% YOY.

Season-to-date (October) collections are trailing behind by 0.7% (see Figure 6). We now forecast full-year season milk production through to Q2 2020 to range between +0.5% and -0.5% YOY. New Zealand’s dairy industry is in a new milk production era, where incremental growth (or decline) each season will be the new norm – as opposed to the large gains seen in the past decade. Dairy conversions are no longer featuring across the country with challenges to existing stock numbers via tighter environmental legislation. Rabobank anticipates a milk price of NZ$ 7.60/ kgMS for the full season. @rural_news

















previous season. For the season, Rabobank has revised down its milk production forecast. The latest expectation is for national production to decline by 5.8%, to 8.3bn litres. Rabobank has held its commodity milk price forecast for 2019/20 based at AU$ 6.65/kgMS.

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Government moves into halal accreditation SUDESH KISSUN

STATE-OWNED FOOD certifier AsureQuality is stepping into halal audit and accreditation. Late last year, the company acquired an 80% stake in New Zealand Islamic Development Trust (NZIDT Ltd), NZ’s top provider of halal audit and certification services to food exporters. NZ meat and dairy exporters require NZIDT certification to make halal claims and to gain market access for exports to Muslim communities around the world. AsureQuality chief executive John McKay

told Rural News that the acquisition is a natural extension of the halal training services his company provides. McKay says the halal

the halal market for some time through the training services we provide,” he said. “This investment further builds on that offer-

“AsureQuality has been actively engaged in the halal market for some time through the training services we provide.” business is huge for NZ red meat and dairy exporters: in 2018 NZ exported $3.5 billion of halal products. He says NZIDT certification is crucial for existing food exporters to have market access. “AsureQuality has been actively engaged in

ing and will enable us to further build on the skills and expertise of NZIDT and support the organisation to focus on do what they do best.” McKay says NZIDT will continue to operate as a stand-alone business, managed and run by practising Muslims who

intimately understand halal. In addition, all employees are being retained and the team will continue to deliver the expert halal audit and certification services NZIDT is known and trusted for. Existing shareholder and chief executive Taoufik Elidrissi retains the remaining 20%. Elidrissi says the investment supports the growing need for high quality professional halal services in New Zealand and may also help to open doors internationally for the company and New Zealand exporters.  “AsureQuality is a

Asure Quality chief executive John McKay.


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respected market leader in food auditing and certification. Having their support will enable us to leverage the combined strengths of both organisations to ensure the ongoing delivery of robust halal auditing and certification services to key food industry sectors in New Zealand.” McKay says MPI is aware of the acquisition and satisfied that it complies with all of its regulatory requirements. Market authorities in the key Muslim markets

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Overseer complaints wide of the mark CAROLINE READ

TARANAKI REGIONAL Council’s claims that OverseerFM is unfit for use as a regulatory tool and “highly inaccurate” is misleading and reinforces wider misunderstandings and myths about what the tool is designed to do (‘Government’s proposed water reforms blasted’, Rural News November 20, 2019). It also undermines the valuable role OverseerFM plays in regulation as a farm environment planning tool that can be used by farmers and councils to improve freshwater quality. However, let’s be clear about OverseerFM’s purpose, as this is where much of the confusion lies. OverseerFM is a nutrient budgeting model and not a real-time nitrogen loss calculator. As such, it’s not designed to be used to deliver an absolute pass/fail against an absolute value. OverseerFM exists to help address the issue that it is simply impractical to ‘measure’ diffuse nutrient losses from individual farms. Overseer’s model simulates complex biophysical processes to ‘predict’ annualised nutrient losses from a farm, based on the farm management approach. This means that the effect of different management approaches in

specific locations can be compared. It also allows farmers to monitor nutrient flow trends over time, assess how efficiently their farm systems use the available nutrients and how changes in farm practices impact that. The software enables quantification of progress, showing farmers how their N, P or GHG emissions are trending over time. It visualises in what parts of the farm they might be losing more nutrients, therefore it adds significant value as a tool for farm planning. OverseerFM allows regional councils to judge farmers on the impact of their farm management choices, instead of telling them what to do. When used appropriately by councils, OverseerFM has a powerful role to play in supporting the environmental outcomes sought through regulation. Claims of inaccuracy are misleading and often reflect concerns that Overseer isn’t providing the sort of information being sought, rather than the modelling not working. This can come from assessment against measured data without sufficient context to understand differences in results. It can also arise from concerns about the importance of things not being captured in the

BOARD POSTING SJOERD POST has been appointed to the board of Farmlands, joining Julie Bohnenn and John Journee as independent directors. Currently the chief executive of the architecture and design company Jasmax, Post has more than 30 years’ experience in leadership positions around the world, including senior roles in the oil industry. He was previously CEO of Refining NZ, operators of the Marsden Point Refinery. Farmlands says Post’s work experience in more than 60 countries brings a wealth of supply chain, commercial sales and trading experience to the board table. Farmlands chairman Rob Hewett says Post’s skill-set is a major coup for the governance of the rural supplies and services co-operative.



Go to

Caroline Read

model, or a confusion with modelling uncertainty, which is inherent in the use of all models. OverseerFM modelling is calibrated against measured data where it’s available and extrapolation is used to enable analysis of relative estimates across New Zealand. The modelling is reviewed and evaluated as it is developed, and where possible, it is based on science published in peer reviewed journals. Of course, there are always improvements to be made as science thinking develops and more

E V SA 00

data becomes available and we recognise continuous improvement is required. It is time to see OverseerFM for what it is – an enabling tool that allows New Zealand to take an effects based approach to water quality regulation rather than blanket input controls to be placed on farmers. Most importantly, it needs to be seen as a tool supporting farmers to make the right changes on their own farm to achieve the best environmental outcome. • Dr Caroline Read is chief executive of Overseer Ltd



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“The appointment of independent directors is critical to complementing the abilities and knowledge base already around the board table,” Hewett says. “With Sjoerd, we have added a proven performer who will add a distinct voice to our discussions. Post’s appointment follows a change to the board structure last year, from an eight shareholder-elected/two independent director structure, to a six/three split. The elected representatives continue to be evenly split between the North and South Islands and must be Farmlands shareholders. Hewett took over as chairman, replacing Lachie Johnstone, at Farmland’s annual meeting in November, when the co-operative announced a net profit of $8.4 million before tax and rebates.

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Oral-free rams sell well PAM TIPA

PRICES WERE up on average $400 at the 30th Annual Kikitangeo Romney stud ram sale. The stud has bred worm

resistant rams for 33 years. A feature of the sale, held on December 4 last year, was that 66% of the rams had never been drenched in an area of the highest worm chal-

lenge, says stud principal Gordon Levet. Thirteen ram breeders from Southland to Northland attended the sale and purchased stud sires to breed the worm resistant trait into their flocks. 

Kiki Rams KIKI 1066-18 on the left (purchased by BrownPhilip) and KIKI 349-18 (purchased by Tennent).

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In total, 101 rams were sold at an average of just over $2000, on average $400 better than in 2018, says Levet. A top price of $8700 was paid by Waikato breeders Alistair Reeves and Chris Brears.  Rob Tennent of the wellknown Pahiwi Stud in Hawkes Bay paid $5500 for an FE tested sire.  Well known, longtime Feilding and Hawkes Bay breeders Richard Brown and Willie Philip shared a sire purchased for $5600.  This sire was ranked third for worm resistance out of 400, with a DPF of 926 (the SIL measurement for worm resistance) and also had a nil reaction to an FE test of 0.60mg/kg.  Levet says it was very pleasing to be recognised by other ram breeders, after spending 33 years breeding for the worm resistant trait.  He says this involved taking about 20,000 dung samples from lambs and having laboratory staff count worm eggs and analyse the results.  Levet estimates that in two years, all Kikitangeo rams sold will reach the “never been drenched” standard, farmed in an area of high worm challenges.  He says in the long term, farmers will have to concede that genetics, ie sheep breeding, is the best means of producing sheep able to withstand worm challenge. This may

be the only way to counter worms and the problems of drench resistance. The only disappointing aspect of the sale was several rams passed in due to insufficient commercial buyers, he says. All of these rams were structurally sound, had a high degree of FE tolerance and the highest degree of worm resistance in the country. Auctioneer Cam Heggie of PGG Wrightson says it was a good sale. The stud’s facial eczema testing was a factor, but the biggest factor was Levet’s worm resistance breeding programme. He says Levet is “the absolute guru” and his flock leads in worm resistance. “There would have been as good a turnout at that sale of registered stud buyers as we have seen this year. We sold rams into Southland, we have a few rams heading to the South Island. We had buyers that came from over the entire country. That is the regard in which Gordon is held for the programme he has.” The interest in breeding for worm resistance is definitely on the increase, says Heggie. “With drench resistance becoming an issue this is one way to combat it. It is only going to become more significant to ram breeders that they breed rams along those lines.”

Read us until the cows come home!



Keeping your farm protected Key points


BIOSECURITY ISN’T JUST about border control at the airport or ports. Once pests, weeds and diseases are in our country, the border becomes your farm fences and gates, as they can easily be transmitted from farm to farm. Here are some simple steps you can take to shore up your borders to protect your farm and the animals and plants inside it from a range of risks. Your farm is an island A good way to start thinking about biosecurity on your farm is to see your farm as an island, with the boundary of your farm as the border. Ensuring your boundary fences are secure helps to protect your stock, limit contact between your stock and the neighbours, and reduces biosecurity risks. Many farms also limit the number of entry points to the farm so it’s easier to control who’s coming on and off the property through a single entry and exit point. Clean on, clean off We encourage farmers to adopt a ‘clean on, clean off’ policy whenever possible. It’s an easy and quick action to provide visitors with a footbath, scrubbing brush and somewhere to wash their hands. It also helps to encourage visitors to arrive clean and have clean equipment, and then clean off again when they leave so they don’t carry any-

❱❱ Think of your farm as an island to prevent biosecurity incursions. ❱❱ Have a clean on, clean off policy. ❱❱ Ensure animal movements are recorded. ❱❱ Talk to your grazier about biosecurity.

be managed as separate mobs during grazing. Find out more at biosecurity-at-grazing It’s also best if mobs from different farms aren’t mixed when being transported to off-farm grazing. For more on how to help protect your farm, business and animals, go to • Nita Harding is DairyNZ technical policy advisor.

thing to the next farm. Many farms have a sign-in and sign-out process which provides a record of who’s been onfarm. It also provides an opportunity for you to tell visitors that you’re a biosecurity-aware farm and share any requirements they need to comply with. The more we talk about biosecurity, the more it encourages

other farmers and those involved in the farming sector to become more biosecurity conscious. Traceability is key Tagging your animals is only half the job. You must also register your animals online and tell NAIT which tags you’ve used. Farmers need to record and confirm all livestock movements within 48 hours of the animals going off-farm or arriving on farm. If you use an information provider, such as Minda or CRV Ambreed, to record

movements in the first instance, OSPRI recommends you check that the livestock movements have also been captured in NAIT. This is critical for effective traceability. Nita Harding Biosecurity vet to ensure all animals during grazing have had recommended If you’re sending vaccinations prior to calves to grazing, make leaving. sure they’re tagged and You’ll also want to registered, and that their discuss your expectamovements are recorded. tions with your grazier. To protect the calves’ It’s preferable for animals health while they’re from different farms to grazing, check with your


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The tried and true management aid; ram harnesses used at tupping is cheap insurance to check ewes are cycling and rams are working. With harnessed rams, mated ewes can be taken off high quality “flushing” feed and onto maintenance rations. They can also be used to NO MATE Teaser Harnesses are for use with MATINGMARK Harnesses to physically prevent mating. Rams can be temporarily made into teasers before being used for mating. Save on the cost of vasectomies and feed, and get the benefits of earlier and/or condensed lambing and higher lambing percentage*.

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Hoeing the line MARK DANIEL

AMAZONE HAS reintroduced mechanical hoes to its cultivation line-up, as part of its integrated “plant protection” offering. This follows the company’s acquisition of the Schmotzer Hacktechnik range – meaning it can now offer a comprehensive range of weed control options. Under this arrangement, Schmotzer will continue to manufacture, sell and service its implements under its own brand name. The company believes the concept of ‘plant protection’ in the future is going to mean a lot more than the application of chemicals, which are under enormous pressure from resistance and regulation. It says plant

protection will encompass how these chemicals are applied in combination with non-chemical control measures, such as cultivation, sowing, variety selection, crop rotation and management practices. “It’s not inconceivable that farmers will reintroduce light cultivation to their cropping program

to control volunteer grain crops and weeds in fallow or to incorporate heavy stubble,” says Amazone product manager Steve Gorman. He reckons another approach is to increase row spacing to allow for mechanical weeding or hoeing, between rows in the crop. “Hoeing can signif-

THAT’S A LOT OF DRILLS AMAZONE HAS recently reported the sale of its 250,000th seed drill, since the launch of its original two metre, D1 – back in 1947. Since that time, the company has passed several significant milestones. This includes the launch of the powerharrow mounted D4 in 1966 and the arrival of one of the world’s best-selling drills, the

D7 in 1972. The 100,000th drill was manufactured in 1984; leading the way for innovative solutions like the tyre packer and wedge ring rollers, introduced in 1988 and 1998 respectively. Amazone’s first pneumatic drill arrived on the scene 1995, which was followed by numerous models such as the Cirrus – a 3 to 6m unit that was launched in 2001.

icantly reduce spraying costs, kill resistant weeds, improve aeration and water absorption, as well as breaking capillary water drawing in soil, while also offering the opportunity to band spray or side dress fertiliser at the same time.” The Schmotzer portfolio includes a number of rear, front or midaxle mounted configurations in working widths up to 9 m and row widths from 16 cm to 200 cm. Its heavy-duty designs incorporate a singlerow hydraulic parallelogram unit; that accurately tracks ground contours such as steeply angled headlands or hilly terrain at speeds of up to 15 km/h – even in large working widths.


SUPPORT FOR RURAL YOUTH AND ADULT LITERACY THE NEW Zealand National Fieldays Society has made a donation to the Rural Youth and Adult Literacy Trust to help provide free tuition to isolated rural adults and teenagers who struggle with reading and writing. The $20,000 donation was made in recognition of the hours donated by the society’s members and volunteers during last year’s Fieldays and Equidays events. A cheque was presented at the Society’s annual dinner and awards evening, with trustees Jo Poland and Barry O’Donnell receiving the donation from Fieldays chief executive Peter Nation. “We are really proud to be supporting such an important cause by making this donation to the Rural Literacy Trust,” Nation said. “They provide great opportunities to our rural communities and we’re honoured to be

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able to help make this easier for them to do so. “Without the hard work of our overall team, the society would not be able to help our community as we do every year.” He added that supporting charitable activities has been the New Zealand National Fieldays Society’s vision. Each year it gives back to a variety of great causes through educational grants, research scholarships, charitable donations and various sponsorships. In 2019, a charitable activities committee was created within the society to involve the staff and volunteers in the decisions of where to allocate funds to support charities that are making a difference in the rural sector. The Rural Youth and Adult Literacy Trust were chosen as recipients for the 2019-20 season.

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Axial Flow combines updated for 2020 MARK DANIEL

CASE IH’S Axial-Flow 140 series combines – aimed at mid-sized farms and contracting businesses – have become the Axial-Flow 150 series for 2020. Said to utilise a design that uses simple, proven concepts; Axial-Flow principles work equally as well in mid-range machines as they do in the larger models, with the focus on a single

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bines’ can be specified with IF800/65 R32 tyres

to minimize ground pressure with a bigger footprint and benefit from an overall width that is under 3.5m. This allows the machines to still travel easily on narrow roads. Both 150 and 250 series machines can be specified with an LED lighting package with long distance and row finder lights. Deliveries of Axial-Flow 150 units will begin in March 2020. Upgrades for the previously launched

250 series combines is a feeder/elevator option with a higher lift capacity, enabling the easy handling of larger headers. At last year’s launch, the introduction of AFS Harvest Command™ automation; helped the operator by selecting preferences in areas such as grain loss, grain quality, constant throughput and maximum capacity. For 2020, improved initial settings are said to lead to increased work

rates and tonnages per hour, while the introduction of a new 24-inch, four roller suspended rubber track system – offering a 3.5m transport width. New for the 5150, 6150 and 7150 Axial-Flow combines are FPT Industrial engines meeting Stage II emissions regulations. These have respective rated power outputs of 278, 333 and 380hp. @rural_news

Wireless tech brings many benefits CASE IH owners will now able to make more informed farm management decisions – based on both realtime and historic data generated by their machines. This comes with the launch of AFS Connect, a subscription-based

telemetry package which integrates proven elements of Case IH Advanced Farming Systems technology to link fields, machines and data. AFS Connect features fleet and data management, allowing users to monitor and manipulate from any desktop or

smart device tablet using the mycaseih website and app. To use of the system, users need to arrange an AFS Connect subscription – which provides an unlock code and a modem. In the cab, AFS Connect works with the latest AFS 1200 operating

terminal. Once work is underway, the system allows the viewing of live data showing machine location and work completed. Additional information ensures the machines stay in designated areas, preventing mistakes, theft – as well as fuel monitoring.

The new AFS Connect System is due for release in New Zealand in early 2020, with the availability to be fitted to the Maxxum, Puma, Optum, Magnum, Steiger and Quadtrac tractors, and Axial-Flow combine ranges.

EXTREMELY VERSATILE & SIMPLE TO OPERATE The reason for having a telehandler is that it can do more. With a vast array of attachments, you can easily turn it into a crane, lift truck, aerial work platform, earth-moving machine or tractor. All Merlo machines have been designed for the most difficult situations and provide maximum reliability, aspects that are essential for working everyday in high demand environments. • • • • •

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26 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS / RURAL TRADER CLEVER HARVESTERS HELP ENSURE OUR DAILY FIX GIVEN THAT many people can’t face the day without a big slug of caffeine, its interesting to see where the black stuff comes from and how it is harvested. Global manufacturers sell specialised machines that we never see in New Zealand. Coffee is said to be the second most traded commodity in the world after crude oil: about half a trillion cups are consumed annually, made up of the two main varieties Arabica and Robusta.

Auto set-up increases productivity MARK DANIEL

JOHN DEERE’S new AutoSetup system will enable farmers and contractors to manage and store all their tractor and implement settings in the cloud. In operation, users can retrieve their preferred settings when they enter a paddock. This removes the need for lengthy machine set-ups, and field-specific settings only need to be inputted once. Typically, complete tractor and implement combination setups can be time consuming and need skilled operators. For example, complex planting machinery may require up to 60 display clicks

to build an operating sequence, which can mean a loss of productive working time. The John Deere AutoSetup allows the operator to activate all settings with one click once the complete the machine’s profiles are stored. The pre-planned job then appears automatically on the cab display when the machine enters a field, and the operator need only confirm the details. AutoSetup supports tractor settings such as PTO speed, hitch and hydraulic valves. It also does implement settings such as sprayer boom height and nozzle selection or slurry tanker tyre pressures. It handles agronomic data such as field boundaries,

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

guidance lines and application maps (ISO-XML is supported via the John Deere Operations Centre), and documentation data such as fertiliser and crop protection applications. AutoSetup also supports farm and fleet managers by allowing them to organise all jobs in advance. This covers things such as application rates, maps and all tractor and implement settings. If required, the operator in the field can change settings and adapt them to working conditions. Due to the open system architecture and cloud database, all ISOBUS-compatible implements can also be connected to AutoSetup. The system currently sup-

ports Kotte slurry tankers and John Deere trailed sprayers but other implements can easily be adapted. All data is also available in the John Deere Operations Centre web portal, and so can be used for an entire machinery fleet. The data is stored in a cloud-based system, which is a new feature in the agricultural industry. AutoSetup will be available on selected John Deere tractors in the second half of 2020 and can be retrofitted to models equipped with the latest Generation 4 display. Both the software update required for the retrofit system and reference to the John Deere Operations Centre are free.


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Coffee is produced in over 70 countries, with the five main producers being Brazil, Vietnam, Columbia, Indonesia and Honduras. The biggest producer, Brazil, had 2016 output of 2.6 million tonnes grown on 2.7 million hectares. Interestingly, NZ is the number one country for instant coffee consumption per capita -- at least 70%. NZ also lays claim to David Strang of Invercargill having invented instant coffee in 1889, when he applied for a patent for his soluble coffee powder. Among the harvester makers, Case IH is a big player with its Coffee Express 200 Multi self-propelled machine powered by a relatively small, 3-cylinder MWM engine producing 55hp. The machine has a hydrostatically driven line that allows harvesting speeds of 0.4 to 2.0 km/hr and it deals with crops up to 3.9m tall. In operation, a pair of slowly rotating rollers carry around 1250 fingers that gently remove -- with the assistance of vibration -- the coffee cherries from the plants. Harvested berries are moved via horizontal augers equipped with blowers to remove leaf matter. The berries are then carried by a chain and flight conveyor to a discharge elevator or to the optional 2000L holding hopper. – Mark Daniel


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Profile for Rural News Group

Rural News 14 January 2020  

Every issue of Rural News has the latest news, market updates, animal health developments, management profiles, machinery news and no-nonsen...

Rural News 14 January 2020  

Every issue of Rural News has the latest news, market updates, animal health developments, management profiles, machinery news and no-nonsen...