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NEWS

ANIMAL HEALTH

Couple put faith in raw milk to save farm. PAGE 16

Ensuring cows are ok to transport. PAGE 34

EAST C0AST FARMING EXPO Expo promises top-class speakers. PAGE 27

RURAL NEWS HEADER SECTION (ESTIMATE SIZE)

TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS FEBRUARY 11, 2020: ISSUE 694 

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NEWS

ANIMAL HEALTH

Couple put faith in raw milk to save farm. PAGE 16

Ensuring cows are ok to transport. PAGE 34

EAST C0AST FARMING EXPO Expo promises top-class speakers. PAGE 27

TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS FEBRUARY 11, 2020: ISSUE 694 

www.ruralnews.co.nz

Still got to eat!

IMPACT UNCLEAR PETER BURKE

PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

MEAT INDUSTRY Association (MIA) chair John Loughlin says despite the fears about the coronavirus, China still needs to eat. “It’s a question of how they will buy their food and how will the distribution channels will be affected,” he told Rural News. “As I am reading it, restaurant sales will be down and it’ll affect some product lines, but retail sales will continue and home delivery will boom. “Online sales in China are bigger than anywhere else in the world and I would guess that home delivery will be the way that people get their food with minimal contact with other people and

risk of infection.” Loughlin says, from a NZ perspective, it will depend to a large degree on the circumstances of the individual companies, who their partners are and what their channels to the consumer are. Meat processor Silver Fern Farms (SFF) says it’s closely monitoring the situation in China. Chief executive Simon Limmer told Rural News that businesses, ports

and government departments remain operating at restricted capacity. He says people are still under movement restrictions and in many cases cannot get to work, or back home, potentially for at least until February 9. “Road transport through to our customers, and from their facilities to retail outlets, is a potential pinch point. This will be having an impact on both retail supermarket and food service sales in restaurants. Though the extent

Harvest underway David Clark gets to work on a 6ha seed pea crop on Peter Reveley’s farm near Mount Somers. It was among the first harvesting jobs of what is expected to be a busy season for Clark, who is the Mid Canterbury provincial Federated Farmers president and runs a large and varied livestock and cropping business at nearby Valetta. Reveley was pleased with a yield well over 3t/ha, although the crop, planted in mid-September in an unirrigated paddock “could’ve done with a couple more showers.” Reveley praised Clark’s ability to get “every last pea” by always running in one direction, into the prevailing nor-wester and against the lie of the dry plants, whereas some contractors would take the short cut of running up and down. RURAL NEWS GROUP. – Stubble burn page 15

of this disruption is not yet known.” Limmer says SFF have resolved some early challenges in dealing with the coronavirus crisis – especially around balancing cold storage and processing capacity. He says by making some changes to their market mix, albeit at lower market returns, they have got back on track with processing volumes. Limmer says SFF has a good market split across TO PAGE 3

peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

IT’S STILL unclear just how much the outbreak of coronavirus in China will affect New Zealand exports to that country. China is NZ’s single largest market for our total primary exports and the number one for dairy, meat and wool, seafood and forestry. It is also high on the list for horticulture. While there is no formal ban on our exports to China, the fact that the country is in lockdown is creating problems with distributing goods with many workers staying at home or facing restricted movement to do their work. NZ Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) has set up a special section on its website, which is regularly updated. It anticipates ongoing disruption to business for at least a fortnight, as Chinese local government agencies encourage staff to stay at home. Meanwhile, market analysts AgriHQ say farmers are being stuck with stock because factors beyond their control are conspiring against them. It says record high farmgate prices in November and early December prompted many farmers to hold stock for longer than usual. “Unfortunately, coronavirus came to a head when the market was expected to start picking up and consumption has collapsed.”

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

NEWS 3 ISSUE 694

www.ruralnews.co.nz

Virus infects dairy down for the same month in 2018, according to its monthly global dairy sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz update. DEMAND FOR dairy products in Season to date collection was over 909m kgMS, 0.5% down on the previChina hangs on what further steps the ous season. Chinese Government takes to stem the North Island milk collection in spread of coronavirus. December was 106.4 million kgMS, Westpac market strategist Imre down 2.5% on last December. Season to Speizer says there are risks to neardate collection was 564 million term demand which could be kgMS, down affected by coronavirus devel0.4% on opments. last season. The steps Fonterra that China has says Decemtaken to conber weather tain the outhad some break – such as impact on extending the pasture qualLunar New Year ity in some holiday period, northern and limiting the regions, howmovements of Whole milk powder prices were down 6.2% in last week’s GDT on the back of coronavirus. ever grazing people – has kept “Moreover, whole milk powder crops are doing well, and cow condimany factories closed. Speizer told Rural News has meant futures prices had been falling since tion remain very good. South Island milk collection in less demand for their inputs, including late January. It was unsurprising, then, that last week’s GDT auction followed December was 77  million kgMS, up milk powder. 2.2% on last December. Season to date “These disruptions might prove to suit.” The forecast milk price also hinges collection was 345 million kgMS, down be short-lived, but that depends on what further steps the government on supply coming out of New Zea- 0.6% on last season. “Favourable weather conditions might take to contain the spread of land: persistently dry conditions in the upper North Island and eastern South across Canterbury continued, allowthe virus.” Last week, global prices tumbled; Island could see milk production fall ing for excellent pasture growth rates,” whole milk powder price dropped 6.2% short of what the market is expecting. it says. Westpac is still maintaining its Fonterra figures show in Decemto hover just above the US$3000/MT ber 2019, the co-op collected 184 mil- $7.40/kgMS forecast milk price for Fonmark. Speizer says the obvious explana- lion kgMS from farmer suppliers: 0.6% terra suppliers. SUDESH KISSUN

NEWS��������������������������������������1-21 MARKETS��������������������������22-23 AGRIBUSINESS�������������� 24-25 HOUND, EDNA���������������������� 26 CONTACTS����������������������������� 26 OPINION��������������������������� 26-29 MANAGEMENT�������������� 30-33 ANIMAL HEALTH����������� 34-35 MACHINERY AND PRODUCTS���������������������� 36-39 RURAL TRADER�������������39-40

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tion for last week’s decline is uncertainty regarding the coronavirus outbreak. “Financial markets have been reacting to those developments for around two weeks, with global equities, interest rates, industrial commodities and risky currencies falling sharply,” he says.

Published by: Rural News Group Printed by: Ovato Print CONTACTS Editorial: editor@ruralnews.co.nz Advertising material: davef@ruralnews.co.nz Rural News online: www.ruralnews.co.nz Subscriptions: subsrndn@ruralnews.co.nz ABC audited circulation 79,553 as at 31.03.2019

Still got to eat! FROM PAGE 1

much of the carcase for lamb and beef that give it alternative options to they can deal with situations like this. “The changes enabled us to process our forecast levels for mutton – which was a good outcome last week. We have marketed mutton well to China and it is the most valuable

global market for mutton,” he adds. “Demand, and the high prices paid for the product, is invaluable to our industry. We have options for managing near-term mutton production so we can continue processing farmers’ stock.” Meanwhile, Limmer says SFF is aware of the extremely dry seasonal conditions facing many of its sup-

pliers. He says its livestock team are looking after farmers to ensure they can manage feed situations and the company is running overtime across the majority of it plants to assist in getting stock away. “The coronavirus outbreak is a dynamic and changing situation and we will continue to assess our options daily,” he says.

ZESPRI ZHUSES-UP BRANDING KIWIFRUIT MARKETER Zespri has renewed its branding, which includes some minor changes to its familiar logo. The new Zespri brand – the first time in its 22 years history – was revealed at the world’s leading fresh produce exhibition, Berlin Fruit Logistica. Chief growth officer Jiunn Shih says the refresh includes a new brand vision, a new brand tagline and a new visual identity. He says the NZ kiwifruit industry has invested significantly in developing the Zespri brand and the refresh was designed to position the company for its next phase of growth. “We see evidence that consumers today are making more considered purchasing decisions and looking for brands that have a purpose and set of values that they can personally identify with,” he says. “We’re confident that our new brand will resonate not only with our loyal fans, but pique the interest of new ones, helping differentiate Zespri in the fresh produce market so that we can continue to grow our share of the global fruit bowl.” Shih says the refreshed brand also recognises the fact that consumers are increasingly health conscious, looking for snacking options that are healthy, tasty and natural. “To celebrate the importance of being healthy, we’ve introduced a new tagline, empowering our people to ‘make your healthy irresistible’.” The new brand will be progressively rolled out across packaging and collateral and enter markets from May 2020. Zespri says it is set to make its biggest ever investment in marketing in 2020 to ensure a strong brand impact and reach as many consumers as possible.


RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

4 NEWS

Don’t force farms into forests SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

FARMERS ARE warning that the Government’s proposed reforms to the Emissions Trading Scheme could accelerate conversion of productive pasture land into forestry. In recent submissions to the parliamentary select committee on environment, Federated Farmers, Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) and the Meat Industry Association (MIA) expressed grave concerns. The farmer lobbies point out that a lack of any restriction on how much carbon dioxide can be offset using forestry carbon credits and the lack of any robust analysis of socio-economic impacts of the ETS amendment bill will be damaging to farming. BLNZ general manager policy & advocacy Dave Harrison says with no cap on how much carbon dioxide can be offset through the ETS and the removal of the $25 carbon price cap would only lead to productive pasture land being replaced with forestry. This would allow fossil fuel emitters to get away with none of the emissions reductions that are required to combat climate change, says Harrison. “Restrictions must be placed on the amount of carbon dioxide that can be offset through the ETS in order to achieve New Zealand’s long-term climate change objectives and commitments and to ensure the social,

Beef + Lamb NZ’s Dave Harrison.

economic, and environmental wellbeing of our rural communities.” Issues around the potential blanket afforestation of sheep and beef farms were highlighted in a report by rural consultancy firm BakerAg. The study, commissioned by B+LNZ, modelled the likely impacts on Wairoa and showed that blanket forestry would see one in five jobs lost in the town with a significant reduction in economic activity. The ETS has been in place now for over a decade and has been unsuccessful at reducing gross emissions from fossil fuels, says Harrison. The Meat Industry Association, which represents New Zealand’s larg-

est manufacturing sector, says the proposals will have a significant impact on the economies of rural communities across New Zealand. It notes that even a relatively small reductions in the amount of livestock being sent to processing sites of between 10-15% will likely lead to a number of plant closures and significant job losses in small towns. MIA chief executive, Tim Ritchie says small towns rely on meat processing plant for jobs. He lamented the Government’s failure to look at the impact of ETS reforms on small communities. “It’s concerning that the Government hasn’t carried out the type of economic, social,

and land-use change analysis, consistent with what’s required of the new Climate Change Commission under the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Act, so that it’s able to make a fully informed decision about what it’s proposing. “The unintended consequences of poorly designed legislation like this could have devastating impacts on rural New Zealand. “The lack of modelling on likely carbon credit prices over time will also constrain the ability of meat processing companies to plan the type of investment needed to ensure New Zealand’s red meat sector remains competitive on the global stage.”

IT’S NOT ALL BAD FARMERS ARE not rejecting every amendment proposed by the Government. They welcome the use of the ETS reform bill to introduce the Primary Sector Climate Change Commitment - He Waka Eke Noa - into law. Federated Farmers vice president Andrew Hoggard says this recognises the unique nature of biological agricultural emissions and the unsuitability of the ETS for agriculture. “This sector-driven commitment aims to further lower the world-leading low emissions footprint of New Zealand farmers and to begin recognising the large amount of carbon sequestration already underway on farms throughout the country. “The ETS is currently set up to simply reward large scale blanket afforestation and there needs to be adjustments to the scheme to better recognise the integration of trees and other forms of carbon storage underway on farms.” Farmers are supportive of forestry, especially native forests, being integrated as part of their diverse farming systems, he says. “However, we are concerned about policies that are effectively promoting blanket plantation forestry that would threaten regional New Zealand and have significant flow on effects for the wider New Zealand economy.”

A sea of yellow IT’S HARD to miss the stunning surge of yellow in paddocks full of sunflowers on State Highway 1 – just south of Timaru. The striking crop entices many tourists – and the odd local – every day to stop and take the ubiquitous ‘selfie’ of them standing in the crop It’s been grown by well-known South Canterbury arable farmer Warren Darling. He has a sunflower in crop this year – along with canola, which also earlier in the season produced a sunny yellow display when in flower, as well as

wheat and barley and other crops. Sunflowers take around 120 days from planting to harvest, which means the combines will be pulling into the crop sometime in March. Darling has had only one major issue with the sunflower crop this season – major hail damage in November – wiping out about 20% of the crop as it was coming through. Harvested seed from the sunflower blooms will be pressed and oil extracted by Rolleston-based Pure Oil New Zealand Ltd. The company has other

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

NEWS 5

Sticky times for small beekeepers PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

SMALLER BEEKEEPER operations are struggling with non-manuka honey returns falling from $10$12/kg two years ago to about $4/kg this year. And some beekeepers may go broke. “The Government must cut red tape costs for beekeepers,” says Jane Lorimer, NZ Beekeeping president. Fuel costs have gone up, insurances have gone up and compliance costs have doubled, she told Rural News. “We have gone from only an annual audit through our food premises to every six months. That has virtually doubled our compliance costs.” Lorimer did an exercise on her own business. “Insurance and the like are only 1.5% of our costs. But compliance costs are 3.3%.” Most beekeepers are complying with everything they need to, she says. “Honey is a safe product. We have always wondered why change it from an annual audit to six monthly when everyone is complying. “That changed about two years, ago but when we had high honey prices it didn’t matter too much. “Now the pinch has come and we need to try and cut costs in every way. “A twice yearly audit is really stressful on beekeepers. Anyone who gets

audited says it is always a really stressful time and it always comes at our busiest time. Most of us do all the work. We look after the bees, we extract our honey, we clean the premises; we do everything. We do all the

the squeeze on them. “We need to get more honey exported but that is generally a fairly slow process. Or change consumer demand.” It is more of a struggle for those who don’t produce any manuka.

“Honey is a safe product. We have always wondered why change it from an annual audit to six monthly when everyone is complying.” paperwork. So it is really stressful.” NZ Beekeeping has been lobbying the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) for over a year to cut back the bee audit, but to no avail, Lorimer says. “They say they will look at it but there is never a timeline, there is never any commitment to do it. “They are saying again they are going to look at thing this year, but again I wonder when we will get some commitment and in the meantime some beekeepers will go broke.” With the new season they are making inquiries with packers and exporters about this year’s price for honey. “Some are saying they are not buying honey at all this year. There has been an oversupply and not enough is being consumed domestically or exported.” Lorimer also says supermarkets are putting

“Part of the problem could be the MPI manuka definition. My understanding is there is not a lot of confidence in that definition offshore so it is a wait and see. We can’t get them to budge on that either. “We are pushing to get more science done and get a reasonable definition in place. But now it is definitely favouring some areas of New Zealand for manuka production and others are missing out. “What has been really good manuka honey is no longer classed as manuka honey. “That’s part of the problem. More kilos of honey have to be sold as blush or blends at a lower price.” New Zealand Food Safety, MPI, deputy director general Bryan Wilson says they are aware of the impacts that low market prices are having on honey producers and have met with industry stakeholders to under-

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Smaller beekeeper operations are struggling with low returns for non-manuka honey.

stand their concerns around compliance costs. He says MPI is already working with industry stakeholders to review the checks required for export operations to identify options for minimising costs. “This is a priority for us,” he says. “To achieve the best outcomes for the industry it is important that we hear from a variety of stakeholders to ensure that options put forward really do reduce cost for all those involved. The timing of the work will be impacted by the availability of key stakeholders, but if viable changes are identified, these will be put in place as soon as possible.” @rural_news

SUPERMARKETS PUTTING THE SQUEEZE ON SUPERMARKETS HAVE put the squeeze on beekeepers who supply them, Lorimer claims. They have cut the price paid to suppliers, but haven’t cut the price on the shop shelf. So consumers still see honey as really expensive. “We have cut back but the supermarkets are making more money out of their product. We definitely had the squeeze put on us ‘drop your price or you are out’.” Head of corporate affairs, Foodstuffs NZ, Antoinette Laird, told Rural News there is currently an over-supply of nonmanuka honey varieties in the market which has softened retail prices. “This is great for shoppers who benefit as honey prices drop - but we do recognise this common supply and demand outcome challenges the supplier community,” she says.   “Last year 500g of Pams Clover

Creamed Honey retailed at $12.49 and today costs $6.99 at New World, while Airborne Honey Liquid 500g, which retailed $12.19 in 2019 is now on-shelf at $7.99 – making New Zealand produced honey a very affordable option for more of our customers.” A Countdown supermarket spokesperson told Rural News the price of honey spiked a couple of years ago and it’s now coming back down due to the changed manuka regulations and an over-supply of clover and blended honeys. “Our honey prices have dropped about 15% in the last year. Previously the high honey prices meant it was becoming too expensive for customers to choose honey as a spread or ingredient, but we’re starting to see honey sales pick up again now that it’s more affordable for customers.”

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

6 NEWS

Rain needed in Northland SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

LIKE MANY farmers in North Island, Dargaville kumara farmer Andre de Bruin is hoping for rain soon. With 40 hectares of kumara crop under the ground, he remains hopeful. “It depends on how long the dry weather lasts,” he told Rural News. “As long as the dry doesn’t get too severe and kill the plants, we should be okay.” De Bruin, who is also chairman of Vegetables NZ, hosted Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor on his farm recently. O’Connor toured a paddock planted two months ago. De Bruin says it’s hard to say how the dry weather will affect this year’s crop. “We will only find out during the harvest,” he says. Kumara is planted around November and December in Dargaville; from planting it takes about 120 days to harvest. Some of the crop is transported directly to markets around the country; the remainder kept in storage for supply throughout the year.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor visiting Andre De Bruin’s kumara farm in Dargaville earlier this month.

De Bruin says while his farm is very dry, other farmers in Dargaville are better placed: some have had rain and some access to irrigation. O’Connor, who spent a day in Northland, says ground conditions across the region are varied. He praised the resilience of farmers, saying good farmers are more prepared for such climatic events. “Most farmers have got it... they need to be more prepared in future

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for disruptive events.” O’Connor says mixed farming models will help farmers not only diversify their income but provide buffer to their incomes during droughts and floods. On the possibility of a drought being declared in Northland, O’Connor says his department is working with Federated Farmers and Rural Support Trust with “a set formula”.

“We must not overreact and too quickly declare a drought: building reputation around an area for being unreliable as a farming block,” he says. “There are downsides to declaration of a drought: such areas can be seen as losing the ability to farm sustainably and this can impact land values.” O’Connor also visited dairy farmer Scott Taylor at Tangiteroria, midway Whangarei and Dargaville. Taylor says milk production is falling behind, compared to last season as farmers are drying off early. On his farm in Taylor has dried off cows that would be calving in autumn: he’s done this a few weeks earlier than usual. “Day after day of 25 to 30 degrees with no rain, no grass growth, it’s a no-brainer,” he told Rural News. “We need rain soon to ease the pressure, if not things are going to get quite difficult.” Taylor is still milking 230 cows once-a-day; feeding them turnips, grass silage and palm kernel expeller (PKE). @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

A DRY ARGUMENT THE DRY in Northland an “enormous worry” and is at a stage where an adverse event needs to be declared, says Horticulture NZ chief executive Mike Chapman “Around the rest of the country particMike Chapman ularly around the East Coast it is getting particularly dry,” he says “But of course the bottom of the South Island is getting an incredible amount of rain. Places like the Bay of Plenty are drying out; there’s been no decent rain there for some time.   “Hawkes Bay has been a mixed bag in terms of rain. We are facing dry conditions across the country except for way down the bottom of the South Island which is getting too much water.   “Wellington, not so much Wairarapa, has been relative the wet but the rest of the country hasn’t.”


RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

NEWS 7

Brexit offers more uncertainty PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

BREXIT BUYS us more time, but it is still an uncertain time! That’s the view of the Meat Industry Association (MIA) boss Tim Ritchie, to the fact that Britain and the European Union (EU) have finally parted company and now have 12 months to agree on a new trading relationship. For New Zealand, the next 12 months of trade talks between Britain and the EU will be crucial. If by chance a deal isn’t worked out it could spell disaster in many different ways for the NZ meat industry, according to Ritchie. He points out that about 30% of the lamb that is produced in the UK is exported to France in carcase form. Ritchie told Rural News that if a trade deal between the UK and the EU was not reached; then that lamb would face very high tariffs and it’s likely that it would remain in Britain and lead to an oversupply of product. “That would affect the whole dynamics of the market and put

MIA chief executive Tim Ritchie.

NZ in a position where we would have to re-evaluate our shipments of lamb to the UK,” he explained. “We are worried because Britain is the best market for us in terms of lamb legs. There is nowhere else in the world that will pay that sort of money for that volume, so if that market was diminished, that product would have to go somewhere else and suffer a drop in revenue. That is the problem and so is the uncer-

tainty.” To add to the problem, Britain doesn’t have the same flexibility in further processing meat as NZ does – which means that there are few markets in the world who would import carcasses of lamb. Ritchie says last year lamb shipments to the UK were down by about 22 percent on the previous year and receipts from that market were down by about 19%. He says this was, in part, due to

the industry taking a very cautious approach to the market given the uncertainty. Ritchie says the other problem facing NZ if there is no deal says is the issue of shipping. Shipping to Europe is slower than it used to be with the system of sending containers to large hubs, such as Singapore, and then transhipping them on to their final destinations. He says ships operate on very tight schedules like airlines and if a ship is late and misses its time slot it either has to wait or more likely move on to its next destination. Ritchie says shipping times are critical because much of our product is chilled and any delays affect shelf life. NZ exports could be badly affected if, for example, product destined for the UK missed an unloading slot and the ship was unloaded at the next destination, which was Europe, and this would pose enormous problems. “There is no way you could get it back if there was a hard Brexit,” he says.

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IT’S NOT ALL BAD WHILE BREXIT is fundamentally bad for NZ, there are upsides, according to Tim Ritchie. It stems back 47 years, when Britain entered the EEC as it was then. Post WWII and into the early 1970’s a large chunk of NZ meat exports, mainly in frozen carcase form went to the UK. But with Britain’s entry into the EU, we were forced to diversify our markets and focus on further processing meat in NZ to improve returns. “The beauty of the current agreements is that we export to the UK the bits of the animal that they want most,” Ritchie told Rural News. “They want the legs for roasting because their farmers can’t produce enough of that particular cut. They don’t want the breast or flap – so we can send these to countries that value these cuts such as China. What we are doing now is breaking down the carcase into cuts in NZ and selling these to countries where we can get the best return. Our aim is to create a commercial tension to get markets to bid for our products.” Ritchie says UK trade officials are very much focused on putting together a deal with the EU. He says while negotiations between NZ and the EU on an FTA are progressing, he wouldn’t be surprised to see some slippage in terms of concluding a deal given the pressure to sort out the UK/EU situation. Ritchie says beyond Brexit, NZ will look to new markets such as India for sheepmeat and Indonesia for beef.

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

8 NEWS

Hort NZ resets its priorities PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

PEOPLE, CLIMATE, water and sustainability are top of the list for Horticulture NZ’s strategy refresh due to be signed off by its board this week. Trade is no longer an emphasis. It is still obviously a top priority for the industry, says HortNZ’s chief executive Mike Chapman, but the companies are doing it themselves.

“What didn’t change was obviously our vision ‘Healthy food for all, forever’ which we put in place in 2016 and it’s been a really good vision,” he told Rural News. “We use it a lot and it encapsulates everything we stand for in healthy food and sustainability. “What has changed is our priorities. Everyone is expecting this to be a tough year. I don’t mean in the political sense. It is about the challenges that

we as a food and fibre sector are facing and horticulture is part of that. Those include working on climate change, freshwater, farm environment plans and people. An enormous amount of resource management work is required for the freshwater reforms, he says. It became apparent last year that a strategy refresh was required when they looked at what needed to happen this year. “We did really need

Hort NZ chief executive Mike Chapman.

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to look at our priorities, be clear about them and put a lot of effort and time into establishing those priorities.  Sustainability, climate and water are right up there. “That is where our future is in terms of ‘forever’ and our vision. If we are going to be ‘forever’ we will have to be sustainable. To be sustainable we will have to work in all these areas.”  Another aspect of priorities is keeping policy work running with government. “It doesn’t matter who government is there are always policy initiatives and we need to keep working on those.  “That is a very strong aspect of HortNZ work – focusing on what Government is working on, where  policies affect our growers and how we can

make them the best possible. “That is so we can achieve what government wants but it is tenable for our growers to continue growing.” Chapman says the emphasis is coming off trade is because organisations like Apples and Pears and Zespri do the trade aspect. “We decided with these really strong sustainability challenges coming emphasis should be less on trade and more on what we are skilled at. We don’t do offshore work so for us so trade didn’t make a lot of sense. “That freed up some resource which we can use to make all this work better.  We will still coordinate visits to New Zealand and things like that,

but we won’t be involved in trade policy because the industry is doing it itself.” They wouldn’t turn down trade work if asked, but would probably do it as a contract. “We are not maintaining that speciality at present mainly because we with the resource we’ve got we need to really focus on the other issues.” Chapman says HortNZ has been working on the strategy refresh with the industry for a year. “We have taken it round all our affiliated groups, we have talked to people, and we have had a lot of really good feedback. “There has been no negative feedback at all. “People really appreciate that we are focus-

ing on really important things where we as HortNZ can actually make some difference. So that has been a strong feedback point.” He anticipated it would be signed off at this week’s board meeting, but if anyone comes up with some better ideas it can be changed later. “What I am now doing is the implementation plan and putting together some key performance indicators (KPIs) for each of those priorities that we can report to the AGM.  “For me it’s really important to focus the organisation onto those sustainability priorities, the people priorities and making sure we are doing really good policy work here in Wellington.  “That’s where we can make a difference.”

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

NEWS 9

Golden Shears to be a diamond event Golden Shears to come along and experience something new,” he says. Morrison says reaching 60 years is “pretty extraordinary”. He says Golden Shears has been the catalyst for competitive shearing world-wide. “The fact that the event continues to be so successful is testament to the support of local businesses and also an army of volunteers.” Day one of the 2020 programme is largely centred around the lower tier of competition, featuring novice, junior and college divisions and covering both shearing and woolhandling. The competition cranks up on Thurs-

day when the next tier of shearers take the limelight including blade shearing. Momentum continues to build on Friday when the “Open Shearing Top 30” take the stand, plus wool pressing NUF0341_CRU_WEEDS

THIS YEAR, the Golden Shears will celebrate 60 years as the self-proclaimed world’s premier shearing and wool handling championship. To mark its diamond anniversary, organisers are giving free entry on the first day of the event. An extra day has been added to the 2020 programme, which runs from noon Wednesday to Saturday, 4-7 March, in Masterton. Golden Shears spokesperson Philip Morrison says the afternoon and evening sessions on the opening day entry will be free. “It’s a great opportunity for people who might not know much about

and New Zealand versus Australia woolhandling. On Saturday the action reaches fever pitch with finals and Trans-Tasman Tests. More: www.goldenshears.co.nz

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MORE FREE TRADE WELCOMED MOVES BY the Cairns Group of agricultural exporting nations, calling for more freeing up of trade and reducing agricultural subsidies, has won praise from NZ farmers. The Cairns Group includes NZ, Australia, Argentina, Brazil and Canada to name a few. It first met in the Australian city of Cairns in 1986 and has been strong advocates of reducing agricultural subsidies, which it says distort international trade. Recently the group met in Davos in Switzerland and again called for reforms in the World Trade Organisation (WTO). It wants, at least, to halve all forms of trade and production distorting agricultural subsidy entitlements by 2030. Chairman of the Dairy Companies Association of NZ (DCANZ) Malcolm Bailey says he’s delighted to see the Cairns Group take the initiative in calling for further reforms to reduce the subsidisation of agricultural production. Bailey says dairy is one of the more affected and that world trade barriers against dairy production are the highest of any of the areas. He says these barriers are designed to sustain what happens in countries where they are highly subsidised. Bailey says such policies often lead to periods of lower prices on the world market. “We need countries like those in the Cairns Group to come together and provide something of game changer to get things going again,” he says. “Let’s not forget just how these domestic subsidies impact on the prices we receive as an efficient exporter and the negative impact this has on our country and its farmers.” Bailey concedes there is no guarantee that the Cairns Group will make progress with the WTO, but says it is important to keep the pressure on the hope that one day changes will be made. Federated Farmers president Katie Milne is right behind the Cairns Group initiative. She says NZ farmers are positive proof that reducing domestic subsidies drives innovation and food production efficiency.

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

10 NEWS

No ‘Moore’ one liners from former PM Rural News Group senior journalist Peter Burke recollects the life and work of ‘unforgettable’ former Prime Minister Mike Moore. THE RECENT death of Mike Moore has rightly drawn a raft of eulogies about his achievements from across the political spectrum and the community. He was an extraordinary politician and individual. History will surely remember him as one of the country’s greatest politicians of all time. Moore’s actions and words defined the true values of the original labour movement in New Zealand. A genuine working class man who came through a challenging childhood, limited formal education and through his raw intelligence, hard

work and love of people rose to become the leader of one world’s most powerful organisations – the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Not to mention his own achievements within the Labour party and his appointment as NZ Ambassador to the United States He was a forward thinker, bubbling with ideas and enthusiasm – an unpretentious individual who had little time pernickety officials. I was reliably informed that in his days as a minister, he had a rubber stamp made up with one word on it – bullshit. This stamp was applied to any paper

from a department that he couldn’t understand or felt was worthless. As a journalist in the 1980s I travelled with Moore, and wife Yvonne, on an ASEAN trade mission where he somehow purloined the RNZAF’s VIP aircraft and took 100 business people and officials and four journalists on a three week tour of ASEAN nations. He ignored the business class seats at the front of the aircraft provided for him and sat

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with members of the trade delegation, getting to know them and their needs and finding out just what he could do to help them. Moore was like a perpetual tornado and the hours he worked on that trip were horrendous. I can recall getting a call just after midnight on one occasion and being asked by him if I’d like a beer. I remember leaving his room at 1.30am and then meeting him the next morning at 6.00am for breakfast. He apparently did this every night – no wonder he had ‘panda eyes’. He also persuaded me, to the horror of his officials to sing ‘Danny Boy’ on St Patrick’s Day at a huge reception in, of all places, Bangkok. He took with him on that trip gourmet chef, Otto Groen who showcased NZ food at the large receptions held in every country. Groen also devised the infamous

lamb burger and something called a chalmbar – which consisted of lamb and various greens tucked into a pita bread – dishes which Moore promoted with vigour and enthusiasm. He had a wicked sense of humour and was a sharp debater in parliament. He was a journalist dream, always full of news stories, laced with some delightful ‘one liners’. But the serious side of Moore was his unending quest to work for his country and its people. He was a man pledged to what he called ‘economic justice’ progressive in terms of trade and business, yet personally conservative – just like the original founders of the Labour Party. He had no time for the trappings of office, just time for his country and wife Yvonne. It’s hard to describe such a complex yet simple person as Mike Moore – perhaps the words of Nat King Cole will resonate – ‘Unforgettable’!

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

NEWS 11

A2 donates to find coronavirus vaccine PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

THE A2 Milk Company is donating to the Shanghai Red Cross and to Australian researchers playing a lead part in trying to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus. The NZX listed company has also announced other initiatives to support Chinese families affected by the impact of coronavirus in China. The company says with its strategic partner in China, China State Farm Holding Shanghai (China State Farm), it has been closely monitoring the situation in China over recent weeks. The company will donate $1.1 million (5 million RMB) to Shanghai Red Cross to help and support the areas and people seriously affected by coronavirus. It will also donate the same amount worth of a2 Milk dairy products. China State Farm is assisting with the dispatch of these products to front line medical teams and families affected by coronavirus.

A2 Milk has also pledged to contribute up to $1 million to independent researchers in Australia who are playing a leading role in the international effort to develop a vaccine for the virus. The a2 Milk Company is in discussion with The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (a joint venture of the University of Melbourne and Royal Melbourne Hospital) to contribute to their research into the 2019 novel coronavirus, including vaccine development. The company is also in discussion with a second internationally recognised Australian university. The a2 Milk Company chief executive, Geoffrey Babidge, says the company is working closely with local partner, China State Farm, on how they can assist with the distribution of their products to consumers in affected areas, and how they can best provide humanitarian assistance to Chinese citizens at this time. “We have also taken measures to ensure all our staff in China are as

OZ AG MIN SHOT TO PIECES THE SHORT tenure of Australia’s first female Agriculture Minister is over. Bridget McKenzie, a Senator representing Victoria, last week resigned from Cabinet and as deputy leader of the National Party over the allocation of sports grants before the last general elections. She was appointed Agriculture Minister following the Liberal/National Coalition winning the 2019 general election. Before the election she served Bridget McKenzie as Sports Minister and oversaw a community sports infrastructure program. A scathing auditor general’s report into the programme found that McKenzie skewed grants towards seats marginally held by the Coalition. After weeks of hanging onto her ministerial portfolio, she resigned for breaching ministerial standards: by failing to manage a conflict of interest when she gave a $36,000 grant to the Wangaratta gun club of which she was a member. She also gave money to a shooting association of which she was a member. McKenzie has been replaced as deputy National leader by David Littleproud, a former Agriculture Minister. He is tipped to return to the agriculture role. – Sudesh Kissun

safe as possible and are taking the necessary precautions to reduce the chance of contracting the virus,” he says. “The company is working to ensure all of

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

12 NEWS

Fruit fly battle won PAM TIPA pamelta@ruralnews.co.nz

THE QUEENSLAND fruit fly operation in the Auckland suburb of Northcote has cost about $18 million, the Ministry for Primary Industries has confirmed. It’s the second fully costshared biosecurity response under the Government Industry Agreement and Biosecurity NZ says the horticulture industry

has been a huge contributor to the effectiveness of the operation. The operation has been a collaborative effort between Biosecurity NZ, horticulture industry partners, AsureQuality (MPI’s operations provider), a number of local authorities, and the community. The year-long operation was triggered by the discovery of a fruit fly in a surveillance trap in the area last February. The oper-

ation has now ended and restrictions lifted on the movement of fruit and vegetables in the area. Biosecurity NZ has declared New Zealand is free of the Queensland fruit fly. Spokesperson Cath Duthie says it has been six months since a fly was last trapped in the area. An intensive baiting programme throughout the spring and the inspection of hundreds of kilos of fruit without a find, has given

the organisation confidence there is currently no breeding population of the Queensland fruit fly in Northcote. Biosecurity minister Damien O’Connor says getting to this point wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the North Shore community. Duthie says nationwide routine surveillance will continue with its system of 7,800 fruit fly traps spread across the country.

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Passionate about young people finding their place THE NEW independent director for Young Farmers Catherine McMillan is passionate about seeing young people find their place in the world. When an opportunity came up with Young Farmers she jumped at it. “I’m particularly interested in the ability of the clubs to help build community, so that young people who are in a very different environment to what many of us understand, are not isolated and they have a community of people and support they can be involved with,” she says. A business owner and chartered accountant McMillan will bring a wide range of financial expertise and experience to the eight person board. She has recently been awarded a fellowship for outstanding career achievement and contribution to the profession with the Council of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. McMillan has experience in the public sector, corporate business and education and has held a number of senior management and governance roles throughout her career. She has also held roles in the not for profit sector and membership organisations. She owned her own small rural block in the past. “I think agriculture is an incredibly important sector for our economy and us as a country, a whole lot of our identity is around the capacity for food production and capacity for using our rural environment, really well.” NZ Young Farmers board chairperson, Ash-Leigh Campbell says she’s excited to have McMillan on board. “Catherine comes with such a wealth of experience which is going to be invaluable to our organisation, particularly with her experience in finance and commercial businesses,” she says. “It’s such an exciting time to be part of the agriculture, food and fibre sectors. New Zealand’s on the forefront of change and innovation as world leaders in sustainable food production.” “We can’t wait to start working with Catherine, soak up her knowledge and expertise and propel Young Farmers as an organisation into the future.” McMillan has her own consultancy business, focusing on strategy development and business restructuring. – Pam Tipa


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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

NEWS 15

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire! ARABLE FARMERS are being reminded of best practise around crop residue burning as the harvest season picks up. Environment Canterbury South Canterbury Operations Manager Judith Earl-Goulet said ECan was liaising with FAR to send out information to farmers. It will cover industry best practice, Fire and Emergency NZ (FENZ) permitting rules, and ECan requirements under the regional air plan, so all the information was in one place. Earl-Goulet explained that FENZ’s responsibility was around the safety of property and people. Stubble burning may be allowed – depending on whether a district was in an open, restricted or prohibited season – and FENZ permits could now be applied for under a new online system. She says ECan’s responsibility was around air quality and smoke nuisance effects. “You have to have a smoke management plan to address that you’ve thought about what conditions are,” Earl-Goulet told Rural News. Burning also requires ECan consent in two clean air buffer zones around Ashburton and Timaru. “You can still do it, but it has a few a bit

more rigour around the checks and balances because of the effects in close to those communities,” Earl-Goulet said various agencies met in midDecember to discuss concerns that arose last season, when a wet February was followed by a “tight two weeks” in March where conditions were finally suitable for residue burning and a lot was carried out in South Canterbury. Earl-Goulet said that while the guidelines called for burning on calm days when there would be “nice vertical smoke” there was one incident where the smoke engulfed a road and another where smoke from a burn near the coast went upwards. It then blew inland until it was blocked by the Hunter Hills and descended into the Waimate township, despite it being a long way from the burn. “You had the community of Waimate really frustrated that their summer evening was spoilt by the effects of the smoke.” Problems have continued this season. On the last weekend of January, FENZ received nearly 40 111 calls from Timaru residents concerned at smoke from a stubble burn on the outskirts of the city. Earl-Goulet

said it was in the Timaru buffer zone, where it would have required a consent, but that had not been applied for. “It’s just one of those examples of when it goes bad it can create anxiety in a community thinking something’s happening but actually, the right checks and balances have not been followed. “That activity is under investigation at the moment.” Earl-Goulet said the rural industry had a role to play in educating the public. “As a rural industry if you want that social license to operate, then you need to be explaining it better. You need to be explaining why this isn’t contributing to greenhouse gases because it’s a carbon-neutral activity

because it’s done annually. “You need to be explaining why this is better than herbicides

and pesticides being used. That’s not a role for FENZ or ECan.” David Clark, Mid Canterbury Federated Farm-

ers president, said the new national online permitting system established by FENZ to replace various local council

regimes was a good pragmatic solution. “Effectively it puts a legal connection between the farmer lighting the fire and Fire and Emergency as the manager of fire, with the farmer legally confirming that he would adhere to the terms and conditions,” he told Rural News. “Quite frankly, if you’re not prepared to adhere to the terms and conditions then you shouldn’t be allowed to light the fire.” Permits are applied for on the website https:// www.checkitsalright.nz/ “That’s an automated process and it’s easy and there’s no excuse not to comply with it,” said Clark.

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

16 NEWS

Faith in raw milk to save farm PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

IN A bid to future-proof their business, Otaki dairy farmers Andrew and Stacy Faith have just installed a raw milk vending machine and – within just a fortnight of starting up – they say business is booming with sales exceeding expectations. The couple currently run 340 cows on the 90-hectare home farm, supplemented by an additional 70 ha, which they lease. Their cows are on once-a-day-milking and produce about 120,000 kgMS each season with the milk being sold to Fonterra. But Faith says there is a risk that they could lose their lease, which has been earmarked for a subdivision, and that would mean they would

Otaki dairy farmers Stacy and Andrew Faith.

only have their own 90 ha block – hence the decision to embark on the raw milk project. The decision to sell raw milk was, in some ways, was a moment of

it a go. “We were getting 50 cents a litre from Fonterra and we can sell raw milk for $2.50 – so it seemed a good idea at the time,” he told Rural News.

madness, he says. They’d looked at the idea of selling raw milk about three years ago, but it wasn’t until they saw an article in a farming newspaper that they decided to give

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the regulations around the supply of milk to the public are very strict. For a start, they can only sell directly to the customer and not sell it through a third party. He adds that while signing up to sell milk at the farm gate is relatively easy, meeting the very strict regulations is demanding. “There are lots of regulations we have to comply with, such as recording what cows are in the herd, keeping all the equipment spotless and then getting the milk tested every ten days,” he says. “Just keeping within the testing requirements is difficult and if we fail, we risk being shut down for a week. Then every year MPI audit the business and we have to make sure our recording keeping is absolutely correct.”

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The Faiths’ farm is situated on SH1, just south of Otaki in the Lower North Island, and they have erected a special building to house the two vending machines. It is a

very distinctive building with a large cow on the roof and is located off the road where there plenty of parking space. Already the customers are coming in thick and fast. The milk comes from a herd of 20, A2 cows which have been drafted out of the existing herd. While they don’t market their milk as being A2, they note on their signage that their raw milk contains A2 protein. “Under the regulations MPI requires us to have a separate herd if we are supplying the public directly. These cows are run on a different part of the farm to the main herd and are milked at a different time, in this case OAD in the afternoon. The main herd is milked OAD in the morning,” he told Rural News. However, Faith says

THE FAITH family have farmed their land, near Otaki, for more than a century. Andrew’s great grandfather bought the block back in 1911 and initially sheep and beef were run on the property. It was Andrews’s grandfather and later his father Paul who converted it to dairy. Andrew’s sons Keegan and Reon are now taking an interest in the farm business. The family are confident about the future of their new venture. Faith points out that there are 50,000 people in the Kapiti District which takes in the townships of Paraparaumu, Waikanae and Otaki. “We are lucky being on a state highway, but even when the new expressway is completed, we know we will get good local clients who will support

us,” he says. Since they opened, the Faith family have taken turns to be on hand to teach people how to use the fully automated vending equipment. The aim is to have the facility open from 6.00am until 10.00pm “If you can use an ATM you can use the vending machine. You simply put your money in to buy a one litre glass bottle and then pay again to fill it up,” Faith explains. In their first week of operation they were expecting to sell about 100 litres of milk a day. However, just two days after they opened for business, they sold 278 litres on a single day. The couple can’t remember a time when there hasn’t been a customer at the shop.


RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

NEWS 17

Countdown to final Brexit deal peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

DESPITE BRITAIN officially leaving the European Union (EU) on January 31, it’s still business as usual between the two jurisdictions for the next 11 months. EU Ambassador to NZ, Nina Obermaier told Rural News that this is a transition year, where everything remains the same in terms of trade and the right of citizens. However, the UK is no longer a member of the European parliament and has no say in EU affairs. Obermaier says the negotiating teams of the EU and UK have effectively between seven and eight months to come up with a deal. She says this is because any deal has to be ratified by 27 members of the EU and this could take some time. “In the withdrawal agreement between the EU and the UK there is provision to prolong this transition period by either one or two years, but Prime Minister Johnson has already said he will not be seeking to prolong the one year time frame. The one year deadline is very ambitious, but hopefully we will be able to conclude an arrangement within that time frame.” Obermaier says negotiators on both sides have

demonstrated that they are able to solve quite complicated issues in a relatively short amount of time. She’s hopeful that they will succeed this time round as well. There are about 12 separate specific areas that need to be negotiated. These include obvious things like trade, but also security. Obermaier says, all told, about 200 people will be directly involved in negotiating the range of deals – not to mention the people behind the scenes who are preparing documents. Heading that group is Michel Barnier, a former French politician who has been in charge of the Brexit negotiations since 2016. His present role is that of ‘coordinator’ of the negotiations – ensuring that the whole complicated process involving the 12 separate negotiations running in parallel are progressing satisfactorily. One of the much talked about issues is that of the Irish border. Will it be hard or seamless as it is now? Obermaier says legally the issue has been resolved by the two parties. “What will have to be sorted out in the transition period is the practical application and that will still require a lot of work between the two

parties,” she told Rural News. Obermaier says the leaders of the EU are sad and regret the departure of the UK from the customs union. But she says the EU is there to stay and that Europe is open for business and will provide exactly the same opportunities and benefits for citizens and businesses as it did before the UK left.

MEANWHILE, EU’S Ambassador to NZ, Nina Obermaier says there is no slippage in the negotiations between the EU and NZ on a free trade agreement (FTA). She says a lot of preparatory work was put in by both parties before the formal negotiations commenced in 2018 and believes this is now paying off. “These have been progressing at unprecedented speed. We have reached the stage where the real big issues are on the table much sooner than any other negotiations and that is actually a good sign and I certainly wouldn’t call it slippage.” Obermaier says some of the big issues on the table now are things such as geographic indications (GIs) where the brand name of certain products – such as cheese and wine – relate to specific regions in Europe. She adds that while this is a big issue, there are other equally important elements to the FTA. The next formal round of negotiations is likely to take place next month. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

EU Ambassador to NZ Nina Obermaier.

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

18 NEWS

Zespri win key battle in China PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

ZESPRI HAS become the first New Zealand company to be granted Key Trademark Protection Status in China, ensuring greater protections against copyright infringements.

The recognition, granted in January by the Shanghai Intellectual Property Bureau, is part of Zespri’s efforts to better protect the investment and IP of the New Zealand industry in China, as work to clamp down on unauthorised SunGold plantings con-

tinues. “The new protected status is a strong acknowledgement of Zespri’s high profile among foreign brands in China, as well as our strong market share and our positive corporate reputation,” Zespri general manager Greater China,

Michael Jiang says in the monthly Kiwiflier newsletter. “This recognition also reflects the challenges Zespri is facing with counterfeiting in China, including with the unauthorised growing of our Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit variety there, and

is another demonstration of the support we’ve received from Chinese authorities.” Key brand protection status is designed to strengthen the legal and administrative tools available to approved companies to fight the challenges to intellectual

Zespri’s Dave Courtney.

property — efforts which we have been incredibly well supported by the Chinese Government. It also means Zespri will now be able to take legal action against brands using similar names and those using packaging designs which copy Zespri’s. It will also allow it to take action against companies using the Zespri name for product categories outside of fresh fruit — an action which was previously unavailable. The Shanghai Intellectual Property Bureau will also proactively coordinate with other local regulators to support Zespri’s brand. “This is a key milestone for Zespri in Shanghai and a crucial step towards achieving nationwide recognition, and is the result of significant investment by Zespri and in efforts to build the

brand in China,” Jiang says. Chief grower and alliances officer Dave Courtney says the Shanghai key trademark recognition will also give Zespri the means to take action against people trying to use Zespri copycat brands to sell Zespri’s SunGold variety grown without authorisation — a key focus for Zespri. “The work to deal with the unauthorised SunGold plantings is challenging but progressing well. “We’re in the process of identifying targets to launch legal action against and we hope to be able to do so soon. Commercially we’ve had strong cooperation from our partners in China while our efforts have been well supported by the New Zealand Government who we are working closely alongside.”

KEY APPOINTMENT FORMER PRIME Minister John Key has been appointed to Zespri’s China Advisory Board, to help with the company’s strategy and growth in China. Zespri chair Bruce Cameron says the China Advisory Board will have an important role in developing the Greater China market, worth around $650 million in sales last year. Greater China is Zespri’s largest market and responsible for about 22% of its global revenue. “The China Advisory Board will be a vital sounding board for Zespri while we embark on the issue of unauthorised G3 in China, as well as having input into the broader development strategy of this important market to Zespri,” says Cameron. “During this period of growth, Sir John’s wealth of commercial and political experience, including a specific focus on China, will benefit the China Advisory Board and serve Zespri well. We are looking forward to working with him.” Key says he’s pleased to be working with Zespri, especially as the kiwifruit industry looks to its next phase of growth.

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

20 NEWS

Growers want a fair deal SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

IT’S BEEN a busy 12 months for Pukekohe Vegetable Growers Association (PVGA) first female president Kylie Faulkner. Since taking over the reins at PVGA, Faulkner has been involved with two key pieces of legislation proposed by the Government: national policy statements on highly productive land and water. Land and water are the backbone of PGVA’s 230 growers and their operations. They are no minnows when it comes to food production; a recent Deloitte report says while Pukekohe accounts for just 3.8% of the country’s land under fruit and vegetable production, it contributes to 26% of the nation’s value

of production of vegetables, and a lesser proportion of fruit. Faulkner says her members largely focus on vegetable growing and processing for the domestic market: particularly potatoes, carrots, leafy greens, brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage), tomatoes and onions. Kiwifruit are also grown, largely for export. Faulkner is a director and compliance manager at Pukekohe-based Sutherland Produce Ltd, a family business founded by her father and grandfather. The family sold 50% of their stake to LeaderBrand in 2013. She describes herself as a people person and loves the fresh food industry. Faulkner believes PVGA members are at crossroads, as they await the Government’s policy

Pukekohe Vegetable Growers Association’s president Kylie Faulkner says many of her members are worried about new Government policies and fear they could be forced off the land.

announcements on highly productive land and water. Many growers fear they could be forced out of business, she says. Her members acknowledge there is a need for urban development but it needs to be

done in a coordinated may way. “Many growers don’t own land, they lease land….will landlords put up the prices if they are classified as highly productive land? “Or will the new policies devalue land prices?

No one knows which way it will go. “Anxiety isn’t just around highly productive land; some aspects of the water policy statement are unworkable too.” Two catchments in Pukekohe have been identified in the National Policy Statement on Water as risky. The use of fertiliser, particularly nitrogen (N), could be restricted in these catchments. Faulkner says growers are worried about the impact on restrictions on N use on their businesses. She gives the example of a grower, who is based at one of the two catchments and sometimes needs to apply extra fertiliser at the end of winter. He could face restrictions on N use. “He would have to go out of business: he’s a

fourth generation farmer and they have been farming there for over 100 years,” Faulkner says. “You just cannot tell someone to pack up and go after that connection with the land. “And who is going to buy the land; not another grower or dairy farmer? “So there are a lot of unanswered questions… no one knows what the outcome will be.” Faulkner says the past 12 months have been hectic. Growers have attended meetings and workshops to help craft their submissions to the Government on water and land use. Meetings have also been held with Government ministers and their officials. She says growers remain hopeful because of the opportunity they’ve had to engage directly with ministers.

“Hopefully things which we have pointed out to them will be looked at and adopted.” Faulkner says urban creep is here to stay but her members want proper planning. On water, they want to be part of solution to clean up the waterway. But policies shouldn’t impact food security. “Our members grow fresh healthy food for New Zealanders,” she says. “About 26% of NZ’s domestic fresh vegetables production comes from Pukekohe area, if we take that ability away, where are we getting out fresh vegetables from? “As a consumer and as a parent, I don’t want broccoli from China. New Zealanders have every right to have fresh healthy food at an affordable price.”

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

NEWS 21

A number of law changes that will impact on farming Jane Argyle-Reed, partner in Ashburton law firm Argyle Welsh Finnigan, and her team, outline some of the recent changes in legislation that will be of interest to the rural and farming sectors. Immigration Immigration New Zealand has introduced changes that affect some employers and migrant workers. These will be introduced in various stages over the next 18 months to 2021. Changes include: A new three-stage employer-led visa application process (the employer check, the job check and the worker check) A new temporary work visa (replacing six temporary work visas) Classifying jobs as low or high-paid based on whether they are paid above or below the average New Zealand wage Strengthening the labour market test for low-paid jobs and open access for high-paid jobs in rural regions Sector agreements for some industries that regularly employ migrant workers, and Reinstating the ability for lower-paid workers to bring their families to New Zealand. There are, however, changes for Talent Accredited Employers; these took effect from 7 October 2019. They include: An increase the salary employers must offer their employees before they can apply for a Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa (from $55,000 to $79,560), and A reduction in the period of accreditation of employers to 24 months. Some visa requirements and processes will remain the same. People holding visas based on lower-skilled work must still leave New Zealand for a one-year period after they have been working for three years, and Immigration New Zealand must still be satisfied that there are no New Zealanders available for that job before approving a visa. Animal welfare regulations There have been sev-

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minor changes to existing regulations, although some entirely new regulations have also been

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IN 2017, the Government announced a comprehensive review of the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001 (DIRA) by the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI). Earlier last year, the MPI review was completed with recommendations for changes to the DIRA. The resultant Dairy Industry Restructuring Amendment Bill (no 3) is currently with the Select Committee. MPI believes these changes will increase certainty around milk price calculation, remove unnecessary regulation and protect consumer interests. In order to achieve these objectives, several changes have been proposed, including: Allowing Fonterra to refuse the supply of milk from farmers in circumstances where milk does not or is not likely to comply with Fonterra’s terms and standards of supply, or in circumstances where milk is supplied from newly-converted dairy farms Clarifying Fonterra’s terms of supply can relate to various on-farm performance matters, such as environmental, animal welfare, climate change and other sustainability standards and that price can be adjusted accordingly Limiting Fonterra’s discretion in calculating the base price of milk and clarifying that Fonterra can pay a different farm gate milk price to the base milk price For Fonterra to be no longer required to supply regulated milk to independent processors with their own supply of 30 million litres or more in a single season, and Proposing that MPI updates the terms in which Fonterra supplies regulated milk to Hong Kong/Singapore-owned manufacturer Goodman Fielder in order to benefit domestic consumers. The Select Committee’s report is due on 20 March 2020.

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

global agribusiness research analysts sharing market outlooks

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

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MARKETS & TRENDS 23

both skilled and unskilled labour in New Zealand.

Falling dollar Rabobank points to a host of other positive market settings were also playing into New Zealand farmers’ hands. “Relatively low debt costs will be another plus for New Zealand farmers in 2020, as will a weaker New Zealand dollar – with the dollar forecast to fall to its lowest level since the global financial crisis.”

Frustration The report highlights how New Zealand’s food and agribusiness sector was wading through a period of frustration. “The agricultural industry is dealing with increased environmental regulation, the prospect of more onerous regulation in the future and uncertainty over the timing and degree of what is to come. “Changes in the banking industry are

a further source of concern for farmers, with agricultural investors now facing more constrained access to capital.” With New Zealand’s agricultural sector industry in a transitional phase, the report says, the extended run of positive market factors comes at an ideal time.

What to watch in 2020 The report cites a number of key watch factors for the year ahead

including upcoming elections in New Zealand and the US, carbon investments and trade developments. “Farmers will be closely watching how prominent agriculture is in New Zealand’s election campaign. They’ll also be showing plenty of interest in the election outcome, as while a change in the New Zealand government is unlikely to alter the direction of sustainability regulation, it would

likely impact the pace of change.” It adds that industry participants will also be keeping close tabs on the US presidential election, as while a democrat in the White House won’t mean the US goes soft on China, it may mean China policy becomes more predictable.”

Carbon costs Rabobank says the level of carbon investment was a further watch factor for the

sector – given the recent passing of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill. “Proposals to limit the number of New Zealand carbon units and lift the price cap are likely to put upward pressure on New Zealand carbon prices in 2020 and beyond. “And this is set to accelerate the interest in forestry from investors and landowners looking to capitalise on the opportunity to generate

carbon income from tree planting.”

Market access An additional watch factor, according to the report, is the outcome of key trade negotiations impacting New Zealand. “Obtaining access to markets like these, where consumers value sustainable supply chains, will be important as New Zealand’s agricultural sector

continues to improve its sustainability credentials.” he said. The report says the “phase one” deal between the US and China is also likely to have implications for New Zealand. “It will likely increase competition from the US in dairy and beef over the next five years if the China/US truce holds.” @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews


RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

24 AGRIBUSINESS

Meat changes coming - report NEW IDEAS of what PAM TIPA

ACTION AREAS

pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

equates to ‘premium’ in red meat are expected to change significantly in coming years, according to a new report from Beef+Lamb (B+LNZ). The traditional characteristics of premium today are marbling and exotic provenance such as Japanese Wagyu, which has been stable for some time. So says the report called ‘Shaping the future of New Zealand’s Red Meat Sector’ released late last year. “This is expected to change significantly over the coming years with new market segments and many new views about what is premium developing,” says the report. This will be driven by increasing interest in how the animal was raised and environmental impacts, social considerations and increasing fragmentation of diets. It says New Zealand

BEEF+LAMB IDENTIFIED seven priority areas of action Exporting a food culture: continue the push towards value added food products tied to a unique New Zealand culture Maximise co-products: ensure we get the most possible value from co-products both to drive profitability and hedge against a rise in meat alternatives Reframing sustainability: taking charge of the sustainability debate by defining our story and telling it more effectively

B+LNZ’s Taste Pure Nature branding, which was rolled out last year, aims to tackle growing low consumer trust in food.

should look to influence the global conversation around food to position the unique attributes of our meat. B+LNZ is already monitoring social media in some of its key export markets to identify early signals around evolutions of premium. The industry organisation commissioned the ‘Shaping the future’ report with partners Kantar Singapore. B+LNZ claims farmers and industry partners had asked it to take a lead in understanding future trends. Another trend

QUEEN ELIZABETH II NATIONAL TRUST BOARD OF DIRECTORS APPOINTMENTS 2020 The Minister of Conservation is seeking nominations for membership of the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust Board of Directors. The Minister will be seeking to appoint members to the Board who will collectively have knowledge and experience relating to governance, land and environmental management, policy, planning and analysis, financial and investment acumen, advocacy, consensus building, te ao Ma-ori, understanding of public processes and cultural awareness. In making appointments, the Minister will have regard for environmental and conservation values, the interests of rural landowners, and the interests of the Ma-ori community. There are four vacancies on the Board, including the position of Chairperson. Appointments will take effect from 1 July 2020 and will be for a term of up to three years. Additional information and nomination forms may be obtained at www.doc.govt.nz/noms-for-the-qeii-trust-board-2020 or from Rick McGovern-Wilson, email rmcgovern@doc.govt.nz or phone 027 200 5716. Nomination forms are to be sent to the Minister of Conservation c/o the address on the nomination form. Closing date for nominations is Monday 24 February 2020 at 5pm.

reported is ready availability of personalised health data; generated through wearable tech which will lead to highly individual health management regimes. New Zealand needs to connect with these kinds of consumer segments whose health regimes embrace and even require beef and lamb products with attributes that NZ produces, the report says. Increasingly, consumer’s purchasing decisions are expected to be determined by algorithms and technology platforms/systems. The industry needs to learn how to effectively partner with tech players and market to algorithms, in order to land its products in the shopping baskets of the future. Another trend is the

re-evaluation of modernity and taking a greater interest in traditional practices. The boundaries of regenerative farming are still being defined, the report says. Drawing on both its remote location and expertise in regenerative agriculture, New Zealand’s agricultural sector is in prime position to benefit from the pushback against industrialised food production. The ongoing desire for “total transparency” in an increasingly low trust world is another trend the report identifies. “Across the world— especially in developing markets —people are losing trust in traditional food brands and retailers and there is growing demand for additional traceability.” As many countries and

companies are already investing heavily in traceability technology (including blockchain), the report says it makes sense for New Zealand to adopt a fast-follower approach – moving beyond batch level traceability to individual farm and all animal species. It also points to an opportunity to cut out a series of middle-men. The sector needs to get ahead of the business model taking the lead in developing new value chains. The report advises the sector to leverage predictive analytics as a precautionary measure against hard-to-predict shocks to the food system. NZ’s meat industry needs to diversify its product offerings, trading

Driving transparency beyond traceability: using the right tools to make sure our great products can evidence their “greatness” Own new premium narratives: continue to develop New Zealand’s unique premium attributes and narrative and communicate it to consumers across global markets  Lead the health debate: firmly establish our health credentials and engage with our health “tribes”

B+LNZ claims. The report also identifies a need to uncover new uses for each part of the animal, and redirect our supply globally to where demand commands the highest margins, says the report. The report also emphasises the need to shift the global conversation around sustainability. “Across the sector, many NZ farmers already practice elements of regenerative practice and as a sector have agreed to a world-first climate change commitment,” it explains. “There is an opportunity to both enhance our sustainable behaviour, as well as better telling our sector sustainability narrative, turning it into a unique selling point for

partners and routes-tomarket, and “have sufficient funding to combat potential bio-security threats exacerbated by global warming to quickly bounce back from any catastrophic shocks”. The sector should also focus on better linking of tourism with our growers and producers. “There is a critical role for Tourism NZ and the Government to play. B+LNZ has already formed a partnership with EatNZ to include our farmers within their food tourism ‘itinerary generator’ to allow farmers to communicate this story directly to visitors. “We will continue to evolve our red meat origin story, Taste Pure Nature, to include more cultural elements,”

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AGRIBUSINESS 25

Processing issues with goats, but problems not insurmountable

Goat meat: There are specific markets for different sized goats with traditional ethnic preferences, especially festival, needs for small goats.

GARRICK BATTEN

THE FIRST question in my last article (Rural News, Jan 28) was: Why processor/exporters have not encouraged more goat meat when it sells at comparable retail prices to lamb in USA? Goats have negatives for the processors. They are not easily handled in the yards to separate lines. Plant operations are affected by different sized animals in a line that slows chain speed and supplied numbers may not match bookings. With a total NZ goat kill about 120 000 head, spread over several plants, the relatively small numbers do not produce enough by-products to market at profitable prices. So, these end up as pet food, even while there is a premium – such as $US6 per lb for kidney and liver. Goat skins have the same problem – with low interest from buyers in relatively small numbers of variable sizes and qualities. There are specific markets for different sized goats with traditional ethnic preferences, and especially festival, needs for often small goats. Yet a specific processing issue is small kids are expensive to slaughter with no sale products other than meat. However, in the US live auction market of 21- 25- 28 kg LW kids there was a 2.5-5% value discount at each step as weight increased. While at 38kg LW or 17 kg CW, kids were discounted by over 15% indicating that

market premium for light animals could help to counter higher processing costs. Traditionally, some processors have successfully used goat slaughter as a plant management strategy to occupy staff and spread overheads during down times with other stock. Fabrication is simple and cheap; with either whole carcases or six-way cuts – no costs for added value, frozen storage and no trade restrictions. Outside of supplies to a couple of traditional markets, meat is often spot traded – influenced by storage space priority, product competition, supplies, exchange rates and other marketing dynamics. Delivery can be simple by including goat with other frozen meat products. However, such a processing regime prioritises other stock; so limited goat slaughter times can disadvantage goat farmers. Changing any of this – to access and develop one of more market segments for higher prices – needs farmers to commit to and address processing problems and supply specified numbers of standardised sized stock in identified lines. These issues can be solved with better co-ordination and cooperation. Higher market returns would encourage more slaughter numbers to slowly overcome by-product and skin limitations and enhance returns. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

ABOUT THE AUTHOR GARRICK BATTEN has a long professional and practical career in the goat sector. He has farmed goats for 30 years and written several goat books. His latest book is: ‘Big Buck$ for Pastoral Farmers’. It is especially for livestock farmers new to commercial goat farming. It is available from: https://www.copypress.co.nz/real-nz-books/.

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

26 OPINION EDITORIAL

EDNA

No sense HOW CAN you be green when you are in the red? That is the very question many rural communities and farmers around the country should be asking the Government. Its proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) – dropped just before Christmas with a very truncated submission period – has all the hallmarks of the Government looking like it is consulting; when it has already made up its mind. In submissions to the parliamentary select committee on environment, which is overseeing the ETS changes, Federated Farmers, Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) and the Meat Industry Association (MIA) highlighted the lack of any robust analysis of socio-economic impacts of the ETS amendment to farming and rural communities. BLNZ explained that with no limit on how much carbon dioxide can be offset through the ETS and the removal of the $25 carbon price cap would only lead to productive pasture land being replaced with forestry. “This would allow fossil fuel emitters to get away with none of the emissions reductions that are required to combat climate change,” BLNZ general manager policy & advocacy Dave Harrison says. In other words, NZ will see no less carbon emissions – only more tree and fewer productive farms. How is that sensible? As Federated Farmers vice president Andrew Hoggard rightly points out the ETS is currently set up to simply reward large scale blanket afforestation. And these concerns are backed up by research carried out by rural consultancy firm BakerAg. It modelled the likely impacts on Wairoa and showed that blanket forestry would see one in five jobs lost in the town with a significant reduction in economic activity. Meat processors have also expressed concern on the economic impacts of the change lamenting the Government’s failure to look at the impact of ETS reforms on small communities. The Meat Industry Association says the proposals will have a significant impact on the economies of rural communities across New Zealand. It notes that even a relatively small reductions in the amount of livestock being sent to processing sites of between 10-15% will likely lead to a number of plant closures and significant job losses in small towns. The ETS proposals are actually forestation of NZ by stealth, which threaten rural and regional New Zealand and will have significant flow on effects for the economy unless changes are made.

RURALNEWS TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS

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

“You were right! – the dogs also think the last of the Christmas ham has passed its use-by date!”

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

THE HOUND Biased? Your old mate was disappointed, but not surprised to see a ‘study’ out of Otago University – quoted all over the mainstream media – selling the virtues of plant-based diet. This ‘research’ – which was uncritically reported in media all around the country – went on to slam the supposed greenhouse output from NZ meat and dairy products compared with plantbased foods. However, what the uncritical media forgot to point out was this research was based on data out of the UK not NZ – so hardly comparing apples with apples! Meanwhile, the same supposed unbiased and truth-telling reporters also neglected to mention that the main “researcher” behind this study is a vegan and founder of group advocating plant-based diets! Yeah, no bias there!

Ironic! This old mutt couldn’t believe the audacity of dairy company Synlait trying to spin its environmental credentials and how much it loves planting trees. Prior to launching the ‘woke’ joke’ that is the Primary Sector Council’s ‘strategy’ prior to Christmas, the Cuddler in Chief (PM Ardern) and her glorified handbag carrier (Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor) dropped in at Synlait’s Canterbury factory to plant a couple of native trees as part of the company’s native plant nursery – dubbed Whakapuāwai, which apparently means “to cause to blossom, develop, flourish, prosper, thrive”. The Hound was reminded that the tree-lovers at Synlait didn’t appear so keen on ‘flourishing and thriving’ forests 20-odd years ago – when the majority-owned and controlled Chinese company ripped out hectares and hectares of trees to build its factory to home its dairy farms to supply same said factory!

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

Stop it!

A dilemma

Speaking of virtue-signaling trite, the Hound notes that the taxpayer’s financial millstone – known as Landcorp or Pamu – has begun the year by trumpeting another one of its pointless PR exercises that is supposed to make you feel all warm and fuzzy about the Government-owned farming entity. According to its own media release Landcorp: “has introduced a ‘Kiwi Avoidance Training’ policy for dogs residing on all its Northland farms, where kiwi are also known to be resident. This means that all dogs will receive training to reduce the risk that they will attack a kiwi”.  Really? Is Landcorp supposed to be a farming company or a conservation organisation? How about just getting on with your core business of farming and stop all this PC, virtue-signalling, do-gooding crap!

Your canine crusader reckons the fiercely anti GE, but pro sustainability Green Party has a dilemma on its hands, following a new, comprehensive study out of the Department of Entomology at Cornell University’s AgriTech in New York. This reports a successful, first-ever open-field release of a self-limiting, genetically engineered diamondback moth – paving the way for an effective and sustainable approach to pest control. The diamondback moth is highly damaging to brassica crops such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and canola. But this new strain of diamondback moth – a self-limiting diamondback moth – is genetically modified to control its pest counterparts in the field. 0The study concludes that: “Using genetic engineering is simply a more efficient method.” This means no sprays and no pests, but the use of GE. What will the Greens do?

AUCKLAND SALES REPRESENTATIVE: Stephen Pollard .......................... Ph 021 963 166 stephenp@ruralnews.co.nz

WELLINGTON SALES REPRESENTATIVE: Ron Mackay ................................. Ph 021 453 914 ronm@ruralnews.co.nz

WAIKATO SALES REPRESENTATIVE: Ted Darley .................................. Ph 021 832 505 ted@ruralnews.co.nz

SOUTH ISLAND SALES REPRESENTATIVE: Kaye Sutherland ..................Ph 03 021 221 1994 kayes@ruralnews.co.nz

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

DIGITAL STRATEGIST: Jessica Wilson ......................Ph 027 535 2534

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


RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

OPINION 27

Expo promises top-class speakers TIM WARRINGTON

THE EAST Coast Farming Expo has been home to robust conversations since its first event almost five years ago. The seminars, which draw some of the best speakers in the country, address important, topical issues. Speakers are unafraid to tackle tough matters and attendees are

back to the farm with you that makes your operation smarter and safer”. Barton says it can be a sizeable PR challenge to get farmers on-board with thinking about safety, but it’s a challenge she is enjoying. “I don’t wear gumboots every day and I am no good on a handpiece, but I do believe that public relations and

“The Expo has become a highlight of the rural calendar and attendees know they’re going to be treated to a great couple of days.” not shy about asking the hard questions. Expo manager Sue Wilson is thrilled with the speakers attending this year. “The Expo has become a highlight of the rural calendar and attendees know they’re going to be treated to a great couple of days.” Wilson says there are a number of firsts in 2020 – including new presenters and seminars. Nicky Barton from WorkSafe New Zealand is presenting on Thursday 27 February at 10.30am: ‘Old Dogs, New Tricks’ – Age and influence in health and safety in New Zealand’s primary sector. Barton is a sheep and beef farmer’s daughter from the Wairarapa. She studied psychology and education at Victoria University in Wellington. She is now media manager at WorkSafe New Zealand. Barton says reading and writing about the harm occurring in New Zealand workplaces every day – especially on farms – is confronting stuff. “It hits home when you hear about a farmer, or farm worker losing their life in the place they love,” she says. “Events like the East Coast Farming Expo are a great environment to take stock of the current farming landscape. Challenge your way of thinking and take something new, knowledge or otherwise,

education play a vital role in building and maintaining New Zealand’s primary sector capability, especially when it comes to keeping people safe on farm,” she said. Also attending this year is Hawke’s Bay businessman, Rick Cranswick, who will be presenting, ‘How to see the dollars from the trees!’ at 10am on Wednesday 26 February. Cranswick is from a farming family and had a sheep and beef farm until he was 30. He then spent 27 years as an accountant in public practice and 19 of those as the CEO of Hawke’s Bay’s largest accounting and financial services business. “I’m passionate about pastoral farming and farming districts, but also recognise the opportunity – the uplift in income and farm values – that comes from conversion to forestry,” he says. Cranswick will outline his view on the “massive increase in profitability in forestry from the rise in value of carbon credits and the opportunity that presents for landowners”. “There are opportunities to help with farm expansion, succession, debt reduction and major increase in farm profitability and farmers’ lifestyles,” he says. “I’ll give simple and practical examples how to take advantage of the dollars from the trees.”

February’s East Coast Farming Expo will be the fifth year of innovation, interaction and excellence. The two-day event, which is hosted by Wairoa Community Develop-

ment Trust, will be held at the Wairoa A&P showgrounds on Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27 February 2020. More: www.eastcoastexpo. co.nz

Hawke’s Bay businessman, Rick Cranswick will be presenting, ‘How to see the dollars from the trees!’


RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

28 OPINION

Headlines don’t match the research DIET-SHAMING APPEARS to be the new trend and virtue-signaling by ‘celebrities’ is rife. They’re doing it for their children. Only the cynical would wonder whether their on-line profile needed a boost. The claim is that animal protein damages the environment

more than plant protein, so we should be eating the latter rather than the former. Whether this is true or not very much depends upon which production systems are being compared and the basis for the calculations. The latest report hitting the headlines is from the University of Otago.

COMMENT

Jacqueline Rowarth

It attempts to make dietary recommendations for the New Zealand context, but states overtly that UK data were used. Further, the base for the dietary calculations was 2,130 kilocalories. It wasn’t protein to provide essential amino acids. The authors are clear; the media headlines are

not. Step one might be to wonder what greenhouse gas (GHG) savings there might be in New Zealand if everybody moved to a 2,130-kilocalorie intake. Over 30% of our population is classed as obese. They suffer greater ill-health and die at a younger age than if

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from plants. Understanding the limitations of land use is why New Zealand produces animal protein with less environmental impact than other countries. And we do it without government subsidies… The Ministry of Education new classroom resource on climate change did not suggest to children that they become vegan. It did suggest reducing consumption of meat and milk. Some children can do this without compromising health and some probably could do with greater consumption – starting point is key. The latest paper from Otago did not promote veganism. It recommended eating patterns emphasizing the consumption of whole, plantbased foods. And last year’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change did not say become vegan. It said: “Balanced diets, featuring plant-based foods, such as those based on coarse grains, sustainable legumes, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and animal-sourced food in resilient, sustainable and low GHG emission systems, present major opportunities for adaptation and mitigation while generating significant co-benefits in terms of human health.” New Zealand’s animalsourced food fits the bill. A New Year’s resolution that everybody can embrace is optimising diet rather than eliminating a nutrient source. The ever-increasing number of studies available have raised awareness, and personal responsibility, thereby avoiding dietshaming, can do the rest. • Dr Jacqueline Rowarth is a soil scientist with a PhD in nutrient cycling. She has been vegetarian for 45 years.

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they were not overweight. Clearly, reductions in GHGs are not the only benefit of weight loss. If calorie restriction occurs, diets need optimising for protein and vitamins as well as fibre. Dr Graeme Coles, Canterbury-based nutrition scientist, suggests that everybody can contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change by eating a balanced diet. “A factor often forgotten,” he says, “is that humans combine amino acids from their diet to make protein. If an amino acid is limiting, the other amino acids are wasted – they’re used for energy and the nitrogen is excreted. Human-accessible protein is also not the same as total protein in a food.” Dr Coles has calculated that the wasted amino acids in a vegan diet are equivalent to two return flights a year to the UK from New Zealand, in comparison with an optimised diet. Another concern with vegan diets is simply health. It is challenging to obtain enough protein to build or maintain muscle without supplements (which are not included in the calculations on GHG; nor are the GHG-associated with leather and wool replacements, many of which come from the petrochemical industry). Implications for immunity, and for reproduction, including for the second generation, are also beginning to emerge. There are other issues – as well – in moving away from animals. Including basic soil, topography, climate and resource inputs needed to produce plant-based food. There is not enough suitable land in the world to feed its population solely

■ ■ ■ ■ ■

BREAKING NEWS ■ MARKETS & TRENDS MACHINERY REVIEWS MANAGEMENT STORIES COMPETITIONS AND MUCH MORE...

www.ruralnews.co.nz 23/12/19 13:50


RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

OPINION 29

Getting the balance right! MANY SUNSETS ago, I learnt from rather quickly if you leave too much of one of the older father figures in my the good stuff out! I’m sure you would life the ageless truth that, “Balance is have seen the five plus a day advertising or similar, like I have – in the the key to life”. media, on billboards or Six simple words trucks, etc. easily put together; As farmers we know quick and easy to read, all too well a healthy but so much harder to bank account needs to live! I well remember be balanced; with a balthinking at the time; ance of both expendi‘Huh … whatever is that ture and income. Get all about?’ I didn’t get these two out of balit at all back then. If it ance and you can get sounds a little patronFARMER’S CHAPLAIN yourself in very deep ising for you at the yoghurt all too quickly. moment, then how Colin Miller Phone calls will come about this old adage from yesteryear - “All work and no play that you just don’t want to answer! ‘Yep, been up close and personal with makes Jack a dull boy”. Yep, balance is the key to life; these that one’ you may be thinking! I was on the road several years ago six simple words are surely packed with wisdom we humans need to and tuned into Radio Sport to help fill hear. I have seen too many examples up the time. Dillon Boucher from the of exactly this gone wrong; and some- champion Breakers basketball team times up close and personal with good was on with host Willie Lose. What friends and family. The end results made them such a good team etc. was being discussed. I stopped and wrote have at times been tragic. I’m sure you have heard of the need down one of his comments: “It’s about for a good healthy balanced diet. That’s the whole person not just the sport; a given. Things can catch up with you it’s about achieving that balance.” I

It is all too easy for life on the farm to be all work, work, work, and still more work! Some task always seems to be demanding our time.

take some time out for our own wellbeing. It’s about “the whole person” – remember! So … let me encourage you to take a breather, schedule some time out for yourself and take a break. And slot-in some quality time for family. Surely it’s much greater wisdom to do this than have it literally forced down your throat. And yes, I’ve since learned the ‘Good Book’ covers this very subject in detail as well! Take care of yourself and God bless. • If you want to contact the Colin Miller’s email: farmerschaplain@ ruralnews.co.nz

Family time is quality time.

couldn’t agree more. Today the letters R & R get used as a brief for Rest and Recreation / Relaxation. Everyone needs some R & R time, farmers included. That’s another given.

It is all too easy for life on the farm to be all work, work, work, and still more work! Some task always seems to be demanding our time. Too often we tackle the tasks, but neglect the call to look after ourselves properly, and

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

30 MANAGEMENT

Overseer in action at Lanercost OVERSEER IS proving valuable as a resource management and decision-making tool on Lanercost, Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s new farm in North Canterbury. The aim of B+LNZ’s ‘Future Farm’ is to demonstrate how new technologies, systems and practices can impact on performance – while maintaining the highest production standards within a leading environmental footprint. The team on Lanercost, a 1310ha commercial sheep and beef farm near Cheviot, is making full use of mapping and modelling tools to identify the land use capability of different areas of the farm and employs Overseer to carry out nutrient budgets. Kirsti Lovie, Insights

Manager at B+LNZ’s Future Farm, uses the tool to ensure the farm can meet environmental compliance requirements. But also, to gain a fuller picture of the impact of farm management practices by forecasting the results and updating with actuals and any planned changes to the budgeted farm plan. “Every action you take has a reaction, so we use OverseerFM in conjunction with other tools to track where we are going and the impact of the decisions that are made on farm,” she says. “For instance, we had really good winter crop yields and so had some additional feed. We wanted to bring in some extra grazing cattle to eat it. We were able to use Overseer to model the impact of this change and

the practices available to mitigate risk.”

Lovie says Lanercost is making important

changes to reduce the farm’s environmental footprint this year as a result of using Overseer – in conjunction with Land use class (LUC) mapping and a farm environment plan. “It has helped us really understand our soil’s limitations, the opportunities and the zones to exclude from winter cropping to avoid phosphorous losses.” She says, on any farm, it’s really important to understand the land resource, what it is capable of, how it varies across the farm and where the risk areas are. “It’s a good idea to link OverseerFM to your farm environmental plan and LUC mapping so you know what your soil is capable of,” Lovie adds. “Your topography, overland flow potential, the timing of putting

Beef+Lamb NZ Future Farm Insights Manager Kirstie Lovie discusses Lanercost Farm’s performance, alongside farm manager Digby Heard, during the farm’s second annual Open Day last year. Rural News Group

animals into different zones and what impact different stock classes will have.” She believes by using the tool themselves or alongside their consultant, farmers will get the maximum benefit by better understanding the tool and the accuracy of the model. “Sheep and beef farmers will know what changes have an impact on their farm, they will know how to read the reports and understand how different parts of their farm react to different farm management approaches. That way, they can identify the opportunities and maximise the potential of their farm business.” Lovie says it is a very fluid tool and the new version is visual and

farmer centric. “If farmers are using a consultant to set OverseerFM up, I would recommend sitting with them to gain an understanding about how it works,” she explains. “My advice to farmers would be to ‘own’ your Overseer account, even if a consultant is completing the modelling for you. Once you have access and can control it, you will be surprised how quickly it becomes familiar and you build confidence around using it or viewing outputs.” The Future Farm programme is also planning to look at using the new carbon stock tool in OverseerFM to estimate the carbon sequestration potential of existing tree blocks. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

32 MANAGEMENT

Fodder beet yields unaffected by reduced fertiliser use NEW RESEARCH shows that it is possible to reduce traditional fertiliser recommendations for growing fodder beet – sometimes by more than half the usual amount – with no effect on crop yield or quality. Plant & Food Research, along with industry partners, recently completed a three-year study with the assistance of the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI’s) Sustainable Farming Fund to determine the best way to grow fodder beet, a popular supplementary feed crop for livestock in New Zealand. The researchers conducted a series of nitrogen, potassium and boron trials to establish whether standard management practices could be recommended for varying soil types and locations. “Much of our information about the nutrient requirements of fodder beet came from European sugar beet guidelines – for example, recommending high rates of potassium to support high yield,” says John de Ruiter, senior scientist at Plant & Food Research. “However, in every trial we conducted across many New Zealand soil types we were able to lower the potassium applications to 100kg per hectare

without yield loss when compared to the standard rate of 350kg per hectare.” The researchers also found the maximum plant response to nitrogen was achieved at 100kg per hectare – half the industry standard of 200kg per hectare. “I was surprised that we could bring nitrogen fertiliser rates down that much,” says de Ruiter. “This means a reduction in the amount of nitrogen in the feed and a reduction in the amount of nitrogen returned to soil through excretion, which is a good result for the environment – and is also a big saving for farmers.” Symptoms of boron deficiency (hollow bulbs) occur on some soil types. However, trials with varying rates and timing of boron fertiliser didn’t show any effects on yield or plant health. “Basal applications of boron at sowing are still recommended to avoid any potential boron limitations,” says de Ruiter. The researchers also examined diseases in fodder beet crops. “When fodder beet first regained popular use

FODDER BEET GROWTH FODDER BEET has gained popularity in New Zealand’s dairy industry as a winter feed – with farmers looking to benefit from its high yield potential and good feed quality characteristics. Approximately 45,000 hectares were grown in 2014–15 from Southland to Northland. This increased to around 75,000 hectares in 2018-19, making fodder beet the second most widely grown forage crop in New Zealand. About 80% of fodder beet is grown for pregnant non-lactating dairy cows during winter; and an increasing amount is being used as a feed during lactation, as well as for winter feeding in the sheep, beef and deer sectors.  

Dr Bert Quin

Research has found that it’s possible to reduce fodder beet fertiliser use by up to 50% with no effect on yield or quality.

15 years ago, the disease incidence was low, and there was great potential for fodder beet as a winter crop. But in recent seasons, the incidence of fungal and viral diseases have hit hard with a major reduction in paddock yields,” says de Ruiter. “While there’s not much that can be done about viruses, some control of fungal diseases is possible,” de Ruiter adds. “However, few chemicals for fungal control are registered for use

in New Zealand. “Experiments with timing and rates of fungicide application did not give conclusive results, so more work on the epidemiology and control of fodder beet diseases is needed.” Steve Penno, director investment programmes at MPI, says it’s essential to find out what works best in New Zealand, and not just rely on overseas experience. “This research provides valuable

and practical information for growing fodder beet in New Zealand – its recommendations for reduced fertiliser use are a win for the environment and will save farmers money, too.” A major outcome of the research project is the ‘Fodder Beet Best Management Production Guide’. The guide will be available soon on the Dairy NZ website or contact John de Ruiter ( john.deruiter@plantandfood.co.nz) for a copy.

Fact 1. The overuse of soluble P fertiliser is by far the largest cause of P run-off and leaching, and therefore of the decline in the quality of Kiwi waterways. Fact 2. Once you have Olsen P levels that are more than a third of the P retention (ASC), application of additional soluble P is very prone to loss to the environment. Fact 3. If you want to build up your soil P in an environmentally-protective way, simply apply RPR. It does not get leached or lost directly in run-off, but releases P in a sustained fashion for plants. Fact 4. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain. RPR-based fertilisers are even cheaper than super-based products as well! Added sulphur bentonite (sulphur 90) is far more efficient than the excess sulphate in super. Fact 5. Following 1-4 above will greatly reduce P run-off and leaching. This should be done before anything else, and the situation reassessed before spending huge amounts of money! Fact 6. It is nonsensical to give in to pressure to install expensive mitigations riparian strips, excessively large wetlands and ‘phosphorus walls’ before you have no idea of their long-term effectiveness and maintenance costs, and before you have established whether changing to sustained-release RPR is all you need to do! Fact 7. in any case simple fenced-off 3-metre wide grass riparian strips are essentially as effective and vastly cheaper than more complex strips. Both reduce bacterial and sediment losses. Neither will have any significant long-term beneficial effect (on a whole -farm basis) on soluble P and nitrate-N loss. But grass strips can be harvested in summer to be fed out, to improve P and N cycling. Fact 8. In a nutshell, for maintenance of P levels any genuine RPR (not an RPR/Boucraa mix please!) can be used. Just check the Cd content. For low fertility situations or low rainfall, use a blend of RPR and high-analysis soluble P. Fact 9. For N, rather than granular urea, use prilled urea, sprayed immediately prior to, or during, the spreading with urease inhibitor. Use of N can be literally cut in half with big savings. Fact 10. Potash is more efficient, and must less likely to cause metabolic problems, if applied in small doses 4 times a year, adding up to 50-60% of the total annual amount you are using now. Easy to mix with your prilled urea. Leaching of anions like nitrate will be minimised as well. For more info, email Bert Quin on bert.quin@quinfert.co.nz, or phone 021 427 572, or visit www.quinfert.co.nz

Ten Basic Fertiliser Facts You Must Know and Adopt to Meet 2025 Water Quality Limits:


RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

MANAGEMENT 33

DINZ ups onfarm support DEER INDUSTRY NZ says it has beefed-up its farmer services by appointing Phil McKenzie as its new manager of farm performance. McKenzie is now managing the on-farm components of the DINZ’s Primary Growth Partnership programme, Passion2Profit (P2P), as well as the development of the industry’s farm-facing services. In these roles, he works closely with DINZ producer manager Tony Pearse and environmental stewardship manager Lindsay Fung. The position – a newly created one – was established following the appointment in late 2019 of Innes Moffat – the former P2P manager – as chief executive. Overall, DINZ says its staff numbers remain unchanged. “We are increasingly focusing the on-farm side of the P2P programme on helping our farmers improve water quality and biodiversity, and to meet climate change obligations. Meeting market and social expectations for animal and environmental management will enhance the value of the industry,” Moffat says. “Deer farmers have

long been leaders in good environmental practice. The challenge is to fit that good practice into a framework that complies with district plans and new and proposed legislation.” Over the past 12 months, McKenzie has already been working part-time for DINZ as the P2P environment project manager. “I have been helping groups of farmers complete their Farm Environment Plans. This work will continue. Our formula of bringing together groups of deer farmers, where they can learn from each other, with the support of skilled consultants, is working well,” he says. Originally from a farm in Southland, McKenzie has worked in many regions throughout New Zealand and overseas. He has deep farm systems knowledge and extensive agribusiness experience, including experience with Pamu, where in his most senior role he was a general manager with responsibility for environment. “I’ve been impressed by the spirit of innovation among deer farmers, their ambition to excel and their willing-

ness to collaborate. There is of course much still to be done, which is what excites me about this new role – working with others to design practical onfarm solutions that work.”

Phil McKenzie pictured in a large QEII National Trust open space wetland covenants, near Mossburn in Southland.

FARMER FORUMS FIVE DAIRYNZ Farmers’ Forums are being held across New Zealand during February and March. DairyNZ strategy and investment leader Dr Bruce Thorrold says this year’s forums in Northland, Waikato, Taranaki, Canterbury and Southland are an opportunity for dairy farmers to hear about the latest changes on and off-farm, and what they mean for the future of dairy. “The Farmers’ Forums will outline what is driving current change and what that means for farmers, what national and regional policy is in the pipeline, and the latest levy-funded science solutions for farms.” Each Farmers’ Forum is being held on a research farm, in Waikato on February 19; Southland on March 3; Taranaki on March 11 and Canterbury on March 12. The first forum, in Northland on February 18, is being held at the ASB Stadium in conjunction with the Northland Dairy Development Trust conference. The DairyNZ Farmers’ Forums are free for DairyNZ levy payers and their staff. Visit: www.dairynz.co.nz/farmersforum. 1673 NAIT Advert Jan19_280x187_FA.indd 1

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Ensuring cows are ok to transport ABOUT NOW, many cull cows will start leaving farms around the country. Let your transporter know in advance if you are sending any tall cattle, horned cattle, or cattle with vet certificates. If you’re unsure, seek advice from your vet. Minimise transport distance Request that cull cows be sent to a processing facility nearby. Minimising transport time and distance is better for the cow and you, because risk of injury or going down increases with time and distance. Only transport cows that are not likely to give birth during the journey or within 24 hours of arriving at the destination.  If cos are within four weeks of calving date, travel should be less than 2 hours.

Discuss tall cattle with your transporter Always let your transport company know if you have any larger or taller cows or bulls in the load. A single deck truck is best for tall animals, otherwise they should be loaded on the bottom deck to minimise the risk of back rub. Also tell your transporter if any of the cattle have horns. In most instances, horned cattle should be penned separately on the truck to prevent injury other animals. Make sure she’s fit for transport Contact your vet, transport operator or processing company if you are unsure whether an animal is fit for transport.  No signs of ill health  No visible wounds, bleeding, disease, deformity or infection No ingrown or recently removed horns

Cancer eye lesions must be confined to the eye, smaller than 2cm and not bleeding or discharging.  Able to bear weight evenly on all four limbs  The right Body Condition Score - BCS 3 or greater. Cows with BCS below 3 will require a veterinary certificate and can only be transported to slaughter or better grazing, not to saleyards. Stand cows off green feed for at least 4 hours Stand stock off green feed for at least 4 hours (but for no more than 12 hours). A grazed-out paddock or stand-off pad are better options because concrete surfaces can contribute to tender feet and aren’t good for lying. Give extra calcium Lactating cows need extra calcium, in addition to extra mag-

nesium, on the day of transport. Ideally, provide as an oral drench. Alternatively, provide a slurry with hay or dust pasture. If there’s no roughage on hand, it is possible to mix with dry feed/meal in troughs in the yard. Use the same rates as for colostrum cow supplementation. Provide roughage and water Continue feeding silage, hay or straw during stand-off, especially for lactating cows or prior to long-distance journeys. Ensure all stock have access to water prior to loading. Many farmers have plumbed in a basic water trough at the yards that can be filled whilst the yards are in use. Remember, this will be their last chance to eat and they won’t get a drink until they arrive. More info: https://www.dairynz. co.nz/animal/transporting-stock/

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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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

ANIMAL HEALTH 35

Records kept up-to-date Marlborough deer farmer Justin Stevens has the records of all his deer dating back to 2016. He uses a livestock scanner and a book to keep on top of his NAIT account. He’s always ready to replace tags and uses his mobile phone to keep track of tag numbers. Where is your NAIT location? Near Seddon, in Marlborough, on 180-hectares. What is your farming operation? I manage around 600 deer: 300 velvet stags, 70 spikers, and 230 hinds. Velveting and venison is our focus. Some of the deer are up to 10 yearsold. How do you manage your NAIT obligations? I check my NAIT account every two weeks to ensure it is up to date with deer that have been killed or died. If you leave it longer, it’s harder to go back and update and this undermines animal traceability too. Sam, our dog, helps flush out stags that have ventured into the scrub. We apply visual tags first to the deer and then once the fawns have run with the mothers we’ll fit the NAIT tags at about 80 days old. It’s easier to identify the deer with visual tags because the tag is larger and has only four digits, and this helps if the NAIT tag becomes unreadable or is lost. How do you register the deer in NAIT? We use a Gallagher TSI livestock reader to capture the tag numbers.  I’ll then transfer that information into my NAIT account. When tagging, we select the NAIT RFID tags in sequence, that way you can easily match the tags in your NAIT account to the deer you’ve recently tagged. We also have a book we started back in 2016, where all the animals we’ve produced are recorded. This is good backup to compare used NAIT tag numbers with which deer. Is tag retention an issue for you? No, not really. We don’t have a deer crush, but if I’m velveting, I’ll tag them when they’re

asleep. We have a catwalk at the race which is set up so we can tag there too. Obviously older hinds tend to lose tags, and they might go through three tags in their lifetime. But you expect that with pokers [deer] pushing under fences. If they keep doing this and losing tags, it’s best to offload them and request an unsafe to tag (UTT exemption) from OSPRI before sending them to the works. Have you ever sent an ‘unsafe to tag’ deer to the works? Not from memory. I’ll check the night before and then again on the day, before the stock truck arrives. I send only around 140 a year to the works, so perhaps that’s why I’ve never had that issue. What are your impressions of NAIT since it became mandatory for deer farmers in 2016? It’s fine, though I have a background with using computers so that helps. I’m not sure deer farmers are utilising the system enough and getting the benefits. For deer management you can track the weight, grades and the progeny using a scanner. I believe NAIT and traceability are going to become especially important in the future. Farmers just need to get on with it and get it done. If you need help call the OSPRI Contact Centre, they’re friendly and know how to speak to farmers. Any NAIT tips for deer farmers? When replacing a NAIT tag, take a picture on your cell phone of the new RFID tag you’re using. This is ideal, because it also records the actual date you changed the tag, so that if you forget, you can always check your phone and update it in your livestock reader or book.

Marlborough deer farmer Justin Stevens.


RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

36 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

AGCO set to expand MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

AGCO RECENTLY announced a further expansion of its Beauvais site in France, at the Choose France summit – led by French President Emmanuel Macron. “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of a 15.7ha next door, to consolidate our presence in Beauvais,” Martin Richenhagen – chairman, president and chief executive officer of AGCO said. The new acquisition, will see the company

AGCO’s Beauvais factory.

invest around €40 million ($NZ 67m), creating 200 new jobs to add to the 100-plus jobs created at Beauvais 3 – back in 2018 to make Beauvais the Global Home of the Massey Ferguson Brand. Including 4.5ha of buildings, AGCO says the

expansion will include a tractor customisation workshop to offer a wider choice to our customers, fitting specific, customised equipment and accessories off the production line. Additionally, the company will develop a

manufacturing facility to capitalise on acquired expertise on prototype parts 3D printing for manufacturing for small series, complex and customised parts production to support the tractor customisation workshop.

From April 2020, the facility will undertake in-house production of hydraulics pipes, which are currently outsourced from suppliers in Europe and Asia. A separate department will undertake gearbox remanufacturing. The company notes the extra space will also allow it to roll out a range of new agricultural machinery. This is a key part of growth plans for Massey Ferguson, which saw 18 new tractor ranges launched since 2015 – with a further 10 to come by 2023.

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GLOBAL MANUFACTURER John Deere is collaborating with German company Volocopter to develop large drones for agricultural use. A demonstration of the VoloDrone was shown at the recent 2019 Agritechnica Event, equipped with a JD spray rig – making good use of the machine’s 200kg load capacity. Powered by 18 rotors, giving it an overall diameter of 9.2 metres, the unit incorporates a fully electric drive system using replaceable lithium-ion batteries, said to offer flight times of up to 30 minutes. The drone uses a standardised payload attachment system, meaning a variety of implements can be easily attached and carried. In the case of the sprayer unit – seeing twin spray tanks, a pump and spray boom. The company suggests that the set-up has a capacity to cover up to 6ha/hr, with less noise and improved spray management than conventional helicopters, largely due to its low attitude in flight. Both partners of the collaboration suggest that for agriculture, the concept will offer benefits in areas of poor topography, along with uses in the crop protection, seed distribution and frost control. – Mark Daniel

The interest rate for the loan is 3.79% and is based on a schedule of 36 monthly payments. To suit seasonal cash flow, there are no payments required through * Te r m s , c o n d i t i o n s & l e n d i n g c r i t e r i a a p p l y. June, July, August and September so customers can take a winter payment holiday, and maybe go on holiday instead! Preapproval is now a lot easier with online tools that can give a definitive answer within a few minutes. Preapproval can also be granted by answering a few simple questions over the phone, which makes the process simple and straightforward. These Krone finance offers apply to all new imported products so be in quick to ensure your order is made by the end of the second quarter and take advantage of these great offers. This loan also consists of a $375 documentation fee and $20 Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR). Any documentation relating to either package needs to be preapproved and supplied prior to the end of the second quarter to ensure the order is met. Lending and credit criteria apply.

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS 37

Handy app, funny name MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

MODERN SMARTPHONES allow us to explore a world of applications (apps), many of which we download, use a couple of times, and then forget. However, one useful app that is being used by an increasing number of rural people is the strangely named What 3 Words (W3W) for directing staff, visitors, contractors or even the emergency services to specific locations on a property. It was developed by co-founder Chris Sheldrick, who had become increasingly frustrated by the inaccuracy of the UK postcode system -- especially in rural areas. The app has cleverly divided the entire planet into 3m x3m squares, with each given a unique three word reference that will never change. With a mathematician friend, Sheldrick calculated that the English language offered enough three-word combinations to accurately reference the whole planet; with 40,000 words enough to cover the 57 trillion, 3m

x 3m squares required to map the globe. To use the service, users need to download the Apple or Android mobile phone app or to visit the W3W website. Once the threeword address has been obtained, it can be sent to anyone – whether they have downloaded the app or not – by opening the link and they will be taken to a map location. To navigate to a W3W square using a smartphone, users just click on the location or type in the three-word address and select a navigation method, such as Google Maps, Apple Maps or a compass. The tool uses smartphones’ inbuilt GPS receivers, so in areas with no phone signal, it’s still capable of finding the user’s location. However, a signal or some other form of communication (such as a CB radio) will be required to send the location to others. Notable squares in New Zealand are craftily. obeys.rips; which is the home of NZ National Fieldays, floats.monks. nurses; finds The Beehive in Wellington and jumpy. vocab.mutual; which

will guide you to The Cloud on Auckland’s waterfront. However, as the developer points out, the apps’ key benefit is to guide users to remote, anonymous locations – rather than well-known landmarks. The system was launched in 2013 and has

millions of users across the world. It has been translated into 36 languages and has even been adopted in Mongolia for its postal service. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews The What 3 Words app directs users to specific locations on a property.

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

38 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

Deals with trash in a flash MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

ACTIVE VMA is a Rotorua- based engineering business that specialises in roading, forestry, agricultural and construction equipment. The company offers the FAE product range as a key part of their offerings. FAE group is an industrial equipment manufacturer based in northern Italy, who over the last 30 years have used their research and development department to become an industry leader in heavy-duty shredding and mulching machinery. FAE heavy-duty trash cultivators have developed a following amongst contractors in New Zealand who specialise in converting recently cleared forestry and old scrub blocks back into

productive land. Until recently, timber remnants or slash from cleared forestry blocks, has been left to gradually break down. This has a potential to pose a serious environmental risk. One only has to look at the problems caused in the East Cape last year, with “slash” block-

ing waterways, while also extending the time to bring the land back into productive use. Similar problems have also been seen Gisborne – with slash blocking waterways, therefore taking longer before blocks can return to productive land use. By using a FAE cultivator to clear the organic

material that remains after harvesting, the remnants are shredded and fully incorporated into the cultivated soil. This helps organic material to break more rapidly, while also returning nutrients to the soil profile to give following crops a head start. “Although taking the

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extra step to properly clear forestry land after harvest requires more time up front,” explains Ray Copland from Active VMA. “It actually saves landowners time and money by ensuring a block is ready for a second forestry rotation or another crop much sooner.” He says the practise helps eliminate the potential environmental risks caused by the huge volumes of debris left post-harvest. FAE cultivators range from a working width of 1.5m to 2.5m to suit tractors from 100-hp to 500hp. The machines can shred timber up to 450mm -diameter, crush stones up to 350mm and offer a maximum working depth of 500mm – depending on model. www.activema.co.nz

Fert sorted via phone FOR THE past decade, European fertiliser spreader manufacturer Sulky has been offering Fertitest – a service designed to assist with the configuration and effective use of the brand’s spreaders. Currently, the system offers more than 1500 listed fertilisers with the indicative settings for Sulky spreaders. Now, the new “My Fertitest” platform makes the most of current interactive technologies to enable farmers to create and administer an on-line user account, to personalise and record their machine’s settings. Using the platform, a farmer can build a unique database that can be re-used as a reference point for future fertiliser applications. As part of the package, a notepad makes it possible to add notes for each fertiliser and a preferred setting . The system avoids re-entries and makes it possible to simplify the procedure of searching for settings by ensuring individual or multiple machines are recorded in their real configurations. In practice, a user connects to My Fertitest using their account and will find previous settings used with an individual fertiliser, without the need look up the fertiliser and machine configuration. New mobile application version will be available and usable in offline mode, either by downloading e-application via: www.fertitest.sulky-burel.com or via mobile app stores.


RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS / RURAL TRADER 39

New fertiliser deposits closer to home MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

THE TOPIC of shipping fertiliser around the world, brings with it environmental and socio-economic issues. Just look at the issues currently facing Ravensdown regarding the sourcing of phosphate from the Western Sahara. In the case of Potash, the main producers are Canada, Russia and Belorussia, which cumulatively account for two thirds of the world’s production. However, in the future, it looks likely that those figures might change. New Zealand will likely source its supply of K from closer to home – when production from Australia comes on stream.

Lake Mackay, in the big country’s Northern Territory and Western Australia areas, is said to cover an area of 3,500 square kilometres – making it the largest, undeveloped sulphate of potash bearing salt lake in the world. Experts suggest that once developed, Lake Mackay will allow Australia to move from a position that sees it import 100% of its potash requirements, to one of the most globally significant producers and exporters. Lake Mackay’s brinehosted potash deposits are different from hard rock deposits, in that the groundwater may be recharged over time, where rock-based residues are eventually mined out. Ninety per

Australia’s Lake Mackay is said to cover anarea of 3500 square kilometres – making it the largest, undeveloped sulphate of potash bearing sale lake in the world.

cent of all potash production in the world is Muriate of Potash (MOP), which contains 46% chloride. Lake Mackay’s Sulphate of Potash (SOP) and Sulphate of Potash Magnesia (SOPM) are premium chloride-free forms of potash fertil-

izer, which is increasingly being used for advanced farming practices to minimize agricultural pollution and water usage. During production, the extraction of potassiumrich brine is achieved via a shallow trench system. As one might expect of such a vast area, the

RARE AS HEN’S TEETH A 1981 MODEL 1884 County tractor was recently sold at the Cheffins Collectors Sale to a buyer in Ireland for a staggering GBP 132,000 + 6% commission to make a total of GBP 140,000 (NZ$ 279,000). The tractor, described as original and showing only 3833 hours, has been in the same ownership for 35 years. It is believed to be the third example to come off the production line. Only 30 examples of the model were made. Based on the Ford TW-30, the County 1884 was launched at the 1980 Smithfield Show held at Earls Court, London. It had a turbocharged and inter-cooled engine that delivered 188hp. The tractor was the first ‘long-nose’ County – the stretched hood housing the oil cooler and the fuel tank – with the F-type flat deck version of Ford’s Straddle-Q cabin with air conditioning fitted as standard. At the time, these high-specification tractors carried a hefty price tag of GBP 34,531 (NZ$69,000), with only

trenches and feed channels will have a length

of 550km, an average depth of 4.5 metres and result in 8.5 million cubic metres of material being excavated. Brine will flow along the trenches and feed into solar evaporation ponds the will eventually cover 34 square kilometres at start up. As one would expect in such a remote location, the excavation of these trenches and canals – plus the establishment of the evaporation ponds – is no simple task. The upper crust of the lake is only 50cms thick, with a

semi-fluid layer beneath. These physical properties require the use of amphibious excavators, designed and manufactured in Finland, while also dealing with the intense heat of WA – in an environment that is ten times saltier than seawater. A feasibility study completed in 2018, estimates that Lake Mackay’s SOP production rate will be around 426,000 tonnes during the first 20 years. This is double Australia’s current annual consumption.

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RURAL NEWS // FEBRUARY 11, 2020

40 RURAL TRADER DOLOMITE

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Profile for Rural News Group

Rural News 11 February 2019  

Rural News 11 February 2019

Rural News 11 February 2019  

Rural News 11 February 2019