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MANAGEMENT

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

AGRIBUSINESS

Eyes open to different ways of farm ownership. PAGE 20

Former All Black backs downto-earth rural internet provider.

NZ Agritech to get a Government push PAGE 13

PAGE 23

TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS MAY 19, 2020: ISSUE 701 

www.ruralnews.co.nz

Ag’s big break SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

FORMER FONTERRA chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden is predicting “a big shift” in New Zealand agriculture in a post COVID-19 world. He believes the sector will have a wonderful opportunity to reset itself. Speaking last week on a webinar, organised by the Rural Support Trust, the Waikato agribusiness leader noted that agriculture has always been the backbone of the economy. “We have been the driving the economy; the economy cannot do without us,” he says. “I think that’s lost and a little forgotten over the last five to ten years. “Post COVID-19 will provide a wonderful opportunity to come to the fore again.” However, he warned farmers there will be challenges from a looming global recession, which will result in

high unemployment and a drop in income. This will cause realignment in global demand and supply of milk. Van der Heyden says no one is sure how things will play out in the next 12 months. “We are in a period of uncertainty: no one actually knows what’s going to happen going forward.” Commenting on the forecast milk price for 2020-21, van der Heyden noted some banks were predicting between $5.60 and $5.75/kgMS.

Van der Heyden, who is chairman of Rabobank Australia, says those numbers “feel conservative”. “I’m still hoping we will have a six in front of the payout.” His message to farmers is to budget conservatively. “I feel this is a time for many of us to be conservative.” While uncertain about the next 12 months, van der Heyden says he remains positive about dairying. “I think we are going into a reces-

sion. There will be high unemployment and incomes will be down, but fundamentals of food will come to the fore. “Milk price will depend [on] the fundamentals of supply and demand.” He also urged farmers to maintain a strong relationship with their bankers. “Banks don’t like surprises: stay close to your budgets and keep the banks informed”. Van der Heyden served as Fonterra chairman between 2002 and 2012. He has farming interests in NZ and Chile.

Bloody dry! Farmers in Hawkes Bay are facing a desperate situation with no relief in sight from the disastrous drought gripping the region. Scenes like this on the farm of Hawkes Bay Federated Farmer president Jim Galloway illustrate what many farmers in Hawkes Bay are facing. For many farmers there, it is the worst drought they have experienced and possibly the region’s worst in living memory. – See full story pages 6-7.

JUST PLAIN DUMB PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

POLITICIANS WHO advocate that New Zealand should adopt any form of protectionist trade policies have been labelled “stupid” by the chair of the Dairy Companies Association of NZ (DCANZ). Malcolm Bailey is concerned about some of the remarks by certain politicians, whom he says have been quoted as thinking along these lines. Bailey says at some stage Covid-19 will transition from being a health problem to an economic problem and any rise in protectionism will be bad for NZ. Bailey says putting up the shutters in terms of trade barriers would be bad for everyone. He points to the example of Singapore, with whom NZ has an excellent trading relationship. He says under a protectionist regime that country would virtually starve to death because they are not a food producer and in turn New Zealanders would be deprived of quality, cost effective consumer products. “Anyone advocating protectionist policies is just plain dumb,” he says. Bailey believes the market for dairy products has held up pretty well so far, but acknowledges that there have been challenges in terms of getting product to market. However, he says people have found innovative and pragmatic ways of sorting these out.

THUMBS UP TO OUR FARMERS AND GROWERS. WE’RE WORKING THROUGH THIS TOGETHER.

Your local FMG team is still working to help you with everything you need – from offering advice, to updating policies or making claims. And if things are a bit tough right now, we’re here to help out there too. To find out how, call us on 0800 366 466 or go to fmg.co.nz/covid19-information. FMG1106RNFPS_T

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 19, 2020

NEWS 3

Fallout from food service sector collapse

ISSUE 701

www.ruralnews.co.nz

PETER BURKE

NEWS��������������������������������������1-12

peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

AGRIBUSINESS���������������������� 13

THE VIRTUAL collapse of the international food service sector is likely to have an adverse effect of some exports of New Zealand meat. According to the country’s former Special Trade Envoy, Mike Petersen, it will be a long time before the food service sector bounces back. He told Rural News that that a lot of NZ companies have been rightly chasing highvalue markets with a focus on the food service sector. “I believe there will be a lot of casualties in that space in the international markets, ranging from master importers, who are supplying restaurants and cafes, through to retail customers themselves,” Petersen says. “The collapse of the food servicing sector will really hurt and the fact that we are heading into the holiday

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Former Special Trade Envoy, Mike Petersen says it will be a long time before the food service sector bounces back.

which tend to go into the fine dining restaurants and cafes. He says the highpriced cuts are going to be challenging to sell. However, he says on the positive side lower priced meats will likely come through the Covid-19 crisis well.

season in the northern hemisphere where there won’t be a tourist season this year is going to make demand quite subdued.” Petersen says two of the casualties – in terms of product – are likely to be venison and premium cuts of lamb,

He points to the example of beef and says because it is seen as a comfort food, prices could potentially rise. “People will be looking for the likes of hamburgers, takeaways and meat that can easily be cooked at home.” Petersen says given the chaos in the US market, there may be some shortterm opportunities for gaps to be filled by NZ meat, while processing plants there are closed due to Covid. He says there are also promising signs in China as that market opens up. Petersen says the outlook for apples and kiwifruit also looks good as consumers seek healthy foods. He also acknowledges though that dairy prices, especially for high value consumer products, may be down. “My big concern remains what will happen in the light of the collapse of the food service sector around the world and what impact that may have on NZ in the coming season,” he says.

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A 12-MONTH delay in implementing new country-of-origin labelling laws will hurt New Zealand farmers and pork producers already struggling against imported pork and recent lockdown restrictions. General manager of Harrington’s Smallgoods, Angus Black, claims this decision is counterintuitive to the current reality NZ pork farmers and producers are facing, at a time when they need local support the most. New laws were passed in late 2018 around the origin of food products, including cured pork like bacon and ham. However, due to the disrup-

POSTAL ADDRESS PO Box 331100, Takapuna, Auckland 0740 Published by: Rural News Group Printed by: Ovato Print CONTACTS Editorial: editor@ruralnews.co.nz Advertising material: davef@ruralnews.co.nz Rural News online: www.ruralnews.co.nz Subscriptions: subsrndn@ruralnews.co.nz ABC audited circulation 79,553 as at 31.03.2019

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 19, 2020

4 NEWS MEAT PROCESSING BACK TO NORMAL SOON SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

Ray Smith says assistance from the fund won’t help farmers in the short term, but it will help get them back on their feet for next season.

Farmers queue up for drought advice PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

THE MINISTRY for Primary Industries says, in the space of a week, it’s had over 120 applications for assistance from the special drought recovery fund. The fund offers farmers in areas badly hit by the drought to access $5,000 worth of specialist advisory services to help them get their businesses back on track for next season. The fund, which is administered by MPI, is to help farmers and horticulturalists to get quality advice on such issues as strategic planning, technical advice on soil and pastures and sustainable management techniques. MPI director general Ray Smith says dealing with the drought is incredibly challenging for many

farmers and while assistance from the fund won’t help farmers in the short term it will help get them back on their feet for next season. Smith says the Rural Support Trusts have been doing a great job and in the last week the Hawkes Bay trust fielded more than 160 calls from farmers. “Hopefully at Level 2 Alert, there will be an opportunity for the trust to get out and check if other farmers are facing stress,” he told Rural News. Smith says operating within Level 2 is getting back to a more normal environment which will be positive for rural communities. He says it will see rural supply stores open, sale yards opening and stores such as butchers, fruit and vegetable stores and fish shops also open for business.

But he says these businesses will have to meet the strict protocols that allow them to open. These include maintaining hygiene standards, physical distancing, keeping groups to a maximum of 10 people and having a system of recording anyone who comes into a business. “Meat processing plants are back to normal and some are operating at 100% capacity,” Smith adds. “I think the meat industry has done an outstanding job, along with the packhouses, dairy companies and all the other groups that have worked during lockdowns four and three.” Under alert level 2, MPI plans to phase-in the return of staff to offices around the country. Smith says initially about 30% of staff will be back in their offices – with the remainder still working from home.

FARMERS ARE hoping that processing capacity at meat plants will return to normal within a month. Federated Farmers president Katie Milne says the meat companies are working hard to achieve normal processing capacity. “The works assure us they are catching up fast and will be close to normal soon – sheep much sooner than beef,” Milne told Rural News. “The North Island is further through their kill than the South Island. Hopefully by mid-June things will be near right again.” Covid-19 meat processing protocols, which require physical distancing between employees to prevent the spread of the virus, reduced the industry’s processing capacity in level 4 by about 50% for sheep and lamb and 30% for beef. Longer wait times, up to six weeks in some cases, put additional pressure on winter feed resources as farmers were forced to hold on to stock for longer. Alliance chief executive David Surveyor has told farmers that the

Meat companies are working hard to achieve normal processing capacity.

company is continuing to increase processing capacity across the network. “Our plants are running overtime, extended shifts and at weekends,” he told suppliers in an email last week. “We are also transporting livestock from the South Island to the North Island to ease the pressure in the south.” Surveyor says the co-op is on track to reach its Alert Level 3 target of over 90% capacity for ovine and over 95% for bovine across the network. “The Meat Industry Association is working on a new processing protocol for Alert Level 2 and there is an expectation this will enable

us to increase capacity further,” he says. Meanwhile, Alliance will be offering a deer supply contract from July through to December 2020. Surveyor says this will provide farmers with some certainty, helping manage risk during significant market uncertainty. He says Alliance has been responsibly managing its inventory and sales. “However, there does appear to be some inventory build-up in global markets and we expect this to impact sales prices in the short to medium term. “We continue to have long term confidence in the deer industry,” Surveyor says.

Ten Basic Fertiliser Facts You Must Know and Adopt to Meet 2025 Water Quality Limits: Eight basic facts Regarding whether granulating RPR is a good idea to meet the 2025 water quality limits

Dr Bert Quin

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 (ii). True RPRs easily maintain high production as well as soluble P, but are far, far less susceptible to run-off and leaching. And RPR Fact 3.you 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 saves money! releases P in a sustained fashion for plants. Fact (iii). Quinfert Algerian RPR is the only low-cadmium, internationally- recognised true RPR available in New Zealand. Available 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 throughout (sulphur 90) NZ. is far more efficient than the excess sulphate in super. Fact(iv). 5. Following 1-4meet above will greatly reduce P run-off and leaching. This should be done and nowhere the situation reassessed Fact It doesn’t the obsolete Fertmark 30-minute citric acid solubility test. Sobefore what.anything This testelse, is used outside NZ; it before has spending huge amounts money! been widely criticised asofnot being fit for purpose. Far better alternatives are available. Fact 6. It is nonsensical to give in to pressure to install expensive mitigations riparian strips, excessively large wetlands and ‘phosphorus walls’ when you Fact RPR of is their best long-term used in small-particle form. This ensures thatand all before particles in established contact withwhether the acid in the soil. Its reacts with the have(v). no idea effectiveness and maintenance costs, youget have changing to sustained-release RPR is all RPR, releases the Pinto plant-available form at a sustained rate, maintaining high pasture growth and reducing lime requirements. you need to do! Fact(vi). 7. inMaking any casenormal-sized simple fenced-off 3-metre wide grass strips arethe essentially and vastly cheaper than more with complex strips. Fact granules (4-6mm) out riparian of RPR defeats purposeasofeffective using RPR. Granules make contact much lessBoth of reduce bacterial and sediment losses. Neither will have any significant long-term beneficial effect (on a whole -farm basis) on soluble P and the soil acid that does fine RPR. While the granules themselves will break up sooner or later, this still leaves the landing site of eachnitrate-N granuleloss. But grass strips beparticles, harvested taking in summer to longer be fed out, improve P to and N cycling. overloaded withcan RPR much to betoconverted plant-available form. This was shown long ago. Prills of about 2mm 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 are a far better idea. situations or low rainfall, use a blend of RPR and high-analysis soluble P. Fact want to totally minimise drift, simply ask immediately for our RPR ‘CM’ RPR),with which has inhibitor. 2.5% moisture Fact(vii). 9. ForIfN,you rather than granular urea, usedust prilled urea, sprayed prior (Controlled to, or during,Moisture the spreading urease Use of evenly N can be added. flows beautifully, with minimal dust. Same price, but the spec is slightly lower of course. literally It cut in half with big savings. Fact(viii). 10. Potash moreaefficient, and must less likely to cause metabolic if applied in small 4 times a year, adding up todo! 50-60% of the total Fact If youiswant wider ground-spread, tell your contractor to problems, optimise his equipment to doses do this, before his competitors annual amount you are using now. Easy to mix with your prilled urea. Leaching of anions like nitrate will be minimised as well.

Fact (i). The overuse of soluble P is by far the largest cause of P run-off and leaching, and the decline in the quality of Kiwi waterways.

For phone021 021-427 572, visit www.quinfert.co.nz Formore moreinfo. info,email emailBert Bert Quin Quin on on bert.quin@quinfert.co.nz, bert.quin@quinfert.co.nz, ororphone 427 572, oror visit www.quinfert.co.nz


RURAL NEWS // MAY 19, 2020

NEWS 5

NZ farmers well placed to weather storm DAVID ANDERSON

WHILE IT is early days yet, Kiwi farmers are well placed to weather the Covid-19 storm, according to Rabobank NZ chief executive Todd Charteris. “At the moment, everything is about Covid and how New Zealand agriculture is going to cope,” he told Rural News. “A lot of the journey is unknown, with supply chain interruption – both locally and internationally – and the impact of consumer demand, with the food service sector hit so hard.” However, Charteris believes one key mitigant that gives Rabobank confidence about NZ farming is the expectation of the NZ dollar falling further in coming months. “We expect the dollar to fall to 57 cents US

within three months and stay there through till the start of 2021,” he says. Charteris also believes that, in some cases, NZ has benefitted from missteps offshore. “New Zealand has done a really good job in tackling the virus and this leaves us in a good place to begin a recovery,” he adds. “Many competing regions have seen shortages of picking labour, plant disruptions, port bottlenecks, and export restrictions – all of which have kept markets, like beef, tighter than what otherwise might have been the case.” However, Charteris warns that there are some clouds on the horizon for the farming sector with dairy likely to be the hardest hit. “It’s unlikely that New Zealand will escape the challenges cur-

Rabobank NZ chief executive Todd Charteris says NZ agriculture is well placed to weather the Covid-19 storm but warns that there are some clouds on the horizon for the farming sector with dairy likely to be the hardest hit.

rently facing the global dairy markets,” explains. “Despite New Zealand winding down milk supply for the season, the issues currently taking hold of the global dairy market and broader economy will persist into 2021 and likely beyond,” he says.

As such, Rabobank has what Charteris describes as “a reasonably bearish” outlook for dairy – forecasting a drop in farmgate milk prices for the 2020/21 season at NZ$5.60/kgMS. He says the red meat sector has seen demand take a hit, with NZ

exports to China down by 55% in February, but there are signs this market is coming back. “It seems premium cuts have been the big-

gest hit with the impact of Covid on the food service sector.” However, Charteris has praised the NZ meat industry for doing a really good job dealing with the interruption of markets and working within new safety guidelines to keep processing. He says farmgate prices eased for both sheep and cattle in April, as reduced processing capacity saw processing costs rise, and supply far outweigh available killing space. “Space for prime cattle will remain particularly difficult to secure until at least the end of May as processors work through

the seasonal peak in the national cow kill,” Charteris told Rural News. “North Island lamb supplies are starting to slow and space availability in the South Island is improving. This could support a degree of procurement competition in some parts of the country later in the month.” Charteris says the horticulture sector has done a fantastic getting harvest completed during the crisis. “The kiwifruit and apple sectors have shown best practices at a time of major disruption to NZ supply chains. Early season sales show markets are absorbing fruit, generally at prices above the same period in 2019.”

KEEPING IN TOUCH CHARTERIS SAYS Rabobank has worked hard during the lockdown to keep in touch with its farming clients. “Our first priority has been maintaining contact with our clients,” he told Rural News. “Staff have been working from home and unable to get on farm, but we have cranked up things like video conferencing with client groups.” Charteris says his staff have been sitting down with farmers in a ‘virtual sense’ doing all they can to help them out. “We are trying to be as respon-

sive as possible and sharing as much information as we can with them.” He says one good thing to come out of the Covid crisis has seen Rabobank develop and use online platforms to provide farmers with information and they intend doing more of this when things return to normal. Meanwhile, Charteris told Rural News that drought has had a far bigger impact on farmers than Covid. “The drought has been tough, with farmers having to sell capital

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 19, 2020

6 NEWS

Hawke’s Bay’s ‘worst ever’ drought? Farmers in Hawkes Bay are facing a desperate situation with no relief in sight from the disastrous drought gripping the region. In-lamb ewes and in-calf cows are being slaughtered simply because there is no feed on farms for them. Peter Burke reports. FEDERATED FARMERS Hawkes Bay chair Jim Galloway says farm-

ers he’s spoken with – who’ve lived in the area for a long time – say it’s

the worst drought they have experienced and possibly the worst in

Above and below left: The parched land on Hawkes Bay Fed Farmers president Jim Galloway’s farm shows just how dry it is in the region.

living memory. “It just keeps going on and on,” he told Rural News. Galloway says the small dairy industry in the region has taken a big hit, especially those who are autumn calving. He says many sheep and beef farmers have already drafted out the bottom third of their hoggets and, instead of putting

them in the main flock, have either sent them to sales or the freezing works. Vets have told him that, as a result of this and the lack of feed, scanning numbers are down. “Let’s face it, we are not far from June and pasture growth in some of the higher country will slow markedly – even if

they get rain. They will be struggling to grow their way out of the drought,” he told Rural News. Galloway says one of the worst hit areas is just under the ranges around Kereru and Crownthorp, but it is also bad around Tikokino and Takapau. He says a lot of farmers are trying to work out the next class of stock they

can sell, if they even will sell and what effect this may have on the viability of their business long term. “The reality is that the quicker they make decisions the better because if they get rid of stock they will have less worry and it will be better for them in the long term,” he says.


RURAL NEWS // MAY 19, 2020

NEWS 7 AG CONTRACTORS SEE THE IMPACT THE LASTING effects of the drought are seen by Rural Contractors NZ board members as a bigger challenge for contractors and farmers than COVID19. Meeting via video conference on Zoom in late April, the RCNZ board saw members from Southland to Northland commenting that the drought was the bigger issue. RCNZ President David Kean, who operates from Winton in Southland, says work was now starting to dry up

for contractors but that was seasonal and expected. Through winter he saw challenges for contractors and farmers given lower supplies of feed through drought to the north and a poor growing season in Southland itself. Wanaka based Richard Woodhead says many Otago farms are carrying higher stock numbers than normal because meat work processing had greatly reduced due to physical separation required under COVID-19 manage-

ment plans. big problem. Inland central “The works can’t Canterbury has had more process them all. It’s rain than coastal areas so going to be a problem in is looking okay going into a two months’ time.” winter. Canterbury board Wairarapa contractor member Martin Bruce Clinton Carroll says some says farmers were still sustained rain was needed as irrigating and looking most surplus feed had been for winter feed. Surplus used and stock numbers RCNZ president David straw, baleage and silage Kean. were high. have mostly been sold Across in Rangitikei, and not being able to sell stock is a Graham Greer says the region’s maize

crop has largely been poor, with some blocks only delivering 6t/ha for grain. As the region entered May it remained unbelievably dry. Some contractors and farmers were looking at planning winter wheat which was unusual. RCNZ Vice-President Helen Slattery, who is Matamata based, says maize has been down as low as 10 or 11t/ha. While the Waikato had been very dry, some green was starting to return. She says the drought had taken its toll on farmer mental health.

Mike Petersen says there is much conjecture as to whether the present drought is the worst in living memory.

Drought the main issue FORMER SPECIAL Trade Envoy Mike Petersen is a third-generation farmer in Central Hawkes Bay. His grandfather bought the farm he is in on in 1913 – the year of a terrible drought. Petersen told Rural News there is much conjecture as to whether the present drought is as bad as the 1913 event, which would make it the worst in living memory. He says the present drought is worse than the 1988/89 and probably as bad as the 1983 ‘killer’ drought. “The problem here is that it’s been so dry for so long,” Petersen says. “On our farm, we only had 450mm (of rain) for the 2019 calendar year. Since the first of July last year, we have only had 350mm of rain and there is still no sign of rain on the horizon.” He says in a normal year, they would get between 850 and 900mm. “Further to that, since January and up until the end of April, we have just 69mm on our farm – so we have been well behind for a long time.” Petersen says the situation is now critical. He says this is not the traditional summer dry situation where the east coast of the North Island is dry and west coast is wet. “This is really widespread across the whole of the North Island and there is a critical shortage of feed and virtually no store markets for stock. This has led to farmers slaughtering capital stock. In effect they are slaughtering next year’s income.” Petersen says he is lucky in that he is a ‘finisher’ with no breeding stock. He says he didn’t buy all the stock he normally would and recently sold two units of bulls to a buyer and effectively “gave them away”. He says droughts are not uncommon in Central Hawkes Bay. Farmers have put in place plans to deal with these and this has worked. But he says, in the case of the present drought and despite making a good decision one week, farmers are having to make another even bigger one a week later because things have just got worse. He adds that drinking water for stock is an issue on some farms. “I don’t want to over dramatise it, but the situation is pretty bad. There are animal and human welfare issues and these have been exacerbated by COVID-19 because it has been harder for people offering help to get around and identify people who need help,” Petersen told Rural News.

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 19, 2020

8 NEWS

Dairy farmers snap up fixed milk price options SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

DAIRY FARMERS are increasingly seeking the safety of a fixed milk price (FMP) as global economic uncertainty continues.

Fonterra says its FMP offer last month attracted a record oversubscription from farmer shareholders. The co-op allocated 7.5 million kgMS to 756 farms at $6.42/kgMS in April: farmers had offered

57.8 million kgMS for contracts. Fonterra says the significant oversubscription highlighted the benefits of the financial tool for farmers, particularly given the uncertainty around Covid-19, but has

Dairy farmers are seeking the safety of a fixed milk price as global economic uncertainty continues.

meant every farmer will only receive around 13% of what they applied for. “We can only offer a certain amount based on our ability to offset this with forward contracts with customers. There will be more application win-

Irrigation ca.1921-1924 courtesy State Library of NSW

TOGETHER WE’VE COME A LONG WAY

dows each month up to December for the 2020-21 season,” it says. The country’s second largest processor, Open Country Dairy (OCD), says it had an “overwhelming response” to its latest FMP contract offer. OCD offered its third FMP for the 2020-21 season at $6.30/kgMS, the offer closing May 8. While OCD hasn’t released details of its FMP uptake, chief executive Steve Koekemoer told suppliers in an email that the latest offer “has once again had an overwhelming response”. “We continue to work very hard to look for these opportunities to provide some price security to you,” he wrote in the company’s May news-

letter to suppliers. OCD is also working on a FMP trading platform to make the process easier for farmers. “It will be introduced to all of you at the July round of meetings and we plan to have it fully operational later in the year,” Koekemoer says. Fonterra, which runs a FMP contract every month, offered $5.97 for 12.5 million kgMS to its farmer suppliers this month. The co-op retains 10c/kgMS as a service fee. In March, it allocated 5 million kgMS at $6.90/ kgMS to 238 farms. It received applications for 15 million kgMS. Fonterra was due to release details of its May uptake as Rural News went to print last week.

FINANCIAL TOOL FONTERRA SAYS its fixed milk price (FMP) lets farmers: ●● Fix part of their income at a set market-based milk price. ●● Budget and forecast more accurately in a volatile milk price environment. ●● Add a simple tool to their financial toolkit to use when it suits. ●● Submit further applications to supply additional milk volume at a FMP as production changes and global prices shift during the season.

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 19, 2020

NEWS 9

Film gets monkey off his back DAVID ANDERSON

A YOUNG Kiwi, Los Angeles-based, filmmaker has made good use of the lockdown period and being stuck in New Zealand to help farmers battling with mental health issues. Twenty-year-old Hunter Williams has shot and produced a short video that addresses the poorer mental health outcomes facing the rural sector. The short film encourages rural people to talk about the struggles they may be facing and not keep their feelings bottled up. Williams told Rural News that he’d had his own mental health issues growing up and the film was something that was close to his heart. The eight minute documentary is called ‘The Monkeys on Our Backs’. Various farmers and organisations have been involved in the production, including the Rural Support Trust and Farmstrong. Williams was raised in Hawkes Bay and comes from a large farming family. He’d recently returned to NZ for a few months, due to Covid, and was able to use this time to finally complete the documentary. Williams shot the footage in October last year, just before relocating to Los Angeles to work in the film industry. But after moving back to New Zealand when coronavirus struck earlier this year, he had time to focus on editing the video during lockdown. Williams told Rural News the motivation for doing the film came from his own experience struggling with mental health related issues. “This is always something that has been close to my heart. I also grew up around farmers and rural communities, with the majority of my extended family being based in Central Hawkes Bay.” Williams says the idea for the documentary

came from a conversation he had at his mother’s wedding. “After I had done a speech, a farmer came up to me and said: ‘you look like you’ve got monkeys on your back; I’ve got monkeys on my back too’,” he explained. “This was the first time this farmer had opened up about his mental health and it got me thinking about how hard it must be for those struggling in rural areas.” He says the documentary is primarily aimed at rural people and aims to introduce a couple of characters from different backgrounds that the audience can see a bit of themselves in and relate to. “I hope that by hearing these stories people might find it within themselves to be willing to open up and talk about how they’re feeling with their friends and family, as I’m a firm believer that this is a necessary step when it comes to tackling this issue.” Williams says as well as talking to farmers in the film, he also speaks with Federated Farmers chief executive Terry Copeland, Michelle Thompson, who runs the workplace mental wellness workshop Good Yarn, and Lon Anderson who is a regional coordinator for the Rural Support Trust. The documentary also directs people to these organisations as places that they can find help if needed.  He says the idea is to distribute the film to media outlets like Rural News and also organisations running events in smaller communities – such as Rotary clubs and the Rural Support Trust – to get the message out to as many rural people as possible. “I would also love for urban people to be able to see this film too, to gain a greater appreciation for our rural communities and all they do to keep our country moving.” Now that he has got this monkey off his back, Williams hopes to return

to LA to resume his filmmaking career once Covid-19 crisis calms down. “That is the plan currently. However, the

situation seems to be changing every day,” he says. See the film here: https://hunterwilliams.net/ themonkeysonourbacks

Film maker Hunter Williams says his documentary aims to introduce characters from different backgrounds that a rural audience can see a bit of themselves in and relate to.

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 19, 2020

NEWS 11

Failed petition aims to spark more farming support DAVID ANDERSON

TE KUITI-BASED electrician Terry Waite’s demand that the Government apologise to farmers for the way it has treated them – especially over the last couple of years – has failed. Waite was so sparked up by what he believes is the Government’s poor treatment of farmers that he started a petition, asking people to support it so it could be presented to parliament. The petition needed

biggest worry.” Waite says some farmers are talking about walking away from the sector as it is all just getting too much, while others are getting paid to just grow trees.  “Food production is more important for our economy now than ever before,” he adds. “However, schools have started teaching our future generations that dairy farming is bad and that sheep/beef farming is bad.” Waite says present

“The Government has treated our primary producers with disrespect.” to attract 100,000 signatures.  He’d tried to get his petition to ask: ‘The NZ Govt to apologise to NZ farmers’. However, the bureaucrats wouldn’t allow that wording. Waite remains undeterred and concedes that any apology is unlikely. But he says an improvement in government treatment of primary producers would be welcomed. “The Government has treated our primary producers with disrespect with legislative and regulatory changes as well as additional taxes, which has resulted in suicides,” he told Rural News.  “Farmers are the backbone of our country and I believe they need a public apology from our Government.”  Waite says his motivation for starting the petition came from his experience dealing and interacting with farmers every day in his business, as well as his concerns about growing suicide rates and mental health issues in the rural sector. “I have worked in the electrical service industry for around 30 years in the King Country. I work on farms every day and talk to many farmers,” he told Rural News. “Farmers are not happy and feel the Government is their

government borrowing for the Covid-19 crisis will be funded by our primary producers’ future exports. “NZ’s economy was built on the agriculture sector, farmers are still working and producing and there is no subsidy for them,” he adds. “However, farmers feel more threatened by the Government than interest rates, commodity pricing or even then the weather – and that is just appalling.” Waite says this has seen a rise in farmer and rural suicide rates. He also blames mainstream media – especially TV and urban-based newspapers – saying they have not helped a growing anti-farmer sentiment in the country. “If people actually knew how hard working and caring our farming people are, they might not be fooled by biased reporting,” Waite adds. “NZ farmers are world leaders and other countries are adopting our farming practices. Even the UN says that food production should not be decreased for climate change policies.”  He cites as a prime example of the Government’s poor treatment of farmers, when a number turned up to protest that too much good farmland was being lost to forestry

in Wellington last November. “The Minister for Agriculture didn’t even give them the time of day and the remarks from the Minister of Forestry simply reinforced the Government’s disdain for

and regional New Zealand need a strong agricultural sector because it is their lifeline.    He says with an election coming, someone in Parliament will push for change and work with farmers, not against.

farmers,” Waite explains. “I feel that farmers are owed an apology at the very least and a backtrack on many of the restraints government has put on them.” Waite says many small towns in provincial

Petition organiser Terry Waite believe farmers are owed an apology at the very least and a backtrack on many of the restraints government has placed on them.

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 19, 2020

12 NEWS

Union boss doffs hat to meat companies PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

MEAT PROCESSING companies have gained praise for the way they

handled the challenges around Covid-19 from an unlikely source – the union. National secretary of the Meat Workers

Union, Daryl Carran, who recently took up the role, says all the meat companies have played the game by the rules very well. He told Rural News

that if all the problems in the sector were handled in the way that Covid has been, it would be great. Carran says currently between 75% and 80%

of meat workers are on the job and those that aren’t working are either over 70 years of age, have underlying health issues or have personal family

National secretary of the Meat Workers Union Daryl Carran.

circumstances that make it safer for them – and others in the workforce – to remain in isolation. He says the process of making the plants safe for workers during Covid was taken seriously by the industry. “I must admit, there haven’t been too many occasions like this, but we’re having weekly briefings with the Meat Industry Association, MPI and the Public Service Association and have found that extremely informative and helpful,” he says. “That allowed for input from the workers’ side of it and so I think that helped clarify things. It certainly resulted in the companies absolutely abiding by all the rules and taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of workers.” Carran says that practices such as the extra cleaning of hands and equipment, provision of extra personal protection equipment and physical distancing rules were strictly adhered too. They have also had to ensure that the distancing of two metres was observed in the dining rooms and the workplace, and that there no crowding in hallways at plants. “The NZ meat industry has worked together in the interests of keeping people safe. This is in sharp contrast to what has happened in the USA where workers have contracted Covid-19 and whole processing plants have had to close down.” Carran says the only issue in NZ was when a small plant had to close down for two weeks as a result of staff member having contact with the Bluff wedding cluster. There was also a worker

who tested positive at Alliance’s Smithfield plant, but no others were infected. He says production at the plants has been ramping up and varies from company to company. In some cases, it’s as high as 75% and notes that some have managed the changes better than others. But Carran says what is positive is that all the meat companies – in one form or another – have compensated workers who couldn’t come to work. He says even those workers who weren’t eligible for the subsidy were compensated for being on standby – as opposed to having their employment cut short. “The big companies made sure that their workers got paid their full wage – even when they were getting about half the production that they would normally get.” While Carran is delighted with the overall response of the industry, he singles out Silver Fern Farms for going above and beyond what was required. He says SFF’s communication with the union has been excellent with daily briefings between management and workers. Carran says this has ensured that potential problems have been headed off. “In terms of paying workers, SFF went beyond just making sure that staff didn’t lose money because of Covid, they paid them extra in recognition of the conditions they were having to deal with on site.” Carran told Rural News he takes his hat off to the overall way the meat companies have handled the situation.


RURAL NEWS // MAY 19, 2020

AGRIBUSINESS 13

NZ Agritech to get a Govt push MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

WHILE AGRICULTURE, horticulture and viticulture have an important role to play in the country’s recovery post Covid-19, it looks like the Agritech sector is set to get some backing from the Government. The Draft Agritech Industry Transformation Plan (ITP), in the making for more than 12 months, forms part of six sectors identified by MBIE that will benefit from government support to raise local and export earnings in this fastmoving sector. The Technology Investment Network (TIN), an independent source of information on NZ’s technology sector, suggests that the top 20 NZ tech companies generated $1.4 billion in 2019 – with 57% exported and 43% in sales to the local market. These companies also employed around 5,000 people, generating $283,000 of revenue per head employed. Currently, the sector is dominated by large, hightech manufacturers – such as Gallagher Group, NDA and Tru-Test – which, with others, make up 37% of the sector. These are followed by many companies earning between $25-$100 million in annual revenue – such as Waikato Milking Systems, Simcro and DTS. ITP lead David Downs suggests that the number of new entrants to the sector is still relatively low. “Agritech could be

bigger, but I believe it got side-tracked by gadgets on farms,” he claims. In making the Agritech sector one of MBIE’s six key sectors, there is potential for it to become a high export earner. However, it will also deliver a number of home-based advantages – not the least improvements in productivity and sustainability, alongside helping to address global challenges such as feeding a growing population and countering climate change. Scheduled to be launched in Rotorua in early April, but shelved due to the Covid-19 lockdown, the plan will now move forward with several high impact projects. The first will see the establishment of a Horticultural Robotics Academy, tasked to improve collaboration across NZ researchers, growers, tech solution providers and the Government. This aims to accelerate the development of robotics to address current and ongoing labour shortages, a problem likely to be with us for a long time, post Covid. A second area is participation in the Farm 2050 Global Network Project, with the aim to identify disruptive technologies in nutrients – via extensive trials, address agricultural environmental concerns, while offering NZ the chance to “scale up” quickly by taking on board global

David Downs believes there is potential for NZ’s agritech sector to become a high export earner.

opportunities. There will also be the establishment of a Specialised NZ Agritech Venture Capital Fund to

address the gap in earlystage funding for the Agritech sector. The ITP will also address core issues,

including connecting NZ Agritech to global opportunities and better collaboration with Australia.

A further point in the plan will be to create better connections between developers, industry and the

end-users to ensure development dollars are not being spent to address problems that don’t exist. On the employment front, a further work stream will set out to address the skills needs and staff shortages, upskilling existing employees, with a likely input to help “retrain” displaced workers. At a government level, there will be improvements to the transparency of support, better communication between government departments and a better understanding of the Agritech sector. “We envisage this as a two-to-three-year project, some areas of which have already commenced,” Down adds. “But with others subject to the 2020 budget allocation, that might have been compromised by Covid19.”

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

FOREST GROWERS LEVY TRUST INC The Annual General Meeting of the Forest Growers Levy Trust Inc is scheduled for 1.00pm on Tuesday 26 May at; Level 9, 93 The Terrace, Wellington. If you paid a levy in 2019 and wish to attend, go to; http://fglt.org.nz/about-us/agm-andtimetable Notice of attendance must be received by 12 noon on Friday 22 May. The business of the Annual General Meeting will include receiving the Annual Report and Financial Statements of FGLT, and any other business appropriate for an AGM.

www.fglt.org.nz

Forest Growers Levy Trust Inc • C/ PO Box 10986 • Wellington 6143 • Ph 04-473 4769

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 19, 2020

global agribusiness research analysts sharing market outlooks

14 MARKETS & TRENDS

Rabobank supports clients from farm to fork in

40

COUNTRIES

100 000

12630

farmers to connect Content supplied by Rabobank - Growing New Zealand Together with worldwide , a Better

NZ farmers likely to weather storm plant disruptions, port bottlenecks, and export restrictions – all of which have kept markets, like beef, tighter than what otherwise might have been the case.

Many competing regions have seen shortages of picking labour, plant disruptions, port bottlenecks, and export restrictions – all of which have kept markets, like beef, tighter than what otherwise might have been the case.

Dairy

forward final settlement payments.

NEW ZEALAND milk production for March was slightly ahead (+0.1%) of the previous year on a milk solids basis. For the season to March, New Zealand milk production is tracking 0.6% ahead on a kgMS basis, with only two months left to report. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that New Zealand will escape the challenges currently facing the global dairy markets. Despite New Zealand winding down milk supply for the season, the issues currently taking hold of the global dairy market and broader econ-

Beef

SECURING SPACE to kill cattle will remain

challenging over the coming month, with most processors still operating slightly below normal capacity levels while working through the

backlog created under alert Level 4. Rabobank expects farmgate prices to generally stabilize in May, as demand from China continues

North Island bull price, 2017-2020

omy will persist into 2021 and likely beyond. As such, Rabobank has forecast a drop in farmgate milk prices for the 2020/21 season. Rabobank’s current milk price forecast for 2020/21 stands at NZ$5.60/kgMS. As of 30 April, NZX milk futures for 2020/21 were

slightly below NZ$ 6.00/ kgMS. From 1 June, Fonterra will implement changes to their Advance Rate, which will help to improve cash flow for their suppliers. This includes bringing forward the monthly payment date and also bringing

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COR_RNREXV2_DOW0484

WE ARE still in the early stages of the Covid-19 market journey. Lockdowns will start to ease in many countries in coming months, but that will likely be a gradual process. And while people will be more able to move about, we will start to see the income effect of lower pay, reduced working hours, and high unemployment hit food and beverage sales. But Rabobank expects the NZ$ to fall further in coming months, providing some offset to falling offshore prices. We expect the NZ$ to shift lower as expectations are reset following economic data releases through May and June. In some cases, NZ producers are benefiting from missteps offshore. Many competing regions have seen shortages of picking labour,


Rabobank supports clients from farm to fork in

usiness ysts et outlooks

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 19, 2020

MARKETS & TRENDS 15

COUNTRIES

Content supplied by Rabobank - Growing a Better New Zealand Together to recover and processing disruptions in the US create opportunities for NZ exporters. Farmgate prices eased across all classes of cattle in April, as reduced processing capacity saw processing costs rise and cattle supplies far outweigh available space. As of the end of April, the North Island bull price was down 2% MOM, averaging NZ$ 4.85/kg cwt, and the South Island bull price was down 6% MOM, averaging NZ$ 4.35/kg cwt. Space for prime cattle will remain particularly difficult to secure until at least the end of May as processors work through the seasonal peak in the national cow kill. US imported beef prices jumped in late April as US buyers turned to the import market to fill the gap created by Covid-19-related processing disruptions and high levels of US retail demand. This, combined with continuing

demand improvement from China, should help to underpin export values through May.

Sheepmeat

RABOBANK EXPECTS farmgate prices to stabilise during May, with the potential for some upward pressure on prices later in the month as domestic supplies start to ease. The severe disruption to processing capac-

ity caused by compliance with Level 4 physicaldistancing requirements saw schedule prices continue to drop well beyond the seasonal low point that pricing levels normally reach. Prices did stabilise towards the end April, as processors were able to make efficiency improvements to increase throughput. As of the end of April, the price in the North Island averaged NZ$ 6.45/kg cwt

(-8% MOM), while South Island lamb averaged NZ$ 6.30/kg cwt (-7% MOM). There are reports that North Island lamb supplies are starting to slow and space availability in the South Island is improving. This could support a degree of procurement competition in some parts of the country later in the month. The shutdown of restaurants across Europe and the US has had a noticeable impact on the returns for higher-value lamb cuts, such as lamb racks and loins, predominately sold through these channels. However, other cuts (e.g. lamb legs, flaps, and forequarters) are still performing relatively well, helping to hold up overall lamb export returns.

Horticulture Despite all the challenges laid out in front of them, exporters have achieved strong results in Q1. The kiwifruit and

apple sectors are benefiting from collaboration and best practices at a time of major disruption to New Zealand supply chains. Early season sales are elevated in volume and value, and markets are absorbing fruit, generally at prices above the same period in 2019. The combined value of New Zealand’s fruit, nut, and vegetable FOB export receipts for Q1 lifted by 22% YOY (+NZ$ 118 million) in 2020. The depreciation of key trading partners’ currencies against the NZ$ supported this lift. The rise was led by kiwifruit and apples, with FOB value for kiwifruit up by NZ$ 105 million (+127%) YOY and apples up by NZ$ 10 million (+8%) YOY. China continued to grow its fresh produce imports. New Zealand’s main exports in this period were fresh cherries, with pip fruit and kiwifruit only really hitting markets in March. By this stage, much of Chi-

na’s supply chains had reopened for fresh produce. A resurgent NZ$, when combined with our April forecast of steeper declines in the global economy, leads us to maintain our view that the prospect of softening export prices across 2020 remains a risk

Exchange rate

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 19, 2020

16 OPINION EDITORIAL

EDNA

Leading the way IF ANY good can come out of the current COVID-19 crisis it will be greater acknowledgement of the importance of New Zealand’s agriculture sector to the economy. It will be interesting to see if the Government, environmental lobbies, mainstream media and the general public now take a different view of the sector. Don’t hold your breath! Prior to COVID-19, the agriculture sector was continually under attack from various vested interests giving it bad press. The sector was regularly accused as the main villain in any environmental issue; this seems to have been largely forgotten at present. For example, ‘Our Freshwater 2020’ report, released by the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand in early April, barely raised any comment in the media. Imagine all the anti-farming stories the mainstream news outlets would have run if the country weren’t consumed with COVID19? However, what the current crisis has shown is how vital the primary sector – agriculture, horticulture, viticulture and forestry, in that order – is to NZ’s economic recovery. Until February, tourism was hailed as New Zealand’s largest industry in terms of foreign exchange earnings and the great white hope of our economic prosperity. It now contributes nothing to the economy and will take years to recover – if it ever does. Agriculture has suffered setbacks over the years – droughts, floods, earthquakes, poor commodity prices, the 1980s reforms, Psa, Mycoplasma bovis and numerous other biosecurity incursions. Agriculture is a diverse sector and its key strength is that if one sector suffers a setback or is down for a period, others continue to do well. However, there is no doubt the farming sector will also feel the economic impact of COVID. We produce high quality, safe food, but there is no guarantee commodity prices won’t take a hit. And while countries want our produce, will they be willing – or able to afford – to pay top dollar? It will be interesting to watch as our primary sector leads the economic recovery. Hopefully, some of the negative press the farming sector has been getting in recent years will now be more balanced and acknowledge the huge contribution that agriculture makes.

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 021-842 226 CONSULTING EDITOR: David Anderson .................................. Ph 09 307 0399 davida@ruralnews.co.nz

“Don’t worry about getting a salon appointment – I can fit you in right after these hoggets!”

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

THE HOUND Careful!

Dirty water

About time!

Who’s paying?

Your old mate sees that Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell has criticised small Southland dairy company Mataura Valley Milk for taking the Covid-19 wage subsidy, which the company claimed after choosing not to process Fonterra milk. Several other meat and dairy companies have also been criticised for taking the subsidy, while still operating in lockdown. The Fonterra boss claimed his company had not claimed the subsidy at all and Hurrell said he was unsure if Mataura was ‘justified’ in claiming it. However, the Hound reckons Hurrell should have done a bit of homework before throwing rocks, as information has come to this old mutt that shows Fonterraowned-and-controlled Allied Pinnacle Pastryhouse Ltd in fact did the wage subsidy. What’s that they say about those without sin casting stones?

The Hound understands that Federated Farmers has been cut out of the information loop, for the past year, on the proposed freshwater reforms – driven by well-known farmer hater Environment Minister David Parker. Apparently, Parker’s Environment Ministry officials claim, with no actual proof, that the Feds leaked confidential information about the reforms back in May 2019 – which the Fed’s strenuously deny – and have refused since then to give the farmer lobby any details or updates on the reforms. Despite the petty actions by MfE, your old mate is told other supposed farmer organisations such as Beef+Lamb, Dairy NZ and the FLG (known as the Fawners and Lickers of Government) have been good quislings and acquiesced to the Government and officials on its proposed draconian rules that will be foisted on the farming sector.

Speaking of anti-farming types, this old mutt hears that serial farming bashers Fish and Game – or Bitch and Complain as many know them – may be undergoing a change of attitude. Unhappiness from F&G members about the organisation’s continual attacks on farming, and its own precarious financial situation, has seen a number of new board members elected, the end of long time president Lindsay Lyons reign, and a leash put on negative anti-farming statements. However, it appears former Forest and Bird officer and current Conservation Minister Eugene Sage – unhappy with F&G’s more sensible approach to the agriculture sector – is keen to instigate a review and possible takeover of the organisation by her department. The Hound reckons it would be a pity if, just when it is coming to its senses, F&G goes from the fry pan into the fire in regards to extremists running it!

Your canine crusader noticed a fullpage ad recently run in a farming paper calling on meat companies SFF and Alliance Group to pay back the $70m-plus they claimed in wage subsidy. What caught this old mutt’s eye is that the man behind the campaign is Simon Lusk – infamous self-described ‘political operative’. Lusk was a key figure in Nicky Hager’s book, Dirty Politics. He also has close links to the bankrupt Cameron Slater, the former figurehead of the scumbag Whale Oil website, and is a close confidant of disgraced former National Party Whip and soon-to-be ex MP Jamie-Lee Ross. The Hound is told that Lusk does nothing for free or even cheaply, so it will be interesting to see who is funding his latest campaign. Surely it has nothing to do with a current very high-ranking government minister, minor party leader and vocal critic of SFF?

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


RURAL NEWS // MAY 19, 2020

OPINION 17

RA 20 virus danger to NZ farming DOUG EDMEADES

THERE IS another pandemic sweeping the nation. It is a new, exceedingly virulent virus, which is likely to do more damage to the New Zealand economy in the long-term than Covid-19, if left unchecked. I am calling for an immediate lockdown – total elimination is essential to prevent New Zealand agriculture slipping back to the dark ages. It is coded RA 20, but the full medical name is “Regenerative Agriculture 2020”. RA 20 is believed to have originated in the Great Plains in America. It quickly spread to the Australian Outback and then hopped the ditch to New Zealand. Interestingly, like Covid-19, it is particularly severe in those weakened by other complicating factors. Some victims are known to have no knowledge of the important values of science, evidence, logic and reason. Another cohort includes those who know little about the principles of soil fertility, pasture management and animal husbandry. Of immediate concern for the authorities is a cluster centred on Lincoln University. A group of about 200 otherwise healthy folk recently attended the Organic Dairy and Pastoral Group (ODPG) conference where, unfortunately, they were infected by evidence-free thoughts and opinions. The attendees were told by an Australian (confirmed case) that RA20 is a whole ecosystem approach to farming, which mimics natural processes and that famers should “basically go with whatever nature did.” There was no suggestion that this might result in the destruction of their livelihood as nature goes about doing what it does – reverting to the ‘native’ ecosystem. Thankfully, a local farmer (suspected case)

fleshed this out saying that, “his philosophy is just to throw a bit of everything edible at his fields and discover what will grow lushly.” The end result, attendees were told, is: “A confection of greenery twisting and climbing over itself in a bid to reach the sun.” Armed with this ‘evidence’, the attendees were told “that Aussie farmers who have embraced RA are much more profitable than conventional farmers” and were getting “100% yield on 20% of the inputs.” Soils do not make nutrients – they store them. Nutrients removed from the farm in products, must be replaced. If they are not, the soil fertility will decline. Adding nutrients as fertiliser is thus an important part of the sustainability equation. However, RA20 infected people believe they are above this ‘scientific’ (read ‘manmade’) fact. They appear to believe they can farm without fertiliser. In fairness to those with the RA20 infection, there is one forage plant – clover – that farmers use in abundance, which “produces its own fertiliser.” I refer here to white clover fixing nitrogen from the atmosphere. White clover plants hate being shaded, a consequence of their prostrate growth habit. But RA infected brains emphasise the importance of letting pastures grow lanky and they do not approve of hard grazing. This they argue will allow the plant roots to go deep, minimising the effects of droughts and taking carbon-storage deep into the soil. But this divined plan will minimise clover growth and hence the amount of clover N fixed. Heard of AMP - Adaptive Multi-Paddock grazing? RA infected brains are full of it. AMP is nothing more than a smart-arsed acronym for rotational grazing. If this

is what defines RA, then every pastoral farmer in NZ is big-time into RA. And they have done this not because it is a fad, but because they have – in their own interests and

for the good of the nation – applied science in the farm. Let’s close the borders on this RA nonsense before further damage is done to our hard-earned

science-based pastoral agricultural system. • Dr Doug Edmeades is an agricultural scientist and managing director of science consulting business, agKnowledge.

Doug Edmeades

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 19, 2020

18 OPINION

Trusting business to work TODD MULLER

AS WE continue to grapple with the repercussions of Covid-19, we must look at what’s working and use that as a template for other business sectors. The kiwifruit industry has been a shining example of how it is pos-

Todd Muller

sible to continue operating at a high capacity, while adjusting to the restrictions of Covid-19. It has completely re-engineered its systems from harvesting the fruit, to picking the fruit, to packing the fruit and we’ve seen a bumper season with record amounts of NZ kiwifruit making their

way across the world as a result. This has also meant the industry has been able to keep 28,000 seasonal workers in employment, while recording no Covid-19 incidents. This is the sort of leadership that shows how we can keep people safe and keep the economy moving at

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our farmers to help lead us out of what is a once in a generation challenge.   There have been many changes that farmers have had to adjust to – whether it be restrictions on contractors’ farm movements, meat processors’ capacity being dramatically reduced – and the ramifications of a very fierce drought and M Bovis are still very much present. I can only hope that rain is on the way for farmers in Hawke’s Bay as I write this. The Government could show some support for farmers by looking at their planned suite of illthought-out and costly policies like the Essential Freshwater reforms, proposed biodiversity changes, and significant amount of regional council plan changes. The world has changed, so they need to re-examine their approach. These issues need ongoing work and improvement, but this government needs to start engaging with farmers from a position of respect and reciprocity rather than disconnection and borderline distain. Bluntly, it just doesn’t stack up for these to still be on the agenda with the ferocity the Government is pursuing them. They have an ideological blind spot that middle New Zealand has no appetite for in the current financial climate. • Todd Muller is National’s agriculture spokesman

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the same time. This illustrates the opportunity that sits in front of us as a country. Industries like kiwifruit have shown that they have the attitude, innovation and ability to change the way they work to keep operating. It’s time the Government let more businesses do this. At the end of the day, it will be creative people who can fuse protecting people with their product and service that rebuild our economy, not bureaucrats in Wellington. The role government needs to play in this is encouraging and incentivising business investment. That means cash flow and support, not more debt that will constrain businesses from growing. New Zealand’s 23,000 farming families have been – and are continuing – to play a big role in our rebuild. Data from Stats NZ has shown that the primary sector continues to lead the way for New Zealand in exports and will be essential for rebuilding our economy. Sadly, I think there’s a perception from some in government that farmers haven’t been affected by Covid-19. That somehow their more isolated lifestyle compared to urban New Zealand, meant our national challenge has somewhat passed them by. I completely disagree with this assessment. Our farmers are doing it tough and now more than ever we should be supporting

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20 MANAGEMENT

Eyes open to different ways FARMER JANE Smith was “blown away” by the group dynamic and drive when she and husband Blair hosted the North Otago-based Growth and Development in Farming Action Group at Newhaven Farms in Oamaru. While the group members are all working in diverse farming operations, they all have a common purpose – aspiring to farm business ownership. “It was inspiring to host a group of young people that are passionate about the industry

“They are very focused on what they are doing now and what it will take for them to get where they want to be.” and looking at ways, outside of the box, to get a step up into their own farming businesses,” Smith says. “They are very focused on what they are doing now and what it will take for them to get where they want to be.” The Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP) Action Network model supports small groups of

seven to nine farm businesses to work together to explore ideas and share expert resources to help them to make positive changes on-farm. As a rule, kick-start funding of $4,000 per farm business is pooled to fund facilitation and expertise. “This group is structured a little differently, with a different funding model, to meet its partic-

ular needs – which really demonstrates the flexibility of the Action Group programme,” says the group’s facilitator Hamish Campbell – a senior agri manager for Ravensdown in North Otago, who spends a lot of time on the road working with farmers. “While it’s still fairly early days – we launched in June 2019 and have had three meetings to date – it’s clear members are getting value out of it,” he says. “One of the things we are now looking at is having mentors within the industry. Many

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 19, 2020

MANAGEMENT 21

of farm ownership to structure loans. Members were keen to take that further, so our next meeting is going to be with a financial advisor to look in more depth at structuring loans.” He says the group also wants to look more closely at governance and who they surround them-

decisions on content. Specialist rural accountant and advisor Fraser McKenzie led the financials workshop. “A lot came out of that around how to financially structure your business and different avenues to farm ownership,” Campbell explains. “There was a conversation about asset purchases and how

CONFIDENCE GROWING GROUP MEMBERS Grant and Lucy Tremewan bought their 150 Ha dairy farm in Duntroon in December, having previously been sharemilking. “I think being part of the group gave us more confidence to buy the business,” says Grant. “Things we took out of the financial workshop included how you need to shop around different banks. We ended up going with our existing bank, but we looked at others.” He says one thing they have taken from the group is to use expertise. “We paid KPMG to do our proposal for buying the property, rather than doing it ourselves. Having a bound professional report to show to banks, with all the analysis, was definitely an advantage.” Grant Tremewan says members also appreciate the structure of the group. “The networking and communication are valuable too. We had moved into the area, so it’s been good to get to know other young farmers,” he adds. “I have 160 of my heifers on one of the other group member’s places at the moment. We share ideas and ask each other for advice. With such a mix of disciplines and roles, from sheep and beef managers to drystock or dairy farmers, there is always someone in the group who can help or provide ideas.”

Members of the Action Group learn about Jane and Blair Smith’s farming journey.

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We’ve been making trailers since 1959, and we’re the biggest selling trailer in New Zealand. It’s these years of experience and feedback from farmers and contractors that’s allowed us to refine and perfect our designs. So it’s thanks to people like you, you can buy a trailer as good as this. For more information visit giltrapag.co.nz or call us on 0800 804 458.

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TRACTA62695_RN _CT

one couple have bought a dairy farm since the group started.” The group decided to start off with the two compulsory workshops for their first two meetings. Campbell says the group got a lot out of those and the focus is now very much on members driving the direction of learning and making

selves with and how to get the best advice. “It got them thinking differently about how they can use an accountant – for advice and benchmarking and analysis of how the business is doing.”


RURAL NEWS // MAY 19, 2020

22 ANIMAL HEALTH

Breeding hoggets can improve ewe performance PAUL KENYON

BREEDING HOGGETS at eight months of age can improve a ewe’s lifetime productivity. However, if they are not well managed, it can have long term negative effects on ewe live weight and reproduction. Current live weight targets for hoggets prior to breeding are a minimum of 40kg. However, some farmers are achieving pre-breeding weights of 45 to 50kg. It is unclear if there may be unforeseen consequences of achieving these greater pre-breeding weights. The Sheep Research

Centre at Massey University – led by PhD student Emmanuelle Haslin, with funding from B+LNZ – has done an experiment to determine the impacts of heavier pre-breeding live weight of hoggets on their subsequent live weight, reproductive performance and the growth of their progeny. Twin-born Romney hoggets were allocated to one of two groups at weaning. The ‘Heavy’ group was preferentially fed until breeding to achieve an average live weight of 48.0kg, and the ‘Control’ group was managed to achieve an average pre-breeding live

Professor Paul Kenyon

weight of 44.8kg. From breeding at eight months of age onwards, both groups were managed and grazed together. The results showed that there was a 28% increase in pregnancy rate, a 6% increase in litter size which resulted in a 59% increase in lambing percentage in the heavy

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group compared to control group. Hoggets in the heavy group were heavier than control hoggets throughout pregnancy. However, they did not differ during lactation or post weaning. Lamb live weights at birth, docking and weaning and lamb survival to weaning did not differ between groups. As 2-tooths, there were no differences in the percentage ewes mated or pregnancy rate. There were also no differences in scanning or lambing percentages. Live weights of 2-tooths did not differ between groups. Lambs born to the heavy and control 2-tooths had similar live weights and survival rates to weaning. In conclusion, although hoggets in the heavy group had improved reproductive performance in their first breeding season, it had no impact on their live weight or reproductive performance as a 2-tooth. This suggests that hoggets can be bred at live weights up to 50kg to improve their reproductive performance without any impacts from their greater live weight. • Paul Kenyon is a professor in sheep husbandry and deputy head of the agriculture & environment school at Massey University.

Sheep should not be shorn in the last four weeks of pregnancy.

Re-consider prelamb shearing FARMERS ARE being urged to consider delaying pre-lamb shearing this winter as feed resources in many parts of the country are already stretched. Shearing may increase feed demand by 10-30% for two to four weeks, depending on temperature, wind and rain, as the ewes need extra energy to maintain body heat. Shearing also places freshly shorn sheep at risk in bad weather. This risk is greater for sheep with a body condition score of below 3. Sheep should not be shorn in the last four weeks of pregnancy. Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s senior advisor for biosecurity and animal welfare, Will Halliday, says leaving wool on or just belly crutching will reduce ewes’ feed demand in colder weather compared to fully shorn ewes. If pre-lamb shearing is necessary, it is recommended that ewes are pre-con-

ditioned by feeding grain for at least 10 days prior to shearing so that feeding can be stepped up immediately afterwards. Alternatively, a well-sheltered area with above maintenance levels of three to four-centimetre pasture length should be provided. Cover combs will reduce the period of increased feed demand by one or two weeks. Lifters could also be used to leave even more wool on. Ideally, shearing during winter should be staggered to reduce risk, shearing a shed-full at a time with a three-day gap between. This means sheep can be run back into the shed after shearing, if necessary. Halliday says the downside of leaving wool on is that ewes are less likely to seek shelter during a storm or cold snap so will need to be monitored and shelter provided during lambing.

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 19, 2020

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS 23

Former All Black backs down-toearth rural internet provider Gravity claims it is able to reach just about anywhere in NZ, with speeds that are faster than has ever been possible using previous satellites.

MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

WITH THE Covid-19 lockdown placing even greater emphasis on the need for reliable internet networks, a former All Black is working to keep New Zealand’s rural folk connected. Andy Ellis, a 28-test AB halfback between 2006 and 2015, is one of the principal investors in Gravity. He says the internet provider’s key point of difference is the use of a dedicated communications satellite, which was launched in 2019 and

came on stream in February 2020. Using a specialised dish mounted on the roof of a subscriber’s property – unlike the small wireless receiver often supplied by other wireless

providers, which then relay through repeater sites – the Gravity set-up passes a signal from the internet service provider (ISP), bouncing off the orbiting satellite and direct to your home or

business. This allows the service to be offered to offshore locations like Great Barrier, Kawau and Stewart Islands – removing the need for copper wires or phone lines. “The rugged nature of

ALL BEEFED UP ALONGSIDE THE move into high technology, Andy Ellis has also invested in a more traditional venture that operates at a much more leisurely pace. Developed following a relationship that was built up with his butcher, Arato, in Japan, when he was playing for the Kobelco Steelers, the pair set about producing high-end beef in New Zealand. Waitaha Wagyu, located at Chertsey in Mid Canterbury, works to capitalise on the NZ environment – the best feed and clean water. Formed around three years ago and with young stock across 10 local farms, the business eventually aims to be finishing between 40 and 50 head each month, with 50% for export to Japan and the remainder going to restaurants and highend butchers. “For an individual like me, who can’t sit still for too long, it’s an exciting but sometimes frustrating operation to be involved in,” Ellis told Rural News. “Considering that we’ve been at it for nearly three years –

the New Zealand landscape means that many locations just can’t receive a reliable signal from their current providers,” Ellis told Rural News. “We are able to reach just about anywhere in NZ, with speeds that are faster than has ever been possible using previous satellites, but more importantly – at very affordable pricing.” Claiming to be the only, dedicated satellite provider using the latest technology, Ellis suggests that other providers are using much older

technology with limited wavelengths and thus have very little room for expansion. He claims that Gravity has builtin capacity for the future that can easily deal with the expected growth, while still offering the fastest speeds available. Currently operating as small team of around 12 people, Ellis is tasked with developing relationships with all areas of the rural sector. “We are taking numerous enquiries since the lockdown, then going on to connect people from many walks of life –

including farmers, landowners, rural maraes, DOC huts and even rural retreats – who still need to be connected to the greater world,” he told Rural News. “Some of the feedback we are receiving is phenomenal. One old fella from Central Otago phoned to tell us after enduring a dial-up connection for nearly two decades, he’d – for the first time – been able to watch a “How-to” video on YouTube that allowed him to get his old tractor working properly – the guy was nearly in tears.”

FARM MACHINERY STRENGTH / QUALITY / PERFORMANCE

from animals being conceived to arriving on the plate – it takes a little patience. “Add to that, until the animal is killed, we don’t actually know where it will be in terms of a marbling score – then things get even more interesting.” The marbling score refers to visible fat found between muscle fibre bundles and is assessed within the ribeye muscle. Ellis says producers always look for animals that have a high potential for marbling to breed from.

SILAGE GRABS, BUCKET GRABS, BALE GRABS, FOLDING SILAGE FORKS, TELEHANDLER BUCKETS &

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 19, 2020

24 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

Win a top-notch bale feeder THE ARRIVAL of shorter days usually means it’s time to ramp up supplementary feeding, with the need for reliable and efficient machinery to make the job easier. With field days off the agenda for now, it’s your chance to feed like a pro in the Rural News Group “Bringing Field Days to Your Farm” giveaway, by taking home the Hustler Unrolla LX 105 that’s up for grabs. Built tough to handle bales up to 1250kg, the Unrolla offers some clever design to make feeding-out a breeze. Hitching up, from either end of the machine to a three-point linkage, frontend loader or telehandler is made easy by the

A Hustler Unrolla LX 105 is up for grabs in the Rural News Group’s “Bringing Field Days to Your Farm” competition.

Cathrina Claas Muhlhauser and Helmut Claas.

unique Snaplox connecter system – incorporating dual catches for safety and a rigid connection every time. A self-loading function makes the job a single tractor operation, with a clever bale restraint to ensure the load stays in place even on the steepest terrain. Feed out is

achieved using oversized square section bars and heavy-duty chains that offer around four times more strength than typical layouts. Attention to detail sees self-aligning bearings on shafts throughout, removing the need for grease, but – more importantly – saving time

on short winter days. Add in a 4-year warranty – backed by a New Zealand based company. Get your hands on the May 26 Dairy News or June 2 Rural News to enter the competition and have your name in the draw to win. @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

She’s now top of the Claas! MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

CLAAS WAS always a family company and a recent change at the top sees that continue. Patriarch Helmut Claas is handing over the reins to his daughter Cathrina Claas Muhlhauser, who takes up the position of chairwoman of the shareholders committee. At 44 years-old, she becomes the third generation of the family to hold the role. Ninety-four-year old Helmut, son of company founder August Claas, has held the role for 25 years and will now become honorary chairman. During

his time as chairmen, Claas has seen a rapid expansion – particularly in its presence beyond Europe – with production and sales now located in places like India, the USA, Russia, China and South America. Along the way, the company also acquired French tractor manufacturer Renault in 2003 to add prime movers to its machinery portfolio. On the product front, during the same period, the German-headquartered company introduced the industry-leading Lexion combine harvesters in 1995 and the Jaguar self-propelled forage harvester ranges, which also holds a commanding position in the market.

DRAINAGE AND SOIL AERATION PAY BIG DIVIDENDS Don’t put good fertiliser on compacted soil which can’t absorb it. If your soil can’t support 15cm root growth and good worm population check for compaction. You could need aeration. In dollar terms, what would 20% production increase mean to your yearly turnover?

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 19, 2020

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS 25

TAMA calls for Govt help MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

THE TRACTOR and Farm Machinery Association (TAMA) is calling on the Government to take urgent measures to help its sector in the face of plummeting sales. President John Tulloch has written to the Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor to request action to encourage farmers and contractors to invest in farm machinery. Specifically, TAMA wants the Government to review its low value asset write-off limit to bring it to at least the same level as Australia ($150,000). The New Zealand Government has temporarily increased the threshold to $5,000 because of COVID-19. “The fact is that

$5,000 is far too low to assist the primary sector,” Tulloch says. “Especially when a new tractor can cost upwards of $100,000.” While the Government was looking to the primary industry to help the economy recover from the pandemic fallout, TAMA suggests that COVID-19 is negatively impacting contractors’ and farmers’ income, which is already impacted by drought. Tulloch says this has limited their ability to invest in farm machinery and equipment, with April’s tractor sales down by more than 60% from April 2019. The New Zealand tractor and farm machinery sector is worth about $1.3 billion annually and provides 2,500 jobs. In 2018 and 2019, tractor sales

returned to 4,000-plus units, taking around eight years to recover from the GFC when sales tumbled by around 45%. “If our sector declines by 45% again it means the potential for the loss of 1,200 jobs, within the primary industry that already needs 50,000 more workers,” says Tulloch.

“As well as facing job losses and business closures, we will also see flow-on effects – such as the loss of competition within our sector, plus barriers to farmers maintaining and obtaining tractors and machinery. We need urgent action from the Government now to enable our primary industry to keep

investing in its future, otherwise the country will feel more pain later.”

TAMA president John Tulloch wants the Government to review its low value asset write-off limit to bring it to at least the same level as Australia.

STRENGTH YOU CAN RELY ON It’s a smart move.

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NEW PRECISION DRILL RANGE LAUNCHED

KUHN HAS launched a new range of precision seed drills in the shape of the Maxima 3 series. Offered in 12 models with six to twelve rows for drilling maize, sunflower, beetroot, and other crops at 37.5 to 80cm spacing, the drills are available in telescopic, trailed, foldable and telescopic with adjustable spacing versions. The drills are said to offer optimum seeding precision at speeds of up to 10km/h. The design features a new, reinforced seeding unit – operating with parallelogram action – that ensures robustness and an extended service life. Another key feature is the 180kg coulter pressure system that provides excellent penetration, with accurate and consistent depth control. Several of the Maxima 3 models offer electricallydriven metering units. These allow application rate adjustment from the tractor cab, rate adjustment with prescription map, GPS, or manual row shutoff and simplified seed drill settings. The new ISOBUS CCI 1200 terminal working in conjunction with Maxima 3 allows viewing two different interfaces on the same screen for optimum seeding management and user friendliness. A range of front, intermediary and rear equipment options enables users to configure their machine to the working environment at hand, particularly in areas such as seed transfer dealing with trash and final consolidation. www.kuhn.co.nz

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145 JCB EcoMAX engine 3200 kg lift capacity 5.2 m lift height 140 l/min “Vari-Flo” hydraulic pump Single lever servo controls for quick, easy and precise control f 6 speed powershift transmission f f f f f

Standard CLAAS Financial Services lending terms, conditions and fees apply. Offer ends 30/06/2020 or while stocks last. Images are illustrative only. Excludes attachments. Instock JCB LOADALL and TELEMASTER equipment only. 0.00% pa requires minimum 30% deposit; 36 month term; monthly repayments.

For your local dealer go to: claasharvestcentre.com


RURAL NEWS // MAY 19, 2020

26 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS / RURAL TRADER

Made in NZ -Giltrap Engineering Rural News’ Made in New Zealand feature looks at the wealth of design and manufacturing ability we have in New Zealand, producing productive and cost-effective products for the agricultural sector. This week machinery editor Mark Daniel takes a closer look at Giltrap Engineering, talking with managing director Craig Mulgrew. When was the company founded, by whom and why (was it to solve a problem or market a product)? Giltrap Engineering was founded by Wilfred Giltrap, in 1959, based on his family farm at Maihiihi, east of Otorohanga. Over the years, GEL

bought several NZ agricultural equipment manufacturing businesses like Buckton Engineering and Duncan Ag. All these businesses were active in the days of early mechanization for planting tillage and supplementary feeding.

FLY OR LICE PROBLEMS?

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traditionally cultivated, min-till or direct-drill situations. Are your products MADE IN NZ unique – if so, what A LOOK AT are the four key HOME-GROWN benefits? If not unique, COMPANIES what are the four unique selling points? Our key product/ brand benefits across the range are accuracy, reliability, strength and tems, design and manuclever designs – comfacturing technology. This bined with technology allows us to deliver comto meet the needs of petitively made NZ prodmodern agribusinesses. ucts to the global market, We also offer a nationgrowing our exports, wide after-sales and that in turn allows us to dealer support network. fully utilize our manuLooking at an ever-evolving facturing operations and market, what changes have create a steady cashflow. you made over the last few In recent years, we have years? embraced new technoloWe have carefully gies like virtual reality for expanded our product range and brands to build product validation, while at a machine level we are a strong business that using more electronics our dealers want to partfor product management ner with and represent. and data capture. Alongside this we have What has been the evolved our business sys-

Where are you located – is it single or multiple sites and how many people are employed? Head office and the main manufacturing plant is based in Otorohanga. The Duncan manufacturing plant is in Timaru and we operate a sales and distribution facility for Australia, based in Melbourne. In total we employ around 100 people. What are your key products and which markets do they serve? We make a range of feeding equipment – including forage wagons, multi feeders and bale feeders for livestock farmers. We also manufacture ag and construction tipping trailers and bulk fertiliser spreaders for agriculture, horticulture and viticulture. As well, we build a range of seed drills for farmers and contractors for use in

Businesses

company’s greatest success since its formation? Staying relevant and being an important part of the New Zealand and Australian rural sectors. In contrast, what has been the biggest “Oh Bugger” moment or the steepest learning curve? The toughest lessons have come from dealing with recessions like the GFC or the current COVID-19 outbreak, where sales income suddenly contracts and you go into business lifesupport mode. We have also learnt a few lessons from importing overseas machinery that hasn’t performed well in NZ, needing major adaptations and reworks to keep customers happy. If you were approached by someone looking to start a business, what would be your three key pieces of

advice? Clearly identify the market gap and understand what the customer wants and how or why can you do it better than anyone else. Stick to your knitting and only get involved in a market or business that you understand or have experience in. Figure out what is important to measure in your business, so that you can manage it. Where do you see the company in the next three, five and ten years? Our evolution is constant process, so we will work on being the rural sector’s preferred brand in all our market segments. We also aim to deliver great customer experiences and ‘whole of life’ product value. We will keep growing and improving the business to remain profitable and relevant for future generations.

CLOSING DOWN SALE! - FLEXI RAINWEAR

After 25 years of providing workwear to New Zealand farmers - our rainwear & footwear is the best it has ever been - however we are unable to get the prices &/or sell the quantities we need to remain viable. We have rainwear arriving in June & anticipate this will sell very quickly. Thank you to all our customers who have supported us over the years! Flexiskin Max Rainwear - there really isn’t another product to match it for durability, comfort & price. Take the flexible fabric, it stretches as you move so you can get around easier. The hood visor will keep rain from driving into your eyes & the fleece collar will keep you cosy and warm when the wind is howling. The 100% waterproof outer layer will keep you completely dry even during a torrential downpour.

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RURAL NEWS // MAY 19, 2020

RURAL TRADER 27 CRAIGCO SENSOR JET • Robust construction • Auto shut gate • Total 20 jets • Lambs only 5 jets • Side jets for lice • Adjustable V panels • Davey Twin Impellor Pump • 6.5 or 9.0hp motors

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Virginia Gold Tobacco Leaf www.morrifield.com THE STANLEY LUNCH BOX durable, with huge capacity for a hearty lunch

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FLEXIBAR Flexibar includes all the safety and convenience features of the Quadbar with the added advantages of: • A flexible joint that allows the bar to flex rearwards in the event of contact with an overhead obstacle • The joint facilitates some sideways flexibility before locking and becoming more of a traditional crush protection device

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• In the event of a rearwards flip there is negligible movement from the flexible joint • The top section of the Flexibar can also be easily removed for transportation inside a vehicle.

For a Quadbar, call me, Stuart Davidson, owner of Quadbar NZ. Phone: 021-182 8115 Email: sales@quadbar.co.nz or for more info go to www.quadbar.co.nz

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

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WIN

A HUSTLER BALE FEEDER

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BRINGING FIELD DAYS TO THE FARM PUBLISHING JUNE 2, 2020 Sadly, field days are out of the question while Covid-19 remains a threat. No tyres to kick, no bargains to bag! No hot dogs and chips! Fear not, we’re bringing the field days to your farm. Rural News will bring you all the innovative new products and services coming on to the market and, of course, the great deals - direct to your letterbox on June 2. Bringing Field Days to the Farm will run in print and online. Keep an eye out for this great feature; you’ll have to provide the hot dogs and chips, but we will give you the chance to WIN a brand new Hustler Bale Feeder worth $10,000!

Read RURAL NEWS on June 2 and

WIN!

RURAL NEWS TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS

Profile for Rural News Group

Rural News 19 May 2020  

Rural News 19 May 2020

Rural News 19 May 2020  

Rural News 19 May 2020