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Boxing on to a bullish farming career. PAGE 18

Self-shedding sheep study.

Connections key to future rural sector success PAGE 21




Govt ignored advice PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

DESPITE GOVERNMENT and officials ignoring farmer and industry advice, there is an absolute determination by farmers to do the right thing for water quality, Beef+LambNZ chief executive Sam McIvor says. His comments come amidst a standoff between farmers and the Government over the new water regula-

tions, which were just recently passed into law. The regulations include a requirement for farmers to apply for a resource consent if they can’t meet the rules. Farmers, in turn, have said they will ignore the resource consent requirement. There is also concerns about strict rules which state when farmers must plant winter crops. Government has made some minor changes, but farmers

have rubbished these changes saying they don’t address their main concerns. McIvor told Rural News there are some classic things wrong about the new rules on winter grazing, which make them unworkable on a farm. He says farmers want to do the right thing but can only do so if they are supported by good legislation and regulations. McIvor says the way

the rules are written they won’t deliver the benefits that are required. “I call on both central and regional government to look at how farmers pragmatically and practically will deliver the benefits on the ground that make sense for them to make the changes.” Dr David Berger, DairyNZ’s strategy and investment leader for responsible dairying says his organisation told the

BIGGER THAN THAT! Federated Farmers new board member William Beetham wants the organisation to be seen not just as an advocacy organisation. He also wants to see it recognised for the significant contributions Feds has made to NZ farming and society as a whole. Read more about this and the sixth generation Wairarapa farmer’s major farming business in the next issue of Rural News – due out on September 22.


STUNG AT BORDER PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

APICULTURE NZ is seeking assurances from authorities that the country’s beekeepers won’t be faced with the same problems that their Auckland colleagues did when that region went into lockdown. Karin Kos, Apiculture NZ chief executive, says beekeepers in the Auckland region thought because they were classed as an essential industry during the first lockdown that they would have no trouble moving through the police checkpoints. However, this wasn’t the case. Kos says it turned out that they had to apply for special exemptions from the Ministry of Health to get in or out of Auckland and it took about a week for these permits to materialise. She says the Ministry for Primary Industries was very helpful and managed to facilitate the permits. “But it did take a week and fair amount of work to get the exemption in place,” Kos told Rural News. “We had beekeepers who had hives over the border and coming out of winter they needed to check that the bees were okay, well fed and ready for the honey season. They weren’t able to get to them.” Kos says now that they have worked through the process in Auckland, Apiculture NZ hopes that this will mean that in any future lockdowns there won’t be the same hassles. • Sweet as – page 11

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Meat sector takeover of wool?

www.ruralnews.co.nz SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

NEWS��������������������������������������1-19 AGRIBUSINESS���������������������� 21 MARKETS��������������������������22-23 HOUND, EDNA���������������������� 24 CONTACTS����������������������������� 24 OPINION����������������������������24-27 MANAGEMENT��������������� 28-31 ANIMAL HEALTH������������32-33 MACHINERY AND PRODUCTS���������������������� 34-39 RURAL TRADER��������������40-41

HEAD OFFICE Top Floor, 29 Northcroft Street, Takapuna, Auckland 0622 Phone: 09-307 0399 Fax: 09-307 0122 POSTAL ADDRESS PO Box 331100, Takapuna, Auckland 0740 Published by: Rural News Group Printed by: Inkwise NZ Ltd 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

A MEAT industry-dominated group has formed to carry out the recommendations of the Wool Industry Project Action Group report and is ready to lead that change. Chairman Rob Hewett says the group includes four red meat processors, existing companies in the wool sector, markers and innovation experts and marketing companies. Funding will come from the four meat companies and Ministry of Primary Industries. Hewett told Rural News the group would lead change in the sector by bringing a broad range of skills and consumer focus to the challenges facing strong wool. “Success of strong wool underpins the sheep meat sector and we have a vested interest in the sector’s success.” Hewett, also chairman of Silver Fern Farms, claims the red meat sector players saw this as an opportunity to help galvanize the strong wool sector.

Strong wool prices have slumped 40% since the 1990s.

“We want to provide stimulus to the value of the 5th quarter, which includes wool, and non-meat products such as pelts, pharmaceuticals, and casings. We want to support sheep farmers who need to see a lift in the profitability of their wool to ensure the ongoing viability of hill country farming in New Zealand.”

Crossbred wool prices have slumped 40% since the 1990s. Latest auction results showed an all-time market low, prices sitting at around $1.90-$2.10/ kg for full length. The Strong Wool Action Group will work on three key areas identified in the Wool Industry Project Action Group report over the coming

months to develop a plan of action for the sector. “We will re-establish some important industry good capability, bring in international consumer-focused thinking from outside the sector, and identify a basket of opportunities for investment that will create value – all recommendations from the report,” Hewett says. “Since the loss of the wool levy, we have not had the structures or rigor around improving capability within the sector. This includes data capture and analysis so we can move beyond anecdotal evidence and identify sound opportunities for investment.” Hewett says the group has strong support of the Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor. “I’m pleased the sector has stepped up to this challenge,” O’Connor says. MPI is organising a workshop for the wool sector to agree a plan and actions. O’Connor says the workshop was delayed due to the re-emergence of COVID-19 but will be rescheduled as soon as practical.

High-flying ag contractors AN AIRLINE pilot may soon be landing in a paddock near you, driving a harvester. New Zealand pilots, made redundant following the abrupt border closures triggered by Covid-19, are eying driving jobs in the agriculture sector. With rural contractors having little success in getting government approval to bring in at least 206 overseas drivers, these pilots could provide some relief. New Zealand Airline Pilots’ Association (NZALPA) medical and welfare director, Andy Pender says it has been working with Ministry of Primary Industries and Rural Contractors of NZ for several months to match pilot expertise with the immediate needs of the agricultural sector.

Pender told Rural News that nearly 500 NZ pilots have either lost their jobs or are in furlough: most are redeploying themselves to other sectors. He says driving large machinery in the agriculture sector would be a great fit for pilots, who are used to working long hours and operating large and expensive machines. “We know how to work under pressure and we aren’t daunted by big machines….we have been operating machines that weigh 250 tonnes,” he says. Some pilots are serious about making a career change, driving large agricultural machinery and are undergoing training before applying for a Level 1 and 2 licences, required

to drive large ag machinery. Pender, who used to fly for Virgin, is scheduled to undergo training this month. He says the association is working with training providers. The association has matched skills and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) licences pilots already hold. Pender says they found almost 200 opportunities for pilots to put their skills to use with land-based machinery and do their bit for New Zealand’s essential agriculture economy. RCNZ chief executive Roger Parton contacted his national membership alerting them to surveys NZALPA had taken of its members

to identify transferable skills that, with some extra training, could result in pilots helping to fill some of the gaps many growers and exporters now face. Parton says these pilot surveys indicated a significant number who, in addition to considerable flying expertise and qualifications, also held land transport licences class 2 or higher, with specific NZTA category endorsements. Some have also had previous agricultural large machinery operating and farming experience. Pender says the pilots are determined to apply their training to where it is needed, pick up additional skills and make the most of new opportunities. – Sudesh Kissun



Payout under pressure – banks SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

FALLING DAIRY prices in recent months are putting this season’s forecast milk payout under strain. While Fonterra is maintaining its wide range milk price of $5.90 to $6.90/kgMS for this season, analysts aren’t ruling out trimming their forecast payouts if prices continue to head south. A higher NZ dollar is also likely to negatively impact NZ dairy sector returns. Westpac senior agri economist Nathan Penny says he remains cautiously optimistic on the outlook, but risks remain high. Despite the price fall in last week’s Global Dairy Trade (GDT) event, current prices remain consistent with the bank’s $6.50/kgMS forecast. “However, while we had allowed for prices to fall, we are running out of runway,” he says. “In other words, if dairy prices continue to fall over coming auctions,

RaboResearch’s Emma Higgins is remaining cautious regarding commodity prices with New Zealand heading into peak milk production.

noting that the largest auctions for the season are near, we will consider revising our milk price forecast lower.” ASB senior economist Chris Tennent-Brown says its forecast of $6.75/

kgMS “is under some pressure”. “We will review our outlook after the next GDT auction and Fonterra announcement,” he says. Fonterra announces its full-year results next

week. RaboResearch’s Emma Higgins says she remains cautious regarding commodity prices as New Zealand heads into peak milk production. Higgins notes that

upwards currency movements are also a bit of a headache for exporters right now, with the NZ/

US cross inching higher to sit at 67 cents. “We do, however, expect recovery in the

foodservice channel to continue to improve – this will be an important watch for ensuring market balance. “We are pulling together the next Global Dairy Quarterly report over the next couple of weeks and will be reassessing our view on the global dairy market fundamentals.” Fonterra chairman John Monaghan wrote to shareholders last week asking them to remain cautious with on-farm financial decisions. Monaghan says the global dairy market is finely balanced at the moment, with both demand and supply increasing but it has the potential to change. “There is good demand in market at this stage of the season, however, the forecast economic slowdown is likely to increase global unemployment and reduce consumer demand,” he says.


Government, during last year’s consultation on the plans, that such things as the pugging rule were unworkable and difficult to meet in regions such as Southland. “We also said that the requirement to plant winter crops by 1 November would produce perverse outcomes and would also be unworkable.” But Berger told Rural News this advice, which was consistent with other primary industry organisations, was ignored by the Government. He says DairyNZ has long advocated for good farming practices around winter grazing but says this is best achieved by each farmer produc-

ing their own environmental farm plan that includes a tailored wintering plan. Dairy NZ also opposed the tight restrictions on cropping areas – both in terms of the slope of land and amount of land that can be cropped. Berger says the arbitrary rule in the new suite of regulations, which requires crops to be in the ground by November 1 is simply not practical in Southland. He says in November the ground is still often very wet as it was last year. He says Dairy NZ advocated for the farm environmental plan approach, which sets out the risks and actually addresses those risks much more effectively on a farm by farm basis.



Meat report maps out challenges after Covid PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

GLOBAL MARKETS and consumers around the world are making large shifts on how they maintain food security, purchase food and the attributes of the products they are seeking. These are some of conclusions in the first ever report on state of the Red Meat Sector – jointly produced by the Meat Industry Association and Beef+LambNZ. In the introduction to the report, the respective organisations’ chief executives, Sirma Karapeev and Sam McIvor state that post Covid-19, the world is going to be a different place that creates both threats and opportunities for the sector. They say the sector must collaborate and that this is critical to its long term success. This work is underway on a new ‘whole of sector strategy’ to replace the one produced about a decade ago and which considers the variables and uncertainty created by the Covid pandemic. The report sets out

the policy and infrastructure areas that the meat sector wishes to collaborate with government on and which it says is necessary to allow the industry to operate in the future. The list contains few surprises – keeping international markets open, restraining the amount of forestry offsets, better rural connectivity, more water storage solutions, investment in R&D, support for farmers to improve the environment and skills development to build up an effective labour force. McIvor says there is a real need for the Government to support the country’s exporters, including opening up new markets and negotiating free trade agreements. He says there is huge uncertainty in the world of trade with the future of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and rules based trading under threat. Covid has forced a massive change on the way consumers shop and eat in some of the key countries NZ exports to such as the USA and


Beef+Lamb NZ chief executive Sam McIvor.

Europe. The food service sector – restaurants and like - which was a key target for our high value cuts - has all but disappeared. But the agility and innovativeness of NZ companies has changed with the trend says Sam McIvor. “Beef+LambNZ with its brand Taste Pure Nature has just kicked off a joint venture with

Silver Fern Farms and an American company called Marks Foods,” he told Rural News. “They used to be strong in the food service sector but we have opened up an online operation offering cuts normally destined for the food service sector, direct to consumers.” McIvor says a recent

study in the USA predicts a 41% increase in customers in that country buying their groceries online and that e-commerce spending has hit record levels. He says the other question to factor in is that once Covid is over, will consumers go back to their eating out habits or will they continue to do more cooking at home.

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ANOTHER LEARNING from Covid-19 McIvor says has been the importance to rural people of good connectivity – including cell phone coverage and quality broadband. He says technology is already playing an increasing important role behind the farm gate. Farmers he says need to be able to handle large amounts of information to run their businesses. “The farmer today has far greater contact with their processor, customers and stakeholders and need to be able to communicate with them quickly. They also use technology to monitor systems on farm and supply data to regulators such as councils to prove they are meeting consents or regulations.” McIvor says connectivity is also critical for attracting people to rural areas. This is highlighted in the report which notes that getting the right people with the right skills is an ongoing challenge. The report highlights the fact that the red meat sector provides 92,000 full time equivalent jobs – nearly 5% of total national employment. In some regions such as Otago and Southland the sector makes up 12% of the regional economy and employment. Another issue highlighted in the report, and one that concerns McIvor, is carbon farming. Whereby people buy up productive sheep farms and plant trees to sequester carbon. McIvor says while they accept that famers are entitled to sell their farms, especially as they near retirement. However, they are not in favour of industrial carbon emitters been effectively subsidised to dump their emissions on sheep and beef farms. “This type of operation doesn’t create any jobs or exports and grow any wealth for NZ. But what it does is risk decimating rural communities. I have seen communities like this myself on the East Coast of the North Island,” he says.



Regen funding raises questions DAVID ANDERSON

QUESTIONS HAVE been raised about the group which has received nearly $2 million of government funding to promote regenerative agriculture. Back in July, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced a funding package of $20 million that they claimed was to help, “clean up waterways and create jobs”. The majority of this went to catchment groups around the country. However, part of this package also went into funding regenerative agriculture promotion. “A further $1.87m is being allocated to the Quorum Sense Charitable Trust to support farmers to share knowledge about developing and implementing regenerative agriculture systems,” O’Connor said in his press release. He described the Quorum Sense Charitable Trust as, “a farmer-led extension services project that generates and shares knowledge to support regenerative farm systems and vibrant rural communities.” According to its own website, Quorum Sense was established by regenerative-agriculture proponents Jono Frew, Simon Osborne and Nigel Greenwood in mid-2018. The website states: “We are now set up as a charitable trust and intend to continue to increase and diversify what we do

The Quorum Sense Charitable Trust was established by regenerative-agriculture proponents Jono Frew, Simon Osborne (pictured) and Nigel Greenwood in mid-2018.



NOT EVERYONE’S A FAN WHILE REGENERATIVE agriculture seems to have attracted many passionate advocates, it also has many critics – particularly in the scientific community. Well-known ag sector scientists and commentators such as Jacqueline Rowarth and Doug Edmeades have been vocal critics. Both have questioned the scientific veracity of the claims made by RA advocates. They have also expressed concern about the legitimacy given to the practice by groups such as the Primary Sector Council’s multi-million dollar Fit for a Better World report and Beef+ Lamb NZ and its support for funding research into RA. Meanwhile, the ‘mythology’ of regenerative agriculture and lack of scientific evidence to back claims about the practice prompted two renowned plant scientists to write to Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor earlier this year. In their letter, Lincoln University’s Professor Derek Moot and retired plant scientist Professor Warwick Scott expressed their concerns about the increased profile of regenerative agriculture in New Zealand media and farming sectors. They called on O’Connor to convene an expert panel of scientists to review all the claims made about practice. Scott and Moot claimed regenerative agriculture had gained highly favourable publicity, but with no critical scientific evaluation. The scientists feared this lack of critical evaluation is potentially damaging to the current world leading agricultural practices used by sheep and beef farmers in NZ. “We are convinced this system (RA) lacks credibility and contains many aspects that are scientifically untenable. We believe it is our statutory duty as academics to provide some warning about the fallibility of these systems,” their letter concluded.

through both extension and research/innovation with the goal of providing even better support to a growing number of farmers.” However, it has been revealed that Frew – who is treasurer of Quorum Sense – and fellow regenerative ag advocate Peter Barrett of Lin-

nburn Station, are coowners of the company Symbiosis Ag Ltd, which promotes regenerative ag and sells seed mixes to prospective ‘regen’ farmers. Frew and Barrett have recently also toured the country running seminars on regenerative ag and extolling farmers to change to the practise. Concerns have been raised about a potential conflict of interest around Frew’s involvement with Quorum Sense and his co-ownership of Symbiosis, which sells seeds and promotes regen, and the possible commercial advantage

he may gain from people converting to regen and buying Symbiosis Seeds. There have also been questions raised about the funding being granted at a time when officials knew about the roadshow dates and Barrett promoting Linnburn, where there is a direct link from the Quorum website to his and Frew’s seed company. Rural News put a number of questions to MPI about the funding. The ministry conceded that the project is actually funded through the ‘Productive and Sustainable Land Use’ pro-

gramme, even though it was announced along with the ‘Jobs for Nature’ project. MPI says Quorum Sense Charitable Trust was chosen because it is a “farmer-led extension project”. It claims that Quorum applied for funding earlier this year and it was considered by the MPI Sustainable Land Use team.   “The proposal was considered alongside others in terms of its alignment with the objectives of the Productive and Sustainable Land Use Package.” The ministry says it


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ing an event or being part of an extension group, or through information that will be disseminated, or in other ways. “The project will be monitored and evaluated against the deliverables established between the Quorum Sense and MPI. “Quorum Sense is required to submit regular reporting including against budget allocations and spend.” MPI says a mid-contract evaluation will be completed by an independent evaluator.

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agriculture systems and science and ensure the project has an appropriate level of scientific input to satisfy MPI’s monitoring and measurement requirements.” MPI told Rural News it expects this funding will support and increase the work the Quorum Sense Charitable Trust is already doing and has been doing in a voluntary capacity. “Over the three years of the project, we expect farmers around the country to have the opportunity to benefit from the project, whether directly such as attend-


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worked with the Quorum Sense project team to develop an agreed project plan, budget and milestones for the project as well as monitoring and measurement methods to ensure the project provides a sound evidence base. “As part of this, the MPI team consulted with science and investment colleagues, including MPI’s chief science advisor, and externally with other government agencies. That was to ensure the approach is consistent with other investment being put into exploring regenerative


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Covid costing Pamu ‘deerly’ PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz


FALLING LAND and livestock prices have hit the state-owned farmer Landcorp – known as Pamu – in the financial year to 30 June. The company made an operating profit of $65 million, with revenue up by $10 million to $251 million on the previous year. However, it was forced to significantly write down the value of its land and livestock. Chief executive Steven Carden says a major part of write down in land values was due to falling land prices in the dairy sector. He told Rural News dairy land values were down by up to 10%

and livestock values were down by between 3% and 4%. Carden says a lack of overseas buyers for land, and concern about environmental regulations are the main reason for falling land prices. “From our point of view the drop in these values is a book loss and doesn’t reflect the overall profitability of our business. “On that basis the board of Pamu agreed to pay a $5 million dividend to its shareholder, the government.” Carden says Pamu, like all farmers, felt the impact of Covid19. He says it had quite an impact on its livestock business during the

first lockdown because the company couldn’t get stock processed at the meat works and had to carry more animals for a longer period. He says the situation was also compounded by the drought in Northland, and in other parts of the country, but says they carried on as best they could in the circumstances. The area of Pamu’s overall operation worst hit by Covid has been their deer operation. This is because most of its product is directed at the food service sector – restaurants and other high end users especially in the USA and Europe. “We are the largest deer farmer in the


Landcorp is the largest deer farmer in the world and it says this side of the business has taken a big hit due to Covid.

world and while the business has been going well for the past three years, it’s taken a big hit due to Covid,” Carden told Rural News. “We are certainly concerned about the deer portfolio at the moment and are in the process of reviewing what is the right mix of animal spe-

cies in the company going forward and that includes the percentage of deer we will have in our livestock portfolio.” Carden says Pamu’s sheep and beef and dairy businesses have held up well despite the adverse weather conditions for much of the season. He says they have been able

to maintain overall production levels. “Dairy had a great year and they were well up on production despite the drought.” He says Pamu will continue to diversify. “The horticultural developments we are doing we will expand – again to diversify land use

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and also to capture the growth in the hort sector. We will look at our land use change opportunities so our forestry portfolio will continue to expand.” Carden says the state farmer will convert 1800 to 2000 hectares of forestry in the next four to six years on class 6 and above land.






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A potential bogey for NZ/EU trade deal PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

THE FALLOUT from a golf match out in the west of Ireland could have negative repercussions on the outcome of New Zealand’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Union. EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan, the overall head of EU trade negotiations, was recently forced to resign from his role for breaching Ireland’s strict coronavirus lockdown rules. Hogan flew home to Dublin from Brussels to join a group of Irish politicians and officials at a special golf match and dinner in the town of

Clifden in Co Galway. When he arrived in Ireland, Hogan tested negative for Covid-19, but didn’t self-isolate for 14 days as required, and went on to Clifden. Hogan’s actions were widely condemned in Ireland and in Europe and he subsequently resigned. According to NZ trade commentator Mike Petersen, Hogan’s demise could have a negative impact on our FTA negotiations with the EU. Petersen says having Phil Hogan as Trade Commissioner was helpful in that Ireland and NZ are very similar and understand the value of exporting, even though Ireland may not always agree with

EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan’s recent resignation could mean bad news for a potential NZ/EU free trade agreement.

some negotiating points put up in the FTA negotiations. Hogan visited NZ just over a year ago and knows what NZ agriculture is about and has

good relationships with our people. Now the search is on for a new commissioner to replace Hogan. “The risk is that potentially having a non-

Irishman going into the role of Trade Commissioner could make it tougher for us,” Petersen told Rural News. “There are a lot of countries in the EU who are far less

supportive of free trade than Ireland and there is a chance that someone who holds very protectionist views could get the position.” Under EU rules, every member state has the right to have a commissioner and the President of the EU, Ursula von der Leyen, has now asked Ireland to nominate two people – a man and woman and she will make the final choice. Petersen says there is no guarantee that Ireland would get the prestigious Trade Commissioner role and that von der Leyen may take the opportunity to have a complete reshuffle of the portfolios of all the commissioners.

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East-West divide dictates meat returns SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

AN EAST-WEST Covid split is dictating global meat returns for New Zealand farmers. Countries like China, Taiwan and Japan, which acted early and implemented successful lockdowns, now find their economies on a firmer footing. This is reflecting on receipts for NZ meat exports to these countries, says Westpac senior agri economist Nathan Penny. A resurging Chinese economy bodes well for lamb and mutton demand as the country accounts for a large share of New Zealand’s exports. Penny notes that over the past year, China took nearly three quarters of New Zealand’s mutton and over 46% of

CRAZY FIRST HALF-YEAR AFTER A crazy ride over the first half of the year, lamb prices have stabilised and then lifted over recent months. Nathan Penny, Westpac, says prices are up around 10% since the low back in May, helped higher by improving Chinese demand as well as slowing slaughter and an easing in processing constraints. However, prices remain well down (13%) from the record levels a year ago. “Looking ahead, we expect a fairly subdued spring,” he says. “Normally, lamb prices lift about $1.50/ kg from the autumn low to the spring peak. However, with spring peak prices driven by demand from Europe, the UK

New Zealand’s lamb. In contrast, those countries that had less stringent lockdowns, like the US and to a lesser degree Europe and the UK, are facing continuing outbreaks and/or lingering weakness in economic conditions.

and the US where demand is currently weak, we expect only about half the normal price lift this spring. “That equates to a spring price peak in the ballpark of $7.25/kg. All things considered though, that would still represent healthy returns on a historical basis.” Beef prices have staged a sooner and more robust recovery from their Covid lows. Steer and bull prices have lifted 14% and 13% respectively from their April lows. On the beef price outlook, however, Penny remains cautious. “All up, we expect farmgate beef prices to sit at or below long-run average levels over the remainder of 2020.”

So, the news is less rosy for beef and venison exporters. For beef, the US accounts for over a third (37.3% or only marginally less than China’s 40.5%) of New Zealand’s exports, with a high proportion of manufacturing beef going

to the US. Meanwhile, the EU and the US account for over 70% of New Zealand’s venison exports. “As a result, we expect venison and beef prices to be on relatively less stable footing over the remainder of 2020 and

EDNA CALENDAR 2021 Nathan Penny (inset) expects venison and beef prices to be on a less stable footing over the remainder of 2020 and into 2021.

into 2021,” says Penny. He points out that the economies in China and the rest of Asia have taken relatively smaller economic hits postCovid.


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“In fact, we expect that the Chinese economy will continue to grow over 2020, unlike most of the rest of the world. “The Chinese con-

sumer is beginning to benefit from better job security, if not outright income growth, compared to early 2020 when the Covid outbreak was at its peak.”

ADDING BALANCE TO BALLANCE NORTH WAIKATO sheep and beef farmer John Jackson has has thown his hat in the ring for a seat on the board of fertiliser co-op Ballance. Jackson describes himself as a good listener, communicator, independent thinker and team player. He believes that he can bring all of these attributes and day-to-day farming experience to the fertiliser company’s board table. “I have a history of working collaboratively to achieve positive outcomes. I am a good listener and critical thinker. I can capably represent farmer shareholders’ interests.”  Jackson says the co-op is in good financial shape and credits this to its current and former shareholders, administrators and all those associ-

ated with the company. “It has moved with the times – not just in the quality and formulation of product – but with the technology around application,” he adds.  “However, the challenges keep coming. It is of utmost importance that we continue with appropriate messaging of the ‘science-based’ approach – backed up with certified quality and accuracy of placement to ensure our place in the world.” Jackson says his links to both farming and Ballance are not tenuous. “Our shareholding in Ballance has grown as our business has grown. I live the droughts and the good seasons, the industry setbacks and its successes,” he explains.  • See on-farm profile pp18-19



NZ honey hitting a sweet spot PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

THE COVID-19 crisis appears to have sparked a renewed interest in the healing properties of honey. A study by medical researchers at Oxford University in the UK has shown that the symptoms of viruses that cause the common cold can be eased if a person takes honey – be it in a drink or in some other form. Colds can’t be fixed with antibiotics, but they

are still often prescribed and can lead to resistance in a person’s body. The study, published in the British Medical Journal, says honey is more effective, less harmful and helps combat antimicrobial resistance. In the year to the end of June 2020, NZ honey exports earned $425 million – a 20% increase on the previous year. Apiculture NZ chief executive Karin Kos says this is positive with demand for natural food

SIGNS OF AN EARLY SPRING THERE ARE signs that the honey season may be earlier than normal. Most years the season starts in October, but beekeepers in Northland say the weather is warmer than normal and they are already getting their hives ready for the honey to start flowing. Apiculture NZ chief executive Karin Kos says while it’s too early to say if the season will be early around the country, the signs are promising. She says, right now, beekeepers are busy checking their hives to see how the bees have come through winter, that they have sufficient food and there is no disease in the hives. “It’s about getting the bees ready for the honey season,” she told Rural News. While the agricultural landscape is changing, Kos says landowners, including orchardists, and beekeepers work closely together to ensure there is a good supply of food for the bees and that the hives are in the right place. For those beekeepers who chase the mānuka honey market, it is an especially busy time as they start planning to move their hives to remote locations for the mānuka flowers. Helicopters are often used to do this.

driving export growth. But she says it’s been a hard couple of years for those who are not producing mānuka honeys. “Prices for their

product has dropped and sometimes to the point when it is below the cost of production,” she says. This is of concern to the industry as a whole, says Karin Kos.




The month of the bee SEPTEMBER MAY be the first month of spring, but it is also the month of the bee. Apiculture NZ has launched its annual bee awareness programme, designed to help farmers and the public on how to be more bee friendly. Kos says they have run this programme for the last few years and it is designed to lift the awareness of the importance of bees to the NZ environment and food chain, and the insect’s role in pollinating trees and crops. She says they are putting out simple messages on how people can improve the environment and health of bees.

LATEST STORIES EVERY DAY Get up-to-date news at www.ruralnewsgroup.co.nz


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Sino-Aus trade spat worsens SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

NEW ZEALAND should be carefully watching the unfolding trade war between Australia and China, says trade expert Stephen Jacobi. Jacobi, who was executive director of the NZ China Council until the end of last year, told Rural News that while he doesn’t expect China’s trade relations with NZ to be affected, it’s a worrying time globally. “Australia and China are both friends and partners of NZ…Australia is also a key market for NZ so anything which happens to weaken their economy is a concern,” he says. Australian exporters have faced a raft of roadblocks from China in recent months. About

CRITICISE WITH CARE STEPHEN JACOBI says New Zealand doesn’t face the danger of being sucked into the trade war between Australia and China. He says there are tensions in our relationship with China, notably over our response to the evolving situation in Hong Kong, but the NZ Government is being careful in the way it is managing this. “At the recent China Business Summit, the Prime Minister emphasised both the importance of the relationship with China and the need to speak out from time to time on issues, including sensitive ones that might concern us,” he says. “New Zealand’s views have been clearly signalled.  I don’t think the Chinese for a moment like what we are saying, but hopefully they will see that we are staying true to our values and acting in a responsible and respectful way.”

30% of the country’s total agricultural exports end up in China. In May, China slapped 80% tariffs on Australian barley exports. Australia sells A$2 billion of barley to China, more than half its exports.

Last month, the Chinese Government announced a one-year anti-dumping investigation into Australia’s wine imports. For its part, the Australian Government two weeks ago blocked the

Trade expert Stephen Jacobi blames the geo-political climate and the fallout of the ongoing US/China trade war, coupled with the pandemic for this spat.

sale of one of the country’s largest dairy business, owned by Japanese firm Kirin, to Chinese dairy giant Mengniu – which Mengniu also owns an infant formula plant in Pokeno, south of Auckland. Mengniu agreed to buy the former Dairy Farmers business for $600m but Federal Treasurer Josh

Frydenberg ruled the sale would be “contrary to the national interest”. Last week the Chinese Government retaliated by suspending Australia’s oldest family-owned meat processor from its market. Australian media reports say China’s customs department suspended exports from John Dee Pty Ltd after it

said it found the banned chemical chloramphenicol, used in the treatment of bacterial infections in dogs and cats, in pieces of sirloin at Chinese ports. Four other Australian meat exporters were suspended in May over labelling and health certificate requirements. Jacobi blames the geopolitical climate and the

fallout of the ongoing US/ China trade war, coupled with the pandemic for this spat. He says these difficult times call for careful diplomacy. He thinks problems are likely to continue and would be difficult to address if attention is not paid to the overall health of the political relationship. “China does not react well to criticism, particularly if it feels this is being orchestrated by other countries.  “NZ does not resile from expressing its view but generally expresses it in an independent way.  I think that will continue to be important as we look to emerge from the current health and economic crisis.” @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews



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Farming on a senseless slippery slope The controversial map deeming 9.6 million hectares of NZ’s pastoral land as ‘low slope’ with specific stock exclusion zones has been described by North Otago farmer and sustainability advocate Jane Smith as “not fit for human consumption” let alone being stamped as regulation. “SOME BUREAUCRAT has managed to change the topography of New Zealand – with the area defined as ‘low slope’ – growing from 5.8 million hectares in 2019 to 9.6 million hectares overnight with a simple stroke of a pen,” Jane Smith says. She has no doubt this will be the ruling that breaks farmers’ backs. “Enough is enough. To have put an anaemically low amount of research, consultation and pragmatism into developing such overarching regulation that will define rural livelihoods is a disgrace,” Smith told Rural News. “It shows a lack of respect to our country’s food producers. I am sick of hearing the Environment Minister David Parker say they had farmer representation around the table. I assume he is referring to a couple of their pet farmers alongside environmental activists thinly disguised as academics.” She says farmers have been treated like some sort of environmental terrorists that can’t

be trusted and therefore need a ‘paint by numbers’ quasi-solution to land and water management. “How dare Parker use this regime as a Trojan horse to his push his personal crusade,” Smith adds. “Blindsiding a key part of your economy is far from being a visionary.” She says it is also interesting that, at the same time, over 100 urban wastewater plants are not even meeting their current compliance obligations, let alone being the subject of any new regulation. Smith also believes the recent backtracking by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor touting potential ‘tweaks’ to the map and regulation will be “nothing more than rearranging the deckchairs”. Smith says the agricultural and horticultural sectors have made huge gains in all areas over the past five years. “We have proven that economic, social and environmental benefits can be balanced together – there is no need to take a narrow siloed view

on any issue that arises. The failure to consider the economic and social impacts of generic regulation could be seen as economic treason. The rest of the world isn’t coveting us, they are laughing at us,” she claims. Smith sits on the Global Farmer Roundtable and is often taken aback by her overseas farming colleagues who assume New Zealand farmers simply have to meet the cost of being held to account by the Government in lieu of paying any taxes. She says she is very quick to correct them that NZ farmers file in excess of half a dozen types of tax. Smith also takes issues with Minister Parker’s often-made claim that, “this is what our overseas customers expect of us.” “This doesn’t wash with me either. I have seen, first-hand, the markedly low standard in both water management and animal welfare in the majority of major offshore agricultural producing countries in comparison with New Zealand,” she says.

North Otago farmer Jane Smith desperately searching for any logic in the MfE low slope map

“Our farmers are efficient, effective and see farming as a long term commitment to the land and their communities. If the Government wants us to become one big Pamutype corporate entity that ticks every audit box, has a farm technician on every corner, and contributes bugger all to the social, economic and environmental GDP of the country, then they are going the right way about it.” As a previous New Zealand Farm Environment Trust National award winners and producers of Newhaven Perendale and Fossil Creek Angus genetics, believes the 10,000 stock unit hill country farm she runs

with her husband Blair is an environmentally focused operation. She says every initiative they undertake on the property needs to result in environmental, animal welfare and economic benefits, not just one aspect. “Ironically, the Government is asking us increase primary sector production by $44 billion over the next decade. You don’t need a degree in telemetry to see that this equation doesn’t add up,” she says. Smith says the litmus test for her and her fellow catchment group members is: Will these regulations result in superior land and waterway management?

“The answer is no,” she says. “They will simply result in an unproductive tsunami of public servants and more office time for farmers. “I personally plant around 1000 to 2000 trees and associated fencing a year for riparian and animal welfare benefits. I also volunteer over 20 hours a month helping to run our local catchment group,” Smith told Rural News. “This time now goes out the window as instead of getting on with constructive environmental initiatives, I will be simply ticking boxes,” she adds. “Consents do not lead to better land and water management – they simply result in more

consents on desks.” Smith believes that letting farmers take individual action on their property to achieve better collective outcomes is what drives change. She says no amount of paperwork or regulation will ever have the same positive, long term outcome. As for the ‘less than 10% slope’ map that the majority of her Newhaven hill block falls under – Smith is gobsmacked. “I invite the team of insipid bureaucrats who drew this map up with David Parker hovering over their shoulders to come and take a run up this supposed ‘low slope’ with me,” she challenges. “The winner gets to redraw the map.”

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Nothing sustainable without profit SUDESH KISSUN



WAIKATO FARMER and chair of Dairy Environment Leaders programme Melissa Slattery believes that sustainable farming is highly important to young farmers. She believes the upcoming generation of farmers are driven to learn and adapt, just like the previous generation did for the issues of their time. “Opportunities will evolve for the new generation farmers who understand what is and will be required in terms of sustainability on farm,” Slattery told Rural News. Slattery and her husband Justin own and operate a 300 cow, 106ha dairy farm near Te Aroha. She is an associate with a local chartered accountant firm. The Slatterys won the NZ Dairy Industry Awards 2015 Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year title. Last month, she was named chair of DairyNZ’s Dairy Environment Leaders programme. The programme is to foster stewardship for the future, and to support farmers to implement onfarm and catchment scale change to reduce their

Melissa Slattery believes it’s important the Government works closely with farmers on implementing changes because nothing is sustainable without profit.

environmental footprint. Formed in 2013, there are now over 300 DEL leaders. Slattery has been part of the programme for the past three years. The farming sector has seen its fair share of new policy and regulations, around water quality, nitrogen leaching, climate change and animal welfare. Slattery believes it’s important the Government works closely with farmers on implementing changes because nothing is sustainable without

challenges such as ‘how can this farm eat more home grown feed/ha’ are taken into account in terms of what it means for profit, water quality and greenhouse gas emissions. Availability of good advice and examples is also crucial and DairyNZ provides significant support in this regard.” Slattery welcomes the intent of the Government’s freshwater regulations and encourages politicians to work

profit. “If government and industry continue to work closely together for a common purpose of supporting productive, internationally competitive food production we will continue to be profitable,” she says. “Farmers are resilient and adaptable, but system changes need time and capability. “Decisions on farm are also becoming increasingly complex as implications of once simple











with and listen to the ag sector. “It is encouraging that the government has listened to the sector’s views to provide a consenting pathway to allow farmers time to implement the significant change some farmers must make to meet the proposed N-limit and maintain profitability,” she says. There is now an opportunity for government to listen to the sector to ensure

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MELISSA SLATTERY says farmers should expect more regulations around sustainability in the future. “Nothing stays the same, everything evolves, especially regulations around sustainability,” she says. Her advice to farmers is: be involved, stay informed and continue to build awareness on what is happening in your local community in terms of water quality. “In the next round of regional plans, as councils look to implement the new National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management requirements, it will be even more important that farmers have a voice and input into the community discussions and council decisions.” Slattery has these thoughts for farmers to consider: “For climate change be prepared to build awareness of your farm’s profile, what inputs influence that profile, and what levers you can pull. “Remember that when it comes to reducing emissions, small reductions are important. So if you can reduce your empty rate through better mating management, that will bring a reduction in your greenhouse gas emissions (and improve your profitability).” She urges farmers to complete their farm environment plans. “If you haven’t done a farm environment plan, talk to your supplier about completing one.”

outcomes for intensive winter grazing are achieved practically and that the rules don’t distract from achieving that common purpose of good practice on-farm. “There is more to interpret out of the legislation implementation of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management by

regional councils - some of the impacts of the 95% nitrate toxicity and whether the contentious DIN is parked for good. “Science, industry and regulation need to evolve to work together to achieve equitable solutions and positive outcomes for both the environment and our community.”

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Boxing on to a bullish farming career North Waikato sheep and beef farmer John Jackson has had an interesting and eclectic journey on the way to his eventual farming career and ownership of the 1500ha bull finishing farm he owns in partnership with wife Jenny and parents Jo and Anne, at Te Akau. His diverse passage to farming has led to a continual drive to adapt and change. David Anderson reports. JOHN JACKSON’S journey to a fulltime farming career started with attending Lincoln and playing rugby for both Canterbury and New Zealand. He then went on his OE, but not your typical Kiwi ‘work in a London pub and obligatory van trip around Europe’ jaunt. Although he did do the latter, Jackson went to Oxford University in England on a scholarship – reading economics, philosophy and politics – where he attained a Special Diploma in Social Studies and also earned a prestigious Oxford Blue for boxing. Jackson’s road to Oxford 26.5 began on the x 18cm

rugby field where he played lock and loved the discipline and comradeship the game gave him. After making the Lincoln first fifteen in 1988, Jackson was picked to play for NZ Universities, where after playing the touring Oxbridge (a combination of Cambridge and Oxford universities) team, the thought of study abroad was first hatched. That same year, he also played for NZU in the University World Cup in France, with the Kiwis taking out the title. Jackson played for Canterbury in 1989 and 1990, clocking up 17 games in total for the red and blacks. However, major knee injuries

severely limited his playing career. He then left for England at the end of the 1990 season, fully expecting to be back playing for Canterbury the following season. “I applied for and was successful in gaining a scholarship to study at Oxford, commencing in October 1991. Once I had decided to read Social Studies, the next hurdle was to interest a college to take me in.” Jackson eventually got a spot in Mansfield College, where former All Black captain David Kirk – who had helped the NZU team as it was passing through Oxford on the way to the University World Cup in France –

was instrumental in getting him a scholarship and place. Jackson says that after a year “away from the books”, the academic rigour he needed for Oxford gave him a hell of a fright. “What was hard to grasp, at first, was the concept of critical thinking. Looking beyond what was written and relating it in a cause-and-effect type manner and always looking from all alternative viewpoints.” Jackson said this was vastly difference from the style and manner of our lecture or lab-based learnings in NZ.  “I loved the challenge and could see improvement quite quickly, once I’d grasped the concept of what was required.” Jackson says he was incredibly privileged to have an Oxford education. However, his dodgy knee meant the rugby career was finished and because his knee couldn’t

John Jackson’s advancement to managing partner of the 1500 ha (14,000 stock units) coastal sheep and beef property at Te Akau, has been a progressive one over the past 28 or so years.

handle road running, he ended up boxing training. This led to him being selected to compete as the Oxford heavyweight against Cambridge in the annual boxing match. “I was defeated, on points, by then current British student champion in the Oxford town hall in front of 1000 other screaming students,” he

says. Jackson completed his exams and graduated in June 1992 and was also awarded an Oxford Blue for boxing. He eventually returned to the home farm at the end of 1992.  The Jacksons have been finishing bulls since young John was a nipper. When he returned from overseas, his parents


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were running a breeding herd of Angus-cross cows, 2800 ewes and killing about 300 bulls a year. Jackson grew up on the family farm, where magnificent views of the Tasman Sea dominate the coastal property. “Times were pretty tough on farm as those who farmed through TO PAGE 19



Jackson has taken his farming experience from his coastal sheep and beef property at Te Akau in the development of an agribusiness programme that has now been rolled out in secondary schools throughout NZ.

Helping grow farming’s future JOHN JACKSON’S ability for future and critical thinking saw him deeply involved in the development of an agribusiness programme that has now been rolled out in secondary schools throughout NZ. With a long history of community service, Jackson was invited to join the Waikato Anglican Trust Board in 2012 that

governs the running of St Paul’s Collegiate in Hamilton, where his children went to school. “John Oliver – a notable King Country farmer and philanthropist – encouraged the school to consider teaching agriculture and develop a curriculum accordingly,” he explains. “Once the board was convinced that this had

merit and as the only farmer on the board – and with an interest in agriculture – it fell to me to start the process.” He says along with St Paul’s headmaster Grant Lander, he quickly realised that agriculture as a subject in secondary schools was poorly thought of but had much potential and demand in the workplace.


those years will remember. My parents, expansionary farmers in their own right, were facing considerable debt, poor product prices and overdraft interest rates of 23%. They had covered some of my living costs in England, plus assisting me and my two sisters through university in NZ and independent boarding schooling us all.” He says they were pretty disheartened with their current predicament and were looking for some support. I realised I wanted to farm and that this might be my only opportunity to establish myself in farming and ultimately own a farm.” In 1993, Jackson worked on farm and then in 1994 he borrowed some money and took a shareholding in the farm’s livestock. In 1994, Jenny Sharp, who Jackson met while overseas, arrived in Te Akau from Australia. They were married 1997 and have had three children – Hugh, Sarah and Charlie. “Not only has Jenny been my wife and mother to our three children, she’s handled all the business admin-

istration and for the majority of time has worked an off farm job as well,” Jackson says. His advancement to where Jackson is today, as managing partner of the 1500 ha (14,000 stock units) coastal sheep and beef property at Te Akau, has been a progressive one over the past 28 or so years. Additional land was purchased in four parcels in 1999, 2000 and 2001. The final purchase was in 2011 to bring the property’s current holding up to 1500ha. Today the farm runs all bulls and no sheep, with some 2150 bulls killed during the 2019 /2020 season.  From the late 1990s, Jackson progressively moved the farm into an all-male cattle regime, with a single wire rotation system established and bulls divided into small mobs. Purchasing lighter 1 - 1.5 year old Friesian bulls, the farm typically carries 2200 bulls through a winter before they are sent for processing, mostly aged at 2.5 years. On average, the weight of bulls leaving the farm ranges between 300-315kg. The property

employs four full time staff – three stockmen and a fencer-general and 20 registered work dogs.  “I keep my hand in with a couple of half days of stock shifts each week and cover stock work for other staff when they are away,” he says. “I am fortunate to have a great staff and as a consequence do a greater degree of organising and overseeing, not only here but in an advisory capacity for another property nearby.” He says current farm staff strength is a far cry from some of the tougher periods when it was run with a fencergeneral and a bit of casual help. “It’s amazing what can be achieved when you’re young and keen.” Jackson says good beef prices have helped the partnership consolidate financially and upgrade infrastructure. “I would calculate we have spent in excess of $400,000 on improving water reticulation and fencing off waterways over the last five years.”  As for the future, he doesn’t see the same rate of expansion that’s been achieved in the past three decades being sustained.

Lander says as deputy chair of the St Paul’s Board of Trustees (Waikato Anglican College Trust Board) Jackson was an extremely passionate advocate of the rural sector. “John played a very crucial role in the implementation of Agribusiness as a subject at NCEA Levels 2 and 3 into the national school curriculum. Highly respected and well connected, John helped gather and secure

the support of business and principal partners for the initiative. “Without John’s key input, it is doubtful that we would have gotten this ambitious project through to fruition.  Today, over 120 schools and 2200 students are currently learning about some form of agribusiness. I firmly believe St Paul’s Collegiate School and New Zealand schools owe a huge debt of gratitude to John,” Landers

told Rural News. “Throughout this process, I quickly learnt that John is an impressive guy to work with.  People were quickly won over by his genuineness and down-to-earth manner.” Jackson puts the programme’s success down to a team effort. “I was incredibly fortunate to work with a large number of motivated people. I will be eternally grateful to Tony Egan (Greenlea Meats)

for his advice and belief in what we were trying to achieve – and his early financial support,” he adds. “Tony’s early action was the encouragement others needed. While headmaster Grant Lander and the St Paul’s staff put in an incredible amount of work over a five year period to get it established and the relative NCEA accreditation.” @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

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We deliberately challenge our Romneys by farming them on unfertilised native hill country in order to provide the maximum selection pressure and expose ‘soft’ sheep.


Over the last 5 years ewes (including 2ths) have scanned between 190% and 216% despite droughts.

GROWTH RATE Over the same period weaning weights (adj. 100 days) have exceeded 36kg from a lambing % consistently above 150%. & SURVIVAL COMMENTS: • All sheep DNA and SIL recorded. • No crops are grown and no supplements are fed. • Ram hoggets have been eye muscle scanned since 1996. • All ewe hoggets are mated. • Breeding programme places a heavy emphasis on worm resilience – lambs drenched only once prior to autumn. • Scored for dags and feet shape. DNA rated for footrot and cold tolerance. • We take an uncompromising approach – sheep must constantly measure up.

We aim to breed superior Romneys that produce the most from the least input.

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Connections key to future rural sector success Challenges facing the rural sector reinforce the need to work together and ensure linkages are strong and smart. Chair of the Deer Industry Primary Growth Partnership Passion2Profit (P2P) and founding member and chair of the Water Action Initiative (WAI) Wanaka, Amanda Bell, explains why farmers must maximise the learning of recent years and the investments in Primary Growth Partnership Programmes (PGPs). THIS NEED to connect is amplified with the addition of significant funding streams for job creation and economic stimulus through environmental work programmes. Social science learnings have increased through several PGP programmes and can add significant value to the next round of investments. We need to ask, how do we share more widely, the capacity and capability successful programmes have built? This means providing support and funding for connectivity on a larger scale. Having worked with the Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP) to establish a whole-of-catchment set of WAI Action Groups for the Upper Clutha Basin, I see excellent

work being done to connect farmers. We also need to see funding to support connectors, to connect vertically and horizontally between farmers and between existing and new programmes. Where we see capability and capacity built, we must leverage that through connection, outside of farm gates and catchments. This will allow us to realise the true benefits of investments that have been made and are about to be made by government and by farmers. WAI Wanaka and the five RMPP Action Groups in the Upper Clutha basin are good examples of how connectivity can be achieved and learning and change effected on a smaller scale. Upper

of $4,000 per farm business was pooled to fund facilitation and expertise. The model works very well to improve learning and speed of change among group members. Alongside expert input, sharing of experience between farmers adds great value. Through the Passion 2 Profit programme and Action Networks, I’ve seen how critical the support, leadership, structure and solid social science that sits behind a framework is to the success of programmes. That framework is essential to enable you to finetune and be flexible as you move through. We found the RMPP Action Network team to be very supportive and agile in helping to get groups up and moving very quickly.

Clutha Water Group, now WAI Wanaka, was launched in 2017 because a lot was happening around water management regionally, but little was connected, resulting in gaps and double-ups. With Ministry for the Environment Freshwater Improvement Fund support, we’ve progressed as a community with our strategic plan and major work streams – riparian planting, applied urban research and a community catchment plan for the whole region. The P2P Advance Parties and the RMPP Action Network model support farm businesses to work together in groups, to explore ideas and share expert resources to help make positive changes on-farm. With RMPP Action Networks, funding

Amanda Bell says the RMPP Action Network model supports farm businesses to work together in groups, to explore ideas and share expert resources to help make positive changes on-farm.

Along with an existing Lake Wanaka group, we now have 55-60 farms involved in the Upper Clutha. Having that framework and facilitation enables you to move faster, it enables better connections to be made and people will come on board, because they see where you’re heading. Each of our groups has three goals: To create a whole-of-catchment environmental plan with goals

nuanced to their particular areas; to have individual environmental plans for each farm business; and to engage in communication with rural communities, tourism bodies and urban neighbours. Groups are creating plans and statement of intents that go beyond any expectations set out by government, nationally or regionally. Through identifying opportunities to structure learning and provide

supportive environments for farmers, we are also seeing work that can be made available to all farmers in our groups and potentially far wider. GHG emissions workshops led by a global carbon accounting expert are supporting groups to put mitigation plans in place. Farmers need to have these plans by 2025 so this is footwork that will enable this. Through strong and smart and collaboration, we need to link the Fit For A Better World vision, develop a national food strategy and roll it out using the knowledge on the ground. Connecting this vision with Action Groups that implement allows us to leverage our primary sector investments. We’re got the vision, we’re got the groups on the ground, all that is need is to mandate a light-footed group to drive the connections. • Dr Amanda Bell is also a vet, farms deer and sheep, operates agri-tourism at Criffel Station in Wanaka.

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Chinese demand dominates COVID-19 AND its impacts on beef markets, and China’s import demand, continue to dominate global beef markets. Cattle prices around the world showed signs of recovery from May through July. Cattle prices (in US$) in most major exporting countries increased, while the US saw cattle prices decline, resulting in an overall lift in the index


CATTLE PRICES remain strong despite global Covid-19 disruptions and slowing economic conditions. The EYCI closed at AU$ 7.52/kg cwt on July 31. Finished cattle prices, while still strong, started to ease in late July, suggesting that the softer demand resulting from Covid-19 is starting to impact the cattle

market (see Figure 5). We believe August will see cattle prices drift slightly lower, as Covid-19 continues to weigh on global demand. But limited domestic cattle supplies will limit any downside price movement. National cattle slaughter for the month of June (612,000 head) was down 14% YOY. Year-to-date national slaughter is down 7% for

1H 2020. Beef production is down 5% in 1H, with average slaughter weights in June up almost 10kg on June 2019. The Australian dollar has also appreciated in recent weeks, compounding the higher prices driven by low supply and challenging the competitiveness of Australian beef.

capacity has done an incredible job of recovering from the worst of the Covid-19 slowdown. Weekly fed slaughter capacity has recovered to 97% to 98% of preCovid-19 levels, and as a result, comprehensive cutout prices have returned to more normal levels (see Figure 13). Year-to-date production is still off 2%, after the sharp reduction

in May. Our expectations are for beef production to be up 1% to 1.5% for the year. Fed cattle prices recovered US$5 to US$7 during July. Fed cattle offerings have tightened up across the Corn Belt, as slaughter rates have recovered. Cattle supplies continue to be heavy through the Plains states. A 10% decline in the US dollar since the

highs in late March has provided much needed support to US agriculture exports, including beef. Asia continues to be the focal point, with increased exports to Japan, and while still small, tonnage to China is posting solid growth. Beef shipments to Canada have been strong, while shipments to Mexico are off sharply, due to Covid-19 and economic weakness.


US FED slaughter

China China’s beef consumption has shown some resilience amid the sluggish economy resulting from Covid-19. In comparison to pork and poultry, which saw big price drops in Q2, beef wholesale prices have stayed firmly above Q4 2019 prices. Beef retail prices dropped only slightly, from CNY 80.6/kg in February down to CNY 78.3/kg in June, then quickly rebounded in early July (see Figure 8). This is in line with normal seasonal movement and reflects a relatively resilient demand, even in a slowing economy. We believe the consumption volume via foodservice has dropped considerably. Trade volume in major wholesale markets


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– which is mainly distributed to wet market, foodservice, and institutional users – has declined by more than 40% YOY in the first seven months of 2020. There has been an active shift from foodservice to retail, especially e-commerce, as the price gap between beef and pork has narrowed significantly since Q4 2019. With a further recovery of foodservice,

we expect beef prices to increase further in 2H 2020.

Europe We expect beef production in the EU-27+UK to contract by 2% YOY in 2020, due to Covid-19-related processing disruptions and soft demand in foodservice. The impact of Covid19 on beef production is evident in the period January to May, when EU-

27+UK beef production was down by 5% YOY. Drops in production were experienced in all major producing countries. Italy saw the biggest decline, with production falling 16% in the first five months. Germany (-5%), Ireland (-5%), Spain (-4%), and France (-3%) also recorded substantial weakening in this period, whereas production in the Nether-

lands (-2%), UK (-1%), and Poland (-1%) was less affected. The EU average carcass price has been stable in recent weeks, close to 2019 levels (see Figure 9). The stability of prices can likely be explained by the fact that supply has adjusted to reduced demand levels. Also, an improvement in demand as foodservice reopens has helped with carcass

balance and pricing. We expect prices to remain below the five-year average into Q4, as demand has not yet fully recovered.

NZ New Zealand cattle prices strengthened over the last three months, recovering from the sharp decline experienced during the previous quarter. As of late July, the North Island bull price was sitting at NZ$5.45/kg cwt and South Island bull at NZ$4.70/ kg cwt, a 12% and 8% increase, respectively, since mid-May. New Zealand beef exports performed solidly over the last quarter, largely underpinned by demand from the US for manufacturing beef. Average export returns from May to July were

slightly ahead of the same period last year, at NZ$8,182/metric ton (up 3% YOY). However, export data from July shows NZ export returns are starting to feel the impact of challenging market conditions, with average returns for the month down 2% YOY. This is the first month this year in which average returns have been down YOY. Export returns for

beef exported to China have been weakening consistently since April. For the month of July, average returns from China were down 12% YOY. As a result, NZ exporters are directing increasing volumes of exports into the US market (July export volumes were up 94% YOY) and away from China (July export volumes were down 45% YOY) (see Figure 12).

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Rethink needed ENVIRONMENT MINISTER David Parker has had a long and tempestuous relationship with the farming sector. His latest fight with farmers has come about due to the new freshwater regulations that recently came into force. Especially aggrieved are southern farmers who have pointed out that many of the new rules concerning winter cropping were “almost unfarmable” in the south. Southland Federated Farmers president Geoffrey Young even called on farmers in the region to ignore the new requirements on getting resource consents for winter grazing until there was more practicality concerning it. This got Parker’s goat and he came out of hiding to decry Young’s call saying that “no one was above the law”. Late last month, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced some very minor tweaks to the regulations around pugging – but these minimal changes have not placated farmer concerns. The new rules also dictate that crops have to be re-sown by October 1 or November 1 in Southland and Otago. However, while these rules may sound good on paper, any farmer can tell you that it’s the weather that dictates when paddocks can be replanted not a bureaucratic decree. Another bugbear in the new regulations are the areas of a farm now defined as ‘low slope’, with the new rules only allowing winter crops to be grown on a slope of less than 10 degrees – with all others with greater slopes requiring a resource consent. As North Otago farmer Jane Smith says this means that ‘low slope farmland’ has grown from 5.8 million hectares in 2019 to 9.6 million hectares today…“by the simple stroke of a pen”. Smith accuses Parker and his officials of not putting enough research, consultation and pragmatism into developing such overarching regulations that will define rural livelihoods. The ‘consultation’ around the freshwater reforms was rushed and mainly confined to certain farming groups who were too afraid – or unwilling – to push back. Hence, the unpractical rules we currently have. It is time now for all involved, farmers, bureaucrats and ministers to put their egos and disputes aside and undertake a serious and practical rethink of these regulations. Everyone wants higher water quality and better farming practices. But this cannot be achieved if the rules are totally unpractical – as many of these now are.


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“No the sheep haven’t got Covid – but they have all the symptoms of having eaten through a bale of garlic we had drying in their pen.”

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

THE HOUND Chucking it in


Tone deaf!

Pretty legal

THE HOUND hears that the future King of NZ – well known tree hugger and organic farmer Prince Charles – is chucking in the farming gig and getting ready to take over from mum at the youthful age of 71. The Daily Mail reports that Charlie will not renew the lease on his farm, the 900-acre organic Highgrove Estate. Apparently, he is preparing to take over from 94-year old Queen Elizabeth – whose high profile civil service role includes being in charge of the Church of England and giving the PM a stern talking to once a week – and running a farm is a bit too much for a side hustle. For 35 years, Highgrove Estate has supplied organic produce for Chuck’s lucrative luxury organic food brand, Duchy Original. Your old mate wonders if the new owner will quit organics and try the latest Greenie farming fad regenerative agriculture instead!

THIS OLD mutt shakes his head every time he hears stories about the profligate spending of local government around the country. The latest example is the Waikato Regional Council, which has spent the enormous sum of $8.875 million (blowing the budget by “only” $50k) fitting out its shiny new offices in Hamilton’s CBD. What’s even more incredible is that the WRC does not even own the building – so the $3.1 million it has spent on building works won’t even be reclaimed by Waikato ratepayers even if it is ever sold! Meanwhile, WRC chair Russ Rimmington had the temerity to defend the extravagance claiming that before the renovations “the chamber looked like a badminton hall and had no style”. The Hound tends to agree with the Taxpayers Union who slammed the spend saying: “Ratepayers expect water infrastructure and waste management, not a royal chamber for provincial princesses.”

A MATE of your canine crusader’s reckons the Government hasn’t listened or acted on farmer concerns before implementing its new freshwater reforms. An affected farmer explained to your old mate that he runs about 1000 cattle on 10,500 acres of Marlborough wilderness, fenced into three blocks. Around 7500 acres is reverted bush, with 2000 acres of grazing and another 1500 acres of gravel riverbed. He adds that the gravel riverbeds are undamageable by cattle, while the river itself does uncontrollable damage to the riverbanks and wetlands. “Any fences near the rivers have either been washed out or buried in gravel. Even if we could fence off the rivers, the cost of 100km of fencing would be prohibitive.” The Hound’s informant adds that the riverbeds are an integral part of the farm and if the new rules are enforced he will have no alternative but to stop farming. How crazy is that!

SPEAKING OF the new freshwater regulations, your old mate hears that the farmer’s friend (not) Environment Minister David Parker is not too pleased with Fed Farmers Southland president Geoffrey Young’s call for farmers in the region to boycott some aspects of the winter grazing rules as a protest against the Government’s new regulations. Young says new rules around are “unworkable”. Parker says it was “irresponsible” of Young to call on Southland farmers to breach the new freshwater regulations relating to winter grazing. Parker, who also happens to be Attorney General, warned that: “No one is above the law.’’ The Hound asks, wasn’t Parker responsible for approving the lockdown earlier in the year, which was found by the judiciary to be illegal? Perhaps the boycotting Southland farmers can use same justification for breaking the law that Parker did: “Justifiable but illegal!”

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Well meaning rules do not mean well INVESTING IN environmental improvement makes a lot more sense than paying for bureaucratic processes that are perceived to add no value. Southland Federated Farmers’ President Geoffrey Young has recently made that point clearly. But when the processes are seen by some to add value, and are backed by law, the consequences of ignoring them are likely to be fines. The result is argument, unpleasantness and reduced money available for environmental improvement. It’s a lose-lose outcome at the very time when New Zealand soci-


Jacqueline Rowarth

edge and subject specific knowledge. Ten years on, and a quick check of staffing, shows that there is still a paucity of discipline expertise. Over the same time, there has been an increase in tertiary education offerings of policy qualifications. Domestic degree graduates have increased from

sector. The downside is that without discipline context, people cannot assess whether something is or isn’t ‘fit for purpose’. As a consequence, they become focused on process to ensure that the boxes have been ticked,

yet still produced requirements that are difficult to achieve in practice 100% of the time. The question becomes how much compliance should there be for what likelihood of event? Risk assessment requires subject specific knowledge to enable ‘fit for purpose’ policies. The bigger question

is how Wellington can achieve what Treasury suggested in 2010 – more subject specific knowledge in its ministries? ‘Fit for purpose’ is important everywhere. • Dr Jacqueline Rowarth is a farmer-elected director for DairyNZ and Ravensdown. The analysis and comments are her own. jsrowarth@ gmail.com

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rather than the outcome. Professor David Skegg made this point in his 2019 book ‘The Health of the People’. He stated that although there are excellent people in Public Health around the country, in Wellington there is what seems like a black hole. He went on to say that the Ministry of Health is clearly the key central body that needs to greatly strengthen its expertise and resources in public health. The same argument can be made for most ministries. And it isn’t a new problem. In 2010, a Treasury report indicated that over half of the policy advisory staff who responded to a survey had a background in political studies or economics. Another 14% had a background in public policy and the rest had studied law or humanities. There were no policy analysts with qualifications in science or engineering. Health and agriculture were mentioned only in the names of ministries. The 2010 Treasury report also suggested that policy capability requires more than generic skills in policy – it also requires professional knowl-

However, taskforces are difficult to convene rapidly (as in the Level 2-3 Alerts) and rarely manage to bring in all the expertise that outsiders think is appropriate. The Winter Grazing Taskforce established after the Southland floods last winter comprised vets, environmentalists, scientists and farmers –


At the moment, we have wellmeaning people making wellmeaning decisions without having any real understanding of the practicability and implications of those decisions. ety needs an economic and environmental winwin – a ‘fit for purpose’ goal supported by scientific research as well as policy. At the moment, we have well-meaning people making well-meaning decisions without having any real understanding of the practicability and implications of those decisions. The recent Auckland boundaries dividing Alert Levels 2 and 3 are a case in point. The border was drawn through the production area of Pukekohe, splitting farmers and growers from land and packhouses by a line that made sense in Wellington, but created mayhem in reality. Belated efforts were made to sort out the problems, but the fact remains, that people were ‘doing their best’ without understanding the issues and implications. This makes knowing what questions to ask extremely difficult. The lack of understanding has its roots in history. In 2003, the State Services Commission suggested focusing on management and leadership rather than discipline knowledge. This was to improve culture and functioning in the public

20 to 75 a year in the last decade, and domestic master’s degree graduates have increased from 60 to 100. There are now more degree graduates in political science and policy (695) than there are in agriculture (235). “Policy” is now a career, and taskforces to address particular problems, have become the new norm.

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Ratepayers deserve the right to fire their councils JORDAN WILLIAMS

SIR WINSTON Churchill said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. He is right, but not for the reason opinion leaders now pontificate. In modern times democracy is lauded for its ‘representation’. But if that were true, surely we’d want a system better at picking the best and brightest to ‘represent’ us. No, it’s not the representation that makes democracy great, it’s the opposite: the ability to sack our elected leaders – to ‘kick the bug-

gers out’. But as we’ve seen so often in local government, the chance to kick the underperforming, the dishonest, or the lame ducks out does not come round enough. Voter recall options are gaining popularity overseas and it’s time New Zealand had the conversation. That’s why the Taxpayers’ Union has launched a proposal with other ratepayer groups advocating for the introduction of recall elections at all levels of local government, including District Health Boards. A motion to recall an elected official would need the signatures of at least ten percent of

The Taxpayers Union says voter recall options are gaining popularity overseas and it’s time New Zealand had the conversation.

voters in that official’s constituency. This is called the trigger threshold. If the threshold is reached, there will be a poll to determine if the

representative should be recalled. If recall is supported by a majority, a by election would occur. A recall option would improve dem-

ocratic accountability by holding officials to account directly. When a local politician ignores public sentiment, misbehaves, or breaks an elec-

tion promise, they would risk having to face the people again, prior to the next scheduled poll. The policy would enable voters to have a say within a term of office, rather than just at election time every three years. It affirms the basic concept of “sovereignty of the people”. The right to elect should include the right to eject. We propose some constraints, such as not allowing for a recall to be triggered within six months of a scheduled election and preventing the same official facing a recall election within six-months of winning an earlier poll. We

also suggest the term of local government bodies could be extended by one year to four years, once the safety mechanism of recall elections is in place. It’s time to return the power to the people and ensure that our elected officials have voters firmly in mind as they exercise their civil decision making on behalf of us all. The joint proposal paper, ‘Recall Elections for Local Government’, is available to read at www. taxpayers.org.nz/recall_ paper • Jordan Williams is executive director of the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.


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Building up the primary sector workforce Tertiary Education Commission chief executive, Tim Fowler, once worked on a dairy farm as a teenager ‘townie’ and appreciates how accommodating his boss was at that time. In this article, he outlines more about the Apprenticeship Boost and the Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund schemes, which are open to employers in the primary sector. TAKING ON an apprentice or a trainee is a big commitment for any business. It requires a significant investment of your time and money to bring someone on and give them the supervision and training they need. It can be hard to retain good staff when times get tough. Hanging onto your apprentices and employing new ones is now a lot easier, even in the face of Covid-19, because of two new schemes – Apprenticeship Boost and the Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF). Apprenticeship Boost is a subsidy, which took effect in August. It is aimed at helping employers with the costs of retaining an apprentice or taking on new ones. It will pay employers up to $1,000 a month (plus GST) per first year apprentice and $500 for second year ones, for up to 20 months. As well as supporting your costs, the boost aims to provide continuity of training and employment for apprentices, ensuring we continue to produce qualified and skilled practitioners. This is vital for industry and the New Zealand economy, particularly our primary sector, which is crying out for skilled staff. It’s paid to you monthly in advance. You need to apply for your first month’s payment, then you’ll need to reapply each month after this to keep getting payments. There are also some restrictions. You can only get it if your apprentices are: ●● employed by you, or

in a self-employed contracting agreement with you ●● actively training through a transitional Industry Training Organisation (ITO) or a New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology subsidiary or a private training establishment (PTE) ●● training for a New Zealand Apprenticeship or Managed Apprenticeship recognised by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) Your apprentices must also be within their first 24 months of training, and this includes any previous apprenticeship enrolment with the same transitional ITO or provider. Only apprenticeship training is counted, so you don’t have to worry if the apprentice has done any other types of training, such as level 2 pre-trades training. The demands and costs of training can also make it hard for staff to stay in the game, especially if they see a less demanding job is paying similar rates. That’s where TTAF can help you keep them on track. It is making a range of vocational training programmes free for learners. That will give them qualifications of long term benefit, and it might help you retain valuable staff. It’s not just aimed at apprenticeships. Because the primary sector has been identified as a priority industry, TTAF is available for Level 3-7 sub-degree programmes delivered by tertiary education organisations, outside of

apprenticeships. This includes training in agriculture, horticulture and viticulture, fisheries and forestry. Other priority areas are construction, community support, manufacturing and mechanical engineering and technology, electrical engineering and road

transport. More than 40 primary industries qualifications are now available under TTAF, and some training organisations are looking to increase their offering of primary sector courses. The Apprenticeship Boost funding is managed by Work and Income. Full details on how to apply

Tim Fowler

are on the website (www. workandincome.govt. nz/employers/subsidiestraining-and-other-help/ apprenticeship-boost. html). In the last quarter this year, TEC will be rolling out our ‘Inspiring the Future’ (ITF) programme in schools. We need you, hundreds of you actually,

to be role models in the ITF. By simply talking with young people about the work you do and the path you took to get there. If you are interested in being a role model, please get in touch with our ITF team. For contact details, see https://www. inspiringthefuture.org.nz/



Is nitrate leaching an issue with sheep? WHILE IT is well known that nitrate leeching is a major problem with cattle – both dairy and beef – what about with sheep grazing? Nitrate leaching can occur under livestock grazing when excess protein is excreted in urine. This results in high nitrogen loading in the soil with any nitrate, which is not taken up via plants, leached through the soil profile when drainage occurs. This can lead to reduced water quality and – at high concentrations – it can be harmful to human health. Currently there is a lack of data to suggest whether the level of nitrate leaching from sheep grazing is of concern under New Zealand conditions. Massey University has an established dairy cattle nitrate leaching study,

which has quantified nitrate leaching levels and identified some mitigating strategies – such as the use of plantain in pasture mixes. A similar sheep grazing study, which began in June 2019, has been designed to compare nitrate leaching on four different forage types: ●● Perennial ryegrass/ white clover, ●● Italian ryegrass/white clover, ●● Plantain/white clover, swedes. The study is being carried out at Massey University by a PhD student Sarmini Maheswaran and is being led by sheep production scientist Dr Lydia Cranston. Other Massey colleagues are also lending support to the study: including soil scientists, agronomists and animal scientists. A parallel study has

Dr Lydia Cranston is supervising a sheep nitrate leaching study being carried out by Massey University by a PhD student Sarmini Maheswaran.

also been setup in Ireland, which – combined the Massey research – will allow data from two

drainage seasons to be collected each calendar year. The differing growth

patterns and grazing management of the above forage types should highlight the possible range

of nitrate leaching under sheep grazing. For example, the higher winter growth rates of Italian

ryegrass are likely to utilise more the nitrogen available in the soil and thereby reduce nitrate leaching. While, the high stocking rates utilised to graze swedes may increase nitrate leaching. The experiment site includes 20, hydrologically isolated plots. This allows for the complete capture of all drainage water and a larger supporting farmlet. This full capture is the only one of its kind in New Zealand. It will enable nitrate leaching data to be collected alongside pasture data and sheep performance data, so that each pasture treatment to be assessed as part of a whole farm system analysis. The study will run for at least three years in order to compare year-toyear variation.

Protecting Kiwi Waterways Dr Bert Quin

Yes, Quinfert Algerian RPR is an RPR. Quinfert Algerian RPR has better or equal agronomic performance as North Carolina RPR.


Quinfert Algerian RPR does not meet the Fertmark Code meaning of RPR (the 30-min citsol test). It meets all other tests including the Watkinson Dissolution test.

Reactive Phosphate Rock

Quinfert Algerian RPR V2 does meet the Fertmark Code meaning of RPR (some of the coarse dolomite is removed to achieve this).

12.5% P*, 34% Ca, 1.3% S, 0.6% Mg

Justice Venning: “The (Ballance) Hi P RPR example does show the rather arbitrary nature of the reliance on the citsol test for determining what is RPR in New Zealand”; and

(*slightly reduced because of ‘CM’ controlled-moisture anti-dust addition)

“The statement (that Algerian RPR) has been rigorously assessed by the IFDC Scores veryDevelopment well in the Watkinson Test Phosphate (International Fertiliser Centre, USA)Dissolution as a Highly Reactive Rock, is supported by the evidence.”

Low cadmium level of 18ppm (140 mg Cg/kg P) - half the industry maximum


Trailing model towed by a 4 wheel bike


• Single height adjustment • Roller drive disengagement • Fold-up drawbar • Tank leveller adjustment

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Fine (but low-dust) means maximum neutralisation of soil acid Greatparticle newssize for South Island Farmers! Rotovacuum: 350lt bin, Stihl BG86 blower motor. Great suction to clean your paddock or garden.

Following the landmarkproduction; win for science, competition and the environment Optimise minimise P run-off and leaching in the High Court recently, Quin Environmentals has been approached by several independent South Island companies who are keen to assist in developing the distribution and supply of Quinfert Algerian RPR. Your very strong support has resulted in a stock run-out at our Timaru Port base, so this is an ideal opportunity to commence direct supply to these companies from the North Island. Another bulk shipment is being planned for early 2021.

$358/t + GST ex Waharoa, + $22/t for other NI depots $374/t + GST ex Timaru, + $22/t for other SI depots Blends with sulphur90 and other nutrients available

Phone now on 0800 QUINFERT (784 633) or Bert Quin on 021 427 572 Lower South Island agents John Ingram 0272 272 508 and Lindsay Baird 0272 258 485 Or email bert.quin@quinfert.co.nz

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New grass produces sweet results A NEW high sugar grass now available in NZ has the potential to significantly lift animal production and reduce farmer’s environmental footprint, according to seed company Germinal NZ. Scientists have found the grass – AberGreen AR1 – has up to 5.5% higher digestibility levels than conventional varieties. Germinal claims it is the first perennial ryegrass in the country to offer close to an optimum balance of energy and protein, which means it is more digestible for livestock than conventional varieties. Germinal general manager Sarah Gard explains that digestibility, a measure of pasture quality and nutritional value, is one of the most important factors for

increasing milk or meat production. “A digestibility gain of 1% is worth 3% of yield,” she says. “AberGreen AR1 has 5.5% higher digestibility than standard ryegrass varieties, which means they can absorb more energy from the feed.” Gard claims this offers the potential for dairy cows, beef cattle and lambs to significantly increase production. “I firmly believe that there are three pillars to a good ryegrass – yield, quality and persistence. There is little benefit in growing a lot of low quality feed.” The new ryegrass is the latest addition to Germinal’s range of high sugar grasses, which are bred to produce a higher level of water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC), or sugar energy, than

traditional ryegrass. In an independent trial of New Zealand cultivars, AberGreen AR1 was found to have a 15.5% higher than average WSC level. Increased sugar energy has proven to lift animal production with New Zealand research showing that lambs grazing high sugar grass finished 17% faster and 19% heavier than lambs grazing a conventional ryegrass variety. “The high sugar content enables the microbes responsible for the breakdown of forage to operate more efficiently, so more protein is converted to meat and milk and less is excreted into the environment.” Gard adds that the new grass is also very densely-tillered and provides superior ground cover compared with

Digestibility, a measure of pasture quality and nutritional value, is one of the most important factors for increasing milk or meat production.

other ryegrasses. “As a result, it has increased ability to withstand heavy grazing and pugging. The increased ground cover provides the plant with greater ability to capture light for photosynthesis and growth, restricting the invasion of weeds and

unsown species.” Gard also claims that AberGreen AR1 can help farmers reduce their environmental footprint. “The extra soluble sugars can change rumen fermentation patterns, reducing methane emissions,” she explains. “A New Zealand trial

DRAINAGE AND SOIL AERATION PAY BIG DIVIDENDS LANDLINE FRIDAYS 8:00PM Australia’s number one agricultural television programme – exclusive to Country TV. Keeps you up to date with issues affecting rural and regional Australia, including farming, agriculture, economics, innovation, climate, infrastructure and more.

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?

reported 9% lower methane emissions from sheep fed high sugar grass, such as AberGreen AR1, when compared to a conventional variety.” Gard adds that the improved use of ruminal protein can limit the amount of nitrogen lost in urine.





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Simplicity key to successful goat farming One answer to why there are not more farmed goats is that modern commercial management can change attitudes to goats from hate to tolerance to love. NZ leads the world in our pastoral systems and pastoral goat farming is now a long way from the small flocks and associated control, feet and worm problems of the 1980s. Garrick Batten explains. THE KEY message is to keep it simple. Use goats’ intelligence, adaptability and complementarity and accept the need to acquire new knowledge. Remember goats are not sheep. Use a low goat stock-

ing rate, specific feeding to suit the farm situation and goat objective – as well as specific techniques for weed control and meat production. Focus on one objective only for this multi-purpose animal using suitable goats.

Goats are very adaptable, even to non-suitable situations, but farming them means understanding and responding to their needs. There are some fundamental new skills to learn in their management that are not high-tech or sexy.

Goats are browsers not grazers like sheep. They eat pasture from the top down with intake and production falling as height decreases below 7cm. Goats can eat 15 more plant species than sheep and prefer daily variety and range over distances, while trying to avoid soiled and damaged pasture. Goats can be simple to feed so simple systems can be used, and initially the proportion to other stock will be low. The choices are to either spread them out over as big an area as possible

Garrick Batten (inset) says it is important for farmers to remember that goats are not sheep.

or graze ahead of other stock on rotation with frequent shifts. KPI for a breeding herd is percentage of kids weaned – therefore special management may be needed around kidding time. Higher pasture heights reduce worm intake to even eliminate drenching. Well-fed goats have minimal health problems. Foot problems have been reduced with suitable genetics such

as Kikonui™ developed especially for hill country. It is far easier and cheaper to goat proof a large block of several paddocks or even the whole farm. Roaming goats can learn gateways, water sources, camping sites and mustering routes. Once trained, goats can be readily and cheaply controlled by electric fencing. Therefore, a specific training area is needed for any

new goats and electricity must be maintained. An electrified outrigger on a standard or even substandard fence can be sufficient. Goats not only eat differently to sheep but they handle differently. However, they will not need much under simple systems. • Garrick Batten is a commercial goat farming expert and published author.





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Self-shedding sheep study MASSEY UNIVERSITY is examining the economic impact and the production consequences of crossbreeding with Wiltshire sheep to a fully

shedding flock. Coarse wool sheep farmers are struggling with the cost of shearing in relation to the value of the wool clip. Many are

considering if changing to a self-shedding flock, such as a Wiltshire, is a better way forward. However, the cost of purchasing purebred

A Massey University study is looking at the production consequences of crossbreeding with Wiltshire sheep to a fully shedding flock.

Wiltshires – and the limited numbers available – means this is not a viable option for many. However, there are examples of farmers successfully

NAIT ready for calving? Help build lifetime animal traceability Make sure you can tick off the following: Selling calves: All my calves are NAIT tagged correctly I have registered the calves in my NAIT account – after tagging them first I have recorded a movement in NAIT for the calves I sold – within 48 hours of them leaving. Note: This is not required when selling to a saleyard. I’ve filled out an ASD form and have a Declaration to Livestock Transporter (DLT) form ready – if required

Buying calves: I’ve checked the calves I bought are tagged and NAIT registered I received an Animal Status Declaration (ASD) form from the seller I have recorded a movement in NAIT for the calves I bought – within 48 hours of them arriving I’ve updated the calves’ production type to beef – if brought in from a dairy farm. Bobby calves moved direct to slaughter are exempt from all NAIT requirements. Check with your meat processor about their requirements for accepting bobby calves.

Failure to comply with NAIT obligations may result in fines or prosecution issued by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

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cross lambs will be given a shedding score on a scale 1 (no shedding) to 5 (fully shed) – after weaning in January and February 2021. Ewe lambs from this first crop will be bred to Wiltshire rams in April 2021 to generate three quarter (F2) Wiltshire lambs in August 2021. Then the study continues with 7/8s or F3 Wiltshire lambs born in 2022 and 15/16s (F4) born in 2023. At each lambing, the lambs and their performance will be compared to the base Romney flock at Riverside farm. Other traits to be investigated throughout the gradingup process will include potential health issues such as internal parasite status, feet, teeth, FE. Animal behaviour measurements will also be done as some farmers have commented that the Wiltshire is a different animal to manage. The shedding score will be an important underpinning variable to identify which crossbreeds are best to select to ensure quick progress through to a fully shedding flock. Shearing requirements of the various crossbreds will also be recorded. Massey is planning to hold an open field day in early 2021. Meanwhile, the project team are interested to hear from any farmers who currently have Wiltshire sheep on their farms. • Contact s.t.morris@ massey.ac.nz

Check out our websites

Need help? Call OSPRI on 0800 482 463 NAIT is an OSPRI programme

grading up to Wiltshires by continual crossing. But there is a general lack of accurate recorded information on the costs, benefit and pitfalls from doing so. Massey University’s sheep team, led by Professor Steve Morris, has begun a long-term study to address this lack of information. The project has two aspects: Firstly, to model the profitability over time of such a change; Secondly to undertake a multi-year study recording animal production and performance, as a flock is graded up from Romney to Wiltshire. The long-term, multiyear study will also help identify and quantify any issues as they arise. It will also identify which crossbred ewe lambs are the best to select from a shedding perspective and provide further information to improve the economic model. Having an interested farmer group will also be an integral aspect of this project. The project, which started in March 2020, with 400 Romney ewes bred to Wiltshire rams and a comparable group of ewes bred to Romney rams. The project is being undertaken at Massey University’s Riverside farm, 10km north of Masterton. Lambing was due to start on 17 August and all lambs will have birth, weaning weights and growth rates to weaning recorded. The Wiltshire

www.ruralnews.co.nz www.dairynews.co.nz

info@ospri.co.nz | ospri.co.nz

9/07/2020 2:51:59 PM



Long-acting drench treatments called into question – again EVEN MORE doubt has been cast on the economic value of drenching ewes with long-acting products, following a recent jointly-funded Beef + Lamb New Zealand study. The study led by AgResearch’s Dave Leathwick and co-funded by B+LNZ and AgResearch, showed that initial benefits of drenching with these products, especially to low body condition score ewes, were shortlived. It also showed the effectiveness declined in the interval after the treatments had expired. Untreated ewes tended to catch-up to their treated equivalents. “This has also been seen in other New Zea-

land studies and highlights the danger of only assessing benefits at the end of the drug’s pay-out period,” Leathwick says. He explains that many sheep farmers treat their ewes pre-lambing with long-acting drench products (capsules or injections). “This is in the expectation that both their ewes and lambs will benefit, however, this study shows that any benefits seen at weaning are likely to over-estimate the true value.” This latest published research builds on previous studies from NZ and overseas, which have shown that animals treated with long-acting drenches have reduced

New research has cast even more doubt on the economic value of drenching ewes with long-acting products.

immunity to worms because they are not being exposed to worm

antigens every day. “The sheep’s immune system needs to ‘see’

worms every day in order to function at its best,” Leathwick says.

This means that when the drug delivery ends, the ewes tend be to be less resilient to worms than those that weren’t treated. “The true benefit is likely to be less than expected,” he adds. These results follow on from previous studies, which highlighted that for many farmers, pre-lamb drenching may result in a net financial loss rather than gain. This occurs because the biggest driver of financial return is lamb survival and not extra weight added to ewes or lambs at weaning. Lamb survival is highly variable between farms and seasons, as well as treated and untreated

ewes. “This means farmers would benefit more from focusing their efforts on lamb survival to weaning than worrying about parasites,” Leathwick concludes. Further trial work and modelling carried out in NZ showed that treating ewes pre-lambing with long-acting products increases the risk of developing drench resistance on the farm. “For most sheep farms today, it is almost too late because resistance is now extremely common. “For them it is now a case of farming with resistant worms. One certainty is that drench resistance will not go away if you keep drenching all the time.”

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Finn’s Swiss Army knife tractor MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

AS A SIGN of the times, last week Valtra brought together 180 journalists from around the world for the “livestream” launch of its first, fifthgeneration tractor – the new G series. Described as the Swiss Army Knife of the tractor domain – but made in Finland – alongside a claim to be the best loader tractor in the world, the new G is available in four models of 105, 115, 125 and 135hp – dubbed the G105,

G115, G125 and G135 respectively. The G125 offers the ECO-Power system, while all models offer 5hp power-boost, except for the G135 which has an extra 10hp and maximum torque of 560Nm. While assembled at Valtra’s Finnish Suolahti plant, the fourcylinder, 4.4-litre, Stage V AgcoPower engine is sourced from the company’s Changzhou plant in China. It is then mated with a semipowershift transmission from the GIMA collaboration in France.

The tractors offer 24 forward and reverse speeds, which are delivered from four ranges and six powershift steps. The configuration is offered in HiTech, Active and Versu guises. HiTech is an opencentre hydraulic 100 l/ min open-centre system, offered with three mechanical valves and a mid-spec armrest. Active offers the same general spec, but upgrades to a closed-centre, load sensing pump of 110 l/ min output. The top of the range Versu configuration uses the

Valtra’s new G series is available in four models of 105, 115, 125 and 135hp (pictured).

Preapproval is now a lot easier with online tools that can give a definitive answer within a few minutes.

FINANCE OFFER 25% deposit of the financed sum including GST PLUS a payment holiday. To suit seasonal cash flow there are no payments required through the winter periods for the term of the loan.

Preapproval can also be granted by answering a few simple questions over the phone, which makes the process simple and straightforward. These Krone finance offers apply to all new imported products so be in quick to ensure your order is made by the end of September 2020 and take advantage of these great offers. The interest rate for the loan is 3.79% and is based on a schedule of 36 monthly payments. This loan also consists of a $375 documentation fee and $20 Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR). Any documentation relating to either package needs to be preapproved and supplied prior to the end of September 2020 to ensure the order is met. Lending and credit criteria apply.

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same 110 l/min pump, but is combined with four electronic remotes and the SmartTouch terminal. All models offer lift capacities of 6 tonnes at the rear and 2.9 tonnes up front. The tractors’ suitability for loader operations appears to be confirmed by its dimensions. This sees an overall length of 4405mm, with a 2550mm wheelbase and a tight 4360mm turning radius. Weighing in at 5140 kg and presenting a maximum permissible operating weight of 9500kg, the new G fits between the A and N series. The cabin comes from the A series and is fitted with a one-piece windscreen, 5.7 square metres of glass and a noise level of 73 dBA. Key option packages include Comfort, Technology and

Technology Pro. The former focuses on front axle suspension, cab suspension, air seat and a premium lighting package. The Tech options centre on varying degrees of guidance and implement connectivity. While the Pro version also offers section control and variable rate application functions. For those wanting a more individual look to their tractors, the Valtra Unlimited Studio offers a more customised appearance – including colour, leather upholstery, trim and audio upgrades – a choice the company reports is taken up by 27% of purchasers. Currently being shipped in Europe, the new G Series tractors are scheduled for release in Australia and NZ during 2021. www.valtra.com @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

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JD updates header line-up MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

JOHN DEERE has updated its entire header line-up for combines to include the new HDR Rigid Cutterbar Drapers, RDF HydraFlex Drapers, a BP15 Belt Pickup, and CR and CF Corn Heads. Compatible with most S, T and the new X Series harvesters – and available alongside the 700D drapers – the headers are designed to prevent grain loss and provide an even feed to help achieve max-

lets operators slow down the feed drum and centre feed belt by 20% compared with the 700FD. This is said to put more grain in the tank by reducing free grain losses. It also allows operators to move from low to high speed when direct heading canola. Excellent cutting quality is carried over with the use of the 10cm double-cut, dual-drive shaft HydraFlex Cutterbar. This provides 1980 cuts per minute to enable faster harvesting speeds.

The BP15 Belt Pickup is for small grains and canola growers who need to harvest more hectares per hour. imum harvesting capacity under a wide range of crops and conditions. HDR Rigid Cutterbar Drapers are said to be ideal for small grains, canola and pulses. These are particularly suited to changing conditions, uneven or rolling terrain and for down or lodged crops. “A new hinged frame provides unmatched terrain-following capability with twice the wing range as a MacDon FD1 FlexDraper, and with uniform cut height,” says John Deere’s Marko Koelln. The drapers pick up, sweep and recover more crop, thanks to a consistent distance between the reel fingers and cutter bar, an improved reel range and increased reel-drive motor torque. Optional Grain Saver Draper Belts can also help to reduce canola cutter bar loss by up to 25% compared to traditional, smooth draper belts. HDR Drapers are available in 10.7m, 12.2m, 13.7m (45ft) and 15.2m cutting widths. RDF HydraFlex Drapers are built on the field-proven cutting technology of the existing JD Deere 700FD, while providing new features to reduce grain loss. All RDF HydraFlex Drapers feature a new Two-Speed Centre Feed Section that

A choice of a standard centre belt is recommended for crops like soybeans or the optional cleated centre belt to feed higher-volume crops, like canola, into the feed drum. The BP15 Belt Pickup is for small grains and canola growers who need to harvest more hectares per hour. It delivers a 20% faster feed rate than its predecessor, the 615P. New features include a wider feeder-house opening with adjustable feed auger flighting and fingers, improved feed rate adjustability and a standard two-speed auger drive sprocket. A slowerspeed feed rate can be used for less bulky crops like cereals and grass seed. Meanwhile, a factory-installed crop shield minimises grain loss by preventing a build-up on the feeder housing. A new line of Corn Heads has also been developed, including CR Rigid Corn Heads that can be equipped with Active End Fenders that pull more ears into the head. This is particularly useful for leaning or lodged crops. CF Folding Corn Heads also include a low-profile folding frame, giving a fold cycle time of less than 60 seconds and eliminating the need for a header trailer. Each of the new head-

ers is equipped with a header control unit (HCU) that communicates with the combine to save head-specific calibration settings. This sends

width information for accurate yield mapping, oversees header diagnostic codes, and tracks hours of use and maintenance intervals.

A new JD header with a BP15 Belt Pickup attached.



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Contractor on a roll with bales SOUTH CANTERBURY based Kinsman Contracting employs 13 to 14 permanent staff, with numbers swelling to more than 30 with additional truck and tractor drivers during peak season. Most employees live locally, although each year, three or four overseas workers join the team. Grant Kinsman, who was born and bred on a farm near Waimate, has been an agricultural contractor for 25 years. His business offers a full range of agricultural ser-

vices including drilling, ploughing, round and square bales of silage, and silage chopping. “There’s not much we don’t do, with agricultural work from August onwards and silage and maize until the end of April,” he says. “As the silage starts to slow down from January. We also dig 700 to 800 hectares of potatoes, which carries us through to the end of June, allowing us to extend the season and keep full-time staff.” When it comes to baling, Kinsman has

Kinsman Contracting’s Fendt Rotana 4160V combination baler/wrapper in action.

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for nearly two decades. Having started with Welger 18 years ago, he moved to Lely machines, basically the same product, which proved to be reliable. “They are very efficient balers, that got the job done and allowed us to make good bales for the farmer,” he says. “Back in those early days, there were a lot more sheep around, so our clients were mostly sheep and beef farmers. These days it’s about 70% dairy and 25-30% sheep and beef.” So, when AGCO acquired the Lely brand, it made sense for Kinsman to stick with a brand he knew and liked. In 2019, he bought two Fendt balers, a Rotana 4160V combination baler/ wrapper and a 4160V baler to accompany a three year old Lely RP

4160V machine. The Rotana combination is powered by a Fendt 718 or 828 tractor, while the standalone balers are powered by a 718. “We do have a lot of steep hill country that we work in, so we use the Fendt 828 to haul the combi around,” Kinsman says. All three variable chamber balers make bales that vary from 0.9m-1.6m diameter and feature the Constant Pressure System (CPS). This applies pressure to the bale in the chamber to maintain constant density as the bale diameter increases during baling. Along with high baling densities, the Fendt Rotana 4160 baler-wrapper has precise cutting, reliable wrapping and a quick discharge, that combine to produce top

quality silage. Kinsman believes one big improvement Fendt has made is a redesign of the transfer system that takes the bale from the chamber to the wrapping platform, which works particularly well on hillsides. Drivers also like the new ISOBUS monitor, which AGCO reports it has also received positive feedback on from farmers and contractors from around the world. Kinsman Contracting mainly produces baleage from grass and some whole crop, using a tube wrapper to wrap the bales that are produced by the standard 4160 balers. “I prefer variable chamber over fixed chamber balers because they make bales that are solid from the centre out and rolled from the start the whole way – so are also easier to feed out,” Kins-

man says. “I feed a few animals myself, so I know from experience that variable bales are better to work with. “Most wrapped bales are 1200mm diameter, but we always make 12501300mm bales to give our clients a good service.” Kinsman has high praise for his local dealer JJs Ltd of Timaru for a quality back-up service. “Having a good local dealer makes a big difference,” he says. “You are not just buying the product, it is all about the back-up service. It doesn’t matter whether a machine is brand new or older, it still needs good back-up service to keep it running. It doesn’t make money sitting around doing nothing.” www.AGCOcorp.com @rural_news facebook.com/ruralnews

The Ultimate farm mower hands down You cannot beat the clean cut and full spread of lush grass from a MAXAM mower in all conditions. They will not block like toppers, and are robust and easy to use.

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Triple disc, air drill gets a boost MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

THE GREAT Plains Spartan II triple disc, no-till air drill range has been updated to meet the evolving New Zealand market. The Spartan II is available with 6-inch or 7.5-inch row spacing, alternate row seeding, individual row shut-off and individual row depth control. All the machines have double-shoot capability, making for versatility in the compact no-till, air drill market. Enhancements to the MY2020 NTA607-2 Spartan, first released in 2018, sees a revised hydraulic circuit design. This optimises the proven active row-unit down pressure system, as well as folding to ensure every seed is planted at the correct depth to maximise germination. Other improvements

include upgrades to more durable 18-ply rear castor tyres and a redesigned row-unit mounting bracket for increased durability and reduced maintenance. A software update also supports the use of prescription maps for variable rate application to ensure growers maximise efficiency and profitability. “Given the Spartan’s popularity in fodder production and pasture renovation, the Spartan 2’s blockage monitor system has been optimised to work better with small, low-rate pasture seeds such as ryegrass,” says Great Plains product manager for Australia and New Zealand John Moloney. “We’re very excited to bring this updated Spartan II to the New Zealand market. The new enhancements will help our customers overcome the challenges of operat-

ing in a tough New Zealand landscape,” Moloney adds. www.kubota.co.nz

The Spartan II is available with 6-inch or 7.5-inch row spacing, alternate row seding, individual row shut-off and individual row depth control.

with Buy now a Quality ALPEGO cultivator made from high Quality SWEDISH STEEL, Europe’s Fastest growing brand. Proven for 15 years in NZ by Contractors and Farmers. Great parts and service support nationwide with a 2 YEAR WARRANTY!

SNIPPETS Aussie market up

DESPITE A widespread drought in Australia during 2019, farmers spent AU$2.388 billion on machinery, including AU$1.272bn on tractors. Hitting a total of 11,037 units, the lifestyle market accounted for a third of the number – most in the 20 to 40hp sector. Overall, Victoria headed the league table with 3022 units, followed by NSW on 2802 and Queensland at 2523. Meanwhile, WA, SA, Tasmania and Northern Territories recorded 1174, 928, 470 and 118 units, respectively.

Fortuner refreshed

THE TOYOTA Fortuner SUV has been upgraded for the MY 2021 with a beefed up 2.8 litre turbo diesel delivering an extra 20kW to 150kw and an increase in torque to 500N. Braked towing capacity rises from 2800 to 3100 kg. Available in GXL or Limited variants, the Fortuner also gets a new 8-inch screen, a revised multi-info display and a Parking Support feature using six parking sensors.

Pottinger Upgrades

POTTINGER HAS joined several other manufacturers with new wrapping technology for its Impress round balers. The company now offers conventional net wrapping or a film on film function that places plastic around the circumference of the bale before wrapping. The company says this option reduces/ squeezes the bale by up to 3cm, removing around 70 litres of air from the bale to promote better anaerobic fermentation.



NATIONWIDE DISTRIBUTION NETWORK KAITAIA Kaitaia Tractors 09 408 0670 WHANGAREI Bryant Tractors 09 438 1319 SILVERDALE AGrowQuip NZ Ltd 09 427 9137 PUKEKOHE AGrowQuip NZ Ltd 09 237 0043 MORRINSVILLE Piako Tractors 07 889 7055 HAMILTON AGrowQuip NZ Ltd 07 847 0425 CAMBRIDGE AGrowQuip NZ Ltd 07 827 5184 ROTORUA Piako Tractors Ltd 07 345 8560 STRATFORD FieldTorque Taranaki 06 765 8643 GISBORNE Stevenson and Taylor 06 863 2612 WAIPUKURAU Stevenson and Taylor 06 858 6041 DANNEVIRKE Lancaster Tractors 06 374 7731 PALMERSTON NORTH Transag Centre 06 354 7164 * Normal lending criteria and special conditions apply.

MASTERTON Wairarapa Machinery Services 06 377 3009 NELSON Drummond and Etheridge 03 543 8041 BLENHEIM Drummond and Etheridge 03 579 1111 KAIKOURA Drummond and Etheridge 03 319 7119 GREYMOUTH Drummond and Etheridge 03 768 5116 CHRISTCHURCH Drummond and Etheridge 03 349 4883 ASHBURTON Drummond and Etheridge 03 307 9911 TIMARU Drummond and Etheridge 03 687 4005 OAMARU Drummond and Etheridge 03 437 1111 MOSGIEL JJ Limited 03 489 8199 GORE JJ Limited 03 208 9370 INVERCARGILL JJ Limited 03 211 0013


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For many farmers, spring is their busiest time of the year. Get prepared to make the most of the longer days by taking advantage of our 0% finance offer across our range of spring equipment. To find out more, and to discuss our flexible purchasing options, get in touch with your local Norwood dealership. *Finance provided by UDC Finance Limited and is only available to eligible applicants. 0% finance offer is only available on specific models, and with a term of 36 months. The 0% interest rate is fixed for the term of the loan. UDC Finance credit criteria, fees, terms and conditions apply. Offer is valid to 30th November 2020.



Businesses MADE IN NZ


Made in NZ...

SAM Machinery Made in New Zealand is a feature that looks at the wealth of design and manufacturing ability we have in New Zealand, making productive and cost-effective products for the agricultural sector. This week Mark Daniel takes a closer look at SAM Machinery, catching up with the granddaughter of one of the original founders, Kate Coombridge. Q - When was the company founded, by whom and why (was it to solve a problem or market a product)? Coombridge & Alexander began back in the mid-1940s, so 2020 means we are celebrating 75 years in business. Back then, Wilf Coombridge and Johnny Alexander started making fence posts and farm gates for local farmers and further evolved into manufacturing hay elevators. The first welder and premises came along in 1952, leading to a range of steel products for agri-

culture, driven by chatting with farmer friends. The early days were hindered by the factory being flattened by a tornado that tore through Frankton in 1948 and a devastating fire in 1950. The SAM name was an acronym from the names of ‘Arnold & Mervin Stokes’ – who helped invent one of the first products the SAM Haystacker. Q - Where are you located? Is it single or multiple sites and how many people are employed? SAM HQ is in central Hamilton, near the origi-

nal location opposite the Frankton sale yards. Sales, parts, servicing and manufacturing of our family-owned and operated business are all grouped together across multiple factories on one site, employing around 30 people. Q - What are your key products and which markets do they serve? The familiar yellow and green SAM machinery range includes spreaders, feed wagons, hydraulic trailers, quick hitches and the new SAM orchard spreaders.

Q - Are your products unique? If so, what are the four key benefits? If not unique, what are the four unique selling points? SAM trailers are known for a tough coreten steel deck and dropdown sides. Our feed wagons feature a maintenance-free, stainless chain side-feed. Likewise, our spreaders have long-lasting plastic bins for durability and simple trouble-free operation. The design of the Quick hitches allows them to stand unsupported with a great view visibility. While our recently introduced orchard spreaders can spread notoriously tricky products such as mulch, with no change-over time between banding and spreading. Q - Looking at an everevolving market, what changes have you made

over the last few years? Or what will you have to do moving forwards (this might have required design or manufacturing changes - reworks to enter new sectors or the incorporation of electronics)? We are continuously looking for areas where our products and processes can evolve in line with our ‘Strong. Simple. Smart.’ slogan. This year, we moved into horticulture with the new SAM Orchard Spreader, allowing orchardists to choose between spreading and banding at the touch of a button. The addition of smart technology has seen weighing apps for mobile phones or tablets, with the likes of TOPCONenabled spreaders with ISOBUS functions for

greater control, accuracy and reporting. Q - What has been the company’s greatest success since its formation? Longevity – by earning farmers’ trust every single day. Q - In contrast, what has been the biggest “Oh Bugger” moment or the steepest learning curve? Realising that models that had worked for the last 70 years may not be right for the next 70. This has led us to invest significant time and resources on transferring IP from the heads of some of our longer-serving staff. We have also invested in CAD modelling, content management systems, automated manufacturing processes and strengthening our competitive differences through

design-led decision-making. Q - If you were approached by someone looking to start a business, what would be your three key pieces of advice? Stay true to your core principles. Ours are reliability, simplicity, smarts and heart. As dad would say, “always keep a keen eye on the bottom line”. Q-Where do you see the company in the next three, five and ten years? What changes do you foresee to keep relevant and grow your business? Our goal is to keep strengthening a sustainable New Zealand business to last well into the future, with the key aim to always be the farmer’s favourite. www.sammachinery.co.nz

Bogballe offers you a world of possibilities with GPS automatic section control with automatic start/stop on headlands with your existing tablet or GPS unit* Stops overspreading & wastage and increases your fertiliser placement accuracy. *Normal lending criteria and special conditions apply. GPS Compatibility may differ.

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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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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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Quadbar introduces the new





Heli-Hire can cover all your agricultural needs including Gorse and Blackberry Spraying, Thistles, Crop Work, Roundup, Forestry Work, Aerial Seeding, Bulk Fertiliser Spreading

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 QuadGuard


FREE QUOTES 0800 435 444

• The joint facilitates some sideways flexibility before locking and becoming more of a traditional crush protection device • In the event of a rearwards flip there is negligible movement from the flexible joint

Recommended by Worksafe. ACC subsidy available


• 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

+GST and Freight

SEE IN ACTION Google ‘ATV QuadGuard’

The Spreader Specialists

We also carry out hunting trips, aerial lifting, scenic flights and photography.

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www.virginiagold.co.nz Ph 021-683 332


Call for delivery options

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HUNTER BOOTS Comfortable, durable and stylish.

The heavy duty sole construction makes this a robust boot designed for climbing over rugged ground. This boot has a soft toe and is made from a thick Mad Dog Nubuck Leather, stitched and screwed construction with a rubber, replaceable sole, that is glued and screwed. Soft padding for ankle support and D-Rings for your laces are an added advantage. Great fitting boots full of comfort, ideal for those long hunting and tramping trips.



FARMER BOOTS Lastrite’s Farmer boots are made for comfort. Constructed from Reverse kip leather they are an ideal farmers, fencers and builders boot. Very sturdy and made to last this boot is robust with a heavy duty construction. It has a leather insole and midsole that is stitched and screwed construction with a rubber, replaceable sole, that is glued and screwed. Update your old boots now and you will never look back.


DEVAN • PROMAX • CALPEDA • •PURETEC • OASIS CLEARWATER P: 326 8888 www.thetankguy.co.nz P:0508 0508 326 8888 • www.thetankguy.co.nz A: A: 30 30 Turners RoadRoad – Feilding Turners – Feilding

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more water & BUFFALO BOOTS! 175% crack resistant

175% more crack resistant

ZIP STRIP quick lacing




STEEL TOE X (with Scuff Guard)

STEEL TOE X (with Scuff Guard)

valued at $280

STEEL TOE (without Scuff Guard)

PLAIN TOE (without Scuff Guard)

PLAIN TOE (without Scuff Guard)

Buffalo Leather Stitched On Soles


0800 16 00 24

175% more crack resistant than normal leather





valued at $320


P: 0508 326 8888 • www.thetankguy.co.nz A: 30 Turners Road – Feilding selling out fast






valued at $230

in stock now



valued at $160 sold out of size: XXL

Flexible Acid Resistant Durable Seams

100% Waterproof Fleece Collar Hood Visor sold out of size: XXL, 3XL


- prices are likely to increase - prices valid for 4 weeks - Boots arrive October

earthwalk, r d 2, palmerston north please add $12 freight per order



valued at $140

sold out of size: S, M, L, XXL

sizes: BOOTS 5 - 13 (NZ)


Our office attire is all-terrain. We’ve worked with agribusinesses for decades, growing a vast team of industry specialists. Including agribusiness managers who know the local area better than the woodgrain on their desks. Because we come to you. We know that to give the right support, and help you adapt with the times, we should know your business as well as you do.


Want to meet with your local manager? westpac.co.nz/agricontact

Terms, conditions, fees and charges apply to Westpac products and services. Eligibility and lending criteria apply to some Westpac product and services. Westpac New Zealand Limited.

Profile for Rural News Group

Rural News 08 September 2020  

Rural News 08 September 2020

Rural News 08 September 2020  

Rural News 08 September 2020