Rural News 5 July 2022

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Keratin exports nailing it for NZ wool. PAGE 14

A quarter century on and they’re still on track(s). PAGE 28

How the ETS can benefit both landowners and New Zealand PAGE 22


Avalanche warning! SUDESH KISSUN

OUTGOING FEDERATED Farmers leader Karen Williams says an avalanche of state-sponsored regulations is de-motivating and discouraging many farmers. She says “a one size fits all” policy regime won’t work. Williams, vice president of Federated Farmers for the past two years, is stepping down this week at the farmer lobby’s annual meeting in Auckland. A former chairperson of the Feds’ arable section, Williams and husband Michael farm 450ha in Gladstone in the Wairarapa region. The farming operation specialises in mixed cropping over the spring/ summer period, beef and lamb finishing through autumn/winter, and they are currently developing a durum wheat flour business for supply to highend restaurants and artisan bakers. Williams told Rural News that her decision to step down was based on many factors – the avalanche of regulatory change is just one of them. “I have really enjoyed my time on the Federated Farmers board and being an advocate for farmers, growers, and rural communities,” Williams says. “The highlight has been the amazing people you meet that are also committed to a prosperous and environmentally sustainable future for the ag sector. “However, after four years on the board of Feds and, before that, four years intensely involved with the Wair-

arapa pea weevil incursion response, it is time to refill the tank before I embark on the next challenge in the ag sector.” For Williams, the future of farming is about operating a profitable business that also cares for the environment, the welfare of our people, and the animals we farm. But she cautions that while these are all highly desirable outcomes, we won’t be effective in achieving them with a heavyhanded regulatory



response and a “one-size-fits-all policy regime, with so many pieces of legislation changing at once; think resource management reform, climate change, Essential Freshwater, Three Waters, animal welfare, biodiversity, infrastructure, local government reform”. She warns that a “deluge of regulatory reform” will only serve to de-motivate and discourage the very people that need to be engaged, and it may also strangle innovation. “Our farming people, our

farms and our rural communities have different challenges and therefore require a nuanced response to deliver the right outcomes for themselves and their community.” Williams believes the development and support of bespoke farm plans and catchment community groups will be critical in delivering the right economic, social, cultural, and environmental outcomes. “This will be where the true gains will be made, not through expensive and litigious regulatory processes that frustrate people, divide communities, and often don’t deliver the desired improved environmental outcomes.” Williams strongly believes farmers must play their part, and that includes being supportive of farming leaders who are at the coal face trying to navigate a pathway forward amongst global turmoil, a plethora of complex issues, and never-ending social media scrutiny. “That doesn’t mean you have to agree with your farming leaders, but it is important that your respect the tough roles they have”. She says the desired outcomes won’t be achieved if farmers don’t recognise that farming businesses must continue to evolve by producing food and fibre with a decreasing environmental footprint. • Always a Fed – page 3 Karen Williams says an avalanche of regulations is de-motivating and discouraging many farmers.



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NEWS ��������������������������������������1-16 AGRIBUSINESS ����������������18-19 HOUND, EDNA ���������������������� 20 CONTACTS ����������������������������� 20 OPINION ��������������������������� 20-23 MANAGEMENT �������������� 24-25 ANIMAL HEALTH ������������26-27 MACHINERY AND PRODUCTS ���������������������� 28-30 RURAL TRADER �������������� 30-31

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: Advertising material: Rural News online: Subscriptions:

NEW ZEALAND may be on the brink of scoring an historic and crucial free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) As Rural News went to press, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was in Brussels meeting with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. The meeting is a last ditch attempt to get agreement in principle to a deal, before politicians and officials in Europe head off on their summer holidays. Rural News understands that the agreement is all but done except for one crucial element – ‘commercially meaningful’ access for NZ sheep meat and beef. Up until now, both sides are deadlocked on this issue. However, officials are hoping that the talks between Ardern and von der Leyen can break this. At present, NZ doesn’t have preferential access to the EU which is one of the largest global dairy markets in the world. At best, we have some WTO quotas to the EU that aren’t used because the quota tariff rate is too high. The situation for beef is equally bad, with NZ only able to ship a mere 1,100 tones to the EU. On the positive side, it’s understood that if the FTA is signed, horticulture is set to be a major beneficiary with the kiwifruit sector in line to gain up to $40 million in reduced tariffs in the first year alone. Onion growers are also

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was in Brussels last week hoping to secure NZ’s FTA with the EU.

believed to be likely beneficiaries, with a figure of $10 million being touted. It’s clear that one issue NZ will not win on relates to what is known as geographical indications (GIs): products – for the most part cheeses – with a name linked to a specific region or even town. Examples are Feta, Gruyere, Gorgonzola and Gouda. It has been pointed out to Rural News that any country that has completed an FTA with the EU has had to concede on GIs, so NZ is not being treated differently to any other country. But assuming GIs are in the deal,

negotiators are endeavouring to secure a transitional arrangement that would give NZ cheesemakers time to adjust to the new regime. Another big issue, seemingly already agreed to, is rules around sustainability. Both NZ and the EU are at one on this but what remains to be sorted is whether either party can apply sanctions if one or the other breaches environmental or labour related rules. The stakes in the NZ/EU FTA are high for us. It would give us access to 450 million consumers many of whom are seeking high quality, sustainably produced food. The visit of Ardern

MIKE PETERSEN is one person who’s closely monitoring the progress of the FTA with the EU. The former NZ special agricultural envoy agrees that NZ will have to live with the outcome of the GIs but is hopeful that Ardern can break the deadlock over beef and sheep meat access. He points to Ardern’s international profile and hopes this may carry some weight in the talks. “But one of the things that I think is quite important, and a lot of people are missing, is that getting a decent deal with Europe will unlock the benefits obtained in the UK FTA as well,” Petersen told Rural News. “This is because there is a lot of opportunity across both markets there now and that is going to be quite important. It is going to be difficult for people to take advantage of the UK FTA if we don’t also have the opportunity to go to Europe, so getting them closely aligned will be really important.” Petersen believes while the FTA may not be as good as the one with the UK, whatever deal is signed will be hugely beneficial to NZ.

and Trade Minister Damien O’Connor is hoped to put the pressure on Brussels to agree to a deal.

Once a Fed, always a Fed! OUTGOING FEDERATED Farmers leader Karen Williams says she will remain a Federated Farmers member. She says the farmer lobby is doing an amazing job across nearly 40 policy areas with an increasing number and complexity of issues. “People don’t appreciate just how hard the staff

and elected officials work on their behalf or how many submissions we write, hearings we attend and outcomes we influence by just being in the room.” She says Feds is a broad-church of members, and it tries to represent everyone as fairly as it can. But she adds that, like all representative bodies, it

can’t please all of the people, all of the time. “But I would ask members, and those people who should be members, to hang in there with us, there is much work to be done.” – Sudesh Kissun @rural_news


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New rural health lobby group aims to be powerful voice PETER BURKE

A STRONGER and more powerful voice for rural health is how Hauora Taiwhenua – the Rural Health Network – is being touted by its interim chair Dr Fiona Bolden. Launch at Parliament last week, Hauora Taiwhenua brings into one organisation nine separate groups who work in the rural health sector: including those working as Rural GPs, nurses, midwives, hospitals, researchers, community organisations and Māori. The formal launch of the new entity comes

at the same time as the new health reforms take effect. Bolden says the main benefit of the new organisation is that it brings all the representatives of rural health and wellbeing into one place. She says, in doing so, it creates a very powerful voice in terms of rural health advocacy. “We hope all it will mean with the new health legislation [is] we will be… part of the process of keeping the Government to account for the rural health strategy, which is part of the reforms,” she told Rural News. Bolden says this is a

Hauora Taiwhenua interim chair Dr Fiona Bolden says the main the new organisation brings all the representatives of rural health and well-being into one place.



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crucial time for the NZ health service as the new reforms take effect. She says the service is suffering from underfunding and a lack of workforce planning. She adds that it has also had to deal with the pandemic, which has put even more pressure on vulnerable services. “This has affected everybody, in particular the healthcare workers and the patients, after all it’s the people that suffer, not the system. Nowhere is this more obvious than in rural NZ,” she says. Bolden adds that the rural system is still very dependent on the good will of volunteers and poorly paid providers. Also speaking at the launch was Wairarapa MP and new cabinet Minister Kieran McAnulty. He claims one of the problems with the rural health

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system is what he calls “the post code lottery”, where health services are delivered on artificial boundaries and not necessarily relevant communities of interest. “In my own electorate in the Wairarapa, despite the large number of people requiring dialysis, we do not have a dialysis service, the people in Eketahuna, despite being closer to Masterton hospital than Palmerston, can’t access that healthcare because of an artificial boundary.” McAnulty says it costs more to deliver healthcare in rural areas, but when the funding structure is based on population, you are always going to get disproportionate access to healthcare, urban verses rural. He claims one of the aims of new health reforms is to change this.

END OF THE POST CODE LOTTERY? MEANWHILE, MEDICAL director of the College of General Practitioners Dr Bryan Betty says the challenge of getting doctors to work in rural areas has traditionally always been difficult. He says with a general shortage of GPs in the country, the problem is being exacerbated in rural areas. Betty says it’s important for patients with complex health issues and/or living in deprived areas to have access in a timely and culturally appropriate way to frontline medical services. He says this is certainly the case for many rural folk. Betty has serious concerns about the artificial health boundaries. “With the Pae Ora Bill and Health NZ coming into play, we’ll hopefully start to see some of these artificial boundaries – the post code lottery that everyone talks about – disappear,” he told Rural News. “I think this will be incredibly important for rural communities. This will be a big step forward and is going to require a strategic approach to the workforce and how you get people to work in rural communities.” Betty says it’s an equity issues to ensure that we are giving equal health outcomes to all people in NZ.


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RURAL NEWS // JULY 5, 2022


More wool pulling or finally the right answer? DAVID ANDERSON

A NEW dawn for New Zealand’s struggling strong wool sector or déjà vu all over again? That’s the question many woolgrowers are asking following the recent launch of the latest iteration aimed at revitalising NZ’s long-ailing strong wool sector. Wool Impact Limited came into existence following recent confirmation of the new industry body’s $11.4 million funding from both government and industry. The new entity came about after the Strong Wool Action Group (SWAG) recommended, back in February, the formation of a new strong wool sector organisation. Wool Impact started operations on July 1, funded by MPI’s Sustainable Food and Fibres Future fund ($4.5 million) – with industry groups, including WoolWorks and sheep meat processing entities, covering the remaining $6.9 million. Agriculture Minister

FOUR OUT OF FIVE FOUR OF the five board members that will lead Wool Impact were also announced last week. The new board members are: • Mike Allen – chair • Nick Aubrey • Sharon Cresswell • Bridget Giesen SWAG chair Rob Hewett says he was delighted with the quality and calibre of the appointees. “All have extensive skills across multiple sectors with demonstrable experience building brands and revenue on a global scale.”

CFW chair Tom O’Sullivan says for most of the country’s strong wool farmers, wool is currently a cost to their business.

Damien O’Connor says the new body’s purpose is to facilitate innovation and investment, support demand growth, boost sector service, and enable a unified voice for strong wool in New Zealand SWAG chair Rob

Hewett claims Wool Impact’s funding model demonstrates how industry and Government can work together to drive growth for New Zealand’s strong wool sector. The entity will have three full-time

employees who will work with project partners to implement its strategic plan. The Campaign For Wool chair Tom O’Sullivan says his organisation is just pleased this announcement has finally

been made. “My CFW board believes that the wool industry must do things differently and core to this is uniting behind a common strategy for NZ strong wool,” he told Rural News.

O’Sullivan says CFW is eager to meet with the new Wool Impact team. “We’d like to commence discussions on how we can collaborate positively behind an overarching common strategy to position NZ strong wool as the best natural wool fibre in the world.” O’Sullivan adds that for most of the country’s strong wool farmers, wool is currently a cost to their business. “So, we must move with absolute urgency to establish our common strategy and get cracking with delivering on it and return wool to being

a significant revenue stream for farmers once again.” Rosstan Mazey, chairman of the National Council of New Zealand Wool Interests, says he is confident Wool Impact will have the capability to support and accelerate growth and innovation across the strong wool sector. Meanwhile, John McWhirter, chief executive of carpet brand Wools of NZ, claims the new organisation will help fuel innovation and generate new demand for strong wool consumer brands, products and services.

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Parker comment irks industry PETER BURKE

A COMMENT made by Minister David Parker on primary sector labour issues has sparked a sharp rebuke from NZ Apples & Pears’ new chief executive. Parker was at the recent release of MPI’s latest Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries (SOPI), where he warned the primary sector about the labour challenges coming and that government can’t fix them. He went on to say that there is a risk for all sectors if they maintain their “excessive reliance” on immigrant labour. “I don’t think there will be an appetite for going back to the high rate of net migration that we had pre Covid, which is causing so many other difficulties in society –

including pressure on infrastructure and housing,” Parker claimed. He concluded by claiming that the primary sector should be able to sort out its own labour issues and not rely excessively on migration to do it. But NZ Apple & Pear boss Terry Meikle told Rural News he heard Parker’s comments and differs 100% from the minister. “I believe the ideology coming out of this Government on temporary migration is flawed and it is missing a very important piece of the puzzle,” Meikle explains. “It’s all very well for the Government to say that the labour problem can be driven by innovation, but it will take time to transition to such a position.” Meikle says if the hor-

There is a risk for all sectors if they maintain their “excessive reliance” on immigrant labour.

Claims made by David Parker that the primary sector had an “excessive reliance” on immigrant labour has irked industry representatives.

ticulture sector is to increase productivity it needs to get fruit harvested so that it has the money to invest in technology. “There has to be change in philosophy from this Government about the transition to this and – up until now – it has been relying heavily

on an argument that says give more jobs to Kiwis,” he explains. “The last couple of years have proven that its prognostications around what was going to happen post Covid, where everyone was going to flock to the horticultural and agricultural sector and help us out, simply didn’t

happen.” Meikle notes that NZ has the lowest unemployment rate since records were first taken. He adds that the country cannot rely on the horticultural sector being the solution for the problems of the Ministries of Social Development and Corrections.

Meikle adds that temporary seasonal employment for such people is not an answer for these people anyway. He says they need permanent jobs, not short term seasonal work. “Australia is talking about a global supermarket for labour,” he adds. “It is also talking about the baby boomers exiting the workforce, and that is starting to happen, so and we are going to have a natural drop in the labour force between the ages of 15 and 64 anyway, complicated further by the impacts of Covid. “The simple answer is to bring in migrant labour – it works and it is a solu-

tion.” Meikle says migrant labour doesn’t just have to be sourced from the Pacific Islands. From his experience, there are also people from Mexico, the Philippines and Vietnam who would be willing to do seasonal work in NZ. He says the issue of using migrant labour is not about taking jobs from Kiwis. “Work in the horticulture sector is very short term and temporary in nature.” Meikle plans to take up the issue with the new Minister of Immigration Michael Wood and explain the challenges his sector is facing in terms of labour.

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M.bovis outbreak investigations continue

THE MINISTRY for Primary Industries is warning farmers to remain vigilant about biosecurity in their farms. This comes in the light of the discovery of another case of Mycoplasma bovis, on a dairy farm near Ashburton. Just weeks ago, both the Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture proudly announced that the disease had all but been eradicated and was confined to a single farm. However, Simon Andrew, director of MPI’s M. bovis programme, says it’s not uncommon to find additional cases when you get to the tail end of an eradication programme. He says the investigation is still in its early stages. “I think the key point for us at the moment is that, given the level of surveillance we are undertaking and the very low level of infection we are finding, this would indicate the disease isn’t widespread,” he told Rural News. No details about the farm are being made public, with MPI saying its priority is to protect the privacy and welfare of the farmer and their family and to manage the disease. Andrew says they

have to make sure the farm is well supported, because when an event like this happens, it has a profound impact on the farmer, their family and the wider community. “We work with the farmer to understand the movement of cattle and ensure that there are good NAIT records,” he explains. “Another phase is working with the farmer and the epidemiology team to undertake the analysis of the infection on the farm. We then look at what movement restrictions of animals to apply on an infected farm, but at the same time endeavouring to minimise the impact of this on the overall farming operation, which is not always easy.” As well the ongoing testing programmes on the infected farm, MPI will be checking neighbouring farms to make sure the disease hasn’t spread. They’ll be checking NAIT records, which are a very important part of the process to determine animal movements. “In a situation like this, accurate NAIT records improve the chances of finding the disease quicker and this applies not only to M. bovis but to other biosecurity risks and responses. Farmers must remain vigilant and adopt good on-farm biosecurity

IN BRIEF NEW MEAT GUY FORMER MINISTER for Primary Industries Nathan Guy has been appointed the new chair of the Meat Industry Association. This follows the upcoming retirement of current chair John Loughlin from the role. Loughlin will finish his six-year term after the annual Red Meat Sector Conference in Christchurch on 31 July – 1 August 2022. Loughlin says it has been a privilege to serve as MIA chair for the last six years. “This was a time of challenge and opportunity and it has been great to be part of the red meat sector working cohesively and contributing to the wider primary sector.” Loughlin says Guy has a strong primary sector background and understands the challenges and opportunities that primary industries face. “As a former Crown Minister, including as the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan brings his experience, understanding, networking and relationship skills to the role,” he says. Guy says he is looking forward to taking a lead in the sector and working with a range of stakeholders to keep driving the red meat industry forward.

practices,” Andrew says He adds that it’s not just NAIT, but also making sure that farms have secure boundary fences so that animals on one farm cannot interact with animals on an adjacent property. Andrew

says farmers on larger properties can create separate units within a farm to keep a mob of animals away from another mob. “Broadly speaking, there is still room for improvement in NAIT compliance.”

Not so fast: Another case of Mycoplasma bovis, on a dairy farm near Ashburton has been discovered despite a few weeks ago both the Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture proudly declaring that the disease had all but been eradicated.









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RURAL NEWS // JULY 5, 2022


Rural connectivity struggles MARK DANIEL

“IMAGINE IF John Lennon’s famous words could be applied to rural connectivity.” Speaking at the

recent TUANZ Rural Connectivity Symposium, held in Hamilton, Angela McLeod of Rural Women NZ said there needs to be an assurance that rural NZ is not left behind. “Imagine that every

farm and rural property had cellular coverage and a good internet connection,” she added. “It’s not enough for our country’s economic and social fabric to be told that 5G is being rolled

out in urban NZ, when vast tracts of the rural landscape can’t even experience 3G.” McLeod berated the claim often used that it’s “not economical” to offer exceptional service

Rural Women NZ’s Angela McLeod says poor connectivity is putting lives at risk out on farms.

to farmers and lifestyle block owners in rural regions. She says, at the same time, we hear that the same rural economy is responsible for around $55b worth of revenue and kept the country afloat during the Covid. McLeod suggested that the most important

organisations’ problems interacting with rural members and staff. At board level, especially during Covid, online meetings had proven to be troublesome because of poor connectivity, while the increasing need from industry and government for more online reporting was also

“Can you imagine if everyone felt safe out on the farm and reached their full potential, both on a personal and a business level – just imagine.” use of digital connectivity is around rural health and safety, particularly when out on the farm to summon help when an accident occurs. “Putting it bluntly, poor connectivity is putting lives at risk out on the farm every day,” she adds. “Can you imagine if everyone felt safe out on the farm and reached their full potential, both on a personal and a business level – just imagine.” Andrew Cushen, of Internet NZ, suggested that around 87% of the NZ population now had access to a fibre connection. However, he acknowledged that the remaining 13% (about 650,000 people) are still crying out for a reliable and effective connection. Cushen said that while great strides had been made, the problem couldn’t be solved by a one-off investment, but this needed to be ongoing. “Covid showed us that connectivity was and is vitally important, to do business, carry out home schooling and interact with family and friends.” Likewise, Federated Farmers chief executive Terry Copeland talked about his own

challenging. “Farmers are no less tech-savvy than other parts of the NZ community and generally happy to invest in new technologies if they can see a benefit and return,” Copeland explained. “The issue lies that, currently, many only work at a limited capacity. There is also a need for the communications industry to do more work in bringing farmers up to speed with regards to understanding the options available, where they need to go for good info and help with installation and ongoing tech support.” Copeland went on to ask if the end game was full rural coverage, who should administer the roll-out and who should pick up the bill? He suggested that all parties needed to work together. Copeland pointed a finger towards Government, reminding it that the IRD, who had a preference for online tax returns, was still operating two reporting systems because of rural connectivity. “If 5G is really the answer, why does it not figure in rural NZ and only in urban situations?” @rural_news

RURAL NEWS // JULY 5, 2022


The country’s kiwifruit harvest is now largely completed.

Successful kiwifruit harvest comes to end LEO ARGENT

WITH ALMOST all 2,900 orchards picked, the country’s kiwifruit harvest is now largely complete, according to the New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated (NZKGI) This year was expected to yield a record-breaking crop of at least 190 million trays of New Zealand’s largest horticultural produce, overtaking last year’s record of over 177 million trays. However, revisions to the forecast indicate that this year’s volume will be below 2021, with NZKGI attributing the reduction to tight labour supply, crop loading and weather. This was also the first season that Zespri’s new RubyRed kiwifruit was picked as a commercial variety for supermarket shelves in local and overseas markets. The 24,000 seasonal workers required to pick and pack the crop were restricted due to Covid-19 infection rates and closed borders, which limited the 6,500 backpackers traditionally utilised for harvest operations. Despite this labour uncertainty, all growers had the opportunity to have their kiwifruit picked and packed, thanks to effective operation of supply chains under changing Covid-19 settings; NZKGI

chief executive Colin Bond chalked this up to lessons from the previous two seasons that helped streamline processes across supply chains. “I would like to make special mention of the RSE workers from the Pacific Islands who stepped up under extraordinary circumstances to fill roles where New Zealanders could not be found,” says Bond. “Getting all the fruit off the vines would have been unlikely without them. Our industry plays a critical role in employing permanent and seasonal workers, as well as supporting local businesses associated with the industry across New Zealand.” To attract seasonal workers to pick and pack in the harvest, Bond says NZKGI implemented the fourth year of its campaign to advertise seasonal jobs to New Zealanders. This used a diverse range of mediums to promote roles, as well as information on what to expect about working in the industry. Kiwifruit picking jobs were expected to exceed the living wage with an average of $27 per hour paid last year when the minimum wage was $20 per hour. The kiwifruit industry is an important player for communities across New Zealand, contributing $2.2bn in 2021.



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RURAL NEWS // JULY 5, 2022


Farmers continuing with flying on their fertiliser! PETER BURKE

DESPITE RISING prices, it appears that farmers haven’t stopped top dressing. NZ Agricultural Aviation Association (NZAAA) chair Tony Michelle says the rising fertiliser prices are not having any effect on the use of aircraft to get the fertiliser on their pasture and crops. Michelle is a well-known helicopter pilot and has flown in many parts of the world including the Falkland Islands. However, he says that farmers seem to be applying smaller dressings of high analysis fertiliser

more often, which potentially increases the activity of the aircraft. He says they are also probably seeing a lot more lime going on than in past years. “I think farmers are just getting smarter about what they do and when they do it and right now they are applying fertiliser more often. We are seeing this coming in the form of smaller and more targeted dressings,” he told Rural News. Michelle says this has been driven by the nitrogen caps and says farmers can no longer just drop 300 kilograms of urea on their farm and walk away. “They are limited by


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NZ Agricultural Aviation Association chair and helicopter pilot Tony Michelle.

the amount fertiliser they can apply each time.” He says dealing with climate change and the huge raft of legislation coming into force around it will be a priority in his new role with NZAAA. He says there are changes at the local, regional and national level coming in at different time frames and keeping abreast of such change is important to his members.

BETTER WORK STORIES TONY MICHELLE says another challenge is ensuring that people in urban areas have all the facts in front of them when it comes to making comments about ag aviation. He says, some years ago, Horizons Regional Council produced a display which effectively demonised the ag industry. “It was going around schools and one of the children of one of

our operators came home very upset because they had a picture of an aeroplane flying along putting fertiliser into a stream and above it a banner saying – ‘bad man’,” he told Rural News. “We had Horizons remove that, but it was the sort of messaging that was going out there in the public arena and if that is what the public sees, that is what they are going to believe.”

Michelle says his aim is to see the good news stories out there explaining that the ag aviation industry has systems and technology to ensure that it doesn’t put fertiliser and sprays into waterways and it mitigates these risks. He says another positive contribution the ag aviation industry makes is around pest control.

“If we are to get to ‘predator free 2050’, the country will be heavily reliant of ag aviation. “If there is a pest outbreak here in NZ, then it’s likely to be the agricultural aviation industry that the regulators turn to for help rectify the problem.” Michelle says the work of the ag aviation sector adds $2 billion in GDP to the primary sector, which he says is quite significant.







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RURAL NEWS // JULY 5, 2022


Merino NZ games audit process NIGEL MALTHUS

FARMERS WHO are also online gamers may be among the first to appreciate the New Zealand Merino Company’s (NZM’s) new partnership with Silicon Valley data analysis and visualisation company Actual. Actual specialises in environmental, social and governance (ESG) data analysis using a SimCity like interface to help

United States, which included Ardern and California Governor Gavin Newsom signing a Memorandum of Cooperation to work together on climate change. Brakenridge formally signed the Actual partnership with company co-founders Dr Karthik Balakrishnan and Dr Derek Lyons, as part of that San Francisco ceremony. “The signing of this

“We’d like to think that we will be one of the first groups of New Zealand farmers that are going to have an easy interpretation of not only their gross carbon numbers, but also their net.” make sense of complex relationships. NZM will marry the technology to its ZQRX platform, which allows farmers to audit and improve farm performance across a range of environmental, social responsibility and animal welfare metrics. NZM chief executive John Brakenridge told Rural News that it will help ZQRX farmers simplify the “huge amount of compliance that is coming their way” in a manner that is easy to understand and helps them with the solutions. “It’s a very easy to use way to be able to say, ‘if I did this and if I did that, what would that do to a carbon score and, say, a biodiversity score?’” Brakenridge says the interface did not trivialise the issues but presented key ingredients in a way that made it “just so much easier to use”. Actual was launched by a group of engineers, two of them PhDs, with solid track records in fields as varied as aeronautics and human cognition. “I think what sold us on it was the horsepower and capabilities of the people behind it,” Brakenridge explains. Brakenridge recently accompanied Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on her official visit to the

agreement between ZQRX and Actual is exactly the type of innovation we hope to see from the Memorandum of Cooperation, with two organizations from each respective nation paving the way as change makers and innovators within the sustainability space,” Ardern said. Brakenridge said farmers gather data in many ways, such as through Farm IQ and Overseer, and the Actual platform will generate APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to interface with other systems and avoid double-ups. “As far as I know, we’re the first API that is plugged into FarmIQ, for example.” NZM has been road showing a prototype of the new system to its farmers and hopes to roll out a working version in three to six months. “We’d like to think that we will be one of the first groups of New Zealand farmers that are going to have an easy interpretation of not only their gross carbon numbers, but also their net.” Meanwhile, NZM says that wool grown on ZQRX farms now represents about 15% of the New Zealand wool clip but 43% of its value. Brakenridge said NZM’s philosophy was always to take what hap-

pens on farm and ensure it is packaged for the market, with long-term profitable contracts with its brand partners to provide stability of returns. ZQRX brand partners include Smartwool,

Allbirds, Icebreaker and Reda. NZM CEO John Brackenridge, left, signs the partnership agreement with Actual co-founders Dr Karthik Balakrishnan and Dr Derek Lyons. SUPPLIED/Actual

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RURAL NEWS // JULY 5, 2022


New spray bible available WAIRARAPA-BASED CLINTON Carroll refers to the new agrichemical standard – NZS 8409:2021 – as the spraying contractors’ bible. As Rural Contractors NZ’s vicepresident and the organisation’s representative on the New Zealand Agrichemical Education Trust (NZAET), Carroll says it’s time people got the updated version. He believes the new standard needs to be more widely promoted. It’s the first revision in nearly 20 years and Carroll explains that it brings agrichemical use into the 21st century even extending to guidance for new technologies – such as automated sprayers, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and drones. “Some spraying contractors and others using agrichemicals seemed to remain unaware that the new standard is out and available for free if they hold a current Growsafe certificate such as Registered Chemical Applicator (RCA).” NZAET, which oversees Growsafe, general manager Jane Lamb encourages all agrichemical users to take a look at the new standard saying it “is

The new standard details requirements for a spray plan, notification of affected parties and putting up signage to provide better communication of spraying activities.

a lot easier to read than the regulations themselves”. She says users will find all the regulatory and good practice guidelines for safe, responsible agrichemical use in one place. The new agrichemical standard provides practical and specific guidance on the safe, responsible and effective storage, handling and use of agrichem-

icals – including pesticides and veterinary medicines. Meanwhile, Carroll says all training is now based around the new standard and spray contractors holding a Growsafe RCA certificate will need to show they are up to speed when they come to renewals. “Basically, it’s your bible,” he says. “If you want to know what’s required

to apply a chemical or check on how best to dispose of residues or containers, this is what you need.” The new standard replaces that in place since 2004 with the NZAET leading the review. Carroll says he and some other industry representatives were among those involved in developing the new standards and these reflect widespread

agreement on how to implement the new rules and achieve good practices. “The rules were in real need of updating,” he adds. “For example, the AgRecovery recycling scheme for empty containers wasn’t in place in 2004. Now recycling is the priority and burning has been banned.” Carroll says the standard also provides more detail on how spray contractors, farmers and other agrichemical users should dispose of sprayer washings. “This gives some clear guidance on where you can wash down and the steps you need to take to reduce any potential environmental harm.” The updated standard also includes a new requirement to undertake an onsite risk assessment immediately prior to any spraying. It also gives more detailed requirements for a spray plan, notification of affected parties and putting up signage to provide better communication of spraying activities. The 2021 Management of Agrichemicals standard is available on the Growsafe website. @rural_news


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Schering-Plough Animal Health Ltd. Phone: 0800 800 543. NZ-NLV-220400001 NZ/NLX/0518/0003e © 2022 Intervet International B.V. All Rights Reserved. 1. Baron Audit Data. March 2022.

RURAL NEWS // JULY 5, 2022


Keratin exports nailing it for NZ wool LEO ARGENT

A US plastic surgeon’s research into wound repair is providing a boost for New Zealand’s struggling strong wool exports. With almost 50 years medical experience – specialising in head and neck reconstruction – Dr Robert Allen Smith noticed the unusual properties of keratin. After publishing several papers on keratin’s health benefits, he co-founded Keraplast biotechnology company in San Antonio, 1996. This research discovered that wool sourced from NZ sheep contains high levels of keratin, a key structural material that protects epithelial cells (which covers all internal and external body surfaces) from damage. Keraplast was

Coarse wool yields higher keratin than fine wool.

able to isolate the protein responsible for promoting skin healing and parallel research in New Zealand was able to extract it from wool. This development has seen the establishment of a cosmeceutical export industry in Canterbury

formulating dietary supplements, which contain keratin extracted from sustainably farmed sheep’s wool. Natalie Harrison, managing director of local keratin supplement brand Kiri10, says the concept of consuming wool to

provide health benefits for humans is still in its infancy but shows significant promise. “Keratin extracted from NZ wool has been used in topical wound care for some years now following the discovery that wounds heal faster


closer to hair follicles where there is greater collagen concentration,” she explains. “We know that this extract can help wounds heal 25% faster by stimulating collagen production however it’s only recently that we have started to look at its application for human nutrition.” Clinical and cosmetic use of keratin are closely linked – due to the shared interest in the formation and protection of skin, hair and nails. Globally, cosmeceuticals are growing at over 5% per annum and are forecast to exceed $100 billion within three years. With New Zealand’s attractive, sustainable farming credentials and breeding programmes focusing on coarse wool – which yields higher

keratin than fine wool – keratin has become a multi-million dollar industry. It reaches more than 50 different markets, including some of the world’s leading shampoo brands. Some 80 tonnes of wool, sourced annually from Otago and Southland, are processed at a Lincoln research and production facility. It holds more than 180 patents covering the extraction of keratin from natural fibre. The process used results in a 91% match with human keratin. “Along with the use of regeneratively farmed wool, this helps create a competitive advantage which is unique to New Zealand,” says Harrison. “With the research support of our suppliers, we can use this knowl-

edge to create supplements which are designed to help consumers repair and improve the health and appearance of hair, skin, and nails. The new product line will create a third pathway for New Zealand’s exports as well as serving the local market.” NZ chairman of Campaign for Wool, Tom O’Sullivan says agritech companies are playing an increasing role in the development of NZ wool exports. “We’ve known for some time that New Zealand’s wool industry can’t easily be differentiated as a commodity supplier,” he explains. “High tech applications like the extraction of keratin for health care and cosmeceutical industries are helping create new markets for wool and strengthen our brand equity internationally.” O’Sullivan adds that at the same time these producers provide above average returns for farmers, which is helping to stimulate a move towards more sustainable farming. New Zealand keratin is used in skin treatments in dozens of countries for the clinical management of wounds and severe burns – including those injured at White Island’s eruption. @rural_news

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RURAL NEWS // JULY 5, 2022


Ag emissions pricing explainer Over the past few years, the Government has worked with the agriculture industry to develop a pricing system for greenhouse gas emissions. The resulting recommendations are likely to result in the biggest regulatory disruption to farming since agricultural subsidies were removed in the 1980s. ANZ agricultural economist Susan Kilsby explains what is proposed, what farmers need to know, and what they can do to prepare. What is being recommended and who will be affected? HE WAKA Eke Noa – the climate action partnership formed by government and industry – has been working on a method to price agricultural emissions, as part of the country’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. What it has come up with is expected to reduce gross methane

emissions by between 4 and 5.5%, and gross nitrous oxide emissions by between 2.9 and 3.2%. This target is part of the commitment New Zealand made at COP26 in Glasgow – to reduce global methane emissions in order to achieve the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. New Zealand aims to cut biogenic methane emissions by 10% on 2017 levels by

2030, and by 24 to 47% by 2050. To do this, He Waka Eke Noa has suggested the pricing of emissions should be calculated at farm level, rather than further up the production chain. This is likely to be the most effective way to drive change, and while it is no surprise for those engaged with the process, this and other proposals will be a


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wakeup call for some. As proposed, the emissions pricing scheme will apply to all farms that carry more than 550 stock units, have more than 50 dairy cattle, 700 pigs, or 50,000 poultry. These criteria are expected to account for 96% of our emissions, and cover most of the country’s farms. Lifestyle blocks, orchards, vineyards and equine farms will not be expected to report emissions. What does “price agricultural emissions” actually mean for my farm business? In simple terms, the pricing of agricultural emissions – in particular methane – will, on average, be an additional cost to farmers. Each farm will have to account for its emissions and pay a levy for them. How much individual farms have to pay will depend on the volume of their emissions and the price of the greenhouse gas concerned. These prices have not been finalised, but He Waka Eke Noa recommended methane emis-

sions pricing starts at 11c/ kg and be held at this level for three years. It estimates average farm profits will be affected by up to 7.2%. The impact will vary widely across farm systems, with the profitability of deer, sheep and beef operations likely to be impacted more than dairy farms. This reflects the fact that producing meat is more methane intensive than dairy, and that dairy farms tend to be more profitable than deer, sheep and beef farms, so the cost of the levy will have a smaller impact. Even at this relatively low price for methane, it’s clear the scheme will have a significant impact on some farmers’ profits. He Waka Eke Noa expects this will encourage them to make changes to their farm systems, and ultimately reduce their emissions. What to do? At the moment, the proposals are just that – at least until the Government makes a final decision, expected in December 2022, with an

emissions pricing system not expected to start until 2025. He Waka Eke Noa says more than 60% of farms already know their on-farm emissions numbers. However, from the beginning of next year, all farms will have to calculate and report them. Becoming familiar with the factors that impact emissions and considering what changes can be made to reduce emissions is a good start. Emission reductions can be achieved by either increasing the efficiency of livestock systems, using emission reduction technologies, or producing less agricultural products. As proposed, the scheme also allows farms with plantings of a wide range of woody vegetation – including riparian areas, shelterbelts, pole plantings, orchards and vineyards more than 0.25 hectares, along with pre1990 forests, to use the carbon sequestration of these trees to offset their methane emission costs. In simple terms, the more trees a farm has,


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the greater its ability to reduce, or even avoid paying for its agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. The scheme also proposes incentives for farmers to take action to reduce their emissions, including using lowmethane genetics, or feed additives, although these technologies are still in the development phase. He Waka Eke Noa recommends that revenue from the scheme be invested in research, development and advisory services to support the industry through this period of change. Ultimately, how the changes will impact individual farming business will depend on how productive their current farming system is and what management changes can be made to improve income relative to emission costs. It will also depend on what other emission reduction initiatives can be implemented and what options are available to increase carbon sequestration.


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RURAL NEWS // JULY 5, 2022


A $10 milk price on the cards? SUDESH KISSUN

RESILIENT GLOBAL demand for dairy and a weaker New Zealand dollar are pushing this season’s forecast milk price towards a record $10/kgMS. ASB Bank has already lifted its 2022-23 forecast milk price by 80c to $10/kgMS, its first ever double digit forecast. Fonterra has followed by lifting its milk price forecast range to $8.75 to $10.25/kgMS. ASB attributes the dramatic rise to two factors: low global milk supply and the New Zealand dollar’s direction of travel. ASB analyst Nat Keall says that dairy prices underperformed a tad at the recent Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction, where whole milk powder

prices slipped 0.6%. But he says the last auction result “is not a biggie”. “A modest dip isn’t a big deal. It’s been a volatile end of autumn and beginning of winter with markets still finding their feet after the lockdowns in China, and Fonterra’s decision to flex the balance of regular and instant WMP on offer over recent auctions.” Keall points out that WMP prices only need to sit around their current levels (US$4,125/MT) to deliver a record farmgate milk price, so every auction where they hold their ground is effectively a win. “And as we’ve repeatedly emphasised, it’s important not to panic off the back of modest auction-to-auction shifts.

The dairy market fundamentals remain the same. “Despite mounting headwinds circling the global economy, dairy demand continues to hold up well and prove relatively inelastic.” Chinese buyers appear to be lifting their purchasing, but with ‘North Asia’ still below where it usually is at this time of year in terms of market share, there is more room for growth. Keall notes that the most important development recently has been the lower NZD. He says that a fresh bout of risk aversion among investors and aggressive moves by the Federal Reserve in the US to boost US interest rates have helped snuff out any tentative lift in NZD/ USD. “We’ve adjusted our

ASB analyst Nate Keall says dairy demand continues to hold up and proves to be relatively inelastic.

currency view and think it will be a while before the Kiwi takes flight again. “Fonterra will have done something like 60-70% of its hedging for the season but, with the

NZD dramatically underperforming what we once forecast, the impact on its effective exchange rate for the season will be significant. “We think a $10/kgMS farmgate milk price could

well be on the cards.” Keall says it may seem odd to boost their forecast after an auction where prices have underperformed. “But it’s our view on the fundamentals – and more significantly the change in our expectations for the season’s effective exchange rate – that really matter.” However, Fonterra warns that the global market remains volatile. Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell says the lift in the forecast milk price reflects the milk supply and demand picture and the current strong US Dollar.   The co-op also announced a 2022-23 earnings guidance range of 30-45c/share and provided an update on the co-op’s progress towards its long-term aspirations.

Hurrell says that the strong earnings guidance for next financial year reflects an expected recovery in some of the co-op’s key markets, which have experienced margin pressures this financial year, coupled with ongoing favourable Ingredients margins.   “The wide earnings range for 2022/23 reflects the current high level of uncertainty that comes with operating in a globally-traded, volatile market. “While the co-op is in the position to be forecasting both solid earnings and a healthy milk price for the next year, significant volatility remains. These nearterm headwinds have the potential to impact some of the co-op’s targets.” @rural_news

A friend who’s there when the weather’s not so fair Our agribusiness managers are with you for the long haul Rabobank is a specialist agribusiness bank. That means, the challenges that you’re facing as a farmer are our challenges as well. Our agribusiness managers and other knowledgeable specialists are available to talk with you face-to-face. By getting a deeper understanding of your business, we can better help you to reach your business goals. Whatever challenges or opportunities your farm is facing, we’ll work with you to get you where you want to be. Give us a whistle on 0800 500 933 or visit RAB0110/Rabo Friend21-3-22

RURAL NEWS // JULY 5, 2022


Weather hits hort crops hard

ONE OF big issues relating to the current supply of fresh vegetables has been the weather. Some growers around the country have lost whole crops that were inundated during recent flooding.

“It’s pretty tough on the team, tough on the gear and tough on the ground,” Burke explains. “We try and limit that because when you have this continual wetness it’s become quite hard to get stuff done without creating some issues.” On top of the weather woes, Leaderbrand – like

“It’s pretty tough on the team, tough on the gear and tough on the ground.” Leaderbrand is one of the country’s major horticultural producers and has its main base in Gisborne. The company also has growing sites in Pukekohe, Matamata and Canterbury. Chief executive Richard Burke says in the case of Gisborne, the normal rainfall is about 1100mm a year, but it has already had more than 800mm so far this year. He says there is nothing unusual about getting rain, but the weather patterns are just sticking around longer and that affects the ability to supply produce. “The big thing in Gisborne is that we have had rain consistently – so if you look at the number of rain days, it’s been extremely high,” Burke told Rural News. “When Gisborne gets wet it takes very little to top up that wetness.” Burke says Leaderbrand has been lucky in having its other two sites in the North Island and, as a result, they’ve been able to maintain their planting programmes. He points out that if a crop is damaged by weather, it’s not viable to replant and it’s a case of waiting until the next planting cycle, which inevitably creates a shortage of supply. He says the wet weather makes it difficult to get machinery onto the paddocks and, with all the environmental rules, they have to be very careful.

other companies – has also had to cope with Covid. Burke says they were expecting more disruption than they eventually got and he attributes this to the tremendous effort of his staff. He says, for a start, most of the company’s employees were vaccinated and in the end they mandated this. Burke adds that Leaderbrand had good communication within the organisation. He says they used a range of strategies and modified these where necessary to meet specific needs. “We had people working in pods and we had people working in different parts of the business who didn’t see each other for six weeks because we were being super protective,” he told Rural News. “We were also reacting to what was happening in the community as well, and we were lucky that Gisborne missed a lot of those waves of Covid that came though. We had to be quite firm about the pods in Pukekohe, because the situation was a bit different there.” Burke says they also tried to simplify some aspects of their business by reducing the range of salad lines produced, which made staff more productive “I am very proud of our extremely motivated and awesome workforce and their overwhelming commitment to pro-

tect their fellow workers during this crisis,” he says.


Opportunities beyond the farm

Extreme weather…uncertain commodity prices…exchange rate fluctuations... cup of tea?

Farming in New Zealand is rewarding, but your assets and income can be open to change at any time from extreme weather conditions, commodity prices and all the other challenges of being in business. To protect against these events, you may wish to consider diversifying your assets and investing off-farm. A diversified investment portfolio can help to minimise your risk and can provide you with a regular income from your investments if needed. Federated Farmers and Forsyth Barr invite you to join Martin Hawes who will provide an interesting and informative presentation on diversification, succession planning, and why investing off-farm could provide you with superior returns against the backdrop of international events. About Martin Hawes: Martin Hawes is a well-known New Zealand author, conference speaker, and TV & radio commentator. Martin is the author of 23 books on personal finance. The best known of these are: “20 Good Summers – work less, live more and make the most of your money” (New Zealand best-seller), “Family Trusts – A New Zealand Guide”, and “Cracking Open the Nest Egg”. Attendees at the seminar will go in the draw to win one of 5 copies of Martin’s latest bestseller, “Cracking Open the Nest Egg”, helping people get ready for their retirement.



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Leaderbrand chief executive Richard Burke says one of the big issues relating to the current supply of fresh vegetables has been the weather.

RURAL NEWS // JULY 5, 2022



Must deliver! JUST AS the entire country’s health system moved into a new structure last week, a fresh Rural Health Network was also launched. Hauora Taiwhenua brings into one organisation nine separate groups who work in the rural health sector – including those working as Rural GPs, nurses, midwives, hospitals, researchers, community organisations and Maori. According to the entity’s interim chair Dr Fiona Bolden, the main benefit of the new organisation is that it brings all the representatives of rural health and wellbeing into one place. She says, in doing so, it creates a very powerful voice in terms of rural health advocacy. As Bolden says, this is a crucial time for the NZ health service as the new reforms take effect. NZ’s health service – especially rural – is suffering from underfunding and a lack of workforce planning. One of the problems with the rural health system is what is known as the ‘post code lottery’, where health services are delivered on artificial boundaries and not necessarily relevant communities of interest. Dr Bryan Betty, medical director of the College of General Practitioners, rightly points out that it’s important for patients with complex health issues and/or living in deprived areas to have quick access to frontline medical services – which is a real issue for many rural folk. He hopes that the new structure of the country’s health services will bring an end to the ‘post code lottery’ that everyone talks about. That is something we all, particularly those in rural regions, are hopeful of. However, as rural people are only too aware, postcodes and mail deliveries can sometimes be slow and unreliable. But when it comes to the health of rural communities this cannot be allowed to happen. As Brian Betty correctly says, it’s an equity issue to ensure that we are giving equal health outcomes to all people in NZ and that includes rural communities. It is a matter of life and death that these changes to NZ’s health system actually deliver!


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“Yeah, we got the sheep in the yards and then found our wool press was stuffed!”

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

THE HOUND Truth hurts! YOUR CANINE crusader reckons genuine muck-ups made by bureaucrats can often be right on the money. A prime example is the recent boo-boo made by the boffins at the Environment Ministry when the Government announced its much-vaunted Emissions Reduction Plan last month. Apparently, the ministry accidentally published content on its website, where the reduction projection tool said: “Here are some the actions currently being taken by New Zealand to mitigate against climate change.” This was followed by bullet points which said “Blah Blah Blah” three times. When the error was discovered, a red-faced MFE official claimed, “It was not part of our Emissions Reduction Plan announcement…” and “it was taken down as soon as we were aware of it”. However, the Hound’s mate suggests MFE’s website muck-up was probably a lot closer to the truth for the Government’s liking.

Time’s up?


What’s he hiding?

The Hound’s reckons something has seriously gone wrong with the ‘luck of the Irish’ with news that Trevor Mallard is retiring from Parliament and will become New Zealand’s Ambassador in Ireland. He reckons Jacinda Ardern’s move to duck shove Mallard out of his current role as Speaker of the House and retire him off to the Emerald Isle is an insult to all – especially the Irish. Meanwhile, your old mate wonders when Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor – who would have been a far better fit as Irish Ambassador – will be put out to pasture. He’s been an MP since 1993 and will have been in Parliament for 30 years by next election. Surely the clock is ticking for his time in politics to be over? Mind you, the voters of the West Coast may do the job themselves and save Ardern the bother of that ‘awkward’ conversation with O’Connor!

This old mutt is never surprised by the stupidity of local councils and their bylaws. However, he reckons a proposed bylaw in Tasman District Council surely takes the cake. The TDC’s proposed law will require farmers to hold sheep 50m back from a road while shifting stock until all cars have driven past! Are they serious? Surely not even the most officious of pen pushing council bureaucrats thinks a law such as this is remotely sensible? As Federated Farmers Nelson Provincial president Stephen Todd says, it could end up being an “unworkable joke”. Your old mate suggests with council elections coming up in October, perhaps the good citizens of Tasman District send their councillors a strong message and vote them out of office if this ridiculous rule comes into law!

A mate of the Hound’s has pointed out a key fact missing from the letter to the editor, in the last issue (June 21), heavily criticising yours truly for having a crack at the latest Beef+Lamb NZ overseas junket – or ‘fact finding mission’ – to the EU and UK. This old mutt’s informant advises him that the writer of this letter – one Scott Gower – is not just some run-ofthe- mill ‘concerned farmer’ but, in fact, the current Western North Island director on the Beef+Lamb NZ board. According to the editor of this noble and fearless publication, Mr Gower never made this declaration on his letter to the editor. Of course, everyone is within their right to write a letter of complaint. However, is it not somewhat nebulous and less-thanhonest for a current director of a farmer-funded organisation to write such a letter – without making such a full declaration?

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RURAL NEWS // JULY 5, 2022


GE review must be broader MARK CAMERON

THE GOVERNMENT’S proposed review of genetic engineering needs to be widened to address its potential benefits to the agriculture industry and climate. Recently, Environment David Parker said on Newshub Nation that they (the Government) were not planning to look at making it easier to have field trials that could greatly benefit the agriculture sector. New Zealand’s primary sector accounts for 11.1% of GDP and contributes $52.2 billion in export revenue. As a nation, we can’t afford to lose our competitive advantage and be left behind as genetic engineering

advancements transform the agriculture sector around the world. ACT would make changes to the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act to allow the agriculture industry to access game-changing technology that can revolutionise agriculture. Take, as an example, the High Metabolisable Energy ryegrass – invented by New Zealand’s own AgResearch. This grass has the potential to reduce livestock methane emissions by around 23% and ensure less nitrogen is excreted into the environment by livestock feeding on this ryegrass. The only problem is that, thanks to our outdated legislation, it is

illegal to use it in New Zealand. Former chief science advisor Sir Peter Gluckman has highlighted this technology and suggested Act primary industries spokesman Mark Cameron.

legislative change in his report to the Government in 2019, saying: “These are not able to be field trialled here but may be an effective way of sustaining productivity while lowering dairy cow numbers and the environmental burden of methane emissions.”

Our trans-Tasman neighbours modernised their GE laws in October 2019. New Zealand risks being left behind if we don’t do the same. If the Government is serious about reducing agricultural emissions it should be looking at solutions like this – before

taxing and destocking. ACT would liberalise New Zealand’s laws on genetic engineering and allow New Zealand’s agricultural industry to be a leader, not a laggard, in this field. • Mark Cameron is ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson.


SELECTIVE FACTS? I WRITE in response to the opinion piece of Don Nicolson entitled “Years of methane chicanery” (Rural News, May 10). In his piece, Don quotes a paper by W.A. van Wijngaarden and W. Happer. What Don neglects to point out is that although this work appears on a website, it has never been published, i.e. no journal has accepted it. Further, the journal Science (29 Nov 2019) published a commentary about this work which states: “The paper’s claims largely have been known since the 1960s, said Andrew Dessler, a climate scientist at Texas A&M University who reviewed the research. He said the calculations appeared to be correct, but that they were presented in a misleading way… Nothing in the paper, he said, disproves the conclusions of mainstream climate science, and he said it is a “bullshit statement” to claim that the paper’s conclusions are just following facts and should lead to one policy outcome.” And: “NASA has come to different conclusions about methane, which is produced by the oil and gas industry, agriculture and natural sources, among others. Research posted on NASA’s website states that recent methane emissions account for one-sixth of recent global warming.” Readers should note that just because I write in support of good science doesn’t mean I always like the outcome. My friends all know that I love to bulldoze tracks, work up paddocks, fly, boat and drive my car endlessly – not to mention farming thousands of lovely sheep. I would love to have the selective hearing my beloved working dog Lucky has, but in the absence of that, I think surely we can at least be a bit mature about it. I don’t know what the solutions are but I do know that the staff at AgResearch are working tirelessly to develop a methanogen vaccine. I wish them God speed. Stuart Brown (Dr) Dannevirke


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RURAL NEWS // JULY 5, 2022


ETS forest from trees We acknowledge that understanding the ETS can be challenging, and we’ve got resources for people to use at .

The Emissions Trading Scheme can appear complex. Oliver Hendrickson explains how the scheme can benefit both landowners and New Zealand. TE URU Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service is committed to ensuring that farmers, foresters and others can make the most of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and maximise their economic returns, while helping to offset greenhouse gas emissions. The ETS provides an excellent opportunity for farmers, foresters and investors. Far from displacing sheep and beef farming, the vast majority (88%) of forest land registered in the ETS is on land use classes 6 and 7. As such, the ETS provides landowners with the opportunity to maximise

their economic returns on more marginal land. By doing so, forestry is helping New Zealand meet emissions budgets and international climate change commitments. Between 2018 and 2022, ETS registered forests are expected to remove a net of 48.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Petrol cars will emit around 35 million tonnes of carbon dioxide during this time. We understand carbon accounting can be complex. New Zealand is the first and, so far, only country in the world to put forestry into its ETS so it can

earn and surrender units. So, it’s important we make adjustments to the system to ensure it operates well. Our guiding principle is to make it easier for landowners to decide whether participating in the ETS is right for them. The good news is that there are changes afoot to the ETS. Recent alterations to the Climate Change Response Act 2002 are intended to deliver a range of improvements to the scheme. These reforms include reducing operational complexity and providing additional pathways to support for-

Oliver Hendrickson

estry participants and Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service to quickly resolve issues. Most of the new forestry provisions will come into force on 1 Jan-



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uary 2023 and have been thoroughly tested with an external group of expert ETS forestry practitioners. In addition, we are in the process of transforming how forestry interacts with the ETS on a dayto-day basis. This work involves designing new services to support the legislative changes and implementing new rules. A draft of the rules will be released in July for comment, and I encourage people to have their say. Another way the system is being strengthened is ensuring consultants and advisers used by people to ensure they

meet their ETS obligations adhere to clear standards. From August 6, people providing forestry advice will need to register and meet regulatory standards, including complying with a code of ethics. This includes people providing advice on forestry activities in the ETS. Registration for forestry advisers is intended to raise the quality and professionalism of forestry advice across the sector. It’s a way of ensuring people are getting the right and appropriate level of advice. We acknowledge that understanding the ETS can be challenging, and we’ve got resources for people to use at mpi.govt. nz/ets. Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service is also in the process of building its advisory capacity to help people get the right on-theground information to meet their forestry needs. We’re focused on improving processing efficiency and have increased

staffing as more people consider entering the ETS and put marginal land to use. We have more than doubled our processing rates and are now getting through applications for around 10,000 hectares a month. It’s important that people do their homework, provide the right information and seek appropriate advice about the ETS and the requirements it places on them. There can be financial consequences to ETS participation, so all parties need to be certain that everything is correct. This is essential to maintain the environmental integrity of the scheme and ensure that it works for participants. Improvements will take time, but ultimately, we will have a scheme that better serves the needs of landowners while helping meet our climate change goals. • Oliver Hendrickson is the director forestry and land management at Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service

RURAL NEWS // JULY 5, 2022


Treat your body like your car CONOR ENGLISH

A RECENT article suggested that “seven in 10 men would rather clean a toilet than go to a doctor”. Further, “when men do go to the doctor, they’re surprisingly likely to lie about their symptoms”. On the face of it, this does seem just a bit silly and even irrational. Why

breakdown issue and we can’t drive our bodies as normal. The earlier we get onto any issues the better. Leaving things until later can cost a lot – like your life. I didn’t get a prostatespecific antigen (PSA) test when I was 50 on my doctor’s advice. For various reasons, it wasn’t another four years until I did get a PSA test. When

The earlier we get onto any issues the better. Leaving things until later can cost a lot – like your life. would things be that way? However, I can understand it because I used to be like that. But not so much now, as I’ve learned a tough lesson in the reality of relying on a she’llbe-right attitude. I think we men need to snap out of whatever dreamland we are in that suggests we don’t need to pay attention to our bodies. Our bodies hang around all day and all night. Bodies are 24/7. We just can’t get rid of them. We need to start using our brains a bit better. Maybe we need to treat our bodies like our cars. Cars are also a physical thing that we have, and drive with our brains, but often treat far better. With our own body, just like our car, why not fill it up with the right fuel, take it for a drive so its motor doesn’t get rusty, keep it clean and tidy, cut any rust out before it spreads, and get that warrant of fitness, just to make sure all the parts are in good running order – and we don’t have a break down when it’s inconvenient to us and our families? We are happy to pay for the person at the garage to look under the bonnet, why not a doctor? A simple check-up and then we can carry happily on. Or if an issue arises, pay a bit of attention to those things that we can nip in the bud before they become a significant

I got that test, following a few further tests and scans, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Unfortunately, it had spread outside my prostate into my lymph system. This meant I needed six months of chemotherapy, two months of radiotherapy and a couple of years on hormone therapy to stay alive; my inconvenient truth. The reason I am mentioning this is that if I’d had that PSA test earlier, there is no doubt my health outcomes would have been better. It’s not complicated. Early detection of cancer means you live longer. “She’ll be right” can simply kill you early. And dead isn’t a great career choice, or that helpful to your family. About 650 men or so die of prostate cancer every year. That’s about 2,000 men since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak. There is no doubt some of this death may have been avoided by men paying as much attention to their bodies as their cars – and getting that Warrant of Fitness with their doctor as well as the garage. And that’s only one health issue. There are plenty of things that can go wrong with a bloke’s body (and mind). Early detection and intervention can massively improve health and life-

style outcomes. We need to take responsibility for our own health. We owe that to our families, but most importantly, we owe it to

ourselves. • Conor English is chairman of Agribusiness NZ, director of Silvereye Communications, and president of E Sport N.

Conor English is imploring men to be more proactive with their healthcare.

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RURAL NEWS // JULY 5, 2022


Station tackles climate change on a grand scale “CLIMATE CHANGE and how quickly it’s happening is the biggest challenge for us,” says Trevor Johnson, owner of Paparata Station owner – 50km west of Taumarunui. “We have less water and higher temperatures. We have had to change our farming systems and it’s important for us to know which legumes will grow where,” he adds. “We are interested to know what species might grow on our hills without the fertilisers we are using.” So when Johnson was approached about the 7,100ha station becoming a trial site for the Hill Country Futures Partnership programme, he was keen to get involved. The five-year $8.1m programme – co-funded by Beef + Lamb New Zealand, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, PGG Wrightson Seeds and Seed Force New Zealand – is focused on future proofing the profitability, sustainability and wellbeing of New Zealand’s hill country farmers. It differs from most pastoral-based research in that it considers the whole-farm system and, critically, the wider communities these systems exist within. It incorporates tradi-

tional science research, farmer knowledge, social research and citizen science and has a strong emphasis on forages and providing decision-making tools to help farmers select the best forage option for different land management units. Within the programme there are four research areas, all contributing towards the overall objective of future-proofing New Zealand’s hill country farms and rural communities. Paparata Station is one of the trial sites for the research led by Dr Nathan Odgers, of Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research. The study involves mapping microindicators such as soil temperature and moisture in the hill country landscapes. The goal is to help farmers quantify key soil and terrain features to enable robust decision-making around the most suitable locations and potential benefits of introducing forage legumes. Paparata Station is farmed in four blocks, overseen by managers. It carries 65,000 stock units, including an elite Romney stud and around 6,000 Hereford and Angus cross cattle. “We have had to change our farming systems and supply stock

Paparata Station owner Trevor Johnson.

with water from other sources,” Johnson explains. “We can’t rely any more on the natural water, which are streams in the hills. They are not lasting the 12 months. It’s got warmer from late spring through summer and into autumn, so we have less feed for autumn.” He says farmers try to manage production so that feed demand fits in with feed supply. “We’ve moved to finishing and selling stock earlier and we now have reticulated water. Finishing stock earlier means we can build grass covers in the autumn,” Johnson explains. “We see the trials as very useful as the species we are currently

HAPPINESS LEADS TO PROFITABILITY TREVOR JOHNSON says he is strongly supportive of the ‘telling the farmers’ story’ approach. “It is important to us to be sustainable. I’m a third-generation farmer and in my book you have to be sustainable for the next generation in the hills – and we need to tell that story,” he explains. “There are challenges but I’m positive about the future and we want to be here

growing are very dependent on water.” Cattle and sheep numbers are carefully balanced to complement one another and Johnson says getting the right ratio of cattle to sheep is important. “You can’t harvest all the grass when the feed quality is at its maxi-

forever. One of our managers has been with us 33 years, one 25 years, one 15 and one seven.” Johnson adds that one of his objectives is not just to have a profitable sheep and beef operation, but to make sure everyone is happy and enjoying what they are doing. “You could say if the farm team is happy and they are enjoying what they are doing, you will have a profitable farm.”

mum,” he explains. “Adult cattle have the ability to maintain liveweight on pasture that has lost feed value. Cows, especially after weaning, can go on to lesser quality pastures. However, cows can damage the soils especially if paddocks are stocked with high

numbers per hectare.” He says they try and avoid this damage by lowering the stocking rate per hectare. “The present practice is to calve cows on the hills with sheep, and the cows are stocked at one cow to two hectares. This limits damage to soils.” Johnson says partici-

pation in the programme has been very easy. “We haven’t really had to do anything. The researchers have fenced off some small 2m x 2m areas where they have probes in place and they have put a monitor on top of a hill that sends the information to the research team. “We are very much looking forward to getting feedback on the outcomes.” The Hill Country Futures Partnership programme is also focused on identifying a clear vision for a resilient hill country future and developing guidance for farmers on how to work towards this vision at a farm and/or catchment scale. This is based directly on stakeholder consultation, delivered through in-depth interviews with over 300 farmers and key stakeholders. A major component is the development of a trustworthy hill country farming story of continual improvement in the environment, animals and people. It will showcase through case studies, articles, podcasts or videos how hill country farmers are demonstrating resilient and sustainable farming practices and stewardship of the land, animals and people. ​




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RURAL NEWS // JULY 5, 2022


Precision ag delivers many benefits INVESTING IN precision agriculture has provided North Canterbury farmer Roscoe Taggart with benefits – environmental, social and financial. It helps to continuously improve his family’s 730 hectare arable and sheep operation. Taggart is participating in a six-month farming innovation project, which examines how using innovative approaches improves farming practices. Waimakariri Landcare Trust (WLT) and Waimakariri Irrigation Limited (WIL) have partnered with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) for the project, with support from MPI’s Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund – along with Environment Canterbury, Ballance and DairyNZ. At the start of the

project, Taggart applied variable rate nitrogen fertiliser with nitrogen sensors attached to the roof of his tractor, which has proven to be a gamechanger by applying the precise amount of fertiliser required for each paddock. Having experienced the benefits of being able to apply variable rate nitrogen in real time, Taggart has followed this up by grid sampling his farm in blocks to improve the efficiency of spreading fertiliser, while also reducing costs and environmental impacts. “Traditionally we have done a standard soil test which is a transect across a paddock with about five or six samples. With grid sampling we are taking a sample every hectare and after we put this information into our variable rate spreader, we can spread

our fertiliser in a much more educated way,” he explains. “This is especially important when you are doing your base application because if you get this right, you will get an even crop, and this has many flow-on effects.” By applying his fertiliser in such a precise manner, Taggart anticipates growing crops that are more even, which will make crop management much easier over the season. “You will have everything happening at the same time in terms of the growth stages and a more even crop when it is time to harvest,” he adds. “Financially you are better off too, as it makes your yield more even. You do have to invest more upfront with new technology, but it is well worth it when you con-

sider the long-term benefits.” The environmental and social benefits of applying the right amount of fertiliser at the correct time are also important

to Taggart. “One of the biggest things we have got going on now in agriculture is our inputs and leaching. If we use science and technology to apply only

what is needed to each paddock, then we are ticking boxes all over the place. Above all else, it is the right thing to do,” he says. “From my perspective

we need to prove that we meet the requirements to keep our social licence to operate and it is important to do the right thing on farm for our wider community.”


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RURAL NEWS // JULY 5, 2022


Metabolic disease in ewes Metabolic diseases primarily affect ewes in late pregnancy and sometimes early lactation. These can have a huge economic impact on a farming operation – especially if there are large losses of capital stock. In the first of two articles, we take a look at pregnancy toxaemia. PREGNANCY TOXAEMIA Sometimes referred to as sleepy sickness, twin lamb disease, lambing sickness or pregnancy disease. Pregnancy toxaemia usually affects multiple bearing ewes in late pregnancy. PREDISPOSING FACTORS These usually fall into the categories of either under nutrition or stress, for example: • Sudden restriction of feed intake in late pregnancy due to yarding, crutching, shearing, or a snowstorm. • Falling nutrition in the last two months of pregnancy. This is when the energy demand from the growing foetus is at its peak. • Pre-lamb shearing in combination with inadequate shelter during stormy weather will decrease the feed intake of the ewe but will increase the energy

demand. • Any disorder that prevents the ewe from feeding adequately may bring on pregnancy toxaemia, e.g. lameness, teeth issues, internal parasites. In some grazing systems, where the ewes are heavily stocked, the competition for feed may be too high, and the sheep become starved or fed inadequately. Ewes with multiples are more susceptible than single-bearing ewes. Older ewes have been reported to be more susceptible than younger ewes. Lack of exercise is sometimes reported to be a predisposing factor. CLINICAL FEATURES Not all of the symptoms listed will be evident in all cases. Early stages: • Affected ewe separates herself from the mob • Appears depressed • Loss of appetite • Reluctant to move, often seen as the sheep who lags behind from

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the mob when shifted (it may take longer to notice these stages if the ewes are set stocked and not shepherded often) Mid-stages: • Affected ewes will become more depressed • Head can be carried in an unnatural position • Ewe may appear blind and may wander aimlessly • Show little reaction to dogs or a human • If forced to move the ewe may stagger or crash into obstacles • Wool can be easily plucked from the body • Neuromuscular symptoms may also appear, such as twitching of the ears and muscles surrounding eyes and muzzle, teeth grinding, and frothing at the mouth End stages: • Ewe may become cast • Stargazing, where the ewe will tilt her head towards the sky • The ewe may abort the foetus; sometimes the act of lambing aids the prognosis of the ewe, although most lambs are

Pregnancy toxaemia usually affects multiple bearing ewes in late pregnancy.

born dead • Eventually, coma and death The treatment of pregnancy toxaemia is difficult and produces variable results. Early treatment is the most important factor in a successful recovery. Once the ewe shows severe clinical symptoms or becomes cast then renal (kidney) failure has probably occurred and recovery is unlikely. Treatment involves provision of carbohydrate such as oral propylene glycol or intravenous dextrose. There are several solutions on the market which contain carbohydrate and other nutrients


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to aid the synthesis of glucose. Treatment also involves managing dehydration and maintaining appetite. Administration of calcium borogluconate under the skin is recommended. Maintaining appetite is very important — if the ewe starts to graze voluntarily then full recovery is more probable. It is important to leave affected ewes with normal ewes to encourage feeding, although adequate shelter is also required. Managing dehydration is also important and drinking water must be made available. Fluids

can also be administered either orally or intravenously (a more expensive option). Caesarean section (performed by a veterinarian) reduces the metabolic demand of the foetus. This is more successful in the early stages of the disease. PREVENTION Providing adequate nutrition for pregnant ewes is the most important factor in preventing pregnancy toxaemia. The main guidelines for prevention are as follows: • Prevent unnecessary fasting and stress in pregnant ewes—particular care should be taken with pre-lamb shearing or

crutching to minimise the time ewes spend off-feed. • Adequately feed pregnant ewes, including preferentially feeding ewes carrying multiples. Base feeding levels on scanning data and the use of pregnancy feed tables. Note that inclement weather raises the energy demand of ewes, especially if they have been shorn before lambing. Provide adequate shelter. Have supplement reserves and a plan ready to feed stock as early as possible following a storm. • @rural_news

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SAXON SHEEP JETTERS • Price includes Honda 6.5HP & Davey Fire Fighter twin impeller pump with hose kit (10m) • Weighing 110kg makes moving into and around sheep yards easy with handles at both ends for 2 men • Adjustable sides • Side jetting nozzles • 2 x sets of electric eyes

Manufactured from stainless steel Electric eye 800-1000 sheep per hour Fantastic penetration Get one now before price increase




0800 901 902

Serving NZ Farmers since 1962

RURAL NEWS // JULY 5, 2022


Harnessing pregnant ewes’ welfare MPI data shows that 0.5-1% of breeding ewes (around 178,000 nationwide) experience a vaginal prolapse annually. Ian Carr of Rurtec outlines some of the treatment options for bearings ... SECTION 55B in MPI’s ‘Code of Welfare for Sheep’ states that when a sheep is treated for a uterine or vaginal prolapse, the health and welfare needs of the animal must be met during the procedure and recovery. This means ensuring a person is available who has suitable equipment. So, you may well ask, what is suitable equipment? Methods of holding the vulva closed (such as ear tags and sutures) to retain the vagina require judgement on when lambing will occur and when is the best time for removal before lambing. Plastic T-shaped bearing retainers can be inserted into the vagina and attached to the wool to keep them in place. These can be successful – although placing a foreign body internally induces an innate reaction to expel it. Getting them to stay in place can also be an issue. The advantage of harnesses is that when the ewe arches to strain, the harness pulls tight to limit the amount of straining while exerting greater pressure against the vulva to hold the bearing in. A harness can be made from baling twine. This can be very effective but reports of the twine cutting into the skin where it passes

inside the udder and over the vulva raise a different welfare concern. In 2016, Rurtec launched a new option, the BEARIN Prolapse Harness. This harness offers quick and easy fitting, with snap lock buckles and simple strap length adjustment. It incorporates plastic tubing that crosses over the vulva but still allows the clearance of faeces. And, very importantly, the harness does not need to be removed for lambing as the ewe can easily lamb through or around it. Encouraged by the uptake of the BEARIN Harness and from further discussion with farmers on other needs at lambing time, Rurtec followed up with the ADLAM Harness three years later. This is a more versatile harness. Being able to tether the animal after reinserting the bearing also enables checking in an hour or two before release. It can also prevent the ewe racing off as soon as she is released and having the bearing flying out again. The ADLAM Harness also can be used for standing support for ewes that need it and to restrain ewes for mothering on, preventing the smothering of lambs. Rurtec prolapse har-

nesses as very easy to use and effective bearing treatment. Animal welfare does need to be considered in using the harnesses. The ewe must be able to access feed and water while harnessed.

With the bearing out for 3 days and significantly swollen before being put back in, the harness was able to help this ewe through to delivering twins.

Calving 2022

Support lifetime traceability • • •


Both ADLAM and BEARIN Harnesses are in stock and ready to help sheep farmers with welfare friendly options for dealing with any bearing issues they face this lambing.

Ensure all Calves are fitted with a NAIT tag before they reach 180 days of age. Register any fitted NAIT tags within 7 days of tagging. All calves must be tagged and registered before their first movement. So, if you are sending them off your location, make sure you meet your NAIT obligations. Calves must be NAIT tagged correctly.

For more information go to or 0800

842 463 NAIT is an OSPRI programme

Failure to comply with NAIT obligations may result in fines or prosecution issued by the Ministry for Primary Industries. For more information about your obligations as a PICA, please visit our website

RURAL NEWS // JULY 5, 2022


A quarter century on and they’re still on track(s)! MARK DANIEL

THE YEAR 2022 marks 35 years of manufacturer Claas fitting rubber tracks and 25 years of utilising its own design. Initially, the units were supplied by Caterpillar and fitted to the last of the Dominator harvesters, although at four metres wide, the tracks weren’t particularly popular in Europe. Fast forward to 2022 and these have become increasingly popular. In the first year, only around 10% of combines were optioned with tracks; this now stands at 50% overall and up to 90% in the

UK market. Wanting to improve on the Cat design, with dimensions to suit the European market, in 1997 Claas introduced its own friction drive units, which have been progressively refined ever since. Terra Trac now incorporates its own integral suspension and can reduce its effective length by lifting the front idler wheel when turning on headlands. This latter feature may increase the ground pressure exerted, but it does reduce the scuffing of the soil that creates a “berm” as the machine turns. Also available for its tractors, the Axion Terra

STANDARD FEEDER (C6 Pinned) • 1 x 6 foot bale • 2m diameter • 15 feed positions • 15 - 30 animals


950 +


Trac series is claimed to be the only purpose-built half-track tractor now available on the market. For the upcoming season, the existing 635mm (25”) and 735mm (29”) width tracks, are joined by 457mm (18”) and 890mm (35”) widths. Looking at the key metrics, Claas claims 15% more traction, 35% more footprint and up to 50% less ground pressure compared to a wheeled tractor. CLAAS Harvest Centre product manager – CLAAS Tractors, Paul Holdaway, says the narrow tracks are ideal for row crops. “The wider width

OVAL FEEDER (S2 Pinned) • 3 x 4 foot bales • 2 x 6 foot bales • 24 feed positions • 24 - 48 animals • 4m long


1325 +


[also] delivers even better traction and flotation in heavy operating conditions or delicate pastures.” Said to be ideal for spreading, mowing or hauling chaser bins, as well as performing heavy draught work – such as cultivation and seeding – the tracks can also be fitted at a threemetre spacing for use in controlled traffic farming systems. AXION 960 TERRA TRAC (445 hp) and AXION 930 TERRA TRAC (355 hp) are fitted with fifth-generation crawler units on the rear axle. This improves traction and reduces soil compaction, while having front wheels makes it easy to steer like a conventional tractor. Each friction drive unit comprises an oversized drive wheel, two roller wheels, an idler wheel and an automatic tensioning cylinder. The drive and idler wheels are designed to be self-cleaning and reduce the build-up of heat. The two rollers are independently suspended and have up to 120mm of travel, while each assembly can pivot up to 23 degrees longitudinally. Featuring front axle and four-point cab suspension, the operator can also choose three steering modes and

FUTURE PLANNING GERMAN AGRICULTURAL technology manufacturers Claas and Amazone have increased their financial involvement with Dutch start-up company AgXeed for the ongoing development and commercialisation of autonomous farm machinery. The tie-up gives Claas and Amazone access to autonomous technologies, while AgXeed will benefit from the expertise of both companies in product development, sales, service and international distribution. AgXeed has already developed several platforms, including a threewheeled version for orchards and vineyards, a four-wheeled version for cropping

adjust the tractor’s ground clearance by up to 12cm using the CEBIS terminal, to match the

and a tracked version for use in the broadacre sector. Each platform is powered by a 74 or 156hp or diesel-electric motor, weighing in at around 6 tonnes, allowing it to be fitted with a suite of implements for use in broadacre, pasture and speciality crops. Standard features include RTK steering guidance, electronic hazard and obstacle detection, adjustable track width, load-sensing hydraulics and a three-point linkage with a lift capacity of eight tonnes. The first models for commercial release are expected in early 2023, via selected Claas dealerships in Germany and Switzerland.

height of the tractor to the implement. CLAAS Industrietechnik in

Paderborn, Germany, has built more than 35,000 TERRA TRAC units since 1997.

RURAL NEWS // JULY 5, 2022


Time to think and plan MARK DANIEL

WINTER CAN often be a quieter time where an opportunity exists to reflect on what has worked well in the past and think about improvements to help make your farming operation more efficient. While new equipment or products are evaluated for the benefits they can bring, equally important are the relationships that you have with the people you do business with. Do they really understand your operation? Are their products what you need? Can these make your life easier? Do suppliers value your business and are they good to deal with? Taragate co-founder Barbara Powell says with no Fieldays this June,

The ‘Dead or Alive’ handle is one of the products that has been added to Taragate’s range.

Taragate is covering all the bases with some new products, great deals and new ways of doing business.

“Our customers consistently tell us the importance of product knowledge and product accessibility is a main

concern when making purchasing decisions,” she says. Taragate has had several new products in

development, which will be released over the coming months. One is the ‘Dead or Alive’ handle, which has been

added to the company’s range, alongside a retractable 19 metre tape gate – ideal for feed pads and controlling stock around

yards. There is also the recently released ZerO range of fence standards – including an all-new Live Post. “No two farming operations are the same, so Taragate are focused on tailoring packages to suit individual requirements and currently concentrating on winter grazing deals,” Powell explains. “As a smaller manufacturer, we are nimble enough to do this quickly and efficiently, with our website making it easy to choose products, purchase then and have them delivered to a store or your door.” Most importantly she says the company knows farming. “We have some excellent deals,” Powell adds. “So, talk to us and you’ll find us great to deal with.”

EASYCUT MOWERS • The toughest cutterbar on the market. • SafeCut & SmartCut systems. • Front, rear or trailed options - with or without conditioner.



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For more information call us on 06 370 0390 Dealers located nationwide

RURAL NEWS // JULY 5, 2022


Nationwide tyre recycling scheme MARK DANIEL

WHILE MOST farmers are always happy to ‘recycle’ used tyres by using them on top of a silage stack, these don’t make much of a hole in the total number produced in New Zealand every year. Over the years, there have been many local tyre recycling initiatives. Invariably tyres end up in large piles in industrial areas or farmland and usually come to the notice of authorities only when there is a fire and/ or pollution to water-

ways. Enforcement and fines typically lead to the pile being moved to another location and so the circle continues. Thankfully, New Zealand’s first nationwide tyre recycling scheme will go live in 2023, thanks to a successful application for funding. Tyrewise will aim to recycle the estimated 6.5 million tyres removed from vehicles each year in NZ and plug one of the final gaps in the Waste Minimisation Act. Tyrewise will become the first organisation formed under the Gov-

The scheme will aim to recycle the estimated 6.5 million tyres removed from vehicles each year in NZ.

ernment’s regulated product stewardship scheme. The announcement follows Auto Stewardship NZ Limited’s

(ASNZ) successful application to the Waste Minimisation Fund for $1.2m. ASNZ governs Tyrewise, and its chair Mark

Gilbert says they can now create the building blocks to allow it to commence operations. The scheme will kick off in August

with an initial trial of four months in Hawkes Bay. Said to be well supported by the vehicle and tyre industries, participation will be mandatory. The scheme will be funded by an advanced stewardship fee paid by the originator of the tyre arriving in NZ, whether fitted to a vehicle or a loose item. The aim of the scheme is to hit a target of 80% of annual waste tyres, being collected and recycled by year four. In the case of the agricultural sector, it is estimated that around

205,695 EPUs (equivalent passenger units) are produced annually with each weighing 9.5kg. Currently, the disposal fee or levy payable by the tyre originators is likely to be $5.50 per EPU. In the case of a medium size tractor, this looks to be around $14.30 for a front tyre, rising to $44.50 for rears – leading to an overall levy per tractor of around $120. It remains to be seen whether importers and distributors will pass on this extra cost to buyers, which is likely to be “lost” in the purchase price.

EXTENDING SPRAY WINDOW INTO THE NIGHT NEW ZEALAND producers will soon be equipped to turn night into day. John Deere’s See & Spray Select technology is adding LED lighting on its 2023-model 400 and 600 Series Sprayers. This will allow fully targeted spot spraying functionality in tight operating windows. Launched in March 2021, See & Spray Select is JD’s integrated camera technology designed to improve efficiency and productivity by detect-

ing green plants in fallow ground and triggering a spot treatment application just to these plants. This reduces input costs and improves sustainability by delivering a similar hit-rate to traditional broadcast spraying, while using an average 77% less herbicide. Australia and New Zealand John Deere production systems manager Ben Kelly says the company had listened to the needs of farmers and invested in this next iter-

JD’s See & Spray Select technology will allow fully targeted, night time spot spraying. EARMARKERS


ation of spraying innovation to allow effective spot treatments, day and night. “We understand the

summer fallow spraying window is limited by the heat during the day in local conditions,” Kelly says.

“So it was essential we offered night-time spot spraying for our farmers to complete spraying as efficiently,

safely and sustainably as possible.” In some cases, farmers have reported up to 90% chemical savings by

using See & Spray Select, so being able to achieve targeted spraying during the night hours should bring further cost savings, while also helping to tackle critical issues like herbicide resistance. Operators using the 400 and 600 Series Sprayers can switch between targeted spot spraying and broadcast mode without leaving the cab. Alternatively, they can use both spot spray and broadcast at the same time to apply different application rates for more effective spraying. Available on all boom sizes, the 400 and 600 Series Sprayers are also equipped with JDLinkTM, at no ongoing cost, with availability for delivery in early 2023. – Mark Daniel @rural_news


ONE STOP WATER SHOP 300mm x 6 metre .......................... $410 400mm x 6 metre .......................... $515 500mm x 6 metre .......................... $735 600mm x 6 metre .......................... $989 800mm x 6 metre ........................ $1496 1000mm x 6 metre ...................... $2325 1200mm x 6 metre ...................... $3699 ALL PRICES INCLUDE G.S.T.


New Zealand’s CHEAPEST Culvert Pipes! FREE joiners supplied on request. • Lightweight, easy to install • Made from polyethylene

Check out our NEW website


06 323 4181


0800 625 826 for your nearest stockist

Joiners supplied FREE with culvert pipes

RURAL NEWS // JULY 5, 2022


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


FLY OR LICE PROBLEMS? The magic eye sheepjetter since 1989

Quality construction and options • Get the contractors choice Featuring...

• Incredible chemical economy • Amazing ease 1500+ per hour • Unique self adjusting sides • Environmentally and user friendly • Automatically activated • Proven effective on lice as well as fly • Compatible with all dip chemicals • Accurate, effective application

SHEEP JETTERS SINCE 1992 Due to Covid related delays, new stock will not be arriving until later in the year - order now to secure yours!


ü Huge 9.5kW output.

PH 06-835 6863 • MOB 021-061 1800 JETTER VIDEO:

ü Diesel is approx. 30-50% less than “on demand” Electricity or Gas. ü DIY Install or we can arrange.


NZ’s finest BioGro certified Mg fertiliser For a delivered price call... 0800 436 566

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ü No wood to cut, cart or store. ü No mess, N O indoor diesel odours. ü As easy to use as a light switch.

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Free Range & Barn Eggs SUPPLIERS OF:

tunnel houses Grow vegetables all year round Very affordable and easy to install New Zealand designed and made 40 years producing tunnel houses Range of models sized from 2m - 10m t/f

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Quadbar introduces the new

735 +GST

A trusted name in Poultry Industry for over 50 years ❖


• Nest boxes - manual or automated • Feed & Drinking • Plastic egg trays






Also Tufty (polled Highland) bulls, cows and calves available

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

• PORT DOUGLAS & CAIRNS EXPLORER 10 days, depart 05 August. A winter holiday with a variety of sightseeing including a Great Barrier Outer Reef Cruise. • RAROTONGA ‘RELAXER’ 7 days, depart 23 August. A leisurely South Pacific escape with great sightseeing, food & entertainment. • PERTH WILDFLOWERS 11 days, depart 15 September. A spectacular tour of Perth’s wildflowers and the magical Margaret River region. • FAR NORTH & BAY OF ISLANDS 7 days, depart 17 September. A leisurely coach tour of the Far North including the new Hundertwasser Art Centre and day trip to Cape Reinga. • EAST COAST & NAPIER 8 days, depart 21 September. A unique and exciting tour around the East Cape and return via the Northern Explorer train. • FORGOTTEN HIGHWAY & TARANAKI 6 days, depart 08 November. Travel by Rail Cart into the Forgotten World. Visit Hobbiton on route and Cruise on the Wanganui river. • BEST OF THE SOUTH ISLAND 15 days, depart 22 November. A spectacular trip around the many highlights of the South Island taking in the wonders of Tekapo, Twizel, Stewart Island day excursion, the Milford Sound and Queenstown. Overnight cruise on the Milford Sound. • CORAL PRINCESS 'CHRISTMAS CRUISE' 14 days, depart 15 December. Cruise from Auckland to Auckland via Brisbane and around NZ. A close to home ‘festive cruise’ experience. • NORFOLK ISLAND 'ÇHRISTMAS SPECIAL' 8 days, depart 22 December. Join us for a hassle free Christmas holiday and experience the very best of Norfolk Island. For full details

• The joint facilitates some sideways flexibility before locking and becoming more of a traditional crush protection device Recommended by Worksafe. ACC subsidy available


"Hassle-free travel for mature travellers’’

• In the event of a rearwards flip there is negligible movement from the flexible joint

Phone 0800 11 60 60

Ph 027-225 5283 • •

• The top section of the Flexibar can also be easily removed for transportation inside a vehicle.

Call for delivery options

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

Fantastic for drying wet clothes of... ¥ Farmers ¥ Hunters ¥ Fishermen ¥ Housewives



❱❱ Used for 30 years with great success. ❱❱ 100% NZ made – steel and design. ❱❱ Hanger fits 150mm flue in conjunction with a full flue shield. Email: Website:




DEVAN • PROMAX • CALPEDA • •PURETEC • OASIS CLEARWATER P: 326 8888 P:0508 0508 326 8888 • A: A: 30 30 Turners RoadRoad – Feilding Turners – Feilding

(incl GST + Courier)

P: 0508 326 8888 • A: 30 Turners Road – Feilding

RAINWEAR & BUFFALO BOOTS 175% more crack resistant




valued at $230

100% Waterproof Fleece Collar Hood Visor Flexible PHONE


0800 16 00 24

valued at $160

Acid Resistant Durable Seams


$88 valued at $140

in stock now

ZIP STRIP quick lacing






valued at $320

valued at $280

STEEL TOE X (with Scuff Guard)

STEEL TOE X (with Scuff Guard)

PLAIN TOE (without Scuff Guard)

STEEL TOE (without Scuff Guard)

Colour = Dark Brown Buffalo Leather Stitched On Soles 175% more crack resistant than normal leather

free shipping

PLAIN TOE (without Scuff Guard)

SIZES SELLING OUT FAST New Zealand owned & operated

sizes: BOOTS 5 - 13 (NZ)


Frost Friendly Valve! Full Flow Ball Full Flow Ball Valves The Hansen Full Flow Ball Valve’s reputation for holding up in frosty weather is quite simply unsurpassed! The extraordinarily high quality design coupled with a host of practical features makes it the ultimate user experience. What’s more it’s the only NZ made Ball Valve with a 100% replacement warranty.

True Full Flow Bore 25mm Ball Valve = 25mm Bore

High Pressure Rated Full Flow Bore 16bar (235psi)

Male/Female or Female Thread Options

Smooth Open/Close & Removable Handles

HAND TESTED Frost Friendly

Make Cattle Handling Easier with Te Pari!

Cattle Yards that flow!

50% OFF Te Pari HD Load Bars when you order a new Cattle Crush!

Steven Joyce farms near Dunback in Otago. Last year Steven upgraded his old cattle yards to a set of new Te Pari Cattle Yards and Classic Cattle Crush...


WEIGHT OFF YOUR WALLET “The yards work so well it’s easier just to bring them in now because I know the cattle yards are going to flow. I know there’s never going to be an issue, they come into the yards really good so it’s a big a time saver.” Steven Joyce

Te Pari Cattle Yards are designed to harness natural cattle behaviour to ensure operator safety and encourage good cattle flow. Cattle have a natural tendency to circle their handler, so cattle yard designs with circular pens will allow cattle to flow better. Research shows circular yards can be up to 30% more efficient than square or rectangular yards thus allowing a much higher throughput of cattle. “The thing I liked the most about Te Pari was they came, and they did the whole job. They didn’t just supply the yards they actually put the concrete down and built it up for you. Which is what I really liked.” “If I was upgrading cattle yards, I’d definitely be buying Te Pari. They may not be the cheapest on the market, but it is the better quality. They’re a great set of yards and I’d recommend them to anyone.” Steven Joyce.

See our website for product videos and testimonials

Talk to us about which equipment best suits your farm

CALL NOW 0800 837 274



“The reason I upgraded was because my cattle numbers were getting higher and the wooden yards I had weren’t cutting the mustard. So, I went the Te Pari way because I’ve heard a lot about them and once I got the concrete pad, which is non-slip and the big set (of cattle yards) I’ve got here they just flow so well. I should have done it 5 or 6 years ago!”

Te Pari HD Load Bars with your new Cattle Crush!

Minimum order of $12,500 +GST. See more at


Cattle Crushes & Auto Drafters

Total control, total safety - that’s what our New Zealand-made and hot dip galvanised steel crushes provide.

Classic Manual Crush Manual control crush Proven in NZ for over 25 years & featuring: 

Classic walk-thru headbail for reliable restraint

Anti-slip rubber floor for quiet operation

Anti-backing bar for safer vet work

Offside draft handle makes it easy to draft out of the crush



Vet or vetless models available with a range of side gate options to suit your needs.

Titan Hydraulic Crush Hydraulic powered with manual lever control

Anti-slip rubber floor for quiet operation

Rear control panel for weigh scale indicator & storage

ERail EID antenna integrated into side gate

Great vet access with bottom kick open gate latch and double sided parallel squeeze.







ydraulic control of the headbail, split sliding entry gate, H parallel squeeze








Taurus Auto Drafter



Total control at your fingertips:

Te Pari HD Load Bars with your new Cattle Crush!

Fully Automatic Drafting System The beating heart of cattle management. 

neumatic control of the headbail, split sliding entry gate, parallel P squeeze and drafting gates

5 function radio remote control

Rear control panel for weigh scale indicator & storage

3 way drafting gates make drafting a 1 person job!

Control at your fingertips for the safest, easiest and most efficient drafting.


 Call us on 0800 837 274 or visit Cattle Crushes

Minimum order of $12,500 +GST. See more at