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Bay of Plenty and Waikato Farm, Orchard and Rural Lifestyle News

September 2011

PH (07) 578 0030

Issue No. 133

Rack or replace? The dairy, beef and sheep industry are all running at a good profit currently; the dairy industry is on target for a payout of approximately $8, lamb prices are expected to stay close to lasts season’s average of $6.15/kg and beef prices are holding at 15-18 per cent up on last year’s average of $3.65/kg. The result is there is a competition for land use; coming into spring lambing, drystock farmers need to make decisions on whether to increase flock numbers or make the most of the good lamb prices. A decision which ultimately is going to put pressure on grazing rates. Pictured is Federated Farmers Meat and Fibre executive member Tim Mackintosh. Read more on page 2-3. Photo by Sheryl Brown.

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COAST & COUNTRY

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Coast & Country

The welcoming warmth of spring weather The days are warming and the grass is growing again – a welcomed early start to spring.

the price of dairy grazing? Also this month, writer Graham Dobson brings us an insight into aquaculture and the potential of eel farming in New Zealand, while Coast & Country’s Wild Side team report back with some pheasant tales; their excursion aided this month by Hunting & Fishing and a Toyota Hilux 4WD ute.

The change in season sees dairy farmers winding up calving, while sheep farmers set to welcome spring lambs – which are expected to have good price tags again this season. The question I asked this month is will sheep farmers be cashing in on the lamb prices or retaining more ewes for replacement to build up flock numbers – and what will this mean to

Sue Edmonds looks at the biological farming conference being held in Rotorua in October and reports back on Ag Research’s presentation on bugs and weeds at the Plant Protection conference. Meanwhile, reporter Andrew Campbell lays out Zespri’s Psa concerns and the detrimental financial impact it is having on the industry – expressed in the AGM.

Things are looking rosier in the avocado industry, however, as they prepare to start exporting a record crop. As well as Coast & Country’s monthly features – Dairy, Horticultural, Country Living, and Rural Driver – this month we highlight Rural Buildings, Maize, Farm Safety and Retirement.

Dairy grazing prices look to increase

Dairy grazing is currently cheaper than it has ever been, but prices are expected to increase with the sheep and beef industry competing for land use.

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New Zealand Grazing Company managing director Ian Wickham says grazing is about $8 a week currently and with a dairy payout of about $8kgMS – which equates to about 50kgMS to graze a heifer for one year. “Grazing has never been cheaper,” says Ian. In 1970/71 when payout was about $1kgMS grazing was $3 a week; in 1990/91 payout was about $3kgMS while grazing was about $4.70 a week; and in 2000/01, payout was $5kgMS and grazing was up to $6 a week – which equates to a cost of about 60 kgMS a year to graze a heifer. “Relatively speaking, for dairy farmers, off-farm grazing for dairy heifers has been getting cheaper and cheaper. That’s a trend that’s been happening now for 30 years. “That’s really why off-farm grazing for replacement stock for dairy has become so popular.” Ian says, however, with the improvement in lamb and beef prices, demand for grazing is likely to increase – subsequently pushing up prices. “What’s happened recently of course is we’ve seen lamb prices increase by at least 50 per cent and

beef prices increase similarly. “There has certainly been a shift in pattern of land use, one would have to say with lamb prices as they are and looking quite stable – it certainly does start to give a good alternative land use to dairying. “The price of milksolids is not a 'driver' of the price of grazing – otherwise the price of grazing would have increased along with the price of MS – but rather a supply/demand situation which encompasses all land use factors.” The current returns for red meat has made sheep and beef farming a more viable land use option too. ‘Between lamb and beef and offfarm grazing – the price is likely to increase simply because of the supply and demand situation. “We’re involved in the growing of bull beef and currently we’re looking for space for about 5000 animals over the next few months. “So that’s going to put more emphasis on the demand side.” Ian says the issue is supply of grazing – the number of dairy conversions has caused a reduction in land available for grazing. “We’ve seen quite a large number of farms well set up for grazing dairy heifers that have actually made the conversion into dairying – that’s actually a double whammy because not only do those farms then want to graze their heifers out – so there is an increase in number of heifers required to be supported off farm – plus the land available has been reduced.”

Ian recalls the days when dairy grazing off-farm was an unviable option. “Historically, I remember when it was not even a choice for a dairy farmer to have off-farm grazing, dairy farmers were relatively poor in comparison to sheep and beef farmers. “When wool prices were high, sheep farmers were doing economically very well and dairy farmers were not – the thought of putting some dairy stock onto a sheep farm was ludicrous because you had to pay far more than what you would get back for it.” Ian says that trend has reversed, but “it may be changing again with the increased fortune in the lamb and beef side of things”. “It’s interesting to contemplate where it all might head.” Ian says paying prices for off-farm grazing is a cost that the majority of New Zealand dairy farmers are paying now. “A while ago, I heard some people referring to some dairy farmers who were ‘really old fashioned’ because they still had their heifers at home. “It’s become the exception to have replacements on the dairy unit. “The dairy unit is now seen as strictly having producing cows on it, not supporting any young stock.” He says dairy farmers usually hold negotiation power, but with the increasing option of putting sheep or beef on the land, things may change.

By Sheryl Brown


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COAST & COUNTRY

Page 3

Summing up flock numbers Sheep farmers have some decisions to make this spring about rebalancing stock ratios, which along with good lamb prices could potentially push up dairy grazing prices. With an expectation that lamb prices will stay up around $7/kg, sheep farmers need to decide whether to retain more replacement ewes and try to start increasing stock units again or keep numbers static and make the most of the high lamb prices. Sheep numbers dropped significantly between 2005 and 2008 when lamb prices crashed. Nationally, sheep numbers have dropped from 40 million in 2001 to 31.9 million in 2011. Federated Farmers Meat and Fibre executive member Tim Mackintosh says farmers cut back in numbers and didn’t replace. “Certainly by 2008 there was a real loss of confidence. “That’s a tricky one – how many ewe lambs are retained – as far as rebuilding goes, how it will happen, when it will happen, I don’t know.” Tim says with good lamb prices and farmers getting $160-$180 for hoggets too, it’s hard “not to grab the money when it’s there”. “But then it impacts on next year’s flock numbers.” Farmers usually retain between one fifth to one sixth of the total flock. “That’s to keep numbers static – so potentially a few farmers will increase that ratio to bring numbers up this year.” Beef and Lamb New Zealand economic service executive director Rob Davison says the

industry doesn’t see flock numbers increasing by much. “It’s really hard to talk about having a goal to get numbers back up because what’s actually happened is when sheep profitability was so low, a lot of land has been shifted into dairy.” When lamb prices bucketed out, there were a lot of dairy conversions in Southland and Canterbury and in the North Island a lot of sheep farmers went to dairy support. “So the constraint on any increase is actually the land area. We’ve reduced the amount of pasture land since 1990,” says Rob. “The best country for sheep and beef farming has been converted to dairy. “We don’t see the sheep flock being able to increase unless something else gives way – makes room for it.” A sheep is worth more per hectare than dairy grazing to farmers, however, so if sheep farmers do increase their flock numbers, the supply of grazing land will decrease – pushing up the demand – and ultimately pushing up grazing prices. The high lamb prices will put “pressure on lifting the grazing price”, says Rob. “It depends where the milk solid price is too – milk solid prices still look reasonably good, but their going to have to compete with the higher lamb prices. “It’s a dynamic industry and farmers are having to make business decision responding to the environment as it is.” It is interesting times with both the dairy industry and the sheep industry bringing in good prices at the moment, but it can be “fraught with danger,” says Tim. “In 2009 dairy farmers were stuck paying 2008 grazing prices, prices were set when they had a peak payout – then the payout crashed.

“What it comes back to is farmers would like a bit of consistency. “A high performing sheep is still out stripping dairy grazing and there is already more demand than supply for grazing, which is going to push up grazing prices too.” Tim says prices for lambs are still sitting at about $7.40/kg but the price always drops heading into the new season – late October/ early November – by about $1.50. “That’s a general rule. “Although a lot of the rules have gone out the window with these high prices. “It will be interesting to track and see where the season opens up at.” He says the biggest variable on the price will be the New Zealand dollar. “Supply might be up a bit on last year, but not a huge amount. “The demand is still there, but some of the companies report they are meeting a little bit of resistance on price.” China, however, are taking an increasing amount of meat. “Any bit of protein they can get they are grabbing. “Flaps, which would normally go to the islands and companies would be thankful to get anything for – go to China. “They’re taking such a big portion of the carcass and paying good money for it. It’s important for China to keep buying really.” Rob says Beef and Lamb are currently working on what they estimate lamb prices will be this year. “We’ve been all over the place; we’ve had good lamb prices this year – they’ve jumped up quite significantly in the world market and our exchange rates strong, but it’s increased ahead of the exchange rate which is great.”

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COAST & COUNTRY

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Coast & Country

Aquaculture; following Egyptian methods Prospects for eel aquaculture Aquaculture is seen by many as a new industry and it’s often touted as an environmentally sound way to secure future seafood resources.

ture farms have been ecological disasters. Yet properly managed, it is a way to secure future fish supplies, provide chemicals for new cancer fighting drugs, new health and beauty products, sunscreens and even bio-fuels. There are many ways of conducting aquaculture and many species that can be cultivated and new research is adding more all the time. During the next few editions of Coast & Country we will look at some of the species which could be cultivated here – from eels to sponges and evaluating the potential for a more diverse aquaculture industry in New Zealand.

But it’s not new. The first manual on aquaculture was written by one Fan Li in China about 2700 years ago and even he was a latecomer – with the Egyptians farming fish 2000 years before him. Nor is it always environmentally sound or sustainable; in the past, many aquacul-

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There is a growing gulf between demand and supply, a gap into which New Zealand eels are trickling. Eel exports are destined to remain a trickle because the eel industry in New Zealand is solely based on wild harvest. If the allowable catch is increased, eels will become over-fished, the fishery will become unsustainable and our stocks will follow the northern hemisphere species into oblivion.

The only way to sustainably increase our presence in the eel market is to farm them, but apart from a brief flirtation with it in the 1970s, New Zealand has not attempted eel aquaculture. So to see a working eel farm in action, Coast & Country had to cross the ditch to North Queensland and visit Mark Fantin. Set amid cane fields and tropical rainforest near Edmonton, just south of Cairns, Mark was once a dedicated barramundi farmer, in fact president of the Barramundi Farmers Association. Barramundi are a highly regarded fish and much in demand, so why did he shift to eels? “It’s becoming impossible for small barramundi producers to compete with the big multinationals. It’s a question of economy of scale and it’s happening in all sectors of aquaculture,� says Mark. “They can provide tonnes a week to the supermarkets, so that closes that market off to us. Then there are the imports from Asia – it’s inferior but it’s cheap. Unless we can find a reliable niche market we get left out. “I used to spend ten hours a week on the phone just trying to sell my product and I was losing money. When

I switched to eels, people were ringing me, the price was higher and things generally looked a lot brighter.�

Fresh water

Barramundi and eels are both fresh water fish and there are few differences between the way they are farmed. “Eels are a very forgiving fish to farm, very tolerant if things go a bit wrong. They have to have eel proof fencing around the ponds though, because they can decide to leave if they don’t like things. “I can have both species in the same pond, but the barra feed on the surface so the eels tend to miss out a bit. And eels need to be graded constantly, at least in the early stages.� Eel farming has a draw-back that barramundi farming doesn’t have though – eels can’t be economically bred in captivity, so all farmed stock have to be caught from the wild, usually as tiny babies (glass eels) as they enter fresh water.

Eel breeding Eels breed only once in their lifetime, they do it in the deep oceans and then they die. The eggs hatch and the larvae drift on the ocean currents for 12 – 18 months before eventually being carried to land and back to fresh water. This is what is causing the drop in eel numbers in the northern hemisphere – the numbers making it back are dwindling rapidly partly because over-fishing, habitat loss and pollution, mean there are few adults to breed and because changing ocean currents make it difficult for them to reach the northern rivers. During the last 30 or 40 years European stocks have plummeted by about 99 per cent. (continued)

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COAST & COUNTRY

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Concerns over the constant supply of glass eels many of them from Europe which The European species is now contributed in no small way to the critically endangered and the once crash of European eels – but the prolific eel farms are mostly gone. Australian long fin has an attractive By comparison, New Zealand and mottled appearance that the Australia are well off for eels – our Chinese consumers like. stocks have only dropped by about Things are 70 per cent. North Queensland stocks of the Australian long finned eels, which Mark farms, appear to be in good shape – in An Australian long fin eel. fact they are beginning to invade the West coast rivers not all rosy at the of New Zealand’s North Island. moment though and Mark’s eel business is going through a bit of a rough Glass eels patch. Mark buys his stock at about “We went into business with a 100grams from another farmer bloke in Victoria who was going to who is also a licensed glass eel catcher and grows them to between get into eel cultivation in a big way, very high tech. But things went 0.5 and 1 kg before selling them wrong and he lost a lot of stock, live into the Chinese market. then he sold all the glass eels to China is the world’s major source China. of farmed eels – for years they “Now the Chinese are growing have relied on imported glass eels,

their own Australian long fins and demand for ours has plummeted.

gling with the barramundi he needs to find them quickly. That’s not the only dark cloud on the horizon. This has been a bad year for glass eels and the realisation that there will be significant fluctuations in available stock has him worried.

Lessons for NZ

New Zealand can draw lessons from Mark’s experience if it is to enter the eel aquaculture business – primarily to take steps to ensure the continued supply of glass eels by restocking and manag-

Chinese New Year was our best time, but this year there’s been nothing.” It won’t last – when the Chinese can’t get any more glass eels they will have to come back to Mark. In the mean time, he needs to find another market for the stock in his ponds. There are plenty of markets out there, but after years of strug-

Farmers and DairyNZ tackling lameness DairyNZ scientists are working with farmers in the Waikato to better understand the behavioural and physiological changes that occur when cows become lame.

dairy nz

Six farms with about 4000 cows in total are involved in the study; all within about an hour of the DairyNZ head office in Hamilton. The study aims to assist farmers to be able to identify the first signs of lameness so they can intervene earlier to improve cow welfare and save the financial costs of lame cows. Lameness costs $300 per cow in terms of lost production and direct vet costs. To participate in the study, the farms had to have a recording system in place that was routinely collecting milking, behaviour and liveweight data. A new model for research using the latest in technology and information collection systems is also being tested in this study. Advanced technology is allowing access to much larger quantities of data on many more animals than would be possible on traditional research farms. Each cow has a pedometer strapped to a rear leg, which records the number of steps taken in a day. As well as their ear tag, cows are identified using an electronic ID which is read when they enter the rotary dairy for milking. Various data points are collected on each cow, every day. The data are automatically sent to DairyNZ each night, via specialised software and stored in a central database. The farmers and their staff have also been trained using the DairyNZ Healthy Hoof programme to

detect and diagnose lameness better. Local veterinarians have worked with the farmers to deliver the programme, which will also help farmers identify risk areas on their farms. The farmers record the date they identify a lame cow, diagnose the injury and score the severity. So far, about 114 cases of lameness have been recorded and early analyses of the data show changes in milk yield, milking order and activity several days before detection by the farmers, indicating there is potential to use the data to make management and treatment decisions. Dr Claudia Kamphuis, who joined DairyNZ from the Netherlands in January, is leading the project. She has specialist skills in data analysis that will allow the team to develop multi-factor prediction models. Jennie Burke is the technician coordinating the data collection and regularly visits the farms to make sure everything is running smoothly. The first data was collected in December 2010 and collection will continue until the end of May 2012. Results can be expected soon after this date. The project is part of the wider DairyNZ-led Precision Dairy Programme, which is co-funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation Primary Growth Partnership and DairyNZ Inc.

By Dr Jenny Jason DairyNZ Senior Research Scientist

ing the wild population – and securing guaranteed markets. It’s clear that New Zealand has an opportunity to enter the eel farming industry, but it needs to do it in a well coordinated way and utilise a marketing flare to ensure its success. Done properly, an eel aquaculture industry could rival the green lipped mussel industry in size, but be infinitely more profitable. Done poorly, it will see a short boom followed by our eels stocks going the way of the northern hemisphere’s – toward extinction. By Graeme Dobson


HUNT FISH EAT

Page 6 12g O/U

The lads needed a last blast at pheasants before season’s close, so loaded up this month’s test vehicle – a Toyota Hilux 4WD ute – and headed for the hills. After the freezing polar blast, it was good to be out again and enjoying the fresh air. The dog certainly thought so. We had quite a mix of firearms this trip, ranging from a couple of basic 12g semis, to a lighter 20g semi and a traditional over-under. That made shopping for ammo at Hunting & Fishing a bit of a mixed bag, but the guys there are really helpful and sorted the team out with shot to keep everyone happy. The lads spent a lot of time inspecting the ute and were pretty impressed with the hard cover – with gas struts on the rear for easy loading. The dog wasn’t impressed with this arrangement, however and had to ride in the back of the old truck. But it was perfect for storing gear and firearms, dry and safely locked away, leaving plenty of space in the cabin for the big boys. The ute is powered with the

Two-year-old GSP bitch

Coast & Country Hilux 4WD ute

on this terrain and the drive to the shooting possie was a pleasure. We arrived with much Please can I less fuss than expected go chase those and Churchie’s truck feathered was still pretty clean. things now? Our destination, a small farm up the back of the Papamoa hills, always produces good numbers of pheasants according to my buddies – especially three litre diesel around the through a fivebush line speed gearbox. and on the The drive was fringes of smooth and easy, the pine great handling and plantations. plenty of power on D ute. It’s really Toyota Hilux 4W The hard covered deck is the open road. The perfect interesting for storing gear and firear gearshift seemed ms. country; to have quite a plenty of long throw, but it rolling terlooks. Shame, we was intuitive and smooth. I settled rain, hillocks, corners and nooks were about to get it filthy! quickly into the Hilux and found it Shifting to four-wheel mode on the of scrub, interspersed with rolling a very natural driving position. The farm track was a cinch and, although pasture and the odd crop paddock. engine had plenty of low torque and It’s the sort of country, as Dave the traction requirement wasn’t it wasn’t too fussed about which gear demanding, we were glad of the high put it, “that you never know what’s going to be around the next corner”. it was in – just did the business. ground clearance as the recent rains The pheasants seemed to pop out We were impressed with some had rutted and gouged the track. anywhere, anytime. There weren’t The Hilux was very much at home interesting little features about the Hilux too, such as the reversing camera built into the dash and all of the information at ones fingertips, including outside temperature. The tinted glass and custom “outlaw” trim, including striping and black mags, really sexed up the

many in the usual spots down near the flats, but once we moved upland amongst the scrubby patches and nearer the pines, it was all action. It was one of those days when you needed eyes in the back of your head – you’d just convince yourself a pheasant was going to blast out of the valley ahead, when a bird would come belting out from the thicket behind. Tony’s young dog was in her element and gets better with every outing. At first, she was ranging too far ahead of the shooters and a few opportunities were lost because the old fellas couldn’t keep up with the energetic girl. But after a bit of “range adjustment” she was brought more to heel and kept in control until we were ready for her to go flushing. Before long, she had birds in the air consistently and the lads, strategically stationed in range, had a great afternoon. Not bad going – considering two of them had only one real ... ed knee out of four. nu i t n Co


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HUNT FISH EAT

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Last blast outing at the tail end of pheasant season

...Continued As the sun slipped into an orange soup over the Kaimais, the guys trudged back to the utes, discussing what recipe plan Claire might have for pheasants and looking forward to a drop of mulled wine. That thought interrupted by a surprised rabbit which was given both barrels. I don’t know what the land speed record is for rabbits, but this one was just about leaving scorch marks across the paddocks. It probably didn’t stop at the coast; last seen heading for Motiti. Thanks to the landowner, Tauranga Toyota for loaning us the Hilux and shooting buddies Ady and the Brian, Dave and Tony for a lads scouting great afternoon. the fringes.

Ultimate hot toddy Divine mulled wine is the perfect way to hunter and gathers. warm up on chilly mulled wine is made locally nights, especially after a byDivine Geoff Duke from Divine Food and hunting expedition. Wine Ltd. The wine is a Hawkes Bay bordeaux blend of merlot and cabernet franc; featuring classic ripe blackberry and plum flavours. This versatile wine is the result of nearly six months of testing and refinement. During this time, Geoff has carried out tastings with local chefs, restaurateurs and cafes – and this smooth rich, well-balanced wine is proof untry. of all his hard work. Win with Coast & Co e It is a delicious blend of red Win a bottle of Divin us wine, fruit and traditional ing Mulled Wine by tell spices, but also contains a are in what unique spices unique blend of spices such the wine? as star anise, fresh root ginger Enter by emailing and juniper berries. This not .nz .co un hes @t ryl she only makes it the ultimate ‘hot toddy’, but also a unique

The wonderful aroma of hot spices is always a warm welcome for the returning

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Any readers with a particular hunting/ fishing mission you’d like to see The Wild Side team cover; or landowners with animal pest issues, give us a shout! brian@thesun.co.nz refreshing summer drink. Try it on ice with dry lemonade to make a delicious sangria-style drink, add Frangelico liqueur to make a divine cocktail. Mulled wine also has many culinary uses; such as a marinade with any red meat – especially game – and can be used in pate. Divine mulled wine is available in Mount Maunganui from The Good Food Company and Imbibe restaurant and bar and in Tauranga at Hillsdene wine cellars.

Mulled wine has many culinary uses; such as a marinade with any red meat especially game.

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FORESTRY

Coast & Country

Pre-1990 forest owners must act now Forest owners need to act now as time has almost run out for pre-1990 exemption applications and pre1990 allocations. The exemption deadline is less than a month away – September 30 – and the pre-1990 allocation deadline is November 30, 2011.

With the deadlines looming, there are still many misconceptions about the Emissions Trading Scheme circulating that may result in future liabilities, devalued properties and loss of income for forest owners. The first misconception is that pre1990 forest owners choosing not to participate in the ETS will not face future forest liabilities. This is not the case; if pre-1990 forest owners deforest or have already deforested more than 2ha since 2008, they are liable to surrender New Zealand Units, whether they registered their forest or not. The second misconception has resulted in many pre-1990 forest owners assuming they have post1989 forest, based on the current age of their trees. The correct time for differentiating between the schemes is from when the land use became forestry. The land use may

have become forestry from a previous rotation or from previous native scrub that was then cleared for the current exotic forest. Exemption from deforestation liabilities is only available for forest owners who owned less than 50ha of forest as at July 20, 2010. The process results in the exemption being placed on the land title. The exemption means any future landowner can be deforest – the land use can be changed – at any time without incurring deforestation liabilities under the ETS. The pre-1990 allocation is a one-off compensation from the government in the form of NZUs. The allocation is in recognition of the impact the ETS deforestation rules may have had on land values. The amount of units allocated are between 18-60 per hectare, depending on land ownership history.

Pre-1990 forest owners still can harvest their trees without liabilities, provided they replant or allow native forest to regenerate. The final category for the ETS is the post-1989 scheme. This scheme is voluntary and those choosing not to participate will not face deforestation ETS liabilities. Choosing to participation can provide advantages such as offsetting future farming carbon liabilities and providing early cash flow. The post-1989 scheme encourages further afforestation and the resultant environmental benefits. Selling NZUs can be used to contribute towards establishment and silvicultural costs. The post-1989 scheme can also make land areas that were previously uneconomic to convert to forestry economical, some with harvesting still remaining an uneconomical option.

Celebrating forestry Rotorua is hosting Forest Industries 2011 during the first week of September, celebrating innovation and advances in forestry and wood products and design. FI2011 includes tech clinics, conference, showcase and awards. Held at the Rotorua Events Centre from Monday, September 5 to Wednesday, September 5, the expo part of FI2011 is a three day international showcase of wood technology, featuring indoor and outdoor exhibits, including an outdoor heavy machinery area, portable sawmill displays. On the Monday and Tuesday there are 14 technology clinics, from forest fire fighting technologies, to logging innovations and harvest optimisation technologies. The conference on Wednesday is centered around innovative products, designs and new developments for timber building.

For more information or to register visit www.fi2011.co.nz


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FORESTRY

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Logging a stable market Like most commodity markets farmers are familiar with, the log market seems to have been characterised by long periods of frustration, interspersed with short periods of excitement and anticipation.

Recent years have certainly been no exception with the log market. The last two years have certainly been good ones, culminating in record prices in the first quarter of this year – peaking in April with record highs. Since April, we have seen some quite dramatic falls from this lofty height – which has had everyone worried. We have seen new entrants into the market with the USA and Canada motivated to supply the Chinese log market by the high prices. While there has been a certain amount of despair, it is worth noting the prices this winter are actually almost the same as last winter, which were followed by a steep climb through last summer. Sure enough, this month it is clear the downward adjustment has stabilised and all indications are that the prices will climb through the next few months. The winter drop-off in price is usually related to a stock build-up in China from the high production in Russia in the early months of the year. Already, the price in China has increased as the stocks which built up during winter are starting to dissipate. This should reflect an increase at wharf gate

as we endeavour to put clients’ forests out to tender on a rising market as early as possible in the dryer weather. It has been a good couple of years so far and everyone in the industry is prices in New Zealand starting in September. Unfortunately, the currency exchange rate will absorb some of these increases. Having spoken to a number of log traders recently, the general consensus is that the log price will climb through the summer as it did last summer. However, most are of the opinion that the dizzy heights reached last summer may not happen this time as last summer the influences of speculative trading distorted the market above its natural level. Speculators tend to only get burnt once. At Woodmetrics, we are watching this trend closely

hoping it continues and the seasonal fluctuations continue to be just that – and the fundamentals around the Chinese log market continue to be stable.

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CALF REARING

Page 10

Improving calf rearing Reviewing the success of this year’s calving operation can set farmers up for next season. What worked well, what didn’t work and how could the system be improved? Well-grown heifers are the foundation

PRESCOTT

of the future herd and growing them well starts the day they are born. Were there enough trained and competent staff to assist calving cows, to treat cows with milk fever and other metabolic diseases and to rear the important next generation of calves?

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Would staff – and cows – benefit from further training in husbandry skills? Every year several thousand people enter the dairy industry, often at the busiest time when opportunities for training and supervision are minimal. They need to understand what is required well in advance of the first calf being born. New Zealand welfare codes are specific about the management and handling of calves and cows around calving time, because this is their period of greatest welfare risk. The following checklist can be used to decide whether facilities and management systems meet the required standards.

old, healthy without injury or deformity, able to stand unassisted and bear weight on all legs. • Were bobby calves fed as close as possible to time of pick-up? Animal Welfare (Dairy Cattle) Code of Welfare 2010 states: “not more than two hours before transportation”.

Calf Rearing Checklist

Colostrum, food and water:

Calf facilities: • Were all pens sheltered from rain and draught-free? • Did all calves stay warm and dry? – exposed concrete, bare earth and mud are not acceptable. • Could you smell ammonia in the calf shed? Humans are equally sensitive to ammonia as calves – if it is unpleasant for people, it is enough to cause health problems for calves. Excessive ammonia usually means insufficient bedding material. • Do you have an area where sick calves can be separated from the main calf rearing area? • Were calf pens disinfected regularly? Railings, gates and entrance-ways, areas around water troughs and meal bins should be disinfected at least once a week. Health care and handling: • Were calves checked twice daily for signs of illhealth? Check for a clean moist cool nose, alert with responsive ears, clean navel, coat shiny and supple, no mouth ulcers, able to stand unassisted, bearing weight on all four legs, keen to feed. • Could all staff involved with calf rearing recognise a sick calf? • Did all staff handling young calves know how to lift, carry and handle them? • Were treatment procedures for the main illnesses of calves documented – scours, navel/joint ill and pneumonia – and was treatment effective? • Were sick calves moved promptly to the sick bay and then kept strictly isolated?

Humane destruction:

• How were animals destroyed on the farm – calves and cows? • What training were workers given about how to destroy animals humanely? • Was someone competent always available to destroy an animal if required? • Who decided whether to destroy an animal or call a vet? Selection for transport: • Was every bobby calf assessed individually before being transported? Check for a dry withered navel, firm hooves with wear on the soles, at least four days

• Did all calves get ‘gold colostrum’ – from the very first milking within 6-12 hours of birth? GGT levels in blood samples from calves will indicate if they got enough colostrum. • Were all calves fed colostrum or a suitable substitute for their first four days of life? • Were calves fed at the same time each day as a regular routine? • Was clean drinking water freely accessible to all calves at all times? • Was all feeding equipment scrubbed with hot water and detergent each day? • Did the feeding regime get calves to weaning weights at the required age? • Was each calf assessed before weaning to ensure it had reached its target weaning weight and developed rumen function? Observed ruminating and with a “pot-belly”. • Were calf meal and hay or other roughage available for all calves from a young age? Calving and early season health problems: • How many calves did not survive more than 24 hours (stillborn) last season? InCalf trigger levels – should be less than 1 per cent. • What proportion of calves taken into the calf shed for rearing as replacements were weaned? Target – should be more than 95 per cent. • How many assisted calvings were there? InCalf target – should be less than 5 per cent. • How many cows got milk fever or other metabolic disease? InCalf target – should be less than 5 per cent. • How many cows had retained after-birth 24 hours after calving? InCalf target – should be less than 2 per cent. • How many cows had vaginal discharge at 14 days after calving? InCalf target – should be less than 1 per cent. • How many cows died or were destroyed between start of calving and start of mating last season? Target – should be less than 4 per cent. • How many cows became lame or developed mastitis from calving until the sixth week of mating? InCalf target – should be less than 5 per cent.

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DAIRY

PH 07 578 0030

Page 11

A strategy for biological farmers Those involved in ‘biological farming’ to date seem very enthusiastic about farming these days – evident at a recent meeting in Auckland.

advice agreed – soil biology and soil husbandry is at the core of it all. Their aim is to get what is known as the Soil Food Web – that vast underground population of

The formation last year of the Association of Biological Farmers provided a focus and an information dissemination point. The award of $25,000 from the Sustainable Farming Fund – matched by industry funding of $12,000 – has provided a practical basis for the formation of a communications platform, which is designed to allow both the swapping of ideas and a resource of the research activities going on around the world. The association is running field days across the country in coming months, as well as a membership drive to gather in farmers who want to know more about the farming systems. The Biological Conference to be held at Rotorua in October will also provide opportunities to get farmers involved in biological farming. So what is biological farming about? At the meeting, a number of those involved in using and supplying suitable materials and

Nicole Masters of the ABF.

microbes, bacteria, fungi, nematodes, worms and more – working properly, rather than using different chemicals which can inadvertently kill off individual members and throw the whole system out of sync. By keeping the web working, they say they produce more nutritious plant material, whether for farmed animals or people. Better nutrition gives better health, better food and better profits for farmers. Those using it are already seeing these results; in having green pastures during drought and much lower animal health costs. A diagram on causal loop theory, put forward by the association spokesperson Nicole Masters, demonstrated quick fixes for pasture; such as regular spreading of urea which can indeed have short-term results in growth. Taking a longer term view, however, it showed increasing amounts are needed to achieve the same results. Leaching has a cost to the waterways and there are already council-imposed limitations coming into force. Nicole says by taking a biological farming approach instead, which necessarily will involve some delays,

the soil population is capable of doing the job without added nitrogen and without the unfortunate side effects. Those at the meeting demonstrated a huge sense of commitment; with various

suggestions being made as to next steps, such as the creation of a toolbox for farmers to help with individual problems which arise and decisions that need By Sue Edmonds to be made.

A conference for biological farmers By Sue Edmonds

But the rising tide of limitations on land use and the likelihood that ‘conventional’ farming could produce more leachate than permitted, has caused the Federation of Maori Authorities and the Rotorua Lakes & Land Trust to join forces in holding a conference to look at whether biological farming could provide an answer. The Biological Conference is October 27-28 in Rotoura. The topic will be ‘Sustainable farming through biological farming systems – by farmers, for farmers’. Any farmer who wants to know more about it is welcome to attend.

What is discussed will involve the ‘scientific’ viewpoint as well as the ‘enthusiast’; so there will be sessions on water quality and soil carbon and ecosystems where the speakers will be well-known figures from the science and research community. To prove biological farming systems really work, these will be followed by presentations from six people who are actually doing it and seeing the results. The first day will conclude with a scientist and farmer panel discussion and some discussion on guidelines and standards on what is involved in getting it right. hA second day will look at possible ways forward, followed by a field trip to a biological farming research site at Edgecumbe. To register email Alex Walters admin@rotorualakesandlandtrust.co.nz. Cost is $300 all inclusive of dinner and field trip.

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Page 12

DAIRY

Coast & Country

Research into weeds and pasture persistence When it comes to bugs and weeds Katherine says investigations of seed banks in pastures had produced only in pasture, nature is definitely those of weed species. In answer to a winning and farmers aren’t. question she agreed the current prefer-

ence by farmers, for making silage rather By Sue Edmonds than hay, was reducing the grass seed A session on pasture persistence at the banks and the overall effect this was recent Plant Protection Conference held having on persistence would need awarein Rotorua painted a gloomy outlook ness and research. for current control methods of bugs and Research carried out by a Massey PhD weeds. student was reported on by Kerry HarArgentine stem weevil in its various rington. incarnations continues to damage ryeGoats eat everything and a lot of what grass tillers, causing estimated losses in goes in also comes out still viable. In the production amounting to between $78 research, some goats had been kept in to $151 million a year. special boxes and initially fed a diet of Alison Popay of AgResearch says lucerne pellets. Later, they had been fed although a useful parasitoid had been 1000 seeds each of eight weed varieties introduced in 1991, there is currently mixed with molasses. little knowledge about its populaResults from investigation tion levels. Where it had of dung pellets, including been found to be present both detailed examinait appeared to be doing tion and immediate its job, but farmers are planting, had shown still at risk of infestainteresting results. tion by the weevil if Dock, gorse and they plant ryegrass Californian thistle with the wrong will grow straight G f oa o endophyte, Italian from dung, while e t pe v o r l l e t s , a a s u re t ryegrass or some of the other thistle seeds were t re tetraploids. vi a bl mostly destroyed. e we ed se ed s. Ensuring the parasitoid was Kerry says feral goats present and getting the right endocan travel up to 9km a day and phytes is needed for pasture to survive therefore can spread viable seed over weevil onslaught. considerable areas. Black beetle is proving a scourge in Graeme Bourdot and others have been northern farmlands where temperatures working on using the fungus Sclerotinia are mostly over 12.8 degrees and the sclerotiorum as a mycoherbicide option recent swing to more frequent La Nina for pasture weed control. The currently systems have seen many more outbreaks. available form is as very expensive granVarious chemicals have been used to try ules, so they have investigated creating a to spray them out since the 1950s, many gel form which could be more effectively of which are now banned. applied in the glasshouse experiments Tina Eden of AgResearch described they had done on six common weeds. recent trials using currently allowable Applied in droplets at differing rates chemicals, with spraying done either and infection points the results had in spring or autumn. This apparently worked well, however, more work was has made no difference to the results, needed to optimise droplet size and which averaged about 60 per cent. The density, as well as suitable application chemicals used also varied little in their methods. effectiveness. Carrie Lusk described research on conPlanting a mixture of species, which trol methods for giant buttercup – which includes herbs such as plantain and was already a serious weed in Taranaki chicory to give pasture more stamina and Golden Bay and is now spreading during weather variations, is being trielsewhere. Trials have shown a loss of alled around the country. production of up to 36 per cent where Katherine Tozer of AgResearch says giant buttercup patches infested pasture. while this system had had some success Various herbicides had been tested, in Northland, Taranaki and Canterbury, with flumetsulam giving the best results the results in the Bay of Plenty had been – although none really did the job. The entirely different. research group came to the conclusion There the herbs outgrew and reduced that a bio-control method would be the ryegrass and more research was needed to prevent widespread damage needed to work out why. around the country.


DAIRY

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Page 13

Making use of farm information A farmer recently provided a set of test results of soil taken from his property; the Olsen P figures – the only measure of phosphorus reported – ranged from 35-70 with the median being 44.

total amount of pasture grown in that area. Digging a 20-25cm cube provides a wealth of information which helps with decision making when it comes to the next fertiliser expenditure. Graham Shepherd’s Visual Soil Assessment provides extremely valuable measures, particularly when photos are taken at the same time. The VSA is accepted internationally as a provider of valuable, relevant and easily understood data. Local body authorities and other organisations with genuine environmental interests promote it here. We have conducted numerous VSAs during the last four years with individual farmers and farmer groups. Without exception, the two hours doing the first assessment has provided unique, fascinating and valuable data. Subsequent assessments usually take less time. To know whether a soil nutrient programme is delivering value, both in the short and longer term, a number of measures need to be taken; as soil, plant and animal health are all connected and interdependent, the overall health of any farming operation can quite quickly be ascertained. This time of the year, all pastoral farming operations are under considerable pressure and if there are weaknesses in any area, they will manifest themselves in animal health and performance. Where there are a steadily increasing number of animals requiring treatment for calcium or magnesium deficiencies, there is likely to be a lack of plant-available magnesium with a leaf analysis showing a level of less than 0.22 per cent. This means there is also likely to be calving difficulties – as inadequate magnesium reduces the ability of muscles to stretch. When animals are slow to recover after birthing, feed intake will also be down limiting milk

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lack of magnesium will impact on the physical structure of the soil, reducing the quantity of total pasture production. An application of DoloZest will rapidly increase plant available magnesium, with a subsequent improvement in animal performance and temperament, along with a lift in total pasture production throughout the remainder of the season.

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With the confidence interval of 5 (plus or minus 2) for the Olsen test, the area with a test figure of 35 may contain no less phosphorus than the area with a test figure of 70. If we add to that information the fact that all areas had received about the same amount of phosphorus during the last 20 years, then the median result of 44 may be a more relevant figure. Historic soil test results and accurate phosphorus input during the time between the tests also helps make sense of test results. If Resin P and Total P tests are also conducted, there are more pieces to add to the jigsaw. The reason for the tests being taken is also important. Is it to ascertain whether present phosphorus levels are sufficient for maximum production or to check recent inputs have been sufficient to maintain available phosphorus levels? What this all means is for test results to provide maximum value, they need interpretation and all relevant historical information helps with that interpretation. An examination of the physical structure of the soil relevant to the test results will add a different dimension of significant value. Soil structure has an important bearing, on not only the test result, but also the speed at which nutrient is being cycled and therefore the

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production. With every animal exhibiting magnesium deficiency symptoms, there is likely to be a number of other animals performing at less than optimum. There may be other visual signs of magnesium deficiency. Highly obvious urine patches may be due to lack of magnesium as magnesium is involved with nitrogen availability in the soil. Left untreated, a

DoloZest/CalciZest based fertiliser programmes deliver higher energy levels in every mouthful. This means: more rapid weight gain over winter  less weight loss after calving.


Page 14

DAIRY

Coast & Country

THE ULTIMATE FARM WORKER


DAIRY

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Page 15

Protest continues on stock movement bylaw “We agree with council objectives to promote safety and protect the roading asset and that farmers should meet certain behaviour when moving stock such as; flashing lights, good visibility in either direction, temporary warning signs in place, approaches to crossings should be appropriately surfaced with round rock or sand so that they don’t track mud onto the road. “Farmers would much rather invest in a stock mat than an underpass – because there is a world of difference in the price.”

Amalgamation of Franklin District into the Waikato District Council’s ambit has brought differences in stock movement bylaws to the fore. Rules in place in Franklin had been less restrictive and the proposed new requirements brought more than 100 farmers from both regions to a policy committee meeting in Ngaruawahia to protest. Federated Farmers Auckland president Wendy Clark is hoping an even greater number of farmers take the time to attend the next meeting on September 12. Wendy says if farmers hadn’t taken protest against the stock bylaw, council would have “bulldozed it through harder than they are”. “We’ve made some little wins and we commend council. But it’s not actually helping the two core problems; all it’s doing is postponing them.” The first problem is the intention in the council’s livestock policy to phase out most dairy crossings by 2016 and replace them with underpasses. “We don’t believe people on quiet country roads should ever have to invest

that sort of money in infrastructure that’s never going to give them a return.” Council has delayed the deadline to 2018 – but that doesn’t change the principle says Wendy. The second problem is council originally had absolutely no provisions for movement on roads as a permitted activity status. “So one hoof on the road and you had to get a permit – no matter how short or infrequent the journey. “They’ve moved a little bit – as little as they can,” – council has now suggested farmers crossing stock on unsealed roads may not require permits. Wendy says council’s argument for using that as an indicator instead of traffic counts is because it’s visual and “farmers will be able to understand the difference between a gravel road and a sealed road”. “We’re saying, well actually, these guys are capable of looking up a website to see what standards they need to meet when moving stock on roads; they’re quite capable of clicking on the link to council traffic counts and looking up their own roads to see if they meet the threshold.” Federated Farmers is suggesting a reasonable threshold to be exempt of a permit would be 900 vehicle movements a day or less.

Acting mayor Dynes Fulton says Waikato district farmers have been operating successfully under the existing stock bylaw for the past five years, the basis for the proposed 2011 bylaw. The former district was predominantly dairy, with the addition of the former Franklin area, the dairy/ pastoral split is around 50/50. “These changes have required a distinction between dairying and pastoral farming which is in line with some of our neighbouring councils.

“Permits are still the right process, it’s a matter of defining an appropriate lifespan and recognising our pastoral farmers have less need to move stock and the risk to safety and damage is much lower on our quieter unsealed roads.” The proposed changes are being written into a draft bylaw to be presented at a reconvened council meeting on September 12. The draft will be reviewed and a final decision made by the council on September 27. By Sue Edmonds and Sheryl Brown


Page 16

DAIRY

Coast & Country

PRE-CAST CONCRETE & STEEL CONSTRUCTION SPECIALISTS

Easy footing on the yard Dairy yard holding of cows during the wet is good for farmer, cow and pasture says Numat, whose Agrimat products are making life easier on many farms. Motuamaho farmer Rex Hines farms on 111 effective hectares north of Morrinsville on rolling country prone to summer dries. He milks 400 Jersey cows through a 30 a-side herringbone shed. He is a seasonal supplier of Fonterra and has been on the farm 34 years. He’s thought at length about matting and looked at several farms where the material was laid. “I detest cows having to stand on concrete. It’s too hard on them and the concrete can damage their feet.” In late May, Hines laid 710Sqm of Agrimat Kura to cover his whole dairy yard – excluding the milking area – and

the entry and exit race. The interlocking tiles are 850 x 1190 x 24 mm and have holes allowing permanent fastening to the concrete. “They are straightforward to lay. On the first day we started at 8.30am and by 3pm had laid, but not attached 500 of the 732 tiles needed.” Full stainless steel fixings are supplied with the tiles. “Have they worked? “A great big yes,” says Rex. “And the capital expenditure is well worth it.” Rex says it is a great improvement and some of the cows are ‘smiling’. “They seem so contented.” He has put his heifers on the yard for several hours at a time during bad weather and they have suffered no feet trouble. Hosing down after milking also uses much less water than cleaning concrete.

Think about your untapped resources Recent court proceedings over inappropriate effluent disposal have pushed Bay of Plenty farmers into the news headlines for all the wrong reasons. Yes, farmers who knowingly or deliberately pollute deserve all that they get, but unfortunately it reflects on the whole industry – when a lot of us are actually doing a great job. Farmers are expected to be able to cope with the waste that is part of dairy farming, as regional councils accept no excuses. Sometimes it feels like we are easy pickings and face constantly shifting goal posts. Not so long ago, effluent disposal used a two pond system. The effluent made its way to the first pond, where solids sunk, the water then went into a second settling pond and then out into drains. This was very efficient and, on the whole, produced good results. Then a better way was developed, involving a stone trap/sump followed by a concrete storage tank to hold 48 hours worth of effluent. The effluent was then sprayed on pastures using travelling irrigators. Now, however, we are not allowed to apply effluent when pastures are waterlogged – so it’s back to bigger, lined ponds and spraying it onto pastures only when soil conditions allow. The Bay of Plenty Regional Council can come onto your property unannounced to ensure your effluent system is fully

compliant. We have to be 100 per cent, all the time. Fonterra and DairyNZ are on hand to help get your farm compliant, ‘every day, every year’. Ask for help before a problem develops. Check out the DairyNZ website for information. Think about the term ‘reduce-reuse-recycle’ and apply it to effluent: Reduce: Divert storm water; use a solenoid on the drum tippers so they only run when the milk pump goes; Change hosing down methods, which can mean time savings as well. Reuse: Reuse plate cooler water for washing up. Recycle: Cooler water; the nutrients in the effluent are valuable as the price of fertiliser goes up; A small capital investment into a solenoid or storm water diverter may be cheaper than expanding your current system; give your irrigator a warrant of fitness and service, as you would your car – think more speed and make sure the nozzles are in good condition, this will mean shifting the irrigator more often, but putting less on is better. Getting 100 per cent of farmers compliant is a great goal to have. Federated Farmers knows farmers are awesome innovators. Think outside the square on what you can do with the effluent and waste water to turn them into a valuable resource. By John Howard, Bay of Plenty Federated Farmers, Chairman of the Dairy Industry

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DAIRY

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Feed pinch heading into spring  

 

By Sheryl Brown

Bill Webb is set to make a couple thousand bales of silage in the next week or two to meet a feed shortage. Bill Webb Feed Solutions has been “cleaned out” of feed as farmers head into the second round of grazing says Bill. “The weather has been far better for farmers this winter; the cold snaps have been good for drying the ground out, but they’re all looking forward to a bit of rain now believe it or not. “The grass growth has slowed down and farmers are starting to get short of feed again.” Previous to the cold snap the pasture was pretty lush, but grass is not growing that fast and people will be getting themselves into a feed shortage if they’re not careful says Bill. “There is still a few farmers we

supply maize to that have still got a bit left and are feeding it out and are very grateful of it. “Some others have just finished and wish they had another couple of week’s worth.” That’s the importance of having the balance right and having the right amount of feed says Bill – otherwise you pay a premium price for feed – or can’t get your hands on it. “Get your orders in early and then you pay less for it – and sure; it might be sitting there, but at least you know it’s there. It’s peace of mind and security – it’s like having money in the bank really, having a few bales sitting around you can draw on when you need to.” Bill says a good option is to buy in extra maize silage in the Autumn so there is a stack for the spring. “Farmers have a stack to feed straight away to feed to the milkers and put the condition on and then a separate stack shut up for the spring that they can feed out if they get a shortage in the spring. “Which inevitably you do in the second

round; it’s just about guaranteed that you’re going to run out of feed somewhere.” It’s important to have plenty of high energy feed on hand leading into mating. “We keep harping on about feed, but it’s inevitable.” Bill says there going to be a bit of a pinch for farmers waiting for him to make his silage. “It will be good leafy rye grass silage – it will be high energy and high digestibility. Early silage is normally you’re best silage. Bill still has some equipment to sell; a couple of tractors, round baler and wrapper and two forage harvesters – one of them will go with work to the right person; about 300ha of maize to harvest. Bill Webb Feed Solution and Bradstreet contracting are based together at the site in Paengaroa, Te Puke. Bill says Bradstreet Contracting have already started work. “They’ve done some silage, cultivation work and re-grassing so they’re off to a good start and raring to go.”

Take the kick out of in-coming heifers It is calving time again; the time when new incoming heifers give farmers plenty of headaches as they kick and stomp at cups-on.

Whakatane dairy farmer Rikus Rautenbach has come up with a solution to make milking time easier. Rikus invented the KickBuster, which he has redesigned again this season to be even more effective. The KickBuster holds the cow’s tail up in place during milking to stop her kicking. When a cow’s tail is lifted, it manipulates the nerve on the backbone and distracts her from kicking because she’s concentrating on trying to put her tail down. “This is our third season using the KickBuster and we would not do without it again,” says Rikus. “The time saved by not having to hold tails is now used to focus on all our cows and deal with real problems like mastitis and other calving related issues.” Rikus says staff in the shed are more relaxed and can now focus on the job at hand and mistakes are rarely made. ACC reported 3322 “milking related” injuries or accidents between 2004 and 2010. Using a KickBuster eliminates the risk of being kicked and having to take time off work in the busiest time of the year says Rikus.

Treatment of mastitis, teat sealing or dry cow therapy is also made easier and safer. It is ideal to be used in a one-man shed and gives farmers the extra hand they need now and again. With a new bumrail clamp, the KickBuster can now be clamped onto the bumrail. Rikus is certain it will help farmers who could not use the KickBuster in their sheds last season. The new design is suited for both herringbones and rotary sheds and keeps the tail more rigid. “We believe in creating a safe environment in and around our shed for staff and stock and KickBuster has made that more achievable.”

   

 


Page 18

IRRIGATION & DRAINAGE

Coast & Country

Farm planning for a sustainable future Being sustainable means actively looking after environmental resources so they can be valued and enjoyed by future generations. The benefits of protecting natural resources and sustainable management of land can extend well beyond the farm. Improvements to downstream water quality and enhanced habitat networks for wildlife are common outcomes. Wildlands works with land managers to produce Integrated Sustainable Farm Plans. The company provides high quality and cost-effective information, advice and technical services. This assists clients to achieve sustainable management and enhancement of the indigenous biodiversity, ecosystems and resources they oversee. A critical objective is to integrate these features into farm management in a way that complements and adds value to landowners’ core operations

and underlying business rather than compromising it. Plans include tasks and timeframes, estimated costs for works and a map of the farm – utilising upto-date aerial photography. Integrated sustainable farm plans provide a long-term, site specific, integrated approach to environmental management within the farming system. Wildlands’ approach stands apart in that it takes into account social, economic and commercial dimensions of farm management – in addition to on-the-ground features and operational and practical considerations. A primary focus may be biodiversity, soil and water conservation, landscape enhancement, and or kaitiakitanga – guardianship – but plans are entirely flexible and can address all sorts of other items, for example: • Management and protection of bush and natural areas – biodiversity • Protection of streams, wetlands and waterways • Control of erosion, sediment and nutrients flowing into waterways • Fencing of natural and erosion prone areas

Sustainable farming; protection of streams, wetlands and waterways.

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MAIZE

PH 07 578 0030

Page 19

The Premier Bay of Plenty Hybrid

34P88

471 New Zealand comparisons for grain and silage

Industry leading grain yields Maize hybrid comparisons

Harvest moisture difference %1

DKC57-83

47

-1.57

-0.6

501

goldfrank

151

-2.23

0.39

1,056

n51-n4

70

-2.31

0.27

712

n64-l5

84

-0.98

-0.61

1,017

nZ6121

31

-0.35

-1.59

1,171

brand hybrids Pioneer® brand other compared

34P88 34P88 34P88 34P88 34P88

Advantage to Pioneer® brand hybrid

no. of comparisons

test weight kg/Hl

yield kg/ha

Statistical significance

Top silage yields for maturity Maize hybrid comparisons

no. of Drymatter comparisons difference (%)2

Yield and income advantage to the named Pioneer® brand hybrid

Pioneer® brand

other brand hybrids compared

34P88 34P88 34P88 34P88 34P88

Ctl108

83

2.21

3,081

2,311

DKC57-83

36

-0.76

1,747

1,310

goldfrank

26

-0.32

2,545

1,909

n51-n4

15

-3.99

3,446

2,585

nZ6121

14

0.16

3,163

2,372

yield (kgDM/ha)

Statistical significance

Milksolids income ($/ha)3

• Balanced agronomic profile • Superior drought tolerance and staygreen To find out if this hybrid is right for your growing environment, talk to your local Merchant or Pioneer® brand seeds Representative.

www.pioneer.co.nz

0800 746 633

Pioneer® brand products are provided subject to the terms and conditions of purchasing, which are part of the labeling and purchase documents. ®, TM, SM, Trademarks and service marks of Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. Positive moisture differences indicate that the Pioneer hybrid had a lower average harvest moisture percentage at harvest. Such hybrids are usually earlier in maturity or faster to drydown than the comparison. Negative moisture differences indicate that the Pioneer hybrid had a higher average harvest moisture percentage at harvest. Such hybrids are usually longer in maturity or slower to drydown than the comparison hybrid.

1

Positive drymatter differences indicate that the Pioneer hybrid had a higher average drymatter percentage at harvest. Such hybrids are usually shorter in maturity than the comparison. Negative drymatter differences indicate that the Pioneer hybrid had a lower average drymatter content at harvest. Such hybrids are usually longer in maturity than the comparison hybrid.

2

In this table milksolids income is calculated assuming a milksolids response rate of 100 g milksolids per kg of maize silage drymatter fed, a milksolids price of $7.50/kg and industry average maize silage growing and harvesting costs.

3

Source: National Yield Performance of Pioneer® Brand Maize Hybrids Compared with Other Brand Hybrids for Silage and Grain yield in New Zealand Trials.

Robin billett AreA MAnAger BAy of Plenty Mobile: 027 273 0497 Phone: 07 544 0957 rbillett@genetic.co.nz


MAIZE

Page 20

Coast & Country

Bay of Plenty maize results 2010-11 JORDAAN

While the 2010-11 maize growing season provided extreme weather conditions, Bay of Plenty silage crops generally performed well.| The average maize silage yield – measured over 183 Bay of Plenty plots in Pioneer’s Maize Silage Hybrid Evaluation Programme – was 25.7 tDM/ha, which was only down slightly on the previous season’s average yield of 25.9 tDM/ha. The top five Pioneer brand maize silage hybrid plots yielded an average of 36tDM/ha. “As well as allowing us to monitor seasonal yield trends our research programme allows us to accurately identify new hybrids that deliver higher and more reliable yields” says Pioneer area manager Robin Billett. “Silage hybrids to watch for this season include Pioneer brand; 31G66, 33M54, 34P88, P0791, 35A30, 36M28, 38H20 and 39V43. 34P88 – Silage CRM 109 – is a top end performer that delivers exceptional silage yields. It is a tall hybrid with dependable drought tolerance, which delivers grain-rich silage with excellent readily available energy and superior whole plant digestibility. P0791 – Silage CRM 106 – provides new Optimum AQUAmax technology for top of the line drought tolerance. It produces a bulky plant with a chunky ear delivering impressive yields of soft-

textured grain. 38H20 – Silage CRM91 – is an excellent option for growers in cooler areas or those requiring maize silage in mid to late February. It is a tall plant for maturity with strong resistance to Northern Leaf Blight, dependable drought tolerance, superior roots, stalks and staygreen. “Most of the maize silage harvested last autumn had a high grain percentage” says Robin. “This contributed to outstanding maize silage energy levels with many crops from around the country testing at more than 11 megajoules of metabolisable energy per kilogram of drymatter.” The season was slightly more challenging for grain growers; with crops on lighter soils being affected by the early drought and crops on heavier soils being challenged by heavy

post-Christmas rainfall. The average maize grain yield – measured over 565 Pioneer trial plots in the Bay of Plenty – was 14.1 tonnes of grain per hectare. Whakatane grower Regan Studer was the winner of the Pioneer Regional Grain Yield Cup with his Pioneer brand 34P88 crop yielding 16.9 tonnes of grain per hectare. “34P88 (Grain CRM 109) has raised the ‘competitive yield bar’ to new heights” says Robin. “It has consistent quality grain and dependable drought tolerance, stalks, staygreen and husk cover and is a fantastic dual purpose option. “Other Pioneer brand hybrids to watch out for are 34F95 (Grain CRM 109), 35Y33 (Grain CRM 107) and P0537 (Grain CRM 105).

Hear “Daniel talk DKC57-83” @ www.pacificseeds.co.nz

THEY’RE COMING BACK FOR MORE

DKC57-83

Barry Smallridge

Scott Shaw

• Northland • Waikato • Bay of Plenty • South Island

New Zealand Product Development Specialist

GENERAL

Grain Type Medium

DISEASE

Stalk

Grain End Use Feed Root

Common rust

Northern leaf blight

Cob%

“Our crop averaged 16.7 tonnes over 45 hectares at 18.3% and we’ll be back for more this season”.

Stay Green Good

Early vigour

“DKC57-83 is a hybrid you can trust, with a quick dry down that enables growers to target yield without sacrificing an early harvest“, said Daniel.

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

Yield consistency

That’s why he planted Pacific Seeds DKC57-83 last year.

Daniel talks DKC57-83...

Yield for maturity

When you’ve only got one shot at it serious maize growers like Te Puke’s Daniel Dovaston know the importance of selecting a hybrid with the quality agronomics they can trust to do the job properly.

LODGING RES.

Husk Cover Excellent Rated 1 to 9 (poor to excellent)

DKC57-83 (107CRM) AGRONOMIC TRAITS

027 563 6700

ORDER ONLINE

@

w w w. p a c i f i c s e e d s . c o . n z

PACSCC8R

027 494 7706


MAIZE

PH 07 578 0030

Page 21

A hit with regional maize growers “We grew 40 hectares last season and I wish we’d grown 100,” says Te Puke’s Daniel Dovaston.

The performance of Pacific Seeds’ DKC57-83 introduced commercially during the 2010 growing season has Waikato and Bay of Plenty maize growers coming back for more. “We grew 40 hectares last season and I wish we’d grown 100,” says Te Puke’s Daniel Dovaston. Featuring outstanding dry down, DKC57-83 is a high yielding mid to full-season grain hybrid also suitable for silage. High yields of highquality feed grain result in excellent quality silage. Observations have shown this hybrid has very good standability, even in tough weather conditions. Excellent husk cover and pendulous cobs mean that grain is also well protected from the elements and any pests. ”DKC57-83 has really done well for our growers throughout this region,” says Pacific Seed regional manager Barry Smallridge. “The

excellent standability is a real plus, particularly in exposed areas and the large girthy cobs are ideal for quality grain production.” Maize contractor Andrew Gorringe of Gorringe Bros Ltd is also impressed with DKC57-83. “We grew it in side-by-side trials with other hybrids on Matakana Island last season and at 15 tonne dry weight per hectare, it came out a winner. “It grew well, performed well, dried down really well and was very easy to harvest. We’ll be growing significantly more of DK57-83 this season.” DKC5712 has a 107 CRM and outstanding ear flex, which means that even when planted at 75,000 plants per hectare, grain yields in excess of 15 tonnes dry can be achieved.” The 2011 Seed Guide from Pacific Seeds is now on line with full details of the company’s maize and forage hybrid range for the coming season.

EU grain opportunity Negotiations to allow New Zealand to export grain-fed beef into the European Union opens opportunities for New Zealand's arable sector too. Currently, the EU takes around 11,000 tonnes or just three per cent of New Zealand’s total beef exports says Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre chairperson Jeannette Maxwell. “The opportunity before our processor-exporters doubles to 20,000 tonnes then quadruples to 45,000 tonnes next year. All of it tariff free. "Currently, feedlot beef is predominantly consigned to Japan, but that market specifies black beef cattle only. Opening up Europe to grain-fed beef helps to diversify our export markets and that reduces the risk on us as farmers.” Jeannette says it's not just a beef opportunity, but becomes an arable one as well. “All things being equal there should be market opportunities locally to supply grain to the feedlots. “It helps to cement a cross sector farming relationship. With grain supplies increasingly tight, both farmers and the feedlots need to plan ahead and work with our arable sector to ensure the supply of high quality Kiwi grain.”

CROPPING

SUMMER & WINTER

MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR PADDOCK DOUBLE CROP

Early sow now with Turnips & follow up with a crop of Sorgum in January

• CHICKORY OR TURNIPS (summer grazing) • SORGUMS FOR GRAZING OR SILAGE (suits dry summer conditions) • FODDER BEET (New for this area) capable of 22 to 28 tonnes of dry matter per ha for winter crops • SWEDES AND KALE (we have been achieving 18,000 to 22,000kg per ha of dry matter for winter crops) • FULL RANGE OF CULTIVATION & SOWING EQUIPMENT TO COMPLETE THE JOB ON TIME


Page 22

RURAL BUILDINGS

Coast & Country

Museums to hangars, warehouses to barns

From airport hangars to truck museums, Letts Buildings do it all. They built this shelter for Bethlehem Coachlines in Tauranga.

Letts Buildings is undertaking bigger commercial projects these days from airport hangars to sheds to hold private car collections. Commercial and rural buildings make up the bulk of their work, with garages limited to the purpose-built or customised part of the market. Letts Buildings is a privately owned company based in Mount Maunganui that builds all over the central and upper North Island.

Best in quality

For more than 40 years, Letts has been servicing the building needs of a wide range of customers and continues to be dedicated to providing the very best in quality, economy and service. Some of its latest projects include a purpose-built Cory’s Electrical building in Rotorua, a large warehouse building for a private truck museum in Pukekohe and nine hangars at the Tauranga Airport. When dealing with Letts Buildings customers can be assured the team have complete control of their product to ensure maximum quality and excellent service. They are able to deal with any problems immediately and professionally. Entries close on Friday, September 2 for the NZ Wood Timber Design Awards 2011. The categories are; Residential Architectural Excellence; Residential Engineering Excellence; Commercial Architectural Excellence; Commercial

The main reason the team at Letts Buildings stands out from the crowd is their ability to listen to clients needs and develop a building that will satisfy requirements. Whatever the specifications; Letts can do it. Letts building system gives complete flexibility and the design and build ability saves customers time and money – let their design team turn your vision into reality.

Flexible attitude

From their early beginnings in the 1960s as garage builders, Letts Buildings has certainly come a long way. With its flexible attitude to building, Letts Buildings has in its portfolio an extremely large range of buildings. The photo gallery shows storage buildings ranging in size from an airport hangar, large warehouses and storage facilities down to a garden shed. Many self-storage lock up units have been built in the central and upper North Island. Letts Buildings also offer a full design and build service for accommodation – including cottages, American Barn houses and more traditional houses. Their designer will work with you to achieve your dream. All houses can be built to completion, to a shell only stage or supplied as a kitset, either using your plan or theirs. Engineering Excellence; Sustainability Award; Outdoor Infrastructure; Cladding Building Envelope; Interior Fit Out; People’s Choice and; Clever Wood Solution Award. To enter visit www.nzwood.co.nz/timber-designawards-2011

Lifestyle & Rural Specialists

Building better for less

09 299 7855 | www. econobuilt.co.nz


COAST & COUNTRY

PH 07 578 0030

Page 23

Living the legend in luxury SPEC’S PANEL

The Overland has a nicely understated, slightly masculine, appearance.

Jeep would have to be among the most recognised American brands outside of the US – right up there with Coca Cola, Levis and Apple It is a stalwart brand that brings with it images of big, roomy machines, pushed along by generous quantities of V8 horsepower on wide open highways. The Jeep Grand Cherokee, tested by Rural Driver this month, pretty much ticks those boxes and you can add “luxury cruiser” to that list as well. The Cherokee we drove came in the diesel burning 3.0 litre, top-ofthe-range Overland model and there are also whispers of a 3.6L V6 and a 5.7L V8 petrol lurking somewhere on the horizon for the petrol fiends among us. But the diesel version soon proved what great value a weak US dollar can deliver when you put it onto New Zealand roads. Coming in at a whisker under $100,000, the Overland manages to do what so many European SUVs fail to achieve, because the price includes all the bells and whistles you would ever want, with no “extras” added to the price. The “features” section of the brochure actually reads like a film credits list, it is that long.

Understated luxury

This all comes as a pleasant surprise, for from the outside, the Overland is a beautifully understated wagon. The lines are crisp, but reserved, there is no “look at me” fancy-pants designer flair going on here. It

is almost as if the engineers wanted to create a machine that is true to the Jeep’s practical, workaday heritage when it comes to outward appearance. It gives the Overland a classy sense of understatement that continues through to the interior – nevertheless, it is an interior that holds multiple surprises when it comes to features and extras. This starts with keyless entry and then moves on to the double-stitched leather dash – something that would be an option worth several thousand on some vehicles. It also sits nicely against the black olive ash wood finish and nice alloy framed controls. Other features considered “options” on some vehicles are at home here, including the rear DVD player that also plays through the touch screen console up front when not moving. Passengers in the back also get a set of wireless headphones to enjoy the show, without intruding up front, where a full Sat Nav system sits on the touch screen. Seating is very supportive throughout and rear passengers can even ease their seats back 14 degrees, while the driver and front passenger can warm their seats to defrost on winters’ days. The steering wheel is even heated as required and is electrically adjustable. Features like these are often not seen as standard and make the Jeep more appealing by the moment.

Honest performer

Once you hit the road, that appeal only goes one way – and that’s up. The Overland’s 3.0 litre diesel packs plenty of punch, delivers a generous 550Nm of torque way down

The interior is full of luxury surprises that all come as standard, including a heated steering wheel.

at only 1800rpm and does it quietly and without fuss. Double thickness windows and an extra thick firewall account for a mere murmur from the engine on the open road and a real sense of solidity. There has been honest effort to engineer more quality into the Jeep chassis and build and the results come not only in its low noise levels, but also its adept handling. There is no mistaking this is a sizable vehicle, weighing in at 2365kg and with a 3.5 tonne towing capacity. It manages, however, to keep itself altogether on the twisty bits, while still delivering a well-balanced ride throughout.

Jeep Cherokee Overland Engine: 3.0 Litre Common Rail Diesel Power: 177Kw @ 3600rpm. Torque: 550Nm@1800rpm Towing capacity: 3.5 tonne 4WD: Selec-Terrain control tailors to terrain – rocks, sand, snow – with adjustable height. Suspension: Quadra Lift standard air suspension with front independent arms, rear multilink and coil springs. Comfort features: Too many to list, but some include Uconnect media centre touch screen with Garmin Sat-Nav, voice command, Bluetooth, 30GB hard drive for music and dual zone climate control. We like: Subtle lines, highly spec’d luxury matched with decent power, intelligent 4WD system and excellent value. Price: $96,990 Available from: Farmer Autovillage, 116 Hewletts Road, Mount Maunganui. Contact: Heath Kendall. Phone 07 578 6017 or 027 855 2681 Add in those many safety features and the best comparison to a human you could give the Overland would be to liken it to one of those, nicely suited handsome Secret Security types who hover reassuringly around presidents and prime ministers – obliging, strong and always there when it counts. By Richard Rennie

The touch screen is easy to use and incorporates a 30GB hard drive and Garmin SatNav system.

Safety plus

Braking is nice and progressive with minimal fade and there is an alphabets worth of safety features quietly sitting in the background. Some may even be new to your ears; like the Rain Brake Support that helps keep brake rotors dry in rainy conditions or the Trailer Sway Control system that will stop any “load spillage”. In the background and ready to go is a state of the art four-wheel drive system that can be tailored to the terrain, from sand sliding through to rock hopping, it even has the ability to lower the Cherokee for better access on its air suspension system. The Cherokee’s many features, including an electric rear tailgate, low noise and quality finish, combine to deliver a calmness and assuredness that will make any drive on any day, one of pure pleasure.

The 3.0L diesel has plenty of torque early on and peaks at 1800Nm.

The 4WD system can be easily adjusted to suit the terrain.

Double thickness windows account for excellent noise reduction and a sense of solidity.


COAST & COUNTRY

Page 24

Coast & Country

Out there and back for less.

New Zealand has everything needed for the world’s most spectacular road trip.

New Zealand has everything needed for the world’s most spectacular road trip.

Except maybe roads.

Except maybe roads.

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TAKE TAKE A A CLOSER CLOSER LOOK LOOK AT THE 2011 JEEP AT THE 2011 JEEP RANGE RANGE It’s It’saaaayear yearof ofchange changefor forJeep. Jeep.And Andit’s it’saaaachange changethat’s that’sall allin inthe thedetails. details. It’s year of change for Jeep. And it’s change that’s all inin the details. It’s year of change for Jeep. And it’s change that’s all the details. From Fromthe thecomplete completeredesign redesignof ofevery everypart partof ofthe theGrand GrandCherokee, Cherokee, From the complete redesign of every part of the Grand Cherokee, From the complete redesign of every part of the Grand Cherokee, to nish, tothe thenew newWrangler’s Wrangler’samazing amazinginterior interiorfi fi nish,to tothe theunbelievable unbelievablevalue value to the new Wrangler’s amazing interior fifi nish, to the unbelievable value to the new Wrangler’s amazing interior nish, to the unbelievable value of ofthe thePatriot; Patriot;these thesemodels modelsall allhave havesomething somethingnew newto todiscover. discover. of the Patriot; these models all have something new to discover. of the Patriot; these models all have something new to discover. The The2011 2011Jeep Jeeprange range––––take takeaaaacloser closerlook looktoday. today. The 2011 Jeep range take closer look today. The 2011 Jeep range take closer look today.

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COAST & COUNTRY

PH 07 578 0030

AUTOS

Coombes Johnston BMW Coombes Johnston Hamilton BMW Tauranga Hamilton Tauranga Coombes Johnston Hamilton BMW Tauranga Hamilton Tauranga

Page 25

Hamilton Tauranga

RMVT

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ui Road

AUTOS

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X5 7.4l/100km 180kW (540 nm) Coombes Johnston BMW X5 7.4l/100km 180kW (540 nm) Coombes Johnston BMW 575 Te Rapa Road, Hamilton, (07) 846 8888. 575 Te Rapa Road, (07) 846 8888. 113 Hewletts Road, Hamilton, Mount Maunganui, (07) 575 5280. Coombes Johnston BMW 113 Mount Maunganui, (07) 575 5280. X5 Hewletts Road, 7.4l/100km 180kW (540 nm) www.coombesjohnstonbmw.co.nz Coombes Johnston BMW (07) 846 8888. 575 Te Rapa Road, Hamilton, www.coombesjohnstonbmw.co.nz *575 Finance is based on a Hamilton, BMW Select agreement of a Guaranteed Teoffer Rapa Road, (07) 846consisting 8888. 113 Hewletts Road, Mount Maunganui, (07) 575 5280. Minimum Future Value and a 36 month Hire Purchase agreement on the BMW X5 Performance Edition RRP (+ORC), 35Select monthly payments, interest rate 10.99%, aMinimum 20% deposit andValue a finaland Guaranteed Minimum Future Value of $69,950. mileage charges *113 Finance offer$139,900 is based on a BMW agreement consisting of a of Guaranteed Future a 36 month Hire Purchase agreement on the Excess BMW X5 Performance Hewletts Road, Mount Maunganui, (07) 575 5280. www.coombesjohnstonbmw.co.nz and vehicle charges be payable if you return the rate vehicle. Offer expires to BMW Minimum Financial Services lending criteria. Excess mileage charges Coombes Johnston BMW Edition RRPcondition $139,900 (+ORC),may 35 monthly payments, interest of 10.99%, a 20%30/09/11 deposit and and is a fisubject nal Guaranteed Future Value of $69,950. www.coombesjohnstonbmw.co.nz and vehicle condition charges may be payable if you return the vehicle. Offer expires 30/09/11 and is subject to BMW Financial Services lending criteria. 575 Te Rapa Road, Hamilton, (07) 846 8888. *Finance offer is based on a BMW Select agreement consisting of a Guaranteed Minimum Future Value and a 36 month Hire Purchase agreement on the BMW X5 Performance Edition RRP (+ORC), 35Select monthly payments, interest rate 10.99%, aMinimum 20% deposit andValue a finaland Guaranteed Minimum Future Value of $69,950. mileage charges Hewletts Road, Mount Maunganui, (07) 575 5280. *113 Finance offer$139,900 is based on a BMW agreement consisting of a of Guaranteed Future a 36 month Hire Purchase agreement on the Excess BMW X5 Performance and vehicle be payable if you return the rate vehicle. Offer expires to BMW Minimum Financial Services lending criteria. Excess mileage charges Edition RRPcondition $139,900charges (+ORC),may 35 monthly payments, interest of 10.99%, a 20%30/09/11 deposit and and is a fisubject nal Guaranteed Future Value of $69,950. www.coombesjohnstonbmw.co.nz and vehicle condition charges may be payable if you return the vehicle. Offer expires 30/09/11 and is subject to BMW Financial Services lending criteria. *Finance offer is based on a BMW Select agreement consisting of a Guaranteed Minimum Future Value and a 36 month Hire Purchase agreement on the BMW X5 Performance Edition RRP $139,900 (+ORC), 35 monthly payments, interest rate of 10.99%, a 20% deposit and a final Guaranteed Minimum Future Value of $69,950. Excess mileage charges and vehicle condition charges may be payable if you return the vehicle. Offer expires 30/09/11 and is subject to BMW Financial Services lending criteria.

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COAST & COUNTRY

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Value and honesty By Richard Rennie

No surprises in the cabin – it’s practical, yet comfortable with a straightforward dash layout.

The Chinese assault on the New Zealand ute market is reaching full stride now, with the arrival of Great Wall’s diesel-powered ute at Ingham Sears, Mount Maunganui. As one of the first Great Wall dealerships to receive the diesel version in New Zealand, their sales staff were keen to check out a machine that is bound to appeal to tradesmen or rural folk seeking a good value, workaday machine that will not have their bank manager sitting in the back seat. Rural Driver got the first heads-up on it this week and quickly found that there is a genuine bargain to be had here. With some businesses still struggling and general industry doing it tough, this is probably an ideal time to introduce a machine that hits the market at under $30,000. In fact, it is priced very competitively at under $27,000. So it definitely warrants a second glance as you gaze longingly at those beautiful Mercedes-Benz machines that Ingham-Sears also market and have built their reputation upon. Compare the value The Great Wall V200 diesel comes in at $26,990 in its 2WD guise, while the 4WD version is in the pipeline for delivery soon. A recent look by Rural Driver at the price of second-hand 2WD utes on the market further reinforces the appeal of considering a brand new Great Wall. It revealed that good second-hand models are fairly few and far between and will typically be selling for about $15,000-$19,000 with at least 80,000km on the clock. Most will also be at least five years old. This means they don’t have the latest

Coast & Country

common-rail diesel technology, may lack airbags and are going to need some tender care to keep them going. It makes even more sense to check out the Great Wall, because it also comes with a 100,000km or three year warranty, a 2.0 litre common rail diesel turbo engine and a pretty smart pair of 16 inch alloys. Practical and good-looking Don’t come looking at the Great Wall

Great Wall V200 Ute

Engine: 2.0 litre common-rail turbo diesel Transmission: 6 speed manual – auto coming soon – please enquire Wheels: 16 inch alloys Suspension: Front-double wishbone, Rear-leaf spring Features: 2x airbags, ABS, CD/MP3 Player, adjustable headlights, steeringwheel mounted audio controls, immobiliser, remote central locking Price: $26,990 Test drive at: Ingham-Sears, 55-59 Totara St, Mount Maunganui Enquiries to: Julian Clements phone 07 572 8260 or 027 544 3102

expecting the “mana” and the prestige that goes with having some of the typically favoured model utes. But, there is a price tag on that status, so instead, the Great Wall range fills the gap nicely for anyone seeking a machine that simply gets about its business, has enough ground clearance to avoid ripping the diff out and is handsome enough for you to want to be seen on the road in. The interior is an easy care affair, the seats have good wipeable surfaces that won’t be worried by a bit of mud and muck on them. The dash is a no-nonsense simple layout; you won’t find any touch screens or reversing cameras here, but you get a decent driving position, comfortable seating and good room in the rear for passengers. On the road, the Great Wall is a bit slow to lift off with some discernable turbo lag, but once underway it is capable of doing what it is intended to do. Transmission is a six-speed manual and that sixth gear is ideal for giving some extra legs to the two-litre powerplant. For anyone who has been considering buying a second-hand ute, the V200 may convince you to make the jump up to new. After all, its only a few thousand more than a machine that will have thousands, maybe even a hundred thousand kms on it. The Great Wall delivers you a new ute with honesty and value at an affordable price.

The Great Wall is a decent looking machine with plenty of interior room and honest load space.

The 2.0 litre common rail diesel engine gets about its business well, aided by having a sixth gear to flatten it out on the open road.

an optional extra.

OB1257

OB1257

The X240 4WD

+ORC Metallic paint an optional extra.

+ORC Metallic paint an optional extra.

w w w. g r e a t w a l l a u t o . c o . n z DEALER DETAILS

Metallic paint an optional extra.


ATVs & 4WD

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Quad bikes make their mark In a market flooded with models, one brand is proving superior technology makes all the difference when you need a good-looking quad bike that can really handle the tough stuff.

The Can-Am quad bike range is becoming so popular because of the higher levels of technology built into all of the bikes.

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winch, all fitted as standard – and it’s easy to see why they have been driving off the lot so quickly. Can-Am quad bikes are represented by a network of

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Can-Am, produced by North American company, BRP, is the fastest growing brand of ATVs in New Zealand. BRP are also the maker of other trusted global brands; Sea-Doo, SkiDoo and Evinrude. The Can-Am range of quad bikes has only been available in New Zealand since 2004, but with solid steel-frame construction, cutting edge technology and the most powerful engines in every class, they are rapidly making inroads into the local market. One of the agencies marketing the Can-Am range across a wide area is

Ocean Ford in Whakatane. Director and sales manager Stephen Hermansen says that although only having the agency to sell Can-Am bikes since the beginning of this year, sales are already well above expectations. “One of the reasons that we are experiencing strong interest is that all Can-Ams are fitted with proven Rotax engines and come with a three year unlimited kilometre, unlimited hours warranty.” Superior technology Another reason the range is becoming so popular, is the higher levels of technology built into all of the bikes. For example, most quad bikes only have a rear braking system, while Can-Am bikes have a front and rear braking system that is fitted inboard to keep it clear of most of the “farm muck”. There is also a robust Visco-Lok QE diff locking system and with solid engine brakes also fitted, the bikes won’t run off when going down steep slopes. A Can-Am bike will help you cover more ground more quickly too – without you getting a sore behind. That’s thanks to the swing-arm mounting of the rear suspension giving more stability in rough terrain, even when travelling at speed. Stephen says his biggest seller, particularly through the Fieldays months of May to July, has been the XT500 bike. “Basically, it has everything you need at a great price.” Starting with the B-Twin Cylinder fuel-injected Rotax engine and dynamic power steering, then add in “extras” like alloy bull bars front and rear, handle bar wind deflectors and a 3000lb electric

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FACTORY WARRANTY

qualified agents throughout the country, who are able to provide ongoing parts and service for the brand. By Gaylene Moore

HiFLO PUMPS HiFLO PUMPS & IRRIGATION LTD

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HiFLO PUMPS HiFLO PUMPS & IRRIGATION LTD


FARM SAFETY

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Explosive start to a new career Twelve months after completing a blasting course at Tai Poutini Polytechnic, Adam Booth now works as a shot firer at a West Coast mine.

National Certificate in Extractive Industries •Dam Clearance •Posthole Blasting ay! •Drainage tod rol •Rock Splitting En •Stump Removal Venues: Reefton - Nov Raetihi - Sept Dargaville - Oct Cost:

$1,039 approved for a studylink loan

Contact Reefton Campus

03 732 8572 or 0800 800 411 www.tpp.ac.nz • patr@tpp.ac.nz

Coast & Country

Hidden cameras aid farm security It is easy to underestimate the vulnerability of farms and lifestyle blocks when it comes to theft of property and stock or damage to fences and buildings.

It is a long way from his previous career – constructing and designing golf courses – but he is loving his new job. “There is heaps of career opportunities to work around the world and I love the explosive side of it. “ It is amazing what a huge bang you can get out of a small amount of explosives.” Programme leader Pat Russell says blasting has a huge number of practical uses around the farm or in the contracting world. “The course is popular with farmers, contractors, forestry workers and people wanting to enter the mining industry. It is all about blowing things up, but in a safe and controlled manor.” In recognition of the hazards involved in blasting, health and safety is a significant part of the curriculum. Theory is studied extramurally and the programme also involves three days practical, on-site experience. “It’s very thorough and professional,” says Adam. “The course goes through all the basics and gives you a lot of background and then you get onto the blasting.” Students learn about explosives and their properties, the legal and operational requirements, how to store explosives, design blasting layouts and carry out blasting operations for land work. Given the course involves working with explosives, students must meet a stringent criteria. “There is quite a bit of written work and all prospective students must have a police check – we’ve had to turn some down over the years,” says Pat Russell. On completion of the course, students gain the National Certificate in Extractive Industries – Land Operations Using Explosives Level 3. Those who meet all the criteria are then able to apply for an Approved Handlers Certificate and the Controlled Substance Licence. The next blasting courses run in Raetihi in September, Dargaville in October and Reefton in November.

Because rural communities generally have a sense of community, there is a feeling that no one would do the unthinkable – vandalise, steal from or damage such properties. While isolation may work for farms in one sense, however, it sometimes works against them too. That’s why it’s important to put in place safeguards that protect such properties from incidences of quad bike theft, fuel, batter and vehicle theft, stock theft, tool theft and more. Many land owners also want to protect forested areas and prevent milk vat contamination by keeping intruders at bay. A DVR recorder installed in the shed, home or office connected to a monitor or even to the home TV for easy viewing, is an effective way to monitor what is going on around the farm and in such places as driveways, tool sheds, milk vats and on-site fuel tanks. Greg Pringle from All Seasons Security says recorders used with multiple cameras can monitor a wide area and will, for example, offer memory of between one and six months of information via a rewriting hard drive system. “Early footage is automatically deleted and replaced with new footage, thereby always providing a full hard drive of current information,” says Greg. “All data is times, dated, in colour and ready for immediate transfer to a USB stick so it can be provided to the police for swift action.” Greg says in the first instance, farmers and small block owners might opt for a single camera and DVR installation that provides the options to add more cameras so the system can be expanded down the track. “And remember, driveway cameras should be hidden, otherwise they are likely to be stolen.” Registration capture is an All Seasons Security speciality and Greg says results are excellent both day and night. “Motion detection is another feature which allows footage to be viewed via the internet and smart phones, but of course we offer a variety of systems and options including a powerful infrared ‘spy’ camera designed for covert use and the outdoors. “Its camouflage design blends into the surrounding and it comes with a number of useful features. What’s more, it is weather resistant and air-tight – making it ideal for around the farm surveillance.” To talk to Greg about farm security phone 0800 474 911 or visit www.allseasonssecurity.co.nz


COAST & COUNTRY

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Quality trailers with matching service Southern Trailers based in Cambridge North Island are distributors for Ifor Williams Trailers. It is proud to have a diverse range of trailers which are designed and manufactured for New Zealand conditions. More than 30,000 people a year choose an Ifor Williams. They have put their trust in these trailers, manufactured in North Wales, UK, for more than 50 years. The horse floats have many outstanding features and have won design awards internationally for their no compromise approach

to horse safety, comfort, ease of use and tow ability. The team at Southern Trailers has a wealth of experience within the float and trailer industry – and would encourage you to test drive any trailer or float before purchase regardless of where you are purchasing from. Southern Trailers has great facilities at its head office in Cambridge, a central location for people to visit. People can choose from a range of models, colours, options and accessories – with more than 100 trailers to choose from. Customer Service is their main priority. The team at Southern Trailers know that quality, strength, value and ease of mainte-

nance are of vital importance to customers. That’s why they’ve made them the driving force behind everything they do.

A farmer is injured every 28 minutes in New Zealand Every 28 minutes, a New Zealand farmer is injured on the job and about every 23 days, a farmer dies from a work-related accident. Farmers in the Waikato suffered the most injuries with more than 3600 claims lodged in the region. About 18,700 New Zealand farmers were injured last year while at work – 16 of these injuries proved fatal. Farmrelated injuries and fatalities cost ACC nearly $65 million last year. “Farmers have demanding jobs and work in difficult conditions,” says ACC injury prevention programme manager Peter Jones. “They put in long hours in every type of weather and they’re often on their own out in the fields. “Every day they work with powerful machinery and handle unpredictable animals. The combination of these factors is hazardous and unfortunately, at times, results in disaster.” Peter says there are a number of simple things every farmer can do to help reduce the risk that they’ll be one of next year’s statistics. The most common causes of injuries are animal handling, quad bikes and farm machinery. Last year, there were more than 1600 claims relating to handling cattle and 345 relating to tractor injuries. Of the 16 deaths last year, six were caused by quad bike injuries. Preventing workplace injuries is now

all the more important since experience rating was introduced on April 1. Experience rating is a system which provides discounts on levies for businesses with a better claims history and loadings for those with a poor workplace safety record. It works in a similar way to a no claims discount offered by a private insurer and makes the final ACC levy each business pays fairer because it takes into account their safety record.

Farm safety tips

Three of the most common causes of farm-related injuries are cattle-handling; use of farm vehicles such as tractors and quad bikes; and manual handling tasks. Here are some safety tips to help avoid these injuries: Cattle handling • Keep cattle calm – it's when they’re alarmed or over-excited that they can get dangerous. • Use your voice to calm cattle – this also lets them know where you are, which is important as they can’t see as well as humans can. • When working with a large or temperamental animal, always know your escape route. Quad bikes • Always wear a helmet when riding a quad bike. • Forget about the term ATV which stands for ‘all terrain vehicle’ which suggests you can go places you probably can’t or shouldn’t.

• Think about what you’re carrying and where you’re going and avoid ‘rushes of blood to the head’ – just because you can zoom up that slope, doesn't mean it's safe to do so. Tractors • Don’t stand in front of or behind the tractor if the engine is running. • Wear snug-fitting clothing so it won't get caught in moving parts. • Carry loads and implements as low as possible to avoid roll-over. Manual handling • Vary tasks so you don’t do the same repetitive actions all day long. • Reduce manual handling of heavy objects; use a machine instead. • Try to avoid working in awkward postures or positions. For more farm safety information visit www.acc. co.nz/preventing-injuries/on-the-farm

Orchard tractOrs

ORCHARDISED TRACTORS

aG tractOrs

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Grass carE


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Coast & Country

The bad news and the more bad news

FROST PRO

PLANT AND CROP PROTECTIO

biological sciences. “I am confident that we While board chairman John Loughlin led The ongoing threat of the vine canker Psa off with laudable trading results against chal- have secured among the best minds available overshadowed the Zespri AGM held at Contact Cosio Industrieslenging Ltd ph (09) 820 0272, email : Psa sales@cosio.co.nz. or call Vaughana solution to this disease.” to develop market headwinds, is the issue Baycourt Tauranga on August 17. 7266 for morethat INDUSTRIES on 021 280 information on ignored. Firestone EPDM and your nearest installation contractor. liner The focus on Psa meansEPDM re-prioritisation. cannot be

MICRONET before the next annual meeting.” designed to cr John says he is confident a managementcrop and plant solution for Psa will be found within the next natural waterin Available in 2 m two to four years. He says the goal is to posiCosio Industries Ltd are official Firestone Building Products Australasian distributors tion Zespri to be in FROSTGUARD good shape to quickly “The confirmation of the presence of Psa in North American market plans have changed FROSTGUAR regain momentum toward the long-term cost polypropy because fruit supply is now uncertain says New Zealand last November has marked the goal of tripling export returns to $3 billion John. start of a defining phase in the history of our 30gm2. Also a by some date soon after 2025. Thisnatural air and He intends to bring a proposal to industry,” says John. long-term goal is still attainable2 metres wide. shareholders of segmenting the “The savage destructive potential of Psa-V says John. is clear from the experience in Italy, and from North American market into Firestone EPDM Lined Pond advantages Cosio Indust The future is expected to be 27-33 Lansfo premium channels for NZ what we are observing in Te Puke. COSIO COSIO “The reality is we Enable effluent be stored and applied good forINDUSTRIES New Zealand food Ph 09 820 0 “How wetoface and manage thestrategically threat willduring kiwifruit, supplemented drierobviously periods or shape in Spring Autumn grassthe growth slows with Chilean fruit packed theandfuture ofwhen not just don’t know what the producers, including kiwifruit providing the New Zealand kiwifruit buteffluent in many Ease of daily management fromindustry, troublesome irrigatorsunder the Family brand. Professionals Choice long-term impact of Theproducers, industry can maintain It made sense viewed ways the global kiwifruit industry.” Realize theinitial value ofaggressive your effluent and utilise its strategy real potential from an expectation of Psa will be on the control and ownership of The containment supply chains and position long-term growth and a has Firestone failed John informed shareholders. 20 year Factory warranty - best in the business industry and thereInsist The on your Firestone in premium segments. short-term supply dip as a industry hasissued sinceWarranty movedCertificate to a INDUSTRIES fore on Zespri, but all “We are at a very dark hour result from grafting to new long-term management strategy headed the signs are that it with Psa,” says John. cultivars. by Kiwifruit Vine Health Incorporated, Contact Cosio Industries Ltd ph (09) 820 0272, email : sales@cosio.co.nz. or call Vaughan “For some people, this may “Psa has changed all that recognising the management of Psa will be a will be serious.” on 021 280 7266 for more information on Firestone EPDM and your nearest installation contractor. EPDM liner be the end of their road in the for now as our supply is permanent partFirestone of theBuilding kiwifruit landscape fordistributors Cosio Industries Ltd are official Products Australasian industry. Yet at the same time, uncertain and our priorities some years to come. on so many other fronts the longare dramatically altered. “The reality is we don’t know what the term potential of the industry remains “This example illustrates the long-term impact of Psa will be on the induschallenge of Psa, which is to act with decisive very bright. We have a stunning offer for try and therefore on Zespri, but all the signs global fruit consumers and an offer that we urgency to ensure that we have a future, are that it will be serious.” can make even more exciting. whilst ensuring that urgent actions do not Zespri management is directed to under“This statement is not to diminish the compromise that future. take scenario planning based on a number “Psa may have significant impacts for share- present threat that faces our industry. We of possible outcomes. Resources are dramatically re-prioritised where needed; particularly holders and it is conceivable that appropriate do have a very tough time ahead of us and I believe we must steel ourselves in order to responses may require shareholder approvals. in the area of research and development. weather it.” We are determined to do what is necessary Zespri is leading a Psa research and and right – and to do so in appropriate ways, development programme and has actively By Andrew Campbell which may involve consulting you again recruited world-leading experts in the

MICRONET is

EFFLUENT STORAGE PONDS    

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INDUSTRIES

PSA a blight on Zespri’s yearly profits INDUSTRIES

Total fruit and service payments for New Zealand fruit, including the loyalty premium, increased from $849 million in 2009/10 to $883 million last season. Zespri’s consolidated net profit after tax was $7.3 million last season, compared to $25.9 million in 2009/10. The fall was due to four factors says chairman John Loughlin. The first is a reduced effective corpo-

INDUSTRIES

rate commission of $9.8 million because of an agreed increase in the loyalty premium from 15 cents per Class 1 tray to 25 cents per Class 1 tray. The second is the $12.9 million directed to the New Zealand industry response to Psa. The third factor is a fall in 12-month supply profitability, from $8.6 million to $5.7 million. Last is a one-off organisational restructuring provisions of $4.9 million. “We expect the corporate profit to rebound in 2012 with the strong vol-

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umes of fruit we have to sell,” says John. “However, longer term, a decrease in volumes as a result of Psa is likely to put pressure on future profitability.” The 2010 season was mixed; with Zespri facing challenges from a two-paced global economy, demanding climatic conditions and the confirmation of Psa in New Zealand. “Last year’s great tasting fruit supported our marketing initiatives,” says John. “There were increased returns for Green growers and the release of new varieties generated great enthusiasm in the industry. “It is significant that the challenges were in aspects that we could not control, whilst the positives were achieved where we did have influence.” In the face of the challenges, John says Zespri performed well; managing to hold total global kiwifruit sales steady at just over $1.5 billion. Much of the impact of a significantly stronger New Zealand dollar ULTRA-PRO was mitigated by currency hedging gains. The total crop this year is 115.9 million trays – 14 ULTRA-PRO per cent up on last season. This represents a 40 per cent increase in Gold and a seven per cent increase in Green. The August forecast shows average per tray fruit and service payments across all pools are forecast to fall, although increased yields will offset this to some extent. Total fruit and service payments are set to increase on last year by $63.4 million to $922.3 million. By Andrew Campbell

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HORTICULTURE

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Western Bay hort specialists Ag Tek ltd ed super low tractor and has been so well received here that we have at times had trouble keeping up with demand.” Steve says it’s “just such an awesome machine”. “This tractor has just been released with the first of its kind specialist narrow cab, ideal for any crop situation needing a carbon filtered air-con cab to squeeze down narrow treed rows, with a cab height as low as 1.75 metres.” Add to this line up the Star 3080,

It’s now almost eight years since Agtek, the national distributors of Goldoni Tractors, first launched the Italian specialist horticultural tractor range with Steve and his team at Jacks Machinery in Whakatane.

Steve says while they already had a range of tractors available to them, they really didn’t have anything to exactly meet the kiwifruit growers changing needs. With the majority of orchards using pergolas, the demand had changed from converted agricultural tractors that were difficult to get low enough and still maintain ground clearance, to a need for a powerful tractor with a very low seat height, reasonable under body

which has quickly become the biggest selling tractor across all sectors of the horticultural industry. “It’s just a fabulously well-priced, well-spec’d tractor, which is still genuinely built in Italy. “We are in a strong horticulture region with kiwifruit and avocado, so to have a range of purpose-built horticultural tractors was a necessity and with the inclusion of the Goldoni Range we have never looked back.”

clearance, decent lift and towing capacity and big enough wheel equipment for stability, traction and comfort. “With Goldoni, we have a powerful factory-built tractor with the lowest seat height in the market – and still on full 20-inch wheel equipment – as well as a range of other models covering the full horticultural spectrum. “The Goldoni Quasar, ‘kiwifruits king of comfort’ is a

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HORTICULTURE

Coast & Country

Psa delays kiwifruit scholarship Kiwifruit orchard manger Campbell Wood has delayed a Zespri scholarship to Italy so he can oversee the orchard during spring and summer – when Psa symptoms are more active.

The 21-year-old Tauranga kiwifruit vine manager won Zespri’s Bruce Stowell scholarship to go work on a kiwifruit orchard in Latina, Italy. “We’re going to put it off till about mid-February next year, it makes more sense to be here for spring when Psa symptoms are more active and go over

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there during their spring.” Being here during the risky spring period is “almost a must,” says Campbell. “The summer too – it’s more humid here.” Zespri say they are happy to work with Campbell to match his visit to Italy with the demands placed on him by his orchard here in New Zealand. Campbell says they are following all the orchard hygiene practices, “but we can’t stop the wind”. “We’ll only accept if we get Psa through wind or if it comes naturally. “But it’s closing in. It’s inevitable.” Campbell is the vine manager in Pyes Pa, looking after a 3.5 hectare organic and a 4.6ha conventional orchard. Campbell is growing both Gold and

Green varieties, as well as several Zespri trials of new varieties. “So we have a lot to look after.” The Bay of Plenty’s Young Grower of the Year recently competed in the National Young Growers competition in Rotorua; where he won the practical and came fourth overall. “Age was probably a little bit of a factor – the other finalists had about four times as much industry experience as I have. Campbell says he is probably not going to compete in the competition again next year. “Next time I do it – I’ll be in it to win.” By Sheryl Brown

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CHICKEN FERTILISER & LIME

Quality service for the rural industry Capital Tractors is one of the oldest tractor operations in the Bay of Plenty and caters for all facets of the rural industry, from orchardists to farmers, to lifestyle owners and contractors. Capital Tractors carries on the tradition at the Barkes Corner site in Tauranga, which has been home to tractor dealerships, supplying and servicing new and used tractors and machinery to the Bay of Plenty since 1964.

The privately owned company was purchased by managing director David Mackereth and co-owner Kay Craig 18 years ago. They continue to deliver quality service and support to the rural industry with a full parts and service back up, be it on-farm servicing or in the workshop, with some staff having been with them since day one. Capital Tractors has recently taken on the Same Deutz Fahr range of tractor which now gives Capital products from 23 to 300 horse power, with tractors includ-

ing Kioti, Iseki, plus Goldoni and Same specialised orchard tractors. There is a full range of machinery available be it harvest, cultivations, orchard mulchers through to mowers and sprayers. “The Hustler Zero Turn Mower is also an important part of the operation,” says David. “Companies come and go, but we’ve been here through the good times and the bad – together with our customers.” The team at Capital Tractors is proud to have serviced the Bay for generations.

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Reading an avocado tree the symptoms their trees are displaying and respond with appropriate management inputs. The guide defines indicators of an ‘ideal’ tree at key stages of the growth cycle. Growers are then able to assess and rate their own trees using scales in the associated workbook. The guide also offers inputs and tactics growers can consider to address issues they have identified. Grower and contributor to the guide, Hilton Paul says Reading Your Trees is an exciting development. “It is a practical hands-on tool that should be used consistently all year.” The guide was introduced to the industry at the 2011 AGA annual general meeting in Whangarei and handed out at the Grower Forums – which had great turn out says Jen. A free copy is being sent to all members of the NZ Avocado Growers’ Association.

Jen Scoular, Chief excecutive of The Avocado Industry Council.

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Chief executive Jen Scoular says the avocado industry has the potential to triple in value, but “growth is constrained by the impacts of irregular bearing; a situation where trees fail to produce a viable crop every year”. ‘Reading your trees: A New Zealand avocado grower’s guide’ aims to help growers implement tailored orchard management strategies to mitigate the effects of irregular bearing. Project lead AIC laboratory manager Toni Elmsly says one of the factors, which has lead to the development of the guide, is growers’ reliance on prescriptive or ‘one size fits all’ tree management. “Every orchard situation is different, which makes it difficult to prescribe one set of management strategies for irregular bearing – here we are giving growers the tools to assess their individual needs based on the signs their own trees are displaying.” Toni says the industry’s most successful growers are those who have the ability to identify and understand

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HORTICULTURE

Coast & Country

Psa impacting on jobs and economy The kiwifruit industry is worth millions of dollars to the Bay of Plenty region and the financial impact of Psa is sending a ripple effect through communities.

Growers are pulling back on spending, which is creating job losses and taking money out of the economy. Tauranga orchard worker Rob Fenton is struggling to find work since the end of the kiwifruit season. “Growers are just not spending the

money on their orchards. “With the thought of Psa wiping out their orchard, they’re reluctant to spend money until they know for sure what is going to happen.” Since the end of the season, growers have stopped spending as much money as they normally would on orchard maintenance after the fruit has been picked says Rob. “I have put my name down on at just about every place I can think of for work. I apply for jobs every day, but have had no success so far. He says he has managed to pick up a days work here and there, but needs more than that.

Rob says finding a job is like finding a needle in a hay stack.

“At the moment my life is in limbo. I am waiting on a few things to come up, but there are no guarantees.” Kiwifruit is the Bay’s biggest industry; it brought in a staggering $377.9 million to Te Puke area alone in the 2010/2011 season – figures of the total fruit and service payments made by Zespri for the supply of kiwifruit. The town is now the middle of the Psa Priority Zone. A total of 307 orchards have tested positive for PSA, with 267 being in the Te Puke region. “It’s just uncertain times at the moment. Everyone is pessimistic about the future of the kiwifruit industry,” says Rob. Rob worked as a tractor driver on the orchards and says he would usually pick maintenance work on orchards at this time of the season. “I love being outdoors and working with my hands.” He has three children, who he has every second weekend. “I need money to be able to buy things for them. “At the moment, I live at mums and do what I can to help out around the house and even help her out at work when she needs it.” Rob says this is only a temporary measure and he’s working on getting full-time employment. He says he doesn’t care what type of work he does, as long as it’s outdoors and working with his hands. By Letitia Atkinson

Frosts delay avocado export Frosts have affected patches of avocado orchards across the Bay of Plenty region and the cold weather has delayed the export season. Export is due to start in the next few weeks – shipping off an expected record crop. Avocado Industry Council chief executive Jen Scoular says the cold weather has not helped with speeding up the maturity of the fruit, “which could mean that we’ve got slightly less volume going out early on”. “We’ve had some real frost issues, quite localised across Bay of Plenty. “You can actually see when you drive down State Highway 2, a couple of orchards where some of the trees are looking quite rusty – which is not a good sign. “So there’s definitely been some frost damage, some quite severe in isolated patches; Paengaroa, Te Puke Te Puna.” Jen says the market is looking strong to be exporting to America, Japan and Australia. “The export markets are looking good for us. Prices in the US are still looking good, but that’s before the Mexicans come in. “We’re pleased to see the dollar has

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come back a little bit.” Australia has more domestic fruit than forecasted. “They forecast to be a long way down, they’re slightly ahead of that,” says Jen. “We do share our volumes between Australia and New Zealand, but they are never perfect numbers. It’s very good to have the indications (for numbers), but with anything in horticulture – particular when it was been severely impacted by bad weather – you can’t quite say what is coming off.” Australia has also made a slight change in their domestic grade standards.

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“Consumers were advised that some of the fruit might not look quite as good because of the bad weather, but it still should be counted as very good eating fruit. “They’ve allowed a bit more blemishes through, which might be why they’ve got a bit more volume than they expected.” Jen is speaking with the Avocados Exporters’ Council fortnightly to keep on top of where fruit is being sent this season. “We can’t stress enough the work Avec are doing collectively. “They have agreed that they will endeavour to have 25 per cent

of their volume going outside of Australia. “We are having conference calls to talk about what the markets are looking like and the overall pattern of how shipments look – so we can address issues as they come up rather than when it’s got to be an issue. “It’s just being proactive and recognising that it’s a huge season and we’ve got to make sure that we’re all on board.” The industry is very positive approaching the season; AIC is estimating to harvest between 5.4 and 5.8 million trays, with about 3.5 million of those coming from the Bay of Plenty – double what was picked last year. Jen says industry workers are prepared for the extra volume of fruit. “Apparently all the pack houses are quite happy that they have enough harvesters and hydroladas – the two things that are potential issues. “There probably will be some shortages of labour, but they believe they’ll manage that. “So they’re feeling that they are ready; so ready, steady go.” Jen says export is kicking off in the next two weeks with “quite significant numbers going out”. America and Japan are generally where earlier shipments go. By Sheryl Brown


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KIWIFRUIT

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Packhouse plans to prevent spread of Psa to Gisborne Local kiwifruit post harvest service provider Opotiki Packing and Coolstorage is keeping kiwifruit harvested from orchards segregated for packing within its region of origin. It is part of its Psa risk management plan, to assist in protecting its growers from spread of the bacterial disease. OPAC has a packing and coolstorage facilities in Gisborne and Opotiki, but is not transferring fruit from between the different regions for the 2012 packing season says managing director Craig Thompson. The plan for next season is to process Gisborne and Hawkes Bay fruit only through the Gisborne site, and all Bay of Plenty fruit from OPAC’s catchment east of Whakatane will be handled through the Opotiki site. “We’re all parts of our operation, post harvest and orchard operations, segregating into regional blocks as a form of risk mitigation,” says Craig. “On the basis of current information we feel at this time it’s more prudent to plan on this basis until we learn more about Psa and how wide spread it’s likely

to become.” Craig says at the moment, all OPAC growers in both Opotiki and Gisborne are Psa-free. “We are hoping that will remain the case, so we’re ensuring we work to gold standard protocols to try and keep ourselves in that status.” OPAC had a record year last season – with more than 1.6 million trays packed in Gisborne, including a record 300,000 trays of Gold from local Gisborne orchards. “We’ve been really pleased with the way our Gisborne and Opotiki operations have worked with some great results for our growers. “We achieved record production last season. Looking forward – apart from the risks around Psa that the industry is acutely aware of – the prospects going into next season remain very positive for volumes of Zespri Gold as well as the Zespri new varieties.” Craig says OPAC has built an excellent relationship with Zespri around the Gisborne Port. “There has been a consistent shipping programme, which has seen regular early shipments of high dry matter – excellent

taste – early harvested product in March and April shipped through to Gisborne Port. “A further two vessels, one of which is being loaded this month, have also loaded out of Gisborne with the later harvested, longer-storing fruit to meet the mid to late season demand in key markets. “It emphasises the flexibility of the Gisborne region, in that its kiwifruit meets all the characteristics required by the market, early harvest or longer-storing, later shipments.” OPAC prides itself on being

orcharding and post harvest specialists in the kiwifruit industry. “We are 100 per cent focused and dedicated to achieving the best results out of the kiwifruit category. “Which is different to a number of other Gisborne operators – there are only two companies that pack kiwifruit in Gisborne now.” Gisborne is characterised by its multiple crops; including a lot of ground cropping as well as citrus, apples, grapes says Craig – “we’ve concentrated on the kiwifruit category and that makes sure there are no clashes with other products coming through OPAC coolstores or cross-product scheduling issues.” It also allows OPAC to focus

on having the strict policies and procedures in place around handling kiwifruit. “We’ve made the decision to look for a new person to fill an orchard management and orchard services role, to service our clients around the key areas of new varieties and Psa protocols. “We’re still focussed on the potential for the Gisborne and Hawkes Bay business to grow and our orchard clients businesses to grow and catering for that need, while also being sensible that part of that is going to be very, very good management of your orchard around the risks of Psa infection.” By Sheryl Brown

NZKGI seeks growers’ mandate Voting papers have been mailed to all kiwifruit growers asking them to vote in support of their grower organisation, NZ Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated.

voice to government, media and the public. This includes working for the retention of the kiwifruit industry’s structure, Single Point of Entry to the off shore markets. Currently Psa is the single biggest issue facing the kiwifruit industry. Grower Mike Chapman. NZKGI is seeking a welfare and support are key grower mandate and funding – a “levy” – Psa related issues for NZKGI. so it can continue to represent kiwifruit NZKGI represented growers when the growers. This is a postal ballot with $50 million Psa funding package was voting closing on Monday, September 5. arranged with government. It is playNZKGI is not seeking additional funding a key role keeping growers informed ing. The same amount of money is being of developments, assisting with the asked for. Approval is being sought for a on-going administration and governance maximum of one cent per tray of export of Kiwifruit Vine Health and supportkiwifruit. This does not include Arguta, ing the Regional Psa Committees. It will which is commonly known as KiwiBerry. represent growers’ views in discussions Each year, the exact amount under one on future Psa funding and development cent will be set at NZKGI’s AGM based of the Psa National Pest Management on the budget for the coming financial Strategy. year. For the first year of the levy in 2012, NZKGI’s other major role is monitorNZKGI’s AGM last month set this at 0.9 ing the performance of Zespri, both in of a cent. market and through the supply chain. The levy will replace NZKGI’s current The aim here is to ensure growers get funding. The result of a successful vote the best possible return for their kiwifruit. will be to: Other areas where NZKGI is involved • Put in place for NZKGI a grower include councils, resource management, mandate and funding levy for five years. spraying, labour, training and the devel• Ensure NZKGI is independently opment of the Australian market. funded. Growers are therefore voting in the next NZKGI represents growers and growers few days for an organisation that has only are the largest investors in the kiwifruit one interest: doing the best for growers. industry. It ensures growers have repreA vote for NZKGI will ensure that the sentation on all industry decision-making effective grower organisation continues bodies and that growers are consulted on to look after growers best interests for the By Mike Chapman all major industry decisions. next five years. NZKGI chief executive NZKGI also presents the grower

F O C U S I N G

O N

R ES U LT S


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ORGANICS

Coast & Country

Survival = blending with Mother Nature If we look at the ‘system’ Mother Nature has set up, it is not hard to realise that all systems blend. If it were not so, one facet would increase to the detriment of all others. Take rainfall as an example; if the amount of evaporation did not equal the amount of condensation and precipitation, then all growth would cease. On the other hand, if the amount of evaporation exceeded the amount of precipitation, all life would suffocate as the amount of moisture would exceed the amount of air available to the lungs. In our forests, the amount of decomposition must equal the amount of matter reaching the forest floor or else the amount of debris reaching the floor would increase and Captain Cook would have discovered Islands many, many thousands of feet higher that they now are. Mother Nature in her wisdom has established a system whereby all things are equally tuned and in harmony one with each other. Rainfall equals evaporation, decomposition equals leaf fall and the amount of oxygen consumed equals the amount produced through photosynthesis. All in harmony enter vested interest, out goes logic and in comes greed, never a good mix. If we were to drive a car from point A to point B at say 50kms an hour average, we would achieve a fairly average result in fuel consumption. Now we put our son behind the wheel of the same auto and run the same distance at three times the speed and he dose not make the journey or if he

does, he arrives using three times as much fuel –energy. Now let us paint the same picture using modern agriculture as the scenario: A farmer plants a crop, be that grass, corn, oats or trees. He applies the fertilisers to blend with Mother Nature’s dictate and he achieves a profitable crop, which returns him a sustainable income and a continuing sustainable farm. Then a salesman enters the gate and convinces him he can increase the crop return by applying more artificial nitrogen and more phosphate. All goes well for a period and the farmer feels he has made the right move. Unfortunately, our sojourn on this planet is too short for one to assess the error of our ways. We have no benchmark to measure our mistakes by and are thus lulled into a sense of false security, blindly charging on into a certain final abyss. A fine example of this is now evident in the ever-growing problem we have with drinkable water, polluted soils, contaminated lakes and the massive areas of oceans no longer able to support life. In our New Zealand oceans alone there are some 200,000 square kilometres of oceans that are dead, Ref: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ dead_zone_(ecology)

What can you do as farmers?

First, re-establish the natural nitrogen cycle. Actually, that’s not as hard as it may seem and the results will astound you. The cost may be no more than what it is costing you now and the benefits will always outweigh the cost. For nitrogen to become available, certain soil conditions must be present. Incidentally, those same conditions suit bacteria and all other plant systems, including the

elements essential to growth and metabolism. When man thinks he can hasten up the processes of nature by applying N outside its ‘normal’ cycle, the plant will respond, but the compounds necessary for plant and stock health will be curtailed. The net result will be the accumulation of toxic substances – both to the plant and the animals consuming them. Bacteria are required to convert soil ammonia to plant available nitrate. The application of nitrification inhibitors – substances that limit the function of bacteria required for this conversion – is a very foolish science. Nature never tolerates limits being placed on her. If we take this approach, we will reap the rewards of our actions and Mother Nature will kick back with vengeance, mark my word. Work on nitrogen, conducted by the Soil Science Society of America – of which I am a member – reported the results of grain yields in corn grown in the State of Illinois; the trial revealed there was no visible difference between zero and 235kg N ha-1. Grain yields were slightly lower for the check plot, but there was no significant difference between 34 and 235kg N ha-1. This study – published in the January/ February issue 2006 – offers a soil-based alternative to yield-based nitrogen fertiliser recommendations developed in the 1970s. The authors believe this new approach will benefit crop yields, the environment and the bottom line for farmers. As corn – maize – is just a tropical grass, alarm bells should be ringing in the heads of all grass growers. However, the danger of the use of N to stimulate plant growth is more sinister than this would suggest. If we accelerate any system, we do so at our peril. Nature abhors an imbalance, in fact she will do her best to nullify it at all cost, even getting rid of man if needs be. The use of more energy requires the use of more fuel to produce that energy. Newton’s third law of motion, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” By Peter J Lester

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COAST & COUNTRY

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COUNTRY LIVING

Coast & Country

Look after your cartilage What do fat, cartilage, bone and blood have in common? Surprisingly they are all classified as connective tissue.

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The connective tissue that causes us the most grief is the cartilage – in the discs of our vertebrae and the padding in our knees and hips. The main purpose of cartilage is to prevent bone-on-bone

contact, while providing cushioning and support for the joint. Cartilage is a matting of fibrous tissue generated by cells called chondrocytes. These specialised cells are responsible for forming and holding the cartilage matrix together, including the collagen fibres that provide cartilage with its strength and cushioning ability. Though cartilage is very tough, its major weakness is it takes a long time to repair if damaged by accidents or disease such as osteoarthritis. If the damage is caused by free radical damage to joint cells, this can cause osteoarthritis which is a little like cartilage rust – slow at first, but eventually can thin cartilage to where bones contact

bone – and yes it hurts! The slowness of repair is caused by there being relatively few cartilage forming cells and the lack of direct blood supply. Cartilage is very susceptible to unwanted inflammation. The “itis” in “arthritis” just means inflammation. When cartilage is damaged through trauma or disease, white blood cells in cartilage increase the production of various inflammatory chemicals. This is the first stage of healing and is needed before tissue starts to regrow. The weakness with this system is when the problem is one the body cannot fix – leading to a permanent state of inflammation. For those who like to adopt natural health solutions, there are

many compounds that are really beneficial to protect and heal cartilage. Firstly, cartilage needs to be protected from corrosion caused by free radicals damaging joint cells, causing thinning of cartilage. All the antioxidants play a role, but the compounds found in grape seeds, acai berries and turmeric reign supreme – as these have an additional anti-inflammatory function. Other important compounds are the Omega 3 fats EPA and DHA from oily fish and glucosamine and MSM. The real trick of course is to get these in the right doses and right combinations. If your cartilages are groaning, they just may be sending you a nutritional SOS.

New season re-vamp for Spring Home Show A new generation home and lifestyle event for the Tauranga region is the first expo to take place in the new $40 million TECT Arena at Baypark. The HIS & HERS Home & Leisure Expo is the Bay of Plenty and Tauranga’s major springtime ‘lifestyle event’ for 2011. It is designed to deliberately coincide with the opening of the new TECT Arena. “The Home & Leisure Expo is a great way to help launch the new TECT Arena in September as it attracts a different audience to the usual sporting one,” says Baypark’s business manager Karen Gemmell. Local event organiser Graeme

Martin from Bay Events says the expo is Tauranga’s new Spring Home Show – with a focus on what spring does best. “Within the expo, there will be the ‘his world’ and ‘her world’ areas. These themed zones are designed ‘to keep him happy while she shops’ and ‘to keep her happy while he plays’.” His world has both an indoor and outdoor part to it, including; an outdoor go-kart track; classic cars on show; new season camping and outdoor products and ideas; a comprehensive range of the latest in new boats – just in time for the new

season on the water – and some swanky new cars from Farmer Auto Village and more. The heart of the HIS & HERS Home & Leisure Expo is the new Spring Home Show. There are also some great prizes including a Premiere Shower 1200 Range from Tauranga-based Premiere Showers worth $2500 and $1000 worth of curtains from Baystyle Interiors. In short, everything you and your ideal home lifestyle would want to consider, check out, taste or try and buy. Mark September 16-18 on the calendar for a great weekend.


COUNTRY LIVING

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Page 39

Winter draws on. Or does it? As we watched some magnolias flaunting their pink blooms the other day, a friend said to me “I think we’ve missed a season somewhere”. Certainly gardens seem all out of synch at present, not knowing whether to burst into leaf or prepare for more freezing storms. We shouldn’t complain, however, because the pasture hasn’t really stopped growing; although of course, one passes areas every day where herds have been penned up and not only have eaten every blade of grass, but then trampled the soil into a bog. My sharemilker neighbour must have used quite a bit of expensive petrol, as his ATV and motorbike seem to be whizzing up and down the long races day and night. But his pasture

spreading of causmag must get an AAA rating, as his cows get their new feed breaks dusted before every grazing. I had the springer mob in the paddock behind mine for four days and enjoyed trotting down in the mornings to count the new babies before the trailer arrived to take them to a warm dry shed, with the mums loping anxiously behind. Best count was ten at a time.

With limited acreage, I’ve had to be very careful to make sure I make small enough breaks to last the tribe until it grows again madly. My 27 bales of hay are rationed carefully, with the evening feeds doled out in plastic bins. The cows get two sections between them and the donkeys and goats have two bins with a section in each.

Snowy goat has the same tendency as my original goat Dodie; when the bins go out he attempts to cover both, while Lily waits on one side until he decides which one to persist with. Tulip donkey shares with Snowy and Tomas and Lily chew amicably together. The goats ignore electric fence tapes, so I haven’t bothered to turn them on for some weeks now. The donks and cows avoid them and when the donks think they need some extra they line up at the back gate and give me a stern eye. This way, they are keeping the lawns more or less controlled and they also wander down the wide berm and up the neighbour’s race looking for variety of diet. The cows may be perpetually hungry, but a little slimming won’t hurt them one bit. I even think the diet may have finally dried up Sally’s milk supply after her ten year lactation so that’s a bonus too. I’ve been dashing around the countryside of late, attending interesting conferences and having another go at being on the Country Channel programme which Mandi McLeod

chairs these days. Being a farming writer seems to be my best career to date, albeit it’s about my fifth.

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Alpacas converge in Bay of Plenty The annual Alpaca Association Expo, is in Tauranga this year at the Baypark Stadium. There will be more than 400 alpaca on display with large classes of animals ranging from six month old ‘cria’ – think lambs with long legs, big eyes and long eyelashes – through to gentle mothers – hembras – and the proud strutting stud males – machos. Like any smaller industry, the owners mostly know each other and there is fierce and friendly competition between them. There will be the dedicated specialists up from the South Island with their impressive mountain dwelling herds and the smaller lifestyle block holders with their carefully bred champion, in with a chance. The excitement of breeding a winner from a good buy and a better eye is a great motivation which spurs on breeders at all ends of the spectrum and greatly benefits the developing industry.

Fleece Competition

The fleece or fibre – we don’t call it wool – is shorn from the alpaca normally once a year after winter. Therefore a September/October expo is perfect for sharing the results of the best fleeces in New Zealand and these are also judged. The judges are looking for ‘handle’ – the softness and comfort factor which

lifts the product so far above the wool we are used to. They will measure the crimp – pattern of waviness in the fleece length – and assess the lustre or shine. All this is done anonymously and whether the winner is a bigger farmer, a lifestyler or a new entry breeder, it can be a thrill to see this irrefutable proof that the breeding programme is going well.

The end product

That’s not where it ends, however and there are a few breeders with sheds or spare bedrooms full of fibre, some of it very good quality, who want to know what to do with it. This year, the organisers of the expo have invited people who make things from the fibre to bring along examples of their work: Fine, lustrous and lacy shawls, elegant knitwear, as well as more robust work wear – warm working sweaters and thick stay up socks, felted goods from fashion items to the insides for toasty gumboots, knee blankets, cot blankets, floor rugs, to name but a few.

The support industry

The New Zealand primary industry is well supported by suppliers of advice, equipment, chemicals and veterinary services. Many are now appreciating the importance of the alpaca to the future of our farming economy and will be at

the expo in numbers at the trade stands. In addition to the more astute of the core agricultural providers, there are also specialist services for the alpaca industry. They have interesting tales to tell and some well-honed advice to share. Visit the Alpaca Expo 2011 and also go in the draw to win a fabulous 100% NZ made alpaca duvet. The Alpaca Expo 2011 is on Friday, September 30 to Sunday, October 2 at Baypark Stadium, Mountt Maunganui, Tauranga. For more information visit www.alpaca.org.nz By Jenny Durno

Visit the Alpaca Expo 2011 to see the developments in the industry and view New Zealand’s top alpaca and fleeces.

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COUNTRY LIVING

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Coast & Country

Timber homes everyone can afford Spot the difference? Skin Cancer is by far the most common cancer in New Zealand and here in the Bay, and the number of diagnosed cases continues to rise each year. Skin Cancer can be life threatening, specifically melanoma if not treated early, so ensure you receive the right analysis and treatment at an early stage. Call the Skin Centre today to arrange an examination.

Skin Cancer

171 Cameron Road, Tauranga Freephone: 0508 578 578 www.skincancercentre.co.nz

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Sunshine Homes has recently introduced a new range of affordable cabins and smaller homes under the name of Easycabins. Perfect for the beach, farm, retirement, office, school, rental, motor-camp, subdivision or lifestyle block. Sunshine Homes and Easycabins are available from their Waikato and Bay of Plenty agents Ken and Judi Brown. More people now buy a Sunshine home than any other type of low cost, solid timber home in New Zealand. Sunshine Homes’ aim from the very first home – built more than 20 years and thousands of houses ago – has always remained the

Natural timber interior – the heart of each Sunshine home. same; to build houses that are interior walls, smart, low maintegreat to live in, that really last and nance weatherboards, protective that everyone can afford. roof eaves, sturdy treated timber Their popularity owes much frame, snug, energy saving insulato the many features included in tion, double-glazed windows and each home: solid native timber smoke free alarms.

Protect your skin from the sun The ozone layer is shrinking, the rates of skin cancer are rising and you can still recall the blistering sunburns you had as a kid or those deep dark tans you – regrettably – worked so hard on as a teen. But does that mean your skin is doomed and there is little point in continuing to protect it from the sun? Absolutely not. “Careful sun avoidance and safe sun practices at any age can greatly reduce your risk,” says Skin Centre Dermatologist Dr Paul Salmon. Nearly 80 per cent of your lifetime sun exposure happens after the age of 18 – so it’s still vitally important to protect yourself from the sun and the havoc it wreaks on your skin. What’s more, new research shows what you consume and how you treat the damage can help further safeguard your body’s largest organ. The bonus: The steps you take to ward off skin cancer also fight wrinkles and other signs of aging. Take action today.

Avoid the sun

Avoiding the sun as much as possible is unquestionably the most effective way to prevent both potentially fatal melanomas and other, less dangerous, but still serious, skin cancers. Ultraviolet light generates free radicals – highly charged molecules that damage cells and DNA and suppress the cancer-fighting immune system. Experts recommend seeking the shade, heading to the pool or beach in the late afternoon rather than midday when the sun is strongest, sporting a broad

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brim hat and long sleeves and wearing sunscreen – a lot of it! Most people use way too little sunscreen says Paul. “If you’re applying it to your face, neck and arms, you need two teaspoons.” For your entire body, use at least a shot glass full. Even more if you’re out in the sun longer than two hours and reapplying after swimming and sweating. Studies show people tend to use one-quarter to onehalf of the recommended amount, turning that SPF 30 into a 10.

Read the labels

Buy a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and broadspectrum coverage and check for these ingredients: avobenzone, mexoryl, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. When you’re not planning to be out for extended periods, you still should wear an all-day moisturizer with a sunscreen. While you always need sunscreen on exposed skin, ultraviolet protection factor clothing can protect the rest of your body. “There’s no chance you’ll miss a spot.” Look for UPF clothing with a rating of at least 30 – a typical cotton T-shirt has a UPF of 5.

Monitor your skin

Monitor your skin, checking for new and changing moles and skin lesions. Check your skin regularly and make a full body skin check with your doctor today where you will be advised on the best protection and treatment you can offer your skin. You can manage the damage your skin has endured when you were young by ensuring you identify skin cancer early and treat it appropriately and definitively the first time.


COUNTRY LIVING

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Colours and prints in fashion Tunics are here to stay, patterns are back and the usual abundance of bold colours are adorning spring and summer wardrobes around the Bay says Jahlia from Hilary Pointon fashion.

As the spring and summer season approaches, Jahlia says colour and prints are a big part of this seasons’ fashion. “There are a lot of natural fabrics such as cotton and linen, lots of neutral colours as well as the tropical bright hot pinks, reds and tangerines. “Prints are back this season with

bold mixed prints, animal and natureinspired prints and stripes, matching different fabrics with textures. There is a real Boho feel to the spring summer look.” Jahlia says there is still room to “mix them up and give garments a personal touch”, with tunics and skinny leg pants still a big trend setting. “Slim look pants go great with midthigh length tunics. New Zealand

women love tunics. “We also have relaxed pants and dresses, so the garments have a relaxed, but elegant, chic look.” While most trends are hot off overseas catwalks, Jahlia says the trends are heavily influenced about what works best for the Kiwi woman. “Ladies love the tunics and so we keep that in New Zealand because it works.”

Cost cloud over dairy farming Dairy farming has hit an all time high and that’s just as well for New Zealand. The country needs it to keep succeeding. A number of factors have contributed to its immense success. The most important has been the huge growth in global demand for dairy products. Each year that demand is growing by more than the combined milk output of New Zealand and Australia. It is happening in developed countries as much as in developing countries, due to a combination of growth in population and even more importantly – growth in wealth. Two other factors have contributed: Firstly, we now enjoy vastly superior access to overseas markets thanks to successive governments

negotiating free trade agreements. Secondly, dairy farmers insisted on concentrating resources in a single firm, Fonterra. So are there any clouds on the horizon? Yes – one. That cloud is the industry’s insistence that farmers focus on cost, not profit. The cost focus derives from the fact that a dairy farmer relies on a processor to do something worthy with their milk and that all they can personally focus on is expenditure. Not quite. A profit focus would see farmers assess the marginal cost of ‘supplementary’ feeds; the marginal cost of a Herd Homes animal housing system; the absolute cost

of making animal welfare – body condition score – the free floating variable in a farming system – and so on. A focus on profit and beneath this productivity is way, way overdue in the dairy industry because with this focus comes more efficient nutrient management, improved animal health, improved animal welfare and lower – if chosen – stocking densities. These are truly significant, additional benefits. Of course the sheep industry will rejoice if dairy farmers remain focused on cost. Lambs are now selling for $8kg paddock weight; the same as milk actually. When strong wool kicks in – and it will – then what? Then there will be a true competition for land use again and everyone will benefit from that, farmers included.

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COUNTRY LIVING

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Coast & Country

Build a better relationship with your bank During the days of easy credit, power shifted Farmers were signing up properties unconditionally and then telling their bankers to get from the banker to the farmers. If your own bank said no to an ‘out there’ application, you only had to call up the bank with a different colour and they would invariably approve the loan.

it sorted. Well – those days are over. The power has moved back to the banks and they sure are using it. We now need to consider the situation from the bankers’ point of view. Having been a rural banker from 1970 to 1975, then involved in finance for the last 15 years, I can speak with some perspective here. Along the way I have also seen what not to do and how to really annoy your banker.

New regime

Under the new regime, banks require copies of your profit and loss accounts early. They need to see you are showing a profit, that you can handle your business and that your assets are much greater than your liabilities. So, a few pointers: • Communicate, communicate, communicate with your banker; call up your banker

and have a coffee, tell him what is happening on your farm and in your business. • Ask him if there are things that he can see that need improvement. Remember, he should know your business and have good ideas. • They are not interested in excuses, they want results. • Get your Profit and Loss Balance sheets out as soon as possible and get a copy sent direct to your bank manager.

Professional meeting

Call a ‘professional meeting’ of your solicitor, accountant, trustees, partners and bankers. Put up an agenda and work through the governance issues. For example: - Employment contracts - Trusts - Lease documentation - Projected budget - Analysis of previous results

- Debt reduction - Succession Never, never call up your banker when you are having a bad day and ‘chew’ his or her ear. Get and keep control of personal drawings. Talk about profit, not asset acquisition and capital gain. In summary; we all need to build a better relationship with our banker. Remember ‘he who has the money, calls the shots’. Make some time and effort to achieve this and the rewards are yours. Also realise, he or she will influence your interest rate. These are the opinions of Don Fraser of Fraser Farm Finance. Any decisions made should not be based on this article alone and appropriate professional assistance should be sought.

Waikato lifestyle subdivisions getting bigger

F QUOREE TES!

Bulk r e Fertiliz

As the Waikato District Council gets close to announcing its final decision on new rural subdivision rules, it is clear they haven’t reacted at all to the many submissions requesting the status quo or other ideas. Hearings were held last week on Waikato’s proposal to reduce the overall number of lifestyle blocks being subdivided and make them much larger. In their planning report, responding to the many submissions, they held tight to their idea that a new lifestyle block should be at least 1.6 hectares. Currently it is common for sections to be about 5000Sqm. They are also limiting subdivisions to one additional lot per block, where you

have at least 6ha and a qualifying date of title. In my opinion, this strategy will take much more land out of ‘production’ by forcing lifestylers to have a larger block. Council documents promote the larger blocks on the basis that it will ensure rural land uses and open landscapes so that “residents will experience a degree of rural life”. I believe it will create unwanted land and lead to many untidy blocks producing weeds if the land is not leased back to the neighbours. Another issue with the current proposal is lifestyle blocks will be forced further out onto the larger, more productive blocks – creating more potential for complaints against the effects from large scale farming. Longer trips into town also result from this population spread, contributing to the danger on narrow rural roads and ultimately climate change. Since there is an obvious need for lifestyle blocks in the rural zone and we need to manage the highly productive farm land, I believe council must consider allowing subdivision to intensify nearer to Hamilton, where the employ-

ment opportunities are. Or on lower class land where roads can be upgraded to provide safe access to towns. Many properties exist nearer Hamilton that have already had their productive capacity curtailed by subdivision and these could be further subdivided to provide the opportunity for rural living in order to protect the larger blocks further out. Many other local councils allow lifestyle subdivision on lower class soils, whilst limiting lot sizes on the productive land to an area which they believe can accommodate a sustainable operation. This may be 4-6ha on land suitable for horticulture and perhaps 40ha for pastoral uses. In Waikato District, any subdivision other than a lifestyle subdivision on a complying lot becomes a ‘non-complying’ activity. There is little time left to apply for subdivision under the old rules that allowed two lifestyle blocks – so if you are interested to find out how the changes may affect you, give me a call. Brent Trail, Managing Director of Surveying Services, specialises in resource consent applications for subdivisions across the Waikato and Bay of Plenty.


COUNTRY LIVING

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Self discipline in the workplace When your employees exercise self discipline the need for managerial intervention or discipline imposed externally is minimised. Managers get more time to spend on more constructive tasks such as encouraging, training and developing their employees. More time is also spent on production rather than managing staff. There are some simple steps you can do to create an environment in which your staff practice self-discipline: • Make sure your employees understand what is expected of them. Ensure you have clear job descriptions and employment agreements. Be firm and consistent with limits in the workplace. • Lead by example. There is nothing more motivating than an impressive leader to emulate. • Ensure your staff feel safe. Do not simply fire staff or restructure staff if mistakes are made. Such behaviour results in fearful employees that then hide mistakes that may have a significant detrimental impact on your organisation. • f you see self discipline in action, reward the individual in a way important to that

• •

• •

individual, eg training, attention, time off etcetera. Spend time meeting with staff on a regular basis. Everyone likes attention. Ensure your policies and procedures are available for all staff. Consult over new policies. Enforce policies fairly and consistently. Keep policies to a minimum; just implement those needed to ensure an ordered, fair and consistent work environment. Provide good training. Especially for new employees and when introducing a new work process. Know what is going on with those who report to you. Encour-

age your team to develop to their potential and encourage open communication with your staff. • Treat your staff

like adults. Treat your staff with respect. Most employees want more than their pay; they want to feel as though they are contributing to something greater than themselves. The best places to work are those that promote individual and group success and foster their employees self esteem. • Encourage new ideas and make sure employees feel safe if their new idea does not work out. • If you have any employment queries you would like assistance with, please email wendy@ employmentlawservices.co.nz This article is intended as a point of reference and should not be relied on as a substitute for professional advice. Specialist advice should always be sought in relation to any particular circumstances and no liability will be accepted for any losses incurred by those relying solely on this article.

Collegiate programme for outdoor education St Paul’s Collegiate has a New Zealand-first programme starting in 2012 targeted at male students interested in outdoor education.

The Tihoi Outdoor Leadership Academy at St Paul’s Collegiate School is a unique opportunity for Year 13 students to fully embrace outdoor education while continuing to do their academic studies. The students get to go ‘flatting’ to learn life skills, while undertaking outdoor pursuit training in between academic classes.

Essential skills

St Paul’s students have a unique opportunity, learning in the outdoors.

The year-long programme operates from the St Paul’s outdoor education campus, Tihoi Venture School, on the Western bays of Lake Taupo. The academy caters for a minimum of eight male students, with two dedicated staff, who live and work on-site. The academy incorporates a range of outdoor pursuits, academic classes, leadership development initiatives and implementation of a personal fitness regime. While on-site, students live in a five-bedroom house in a flatting arrangement. All day-to-day requirements of running a household are the students’ responsibility; including cooking, cleaning, shopping and budgeting. Each student is expected to plan,

shop and cook for one day every fortnight. In each fortnightly rotation; students have seven days in a classroom-based environment, four days of outdoor pursuit training and three days leave to return home. Pursuit-based activities include kayaking, rock climbing, alpine, tramping, sea kayaking, canoeing and caving. The training is aimed at providing an opportunity for personal and leadership development.

Qualifications achieved

Students can achieve several qualifications including: NCEA level three with standards in Physical Education, English, Science and History; National Certificate in Outdoor Recreation – Leadership, level three; National Awards in Outdoor Activity Supervision – level three – and Outdoor Experiences – level two. In addition to these qualifications, students also take part in courses to complete: Gold or Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award; Outdoor First Aid; Day Skippers Certificate; Bronze Medallion; and Marine VHF Operator’s Licence.

New - Year 13 Outdoor Education Programme in the North Island The Tihoi Outdoor Leadership Academy (TOLA) has been established to provide Year 13 students with an opportunity to develop their academic and leadership skills in an intensive outdoor residential experience while living in a ‘flatting’ environment.

• Is your son currently in Year 12 and interested in outdoor education?

The Academy is a year-long programme operating from the St Paul’s outdoor education campus, Tihoi Venture School on the Western Bays of Lake Taupo. The TOLA programme is unique in its ability to offer secondary based qualifications alongside recognised outdoor industry certification.

• Is he motivated to achieve University Entrance but unsure about what he wants to do?

The Academy caters for a minimum of eight male students with two dedicated staff providing a small group environment where experiential learning is emphasised.

• Is he a hands-on learner?

• Is he independent, and will he benefit from living and learning in a supported flatting situation?

Enquire about our unique Tihoi Outdoor Leadership Academy for Year 13 Students in 2012.

Call Cyn: 07 372 8416 • Email: tola@stpauls.school.nz • web: www.stpauls.school.nz


Page 44

RETIREMENT

Coast & Country

A farmer without a workshop Tauranga’s full of retired farmers who can find themselves at a loose end after moving off their farms.

Ernie Haskell left, John Whitcombe, Dave Harper and John Bardin at the Mens’ Shed.

They miss the open spaces and there’s no shed or workshop. It’s a lack that creates a trap for the recently retired and led to the establishment of The Men’s Shed in Tauranga. It provides a workshop, materials and tools for people who still can work, but are unable to for reasons other than health. As a retirement mecca, Tauranga has the country’s highest proportion of men aged over 60. Many have moved to the Bay in retirement, leaving behind their sheds, home workshops and often their tools as well. The shed was set up in early 2010 and went public in July because of the demand. Occupational therapist at Tauranga Hospital’s outreach service Celine Dippie began the service with

Dave Harper as tutor in a shed at the Tauranga Historic Village. “They retire to the Mount and then find themselves sitting around twiddling their thumbs,” says Celine. “They are used to working and then a couple of years after retiring, they get bored.” There is a major problem with depression in old men, a high suicide rate, and they don’t talk about it says Celine. The Mens’ Shed reduces the social isolation, provides the men with meaning and purpose and uses their skills in a productive and beneficial manner. The shed’s success saw tutor Dave Harper become one of three finalists for the Senior New Zealander Of The Year. He was presented with his award at a ceremony in Auckland in February. Contact is through the Tauranga Charitable Trust office at the historic village – or see Dave at the shed. By Andrew Campbell


RETIREMENT

PH 07 578 0030

Page 45

Residents and family enjoying the midwinter Christmas dinner.

It’s all about attitude How many times have I heard the words; “I’m just not ready yet” and my response is “what is it that you are you not ready for?”

Many people still consider retirement villages to be ‘old folks’ homes’ or a rest home – with the association meaning a loss of independence, freedom and purpose. This is not so at Althorp – here we are all about independent living. Why would you move into this lifestyle environment? Eventually, most of you will want or need to downsize and enjoy a lifestyle where you can live in an attractive

apartment or a sunny one, two or three bedroom home. At Althorp, your lawns, garden and home maintenance is done for you. Althorp offers you a lifestyle that is part of a welcoming community – where friendships are here to be made and a place where family and friends are welcome to share the facilities with you. You won’t feel you could become a burden on your children or friends – you’ll be happy knowing you won’t need to rely on them and they will be happy knowing you are living a busy lifestyle and are enjoying a wide range of activities. Friday night is happy hour; where you can socialise, catch up

A couple was celebrating their golden wedding anniversary on the beaches in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Their domestic tranquility had long been the talk of the town. People would say, 'What a peaceful & loving couple'. The local newspaper reporter was inquiring as to the secret of their long and happy marriage. The Husband replied: 'Well, it dates back to our honeymoon in America ,' explained the man. 'We visited the Grand Canyon, in Arizona, and took a trip down to the bottom of the canyon, by horse. We hadn't gone too far when my wife's horse stumbled and she almost fell off. My wife looked down at the horse and quietly said, 'That's once.' 'We proceeded a little further and her horse stumbled again. Again my wife quietly said, 'That's twice.' We hadn't gone a half-mile when the horse stumbled for the third time my wife quietly removed a revolver from her purse and shot the horse dead. I SHOUTED at her, 'What's wrong with you, Woman! Why did you shoot the poor animal like that, are you freaking crazy?' She looked at me, and quietly said, 'That's once.' And from that moment ... we have lived happily ever after.'

with friends or enjoy a delicious two-course dinner for only seven dollars. Our Christian Fellowship group run a great shop with all the grocery essentials and a great range of giftware for your shopping convenience. The village bus takes you to the supermarket, shopping, restaurants, shows or out with the walking group. Think about how fulfilling your life is right now – and how much more you could have at Althorp. Althorp on Grantston Drive, Pyes Pa, Tauranga is open daily from 10am to 4pm. By Claire Neshat, Althorp manager


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Coast & Country

Te Poi Discussion Group 8/09/2011, 11:00-1pm, James Barron, 83 Rangitanuku Rd, SN 77354 Kereone Discussion Group 14/09/2011, 11:00-1:30, Brian Jackson 249 Pakarau Road, SN 76878 Richmond Downs Farm System Group Steve Ironmonger on Grant Wills farm

The following events are organised by DairyNZ. For more information visit www.dairynz.co.nz

Whenuakite. SN 75547. For more information contact: Duncan Smeaton, Phone: 021 245 8055, Email: duncan.smeaton@ dairynz.co.nz

Hauraki Ladies Group

21/09/2011, 7.30pm, Turua Hall, Hauraki Road, Turua. Topic: Self improvement- managing time and stress Speaker: Robyn Pearce from getting a grip on time.

North Waikato Biz Grow Group

15/09/2011, 11:00-1pm. 81 Paratu Rd, SN 76933. For more information contact: Dave Swney, Consulting Officer Matamata/Kereone. Phone: 027 474 3258 Email: david.swney@dairynz.co.nz

23/09/2011, 10:30am-1:30pm, Barkers Function Centre, Ngutumanga Road, Waihou. For more information contact: Murray Perks, Phone: 021 242 2127 Email: murray.perks@dairynz.co.nz

Whangamata - Hikuai Discussion Group

Maihiihi Discussion Group

14/09/2011, 11am to 1.30pm, Kennard's farm, 2589 Tairua Road, Hikuai. SN 75554.

20/09/2011, 11:00am -2:00pm, Farm managed by Kane Christianson, 543 Paewhenua Road, Maihiihi SN OCC196 Contact: Sarah Dirks, Consulting Officer, Otorohanga, Phone: 021 770859, Email: sarah.dirks@dairynz.co.nz

Whenuakite Discussion Group

28/09/2011, 11am to 1.30pm, McGovern's farm, 42 Boat Harbour Road,

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A FANTASTIC 3 bedroom home, warm and cosy with a fireplace and full insulation. Fenced on a 716m2 section, situated within easy walking distance to Brookfield shops, schools, parks. Separate single garage with power. Located in a quiet cul-de sac in a great neighbourhood. Only $330,000 please phone Kathy on 027 211 9193 LIFESTYLE BLOCK for sale at Pikowai within easy commuting to Tauranga, Te Puke & Whakatane. Four bdrm brick home. Beautiful sea and rural views. Six acres grazing land, horse pens, heaps of shedding, butchery and chiller. S/garage with sleepout/office. Big games room or can be converted to extra double garage, chook house, drenching race for the cattle. 11.5x4.5 metre in ground swimming pool fully decked and fenced. A beautiful home and comes with a share in the community woolshed, tennis courts and cattle yards. Own water scheme. $550,000. URGENT SALE. Ph 027 281 74279

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COAST & COUNTRY

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open forum that utilises the experiences of all members within the group. We will be discussing mating management and the host farm. Ph Dave Swney 027 474 3258 or email: david.swney@dairynz.co.nz

Wednesday 14 September Thursday 1 September Parawera Discussion Group

At Richmond Downs Diary, managed by Paul Johnson, 448 Arapuni Road, Te Awamutu SN74185 11am – 1.30pm. This has been Paul’s easiest calving season on the farm yet, what have the keys to making the spring easier to manage? What are the farm’s strategies to prepare for a successful mating and how is the early season mastitis being managed? Lunch supplied by RD1. Ph Sarah 021 770 859 or email: sarah. dirks@dairynz.co.nz

Monday 5 September Cambridge Discussion Group

Kereone Discussion Group

At Briar Jackson’s, 249 Pakarau Road, SN76878 11am – 1pm. This group discusses and investigates the farm system on the host farm. Ph Dave 027 474 3258 or email: david.swney@dairynz.co.nz

BOP Focus on Dairying Spring Field Day

Te Awamutu Pasture Plus

At Numan’s Farm, 1178 Roto-o-Rangi Road, Te Awamutu SN73870 10.30am – 2pm. Keeping Quality is the focus of this module. We will look at identifying and dealing with surplus, residuals, rotation length, frequency and intensity of grazing and using a feed wedge. Ph John 0274 750 918 or email: john.vosper@dairynz.co.nz

Thursday 8 September KioKio Discussion Group

At The Sykshoorn’s Farm, 1468 State Highway 3, Otorohanga SN74401 11am – 1.30pm. Spring grass growth is slow and pasture covers are lower than we’d like. How is feed being managed so that cow body condition is minimised and limits risk for the mating season? Ph Sarah 021 770 859 or email: sarah.dirks@dairynz.co.nz

Te Poi Discussion Group

At James Barron’s, 83 Rangitanuku Rd, SN 77354 11am – 1pm. The group discusses and investigates the farm system on the host farm. Discussion on current issues and upcoming seasonal topics. An

To list your rural event please email: julie@thesun.co.nz with Rural Event in the subject heading.

Hosted by Jess Hoogeveen and Mike Keen, 150 Pond Road, Hinuera, off SH29, SN77554 11.30am – 1.30pm. Keeping Quality is the focus of this module. Bring along your lunch and feed wedge. Ph Amy 0274 832 205 or email: amy.johnson@ dairynz.co.nz

Whangamata – Hikuai Discussion Group

Maihiihi Discusssion Group

At Richard and Creina James, 147b State Highway 2, Matata SN 21700 10.45am – 1pm. Come along and join the BOP Focus Farm team for the Spring field day. Topics include summer cropping, spring management & mating management. Ph Cameron 027 288 8238 or email: Cameron.bierre@ dairynz.co.nz

At MGovern’s farm, 42 Boat Harbour Road, Whenuakite SN75547 11am – 1.30pm. Use the power of the group to collectively solve on-farm issues and seasonal queries. Ph Duncan 021 245 8055 or email: duncan.smeaton@ dairynz.co.nz

Putaruru Pasture Plus

Tuesday 6 September

Wednesday 7 September

Whenuakite Discussion Group

At Tokoroa Club, upstairs, Chambers St, Tokoroa 7pm. Anyone interested in joining come along. New and old members welcome. Ph Casey 027 213 0043 or email: casey@youngfarmers.co.nz

At Kennard’s farm, 2589 Tairua Road, Hikuai SN75554 11am – 1.30pm. Use the power of the group to collectively solve on-farm issues and seasonal queries. Ph Duncan 021 245 8055 or email: duncan. smeaton@dairynz.co.nz

At Farm sharemilked by Mike and Sue Visser, 434 Ngahape Road, Te Awamutu SN 74513 11am – 1.30pm. The Vissers have been sharemilking on the Ngahape Road for over 10 years and now have over 1000 cows and winter milking using their feed pad. How are Mike and Sue managing their team and the herd to reach their goals and have a rewarding career? Lunch supplied by RD1. Ph Sarah 021 770 859 or email: sarah.dirks@dairynz.co.nz

Page 47 Wednesday 28 September

South Waikato Young Farmers AGM

At Speake’s farm, 3311 Cambridge Road, SN73913 11am – 1.30pm. Join us at the Speake’s farm, catch up on how calving has gone in the district and discuss the main issues that we’re facing. A great opportunity to meet other farmers if you’re new to the community. Ph John 0274 750 918 or email: john.vosper@dairynz.co.nz

Otorohanga North Discussion Group

are one of the few farms in the area with wintering barns, although there are benefits of having them they also create their own challenges. Come along and find out how the system is managed and what the plan is to reach their production and pasture harvested targets for this season. Mating is the next task on the schedule, how will they manage to achieve reproductive success? Ph Sarah 021 770 859 or email: sarah.dirks@dairynz.co.nz

Tuesday 20 September At Farm managed by Kane Christianson, 543 Paewhenua Road, Maihiihi SNOCC196 11am – 2pm. Making the Most of Mating. Last season’s mating performance wasn’t ideal for the area so let’s make sure that no opportunities are missed this season. Ph Sarah 021 770 859 or email: sarah.dirks@dairynz.co.nz

Wednesday 21 September Hauraki Ladies Group

At Turua Hall, Hauraki Road, Turua 7.30pm. This discussion group is open to any women involved in dairying or dairy related agri-business. Topic: self improvement – managing time and stress. Speaker: Robyn Pearce from getting a grip on time. Ph Murray 021 242 2127 or email: murray. perks@dairynz.co.nz

Thursday 22 September Putaruru Biz Start

At Plaza Theatre Putaruru, 59 Kensington St, Putaruru 11am – 1pm. Goal setting: Identify your key values and develop your own long term goals. Ph Amy 0274 832 205 or email: amy.johnson@dairynz.co.nz

For just $44,990* you could be driving a new Falcon XR6, complete with 6-speed transmission, 17” alloys and sports body kit. You wouldn’t want to miss out on that. Visit your Ford Dealer today.

Tuesday 27 September

*Price shown excludes on road costs. Offer available until March 31, 2011.

Otorohanga South Discussion Group

At Neil and Rosemary Muller’s property, 486 Mangawhere Road, RD5, Otorohanga SN74862 11am – 1.30pm. The Muller’s

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COAST & COUNTRY

Page 48

Coast & Country

WIN

NER

William at five months hanging in the killing house with the head of the stag dad got the night before. Lydia Wood of Tolaga Bay.

My son Ethan wouldn’t let go of this one. Carla Perrett of Te Awamutu.

        

up Prize Pack ! s b ra G for d (high

Trev had a big day in the office. Diane Seymour of Matamata.

ails can be emaile Pictures and det un.co.nz to contest@thes resolution jpgs) ast & or posted to Co ra” me Ca try “Coun Please x 240, Tauranga. Country, PO Bo one address and ph include a name, ry entry. numberwith eve

Leila and one of her new baby chickens. Nichola Ahlers of Hamilton.

Oscar Gilbert aged 15 months. We had to move our dogs into the back part of our section as the cows and calves were in the house paddock - it didn’t take my son long to discover water! Heather Gilbert of Oparau.

Jordan Johnston, 3, enjoys going on the farm with his dad and loves tractors as well as all farm machinery. We always practice and teach him about safety first. This sunny day, he was adamant he wasn’t going to be left behind and patiently waited for dad to finish his lunch. Venessa Shadrick of Waihi Beach.


Coast & Country -September