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INSIDE

Issue No. 152 Bay of Plenty & Waikato Farm, Orchard & Rural Lifestyle news

April ‘13

DAIRY AWARDS 4-8 TE KUITI 19 HUNT FISH EAT 22 RURAL DRIVER 25-27 HORTICULTURE 34-35 FERTILISER 38-39 COUNTRY LIVING 42-46 HOUSE & LANDSCAPE 47

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Nadine and Russell Meade 2013 Bay of Plenty Sharemilker/Equity Farmers of the Year with their ‘liquorice allsort’ coloured milking herd. See their story and that of other dairy award winners beginning on Page 4. Photo by Elaine Fisher.

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COAST & COUNTRY

Page 2

In appreciation of water

When the water tank at the top of the farm was nearing empty someone had to trudge to the far paddock where a clear spring fed a tiny stream. There, under a rudimentary shelter sat a sometimes co-operative small petrol motor, which, once urged into life, would pump the tank full again. On a fine day the task wasn’t a chore but was much less pleasant in wind, rain and mud. Having helped lay the many metres of piping from spring to tank and taking my turn at starting the pump meant I didn’t take water for granted. Few who live on the land do. Water is vital to the survival of their crops, pastures and animals which is why this summer’s drought has been so distressing. If predictions are right hot dry summers will become more frequent, and everyone, including townies, need to prepare. Estimates are that as little as three per cent of household water is used for drinking. The rest goes on cleaning, watering gardens and flushing toilets. That’s a pretty

awful waste of reticulated water which is treated to high drinking standards. A reduction in domestic use may mean there’s more available for farmers and orchardists on town supply when conditions get dry. This summer farms which had irrigation stood out starkly green from the brown around. In recognition of the value of irrigation, the government has established a company as a bridging investor for regional water infrastructure development (See story page 29). The Kapiti District Council is encouraging residents to install rainwater tanks for garden watering and flushing toilets which is a return to the way things used to be and what happens on many farms and orchards which aren’t on town water supply. The dairy industry is particularly pro-active at encouraging farmers to conserve and use water wisely, and DairyNZ has publications and runs Smart Water Use on Dairy Farm workshops. Climate change may mean other modifications to farming practices including building barns for shade in summer and shelter in winter for dairy herds – (See story page 6). It may also mean more supplementary feed for animals when

Can you remember the last time you did this? pastures dry out but as new Fonterra chairman John Wilson warns going away from pasture based production to higher inputs and cost structures risks reducing our competitive advantage. (See story page 18). Adapting to change be it climatic, economic or pest and disease driven is a reality for primary producers and the only thing that is a certainty is that By Elaine Fisher nothing is certain.

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COAST & COUNTRY

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Under-cover kiwifruit could be way of future and insect pests were likely to become an issue. However, there were significant advantages, including the ability to absolutely control the amount of water and nutrients plants received and in the case of persimmons, to produce early fruit, so achieving a premium in the markets. “One of the biggest benefits is that your workers come every day because weather is not an issue, and you can pick when you like.”

Hort16A vines appear to be thriving under the canopy over part of an orchard in Canon Rd near Katikati.

Growing Hort16A kiwifruit under cover appears to reduce the impacts of Psa-V and growers in regions currently free of the disease should seriously consider the option, believes Katikati grower John Holwerda.

John says if covering orchards means they can continue to produce Hort16A kiwifruit, even in a Psa-V environment, then the investment would be worthwhile. Hort 16A is a proven variety with excellent returns, even though it has little or no tolerance to the bacterial disease, he said. There was still some doubt about the new gold G3 He told a Zespri and John said he organised seminar did not like the on growing kiwiprospect of having fruit under canopies to replace and rethat the few regions plant vines on an which don’t have the on-going basis to disease risked repeatcope with Psa. ing the mistakes “We are in a fight made and suffering for our lives in this the financial impacts industry at the experienced by Bay moment and we of Plenty orchardists need a paradigm unless urgent action shift to survive.” was taken. John Holwerda (second left) believes growers whose While it is not Currently the orchards which are unaffected by Psa-V should consider entirely clear why growing regions of growing under covering them for protection against the disease. Whangaeri, North cover may reduce West Auckland, the incidence of Psa, it appears keeping the canopy dry Wanganui/Horowhenua and South Island are believed and protected from wind may be factors. free of Psa. The bacteria thrive in damp conditions and “Bay of Plenty growers have lost at least $2.5 is spread by wind. Similar studies of growing billion of equity and that’s affected everyone under cover are under way in Italy and kiwiinvolved with the industry including the fruit have been grown under cover for some post-harvest sector and other businesses which time in Korea. support the industry,” said John, who, with a Shane Max of Zespri’s Orchard Productivity partner, has covered part of a Hort16A gold Centre said work in Italy had shown orchard just north of Katikati. growing under cover could have a negaThe orchard, together with one in tive impact on dry matter development Tuapiro Road, also near Katikiati, and in summer but studies were on-going. Maungarangi Road at Paengaroa, are Geoff Peach who has been successbeing monitored by Plant & Food scienfully growing persimmons under cover tists. in the Waikato for 18 years told the Early indications are that there is less seminar growing under plastic will disease pressure from Psa on vines which require some significant changes in are covered than on adjacent, uncovered management practices, including pest vines. and disease control. The structure on the Canon Road He warned that while covering vines might help in orchard has a high, domed canopy and the sides and the battle against Psa, other diseases such as botrytis, ends are open to airflow, but not rain.

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COAST & COUNTRY

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Award winner’s shaky introduction to farming Five-year-old Russell Meade and his classmates huddled in sleeping bags as the 1987 Edgecumbe earthquake distorted and rocked the earth beneath them, in a paddock on the farm where he and wife Nadine are now award-winning sharemilkers.

“These older farmers don’t realise how much they know and it’s often stuff they can’t tell you but by working with them and watching what they do, you learn so much.” Nadine agrees: “It’s almost instinctive. Both Albie and Russell have the ability to tell when a cow’s about to calve, or is not right,” says Nadine, the city girl who never imagined herself living on a farm. “I never owned gumboots and was the girl on the geography trips who tip-toed round the cow poos.” By Elaine Fisher Today Nadine, who has a Bachelor of Management “It was a bit strange to realise I had that connection Studies with first class honours in supply chain and information systems, works full-time for Carter Holt with the farm when we got this job,” says Russell. Harvey and her management skills are pivotal to the “We had been playing in the front paddock when couple’s business success. our teacher felt the first tremor and called us all back “We believe the greatest strength that our business closer to the house. She made us get into our sleephas is our complementary skill set. This makes it ing bags and kept us calm. easy to align responsibilities and ensures “We’d been using a 200 litre drum that all aspects of our business are as a backstop for our game but attended to and are managed by after the quake no-one was the best person for the job.” ever able to find it. They I was the girl on the The couple plan to think it got swallowed up,” geography trips who continue to increase their says Russell. business equity growth and The 6.3 quake which tip-toed round the to reach their goal of farm struck on March 2 saw part cow poos ownership. of the property, owned by Nadine and Russell describe Barbara Sullivan, drop along their herd as looking like liquorice a fault line in the paddock where allsorts but each cow has been selected the children had been playing. for core attributes, including good udder But that past doesn’t worry the young couple who won the 2013 Bay of Plenty Sharemilker/Equity conformation and production. Russell, who does his own AB, is carefully breeding towards a more conFarmers of the Year title in March. sistent Kiwi-cross herd as he believes these animals “This farm is ideal for us at this stage in our farmare better suited to sharemilking because they can ing career as it’s relatively small,” says Russell, who adapt to flat or steeper pastures, while still yielding milks 220 cows on a 50/50 sharemilking basis for high production. Barbara on the 69ha property. The farm near Edgcumbe is basically flat and, Russell grew up at Waimana, where his father was sharemilking for 17 years, but his parents encouraged thanks to the earthquake, on two levels. The lower one tends to be wetter in winter and slower to dry him to try another career. He trained as a plasterer and worked in Whakatane before heading overseas to out in summer which is an advantage. It is one of the Rangitaiki Plains Dairy Company’s the USA and UK. When he returned, his father was whey farms with around half of the pasture irrigated looking for a farm worker. with whey from the plant nearby. “I jokingly said I’d go and give him a hand and he “The advantage is that we need no inputs on that said, ‘well, make up your mind, because I’m about to pasture, although the P levels can be quite high, start advertising’ so I said yes.” which can lead to metabolic issues for the cows, Russell says working with his father, Albie, taught which we manage by dosing with magnesium.” him a lot.

        

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COAST & COUNTRY

Whey reduces inputs ‘Liquorice allsorts’ are how Russell and Nadine describe their herd.

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Nadine and Russell Meade in the ‘low-tech’ highly efficient one-man dairy on the Edgecumbe farm where they are sharemilking. consider again, as it takes the pressure off Russell too.” Russell runs the farm and does all the milking, with the assistance of Denise Caulder, who rears the calves and helps out with milking while Russell takes care of the AB process. “Denise if fantastic and understands how important to us the calves are. We don’t scrimp on their rearing as they are our future,” says Nadine. The Edgecumbe earthquake is not the only disaster the farm has experienced. In the Whakatane floods of 2004-2005 the stopbank near the farm was breached and water submerged the cowshed to roof height. Today the original 16-a-side herringbone shed is still standing, and works well as a oneman unit. “We made a few improvements before we began milking, including installing a string track system,” laughs Russell, demonstrating how pulling a string opens

a drafting gate he installed for under $100. “This might be a low tech shed but we were grade-free last season,” says Nadine. This year is not the first time the couple have won a major dairy industry award. In 2010 while working for Peter and Barbara Laing on their Otakiri property, they won the Bay of Plenty Farm Manager of the Year title. It was this experience which encouraged them to enter the sharemilking, equity partnership category. Both say the awards process offers significant benefits, over and above the generous prize packages. “For one thing you get fantastic expert advice from the judges for free and you meet so many others in the industry.” Russell and Nadine hosted a field day on the property in late March and will now represent the Bay of Plenty at the national awards in May. By Elaine Fisher

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Fonterra carries out regular soil tests and manages all the irrigation, having 24-hour access to the property, especially during the factory’s peak production periods. The balance of the farm is irrigated with dairy shed effluent and this season a crop of maize has been planted as supplementary feed for the cows. The young stock are grazed off-farm on a run-off near Ohope. Despite the whey and dairy shed irrigation, and because of the severity of this summer’s drought, the herd went to once a day milking on February 3. “That was earlier than we had wanted but given the way the weather remained dry, it was a good move,” says Russell. Nadine says the cows, most of which came from a once-day-herd, took to the change in routine quickly and should be in good condition come calving. “We took longer to get used to it but it’s something we’d definitely


COAST & COUNTRY

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The new 4300 square metre loafing barn on Bruce and Judy Wood’s Edgecumbe farm was built to keep cows off pasture in winter, but farm manager Chris Mexted says it’s proved extremely valuable as a source of shelter during this summer’s drought. “The barn means cows are spending less time in the paddocks and more under the shade of the barn, where we can feed them supplements. They love it and are sometimes hard to move out,” says Chris, who is the 2013 Bay of Plenty Farm Manager of the Year. Bruce, who encouraged Chris to enter the awards and is delighted with his success, says even on still days there’s a breeze inside the barn and he believes its use has helped towards the farm’s 20 per cent rise in production this season. The barn, the roof of which was constructed by Aztech Buildings, was completed late last year, which proved very timely given how dry and hot the summer has been. An eight per cent increase in cow numbers (the herd is now 432) and irrigation have also contributed, as has the management of Chris, who has a Bachelor of Commerce in Agriculture from Lincoln. As part of his Lincoln studies, Chris spent time working on Bruce and Judy’s farm and when the farm manager left, was offered the full-time position.

Chris Mexted and his boss Bruce Wood are pleased the big new barn on the farm was completed in time to use this summer. Called Dreamfields, the 151ha farm is flat, prone to drying out in summer and getting very wet in winter. “The farm is 142ha effective, 75 ha irrigated from bore and the remaining area receives no irrigation,” says Chris, who is an avid user of rural professionals and advisers to help achieve his goals for improved farm performance. Cows have been spending four to five hours a day in the barn, relieving the pressure on pasture and reducing impacts of the heat on their production. The Jersey herd, which is fed palm kernel in the barn, is still milking twice a day in the adjacent 16-aside, double-cup shed with automatic cup removers and teat sprayers. This is Chris’ first full year in the industry and it’s been one of the driest in decades but that didn’t put him off entering the awards. “The best outcome or goal was to take the

The Jersey cows on Dreamfields Farm enjoy the barn so much it can take some effort to move them back to the pastures. top award but I was really interested in the dairy awards to challenge myself, progress, build reputation, have fun and network with other farmers and rural professionals.” There was never any doubt that dairy farming was what Chris wanted to do. Growing up on his parents’ dairy farm, just down the road from where he now works, gave Chris a love of the land and enjoyment in working with animals. He attended Edgecumbe Primary School and Trident High School in Whakatane before heading to Lincoln.

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COAST & COUNTRY

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Hoof-care win a bonus for sharemilkers A brand new Wrangler was among the prizes Russell and Nadine Meade received for winning the 2013 Bay of Plenty Sharemilker/ Equity Farmers of the Year. The couple, who farm near Edgecumbe, have up-graded the prize to a mobile Wrangler which Russell says will be invaluable both in the yards of the dairy, and for use out in the paddock, especially at calving. “A mobile unit is ideal for sharemilkers because it means to can be taken to other farms as they move on. We were very pleased that it was part of our prize package,” he says. Waverley and Wilco Klein Ovink who designed and manufacture the Wrangler specialist hoofcare range were delighted to meet the request for the up-grade because they know from personal experience how vital it is to have a safe and efficient way of dealing with lameness and other cow health issues. “The Wrangler was originally made for me, and I’m only 5 ft 2, so I could look after cows on my own and it can be operated by anyone which is important as there are a lot more women in dairies now and a number of women vets too,” says Waverley. Wilco’s design won an innovation award

them,” says Waverley. at the Mystery Creek Early treatment of Fieldays in 1995 and lameness can help since then the Wranprevent other health glers have become a problems developing, must have for anyone from poor condition building or extendto failure to get in ing a dairy. In those calf. “It’s in a cow’s situations it is incornature to hide its porated into the yard lameness because in design to become a the wild a lame animal permanent fixture. is more likely to be The Wranglers are targeted by a predator, designed to make so it’s possible for the it easy and safe Waverley and Wilco Klein Ovink problem to go undefor both cows and (far left and right) with 2013 Bay of farmers, to treat hoof Plenty Sharemilker/Equity Farmers of tected and lead to other issues.” It has been estiproblems while keeping the Year Nadine and Russell Meade at the awards ceremony where they mated each lame cow costs the cow up-right. Howreceived the voucher for the Wrangler. between $800 and $1200 ever, it can also be used in lost production, extra for calving, caesareans, labour, higher empty rates, and treatment liver biopsy, ear tagging or a range of other costs. “We are finding an increasing number procedures. of clients ordering a Wrangler because their “Farmers who have a Wrangler are more mates have told them they need one, or they likely to check a lame cow earlier because have worked in a dairy with a Wrangler and they don’t have to tie up her foot while she’s have ask their employers to install one,” in the shed and run the risk of the cow fallsays Waverley. ing and breaking her hip, or kicking out at

Enjoying the rewards

Chris Mexted is the 2013 Bay of Plenty Farm Manager of the Year. “I enjoy the flexibility, lifestyle, challenges and both personal and financial rewards that farming brings. It feels great to see a tanker load of milk drive out the gate knowing that your decisions have had an influence on the amount sent. Farming allows me to reach my goals while giving me the opportunity to compete in motorcycling and be a normal 23 year-old and spend time fishing and hunting with mates.”

The eventual aim is farm ownership but the next big step for Chris will be to sharemilking. He won $10,700 in prizes for taking the Bay of Plenty award and will now contest the national title in Wellington in May. Chris will host a field day on the Whakatane farm he manages on April 3. Further details about the field day can be found at: www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz

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COAST & COUNTRY

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Career change proves winner for Thomas Thomas Chatfield has made a dramatic career change and he’s loving it. By Elaine Fisher

The 27-year-old who won the 2013 Bay of Plenty Dairy Trainee of the Year Award, had previously spent four years studying hard to qualify as a physiotherapist. “I really like physiotherapy and have kept my registration current but I’m convinced dairying is what I want to do,” says Thomas, who was delighted with his win, especially given it’s his first season in the industry. Thomas grew up in Tauranga. After studying in Dunedin and Wellington, and working as a physio at Tauranga Hospital, he and partner Jody Mexted travelled overseas. When they returned, Jody worked on her parent’s dairy farm and Thomas became fascinated with farming. “I used to watch Jody in the shed and then started helping out and it just snowballed from there,” says

“In physiotherapy you learn to read a lot by how people move and that applies to cows too.”

No regrets – Thomas Chatfield is happy he made the switch from physiotherapy to dairy farming.

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Thomas, who is working for Rhys Watkins on his parents’ 500 cow Whakatane farm. Jody continues to milk for her parents and together the couple hope to progress to sharemilking and, one day, farm ownership. Thomas has taken a drop in income, farmed through one of the worst droughts in decades and put four years of study on the back-burner but doesn’t believe he’s made the wrong choice. “I love the lifestyle and working with the animals. As this is my first season, I don’t know what it’s like to farm in a ‘normal’

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year so anything which is better weatherwise than this one will be a bonus.” He’s also started study of another kind, this time with AgITO to gain farming qualification to help him progress in the industry. As part of his $4500 prize package, Thomas will join a tour of South Island farms, something he’s looking forward to. “It will be great to see what else is out there and how other farms, of different sizes, operate.” While he hasn’t given any cow massages

yet, Thomas reckons the observation skills he picked up while working as a physiotherapist come in handy in assessing the health of the herd. “In physiotherapy you learn to read a lot by how people move and that applies to cows too.” Thomas is impressed at how generous everyone in the dairy industry is in sharing knowledge and encouraging the next generation of farmers to succeed. “That’s something you don’t find in many other industries.”

Getting the best from agri-advisors Leave a gift to nature. Bequests can be made to “Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand Inc”. For more information on how to make a bequest contact: Fundraising Manager, Forest & Bird PO Box 631, Wellington Freephone: 0800 200 064

www.forestandbird.org.nz

The Dairy Women’s Network will work with hundreds of dairying women across the country in April, helping them to increase the return on their investment on rural professional advice. Dairy Women’s Network chief executive Sarah Speight said dairy farmers spend an average of $4,000 annually for advice from rural professionals and the Network wants to help ensure this is money well spent. “Dairying women and their partners want to get the best return possible on the money and time they are investing in rural professional advice. They want to see a demonstrable return on their operation’s bottom line – whether that’s in the short or long term - or it’s money down the drain. “Our April series of workshops will help dairying women understand how to get the best out of agri-business advisors and gain that valuable return. “To make sure you are getting the best value out of your invest-

ment it makes good sense to question how you are working with all your advisors to check that their advice is still aligned to your business goals. To do that well you need to understand the role of the advisor and know how to get your advisory team working together for your benefit.” The Bay of Plenty workshop is on Tuesday, April 9 at Ngongataha, Rotorua, and will be run by agri-business professionals and farmers Rebecca Warburton and Annabel Craw. Annabel says farmers need to think of business advisors as people they employ, and take control of the relationship. “Rather than waiting for the advisor to tell you where the opportunities lie in your business, know your business well and tell your professionals where the opportunities lie so they can help you take it to the next level. In the same way you would with your on-farm employees.” For more information about the Getting Value from Your Business Advisors Dairy Days visit www.dwn.co.nz or phone 0800 396 748. Bay of Plenty: April 9, Best Western Braeside Resort, 4 Barnard Road, Ngongataha, Rotorua.


COAST & COUNTRY

Page 9

Options - go alone or join a pool The annual supply agreement between Zespri, post-harvest operators and growers are signed. Each year the previous year’s supply operations are reviewed by Zespri, post-harvest operators and growers to see if there are improvements that can be made. These improvements are in turn, included in the next season’s supply agreement. What this article focuses on, is how growers contract to supply their fruit through to Zespri for sale in the off-shore markets. Future articles will look at other aspects of the supply agreement. Growers have two options to contract with Zespri: • Option A is when the grower contracts to supply Zespri, in most cases, through their supply entity or some similar structure. (A supply entity is a group of like-minded growers who pool their fruit and payments into one legal entity for supply and payment purposes.) Under the supply agreement, the supply entity or similar structure is called the Registered Supplier.

• Option B is when the grower contracts direct with Zespri. The majority of growers select option A, and contract to supply their fruit through their registered supplier. This means option A growers do not have a direct contract with Zespri for the supply of their fruit to Zespri. The registered supplier chosen by an option A grower has full responsibility to Zespri for meeting all the obligations of the supply agreement and for the fruit supplied by option A growers. Under option A, Zespri makes payments directly to the growers’ registered supplier. In the majority of cases, these funds are then pooled in grower formed supply entities. The reasons that growers aggregate their Zespri payments and fruit around their supply entity, is to maximise inventory managements and to mitigate risk. This means that fruit can be sold quickly if need be, and fruit that is storing well, can be held back until the end of the selling season. Under the supply entity rules, the growers pool their funds and divide them out according to the quality of the fruit each grower has supplied. There are many variations as to

how this is done, but what happens is the growers in the supply entity pool take advantage of economies of scale to maximise their returns by mitigating their individual risk through cooperative risk sharing. This insulates the growers in the supply entity pool against the vagaries of the season and avoids the disadvantages of unequal load out of the fruit. This is similar to insurance, where all policy holders share risk and pay a relatively small fee for sharing this risk. The benefit being that the policy holder is not fully exposed to their own large loss. However, a key disadvantage for option A growers is that they share the cost of any charges incurred by other growers’ fruit in their supply entity pool. For example, if one growers' fruit in the supply entity pool was of poor quality, then that fruit will not earn as much as high quality fruit. This results in a reduced return for all growers in the supply entity pool.

On the other hand, option B growers have a direct contract with Zespri for the supply of their fruit to Zespri. Option B growers are responsible, under the supply agreement, for meeting Zespri’s requirements for picking, packing, cooling and conditioning their fruit up to the point of load out from cool store for delivery to Zespri at the wharf. Option B growers do not pool their fruit or payments. They do not mitigate their risk and they are not responsible for other growers’ fruit. What their fruit earns in the market, they get. They pay for any costs associated with the sale of their fruit, and do not have a supply entity pool to share these costs with. In other words, the option B grower stands fully behind their fruit and takes full responsibility for it. Every kiwifruit grower has the choice each year whether to contract through their register supplier / supply entity under option A, or contract directly with Zespri under option B.

Growers welcome RMA change Growers shouldn’t have to employ a lawyer every time they want to change the way they live or work says HortNZ president Andrew Fenton who is welcoming proposed changes to the Resource Management Act which may reduce litigation. The Environment Minister Amy Adams has released proposals for a revamp of the resource management system to make it easier to use, increase certainty and predictability, attract investment, reduce unnecessary duplication and cost, whilst continuing to protect the environment. Andrew, a kiwifruit grower from Te Puke, says those comments are “music to the ears of New Zealand’s horticulture industry”.

“If even half of what the Minister is aiming to do actually happens, New Zealand’s horticulture industry will be extremely heartened, and seriously relieved. HortNZ estimates the RMA has cost the industry over $30 million dollars in compliance costs over the past 12 months. “Most of that cost has very little to do with protecting the environment. It is mostly about administration and legal processing. That money would be much better spent developing new products, finding new markets and creating more jobs.” For a copy of the RMA discussion document go to: http://www.mfe.govt. nz/publicati=ons/rma/improvingour-resource-management-system.html

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Page 10

COAST & COUNTRY

Lake Rotorua recovers faster than expected Reports on water quality problems in Lake Rotorua have been commonplace over many years, but recent research shows improving trends that reflect the extensive investments made by the whole community, including farmers, in the catchment.

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Primary Producer Collective farmers engaging with industry representatives, Mike Sprosen (AgResearch) and Sharon Morrell (DairyNZ), during a Sustainable Farming Fund field day at Parekarangi’. A substantial body of research has highlighted how a ‘legacy of pollution’, stretching back to the 1900s, resulted in water quality degradation within Lake Rotorua. Now, for the first time in decades, the future is looking healthier for both lake water quality and the local community. The causes behind water quality problems at Lake Rotorua are complex, including historic deforestation, massive growth of the township, discharges of municipal sewerage into the lake (until the 1990s), and significant changes in pastoral land use. Community concerns about the lake’s declining state have seen the Bay of Plenty Regional Council implement measures to restore water quality in the lake to standards last seen in the 1960s. These have been outlined in its Regional Policy Statement, in which farmers have been targeted, with most in the catchment operating under a nutrient cap since 2005.

Farmers

To their credit, Rotorua dairy and drystock farmers have worked on wide-ranging projects designed to improve their environmental stewardship. The challenges though are greater than any one farmer can manage alone. So, in 2011, farmers formally established the Lake Rotorua Primary Producers Collective (the ‘Collective’). The Collective share the vision of a clean lake and prosperous community, sustained by best-practice nutrient management that include ‘learning forums’ for the community. Examples of dairy farmer actions include a mix of best management practice (preparing nutrient budgets, adopting new land effluent application techniques, riparian planting, wintering off ) and major farm system changes (lining ponds, building stand-off

To address concerns on whether recent and feed pads, detainment bunds, retiring improvements in Lake Rotorua were actually pumice hills). Throughout, guidance has part of a trend, DairyNZ and University of been sought from industry, including Waikato scientists collaborated to investigate DairyNZ, Fonterra and Federated changes in overall measures of water Farmers. quality. The investigation overThe Collective turned the commonly-held shows how the changes are view of declining water rural community quality in Lake Rotorua. can consolistatistically Between 2001 and date their local significant and 2012, significant knowledge and ecologically improvements in nutriexperiences into meaningful ents, algal biomass and a single powerful clarity have all occurred. vehicle for change. Total nitrogen (TN), an essential nutrient for algae, has Agreement declined by on average 3.5 per cent per Testament to this, and through year. Total phosphorus (TP), another essenthe actions of local National MP Todd tial nutrient for algae, declined by 8.6 per McClay, a memorandum of understanding cent per year. Chlorophyll-a, a measure of (the ‘Oturoa Agreement’), was signed in the abundance of algae, declined by 6.9 per February by the Collective, the Lakes Water cent per year and water clarity rose by 2.6 Quality Society and Bay of Plenty Regional per cent per year. Over the 11 year period, Council. The agreement is designed to these changes are statistically significant and ensure recent improvements in lake water ecologically meaningful. quality continue into the future by setting a These findings are important because they sustainable N-load target of 435 t/yr to be demonstrate how the lake is recovering more achieved by 2032. rapidly than previously expected, reinforcing In arriving successfully at the Oturoa how investments by the community have Agreement, it was necessary to better underbeen appropriate and effective. stand the present-day water quality of Lake Rotorua as well as its recent trajectory. For instance, earlier investigations had suggested Next step a return to healthy water quality would take It is crucial we continue walking the path decades due to long delays in groundwater to a cleaner lake and building on recent posireaching the lake. tive momentum. Fortunately, as the Oturoa The reality is that water in the lake has Agreement attests, collaborative stake-holder surpassed strict targets for clarity and algal ventures can be powerful agents for improvblooms, a fact that justifies how resources ing the health of our waterways. have been well-spent across the catchment The next steps will be to further reduce and in-lake (e.g., the reticulation of sewercatchment nutrient loading by adopting age, installation of phosphorus-stripping long-term catchment nutrient and plants and Collective actions on-farm). effluent management.

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The Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme, previously called the Rotorua Lakes Protection and Restoration Action Programme, is a partnership of Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Rotorua District Council and Te Arawa Lakes Trust. Working together the three organisations have been tasked to meet the communities’ expectations for water quality in 12 Rotorua lakes. The new website www.rotorualakes.co.nz provides a one-stop shop for all information about Rotorua’s iconic lakes. It includes everything from facts about each lake, to what actions are being taken for each lake for water quality and achievements made to date. Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Strategy Group chairman Kevin Winters said the website will help inform the community about steps taken to protect and restore the lakes and bridge knowledge gaps in the community. “The lakes are a treasured asset for Rotorua and all of New Zealand, and the Rotorua community is very passionate about them. But recent research showed that over 30 per cent of residents believed water quality was poor in all of our lakes, which is simply not the case.”


Page 11

COAST & COUNTRY

Power of collective action and collaborative science

Fortunately, the new Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord is promoting just this, through DairyNZ, industry organisations and supporting partners that are developing audited nutrient management systems and proven cost-effective solutions to mitigate nutrient loss on-farm (available at www.dairynz.co.nz). Adaptive approaches are flexible, incorporate regular review and encourage diverse solutions from all stakeholders. The Oturoa agreement is one such example, having permitted substantial reductions in nitrogen to be agreed upon by all involved, achieved over a practical timeframe that reflects recent improvements in water quality and which encourage further mitigation onfarm, based on industry best-practice.

Collaborative

Regular collaborative reviews of the limits by all stake-holders in the community also ensure the agreement is future-proofed against dynamic lake behaviour

or climate. Several lessons can be taken from this success story. Collective action is powerful, collaborative science is valuable, and adaptive management is needed to ensure wide-ranging solutions can be pursued to achieve water quality goals against a backdrop of environmental and technological change. Thinking ahead to when the next regional policy statement is being written in 10 years, New Zealanders can be optimistic that an entire generation will have had a swimmable Lake Rotorua to enjoy during their childhood.

By Tom Stephens (water quality analyst, DairyNZ) and Oliver Parsons (senior policy advisor, DairyNZ)

Latest jokes flogging a dead horse? It had to happen. The jokes began almost as soon as the news of the horse meat scandal in Europe hit the headlines.

I still have a bit between my teeth. Supermarkets are now testing all their vegetarian burgers for traces of unicorn. Anyone want a burger? yay or neigh? "I've just checked the burgers in my freezer...AND THEY'RE OFF" I'm so hungry, I could eat a horse....." Supermarkets now forced to deny presence of zebra in burgers, as shoppers confuse barcodes for serving suggestions. A cow walks into a bar. Barman says 'why the long face?' Cow says 'Illegal ingredients, coming over here stealing our jobs!' I hear the smaller version of those burgers make great horse d'oeuvres. These burger jokes are going on a bit. Talk about flogging a dead.. NO! NO NO NO! Call us

A woman has been taken into hospital after eating horse meat burgers from a UK supermarket. Her condition is said to be stable. But news reports says it is unclear how the supermarket is going to get over this hurdle. A waitress asked a customer what he wanted on his burger. So he asked for a £5 each way. Advertising sign: Quarter Pounders: The affordable way to buy your daughter the pony that she's always wanted! I had some burgers from the supermarket for my tea last night.

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DAIRY

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Being energy efficient on farm During the 2009/10 and 2010/11 dairy seasons MPI, EECA and Fonterra surveyed a grab bag of 150 dairy farms throughout the country on their electricity usage. The survey provided a free energy audit to each farm, which then took part in a benchmarking programme. Electricity may only represent about 3.3 per ce per centnt of total farm expenses, but for a 125,000 kgMS operation that still amounts to 75,000 kWh/year at a cost of around $17,500. And there is the potential to save 10 per cent of that by getting all the usage factors right. An interesting fact was that dairy farms use about 2.5 per cent of total electricity usage, which is more than dairy processing. However, when all those farmers switch on their sheds twice a day, their peak demand takes the equivalent of Maraetai hydro, the biggest station on the Waikato River. Jim Miller, of Millbridge Consulting, explained

to a gathering of SMASH farmers how to carry out a personal energy audit using invoices for a twelve month period, in order to measure it against a weighted average figure of 478 kWh per 1000 kgMS, achieved by the survey. The survey itself showed that one shed managed on only 250 kWh, others were as high as 930 kWh, and age of shed was no clear barometer of usage. The advent of smart meters around the country was making the exercise very much easier, allowing for a quick reading at the end of each month and graphing usage amounts for the different times of the season. A look at the amount of power used for different shed activities showed that water heating, refrigeration, vacuum pumping and water pumping were the big consumers. Using a hot wash only once a day, insulating the cylinders and not setting the thermostat higher than necessary, could all help, while recovering heat from the pre-cooler, the refrigerant superheater, and a heat pump could also be useful. While solar hot water, or ground or air-source

heat pumps were known about, Jim also suggested that bottled LPG might also cut costs. Insulating outdoor vats, and optimising precooler performance could reduce refrigeration costs, while variable vacuum pumps were now considered essential. Pumping water and effluent gets the most efficiency out of having the right sized pumps for the job, and bigger is not necessarily better, particularly for effluent. Evaluating carefully the variety of opportunities available, and not jumping at the first idea, can get the best deal and the fastest payback, although Miller warned not to believe all advertised payback claims! And finally, check just how many connections on the property, as each will cost between $1 and $5 a day, even if on the same account. If there are still day/night tariffs, use them, eg irrigate effluent at night. A saving in electricity usage could make a deal of difference to your TFE, and your profit margin. By Sue Edmonds

Smedley Station wins top award A well-known Hawke’s Bay station and training farm has taken out the Supreme title in the 2013 East Coast Ballance Farm Environment Awards. Smedley Station and Cadet Training Farm also collected several category awards at a special Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) ceremony in March.

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Managed by Terry and Judy Walters, the 5054ha (3186ha effective) sheep, beef and deer farm near Tikokino, northwest of Waipukurau, is home to 22 cadets who are presented with a wide range of learning opportunities during the two years they live and work on the property. BFEA judges said the intensely scrutinised station sets and achieves high benchmarks. “As a working farm Smedley not only practises profitable and sustainable management, it also teaches this ethos to tomorrow’s agricultural leaders.” Smedley Station was bequeathed to the Crown in 1919 by Josiah Howard who wanted the farm to be used for agricultural training. Terry Walters, who previously worked as stock manager on Smedley, was appointed manager in 2002. He reports to the Josiah Howard Estate advisory board and the Public Trust farm unit manager. Over the last decade the station has undergone a period of significant consolidation. This includes the sale of outlying blocks and the purchase of two large neighbouring stations – Onepoto and Ridgelands –which are managed separately but with activities

Terry and Judy Walters manage the award winning Hawke’s Bay Smedley Station. dovetailing into the Smedley block. Last year the mainly rolling to steep hill-country station wintered 28,500 stock units, including 11,500 ewes, 500 breeding cows 365 breeding hinds and 450 velveting stags. As well as its role as a training facility, Smedley also hosts a wide range of visitors and interest groups. The station continues to fence, retire and protect areas of native bush, with 150ha transferred into QE II national covenants in the last 10 years. Cadets are heavily involved in this bush protection project which instils them with good environmental values.


Page 13

DAIRY

‘No’ and sanity gaps time management tools Saying no and making appointments with yourself are two of the keys to improving efficiency according to ‘time queen’ and former farmer Robyn Pearce. Robyn, who operates a time management and consultancy business says people should question if what they are being asked to do is their responsibility and if not – to say no. “Don’t say no in a way which might limit your career prospects but delegate the task or suggest an alternative. If it is your responsibility then ask yourself when is the best time to do the task?” People who say yes to everything end up overloaded and letting down the people they have said yes to, she said. “It is also vital to understand what is urgent and what is important, to avoid becoming bogged down in what appears

urgent, at the expense of what is really important.” Robyn also advised spending time at the end of one week planning for the next, writing down appointments and meeting with other people, and making appointments with yourself not only for work related tasks but also time for family, community and self. “Learn to schedule sanity gaps, and how to leave undone those things which don’t really need to be done, so you can achieve balance and satisfaction in your life.” Robyn said time management was actually about energy management, because managing time efficiently resulted in a better use of an individual’s energy and created less stress. When it came to the time of the day during which an individual was most efficient, it was important to recognise whether they were ‘a fowl or an owl’. Fowls are morning people who function best early in the day while owls are at their best late in the day and into the night. Distractions, said Robyn, were time stealers. “It’s estimated that it takes 10 to 20 times the length of the distraction to get back on task again, if you ever do.” Robyn said she is well qualified to teach time management because she used to be terrible at it. Her first job was as a librarian, then a farmer’s wife and mother of six (including an intellectually handi-

‘Time queen’ Robyn Pearce understands how it feels to be out of control.

Hawke’s Bay station on top

Judges said Smedley Station owes much of its rich diversity to its close proximity to the Ruahine Forest Park, and the foresight of early management decisions to retain large areas of native bush. “Hundreds of hectares of retired indigenous bush and well-maintained pastures dotted with totara that have been retained for shade and shelter help make Smedley an extremely attractive property.” Biodiversity has been further enhanced through the protection of freshwater ecosystems. “Smedley has banned commercial eeling, many of the property’s waterways are protected and a wetland enhancement project is underway.” Soils are carefully managed to reduce the risk of erosion, and the station operates a nutrient budget that, judges said, “is informed by excellent record keeping”. Judges also noted the station’s 180ha of production forestry, which is maintained to a high standard by cadets. Horses have always been a key part of life on Smedley Station and cadets learn how to break in and train station hacks. Along with the Supreme award, Smedley Station and Cadet Training Farm also won the Ballance

Nutrient Management Award, Beef+Lamb New Zealand Livestock Award, Hill Laboratories Harvest Award and Donaghys Farm Stewardship Award. Award winners in the 2013 East Coast Ballance Farm Environment Awards were: Supreme award, Ballance Nutrient Management Award, Beef+Lamb New Zealand Livestock Award, Hill Laboratories Harvest Award, Donaghys Farm Stewardship Award: Terry and Judy Walters, Smedley Station and Cadet Training Farm. East Coast Farming For The Future Award (sponsored by the Gisborne District Council and the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council), Massey University Discovery Award: Graeme Williams and Derry Stovell, Mangaroa Station, Tokomaru Bay, Gisborne. WaterForce Integrated Management Award: Hylton and Wendy McDermott, Kotare Farm, Maraetotara, Hawke’s Bay. LIC Dairy Encouragement Award: Donald and Karen Fraser, Rawhiti Dairies, Takapau, Hawke’s Bay. PGG Wrightson Land & Life Award: William and Nancie Barclay, Tahora Station, Te Karaka, Gisborne. Meridian Energy Excellence Award: David and Ngaire Bryant and Murray and Katrina Hinton, Longview, Kereru, Hawke’s Bay.

PRE-CAST CONCRETE & STEEL CONSTRUCTION SPECIALISTS

capped foster son until he was 16). “Following this I ended up a solo mother on government benefit. After a few long years I decided to fight my way out of the poverty trap (dabbling in tourism along the way) and became a very successful real estate agent.” “Being in real estate taught me I had to learn better time management skills - or sink. To start with I was kicked out of meetings because I was late. Plus I burnt out numerous times from overwork and poor time habits. Frustrated with complaints about my lack of time management skills, a wise friend

pointed me in the direction of a decent diary and a few key time management principles. “Since then, through much study, trial and error, my once great weakness has transmuted into a major strength and an international business. I reckon I’ve had the best possible background for running a time management business because I really do understand how it feels to be out of control.” To find out more about Robyn’s time management business go to www.gettingagrip.com By Elaine Fisher


DAIRY

Page 14

How to thrive on less Lyn Webster didn’t really serve her family pig tits and parsley sauce but when her finances hit rock bottom in 2009 some creative cooking, as well as accounting, was definitely on the menu. In the amusing and frank little book called ‘Pig Tits and Parsley Sauce’ Lyn shares her successes and occasional failures as she struggled to raise two daughters and hold onto to her sharemilking business. “My hard-won business was going under, my business partner ditched me and the banks locked their coffers and threw away the key. Caught short with no cash reserves, I risked losing it all. In a last ditch effort to save the day I

slashed the family grocery budget to just $100 a week and stuck to it.” Lyn shared her story of living lean through a regular newspaper column she called, on the spur of the moment, Pig Tits and Parsley Sauce after the flippant reply her mother used to make when asked what was for dinner. Now she’s written a book about those tough years, which have since included becoming a grandmother and having her daughter, her partner and their baby move in. She also discovered life on a budget didn’t have to be depressing. Instead it is challenging, fun and full of innovation. “Pig Tits and Parsley Sauce is about making positive changes with favourable financial, health and environmental outcomes,” she writes.

Dry cow therapy questioned With the drought causing early drying off, concern is being expressed over how long cows will be dry, and the effectiveness of antibiotics for dry cow therapy (DCT).

Thanks to publishers Penguin, Coast & Country has a copy of ‘Pig Tits and Parsley Sauce’ to give away. To be in to win Email ‘Book prize along with your name, address and phone number to elaine@ thesun.co.nz or include these details on the back of an envelope and post to Book prize, Coast & Country PO Box 240 Tauranga 3110 to arrive no later than April 17. The winner will be announced in the May Coast & Country.

Even the longest acting antibiotics may run out of potency before calving, so using teatseal is being strongly promoted for all cows, to ensure they calve without udder infections. It’s the strong message in advertising and product promotions. But there must be a better approach to udder health, as well as lowering the increasing risk to human health by this ‘blanket’ use of antibiotics and teatseal at drying off. This is a dangerous approach with long-term sustainability of dairying at stake, especially when dairy farmers boast about being in the ‘health food business’, and export baby formula to the world’s most health conscious markets. Do we need any more lessons from China? In the British Independent newspaper it’s reported that the rising antibiotic use in farm animals and fish, is now thought to account for 50 per cent of all antibiotic use, and resistance is steadily growing. Dame Sally Davies, Britain’s chief medical officer states that Britain’s health system could slip back 200

years unless the ‘catastrophic threat’ of antibiotic resistance is successfully tackled’. So our practice of filling cows’ udders with antibiotics and teatseal, especially this season to last for up to four months is not good promotion for milk as a health food. If many of our sophisticated customers pushing their trolleys around their supermarkets of the world learned about N e w Zealand DCT best practice, they would never stop again at the New Zealand dairy cabinet. And of course there’s the $30+/cow cost of treatment to consider, when this year compared to the drought of 2008, farmers have banked $1.30 less for each Kg of MS. Farmers using the OMS Nutritional Supplement Plan are successfully keeping control of both costs and future antibiotic resistance, by allowing the product to stimulate the cow’s own immune system. A key advantage of using OMS is that only the cows with persistently high SCC during lactation need to be orally dosed, and there is no interference with the udder to risk bacterial entry. No antibiotics are needed which means a massive reduction in costs. After experience with OMS over the last five years, farmers using it have reported minimal mastitis in heifers and cows in spring, than when they followed conventional best practice with antibiotics. (Copy supplied by Wormade)

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Page 15

DAIRY

Dairy industry honours achievers Young grower entries open This year’s New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards have attracted a record 566 entries and winners have been announced in all North island regions, with the South Island awards due to begin in early April. Winners from each region will compete at the national finals on May 24 in Wellington. Waikato Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year winners are

Andrew and Michelle McPherson of Te Awamutu. The other big winners at the 2013 Waikato Dairy Industry Awards were Gary McFarlane, Waikato Farm Manager of the Year, and Thomas Herbert, the 2013 Waikato Dairy Trainee of the Year. The 2013 Central Plateau Sharemilker/Equity Farmers of the Year are Garth and Nicola Thomson. Blair and Andrea Muggeridge are the

region’s Farm Managers of the Year, and Todd Adamson the 2013 Central Plateau Dairy Trainee of the Year. The 2013 Auckland/Hauraki Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year is James Courtman and Kylie and Michael Cox are winners of the Auckland/Hauraki Farm Manager of the Year, with Mathew Whittaker the Auckland/ Hauraki Dairy Trainee of the Year.

Fly screens possible biosecurity risk Sand and soil used to weigh the bottom of magnetic fly screens imported from China could prove a biosecurity risk and the Ministry for Primary Industries is seeking public support for the recall of the screens recently sold through Bunnings stores. The fly screens “Syneco Magnetic Insect Screen” are weighted at the bottom with a plastic sleeve containing an untreated sand and soil mix. MPI Acting Manager - Response - Plants and Environment, Edwin Massey says while the risk is small, the sand and soil could potentially contain pests and diseases that present a risk to our agricultural industries

University and council co-operate University of Waikato and the Waikato Regional Council have signed a memorandum of understanding that will see the two organisations working together on areas of common interest including the promotion of the Waikato region, land and river management, agribusiness, natural hazards and coastal planning and management. University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says academics are often working in the same areas as regional council staff and it makes sense to work together in those areas to benefit the region. “Both parties have excellent staff who are often working towards the same end – this agreement allows us to better utilise available talent and work collaboratively to solve problems and make improvements,” he says. “It is the quality of talent that is key to working together under this agreement. Our academics are experts and world-leaders in many of the fields that are at the heart of the regional council’s work - we have a lot of regional, national and international expertise that we can share in the region.” The two organisations will consider making joint applications for funding for regional projects because a multi-disciplinary approach benefits residents and ratepayers.

Innovative Design Improves Efficiency

or the environment, should the mixture leak from the screen and spread into the wider environment. “While the risk of exposure to the New Zealand environment is low, MPI considers it precautionary to work with Bunnings to recall the screens so they can be safely destroyed and the risk minimised,” Dr Massey says. The fly screens entered New Zealand with paperwork that made no declaration of the presence of sand, soil or other risk goods. “Biosecurity inspectors did not detect the issue with the flyscreens because of the inorganic nature of the product and the details of the accompanying paperwork.” Four-hundred and eighty-nine of the magnetic insect screens were sold through Bunnings stores nationally, between October 2012 and January 2013. Bunnings has removed all remaining unsold stock and is making personal contact with those purchasers it holds on record.“Anyone who has purchased the Syneco magnetic screens can return these products to any Bunnings store nationwide, with or without a receipt, for a full refund.”

Entries for the 2013 Young Vegetable Grower of the Year close on April 12. HortNZ is encouraging employers to get their staff to enter. The contestants need to be 30 years

Field days show-case best of best Dairy farmers will have the chance to see how some of the best in the industry operate when winners in the annual New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards hold field days during the next few weeks. Field days began late in March and the next will be on April 3 when Auckland/Hauraki Farm Managers of the Year, Kylie and Michael Cox, host a field day on the Turua

Federated Farmers level one leadership course ‘Getting Your Feet Wet’ will be held on May 18 - 19 and October 16 - 17 . Level two, 'Shining Under the Spotlight' will be on July 31 and 1 August 1 and November 27 - 28. In addition, the Federation, with the help of Dairy NZ, AGMARDT and Beef + Lamb NZ has developed a new Level Three course called ‘Advocacy, Influence and Outcomes’ to be held on May 15-16 designed to build on skills gained in the other courses. For more information go to www.fedfarm.org.nz/

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farm they manage. On April 4 Bay of Plenty Farm Manager of the Year Chris Mexted hosts a field day on the Whakatane farm he manages. Also on that date Waikato Sharemilker/Equity Farmers of the Year, Andrew and Michelle McPherson, will host a field day, while the date for the Waikato Farm Manager of the Year, Gary McFarlane’s event at Cambridge is March 21. Full details of the field days and all the winners can be found at www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz

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DAIRY

Page 16

Survey on rural crime and safety Rural Women New Zealand has launched a rural survey on crime and safety aimed at making rural communities safer places to live. “The online survey has gone live, and we are hoping for a wide response from all sectors of the rural community,” says Rural Women NZ executive officer, Noeline Holt. “You may have already taken part in a recent survey around crime occurring on your farming properties. However, the focus of this survey is broader and we urge you to take part.

"We have worked with Crimestoppers and the Police to develop questions that cover a range of issues including theft, drink driving and speeding as well as violence to people or animals." “The survey will help us understand how people feel about crime and safety." The survey also seeks people’s views on police responsiveness and involvement in rural communities. “Given the nature of small rural communities, we believe there are occasions when people are hesitant to contact the police, and for that reason we are promot-

ing the work of Crimestoppers, where people are able to pass on information anonymously.” The survey results will be analysed by an independent research company and the key findings will be used by Rural Women NZ to work with Crimestoppers and Police to make rural communities safer. “We strongly encourage people to take part in this survey. “Participants are anonymous and it’s a good opportunity for people living in rural New Zealand to provide valuable feedback about these important issues." See survey on www.ruralwomen.org

Post-drought management The extended dry of summer has placed severe pressure on valuable feed and water resources. Perhaps the few benefits of a summer dry include the decline in facial eczema risk and huge reduction in infective worm numbers on pastures. The fungus that causes facial eczema requires moisture to produce spores, while in the case of worms, the developing larvae succumb to the lack of water and increased exposure to ultra-violet light from low pasture covers. However you will need to be careful in managing these issues in the period after a drought, as facial eczema risk can escalate and rapidly increasing worm levels can lead to reduced growth rates and performance in stock. In addition nitrate poisoning can pose an increased risk following a drought, although it is generally not an issue with permanent pastures. This is because of build-up of soil nitrogen during the drought, followed by increased mineralisation in the soil

and rapid plant growth post-drought. In terms of parasites, lower worm numbers on pastures during the dry period will mean lower infection rates for your stock, often allowing for extended intervals between drenches. The parasites’ way to deal with the dry is to stop development of the egg within dung. Worm eggs simply remain in a state of ‘arrested’ development until favourable moisture levels return. The rains will eventually bring relief to parched pastures, but will also allow for worm eggs to continue development. Worm levels on pastures can be expected to increase within three to four weeks of rain and could quickly build to levels that present a real threat to animal health in the autumn. Farmers need to remain vigilant in watching for changes in health of stock and treat when necessary. If you have been able to extend drenching intervals during the dry, you may need to bring these back to ensure stock remain protected from worms. As always, using an effective combination drench is critical to good parasite control in the autumn.

Wells for storing water A University of Waikato earth and ocean scientist believes it is time to re-think the way water is collected and stored. Associate Professor Earl Bardsley is proposing “rain engineering” by diverting rainwater for additional urban supply from roof run-off into soakage sumps, rather than unsightly storage tanks. He says where ground conditions are suitable, then a soakage sump

and a shallow bore (well), could be installed to supply gardening water. Water pressure would be provided by a small pump in the bore. And the advantage here is that water soaking down past the root zone might be used a second time. Not all land would be suitable for urban wells, but where it is, he suggests that in addition to mains water supply section bores might also be installed at the outset by developers of new subdivisions as an added attraction to potential purchasers.

Get prepared for facial eczema now Use cost-effective Sporeguard® (with Sporewet®) to control the facial eczema fungus by spraying pasture before spore counts rise. Visit www.ravensdown.co.nz or call 0800 100 123 now. Preventative zinc products also available.


Page 17

DAIRY

Soils

Zest

09

Bay of Plenty Regional Council staff released the Tradescantia Tip Beetle in the Kauri Point area near Katikati in March in the hope it will control wonder Jew. The Green Thistle Beetle which had already been introduced to specific sites in the Bay was taken to two new sites, both in the Western Bay area for control Californian thistle. The beetles are one of a number of biological agents being trialled, and in some cases established, across the region. This includes the successful establishment of the Ragwort Flea Beetle (Longitarsus jacobaeae), which has contributed to the control of Ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris) in the region over the last 20 years. Successful biocontrol agents can help to control pest plants by feeding on them, which can often cause the plant to stop spreading, producing viable seeds, or to die completely. Bay of Plenty Regional Council Land Management Manager Western Robyn Skelton says the use of successful biological control agents can offer a cost effective and environmentally sustainable way to help control pest plants in the Bay. “Establishing biological control agents in areas where pest plants are rife can work well for both the landowner and the environment. We’ve had success with different agents in the past and we are hoping these beetles will establish themselves and help us in our efforts

to control these pest plants practices on her land. After in the future.” the workshop Carol and The beetles are regional council staff being trialled in began working on specific sites strategies to help that have been protect her land selected because against the prethey offer good dicted impacts of climate matches climate change. for their A key element of preferred envithis strategy is the ad i r esc ronment. They trial release of the de an on will be monitored Green Thistle Beetle, tia lw o T r t i p n for a period of time which took place in Beetle released to co before council considers March on her family farm. introducing them to other areas in Carol assisted Council staff in the the region. physical release of the beetle on to her propRegional Council Land Management Officerty and says she is optimistic about the agent ers work closely with landowners to develop establishing. sustainable land management practices on “We’ve had releases of other types of agents their land, which sometimes include the use on our property before and had good success of biocontrol agents. with them. In particular we had some beetles “We’ve had really positive feedback from that were successful in slowing down the landowners on the use of these biological spread and reducing the density of the pest control agents,” says Regional Council Land plants Nodding Thistle and Scotch Thistle.” Management Officer Andrew Blayney. “Some “I’m hoping that this beetle will also estabof the plants they tackle are aggressive and lish itself and contribute to the eradication of extensive and can significantly affect our envi- Californian Thistle on our property, which ronment, economy, and our people. If these continues to present a problem for landownbeetles establish themselves as we are hoping, ers.” then we will look at introducing them to The Environmental Risk Management other properties further down the track.” Authority (ERMA) has approved the release Te Puke farmer Carol Burt attended a of the Tradescantia Tip Beetle and the Green Regional Council sustainable farming Thistle Beetle as biological control agents in workshop on climate change last year. She New Zealand after rigorous testing. Research was concerned about the effect of climate undertaken by Land Care Research found the change on pastoral weeds and was after more beetles to be highly host specific and therefor information about developing sustainable unlikely to attack other plants.

r eT Th

The first lot of rain after this dry will turn paddocks green, everyone will relax a little, however it’s not until the second lot arrives 10 to 14 days later that grass starts to really grow. In between it’s the time for earthworms and soil microbes to feed and rebuild populations and until that has happened there’s little energy available for growth. When the second rain arrives there will be a flood of plant available nutrient, particularly phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, and nitrogen. These are the elements typically applied in a conventional autumn fertiliser application and this autumn, in most situations, extra inputs are not required. Dung contains a significant amount of phosphorus, litter on the soil surface contains appreciable amounts of sulphur, and urine, providing potassium, has not leached out of the root zone. While soil temperatures remain above 15°C there will be a steady supply of nitrogen available for plants and the application of fertiliser nitrogen will only add to an existing abundance. Should the weather patterns continue to come in from the north soil temperatures will remain well above the minimum required for growth of 10°C. A 10cm soil thermometer is very useful for tracking soil temperatures and predicting when growth will start to slow. The other reason conventional inputs may be withheld this autumn is due to less growth over the last six months. With less nutrients used, less is required to balance the ins and outs and in nearly all situations this is a substantial cost able to be saved this autumn. Autumn and winter is the time to focus on the health of animals. After the rain, standing feed will lose almost all its value and feeding high energy and fibre feed in the form of quality hay and silage will provide excellent results. How balanced the feed is can be judged by the consistency of the dung. If it’s loose more fibre is required, if it’s hard and brick-like increasing the amount of protein in the form of silage will be beneficial. By feeding plenty of supplement animals will be less inclined to eat freshly growing grasses allowing them to develop strongly, build sugars and become useful feed. An application of DoloZest this autumn will help speed the recovery process in the soil as well as provide more feed of higher quality. DoloZest contains both calcium and magnesium in the form of dolomite from Golden Bay. It also contains bacteria that speed the initial digestion of dung and dead plant matter, along with fungi that assist grasses to harvest nutrient from the soil. The added boron helps with the movement of calcium from root to leaf and the formation of sugars. The calcium content of DoloZest helps provide an environment suitable for optimum beneficial soil life activity, and the magnesium is an essential part of animals’ requirements throughout winter and spring. The health of the soil and animals is very closely linked and an application of calcium, magnesium, and biological grunt this autumn will speed recovery of pasture, increase available energy helping animals regain condition in time for spring.

Two insects are being `employed’ in the battle against the weeds wondering Jew and California thistle.

Jew .

There are positives after the dry spell, as well as money to be saved. We often talk of compensatory growth after a prolonged dry spell, and this is nearly always the reality.

Beetling in on pest plants ng

Nutrient balancing after the rain

Christchurch re-build should be opportunity for wool With over two million square metres of floorcoverings needed for the Christchurch rebuild, Federated Farmers believes strong wool should be given a leading role. “If the Christchurch rebuild does not bring woollen floor coverings to the fore, then how can we expect the rest of the world to do the same?” says Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre Chairperson. “Late last year, we asked

the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) what demand it projected for floorcoverings. The answer is a staggering two million square metres. That is enough to line every square centimetre of a country the size of Monaco. “According to CERA, some 200,000m2 of floorcoverings are needed each quarter for the Christchurch rebuild. This demand exists right now and will last through to the third quarter of 2014, when demand will start to reduce. “Farmers are not looking for a hand out but a fair go for wool

that is grown and processed here. If you want to help your fellow Kiwi on the farm or working in wool processing, then specifying wool for the home or office is the way to go. It is a lot better environmentally than putting oil-based carpets down. “We also asked CERA if it had any forecasts for insulation demand in the Christchurch rebuild, split by synthetic, glass fibre and natural fibre. “Sadly, there does not seem to be and that makes me wonder if wool insulation is being overlooked. “It is here that we need the Ministry for Primary Indus-

tries to work within government to get wool fully into the rebuild; both as a floor covering and as an insulation product. “If there are blockages then Federated Farmers wants to know so we can help unblock them. Out of the tragedy of these earthquakes we have an opportunity to show just how versatile natural fibres like wool can be. Being a Cantabrian, I know Christchurch will become one of the most dynamic and progressive cities on earth. “That is why we are so keen to get Kiwi wool well inside it,” says Jeanette.


DAIRY

Page 18

Fonterra’s man is on a mission John Wilson, the new chairman of Fonterra is a man with a vision. I was fortunate to hear John present his views to a recent Cambridge Rotary Club meeting when he came over as sincere, focussed, hardworking and pragmatic about Fonterra and its future.

I felt he is a man on a mission, make no error. More than that he is a true co-operative believer, and fully embraces that philosophy , as do I. So, the key points from John’s presentation that I gained are • Half of all food is wasted • 1/3 of Americans eat dinner two nights a week in their car • For every $1 rise in the Fonterra pay out every

Kiwi is $320 better off annualised • Fonterra suppliers spend 50c of every dollar earned in the New Zealand economy • Fonterra supports a huge range of Kiwi businesses • Last year Fonterra was responsible for 27 per cent of all export receipts • There is significant demand for dairy product through to 2020 • Demand from Asia has increased 34 per cent from last season • There is a strong demand for food services worldwide. Fonterra is working with chefs from around the world • Fonterra debt is now 40 per cent down from 60 per cent • Fonterra projects include: • Kick start • Milk in schools Trading Amongst Farmers has taken out the Redemption Risk the Fonterra Balance Sheet. In short, as it was, if all the suppliers decided to leave the same season, the fiscal drag could have tipped Fonterra into high debt or over. TAF is hard to understand for many, but good for the business and the Co-operative.

thing this writer has already spoken about and passionately believes in. Pride in Fonterra is something John wants to encourage. Whilst not drawn on pay out, he confirmed demand for Fonterra product exceeds supply and the world needs more food. I understood from his presentation that Fonterra will look after its suppliers.

Advantage

John felt that many farmers seem to be going away from pasture based production to higher inputs and cost structures. He said that this move reduces our competitive advantage and reflects in increased costs and less on-farm profit. In principle pasture is a free and renewable source if you own or lease the land. Fonterra now has 17 Sustainable Dairy Advisers working alongside suppliers to advise and encourage better sustainability. There will be annual inspections, but Fonterra does not want to be the policeman. Fonterra has taken a proactive position to improve on-farm systems for effluent disposal.

Co-operative

John is an out and out Co-op man Determined, Dedicated, Ingrained (to use his words) This strong co-op philosophy is good for the business the farmers and the country. Should Fonterra ever be dismantled, New Zealand’s economy would be seriously threatened. John spoke of the desirability of other agriculture businesses to form co-ops, but that is another story, and some-

John Wilson, Fonterra’s new chairman.

Future

Fonterra suppliers and all New Zealand for that matter, need to embrace Fonterra and all it stands for. It is a major part of our economic future. John Wilson is trying to take New Zealand with Fonterra and make it a Global Champion. Finally, I felt John presented very well and had ready answers to a wide range of questions. My impression was that his focus on the suppliers, the Fonterra team and the

international business is to be commended. We as a community need to embrace and support Fonterra in their endeavours. Overall the future looks bright and those battling on the farm need to realise that Fonterra remains the best choice. Whilst there has been a lot of change for suppliers, I believe this should settle down now and focus on growing the ‘Global Champion’. 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. Don Fraser is the Principal of Fraser Farm Finance and a consultant to the Farming Industry. Contact him on 0800 777 675 or 021 777 675. A disclosure document is available on request. FRASER 22.02.13

ADDLINE TRANSPORT LTD


Page 19

TE KUITI

1500 sheep in the street? No problem Most towns would consider a huge mob of sheep running down their main street as cause for grave concern – but not Te Kuiti.

The Great New Zealand Muster coincides with the 29th Te Kuiti Shearing Champs

As many as 1500 sheep will run through Te Kuiti’s main street on April 6.

®

Raro Street, Te Kuiti, is closed to traffic – unless it’s sheep or horses.

There locals truck in around 1500 sheep and let them lose on Raro Street to the delight of spectators from around the country and all over the world – most of them holding up scrim to form a human barrier to keep the sheep on track. It all happens again on Saturday April 6 when the town hosts its 21st Great New Zealand Muster and the main street is closed from 7am to 7pm for a great big community fair. As well as the sheep and sheep shearing, this year’s event features Shane Cortese and the Class of ’58, Chelsea and the

Dogmatic team, up to 100 stalls, stilt walkers, fire brigade demonstrations, belly dancers, food stalls, children’s rides, entertainment and spot prizes, all compered by TV comedian Te Radar. The spectacle of the running of the sheep has proved a strong draw-card for visitors and accommodation in town is booked out well in advance. This year at least 300 people are expected to make the day excursion by steam train from Pukekohe. The Saturday of the Great New Zealand Muster coincides with the 29th Te Kuiti Shearing Champs, which begin on April 4 and end on April 6. For more information about the Great New Zealand Muster go to: www.waitomo.govt.nz/ events/the-great-nz-muster/ or the Te Kuiti Shearing Champs go to: www.nzshears.co.nz/stripe/

Waitomo District Mayor Brian Hanna with TV comedian Te Radar at the 2012 Great New Zealand Muster.

Saturday 6th Saturday 6th April 2013 2013 April ®

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MAIZE

Page 20

Hope for the best...

This summer’s drought reinforces that we can never be complacent about the weather and the wisdom of hoping for the best while preparing for the worst. There were warnings early on about the drought. Then we had rain in January and a bit in February and many thought the weather was tracking back to last year, but it didn’t.

In 2012 we had probably the best growing season for 70 years and this summer we’ve had the worst in 70 years and the drought has been widespread. It seems we must expect unpredictable weather patterns in future. I’ve attended several drought meetings in recent weeks and have been astounded that very few farmers have a feed budget. That lack of planning has caught some out this summer, as supplementary feed is hard to find.

...but prepare for the worst Many don’t appear to know what feed they have in the paddocks either as they haven’t been doing farm walks because everything looks so dry. However, if you look carefully you’ll probably find there is some food there and plants which are still alive, just waiting for rain. We’ve almost run out of our feed stocks and have started bringing barley and trashed rye straw up from the South Island by the container load on a ship and by truck and trailer, but it’s taken some organising and it’s expensive. It was the absolute opposite last year, when farmers were cancelling orders and there was a surplus of feed. Not wanting to be caught out ourselves, we have, for the first time ever, sold some of our maize to grain merchants early on, as we couldn’t get commitment from some farmers in a season when maize silage is subsequently desperately in demand. I’ve been sampling and weighing bales of feed and can say without doing so the only thing you can be sure of with wrapped silage is that it’s got wrap on it – what’s inside is a lottery until you go to feed it out. Some bales weight just 400kg with an ME of 8.5 while others are 600kg with an ME of 11.6. The cost difference might not be

great but the feed value is. There’s little point in feeding cows cheaper, low energy food if you want to keep them milking and get them back in calf and put condition on. Many farmers are feeding out palm kernel, which is a good quality supplement, but care has to be taken over how much cows are eating because there can be an issue with high copper levels which can affect the cows. Feeding maize silage as well is a good way to ensure cows are not overloaded with high dry matter. This season’s been tough but now it’s time to concentrate on the next one and keeping cows in the best condition possible. Keeping a few older cows and better condition cows milking to have some cash-flow makes sense, but so does looking after the younger members of the herd because they are the future producers. Organise winter feed by ordering ahead, and make sure there’s grass and water available on the farms where stock are going for winter grazing. It’s also the time for farmers to be

looking after themselves and each other. There’s a lot of stress out there and if you think your neighbour needs help, then have a chat to him or her or contact the Rural Support Trust or Federated Farmers; they have the resources to assist. There’s no government support for farmers to help buy in feed but there is some tax relief available and a small percentage of farmers may qualify for income support from WINZ. The big thing is for farmers to talk to their partners and to other farmers – community get-togethers like the barbecues organised in the Broadlands/ Reporoa area are a great idea because they offer a bit of light relief and people realise they are not the only one experiencing problems – of course, a problem shared is a problem halved. Solving problems is what we aim to do at Bill Webb Feed Solutions. Because we’ve been in the business of growing supplementary feed for so many years, we can offer advice and solutions for farmers and look forward to doing so in the future.

JORDAAN


PASTURE RENOVATION

Page 21

Management technique for kikuyu grass in pasture Geff and Dinah Cookson have adapted their farming systems in response to the spread of kikuyu and developed innovative methods to manage this pasture species. Kikuyu is an invasive, subtropical C4 pasture species, which has become a major component of Northland pasture. Being a drought tolerant grass, kikuyu dominates pasture species during the summer and autumn by creating a dense mat of stolons that effectively starves competitor pasture species of sunlight. Despite the capacity for explosive growth during autumn, kikuyu growth is very sensitive to cool weather. This can result in severe feed deficits in winter and spring. Like many farmers in Northland, Geff finds kikuyu management challenging, especially during a wet autumn when kikuyu growth is rampant. Under projected climate change scenarios, kikuyu will have longer growing seasons and will be even more challenging. The number of farms with kikuyu is likely to increase as kikuyu spreads into southern regions, so more farmers will be looking for management advice. Kikuyu pasture quickly loses quality if not controlled by hard grazing or mechanical control, especially in autumn. Geff explains: We work hard to avoid a mat of kikuyu building up and shading out clover and ryegrass seedlings. Keeping kikuyu short and leafy in late autumn through grazing pressure means sacrificing weight gain but it’s cheaper than mulching.

Low growth

“Kikuyu grows well in the summer and autumn, but it slows right down in the winter, which is when we need the grass. This can mean very low pasture growth rates in cooler winter and spring months. Keeping kikuyu pasture short in the autumn will encourage ryegrass to grow through kikuyu as the soil temperature drops in the winter.” It is essential to keep kikuyu pasture under control in autumn, but matching animal demand to pasture growth is a real challenge. “Kikuyu comes away quickly when it rains,” says Geff, “so we either need to have extra bulls on the farm through the summer, or we have to buy them in during the autumn”. There is a fine balance between keeping enough stock on the farm to keep control of kikuyu and not overstocking during a dry summer. Geff uses stock pressure, paddock subdivision and flexibility in stock marketing to control feed quality during autumn. Unfortunately falling schedules in autumn and a high stocking rate are not a profitable mix; “even when bulls are growing it’s hard to make money through the autumn,” he says.

Geff uses pasture renovation to complement his current kikuyu management; the plan is to grow pasture which has strong winter growth and retains quality through autumn. He explains: “Kikuyu pasture is sprayed out in early autumn and the paddock levelled to create a seedbed. The seed (a mixture of clover, herbs and ryegrass) is broadcast and lightly harrowed.”

Spraying

Because pasture renovation involves spraying of paddocks, animals are stocked at higher rates across the rest of the farm, which effectively increases the stocking rate on kikuyu paddocks. Renovated paddocks retain feed quality and don’t need to be intensively grazed through autumn, which allows more stock pressure on kikuyu paddocks. New pasture is more productive through winter and spring, which helps to offset low winter pasture growth rates on kikuyu. Pasture quality is also higher on renovated pasture, so bulls grow faster and reach target weights earlier. Pasture renewal means Geff can manage kikuyu across the remainder of the farm more effectively. “Having part of the farm sprayed out or in quality pasture in the autumn makes pasture management much easier.” Even a small amount of pasture renewal allows Geff to use his stock numbers to control kikuyu more effectively during autumn and lift productivity across the whole farm.

Useful tool

Geff plans to concentrate on more subdivision in the short term, but sees pasture renovation as a useful tool to manage kikuyu. “We don’t expect to get rid of kikuyu, but if we can get 2–three years out of the new grass, it’s going to help us manage kikuyu better.”(Source - case studies called Adapting to a changing climate Published by Ministry for Primary Industries).

Darryl Isaac Ltd

For more information • The Northland Kikuyu Action Group has carried out farm-based trial work on kikuyu management. The results are stored on Enterprise Northland’s website: www.enterprisenorthland.co.nz • Beef + lamb New Zealand publishes a range of resources including Intensifying beef production to a small paddock/cell grazing system, Finishing Cattle in a tough environment, and Comparison of pasture quality of kikuyu dominated pasture with ryegrass. These three publications are all avail able at www.beeflambnz.com • The Sustainable Farming Fund supports rural communities to achieve sustainability. A range of publications are available at www.maf.govt.nz

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Page 22

HUNT FISH EAT

Get ready now for the duck hunting season Steps taken now in the run-up to the duck hunting season can ramp up your chances of success. It’s a simple message of some basic preparations weeks ahead that at least raise the odds of some successful bags, says Eastern Fish & Game officer John Meikle – for it’s a challenging pursuit with no guarantee of easy pickings. John, a long-time (and successful) hunter, says that for many hunters, access to hunting spots should be their priority, so relationships formed with farmers or other landowners are crucial. The committed hunter who returns to the same hunting sites year after year, will have turned up perhaps three or four times since last season and carried out some basic preparation work on the ponds – such as tidying up the surrounds, and tackling any pest plants. “You’ll have let the farmer know that your dogs have been wormed and they are up to date with their vet visits. It’s all about sending the farmer the message that you’re a sensible and responsible hunter,” he says. “You don’t turn up the week before duck shooting for a chat – you should be doing this now.” During summer or autumn when you

The sight every duck hunter hopes for on opening morning – ducks on the pond. arrive at the farm, don’t get stressed when you’re confronted by a dried up pond or wetland area, because it can change quickly back into a birdfriendly habitat with some rains. The cracked bottom is not a bad thing; grasses will swiftly grow up through them once some water flows in. The pond tidy up should focus on removing pest plants such as blackberry and glyceria, John advises, but be sure to leave the plants like sedges and willow weed, because when the pond does flood, they’ll provide lots of food for ducks. Try and make sure that any measures in place to protect ponds from stock are secure, so the animals can’t graze on

Backing the maimai before the start of Clearing Raupo son. sea the and destroy food that would otherwise be on hand for the ducks, once the pond’s filling with water again. Getting permission for this sort of work is part of the good relationship you’ll have aimed to foster with the farmer, John says. The person who turns up to put in this sort of effort is far more likely to shoot a good number of birds than the one who turns up the week before. “Good preparation may not guarantee a limit bag but will definitely enhance the chance of success.” Access ways can be cleared manually with a machete, scrub bar, or chemical spraying. “Pond clearance is essential if you want to have an attractive landing site for ducks.” If the pond is dominated by Raupo, it’s now too late to spray for this season so cut the plants at their base and use them to cover the maimai for some fresh, natural-looking camouflage. “Or bundle them together and use them for floating pads – ducks love these for preening and resting on when the water turns up.” Don’t use vegetation such as manuka branches that “conflict” with the vegetation which normally surrounds the pond. “If it’s a Raupo-dominated pond – use Raupo.” By April most of the maintenance on the maimai, or the likes of an access style across the fence should be complete so waterfowl aren’t discouraged or disturbed. Make sure your maimai is up to standard and robust – so you can’t fall through it. “Falling through or out of the maimai while holding a shotgun is not what you want to happen.” The most important areas are the floor and front of the structure. Marine-grade ply is a better bet than pallets for flooring, and good iron should be used for the

into position.

walls and roof. John urges the use of tanalised framing and nails that are larger than required for a structure that is safe – and sound. Once your “prep work” is done on site go away. “Leave it undisturbed as much as possible after pegging day (April 7, 2013 )when claim tags are put up on the maimai.” Aside from sorting out access, hunters should use April to tackle a range of “five minute tasks” that can be done in the evening, such as checking your decoys are freshly painted and lines and weights are up to scratch. Check other equipment like your waders to make sure they’re not leaking or perished, and if you use a boat, make sure it’s serviced and in good running order, with lifejackets on board. Hunters who use dogs should spend some time getting their hunting mate fitter; start now taking your dog for some runs and swims – don’t leave it to the last minute. Another important reminder, he adds, is to get your hunting eye in shooting at your local gun club, at some clay targets, or with some mates on the farm you have permission to shoot on. As part of being a good friend to the farmer who’s kindly allowed you to shoot on his land, don’t neglect some “maimai housework.” Fish & Game gets frequent complaints during the season about rubbish and empty shotgun shells left around the stands. “Don’t be one of these thoughtless people and remember to collect your used shells and any rubbish to pack out.” Please get a copy of the regulations from a hunting store, our Fish & Game website (www.fishandgame. org.nz) or phone us – and we’ll mail them out to you and answer any questions you may have.


COAST & COUNTRY

Page 23

Last of the men with ‘sawdust for brains’ As one of the few independent saw millers left in New Zealand Ray Carter is part of an endangered breed. “I can’t see anyone else in my family wanting to take the mill on when I retire. We have six daughters but none of them nor their partners are interested,” says Ray, who with wife Lyn operates Ray Carter’s Sawmill in Wairoa Rd near Tauranga. It was Ray’s grandfather John who founded J A Carter Sawmill Co in the late 1940s and Ray’s father Jock, one of three sons, eventually took it over. The Carter family moved to the land on the banks of the Wairoa River in 1940, leasing to buy 186 acres for milking cows. The mill was set up initially to process timber of John Carter’s home, the house where Ray was to later grow up. Jock Carter, thanks to the encouragement of former Tauranga mayor and entrepreneur Bob Owens, was among the first five timber mills to export pine to Japan between 1957 and 1963. By the 1970s the timber mill had grown to a staff of 15, buying in logs from Kaingaroa Forest to mill for clients,

including building companies such as Goodwin Homes. Ray reckons he, his grandfather and father all had ‘sawdust for brains’. His love of timber and milling was fostered as he helped out while at school. “My dad wouldn’t let me go straight to working at the mill but said I had to get a trade so I trained as a fitter welder and then went to Canada but by 1976 I was back home working in the mill. “I just love working with timber. It’s

clean and it’s warm. When I was a fitter welder my hands were always black and you were breathing in fumes. Steel is cold, hard and dirty.” As well as milling logs, Carters produced what they brand named Valencia timber tray for export kiwifruit. “The cardboard trays came along and that was the end of that.” There was a time when Ray and Jock bought in logs by the truck load, processed them and sold the timber. “We were so involved in what we were doing, we didn’t realise the market was changing to big stores where people went on a Saturday with mum and the kids to buy timber, nails, paint, the works.” Independent saw mills were being bought and shut down by the big companies, too, so Carters Sawmill changed tact. “We now mill other people’s logs and process pallets of timber for a company making trellises.” For Ray there’s a sense of anticipation when he lines up a log on the sawmill which was originally from the Whakatane Board Mills. “You never quite know how the timber is going to look – what the grain is going to be like.”

I just love working with timber.

The house built from timber John Carter milled at his own mill near the Wairoa River.

An aerial view of the Carter Sawmill Complex in the years before kiwifruit was planted in the blocks adjoining it alongside the Wairoa River.

Last of the line – independent sawmiller Ray Carter with the sawmill which was originally from the Whakatane Board Mills.

Timber milled by Ray is air-cured, meaning it dried naturally, reducing the risk of wrapping. Radiata pine is what the mill handles most and because of Ray’s skills and range of equipment, it is able to produce timber to order, including weather boards and skirtings in specific profiles. Ray now might be the only staff member at the mill but it still has the space, equipment and maintenance facilities it did in its heyday. From a thriving, busy mill employing 15 staff, Carters is now a one-man band but Ray is happy with the down-scaling as it means he has the time and machinery to turn logs into the timber products clients want. By Elaine Fisher


MACHINERY & EQUIPMENT

Page 24

New agency to improve safety Legislation to establish a new, standalone agency focused on significantly lifting New Zealand’s workplace health and safety is expected to be introduced to Parliament in June. “The new agency will have a dedicated focus on health and safety and

underlines the Government’s strong commitment to addressing New Zealand’s workplace fatality and serious injury rates,” says Labour Minister Simon Bridges. “We have a firm target of a 25 per cent reduction of these rates by 2020.

“The Crown agent will enforce workplace health and safety regulations and work with employers and employees to promote and embed good health and safety practices. “The announcement is a significant step in the Government’s workplace health and safety reform programme. It will sit alongside the work of the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety which is due to

report back at the end of April.” The workplace health and safety functions currently sitting within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will transfer to the new agency, which is expected to be in place by December. Quad bike accidents are among those which contribute to the workplace fatality and serious injury statistics. Every year 850 people are injured, on farms,

riding quad bikes. Five die. However, a recent survey of quad bike users by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, showed 16 per cent more farmers reported some or all riders wearing helmets than in 2010. Quad bike helmet sales continue to increase, with sales almost doubling in the year to June 2012 from the previous year. This continues a trend which showed a similar increase in 2011.

Clues help find the missing

Ready to search – LandSAR volunteers on a training exercise in the Central Plateau.

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“We are trained to look for signs which tell the direction someone has travelled and this may involve taking impressions of footprints we find and having them checked against the kind of footwear the person we are looking for might be wearing to be sure we are following the right clues,” he says. Another slightly unsavoury but nonetheless vital skill is learning to identify from toilet sites who has used them and when. “Whether it’s a long-drop or a place in the bush, I usually can tell if it’s been used by a man or a woman, and how long ago, all of which is very important in our searches.” Waihi LandSAR currently has 28 volunteer members aged from in their 20s to 60s, many of them from Katikati, each with different skill sets. They are part of a 3000-strong national organisation of volunteers oncall to help find people missing in the outdoors.

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“We are always looking for more members. Level of fitness is not an issue for those who have the skills to do administrative or communications work. There’s a role for almost anyone who wants to be involved.” Waihi LandSAR attends around 10 to 20 call-outs a year, but sometimes may have several in just a month. “We usually need around 12 people for each incident and can call on other LandSAR groups to help. And if a volunteer has work or family commitments, they are under no obligation to attend a call-out.” It costs around $3000 to train a LandSAR volunteer and a further $3000 to equip them and recent funding cuts mean volunteers are now contributing towards some of those costs themselves. “We receive financial assistance from community groups, businesses and organisations and sometimes from the people we rescue, for which we are very grateful. Waihi LandSAR has recently purchased a trailer to transport all our equipment and Hauraki District Council, Fonterra and Waihi Rotary and Lions clubs have all helped with funding. “We are now fundraising for a stretcher which will cost between $2500 and $3000.” Wymond said training exercises are challenging and enjoyable, a chance to tests skills and knowledge working in the outdoors with teams of like-minded people. “One exercise we regularly take part in is in the Central Plateau where a group of local college students are flown by helicopter into a location, given tents and the gear they needed and told to ‘get lost’ For more information about Waihi LandSAR, or to make a donation you can phone Wymond, 0275 608 776. For more information about Search and Rescue New Zealand, go to www.landsar.org.nz


Page 25

RURAL DRIVER

Gear change in ‘auto’ thinking If we stopped thinking ‘cars’ and started thinking ‘people’, would it change the way we drive? That’s the question at the heart of a new NZ Transport Agency road safety advertising campaign, which aims to fundamentally change the way New Zealanders think about the road and the people they share the road with. The Drive Social campaign is part of the Government’s Safer Journeys strategy, applying the safe Cody Cooper shows the winning form that has seen the Mount Maunganui system approach to make the whole transport system rider dominate this year’s MX1 series. more accommodating of human error. NZTA Chief Executive Geoff Dangerfield said one Mount Maunganui rider Cody championships series to follow that. I’m element of creating a safer system is to encourage hungry to win and my confidence Cooper looks set to reclaim the really drivers to be more tolerant of other people on the is really high.” road. MX1 national motocross crown Despite a top performance last season “If we accept the idea that the road is a social space after dominating the first three Ben’s season got off to a poor start at the and that the people we share the road with are part same meeting, with a crash putting him rounds in the four-round series. out of the next events. of our community, then we have to accept that the way we behave on the road has an impact on the Honda team manager Peter Finlay says Cody, who finished third last year with Cody’s dominant performance Ben whole community, and that the way we drive affects behind fellow Mount rider and series knew he did not have a chance to win the everyone else. winner Ben Townley, has been ‘on fire’ series with a comeback – but will still be since the first round in Timaru in early “Kiwis are generally a friendly, patient and accomreturning for the final round in Taupo on modating bunch. But put us behind the wheel and February, where he won two races and

Bay riders racing ahead

it can be a different story. We behave differently in our cars. This campaign is asking people to look at driving from a different perspective – to think about driving as a social activity rather than as an individual pursuit.” All of the campaign’s advertising drives people through to the drivesocial.co.nz website, which invites them to find out who they’re sharing the road with during their morning commute. Some of them they will recognise, some they will know, and they may discover that they have something in common with those they don’t know. The aim is to give drivers a strong reason to think about others when they're on the road. The website allows people to join a community where they can discover something about the other people who drive on the same roads as them. It taps into strong social media trends to find connections between people and shared interests like music and favourite radio stations. It will also encourage online sharing (through Facebook) and help generate comments and conversations. “The more we can get everyone to think 'people' instead of thinking 'cars', the more likely we'll all be able to see how our own behaviour affects others,” says Geoff.

the all-new ALL-NEW NISSAN PULSAr Forester resets the bar for compacts SUVs morE 2013 nissan patrol. finished the other race third. His success has continued since, with a series of top finishes. He topped the podium again, winning all three races at the third round in Pukekohe on March 9 and now has a massive 31-point lead over his nearest rival; Scottish former Grand Prix star Billy MacKenzie. Commenting afterwards Cody, 29, said it was one of his best day’s racing ever. “The work I’ve been doing with my new trainer (Hamilton’s John Appel) is starting to pay off. My upper body strength has improved and it’s all coming together nicely now. “I’m all set for the final round at Taupo now and the Australian motocross

March 31 to give him a good run. Peter says it was taking Ben time to recover from the fast crash in Timaru so he decided to withdraw from the series to prepare for the longer Australian competition, which runs from April to September. After the last round on March 31, Cody will turn his attention to the Australian MX Nationals, splitting his time on both sides of the Tasman, where he began racing in 2004 when he won the Pro Lites division championship. Cody’s Mount Maunganui Moto City Suzuki teammate in the MX2 class, Rhys Carter, has also had a solid season and is placed third overall. By Hamish Carter

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RURAL DRIVER

Page 26

Patrolling beyond the boundary

SPECS Nissan Patrol

ine Engine Type: V8 Petrol Eng litre 5.6 nt: eme plac Engine Dis omatic Transmission: 7-speed Aut de Mo l nua Ma with Fuel Economy: 14.5 litres ked) Tow Capacity: 3.500kg (Bra

Sideline Sid couldn’t believe his eyes when he picked up a new Nissan Patrol, from Bay Nissan at Farmer Auto Village, for the next assignment in the Rural Driver car review series.

Price: From $114,000 Contact: Bay Nissan, 6017 Farmer Auto Village, 07 578

T H E Standing C AinRfrontSofAYS YO V E into MtheAhotDseatEbehind I T.the wheel is a breeze, courtesy him was a Big Beast U SUV’ that

of the stylish running board that harks back to luxury perfectly married smart lines and style with rugged TH TH C AR CA SYO AYS R SUAYS YO M M DT E AHD IET. EP RI T. motoring of another era. An outstanding feature when refinement. I C E S AYS , W I S E LY. C A ER SE AYS ’YO V EU M’ VAUED’ V E EA I T. sitting comfortably in the driver’s seat is the huge side As one who yearned for a farming career in another T H E C A R S AYS YO U ’ V E M A D E I T. T H E C A R S AYS YO U ’ V E M A D E I T. EAYS AYO RR A D E SidI was T.immediately struck by the farm- mirrors that provide rear visibility in spades. C ACAA RT SHSH AYS UESUU V E A, AA D E,IEESIW T. RRT EEEM D T H PCE RYO IYO P C I’UAYS C S’,’V AYS EW SIM AYS W EIIT. LY. I Slife, E Sideline LY. C AYS M D HEEH EC R SAYS YO ’V V T. Keeping to the 50 kilometre speed limit around ing and outdoor recreational opportunities that the T E AP R SIE C E S AYS S E LY. TT H EE PPR IR C E SSSEAYS , W W, IIW S EENissan LY. the streets of the Mount became something of a Patrol could handle with ease. T H E P I C E S AYS I S E LY. H R I C E AYS , S LY. TTT HTH E P R I C E S AYS , W I S LY. E P R I C E S AYS , W I E LY. mission, with the Patrol giving the impression Driving to see the bank manager or HHEE PPRRIICCEE SSAYS AYS,, W WIIS E LY.

of having a beast under the bonnet that couldn’t wait to be unleashed. Lifting the bonnet revealed a big, big, big 5.6l V8 Petrol engine that gives the Nissan Patrol real grunt. Coupled with four wheel drive, this was a vehicle that workhorse. could readily make the transition from Advertising states that the Nissan sedate highway motoring to any situation Patrol is where “Rugged meets Refinethat off-road motoring could throw at the ment” and is unashamedly aimed at sideline Nissan SUV. the premium end of the SUV market, Motor sport fans will recognise the Patrol offering numerous outstanding safety engine as the same that powers the current and performance features. Sideline Sid’s Nissan Super Cars. mission was to find out if the advertisCoupled with Hydraulic Body Control ing claims stacked up. Suspension, here is a vehicle that is just as First impressions are of a vehicle of at home meandering around town as charging off into real size. While the Nissan Patrol stands well off the the wilderness. ground to aid the vehicles off-road activities, swinging trying to impress the family relations,

exudes class and luxury. T H E C A R S AYS YO U ’ Vthe E Patrol M back A DonEthe farm I T.or trekHowever king to the great outdoors, the Nissan T H E P R I C E S AYS , W S E converts LY. to a no-nonsense SUVI easily

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Page 27

RURAL DRIVER

Double cab beaut A key trend in the motoring world in recent years has been the growth of the highly specified two-wheel-drive double-cab ute category. All the major brands are doing them, having recognised there is growing demand from city drivers who now prefer the double-cab ute format to a traditional wagon or an SUV. While it may be partly fashion, the folk at Mitsubishi believe the appeal is also in the flexibility

offered by the tray, which is useful in all sort of jobs, and sharper pricing compared to 4WDs. To build on this, the latest 2013 Triton 2WD GL Double Cab is being offered with bonus upgrades including boosted power (133kW from its 2.5 litre turbocharged four cylinder Triton 2WD GL Double Cab diesel), chrome rear bumper and high grade front seats. Promotional material also states it drives well on the open road and has an official average fuel rating of 8.0 litres per 100 kilometres.

Ever-dependable reliability information systems) the Patrol has several other features that make it stand out from pack. Powered front seats and rear air conditioning provide another level of comfort, with luxury coming in the form of the leather seat trim. Luxury SUV motoring, combined with the vehicles outstanding safety features and exceptional fuel economy, unite to produce a vehicle that is an absolute dream to drive. However Sideline Sid will leave the last word to Roger from Bay Nissan who said: “In my view the outstanding feature of the Patrol (and all Nissan vehicles) is the everdependable Nissan reliability”.

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A pleasant surprise on lifting the bonnet was a small piece of hydraulic wizardry that meant there is no more skinning knuckles to put the upright in place, with the hydraulic bonnet hood remaining in the lifted position. However the real point of difference from the Nissan Patrol competitors is the four wheel drive that allows the SUV to make the transition from a town car to an off-road workhorse. With additional low range ratio and manual selectors, the Patrol can handle what seems like steep inclines with ease. A special feature of the Nissan Patrol 4WD is the surface selector for the various


CONTRACTORS

Page 28

Controlling weeds and pests Proper site preparation and keeping weeds under control will encourage your plantings to flourish. This is critical as when they are small, plants can easily be out-competed by weeds, and eaten by pests.

Keeping on top of weeds

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Weed problems can arise where shrubs and trees used are too small, poorly planted, or ‘lost’ when grass and weeds grow over them. Here are some ways to make weed control more manageable: • Where weeds are present, carry out a programme of control in the 12 months prior to planting. • Use stakes to mark the position of seedlings so they can be easily found. • Place larger plants closer together to reduce weed competition. • Check on weed growth regularly, especially during spring and summer. • Keep on top of shade-tolerant weeds. Start by planting a manageable area and maintain it, then move on to another area when it doesn’t need so much attention. Where planting areas are small, consider applying mulch to help retain soil moisture and suppress weeds. Native plants are sensitive to herbicides, so if you are spraying do it well before you intend to plant. Get advice on selection and correct use of herbicides if you need it. For on-going spot spraying, a shield may be used around individual plants or over the spray nozzle. When clearing out invasive tree species, paint the stumps with herbicide immediately after cutting. Check with your regional council beforehand for any rules on vegetation clearance and soil disturbance along stream banks. They can also inform you of any specific regulations around spraying.

Dealing to animal pests

As with problem weeds, you should identify the presence of pests and undertake some control work before planting. Beyond this, here are some suggestions for specific pests.

Rabbits and hares

Prevention pays. Good site preparation and choosing the best plant stock you can find and afford will increase plant survival rates. Bigger plants (at least 50-60cm in height) will reduce the chances of the growing tops being eaten. Spot spraying and planting into long grass areas may act as a deterrent to rabbits and hares.

Control methods include shooting, fumigant poisons, and baits. An egg-based repellent, available from horticultural suppliers, may also be effective as a deterrent. Plastic shields around plants can also be used to prevent damage.

Possums

In most areas, some on-going control will be necessary to protect your plantings. Control measures will also help reduce the amount of pasture they eat and protect fruit trees and gardens. Bait stations, traps and night shooting are possible control options. Get advice from your regional council if you want help deciding what‘s most appropriate in your situation.

Other pests

As your plantings mature, they will attract birds and insects. To keep the area safe for Possums are an on-going them, you may want threat to plantings. to control ferrets, stoats and rats. Most of these pests can be targeted together with certain poisons, but each requires a different trapping method if poisons aren’t used. Seek advice if you need it and take care to use poisons safely to prevent inadvertent access by livestock. Finally, pukeko can be quick to undo flax and sedge plantings by nibbling and uprooting. Planting bigger seedlings (40 cm high) and stamping the soil to firmly bed them in can help reduce pukeko damage.

Plant growth in waterways

Once stock are excluded from waterways the sediment that has built up will gradually be flushed out by winter floods. This will allow the bottom to return to its natural state. In the short term, with no stock to graze it, excessive in-stream plant growth (e.g. water celery), may occur making things look worse. This is simply an ‘adjustment’ period – some short-term ‘pain’ for long term gain. This article is adapted from the sixth in a series of nine DairyNZ Farmfacts on managing waterways on farms. They can be viewed at www.dairynz.co.nz in the Farmfacts – Environment section.


Page 29

CONTRACTORS

Future proofing harbour land A campaign called ‘Futureproof Your Land’ aimed at rural land owners in the Tauranga Harbour Catchment has been launched by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Crown company invests in irrigation Experienced company director Alison Paterson will oversee the establishment of a new Crown company to invest in irrigation, the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy has announced. The new company, which is to be established by July 1, will act as a bridging investor for regional water infrastructure development, with $80 million to be set aside in Budget 2013. “I’m pleased to have people of high quality and balance to work on what is a critical area of New Zealand’s growth,” says Nathan. “Well-designed storage and irrigation infrastructure has the potential to deliver a major boost to our primary industries and support new jobs, which will have a flow-on effect for all New Zealanders. If current proposals are advanced there could be another 420,000 hectares of irrigated land available over time. “It will also be better for the environment, as these schemes will lead to more efficient water use, and can provide for the replenishment of aquifers and the restoration of stream and river flows. “Setting up a commercially driven Crown company and partnering with private investors is a unique approach to the challenge of getting regional-level infrastructure built. “These people offer a balance of commercial and governance expertise, and a practical understanding of large infrastructure projects that will ensure the company gets off on the right footing. “A number of proposals for regional-level water storage and irrigation schemes are nearing the stage where they will be ready to be presented to investors. The Government’s role is that of an enabler, acting as a bridging and minority investor.”

The campaign, which was launched at the Tauranga Harbour Symposium in March, provides information toolkits to help land owners future proof their land to ensure it remains productive and profitable, while ensuring water quality and biodiversity are protected or improved and erosion is controlled. Land Management Manager Robyn Skelton said landowners face a range of challenges that, if left unmanaged, could undermine future production and the value of their land. Doing nothing could threaten the quality of soil, crops, livestock, lifestyle and landowner’s income. “We are looking forward to engaging with local land owners and working together to ensure a better future for the Bay. We want to equip our landowners with the knowledge and tools to make the best choices in their land use practices.” Regional Council land management officers will work with individual landowners to help them identify the best practices and land use options for their property. Regional Councillor Jane Nees said the

campaign is about raising awareness of the need for landowners to sustainably manage their land and protect the waterways that flow through their properties. “Ensuring we engage in sustainable practices now will have a significant effect on the health of our land and waterways further down the track. We need to keep the bigger picture in view, but work through the smaller steps to get there. This programme aims to get that information and

that knowledge into the right hands and then work alongside those people to ensure we are all working towards the same goal.” The toolkits cover erosion proofing, pollution proofing, weather proofing, pest proofing and soil health. For copies of the toolkits please visit www.boprc.govt.nz/futureproofyourland or to speak to a Tauranga Harbour Land Management Officer, please phone 0800 884 880.

Protecting Tauranga Harbour water quality and biodiversity campaign aim.

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Page 30

FARM REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE

Sustainable farming only way for the future Sustainable farming is the only future for New Zealand and profitable farming can co-exist alongside a healthy, vibrant natural environment says Ian Pirani, retiring trustee and management committee member of the Bay of Plenty Ballance Farm Environment Awards. Farmers and growers are adopting sustainable methods, some faster than

others and the Ballance Farm Environment Awards, whose entrants lead by

example, is a powerful tool towards creating change, believes Ian, who was also a trustee for the National Farm Environment Awards. “New Zealand farmers won’t respond to the big stick approach, but they will rise to a challenge. If they look over the fence and see the neighbour doing better than them, then they will want to know why and how.” Children are also an effective force for change. “If the kids come home and ask why their friends down the road have more bush, ponds or wetlands and wildlife than on their farm, that can get parents interested too.” Education is another factor says Ian, who believes there is a need for sustainability to be taught at tertiary level. His own story is a model for how effective that can be. “My father (Ronald) and his friend Jim McMillan used to take me shooting and fishing and taught me to value the quality of water. Dad used to say water was liquid gold getting more valuable by the day. This was in the late ’40s. Back then we couldn’t catch fish from the Manawatu River because it was too polluted – not by farming but by the towns.

Would you drink that water?

“A question I often ask regarding water quality is ‘would you drink that water?’ The number of ‘yes’ answers have improved over time.” Ian, who was born ‘a townie’, first learnt about farming from his Uncle Charlie and later as a 16-year-old, at Flock House – an institution he says was ahead of its time. “The tutors taught modern farming and they cared about the environment. We were taught to drive bulldozers and use horse and ploughs, but also, if we shifted top soil, to replace it and, most importantly, to never drain wetlands – this at a time when swamps were being drained to turn into pasture.” How well he’d learnt those lessons was tested in Ian’s first job as a milker on Jim Ford’s 100 cow farm near Levin. “Jim wanted to drain a gully through which a spring ran and sent me to dig a six foot wide ditch. I noticed banded rails in the area and when I stopped for a smoke saw something I’d never seen in real life – a bird standing in the rushes with its head pointing straight up – and realised it was a bittern.” Knowing he’d probably lose his job, Ian told his boss he wouldn’t drain the gully. Jim however, asked Ian what he would do and together they decided to fence out the gully to stop cows falling in, and bulldoze a dam to retain the water, creating a wetland for birds. From Levin, Ian progressed to 39 per cent sharemilking at Pauatahanui, a move which proved life-changing.

Ian Pirani is a farmer with international experience in farm and conservation advisory work and a keen deer, pig, goat and game bird hunter. “It was my morning off milking when I saw out the window this girl drive up in a Morris Oxford, take a 10 gallon milk can out of the boot, lift it over a fence and water her horse. I thought then and there ‘I’m going to marry that girl’ and I did.” Dawn Harris and Ian have been married 52 years and Ian still can’t believe his luck in finding a woman who shares his philosophies and interests, including goat farming. The couple, who bred golden retrievers, began running a boarding kennels. “Friends kept asking us to look after their dogs, so we decided there was a demand.” Among their clients were two former British policemen who ran a security business and asked Ian to train their dogs. Before long, Ian was working the security nightshift at the Todd Car Factory for 10 shillings an hour. “That was good money for 16 hours back then.” When Armour Guard bought the company, the new owners asked Ian to join the firm. Ian and Dawn moved to Hamilton, where Ian managed the Waikato branch and Dawn continued with her interest in breeding waterfowl, including the protected Pateke ducks.

Saving wetlands

Ian became co-founder and the first president of Ducks Unlimited NZ, which works to save wetlands through protection, funding, technical aid and education. Ian’s health hasn’t been so good in recent years and he’s retired from many of the organisations he has been involved in but that doesn’t mean he’s giving up on helping enhance and protect New Zealand’s natural environment and the opportunities for the public to enjoy it. There are still projects he plans to bring to fruition and based on his past record, he’ll make them happen. By Elaine Fisher

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FARM DRAINAGE & EARTHWORKS

Phone 0274 968337 or 07 884 6784


COAST & COUNTRY

Page 31

Not from outerspace

Riding skills on show in Opotiki Impressive horse and rider skills are on show when competitors from toddlers to seniors take part in the Opotiki Town and Country Horse Sports at the Opotiki Rodeo Grounds each month. Organised by Bill and Tina Peters and Peggy McDonald, the monthly event attracts riders from as far away as Edgecumbe and Gisborne, all keen to try their hand at the range of skills events. The programme begins with events for the youngest riders, who are led around the course and gently introduced to riding. “Some of them are as young as three and today some of our adult riders learnt to ride as little ones here,” Peggy says. Events for riders under 12 years are next. “We have one boy who began as a three-year-old tied onto the saddle and

led around by his parents. Now he is eight and a really great rider.” Next are events for 12 to 16 year olds, then the adults compete in contests for men and women. The events are designed to develop the skills of both rider and horse. “It’s a great family day out with people of all ages getting together to watch or take part. It’s great for both rider and horse as they both develop skills through taking part.” Peggy, now a grandmother, was taught to ride by her grandfather, mustering in the hills around the coast. “We rode without saddles because if you fell, there wasn’t a risk of you being caught up and dragged by the horse. I like to teach young ones to ride bareback because I think it develops their riding skills and balance.” Every year teams of riders from throughout the North Island compete for the Peggy McDonald Cup at a special event which this year attracted 23 teams. Photos by Jean Rogers

This month’s mystery item from the KatiKati Heritage Museum may look decidedly alien but it may not be mystery to some readers. Coast & Country invites readers to send in stories and memories associated with the use of such a device which will be part of a special exhibition at the museum in April to mark Anzac Day. “The Anzac display which will feature a diorama assembled by Rob Hicks and a collection of artefacts from World War 1. Katikati Theatre Group members are making sound recordings of readings from letters written by Katikati service men and women and there will be photographs and battle maps,” says museum manager Paula Gaelic. To find out more visit the museum website www.katikatiheritagemuseum.co.nz/ If you think you know what this mystery item is or have a story to tell about memories of using it, you could be in to win a museum visit for two. Send your entry to elaine@thesun.co.nz or post to Mystery Item, PO Box 240 Tauranga 3110 to arrive no later than April 17. The winner will be announced in the May Coast & Country.

Last month’s mystery item stumped our readers. No one was able to identify it as a domestic canning machine, used to seal the lids on cans of food preserved at home. Canning was once a popular method, alongside bottling, of preserving homegrown fruits, vegetables and meats and similar devices to the one at the museum are still available today.


FORESTRY

Page 32

Balance focus for forestry conference The place of forests in collaborative land use decisions is the theme of the 2013 New Zealand Institute of Forestry Conference. Held in New Plymouth from June 30 to July 3, the conference will explore how the Taranaki region

attempts to balance the drive for economic development against the demands for environmental and landscape protection and enhancement that ensures a sustainable pathway for future generations. How collaborative efforts enhance vegetation and forest cover in an intensive dairying environment will be showcased. The formation of the Taranaki Riparian Management Programme has provided a foundation for cooperation between diverse land use interests and how this has been achieved and its successes to date will be a core component of the conference. Delegates will hear about the mechanisms used in a practical way to implement national environmental policies at the regional level. Included will be presentations on the role of farm plans and their voluntary implementation of protection and riparian creation works to mitigate the pollution caused by modern day intensive farming practices. Department of Conservation representatives will provide an overview of how the department is implementing its

national objectives, values and plans at a provincial level and its natural heritage prioritisation system as it relates to Taranaki. Practical presentations including pest control initiatives and voluntary community based projects to create and protect inland sanctuaries to enhance the habitat of native flora and fauna are also incorporated in the conference programme. Current day approaches of commercial forestry interests to the sustainable management of plantation resources which recognise ever increasing demands of non-forestry interests will also be explored. Papers on the industryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s long term vision for environmental research in production forests, the continuing search for alternative production species and new forest investment opportunities with carbon, permanent sinks and other mechanisms with application in the Taranaki hinterland will also be presented. For more information visit www.forestry.org.nz/

Diverse land use interests will be examined at a conference in June.

Wood future examined Pathways the wood processing sector could take toward achieving its strategic goal of doubling the value of forest sector exports to around $12 billion by 2022 have been identified in WoodScape, an economic evaluation of wood processing opportunities, by Crown Research Institute Scion.

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The study is a financial analysis and market review of 39 traditional and emerging wood processing technologies. Wood Council chair Doug Ducker says the council must now examine the studyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s findings and integrate them into its action plan. The study was commissioned by the Wood Council as one of the key steps in its Strategic Action Plan released last year. Funded by the council, Ministry for Primary Industries, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise and Crown Research Institute Scion, the study began in July 2012.


COAST & COUNTRY

Page 33

Ground water key to grain and fibre production Corn silage being bunkered.

Brett continues the story of his USA odyssey, this time in Missouri. We have arrived at Sikeston, Missouri and the effects of the drought are quite noticeable. Our good friend and mentor, Neal Kinsey joined us for this leg of the tour; our first port of call is Tribute Farms, owned since 2009 by Peter and Jo Gaul, ex-pat New Zealanders. Peter and Jo have set up a dairy farm in partnership with a joiner whose furniture factory covers 12ha. They supply Dairy Farmers of America, the biggest buyer of milk, with 50 per cent of USA dairy farmers supplying. Price is set monthly and fluctuates according to supply and demand. Missouri had one million cows 20 years ago, but only 100,000 now. Land is relatively cheap here, being based on the productive value, which in Missouri is based on a corn and soybean crop rotation. The land cost $4,200/ha when it was covered in trees; the cost after tree removal being $7,400. This particular area of Missouri (10,000 square hectares) has extremely high agricultural production. Excellent soils, a favourably long growing season and the highest average annual precipitation in the state being major factors contributing to its agricultural excellence. The

groundwater resources in this region make it a major grain and fibre producer. Corn, soybeans and other small grains are produced here, but rice and cotton are also extensively produced.

Ground water

On Tribute Farm, the water table is 2-5m deep. Pumping is almost effortless; the cost being merely $1,550/month. It is 1,300km to the sea and the altitude is still only 60m. The Mississippi delta starts here. (The delta is where the river channel may vary from year to year.) Tribute Farm is 274ha, with 234 being irrigated by six pivots. Cow wintering, farm crops and heifers, 300 calves and 270 r2â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, are carried on a 192ha support farm (120ha irrigated), one km away. Irrigation is applied at 10mm/day, 75mm/week up to 750mm/year. 170-180kgN is applied via the pivots. Peter has not yet tried the Albrecht-Kinsey system on the home farm. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an ex-LIC employee, and needed to be convinced. His consultant, Aaron Woolard, a Kinsey adherent, started an Albrecht-Kinsey programme on the runoff where 28ha produced 270 bales of Sudan grass in 60 days prior to the first brew being

One of the Tribute Farm dairy herds. applied. After application, the yield went to 394 bales in 31 days, a 182 per cent improvement. These are light soils. The TEC ranges from below 4.85 to 7. A quick glance at soil tests reveals low N, P, K, Ca, Mg, B, Cu, Zn and marginal S and Mn. Na is fine. The biggest negative factor on the dairy unit, besides soil fertility, is lack of shade for the cows. Heat knocks them around. The 900 cows can only last two hours during the day before being brought back to the purpose built shadeshelter where they are fed a supplementary diet consisting of sorghum or Sudan grass baleage and corn silage. Total intake is 4,320kg/cow/yr. However, Peter spends $80,000 per annum on minerals.

Best pastures

Sixty-five per cent of the land grows permanent pasture, while 35 per cent is summer or winter crops and corn for silage. The best pastures for winter are ryegrass/clover and soft fescues/clover. In summer, Sudan grass and Sorghum are preferred. Clover dominates in summer, in part, we found because, the nitrogen/ sulphur fertiliser mix used, rendered it bitter. Winter crops are annual ryegrass, turnips, rape and winter rye. Up to 66 per cent of the winter diet is from green forages. The cowshed, a 54 bail rotary and associated

technology, massive double bunkers for maize silage, a Tribar weeping wall effluent system, and irrigation are all impressive; but it is a work in progress as far as cow welfare is concerned.

Patrick Hulshof

Not too far away from Tribute Farm is Patrick Hulshof, a young maize grower who has taken over the family farm and grows 3,230 hectares. Despite the drought, this season was one out of the bag. With 50 pivots 460m long irrigating 56ha each, a crew of six strive to keep sufficient water up to the crops. At each corner, where the pivots meet, a government conservation payment of $250/ha is being considered, in lieu of not farming these areas. Patrick farms on sand with a TEC of 5-15.4. This is his first year on the A-K fertility system, with a few hundred ha being trialled. Under normal conditions, irrigation increases yield by 20-30 per cent, with 11,900-12,500kg/ ha being the usual yield. Cost of pumping on many farms is $740/ha. On this farm, it is $200 owing to the proximity of the water table. Nutrients can be lost in a wet spring, causing the tips not to fill. This is exactly what has happened on one side of the road, not on the programme. The yield here is assessed at 14,400kg/ha.

BASE SATURATION PERCENT Calcium (60 to 70%) Magnesium (10 to 20%) Potassium (2 to 5%) Sodium (.5 to 3%) Other Bases (Variable)

}80%

EXCHANGEABLE HYDROGEN (10 to 15%)


Page 34

HORTICULTURE

G3 industry’s future gold A Bay of Plenty kiwifruit post-harvest and orchard management company is so confident in the new gold variety, G3, it’s prepared to cover the costs of orchard conversions for growers who enter lease agreements with it.

end of the lease, will hand back the orchard with a new variety in place.” The company’s confidence in the new variety is based on its experience of managing orchards which have converted to G3, as well as Paul’s first-hand knowledge of growing it on his family orchard.

“My orchard had 100 per cent canopy when it became infected with Psa and that cut it back to 53 per cent but it still produced a commercial crop. It Direct Management Services director Paul Jones says G3 vines are proving to be more tolerant to the disease has since regained 85 to 95 per cent of the canopy, however growing in the Psa environment is not for the Psa-V and have the ability to produce quality fruit in faint-hearted.” commercially viable volumes, if managed correctly. Aside from the impact of Psa, G3 is relatively easy The offer to cover the costs of converting all or part to grow compared with green of people’s orchards to G3 in kiwifruit, has a much higher return for a six year lease is productivity rate, and can be up being made to growers in March to six times more profitable than and April and will be further the green variety, says Paul. explained at a meeting open to However, in the Psa environall orchardists on April 10. ment professional orchard Paul believes the offer will management is more important breathe new confidence into an than ever and there is a need industry struggling from the to mitigate the impacts of the impacts of the bacterial disease disease and modify the environPseudomonas syringae pv actiniment to discourage it. Proactive diae which has effectively wiped protection and aggressive spray out the previous Hort16A gold programmes are essential. variety in Te Puke and infected G3 has the added advantage orchards both green and gold in of not having the distinctive most growing regions. Hort16A ‘beak’ which caused The kiwifruit industry Delicate work – care is too big to let fail, Paul is needed in training picking and packing issues. “The industry has learned a lot believes. It earns $1 bilnew G3 vines. from Hort16A in terms of large scale lion in exports, has global conversion to a new variety, and how sales worth $1.62 billion, employs up to 9800 Zespri’s new to handle the more delicate variety.” staff with a further 8600 The variety was developed by Plant gold G3 is employed on a seasonal & Food Research and commercially replacing basis, and accounts for 30 per released after three years of pre-trials Hort16A. cent of GDP. Eighty-two per cent and testing in 2010 – the same year of the industry is based in the Bay of Psa struck the original gold variety, Plenty. Hort 16A. It was bred for specific attributes, including Until Psa arrived growing kiwifruit had been relasize, productivity and taste, but has also turned out to tively uncomplicated and for growers who did it well, be more Psa tolerant than other varieties. profitable. Paul says Psa has changed growing practices Zespri is expected to release more G3 licences in time forever and some growers are struggling with the for grafting during winter but won’t be releasing any amount of time and money needed to buy licences, more of the other two new varieties, G9 (a gold) and graft a new variety and produce a crop. G14 (a green). “DMS will do all the work, fund the costs and at the By Elaine Fisher

Packhouse welcomes all to field days Trevelyan’s of Te Puke is throwing open its monthly field days to all kiwifruit growers in an effort to help all orchardists cope with the disease Psa-V. Ash Lee, Grower Services Manager at Trevelyan’s, says the field days have grown in popularity in the past 12 months and many nonTrevelyan growers already attend. “The reality is we all need the kind of information being shared at these field days and the more

people that attend the better it is for the whole industry. “The purpose for the field days is simple, to help growers best manage their orchards in a Psa environment. We do this by providing a forum with leading growers to discuss the latest growing techniques and innovations. “There is free coffee made to order from 9 am and each field day tends to run for a couple of hours.”

Grower field days are held on orchards around the Te Puke district and facilitated by Peter Mulligan. They include plenty of opportunities for growers to add to the discussion and ask questions. Each field day event is highlighted on the main billboard at the railway end of the Te Puke township. Field days are free to attend. For more information contact Ash at Trevelyan’s on 07 573 0085.


HORTICULTURE

Page 35

Tiny introduced insect devastated tamarillo orchard Three years ago life was good for Bert and Felicity van der Lee. The tamarillo orchard they had developed was thriving and the fruit the 900 young trees produced was in demand.

appear more tolerant to the disease, but it’s a slow journey back from the productive orchard they once had.

Tobacco weed

Bert is experimenting with grafting tamarillos onto tobacco weed As well as selling fresh fruit, the couple had developed rootstock in the hope that might give some protection too. Originally a range of tamarillo sauces and chutneys which they that’s how tamarillo were grown but as sold under their own Crimson Coast brand through the industry developed, there was a move the Tauranga Farmers’ Market, Mount Maunganui to growing trees on their own Market and in speciality stores. rootstock. Then a tiny insect carrying a deadly “When we started the disease flew in, devastating the trees orchard I thought one after another. we would be able to “It was awful to see yet grow tamarillos viranother tree dying. It tually organically but happened so quickly,” all that has changed. says Bert, who often To control the insect found it hard to go we now have to use out and inspect the chemical sprays,” says Bert, orchard because what who applies sprays directly to he saw was so depressthe under-side of leaves from a ing. backpack sprayer in an effort to The Crimson Coast get the best coverage. orchard, located at Minden So far, with careful managenear Tauranga, was not alone. ment, the replacement trees, and Since the tomato/potato psyllid the few originals which remain, look arrived in 2006 by somehow breaching healthy. Older trees have set fruit but New Zealand’s bio-security systems, it has there are still big gaps in the orchard. infected orchards in Northland, Hawke’s However Felicity and Bert aren’t giving Bay and the Bay of Plenty with Candidatus up – it’s not in their nature. Liberibacter solanacearum as it feeds on the In that they are now one of the few, sap of the trees. as there are only around 40 commercial The insect also feeds on tomatoes tamarillo growers left in New Zealand and potatoes and has seriously Signs of infection – this from the 120 six years ago. So if they affected commercial growers in young tamarillo tree on can restore their orchard to close to those industries too. the van der Lee orchard full production, there should be good Felicity says while she feels for is unlikely to survive. returns in future. kiwifruit growers who are battling with the bacterial disease Psa-V which also got through our borders, the plight of tamarillo, potato and tomato Sparkling wine growers due to the psyllid’s arrival has gone largely “It’s a great fruit and we have the chance to add value unnoticed. with our sauces and chutneys.” Bert has even been experimenting with a sparking tamarillo wine. Serious threat “It looks and tastes good but doesn’t have enough “It’s a serious, serious threat to all our livelihoods and bubbles yet.” like Psa, now it’s here, there is no way to eradicate it.” Because the insect impacts several The couple had industries, there’s a good deal of hoped the orchard research going on into ways of controlwould provide a ling it and the hope for the van der Lee living for them and family is that improved solutions and their teenage twins, more tolerant varieties will be found Daniel and Michelle, soon. but because so many “I hope New Zealand doesn’t get any trees died, they have more pests. We are so lucky to have taken on a coma country without snakes and only a mercial cleaning couple of poisonous spiders. We don’t franchise to supplewant anything like that to arrive, or ment their income. any more pests and diseases to affect The psyllid, which our primary producers. I just hope our is almost too tiny to Promise – these flowers hold the hope of a borders are being carefully watched,” see, inserts its stylet new tamarillo crop for Bert and Felicity. By Elaine Fisher says Felicity. into the plant, sucks the sap and excretes the excess water and sugar as honey dew or as a solid waste (psyllid sugar). Nymphs and possibly adults inject a toxin into the plants when they feed which causes discolouration of leaves and the plant becomes Solid Food for Soils stunted, exhibiting ‘psyllid yellow’ and ‘purple top’. Leaf edges upturn and show yellowing or purpling. The plants internodes shorten and new growth is retarded. When Bert and Felicity saw signs of the disease, they dug up the trees and burnt them. There were a lot of bonfires the first season. New trees have been planted as the ground is not infected and the couple have also been growing clones taken from their own trees which DoloZest CalciZest 0800 843 809 07 362 7288

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Bert and Felicity van der Lee in the orchard they are trying to re-establish after it was hit hard by a disease carried by an introduced insect, the tomato/potato psyllid.

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AVOCADOS

Page 36

Early bird catches Australian holiday Avocado grower Ted Clay of Timon Trusts Orchard Katikati is the winner of Just Avocados’ Australian holiday prize package, drawn from 93 supplier entries into the “Early Bird” prize draw. The trip comprises two return airfares, five nights in a four star hotel, travel cash and a one day avocado educational tour with one of Just Avocados Ltd

avocado market agents. It was the main prize for growers participating in the recently launched “JAL Loyal Rewards” programme, which includes a range of additional rewards granted to all signed suppliers. “To reinforce with growers the importance of early planning and benefits gained from getting an earlier fix on crop volume we are to be responsible for, we initiated the “JAL Loyal Rewards” scheme. “The response was fantastic and in now having a good grasp of projected volume to be packed and / or marketed by Just Avocados, we have a far better shot

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at further maximising seeking an increase in grower returns,” manvolume. aging director Andrew “Based on the “Early Darling explains. Bird” grower commit“We have generally been ments received to date, we in the upper quartile of are confident of enjoying a pool returns year on 15 per cent plus share of year but often the industry export reflect on how crop and we can much more we talk more proaccould achieve tively with our for growers by Australian retail having more customers and accurate crop specialist avocado forecasts and an wholesalers about earlier read on a meaningful prospective pool reliable supply volume, in order to programme. better plan and then Simply put, that Andrew Darling, managing reliably manage cusputs more dollars director of Just Avocados. tomer programme,” in grower’s pockhe says. ets,” says Andrew. Just Avocados is also a 33 per cent Retail accounts shareholder in the AVANZA export Including both direct retail accounts group and must make flow plan to be served along with importcommitments for the various ers established in each State programmes being estabof Australia, Just Avocalished in markets beyond dos has seven Australia, such as Japan, Australian South and North East customers Asia, again who will be highlighting demanding to need fruit this for sound coming planning season and based on each one known likely to be volume.


Page 37

NEW PRODUCTS

New quick, easy phytophthora treatment The time required to treat trees for phytophthora has been dramatically reduced thanks to new slow-release tablets inserted through holes drilled into the trunk. Steve Cully, Business Development Manager for Omnia Nutriology says the company’s StemCap PC-1 capsules are so easy to administer one orchardist completed the task in record time. “The grower would normally treat up to 300 trees over two to three weekends but finished the task with StemCap PC-1 capsules in just one day and was over the moon at how quick and easy it

was.” Dr Adrian Spiers who heads up Omnia Nutriology’s research and development programme has been working on the development of the capsules since 1999 as a faster, more efficient way of treating phytophthora. The capsules are stable and the active ingredient phosphonate only becomes soluble once inside the tree. Their formulation and use has now met all the required approvals from the Ministry for Primary Industries. Fruitfed carried out independent assessments of the effectiveness of the capsules which showed phosphonate levels reached the required 20 ppm between 45 and 60 days of being administered and 3. PLUG

1. DRILL

2. PLACE

StemCap PC-1 capsules are administered by first drilling into the avocado tree trunk, inserting the capsules and then plugging the hole.

remained above that level (reaching as high as 30 ppm) for 120 days. “We have had strong interest from avocado growers in California, South Africa and Australia, for the capsules which are 100 per cent made in New Zealand and the intellectual property belongs in this country too,” says Steve. The capsules cost around 55 cents each and administration is up to 60 per cent quicker than using syringes or stem guns. “There is no mixing of chemicals or preparation of materials as there is with syringes, and there’s no maintenance required on injection equipment.” Steve recommends growers have phosphonate root tests done by Hills Laboratories on their trees before administering StemCap PC-1. “Once they have the test results, they can adjust the treatment accordingly. The recommended dose is one to two tablets per meter of tree canopy.” The required dose is calculated

Wool carder bee a recent arrival The angry buzz from the pile of clean washing was warning enough to be careful with the folding – I’m allergic to bee stings. However, it took a while to work through the layers and find a large bee of a kind I’d never seen before. Once released, he headed straight for the window and we caught him in a jar Wool carder bee for a better look. soaking up sun. About the size and shape of a bumble bee, the insect had distinctive black and yellow markings on its abdomen so I photographed it and sent the image to the Ministry for Primary Industries, where it was identified as a wool carder bee – A. manicatum. So I hadn’t discovered some new unwanted organism which had just breached bio-security, but these bees haven’t been in this country for long either. They were first identified in Nelson in 2006, followed by several

records in Auckland in 2007-8. It is native to Europe, northern Africa and Asia but is also found in the USA, Canada and Brazil and gets its name from the habit of the females of scraping the hair from leaves of plants like lambs ear, to make linings for their nests. They are solitary bees and the males are very territorial, defending floral resources from other males, other bees and flower-visiting insects, and mating with females that arrive there. Males have five sharp spines on the abdomen that can damage or even kill intruding insects. The female can occasionally be seen ‘carding’ fibres from plants. The bee visits a variety of different plant species but has a preference for purple or blue flowers from the mint family (Lamiaceae), such as rosemary. MPI says that at the time of its first detection here it was considered unlikely that A. manicatum would have any noticeable or significant impact to New Zealand’s apicultural industry. Since then, no impacts have been observed or reported. Nowhere overseas are wool carder bees considered to be pests of honey bees. The solitary nature of this species suggests that it will not form large, dense or problem populations that could cause issues. Other bees are seldom injured by the wool carder bee’s aggressive behaviour and they usually just fly away after an attack, the ministry says. There may be some competition with other introduced species for nesting holes. By Elaine Fisher

TOGETHER, WE’RE BUILDING NEW ZEALAND

by measuring the diameter of the canopy from drip line to drip line. Then a hole is drilled deep into the trunk and capsules inserted by hand one after the other. “I’m sure some clever grower is going to come up with another method of delivering the capsules, but for now

it’s easy enough to do by hand,” says Steve. The hole is plugged and can be used to administer more tables within 12 months if required. Autumn and spring are the optimum times to administer the capsules to help combat the wide-spread fungal disease.

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Page 38

AUTUMN FERTILISER

Accident under investigation An investigation into an accident in which a Pukehina man was killed while spreading fertiliser on a Te Puke dairy farm could take up to six months to complete.

Both fire-fighters and equipment were carried by a 4WD ute to the scene. Glenn says emergency services took about an hour to lift the truck. Spreadmaster Transport owner Philip Robinson says staff members at the fertiliser company are trying to come to terms with the death. “Obviously it’s a very hard time for us. It’s a very hard time for everybody in the business. We are very, very shaken up and it’s very raw.” Darren had been working for the Te Puke company for eight years. He leaves behind a wife and two children. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (formerly Department of Labour) and the Police Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit are continuing their investigation.

Darren Hockly, 40, was killed when the Spreadmaster Transport truck he was driving rolled down an 8metre bank while he was spreading lime on the Te Matai Road farm around midday on March 19. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is investigating the accident in conjunction with the Police Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit. Emergency services were called to the crash about 20km from Te Puke where St John Ambulance arrived to find the man had died after becoming pinned under the truck. Te Puke Fire Brigade Chief Glenn Williams says the location of the accident made it difficult for firefighters to reach the scene.

The location of the accident where the fertiliser truck rolled made it difficult for fire-fighters to reach the scene.

Overseeing nutrient use An agricultural management tool first released in the early 1990s has enabled nutrient budgeting to be rolled out to virtually all dairy farmers and now drystock farmers are using it too. Called Overseer, the programme is available free of charge through a partnership between the Fertiliser Association of New Zealand, AgResearch and the Ministry for Primary Industries. The tool has received some $15 million of investment in the past 20 years and many thousands of farmers are now receiving the benefits of the model on a regular basis. Overseer which models the cycling of nutrients within a farming operation. It estimates the nutrient inputs, outputs and flows of various farm management scenarios to optimise production and

manage environmental risk. It will estimate nitrogen and phosphorus loss and greenhouse gas emissions allowing the risk of environmental impact of farm management options to be taken into consideration. A new version of Overseer was released last year and represents a major advance over the previous version. To provide greater transparency about the science behind Overseer, and to help users better understand the changes and assumptions made in developing version 6, a quick start guide and technical manual have been developed. From time-to-time information is also published that addresses particular issues that are relevant to the handling of data in Overseer. For more information go to www.overseer.org.nz.

Winners of a ‘free paddock’ Two sheep and beef farmers are the lucky winners of the nation-wide “Win a Free Paddock” campaign drawn last month. Carl McDonald of Marton and Bruce Kiihfuss who farms nears Pahiatua have won products and technical advice to undertake pasture renewal on their farms to the value of $8,000. This can be redeemed from their nominated rural retailers, courtesy of the Pasture Renewal Charitable Trust (PRCT), which ran the competition. More than 435 farmers entered the

TTRRUUSSTT TTHHEE EEXXPPEE RR TT SS BookNow NowFor For Book

Pelletised Pelletised

LIME LIME

Application Application

national competition and sheep and beef farmers made up over 50 per cent of the entrants so PRCT’s project manager Nicola Holmes is delighted at the response. The rural retailers got right in behind promoting the campaign right around New Zealand and helped raise the awareness of pasture renewal. The campaign has been excellent in raising awareness amongst farmers to “do something about the difference” between the best producing paddock on farm and the worst”, to boost overall farm productivity.

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AUTUMN FERTILISER

Page 39

Change in farmers’ hands

One of the Scholarships was awarded to Thomas Macdonald.

Four science study scholarships awarded Four science students have been awarded 2013 Ballance study scholarships in a move which the company sees as a further investments in New Zealand’s farming science talent pool. Tom Woutersen of Cambridge, Thomas Macdonald of Hamilton, Lutte Thys of Invercargill, and Daniel Risi of Cambridge are scholarship recipients, bring the total of Ballance scholarships awarded so far to 59. Warwick Catto, Head of Research and Environment at Ballance Agri-Nutrients, says the calibre of applicants rises every year and gives him huge faith in farming’s future. “Farming needs excellent research and sound science as much as it needs good soil and rain. We have some outstanding young people ready to make their mark and we’re right behind them.”

Tom Woutersen

Used his first Ballance scholarship to help fund his Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Science. His second scholarship will help fund his Postgraduate Diploma in agri-business at Waikato University. Tom is a past winner of the New Zealand Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Science Award and has already contributed to agricultural research, working with AgResearch and DairyNZ on major trials around feed and rotary shed milking efficiency during his undergraduate studies. “I am hoping to combine the business skills I gain in postgraduate studies with my background in science, and apply them to a role within the agricultural sector. Research is important, but even the most ground breaking research will only change the agricultural industry for the better if they are also viable in a business sense. Then we can ensure that the industry’s level of productivity, profitability, and sustainability continues to improve.”

Lutte Thys

Of Invercargill is working towards a Bachelor of Science with a double major in agricultural and animal science. Science fair projects at school on nitrogen inhibitors and the sustainability of cropping planted a seed which has grown into a passion for research. “My goal is to be one of New Zealand’s top agricultural research scientists. My science fair projects helped me to realise that there are numerous farming practices that are said to be good or bad without ample research been put into them. This has fuelled my passion to become a scientist and

research more enjoyable, economical, sustainable and respectable ways to farm New Zealand by ensuring that the health of the soil and the animals are at its best.”

Thomas Macdonald

Is studying for a Bachelor of Business Analysis, majoring in agri-business at Waikato University. The keen bassist and member of several New Zealand bands, he sees major opportunities for New Zealand agricultural and its potential to feed the world’s growing population. “Sustainable agriculture and agribusiness governance really interest me. I believe the development of these key areas will allow agriculture in New Zealand to reach maximum efficiency without compromising environmental performance. Once my studies are completed, I would like to become involved in a New Zealand agribusiness where technology transfer to farmers is key. My ultimate goal is to be involved in farm ownership and agri-business governance.”

Daniel Risi Of Cambridge is undertaking a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Natural Resources at Canterbury University. This is his honours year and already his engineering studies have been put to practical use during summer internships. To date he’s helped design a new 60 bail rotary cowshed and effluent pond and gained experience in irrigation canal design. Last year he worked on the design of a hydro-electric and irrigation scheme for the upper Canterbury plains, achieving tops marks for his assignment. “My honours project will take this design one step further, developing numerical model to model phosphorus groundwater emissions in the Balmoral forest region if dairy farm conversions take place. This project will also analyse how to maximize land use efficiency on irrigation and dairy farm management by managing resources effectively. This project was designed to help address the issues of peak phosphorous and how the country can better model this fertiliser in a more efficient manner.” Daniel wants to continue working on irrigation design after graduation and ensuring that the primary sector sustainably with through sound engineering solutions and proper environmental investigation. The latest round of scholarships takes the total of Ballance scholarships to 59 and includes a previous winner now engaged in post graduate study.

Regarding the facts arising in the article on page 14, Coast & Country March 2013, ‘Cocaine of Agriculture’, and the inevitable response from Ballance and Agri chemicals. They have way too much invested in urea, etc to listen to the facts and farmers have been duped for way too long by these companies spin. . There are three more separate articles in this issue of Coast &Country alone that describe the benefits of bacteria and subsequent nutrients. There isn't much to worry about because everyone in the primary industry is starting to see the truth about the last 50 years in this business. The scientist "working for Ballance" admits urea slows down bacteria (if not stopping it). The levels of nutrients and trace elements are determined by the level of bacterial and fungal activity. The principles of composting and

manure tell us this. Urea is doing the opposite. Take two glasses of non-chloride water with 1/3 good soil added. Put 1/2 a tea spoon of urea in one glass. Shake up both a couple of times a day for three days and you will see what's happening to your soils with urea. The soil won't settle. It is emulsified. Guess where it goes now? Our rivers are loaded with top soils, run off and leachate. Rain fall and nutrients are going there too. The soil has lost its holding capabilities, ie- carbon, bacteria. But the effects of urea can't just stop there. Our cattle are sick projectile pooing is common place regarded as normal. A cow’s rumen digestive system is a function of bacteria. So is ours. Ban inhibitors- ban urea. Can you imagine it? All the best farmers. Clearly you are not to blame, but change is in your hands. Brett Taylor, Pikowai

Coast & Country welcomes letters from readers. Preference will be given to letters that are short (200 words) and supplied with full name and contact details. Email: elaine@thesun.co.nz or post to PO Box 240, Tauranga.


HORSE OF THE YEAR

Page 40

Highs and heartbreaks As Horse of the Year 2013 approached it was with excitement we packed the truck to head down to Hastings from Whakatane for the week of everything equestrian and all disciplines. Our daughter Nadesha (16) had qualified earlier in January to represent the Bay of Plenty in the Pony Club team of NZ event.

It was such a thrill to qualify for this event from the show jumping riders throughout the Bay including Taupo, Rotorua, Tauranga and Whakatane area pony clubs. We had not been to HOY with a horse before and the chance to ride in the premier arena if the team was in the top six teams to go through, was very exciting. We headed down to Hastings on the Thursday, with the first round for the team to be ridden on Friday. Nadesha

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had entered a couple other classes while she was down there as it seemed a long way to go and a big expense not to enter some other classes. Arriving to find out our yarding and camping on the grounds had been missed out among 60 other riders also. The weather was hot and there was dust everywhere, we got allocated a yard and the strangest thing, out of 2500 horses we got a yard next to a pony we used to own and our horse Butter remembered Taz. So that made us happy, rather than next to a grumpy horse that wants to lean over and bite your horse. The next thing was to find a camping spot free on the grounds. Everyone was packed in like sardines and it seemed impossible to find a spot for our horse truck. Nadesha warmed up her horse Melting Moments ready for the 1.15m class just before her pony club team event. Everything was looking great, she was jumping nicely and Nadesha was confident, looking smart in her new riding jacket her mum had designed and made for her, just finishing it the day before. Into the ring she rode and jumped the first three jumps amazingly, then heading into jump four, something went wrong and Melting Moments stumbled over the top rail coming down onto her knees. Trying to regain her feet and save herself from rolling over on top of her rider, she came through with her hind foot and cut her front heel open.

Nadesha Marshall jumping Melting Moments at the Horse of the Year just before the injury.

Upon gathering herself up on all four feet, Nadesha realized she was lame and jumped off to find the big gash in her lower leg. That was the end of her HOY event for her and a big vet bill to go with it after The horse was sedated and stitched up. Quickly we had to contact our reserve rider for the BOP team, get her into the team uniform to ride the first round. The team rode well qualifying in the top six, including South Island riders. Sunday was the finals and the team rode well again and placed second Overall in New Zealand. By Kathryn Marshall of Hoof Camp, Whakatane

Soiled racing gear potential bio-security threat Failing to declare soiled harness driving equipment has seen an experienced Christchurch harness racer sentenced to 120 hours of community service for knowingly making a false declaration to Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) quarantine inspectors in August last year. When questioned by a quarantine inspector, Anthony Murray Butt said that he had not been racing when he was in Australia.

When asked about his dirty clothing, he said that it came from New Zealand. Subsequent investigations, including analysis of video footage, clearly showed that this was not the case and that he had been racing in the clothing and equipment in question. “Equine biosecurity is taken very seriously by MPI, as horse racing contributes a significant amount to the New Zealand economy,” says Canterbury/Westland Compliance Manager, Peter Hyde. “Concerns around the deadly Hendra virus mean that those travelling from Australia need to

take special care that they have decontaminated any equipment that may pose a biosecurity risk. “The offending is made all the more serious in this case as Mr Butt knowingly made a false declaration after being potentially exposed to an extremely serious biosecurity risk. As a professional involved in the horse racing industry he is well aware of the risks posed to the industry by Hendra and other biosecurity threats.” The maximum penalty for knowingly making a false declaration is twelve months imprisonment and/or a fine of $50,000.


Page 41

HORSE OF THE YEAR

Horse of Year winner for economy and riders Maurice Beatson’s win in the JB Olympic Cup on the final day of the New Zealand Horse of the Year in Hastings in mid-March was a fitting finale to the week-long event. Kevin Hansen (director of Event Pro, which manages the Horse of the Year) says the win by the Kiwi was popular among the crowds which packed the venue. When 59-year-old Maurice from Dannevirke rode his 18-year-old home-bred horse My Gollywog to victory in the $200,000 event, it marked 22 years since the former Olympian and World Games representative had held the Olympic Cup aloft. Kevin says HOY is now firmly established as the most prestigious

equestrian event in the Southern Hemisphere, attracting crowds this year of around 76,000 and injecting into the Hawke’s Bay economy an estimated $27 million. Of that, it’s calculated $12.5 million is profit. Trade exhibitors at the event accounted for a further $11 million. However, Kevin says the event’s value goes beyond economics. “It is preparing our riders for international competition, in effect bringing Europe to New Zealand, as the dressage arena alone is up to European standards.” This year’s large contingent of Australian riders gave a significant boost to competition and that’s likely to continue in the future. Event Pro organised the Long White Cloud Tour to tempt the Aussies over the Tasman. It began at the new Ride the Rhythm event in Dunedin in early February and finished at the Horse of the Year Show in March. The tour was Kevin’s brainchild and he put together seven events. They included Show Jumping’s

Holy Grail at Church Road Winery, which took the form of a Trans-Tasman test between top line riders from Australia and New Zealand. The event ended one apiece when New Zealand took out the young rider Trans-Tasman test, with the Aussies securing the senior title. Staging an event of the size and standard of the Horse of the Year is a huge undertaking and Kevin says planning has already begun for 2014.

Right: Vanessa Way on her way to winning dressage Horse of the Year. Photos by KAMPIC Photography.

Above: Sir Mark Todd thrilled the capacity crowd. Far left: Maurice Beatson and My Gollywog. Below: Maurice Beatson on My Gollywog won the prestigious JB Olympic Cup.

HORSE OF THE YEAR 2013

A celebration of all things equestrian www.hoy.co.nz

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COUNTRY LIVING

Page 42

Maximising sun to minimise costs to pocket and planet Karen Robinson doesn’t waste any opportunity in her quest for sustainability, so it’s not surprising she uses the dashboard of her parked vehicle to help dehydrate fruit and vegetables grown on the Oropi property she and husband Will call the Solar Barn.

Waterless Dehydrating Odourless Toilet

elsewhere r o e m o h for

“It gets so hot inside the ute I figured I might as well use it for dehydrating, so if I’m going to be in town with the vehicle parked up and windows closed for a while, I arrange the trays on the dash and let the sun do its work,” laughs Karen. Using free solar energy that way is just one example of the innovative thinking Will and Karen apply to their quest to live 100 per cent sustainably. The couple began their ambitious project on 5ha of land in Hereford Road in 2005, first building the ‘barn’ which is both their home, the source of much of their energy and all their water. Rainwater from the large, two-storeyed house is captured and stored in tanks. A solar panel on the roof uses sunlight to heat domestic hot water through the summer and is supplemented by a Marshall Hot Water solid fuel heater in winter. The barn is very well insulated and its concrete floor absorbs daytime warmth, releasing it at night in an effective passive solar heating system. Electricity is generated by the large array of solar panels Will has constructed to follow the sun, and a wind turbine he also built. A meter in the home records how much power is being used and energyefficient fridges and a freezer means at times the amount drops away to nothing.

Composting loo

irrigates fruit trees. The couple now have a cow, called Betsy, which is milked daily to provide A2 milk, which Will and Karen say is better for the digestive system than milk from cows which produce both A2 and A1 milk.

Cheeses

Milking time – Will Robinson with Betsy the A2 cow at the Solar Barn.

Soft cheeses, butter and yoghurt are made from the milk and each day Karen bakes bread, using a ‘starter’ she feeds to constantly provide the Karen Robinson yeast required. “Bread made this way and the yoghurt are examof the ples of pre-digested foods, which I believe are better Solar for our system and help promote good health,” says Barn Karen. makes While Will’s the inventor, (he’s also converted their cheese and cars to run on waste vegetable oil), the Mr Fix-it yoghurt from fresh man, stockman (caring for cows, sheep and goats they graze) beekeeper and milker, Karen grows all the A2 milk every day. organic fruit, herbs and vegetables. “It’s tremendously satisfying to sit down to a meal and know that virtually everything on your plate you have grown and produced yourself.”

There’s an outside toilet, but it’s not a long-drop. Instead, inside a spacious room is a Bio-Loo composting toilet which converts what Will calls “number one and number twos” into a valuable fertiliser which is returned to the land. However, Will is working on a domestic sized bio-digester to extract methane gas to fuel the cooking hobs in the kitchen. Anne Keen from Colorado spreads grass The home’s grey water clippings over wool to create weed-supressing, from washing and showers is water-retaining mulch on the vegetable garden directed to a branched drain at the Solar Barn. distribution system which

No dig

Karen is implementing a no-dig form of gardening, and even used a fleece from one of their sheep to spread on the garden, topping it with grass clippings, to form a weed-suppressing, water-retaining mulch. Karen is also a talented seamstress, designing and making clothes, bags, kitchen accessories, as well as altering clothes for clients. Her hands are seldom idle and she makes crochet rugs as well.

Woofers

The Solar Barn has become a popular destination for Willing Workers on Organic Farms –known as Woofers. The most recent are Andrew and Alise Miller from Kansas and Anne Keen from Colorado. The trio, who were inspired by what Karen and Will have achieved, and still dream of achieving, helped the couple prepare for the Sustainable Backyard workshops and seminars they hosted during March.

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COUNTRY LIVING

Couple’s sustainable workshops Andrew and Alise plan to begin an organic fresh food store and Anne’s dream is to build and operated a fully sustainable retirement village. Will reckons it can be done – and has suggested a bio-digester to turn human waste into fuel for cooking.

Cancer

Woofers Andrew and Alise Miller from Kansas and Anne Keen from Colorado have been inspired by what they learned at the Solar Barn.

An array of sun-tracking solar panels and a wind turbine built by Will Robinson provides power for the Solar Barn.

Two years after they embarked on their ambitious project, Karen was diagnosed with cancer. “I was so scared. My whole world was rocked to the core. My chance of a good outcome was 70 per cent, so I had to work hard for this. “The cancer could not be cut out. I chose to do both complimentary and conventional treatment. I had chemo and radiotherapy – what a journey. I have been in remission for two years now and have a new lease on life. There has been an amazing shift within me.” Coping with and recovering from the illness has further reinforced Will and Karen’s commitment to healthy eating and lifestyle and it’s something they want to share with others

– which they do through regular workshops and seminars throughout the years. “There is so much people living in town can do, from growing a few vegetables in pots if they don’t have much room, to making their own yoghurt, or having a big vegetable garden and even raising chickens in areas where that’s allowed,” says Karen. To find out more about the Solar Barn, its seminars and workshops visit the website www.thesolarbarn.com

The outdoor Bio-Loo is yet another example of sustainability at the Solar Barn.

By Elaine Fisher

Page 43


Page 44

COUNTRY LIVING

Hot to trot: Surf ’s up for Zorro Mount Maunganui’s latest surfing sensation Zorro the piglet is turning heads as he rides waves across the ocean beach.

Around lunchtime, Zorro - energised from his breakfast of bread and milk - and his owner Matthew Bell head down to the beach to check out the swell, and if things look promising it’s surf ’s up. The 27-year-old Mount local has been teaching his pet piglet Zorro to surf since February.

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Zorro and Matthew enjoying the surf at Mount Maunganui. Photo by Tracy Hardy. “I have always thought surfing with a pig would be a novel thing to do. I just wanted to give it a go and see because they are good swimmers.” Matthew’s family have always kept pigs and Zorro, a mixture of kunekune and domestic, with possibly a bit of wild boar thrown in, is one of the family’s new additions. Zorro first went surfing when he was three-weeksold and Matt says “he loved it”. “I just wade out and chuck him on the front of the board before paddling out with one arm.” Zorro still has plenty of room to run along and jump off the 9.6 foot longboard when he wants. He says surfing with Zorro is pretty easy and he only has trouble when Zorro starts to squeal with excitement. Zorro also heads along the beach for his daily walk, much to the amusement of other beachgoers.

“Everyone is really into it. It’s quite strange, and makes people smile and laugh. “Everyone takes a second glance.” Zorro is beginning to attract a following on his own Facebook page titled ‘Zorro the Frother’. Although already growing fast, Matthew says Zorro should be able to continue surfing with him for another few months. He is also an ambassador in the campaign to raise awareness of seabed mining on the west coast. “I want to raise awareness for Kiwis Against Seabed Mining like Dave Rastovich.” In 2012 Dave completed the ambitious 350km open ocean paddle Cape Taranaki to Piha to also raise awareness for Kiwis Against Seabed Mining and the critically endangered Maui’s Dolphin. To see more of Zorro visit his Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/pages/Zorro-The-Frother By Luke Balvert

Early detection vital for skin cancer New Zealand has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world and skin cancer is the commonest cancer affecting New Zealander's, accounting for approximately 80 per cent of all new cancers diagnosed each year. Most people know of someone who has been affected, and sadly, many know of someone who has died from skin cancer. While skin cancer is the commonest cancer, it is also the most curable. Like most malignancies, the earlier it is detected, the simpler the treatment and the better the prognosis. With regard to malignant melanoma and to a certain extent squamous cell carcinoma, early identification and intervention saves lives. Basal cell carcinoma rarely spreads but needs recognition and appropriate treatment to avoid potentially

Dr Neil Mortimer. disfiguring complications. Timely identification and treatment of skin cancer is dependent upon people presenting early to a doctor if they have any concerns about their skin but predominantly by examinations by a doctor specially trained in recognising the often subtle early signs. Most skin cancers are not painful and will grow insidiously often being detected later when

there is a higher potential for complications. Specialist dermatologists are medical doctors who have undergone an extensive training programme to equip them with expertise in the identification and management of all skin disorders. This training provides the skill and experience necessary to diagnose all types of skin cancer and recommend the most appropriate treatment to optimise the cure rates. Such treatments may include microsopically controlled excision of skin cancer (Mohs micrographic surgery) for certain facial skin cancers, standard surgical excision, cryotherapy (freezing treatment) and topical treatment (with creams). Specialist dermatologists are experts in examining all of the skin to identify the early signs of skin cancer, using adjunctive tools such as magnification, dermoscopy (microsopy of the skin) and biopsies to diagnose skin cancers at the earliest possible stage and distinguish them from the often significant number of harmless growths and blemishes on the skin. When it comes to skin cancer, the earlier the better. If you have any concerns about your skin or would like a skin examination (skin check) make an appointment to see a specialist dermatologist. By Dr Neil Mortimer


COUNTRY LIVING

Page 45

Get brain smart - get habit smart “To be excellent we cannot simply think or feel excellent, we must act excellently.” ARISTOTLE Do you have some habits that stop you acting in an ‘excellent way’, either at work or home? Do you need to work on adopting some positive habits to assist you to achieve your goals? Positive habits are hard to keep. 80 per cent of us break our new year’s resolutions. Neuroscience informs us that brains have the capacity to change from the cradle to the grave, so why is changing behaviour so hard? The key to sustaining positive change is to turn each desired action into a habit, so each change becomes automatic, without thought or choice. A habit is a formula our brain automatically follows. The action becomes automatic. Over time our

habits have an enormous impact on our work, health, productivity, financial security and happiness. Forming good habits today will automatically give good returns for years to come at work and at home. Research shows us that any habit can be changed once we know how they function. Habits can be rebuilt and thus we have the responsibility to remake habits that do not serve us well. How do we create good habits? Habits become cemented into our brain through the reinforcement of mindmaps, thus requiring an effort to change. Habits form because our brain changes in response to frequent practice. A practical thing you can do to assist the adoption of a good habit is to make it easy to perform the task you wish to adopt.

Once your brain starts to tip toward a habit it keeps naturally heading toward that direction, following the path of least resistance. The key to creating new habits is ritual, repeated practice until the action becomes imbedded into your brain’s neural chemistry. The key to daily practice is to put your desired action as close to the path of least resistance as possible. I call this scripting your Winning Plan. For every good habit you wish to introduce, spend time working out and implementing your Winning Plan. What are the small practical things you can do to remove any points of resistance? Look at your Wining Plan on a daily basis. Remember, your habits are what you choose them to be. If you wish to have some further information on habits, at no cost, please email Wendy directly at wendy@accordservices. co.nz or phone 07 574 2360.

Nutritional therapy in action Over the past few months we have been looking at how nutritional medicine can help various conditions. So far we have looked at joints, with columns on osteoarthritis, joint inflammation especially bursitis and gout. We have discussed measures to help respiratory problems, firstly asthma and COPD and secondly sinusitis. If you missed any of these columns I can email them on request. This month we will look at an example of how one person has improved his health by adopting nutritional medicine principles. This man, in his 50s spoke to me six months ago and had several problems. He was under good medical care and on various medications to control his symptoms. His main problems were joint pain from arthritis, lower body muscle pain and low energy. His poor mobility was having a great impact on the quality of his life. After a full analysis we constructed a diet that was anti-inflammatory especially trying to remove inflammatory fats and add those like omega 3 and olive oil that turn down inflammation. We made sure his diet was nutrient dense and especially targeted potent dietary antioxidants in foods like dark berries. His typical lunch is now a large mixed salad with avocado, canned salmon or sardines with an olive oil dressing. We actively reduced refined carbohydrates and sugars as these all push the body towards inflammation. Additionally these foods are essentially ‘empty calories’ in that while they provide energy, they do not provide the vitamins and minerals needed to make energy. We then started an intensive three months of supplements where we added high doses of Omega 3 fish oil, a broad spectrum multi vitamin/mineral/ antioxidant. To this we added a complex formula designed to restore his energy processes. He had been taking cholesterol medications for some time and these are known to cause muscle pain and low energy mostly because they prevent the liver from making sufficient ubiquinone, also known as co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10). This complex included CoQ10, a B vitamin complex then a combination of anti-inflam-

matory agents including turmeric extract, resveratrol and OPC. He started to notice a change within a few months. The muscle pain has almost completely gone, his joints are less stiff and painful and he has had a return of energy. A real bonus has been a reduction in tinnitus and improvements in a cataract. There was no magic in what we did. This was just a combination of personal commitment on his part and for mine making sure

Abundant Health

his nutrient intake allowed his damaged body systems to heal resulting in a substantial improvement in his health. Give the body what it needs and the results can be quite surprising. Give me a call if you need more information. To join my weekly newsletter go to www.johnarts.co.nz and visit www.abundant.co.nz John Arts is the founder of Abundant Health. To contact John phone 0800 423 559. To read more go to www.sunlive.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.

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Page 46

COUNTRY LIVING

Stoves from compact to generous From a compact stove for small spaces, to a large range for family cooking the Wagener family of solid fuel cookers are designed to suit every need. Far North based Wagener Stoves offers genuine New Zealand made products with local back up and support and decades of experience in the heating industry. “Customers purchase our stoves with confidence in our knowledge and commitment and that we have been members of the in the New Zealand Home Heating Association for more than 20 years,” says Ngaire McClure.

Small sparks

The cute new Wagener Sparky was designed to fill a gap in the market for a compact wee fire and has created big interest. Ngaire says Sparky was so popular when he was launched in the middle of 2012 a second production run had to be quickly scheduled to meet demand. The Butler Multi is the only modern day chip heater on the local market and it delivers copious amounts of hot water along with room heating and a cooking surface. Ngaire has for many years had this one in her remote beach property where they are off the grid and she says it’s just brilliant. Her numerous visitors are always impressed with the Butler’s performance and the luxury of long hot showers in such a

remote location not to mention good old fashioned steamed puddings and other treats off the stove top. Late last year Barry and Ngaire built a new home and installed a combination solar and wetback water heating system which they are thrilled with. The Butler Multi is the perfect partner to the solar system. When the sun’s energy is low they light the Butler for an hour or two and have all the hot water they need and to date the electric switch has stayed in the off position.

Winning history

The company’s flagship CookTop Wagener Stove is a robust and very affordable wood fire with a 30 year history of solid and reliable performance. They can be found in DOC huts around the country warming weary trampers and cooking up something hot to sustain them. They are a very popular choice in rural areas and landlords love them too as they can handle a few knocks, have a deep firebox for “man-sized” logs and are definitely built to last.

Modern mix

The Wagener Fairburn Cooker is a modern day range that almost always becomes the heart of the home. “Family and friends love the cosy, warm atmosphere and enjoy shared meals with that very special taste that only comes from solid fuel cooking. And at the end of the day home owners relax in the knowledge that

The Wagener Fairburn will fit into most existing brick alcoves which have previously accommodated an older style wood or coal range. they can enjoy copious amounts of hot water for the washing up and lovely long hot showers with no hefty power bills.”

Club open day hits the mark Shooting with a pistol or revolver for the first time was a thrill for the 60 people who took part in the Kaimai Pistol Club’s open day in March.

THREE BROTHERS

THREE BROTHERS

The day coincided with the first decent rain in weeks and organisers believe that put some off attending but plans are in place for another event sometime soon. Among those to enjoy their first taste of the sport was Brandon Henderson of Tauranga who tried Westernstyle shooting with revolvers and rifles. Several women also attended, in keeping with a trend which has seen more women taking part in the sport at all levels. Jim Anderson, club secretary says the numbers were pleasing, given the wet conditions and several people asked for membership application forms. “A lot of interest was taken in the Steve Jones (right) explains the safe use of a revolver to Brandon display of unusual pisHenderson at the Kaimai Pistol tols and the Club open day on Sunday. explanation of their origins. From the many comments offered we believe all were agreeably surprised at the facilities available and thoroughly enjoyed the shooting experience.” Safety is the paramount focus for the club and Jim says it is remarkable that in its 50 year history, there has never been a fatality at any Pistol New Zealand range in the country. “There have been a few cases of people shooting themselves in the foot but there has never been a fatality and that’s something few other sports can claim.”

By Elaine Fisher


Page 47

HOUSE & LANDSCAPE

Free class in organic gardening

The duplex option has a generous open-plan kitchen, lounge and dining room.

Homes freehold at village There are just 10 sites left at Harbour Park, Katikati’s retirement village where residents own their freehold home and enjoy the benefits of shared community facilities administered by a body corp run by residents. Since the development began in 2007 an attractive, quiet and safe community has developed just minutes from the town’s shopping centre. The pride residents take in their gardens is obvious, and the community centre with its bowling greens, croquet and petanque courts set in attractive grounds is immaculate. All the homes are built to a very high standard by Classic Builders in a choice of floor plans to suit individual requirements. Classic Builders’ building consultant Lorraine McLachlan says prices range from $349,800 to $399,700. The duplex option with two bedrooms (each with an ensuite) and an office or third bed-

room, plus generous open-plan kitchen, lounge and dining room is proving very popular. “I really like this floor plan because the guest bedroom has an ensuite, there’s a third bedroom or study and a large master bedroom with a lovely bathroom with shower and a bath, plus two car garaging,” says Lorraine. Because the development, which will have 76 homes when complete, is largely established, Lorraine says potential purchasers can see exactly what’s on offer, including the quality of the community facilities. “The Harbour Park Body Corporate is not run by an insurance or medical group, but a committee of residents of Harbour Park, voted for by residents. The body corp manages the community complex contracting out the community gardens and lawn mowing, resulting in great savings. Because people own their own freehold home, should they ever wish to sell, the capital gain is theirs.” Harbour Park also has a fenced site for storing caravans, campers or boats.

Award-winning landscape designer, TV personality, and author Xanthe White will host a free class at Mount Maunganui on Saturday April 6, designed to educate and entertain organic gardening enthusiasts. Xanthe, who is a regular winner and exhibitor at the Chelsea and Ellerslie flower shows, and Daltons’ experts will offer top tips on organic gardening methods. They will also cover more specific topics such as crop rotation, companion planting and natural forms of pest and disease prevention. There will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions so that everyone walks away with the advice that they came for. The class, which will run from 10.00am until 2.00pm at the Daltons landscape yard at 57 Hull Road, is open for anyone to join. The

Te Awa River Ride is now under construction Construction of the Waikato’s newest cycleway, linking Hamilton with Horotiu, is now underway. The Te Awa River Ride is being constructed between Fonterra’s Te Rapa site and the Horotiu Bridge, and will run alongside the Waikato River. Hamilton City Council is currently extending the city’s northern path along Pukete Road, where it will link with Te Awa at Meadowview Lane. “We have been planning this section for well over a year and are really pleased that construction is now starting. There’s been great support from Hamilton City

Council, Waikato District Council, WEL Energy Trust and Fonterra and we’re finally about to realize our collective vision of offering better access to the River.” said Te Awa River Ride Project Manager Jennifer Palmer. Hamilton City Council Mayor Julie Hardaker said “It’s great to have this part of Te Awa Cycleway underway. The cycleways throughout the city are enormously popular and being able to travel along the beautiful Waikato River and get up close to the river in parts not previously accessible is fantastic. "It's pleasing to see work getting underway on the Te Awa cycleway. This initiative will provide a wonderful opportunity for the Waikato district in terms of recreation,

highlight our history and offer a memorable journey alongside the mighty Waikato River." Said Waikato District Council. When complete, Te Awa will be a 70km shared cycle / walkway running alongside the Waikato River, between Ngaruawahia and Horahoa. The first section of Te Awa, linking Leamington with the Mighty River Domain at Lake Karapiro, was opened in October 2010. Two further sections are currently under construction; extending the Hamilton City cycleway to the Horotiu Bridge and the alongside the rowing course at Lake Karapiro. It is expected the full trail will be completed by 2015. This section of Te Awa will also form part of Te Araroa: The Long Pathway.

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yard is fully under cover so the seminar will go ahead come rain, hail or shine. Xanthe is highly qualified on the topic of organic gardening, having previously published a book detailing her yearlong endeavour to develop an organic

vegetable garden from scratch. She has recently published a second book, The Natural Garden. Both books will be available for purchase on the day. Register online or for more details go to www.daltons.co.nz.

Xanthe White will host a free organic gardening class at Mount Maunagnui.


Page 48

COAST & COUNTRY

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COAST & COUNTRY

Drive-in movies The big screen is back for the holidays Tauranga’s hugely popular Baypark Drive-In Movie Festival is set to return to the big screen for the April school holidays. The movies will be shown across six nights from April 30 – May 5 at ASB Baypark. Headlining the festival will be a fully themed screening of Grease on opening night, while the remaining line-up will be announced shortly – including an opportunity for the public to vote on the film they would most like to see featured for the closing night. The festival, which debuted in 2011, features a line-up of ‘well-loved’ movies that personify the nostalgic American drive-in concept, complete with waitresses on roller skates serving popcorn and hotdogs. Movie fans ‘park-up’ in their cars to watch the movies pro-

...biggest outdoor movie experience in the Bay!

trades & services

jected onto a 32 metre wide screen on the side of ASB Arena. The event is a collaborative effort between Bayfair and ASB Baypark, who are working in partnership to help grow the area as the region’s biggest entertainment destination. For Bayfair, it is about creating an experience for the community to enjoy, says marketing manager Louise Chapman. “Bayfair is proud to More FM breakfast hosts Brendon Weatherley and Bel Crawford practise have one of the biggest setting up for an evening at the Drive-In Movie Festival. outdoor movie experiences on our back doorstep. “This is something val has been relentless. “The inaugural event was very successful, the whole community can be involved in and the community loved it. There is something for everyone and we are excited to be bringing back this great event to the it is a unique experience that the whole family can enjoy, even people of Tauranga.” dressed in their pyjamas.” ASB Baypark’s business manager says the continued Tickets go on sale Thursday, April 4 on eventfinder.co.nz and from ASB Arena reception. requests from the public for the return of the Drive-In Festi-

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

Thursday 4 April

B+LNZ Waikato Franklin Farming for profit fielday at 407 Taniwha Road, Waerenga. Seeing is believing – setting up your beef system. Explore a variety of intensive beef system options that can be applied to your farm. Morning farm tour 10am – 12.30pm or afternoon session 1-4pm. Farm tour will be by four-wheel drive. Prepare for the weather. Ph Jeremy 0272 422 838

Tuesday 16 April

Tokoroa Biz Start Upstairs meeting room, Tokoroa Club, Chambers St, Tokoroa 11am – 1pm. Farm systems: Leave being able to calculate some key performance indicators for the farm you are

on. Bring your lunch. Ph Amy Johnson 0274 832 205 or email: amy.johnson@dairynz.co.nz

Tuesday 23 April

Tokoroa Biz Grow Upstairs meeting room, Tokoroa Club, Chambers St, Tokoroa 11am – 1pm. Review of course to date. Opportunity to look at policies and/or another topic more in-depth. Decide where to go from here…Bring your lunch. Ph Amy Johnson 0274 832 205 or email: amy. johnson@dairynz.co.nz

Wednesday 24 April Hauraki Plains Discussion Group Turua Hall, Hauraki Road, Turua 7.30pm. This discussion group is open to any women

involved in dairying or dairy related agri-business. Topic: Keeping animal health costs down while maintaining performance. Ph Fiona Wade 021 242 2127 or email: fiona.wade@ dairynz.co.nz

cal exercises will be included on scoring cattle for structural soundness using the beef class structural assessment system. Registration essential. Contact: Erica van Reenen, 07 839 0286 or Erica. vanReenen@beeflambnz.com

Beef + Lamb New Zealand ‘Better Beef Cows’ workshop – Waihi. At Alistair and Patricia Sharpe’s, Waihi. Brought to you in association with Performance Beef Breeders NZ, this workshop will explore the relationship between body composition and calving rate; specifically the combination of selecting for fat, net feed intake and nutrition, on efficiency of weaner production. Practi-

Sunday 7 April

Monday 6 May

Annual Classic Car Show And Swapmeet at Te Awamutu Racecourse, Racecourse Rd, Te Awamutu. Gates open 7.30am. Show cars & drivers gold coin donation. Passengers $5 each. Public $5 each, under 12 free. Classic cars, vintage tractors, classic motorcycles, vintage cars, hot rods, trailer rides. Fundraiser for Westpac Waikato Air Ambulance. Frank 027 289 5996

cars wanted WE ALWAYS PAY MORE!

$1000 CASH per week

0800 382 828

30th April – 5th May 2013


COAST & COUNTRY

Page 50

Go with Massey Ferguson we have the Hay Tools for you

Cut and Condition Massey Ferguson mowers with 3 point mounted 2.55m cut professional series mowers and mower conditioners for farmers to the trailed 4m mower conditioners out to the massive 8.3m butterfly mowers with 3m front mounted combination, Massey has the hay tools for you.

Massey Ferguson 6455 112 Hp 4 cyl Perkins with on demand boost to 125 Hp. 24F x 24R Dyna6 six speed Powershift transmission with F/R power shuttle and left hand power controller.

Ted & Spread

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Massey Ferguson tedders range from 3 point mounted 5.2m to the massive 10.2m working width trailed tedders. Strong and stable these tedders are built tough, Massey has the hay tools for you.

Massey Ferguson 5400 Z10 The new Z10 range of 5400â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s range from 82 to 107 Hp. All have the reliable Dyna-4 four speed Powershift transmission with F/R power shuttle, left hand power controller, ergonomic cabin for ease of access.

Special introductory price 5420, 82 Hp cab from $68,500 + GST Morrinsville Mike Kitching Dave Cameron

07 889 7055

021 735 665 021 526 138

Rake Now youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve spread we need to row up into baler/chopper or loader wagon swathe Massey has the rake for the job, 3 point mounted 4.5m width to massive trailed 12.5m rake are ready to do the job with 6.6m, 7.6m, 8.1m width machines in the range, Massey has the hay tools for you.

We have stock tractors with loaders fitted ready to go. Call for our special ex stock pricing. SEE THE BOYS TODAY... Finance available from 3.99% [terms & conditions apply]

Paeroa

07 862 9064

Rotorua

Graeme Pedersen

021 862 169

Nick Pilcher Mike Rogers Ian Pilcher

07 345 8560 021 349 816 021 998 819 021 908 123

Full Range of Quality Farm Machinery | www.piakotractors.co.nz


Page 51

COAST & COUNTRY

feature properties & auctions feature properties & auctions ADVANTAGE REALTY LTD MREINZ

www.harcourts.co.nz www.harcourts.co.nz

Advantage RealtyRealty Ltd MREINZ Licensed Agent Agent REAA REAA 2008 2008 Advantage Ltd MREINZ Licensed

Tauranga Central Office – 07 578 0879 Cherrywood Office – 07 576 8770 Bethlehem Office – 07 579 2206 Mount Central Office – 07 575 6384 Papamoa Office – 07 542 9012 Te Puke Office – 07 573 4754


COAST & COUNTRY

Page 52

Leah feeding her lamb “Bam”.

g mummy xius Callander helpin Every day life for Ale Sent in by Danni Callander. m. far on the

Sent in by Katrina Kendal

l.

PRIZE PACK UP FOR GRABS!

Pictures and details can be emailed (high resolution jpgs) to sarah@thesun.co.nz “Country Camera” or posted to Coast & Country, PO Box 240, Tauranga. Please include a name, address and phone number with every entry.

their ok very proud of Jared and Levi Co aring with dad. spe eel catch after Cook. Sent in by Nadia

Fowler Hadlee and Grace o. on their pony Nikk ler.

Sent in by Linda Fow

Pippa Flett having fun painting Gran ma’s horse Prescilla d, before a ride aro und the nursery. Sent in by Grandma Bisse

t.

C&C April 2013  

Coast and Country, April 2013

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