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June 2014 Issue No.166

Bay of Plenty & Waikato Farm, Orchard & Rural Lifestyle

Inside June 2014

KIWIFRUIT POLARIS BIG FOUR FIELDAYS CALVING DAIRY RURAL DRIVER DISTRICTS HORTICULTURE AVOCADOS

4-5 9-11 12-21 22-23 24-27 33-37 38-53 54-55 56-59

Gunning for glory United in their enjoyment of the Polaris Big Four and all wearing Stoney Creek bush shirts are keen hunters Barry Griffin (left front) from Waikura Valley, Lottin Point, Ian Griffin from Australia, and (Left back) Ryan Griffin of Christchurch (right back) and Marie Huxtable of Katikati. This year’s prizes include two black Polaris Sportsmen, Stoney Creek Limited Edition ATVs valued at a total of $23,000. See stories on the contest and details of all the prizes on page 9,10,11. Photos by Tracy Hardy.


COAST & COUNTRY

Page 2

Too big to fail The kiwifruit industry’s recovery from the vine disease Psa-V in little more than three years is nothing short of impressive but in reality it had no choice but to make a comeback – it’s too valuable to fail.

Kiwifruit accounts for at least 20 per cent of the Bay of Plenty’s GDP. Its export earnings are more than $1 billion annually and 2650 growers have at least $3 million invested in the industry. Many millions more are invested in the post-harvest sector and orchard and industry support companies. No wonder that the response to the discovery of the aggressive bacteria in 2010 was swift at both Government and industry levels. A new cultivar, which was hoped to be Psa tolerant, was released earlier than planned and research and development sprang into action. Banks, by and large, stuck by the industry as grower equity was rapidly eroded by dying vines and uncertainty. In truth the banks probably had little option than to hope recovery was possible – so big was their investment. The industry could have collapsed – there were no guarantees the disease would be managed or the new gold could survive. Orchards in other parts of

the world, including Italy, France and Chile, were dying. The unified and co-operative nature of the industry and its single desk structure under marketer Zespri is central to the way the disease response has been handled and the rapid return to productivity (see pages 3-4). Without that cohesion, big though it is, the New Zealand kiwifruit industry could indeed have failed, seriously impacting the livelihoods of thousands and hurting our economy. Psa now appears manageable, but there are other biosecurity threats out there (see Mike Chapman’s column page 54), including fruit fly, which is why Kiwifruit Vine Health has signed an industry agreement with the Government on how to respond to future incursions. As the kiwifruit harvest draws to a close, the dairy industry gears up for its busiest time of the year, with farmers and cows moving farms on the annual June 1 ‘Gypsy Day’, and ensuring preparations are in place for the testing time of calving. Farmers keen to discover services and amenities in their new areas will find this month’s Coast & Country ‘Welcome to the District’ a useful guide – see pages 44 to 52. Just how big, high tech, innovative and economically crucial our primary industries are is showcased this month at Fieldays at Mystery Creek – see pages 12 to 21. By Elaine Fisher

The winner of ‘Jim’s Letters’ by author Glyn Harper and illustrator Jenny Cooper, published by Penguin Books, is Ross Kilgour of Aria, King Country. The winner of ‘Fur, Fish and Phantom Red’ by Phil Walsh, published by Halcyon Press, is Chris Rugass of Tauranga.

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COAST & COUNTRY

Page 3

Farmers face elevated health risks themselves from the sun, by wearing sun hats, covering up and using sunscreen – nor are they diligent in having regular skin checks. Brent says when the programme was being designed, there were concerns farmers might be worried about privacy, given tests are not carried out in clinics. “However, it seems most farmers are quite happy to share their results with others at the same events,” says Brent.

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“Farmers are used to knowing the numbers relating to their cows’ health – but they don’t typically know their

Runout

Don Jolly has his blood pressure taken by Gytha Lancaster of the New Zealand Institute of Rural Health, at the Farmers’ Forum conference.

Brent says the role of farm owners is changing from hands-on to administration, farms are getting bigger; and there’s more mechanisation, seeing farmers becoming less active than they used to be. “Farmers owners are getting older and also have ready access to red meat and milk, which are good foods, but in moderation.” Farmers are also asked questions to assess their attention to health and safety on-farm and their emotional wellbeing. Assessing stress levels among farmers is important, says Brent, given suicide rates are 60 per cent higher in rural than in urban areas. “We had wondered if farmers would be prepared to discuss their stress levels but most are happy to do so. “Many say the farmer social networks are not as strong as they used to be and there is also less social interaction.”

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Brent says it is normally a combination of factors that raise stress levels. “Typically, it’s not just one factor but may be relationships with staff combined with tough climatic conditions – like drought or wet weather. It could be worries about feed shortages, animal health issues, and financial pressures. “Farmers are not as good as they should be at seeking help when under stress, which is why it is good to see rural support networks being established and more willingness to talk about issues.” Wearing helmets when operating farm bikes is increasing but farmers are not so good at protecting

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New Zealand Institute of Rural Health’s business manager Brent Nielsen says the programme, Funded by DairyNZ and the Primary Growth Partnership, has been running for four years. It aims to gauge physical and emotional wellbeing of farmers throughout NZ by hosting a series of tests at DairyNZ discussion group days, industry training events and conferences, including last month’s DairyNZ Farmers’ Forum at Mystery Creek. There the Health Check Pit Stops measure body mass index, based on weight and waist measurement, and check blood pressure, blood sugar levels and cholesterol. “We do have concerns about cardiovascular disease among farmers and measure both Body Mass Index and waists because the problem is not just the amount of weight carried, but where it is carried,” says Brent. “The majority of farmers we measured have a reading above the World Health Organisation recommendation.” While the percentage of those with health risk factors is high, what’s pleasing is the number prepared to do something about it. “When we identify farmers we believe to be at risk, we ask if we can follow up with them and of those who agree, 46 per cent have gone to their GP,

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engaged in active weight loss programmes or made conscious decisions to improve their diet and exercise regime,” says Brent.

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own numbers. We found they like having their own numbers. “I really admire DairyNZ for running this programme and seeking long-term results in looking after dairy farmers.” Brent says for decades the industry has focused on animal and pasture health and now it’s time to improve the wellbeing of farmers’ biggest asset – themselves.

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COAST & COUNTRY

Industry now openly optimistic about future Today’s kiwifruit industry with rapidly increasing production, incomes of up to $245,000 per hectare and strong demand for orchards couldn’t be more different from that of three years ago, when many questioned its future. By 2012 productive vines on orchards in Te Puke, the heart of the kiwifruit country, were dying from the effects of

the bacterial disease Pseudomonas syringae pv actinidiae V. First discovered in New Zealand in November 2010, it eventually led to the removal of virtually all susceptible – and previously lucrative – gold variety known as Hort16A in Te Puke. The Hayward Green variety was also affected, but not to the same extent. Despite the industry’s best efforts to stop its spread, during the next two years the disease,

Young visitors to New Zealand are among those harvesting kiwifruit in Te Puke this season.

Green kiwifruit is carefully emptied from a picking bag on the Te Puke orchard. known as Psa-V, was found in orchards in almost all of the country’s growing regions. Fortunately for the industry, a new gold, now marketed as Zespri SunGold, was in commercial trials – and as it appeared more tolerant of the disease, its release was fast-tracked, leading to 4000 hectares eventually grafted or planted with the new variety. The kiwifruit industry and the communities like Te Puke and Katikati – which have economies relying heavily on it – held their collective breaths, hoping the bold move to a new variety, and research into Psa management practices, would be fruitful.

Restructuring

Many growers were without an income as they waited for vines to come into production, while meeting significant costs in grafting and managing their orchards. Orchard contractors and packhouse operators were also hard hit by the dramatic fall in crop volumes. Skilled workers left the Bay of Plenty seeking jobs elsewhere, while restructuring, amalgamation and cost-cutting took place in the post-harvest sector. Marketer Zespri also reduced staff and cut costs.


COAST & COUNTRY

Page 5 Graders at Trevelyan’s packhouse check the quality of fruit before it is packed.

Kiwifruit’s impressive comeback from Psa-V

Left: Margaret Williams, quality controller at Trevelyan’ packhouse, checks fruit taken at random from packed trays.

to NZ growers fell to $800.8 million from $959.1 million in 2012/2013, due to a 55 per cent fall in gold kiwifruit volumes. Returns are up for green growers with Zespri announcing its highest per-hectare return of an average $42,659 which underlines confidence in the industry’s future, says Zespri chairman Peter Proud McBride. New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Inc “After the impact of Psa over president Neil Trebilco says the way the past three years, there is the industry responded to the welfare Trays of kiwifruit are stacked of growers and others whose livelihood and strapped onto pallets, ready a real sense of optimism in the industry now. depended upon it, both formerly and for export. Orchard prices have informally, is something he’s especially rebounded, investproud of. Neil says as far as he’s aware, there ment has started again were no suicides attributed to Psa. and the future looks As recently as last season, few in the industry bright,” says Peter. were willing to be overly optimistic – despite However, industry what Zespri described as a “vintage year” with leaders warn growfruit of high quality and taste and good returns ers must not become from the markets. complacent about Psa. ‘Quietly optimistic’ described the mood. This Its current ‘quiet’ state season the ‘quietly’ has been dropped and ‘opticould be due to hot, mistic’ is in vogue – and with good reason. dry summers, and mild autumn weather, Millions which doesn’t favour SunGold has performed well through the last the bacteria that is two seasons without succumbing to Psa and most active in cold, fruit volumes are steadily rising. About 17-18 Modern grading, sizing and packing windy, wet conditions. million trays of gold kiwifruit, including about equipment are part of the quality While Psa is here to nine million trays of the new varieties Zespri control and efficiency measures at stay, the industry has SunGold have been harvested this season, Trevelyan’s packhouse Te Puke. rapidly learned to deal up from about 11 million trays last season. Together, green and gold fruit will account for a total with it and is well placed to meet the predicted crop crop volume of about 85 million trays of kiwifruit. volumes of 117 million trays by 2018 – and to grow Last season the total volume was down 15 per cent from the current $1 billion to a $3b industry from 101.3 million trays last financial year to 86.1 mil- within a decade, contributing up to $10b annually By Elaine Fisher lion trays in 2013/2014. As a result, total fruit returns to the NZ economy. The new organisation Kiwifruit Vine Health was formed to manage the response to Psa-V which included research and development. Support networks and a range of meetings and resources to help growers struggling with the emotional and financial impacts of the disease and loss of livelihood evolved quickly, with some of the programmes still operating today.

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COAST & COUNTRY

Page 6

Maize

Maize growing is a perfect fit for Karen and Eric Zink’s dairy farm management strategy.

an ideal fit for farming system Growing maize is an important part of Eric and Karen Zink’s farm management systems – and not just as a supplementary feed for their 240 cows. It enables the couple, who farm near Edgecumbe, to use nutrients in dairy shed effluent and to renew pasture by changing maize paddocks each season and

re-sowing grass seed over the stubble. “We are not using the same paddocks year after year for maize, which is a very hungry plant in its demands for nutrients,” says Karen. However, close attention is paid to the nutrient demands of their maize crops, which during recent years have yielded 30 tonne per hectare. It’s no accident the crops perform so well – Eric and Karen have a deliberate strategy for

Robin Boom

CPAg MBSPC

Independent Agronomy & Soil Fertility Consultant

achieving top results. Because their farm is totally flat, they are able to change paddocks each season. The soils, however, are pumice, light and free-draining, with not a lot of top soil. “When we first started cultivating for maize the plough was going so deep it turned the pumice to the surface and left a lot of mounds and hollows. “I converted an old Clough plough so I could do the ploughing myself, only going down 15cm and retaining the top soil,” says Eric, who is an engineer by trade. Effluent from the 14-aside herringbone cowshed’s two ponds is pumped onto the maize paddocks by George Oakes of G & R Pumping Services of Pukehina. “He has about 800 metres of hose and can spread it over 80 metres, after covering up the water troughs beforehand,” says Karen. The farm is also irrigated with whey from the nearby Fonterra dairy factory. Soil tests are carried out by Robin Boom, of Agronomic Advisory Services Cambridge, who uses them to prepare an individual fertiliser ‘prescription’ for the farm. “Robin uses Brookside Laboratories tests for 16 elements and minerals; and those that are lacking are added to the mix prepared for us,” says Karen.

Soil health

Eric and Karen believe the general excellent health of pasture, maize and livestock is largely credited to paying attention to soil health. The couple also work closely with Robin Billett, Bay of Plenty regional manager for Pioneer, to decide which Pioneer maize seed is sown on the farm and to conduct trials. Robin is delighted with the trial results achieved on the farm this maize growing season.

Trial rows of maize are sampled before harvest. Ripe and ready to harvest – Eric Zink checks a cob from one of his maize blocks. “The average across the eight plots is 34.7 tonnes of dry matter per hectare, which is a very pleasing result, and is an increase over last season which was also an exceptionally good growing season.” Robin says the two top-performing varieties are P1253, which has been in the market place for three years, and the brand new P1636, which will be available this season. “Eric and Karen have been Pioneer trial co-operators for several seasons. These trials are undertaken to evaluate potential new hybrids alongside existing commercial hybrids,” says Robin. This means frequent visits from Pioneer staff, who are on-hand when the maize is sown and throughout the growing season, right up until harvest.

Insight

In late March the 3.5 metre high host crop included several research strip trials, sections of which were cut out and sampled before the harvest began. The results are added to data gathered throughout the season, informing decisions about which varieties will go forward for commercial release. Eric says he’s happy to have the trials conducted on his farm, as it gives him an insight into varieties which perform well on his property; inside information which helps when deciding on seed for next season. “Some varieties do really well, others not so well,” says Eric.


COAST & COUNTRY The Zink farm near Edgecumbe is on flat, fertile land.

Trialling new varieties brings advantages Neither Eric or Karen planned to become farmers. Eric grew up on a farm owned by his German immigrant parents Oswald and Elizabeth Zink, but perused a career in engineering and went on to hold a senior position at the Bay Milk dairy factory in Edgecumbe. Karen trained as a teacher and the couple were living at Matata when Eric’s parents suggested they should manage the farm. Twenty-two years on they have no regrets about their decision. Together they ran the farm and brought up daughters Jessica, Eren, Ashlee and Kristy; and recently employed Karen’s brother Eddie Elliot as herd manager. The property is 88ha, with 84ha effective, includ-

ing 11ha leased across the road and 25ha leased from nearby lifestyle blocks for raising replacements and collecting surplus pasture, silage and hay for the milking platform. “Our system is pretty simple. We are not overstocked and we grow our own supplements so we can roll with the punches in the tough seasons and not get caught up in variable costs of buying in feed.” Maize silage is fed to the herd in long grass in the paddock. “That way the cows hoover it up and there’s not much waste. “In spring, when the new grass growth starts, they aren’t very interested in the silage.” Maize silage is fed from April through winter to put condition back on the cows. By Elaine Fisher

Correcting mineral imbalances in the soil

Whey is high in phosphorous and potassium levels, which build up over time in excessive amounts causing animal health issues. When I first started soil testing for the Zinks nearly 20 years ago, they were beginning to experience some metabolic problems. I took soil tests, which I sent to Brookside Laboratories in the US, and herbage tests were sent to Ruakura to diagnose what was going on. The soil test results showed adequate soil pH levels, but there was an imbalance of high potassium and low calcium in the

base saturation percentages, and phosphorous/calcium imbalances in the pasture, which can cause milk fever. So my first piece of advice for them was to increase the calcium levels using the cheap waste lime from the local Kawerau timber mill. Other deficiencies found were sulphur, sodium, boron, copper, manganese, cobalt, selenium and iodine, which have all been applied in customised blends to the soil from the local Ballance store in Edgecumbe. All up, the annual fertiliser cost for the Zink’s farm averages about 10c/kg MS which is less than one-quarter what of the typical NZ

dairy farmer spends. Herbage analyses of the Zink’s pasture showed high molybdenum and this – along with high iron levels in the soil – reduces copper availability in cattle. To circumvent this, the Zink’s use Agvance Solutrace trace mineral mixes containing copper glycine, which go direct into their in-line dispenser to the water troughs, and is an effective method of addressing molybdenosis and other trace mineral deficiencies in their pasture. Robin Boom CPAg, member of the Institute of Professional Soil Scientists. Phone 07 829 8369; Mob: 0274448764. Email: agronomics@xtra.co.nz

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Dairy farmers Eric and Karen Zink receive whey effluent from their local Fonterra dairy factory at Edgecumbe as a fertiliser source.

Page 7


COAST & COUNTRY

Page 8

Turning NZ beef fat into biodiesel Inedible tallow from NZ beef is set to be used to produce biodiesel to be blended with mineral fuel and sold to Z’s commercial customers. By Merle Foster

In the pipeline for four years, Z has announced it’s investing $21 million in building a domestic biodiesel manufacturing plant in Wiri, Auckland, and

associated supply chain infrastructure at fuel terminals both there and at Mount Maunganui. Z’s corporate communications manager Jonathan Hill says all beef fat used to produce the biodiesel in Auckland will come from NZ farms through a supply agreement. “New Zealand produces about 150,000 tonnes of what we call inedible tallow per annum – we’ll be using about 10 per cent of that. “So we need about 14,000 tonnes of

An artist’s impression of Z Energy’s $21 million domestic biodiesel manufacturing plant to be built in Auckland. inedible tallow to produce 20 million litres of pure biodiesel.” Jonathan says the biodiesel plant will produce 20 million litres of sustainable biodiesel per year.

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“Typically, what happens with biodiesel is you take the 100 per cent biodiesel and you blend it into mineral diesel so the vehicles run on what you call a biofuel blend.” A typical vehicle will take a B5 level, which is a five per cent biodiesel blend, yet some heavier vehicles can use up to a 10-20 per cent blend. A portion of the biodiesel will be trucked to Mount Maunganui to blend with mineral fuel, brought in by boat. “We have a major fuel storage facility in Mount Maunganui. So there will be some investment in building infrastructure at the terminal.” Jonathan says fuel from the Mount Maunganui terminal supplies “a good chunk” of the upper North Island, from Taupo north, excluding central Auckland which is supplied from its South Auckland Wiri terminal, where the second biodiesel blending facility will be installed.

Z chief executive Mike Bennetts says while Z’s publicly discussed potential for this project before; the Z Board has now approved it, subject to completing regulatory and resource consenting – including approvals from competitor companies to construct a blending facility at the Wiri fuel terminal – and finalisation of key contracts. “We appreciate that others have tried and failed to bring domestically produced biodiesel at this sort of scale to the New Zealand market.

Refined

“However we’ve refined and investigated this particular option rigorously over the last four years, we are not trying to grow a feedstock supply and with the core of our business in distribution and marketing liquid transport fuels we have confidence in our ability to successfully bring biodiesel to the New Zealand market.” Jonathan says the plant has future ability, at a cost of another $2.5m, to double production to 40m litres. “We expect to be producing biodiesel from this plant about this time [April] next year.” Mike Bennetts says Z’s biodiesel, manufactured from a by-product

of New Zealand’s agriculture industry, will create jobs and enable customers to choose a diesel option that lowers their carbon footprint and produces cleaner emissions.

Economics

“I want to be clear the economics around biofuels remain very challenging and we’ve worked this project non-stop for four years to get to this point. “We believe we have the knowledge and capability to manage the various operating and financial risks while offering our customers a quality product at a similar price to mineral diesel,” says Mike. “While we’re mitigating the level of downside risk through feedstock supply chain agreements, the extent to which this project is a success will be determined by how much customers value a cleaner, more sustainable alternative.” Mike says initial production is likely be allocated to commercial customers who’d typically use the B5 to B20 (five to 20 per cent biodiesel to mineral diesel) blends in heavy vehicles but the company expects to later supply upper North Island retail sites with a B5 biodiesel blend.


POLARIS BIG FOUR COMPETITION

Page 9

Hunters have two ATVs in sights Smoothest riding and hardest working – that’s the catchline for the latest 4x4 from Polaris, pretty darn good value. The Sportsman 400 H.O. has a whole bunch of keen hunters clamouring to win the major prize of two Sportsman 400’s at this year’s Polaris Big Four hunting competition based in Te Puna, near Tauranga. Polaris New Zealand and Stoney Creek have worked together to style up the units up for grabs and they look great. A quad bike similar to the Polaris prize was demonstrated, tantalisingly, for a gathering of club members on a Wright Road farm and Coast & Country went along for the ride. While the demo bike has a few more accessories than the Big Four prize, it gave those present a teaser of the machine that will soon be in the hands of a successful hunting team. The full size quad features the same chassis as the Sportsman 500, delivering improved ride and

handling, reliability of a 455cc water-cooled engine and some important refinements. It’s a good looking machine and impresses from first glance, with aggressive design offering improved sight lines for the rider, especially forward continued to page 10... to the terrain ahead.

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POLARIS BIG FOUR COMPETITION

Page 10

Load up and ride out ...continued from page 9

The “Lock & Ride” composite front rack system, with a matching rear rack look practical and handy for carrying gear. The test bike, and the Polaris Big Four prize, are both fitted with a gun scabbard. The radiator is mounted higher in the chassis and angled to the rear, designed to keep it clearer of debris and mud. We were impressed with the ride, the Sportsman claims to have been the world’s first ATV with independent rear suspension, a feature that continues to be its claim to fame. Boasting 24.1cm of travel keeps the ride smooth and minimises body roll. Ground clearance of 29cm means it has plenty of ability to tackle rugged terrain. During our review the Polaris took on some particularly meaty river boulders with ease.

The on demand, true all-wheel-drive automatically engages when you need the traction, reverting back to 2WD when you’re through the rough. It’s smooth and easy to engage. Other features of the Sportsman 400 are integrated front storage, ideal for hat, lunch, ammo or whatever to be protected from the elements; 555kg tow hitch capability; 15.5 litre fuel tank for excellent range; digital dash, 81.6kg rear and 40.8kg front rack capacity and accessory rack extenders available for both. Best feature is the price, at $8,257.00 plus GST makes it one of the most affordable machines on the market. Available in blue.

Thank you to the farmer, you know who you are.

By Brian Rogers

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Barry Griffin having a play on the Polaris Sportsman 400 H.O. Photos by Tracy Hardy.

Name the Big Four and be in to win The Polaris 2014 Big Four Competition is a highlight of the hunting calendar for entrants who compete this month for a share of the $80,000 prize pool.

Stoney Creek is also offering Coast & Country readers the chance to get into the spirit of the event by winning one of its stylish caps, valued at $29.99. To be in to win, answer the following question: What are the four species

competitors target? To enter, email your answer along with your name and address, with Stoney Creek Prize as the subject, to: elaine@thesun. co.nz Or put these details on the back of an envelope and post to: Coast & Country Stoney Creek Prize, PO Box 240, Tauranga 3110, to arrive no later than June 17. The winner will be announced in Coast & Country’s July issue.


POLARIS BIG FOUR COMPETITION

Page 11

Hunting the Big Four and $80,000 in prizes

Cover story

An idea for a hunting event to enliven a small rural community, which evolved over a few quiet beers, has in four short years become one of national and international significance. This year’s Polaris Big Four Competition 2014 at Te Puna on June 24-28 is expected to attract 100 four-person teams from throughout New Zealand, America and Australia – all keen for a share of the $80,000 prize pool. It’s a big event, with major sponsors, but it’s run by the very small eight-person Te Puna Hunting and Fishing Club with Ken Griffin and Shane Paterson the key co-ordinators. “Every year it just gets bigger and it’s not hard to get the sponsors on board because they can see how popular it is and that competitors do support their brands,” says Ken. The teams will target a stag, a boar, a pheasant and a trout. The first prizes up for grabs for teams which secure all four target species are two black Polaris Sportsmen, Stoney Creek Limited Edition ATVs valued at a total of $23,000. (They are similar to the bike featured in the front cover picture but don’t include all accessories on that model). Second prize is $10,000 in cash from Pacific Toyota and an $8500 portable chiller from Spencer Contracting is third prize. Sixty per cent of teams which enter do get all four animals, but the winning teams won’t be the ones with the heaviest of each species. Instead, to make the contest fair to hunters of all levels of experience, the major prizes will go to the teams that have all four species with a combined weight closest to the average weight of all species entered. There are individual prizes too. Hunting & Fishing Tauranga is sponsoring the heaviest bore and the

heaviest trout categories, with product to the value of $1500 first prize in each category, $700 for second and $300 for third. McFall Fuel is sponsoring the heaviest stag competition with prizes worth a total of $2500 and Maimai Supplies of Katikati is presenting $2500 worth of product to winners in the best pheasant category. Marshall Innovations is the sponsor for the $1500 prize for the best fighting spurs on a cock pheasant and Bradley Smoker is sponsoring $1500 worth of product for the closest to average weight trout. The best boar tusks will win a dog box from Katikati Marine Fabrication and the best Douglas score for stag antlers will win a $1500 chopper flight, sponsored by Raukumara Red Venison. The best hunting photo uploaded to the Polaris Big Four Face Book page will win a $550 Game Trail Camera from Hunting & Fishing Tauranga. During the weigh-in day more than $5000 worth of spot prizes from Penguin Sea & Surf will be given away, along with a major spot prize from Bradley Smokers worth $550. Every competitor will receive an entry pack with a bush shirt from Stoney Creek along with other sponsored products and vouchers worth at least $100. Shane and Ken are urging competitors to attend the briefing night on June 21 from 5pm at the Top Shot Bar Te Puna, when spot prizes will be given away and late entries can be accepted if spots are left. The weigh-in on Saturday, June 28 starts from 10am and will be a family-orientated community day with a bouncy castle for children, sponsors’ stalls and food. Any other groups, businesses, or people who want to help, or be part of the day’s activities, should contact Shane on 021 267 4083. Hunting in the Polaris Big Four starts 6am Tuesday, June 24, and weigh-in is on Saturday, June 28 from 10am to 3pm, with prize giving from 4pm. The club wishes all competitors the best of luck and wants to thank all of its incredible sponsors. By Elaine Fisher


FIELDAYS

Page 12

Blooming future for manuka forestry

Manuka begins to flower in the third year after planting.

Manuka forestry for honey and oil production has a bright future in New Zealand, according to growers and wholesalers of New Zealand native plants KauriPark.

Growing & Greening New Zealand with you

The current value of New Zealand honey exports is about $145million, and KauriPark marketing manager Andrew Wearmouth says the Government has set an export target of $1billion by year 2025. “The key to achieving the $1 billion in annual exports is the urgent need for more area to be planted in manuka forest.” The current manuka production forestry is estimated at about 900,000ha. Andrew believes manuka forestry offers exciting opportunities for land owners.

Manuka seedlings ready for planting.

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“Manuka is New Zealand’s medicine plant. The methyl glyoxyl activity, mostly referred to as UMF, has strong anti-bacterial properties; unique from any other honey.” The triketones found in the oil also have anti-bacterial properties, as well as use for shampoos and skin care. “The plant grows readily in a wide range of soil types and climatic conditions, from peat swampland to the tops of treelines of steep hill country.” “Manuka has a natural life span of 25 to 50 years. “The danger with the manuka indus-

try is much of this forest is already 30 years old and there has been little attempt to increase, manage or replace the plantings since the mid-1980s.” Manuka begins to flower in the third year after planting, and reaches full maturity by the eighth year. The cost to plant is about $1800 per hectare. The honey yield from a fully mature forest is currently estimated at 25-50kg/ha and the average price to the beekeeper is currently $20-$25kg. This works out at $500-$1000 income from honey per hectare. “The manuka forester can benefit from carbon credits, or from pruning the plants and selling prunings to manuka oil extractors at a current price of $500-$600 per tonne,” says Andrew. “Research is well underway to identify superior clones that produce stronger levels of MGO, and produce greater nectar flows, and continue to flower over more weeks to spread the season.”

Top speakers at rural contractor conference Rural Contractors New Zealand holds its annual conference just days after many members pack up their sites at Fieldays. RCNZ chief executive Roger Parton says the organisation’s annual conference is being held at New Plymouth’s Devon Hotel from June 23-26. The conference has an agenda chock-full of interesting and pertinent issues to the rural contracting sector along with a number of top-line speakers, says Roger. Speakers include outgoing Federated Farmers chief executive Conor English; ASB rural economist Nathan Penny and Taranaki Regional Council chief executive Basil Chamberlain. “A highlight of the week will be our field trip to Dow Agro Science for a tour of its plant and research farm. Other highlights include the annual charity auction to raise funds for St John, as well as the big finale with our awards dinner and dance.” Register for the conference by emailing: office@ruralcontractors.org.nz


FIELDAYS

Page 13

Irish companies again among exhibitors Irish companies will again be among exhibitors at Fieldays, following success of the country’s participation in the 2013 event. Last year 15 Irish companies exhibited at Fieldays and Enterprise Ireland/NZ’s trade representative Treza Gallogly says this figure has grown for 2014. A strong economic relationship exists between Ireland and New Zealand, with two-way trade exceeding NZ$300 million in 2012. NZ Fieldays general manager commercial Nick Dromgool

visited Ireland’s Ploughing Championships late last year as a guest of the National Ploughing Association and the Irish Government’s trade and investment board, Enterprise Ireland. While there Nick had the opportunity to meet with Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney and senior officials of the NPA to discuss the deepening relationship between the two agriculturally-based countries. The championships attract more than 200, 000 visitors during three days;

and Nick visited leading agricultural machinery firms, many of which have exhibited at NZ’s national Fieldays. Nick says he was impressed with both the scale of the Ploughing Championships as well as the level of innovation of the Irish agricultural industry. “Of the many synergies between our events, the focus and growth of innovations is paramount to the continued success within the primary sectors of both countries. “Both Ireland and NZ have

demonstrated resourcefulness in their approach to solving farming challenges.” Nick says NZ’s national Fieldays is keen to explore a collaborative relation-

ship with the National Ploughing Association “that will encourage a healthy exchange of information and representation at our respective events”.

Heavy rain and flooding washed out major access routes on this Raetihi farm.

Blown-out culvert causes havoc When heavy rain washed out a boxed culvert on Kim Young and Sons’ drystock farm near Raetihi, most of the back of the farm and stock were inaccessible. The flooding also affected four bridges downstream of the main culvert, causing havoc for farm management and access. Norm Young called Bridge It NZ and within 48 hours the company had a temporary steel flat deck bridge installed, which allowed access to previously cut-off areas of the property meaning their farming

operations were not affected for long and they were back in business. Norm met with the Bridge It NZ team to discuss his bridging options for the blown-out culvert and bridges. After looking at the pros and cons of various designs and alternate access points, a 27m concrete deck 0.85 HN load capacity bridge with concrete kerbs and galvanised pipe handrails was designed, constructed and installed by the company.

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FIELDAYS

Fodder beet the cheapest feed to grow Fodder beet or similar plants have been domesticated for 500 years. Despite this, New Zealand is the only country in the world to graze cattle and deer directly on the crop. There are 14,000 hectares in the South Island, but only 1000ha in the north. Fodder beet is the ideal crop for dairy and beef cattle and deer. It has the potential to replace maize and palm kernel, as it is so cheap to grow. A successful crop will be the cheapest feed you grow; way cheaper than PKE or maize, being between 3c/kg DM and 13c/kg DM. It will be the highest quality feed you can grow. Its Metabolic Energy value will remain constant at about 12 regardless of maturity stage. Other crops lose quality as yield increases, but fodder beet doesn’t. It is high energy feed. It has very high water soluble carbohydrates. It is very highly digestible. It prefers free-draining light to medium soils including sandy soils. Fodder beet can produce 40 tonnes of DM/ha and will do more, particularly in the North Island. Short of disaster, you can bank on 20-25 tonnes DM/ha. Growth rates can be as high as 200kg/ha DM, but 100 is very common. Most crops will grow a tonne or more per hectare per week.

No harvesting

A fodder beet crop can be fed from February to November. Stock develop a taste for it very quickly. It can be used for milking cows, dry cows, beef cows, young stock and deer. Expect an increase in milk solids. Expect stock to gain weight. It can be fed in situ. No harvesting is required, but you can if you need to. If harvested, it will store in open windrows for five months. The utilisation of fodder beet is as close to 100 per cent as you can get. It loves potassium, so is an answer for some farms with high potassium build up from effluent. It tolerates high sodium, so can be used in saline soils. Its nitrogen requirement is relatively low, so the environ-

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%)

ment is not compromised. It is more water efficient than brassicas, so does better than them in dry seasons. It is a better feed proposition than turnips. It has some negative and not so negative points. Fodder beat deserves a good paddock, not a poor one. Seed bed preparation must be superior. For best results, precision drilling is required. Do not drill faster than 4km per hour. The soil temperature needs to be 10-12 degrees Celsius for five days in a row before planting. Weed control must be of the highest order.

Chemicals

It is susceptible to certain chemicals may be already in the soil from previous cropping. There is only one animal health disorder to be concerned about and that is acidosis. Some literature suggests nitrate and oxalic acid poisoning, and bloat may be a problem. This is not true. Acidosis can be avoided by proper transitioning stock onto fodder beet. Acidosis is not a crop or a fertiliser problem, but a management problem. The transition period is 10-14 days. You need to accurately assess yield, to know stock intake. If feeding high DM allowances, some P and Ca supplementation may be required. Keep an eye on trace mineral levels in stock. Get advice well in advance. Kiwi Fertiliser recommends Seed Force personnel. ‘She’ll be right’ won’t work.


A solar powered purifier If you struggled with your pool during summer, or it’s looking a bit murky during winter, you need to consider a Floatron, says Melissa Growden of Floatron. “Would you like to keep your pool clear all year round with minimal effort, and hardly any chemicals? “You can with Floatron. It’s the easiest way to maintain a pool, and save yourself hundreds or thousands of dollars on chemical use.” Melissa say people are continually amazed at how easy it is, and how good their pool looks with a Floatron in it. “Even after nearly 20 years of selling Floatrons, it still gives me a buzz when clients ring up or email to tell me how good their pool looks. “Some people have looked at getting a Floatron for a few years, and when they finally do, they always say they wish they had done so years ago. ‘Imagine how much money and time I would have saved if I bought a Floatron years ago they say?’” Melissa says she loves selling a product that helps people, and is good for them. The Floatron is a revolutionary solar-powered water purifier for swimming pools, which replaces the need for chemicals by up to 90 per cent. It uses the process

FIELDAYS

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of ionisation to combat algae and bacteria in the water. One statement made by many people in NZ is they simply don’t have the time to look after their pool, and they’re so glad to finally come across the Floatron, says Melissa. “With a Floatron, you swim in crystal clear water with no taste, smell, or chemical effects –that means no dry skin, or red stinging eyes,” says Melissa. “You save so much time on pool maintenance, because you don’t have to add excessive chemicals, or frequently test the water.” Melissa says Fieldays is the best time of year to get a Floatron, “because we never discount our prices this much”. “People know we have great special for a very limited time, so if you have been thinking about a Floatron – now is the time to get yours. Save $275 during Fieldays, and ask about our auto vacuum deals as well. “Get a Floatron now, and have a clean pool come spring time. No big clean up – just start swimming. It’s that easy. Floatron is so good it comes with a money-back guarantee.” Order now, or request a free info pack by phone or online, at www.floatron.co.nz or 0800 161 181. See Melissa at site 44 Bledisloe Hall.

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Tractors, food, art – all part of Fieldays’ appeal

Nine hundred exhibitors, eligible trans-Tasman bachelors, cooking demonstrations, fencing and tractor competitions and a series of seminars are among attractions of this year’s Fieldays at Mystery Creek. Organisers are expecting a large number of international visitors and delegations to join the thousands of Kiwis who visit what is the largest event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere from June 11-14 at Mystery Creek. Eight finalists, including two

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from Australia, will be taking part in the Rural Bachelor of the Year, competing for the Gold Gumboot trophy and a share of the $23,000 in prizes. The National Excavator competition, which tests the precision and skills of operators of the big machines, is popular with the crowds – as are the fencing events and the Stihl logging competition. Each day there are two free 45-minute sessions featuring speakers from NIWA, PGG Wrightsons, Xero, the University of Waikato and comedian Te Radar. These are held in the Fieldays Theatre on E Street, where there’s seating for 400.

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Annah Stretton is head judge for Ag Art Wear, now in its 20th year, and there are two shows daily featuring wearable art garments made from materials that are used in the practice of farming. Kiwi’s best kitchen is an exclusive area designed to showcase quality New Zealand food and beverages. It has 45 exclusive exhibitor sites; Good George will be running the bar/kitchen and Josh Emett returns as the Kiwi’s Best Kitchen Celebrity Chef. There will be a full schedule of demonstrations in the Kitchen Theatre with grandstand seating for spectators.


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Healthy, pleasurable cooking system No pets, but plenty of ATMs Shirley Bills cooks all of the vegetables for a meal in 10 minutes – stove top to table – using one piece of cookware and just three tablespoons of water. She can also cook a complete meal, from meat to vegetables and even a desert, on one stove top element, using the DineRite system. Shirley has been cooking this way for eight years now – and thanks to its high quality, her cookware looks as good as new. She not only enjoys using the system, Shirley also demonstrates and sells the cookware. “I believe in the system. It not only saves time but is also healthier, as nutrients are not boiled away and it is a fatless system for meat.” DineRite’s cookware system works by cooking with less water, heat and air. Excessive amounts of water, heat and air will destroy most, if not all, the nutrients from food. For faster more even cooking, the cookware features a five-ply construction with a thick core designed to give even heat distribution. The multi-layered core conducts the heat across the bottom and up the sides of every piece of cookware for even heat efficiency, thus eliminating hot spots. The fifth layer is surgical steel, giving the cookware and enduring finish which is easy to clean too. “While the cookware can be used in the oven, we recommend stove top cooking as this saves power. An element uses 1000 watts per hour while the oven uses 13,000 watts so there is an energy saving,” says Shirley. “DineRite is ideal for farmers, cooking a meal in a very short time, which is a real bonus for people coming in late from milking or calving.”

Fieldays need-to-know

Entry

Gates open daily at 8am, and close at 5pm.

Location

The New Zealand national agricultural Fieldays is held at Mystery Creek Events Centre, 125 Mystery Creek Rd, Hamilton, New Zealand. Two mins from Hamilton International Airport. 10 mins from Hamilton, Te Awamutu and Cambridge. 1.5 hours from Auckland, Tauranga and Rotorua.

Avoid the queues

Pre purchase your tickets online. To buy tickets, go to: streamticketing.co.nz.

Shirley Bills demonstrates cooking with the DineRite system in homes and at shows.

Using the DineRite system is quite different from conventional cooking, so Shirley demonstrates the cookware at shows and private homes as this cookware is not available through shops “The home demonstrations are for individual couples, and I like to get the men involved; once they learn how it works, they also enjoy using the system too.” Demonstrations are available by appointment. Book a demonstration and receive a gift valued $99. Also use a $200 voucher on a set of cookware. DineRite NZ is based at Mount Maunganui, and Brisbane, selling the cookware system since 1983. Shirley will be demonstrating DineRite cookware at the Mystery Creek Fieldays in the Rural Living pavilion, site number 14.

Seeing eye dogs are the only animals allowed on-site at Fieldays – and there are no exceptions.

Anyone who brings a pet to Fieldays, or leaves a pet in a vehicle, will be asked to take them home. For those who need extra cash to take advantage of bargains on offer, there are various ATM sites and mobile Eftpos and cash out facilities available throughout the site. ANZ also

has a Mystery Creek branch located on M Road, beside the Village Green. Overseas visitors to New Zealand are invited to register at the Business and International Centre located on E Street where lounge facilities, internet, meeting rooms and light refreshments are available. There’s no need to worry about getting hungry at Fieldays either – as a range of delicious food and refreshment options are available from more than 50 food outlets.


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Warren. Cosio’s textiles are available in roll Cosio Indu COSIO COSIO 27-33 Lan form or can be made to the size INDUSTRIES required in most cases, using qualityPh 09 820 sewing techniques. This can include Thedraw Professionals Choice hems, cords or other custom fixing methods such as eyelets to suit the customer’s requirements. Because of its experience in flexible membrane INDUSTRIES technology, Cosio is the NZ distributor for Firestone Building Products which includes Geomembrane EPDM rubber liner membranes and fixing systems for dairy effluent storage, water reservoir and waterproofing systems in a wide range of applications. Visit the Cosio stand at the Fieldays main pavilion site PC2 and PC4.

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Cell counts down and milk production’s up In-race teat spraying continues to be the most reliable and effective way to insure against teat spray contamination in milk production and to maintain healthy and highly-productive udders. Hamilton’s Dan Hinton has attended SMART milking seminars and is enthusiastic to get the most out of his team, recently installing a WETiT QDO Hi-Flow Teat Sprayer to reduce milking time and improve cow flow. Although he’s maintained a somatic cell count of less than 150 for three years, Dan says hand-spraying is tough. “Staff come and go and are not 100 per cent reliable.” Since automating with the QDO, Dan Dan Hinton, of has no clinical mastitis and is excited about DNA Farms Ltd in the possibility of less than 100 SCC. Hamilton, has recently The QDO Teat Sprayer is already better installing a WETiT than hand-spraying, yet WETiT’s research QDO Hi-Flow Teat and development team are constantly look- Sprayer. (Photo by Jan Maree ing to improve it. Fine Art Photography).

It’s also easy to run the herd through the shed prior to calving to reduce the risk of mastitis. Whakatane’s Bruce Wood is excited about significant improvementsINDUSTRIES to his animal health. “I had the WETiT teat sprayer installed in the shed and run the cows through every day, to be sprayed for two weeks before milking starts. “This is the first year I’ve sprayed before calving. The [somatic] cell count is less than 120 – I wouldn’t do it any other way now.” The WETiT goal is to get the most efficient coverage in surface area and accuracy with the minimum teat spray possible – every cow, every time. Improved mastitis management and better udder health can lead to shorter milkings, more milk in the vat, less risk of Somatic Cell Count grades – and a better bottom line.

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Portable answer to building needs Modcom Portable Buildings Limited established in 1998 and is a leader in the New Zealand portable building market. “We are 100 per cent New Zealandowned and operated, which allows us to provide a quality product and excellent service,” says Modcom manager Brendon Cole. Constructed of either EPS insulated sandwich panel or fire-resistant insulated sandwich panel, Modcom buildings provide excellent insulation, strength and low maintenance All Modcom buildings are structurally engineered and built properties. in accordance with the New Zealand Building Code In addition, all buildings come with and relevant building standards. a five-year manufacturer’s warranty. “We manufacture an extensive range of buildings for hire or sale, including offices, ablutions ards. Modcom buildings are designed to be portable, making them easy and safe to transport. units, lunchrooms, accommodation units, and control “With our own fleet of trucks and cranes, we can rooms,” says Brendon remove the reliance on outside providers and are “Hiring is an excellent option if you require tempoable to provide hassle-free delivery to your site,” says rary buildings on your site. Just hire the buildings as you need, for the length of time you require; and when Brendon. Modcom Portable Buildings Ltd is part of the you are finished with the buildings, we will come and Supermac Group, which includes Supermac Holdings remove them. Ltd (specialising in coolstores and freezers), Accessmac “If you require something specific we are happy to (specialising in booms, cranes and scissor lifts), ATF customise one of our existing plans or alternatively we (specialising in temporary fencing) and Midamac can build a unit of your own design.” All buildings manufactured by Modcom are structur- (specialising in earthworks), which places Modcom in a position to be able to offer a complete package from ally engineered and built in accordance with the New site preparation to ‘turn-key’. Zealand Building Code and relevant building stand-

Increased comfort and distance on two wheels Honda has an impressive range of new farm equipment for 2014 with new ATV products, and the all new Pioneer side-by-side which is in hot demand, says Blue Wing Honda brand manager Damien Smyth. However the two-wheel range has also been upgraded for the new farm season. “The new XR150 adds a new dimension to Honda’s proven farm range. For those who know off-road motorcycles, Honda’s XR range is legendary,” says Damien. The XR150 now features an all new larger, updated engine, with an offset crankshaft, roller rockers, a lighter piston and a redesigned oil cooling path to further increase reliability and power. “The XR150 engine also features a new balancer shaft to reduce vibration for much smoother running, a real bonus when you spend

The new XR150 adds a new dimension to Honda’s proven farm range. hours in the saddle. “Power has been increased and it has an exceptional 12-litre fuel tank and five-speed gearbox to last long days and go long distances around the farm. Its electric start makes life easy in all conditions, and it has impressively low gearing so you can go ultra-slow for moving cattle.” Damien says the XR150 is reliable, low maintenance and durable. As a bonus it is also one of the few farm bike which can be registered for the road. The XR150 also has a more comfortable seat, new modern

dash, new headlight and updated bodywork. Another bonus is the price with the XR150 coming in at the super low retail price of $3999 inc GST. Also in the range is the CTX200 which now features revised graphics and a new optional LED spotlight to assist visibility at night. “The CTX200 is one very economical, reliable and capable addition to the farming family. Its 8.5 litre tank with 1.8 litre reserve is purposefully designed for long-range riding, so you can ride all day and all the way to the back of the station. With front and rear carry racks the CTX is the real workhorse of two-wheel farm bikes.” The price on this model is $5999 inc GST. Damien says both bikes make a great addition to the farming line up. He suggests talking to your local Honda dealer to arrange a test or to view the outstanding new range of 2014 Honda farm bikes or visit www.hondamotorbikes.co.nz

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Racing tractors pull the crowds Home to the noise, smoke and grunt of the loudest, the tractor pull contest at Fieldays is always a crowd favourite. Heats are run during the week with finals on Saturday. The categories include the Fieldays Weight Adjusted Competition,

which is based on adjusting the weights pulled according to the horsepower of the tractor – and then it’s a matter of speeding to the finish-line. The Fieldays Weight Transfer Competition has five weight classes up to 15 tonnes, and is based on transferring weight to see how far the tractor can get before the weight becomes too much.

The noisiest events are the Fieldays Modified Tractors and Tractors of Interest, where the crows expect to see and hear the awesome power behind the ‘bad boys’ with tractors up to 600hp competing. Expect some fun and action when Fieldays exhibitors take each other on, tractor to tractor, over a slalom course too.

Top young vegetable growers named Brett Parker of Pukekawa is the 2014 New Zealand Young Vegetable Grower, after beating six fellow competitors at the national competition in April. Held in Pukekohe, the day-long event saw seven contestants from around New Zealand go head-to-head in a series of theoretical and practical challenges needed to run a successful vegetable-growing business. Brett, 26, works at Hinemoa Quality Producers in Pukekawa as an assistant crop manager, and won $1500 cash, $1000 for professional development and a field trip to visit other vegetable producers. Brett also won a one-day media and presentation course in Wellington, an all-expenses paid trip to

Christchurch to compete for the national 2014 Young Grower of the Year title in August, and attendance to the 2015 Horticulture New Zealand Conference. “I’m glad I got to compete against six other young vegetable growers who really knew their stuff. The level of skill I had to beat was incredible, and we all went above and beyond to showcase the skills you need to be a good grower,” says Brett. “Competing for the Young Grower of the Year title in August will certainly be a step up from this; and I’m definitely going to use the next few months to make sure I’m as prepared as I can be to give it my best shot.” Andrew Hutchinson, 26, from Pukekohe was placed second and Herman Fourie, 27, from Mangere placed third.

Promoting careers in primary industries The Enterprising Primary Industries Challenge for 2014 has been launched by Education Minister Hekia Parata and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.

Beams & Timber Direct Ltd (BTD)

The challenge requires school students to identify different careers within the primary industries and develop a strategy promoting them to the target market of Year 10 students. “The challenge will allow our children and young people to

make more informed decisions about how their learning choices relate to their future employment possibilities,” says Hekia. “There is a huge range of exciting careers in farming, fishing

and horticulture – as well as in marketing, remote sensing, robotics, chemical engineering, genetics, nutrition, policy, communications, product design, science and IT,” says Nathan. The Ministry for Primary Industries and Dairy NZ are co-sponsors of the competition, which is run by Young Enterprise Trust. The challenge is on offer to all NZ schools free of charge. For more information, visit: www.youngenterprise.org.nz/ enterprise-programmes


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Fencers go to the wire at Fieldays

The New Zealand National Fencing Championships will be among the highlights of 2014 Fieldays, held on June 11-14. The championships are a joint venture with New Zealand Fencing Competitions as organisers and Fieldays as the host venue and consist of four main competitions which will showcase New Zealand’s top fencers, in a match of skill, speed and endurance. Fencing is an essential element within farming communities and has been a part of Fieldays from the beginning. The national championships are known as the premier fencing competition in New Zealand and are highly regarded as

the pinnacle in fencing excellence with a stronghold for maintaining traditions in agricultural fencing systems. The competitions consist of the Bill Schuler Novice Round final, the Wiremark Golden Pliers Singles Championship, the Fieldays Silver Spades Doubles Championship and the Fieldays Silver Spades doubles training institute competition. These will be held on respective days through Wednesday to Saturday in the Fencing Competition Area at Fieldays. The Wiremark Golden Pliers Singles Championship combines fencing finesse with sheer tenacity; it’s a competition of strategy and requires an eye for detail. The Fieldays Silver Spades is a pairs teams event with many of the competi-

tor combinations developing their team work over many years. A positive sign for the industry is the number of younger competitors realising the attraction of competitions and the valuable aid it provides to their fencing businesses in learning techniques and keeping up with the latest products. Sponsors play a vital role in the competitions and the sponsors of the 2013 New Zealand National Fencing Championships predominantly supported Fieldays as a venue for hosting these national competitions. Sponsors enjoyed exposure to nationwide attendance of both the public and industry organisations, with a number of international visitors also attending. New Zealand Fencing Competitions formed in 2013 as a national organising body for challenges. Also formed was an independent group that oversees fencing competitions in New Zealand, valuing the historic traditions and people that have helped develop fencing to the standard it is at today.

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Froth-fighting software in pumps A Matamata manufacturing company Forsi Innovations Ltd is launching a new and exciting world-first product line at Fieldays 2014.

is a method of controlling the speed of the milk pump in order to limit froth build up in the receiving can. The Froth Fighter software is incorporated into the Forsi VSD milk pump controller. The Forsi VSD control is the only product in the world that The small family reduces milk froth build company, based up without the need for in Matamata, well external equipment – a known for its highly revolutionary feature – innovative water currently in the patent filtration technology, pending process. is launching a line of All Forsi Controls are smart Variable Speed IP66 rated and have been Drive controls for extensively tested for water milk pumps – single tightness. “We have gone and three phase up to to excessive lengths in 2.2kW; water pumps our testing, such as water – up to 22kW three immersion and repeated phase; vacuum pump freeze and re-heat tests on – three phase up to the controls,” says Forsi’s 22kW. The controls are The FORSI VSD control operations manager Craig manufactured in New is the only product in the Hawes. “This way we can ensure the product is Zealand and offer cost world that reduces milk savings to the owner in froth build up without the suitable to every environreduced maintenance need for external equipment. ment.” Craig says another great feature is the controls costs as well as power are extremely user friendly, so anyone savings. The biggest and most excitcan use and understand the many built ing feature is hidden in the milk pump in features. controls. The new VSD controls will be Milk froth built up in the receiving launched and on show at Fieldays, along cans of dairy sheds becomes an issue with the latest water filtration and effluwhen it overflows into the sanitary trap ent system technology, on site F30. and or the vacuum pipes. Froth Fighter

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Mega dairies ‘not the answer’ for NZ COLOSTRUM TANKS

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“There is no point in going head to head with the US-type system,” says DairyNZ development and extension general manager David McCall. New Zealand’s strengths are its grass pasture systems, the co-operative industry structure and a culture of information sharing, says David. “Grazed pasture is still the cheapest feed source internationally.” Grass costs about nine cents per kilogram of dry matter. New Zealand’s other advances include producing what customers want, responsive supply chains, being a reliable supplier of safe food, and the China free trade agreement. However, this country can’t afford to be complacent. Mega dairies in the US are increasing in size and number; and David says as efficiencies are made in them, costs are coming down. In California, farmers are earning $7.42 kg/ms compared with $7.09 kg/ ms in New Zealand. However, for feed costs, California farmers pay $5.91 kg/ms compared to $1.96 kg/ms in New Zealand. Additional costs account for $1.85 kg/ms in California and $1.99 kg/ms in New Zealand. The total cost of production for the average farmer in California is $7.76 kg/ms, giving a cash operating surplus of minus 34 cents. In New Zealand cash operating surplus is $3.95 kg/ms, giving a surplus of $1.83 kg/ms. Interest and rent in California is

significantly less than in New Zealand at 33 cents compared with $1.31 kg/ ms. Even so, New Zealand farmers earn a surplus of $1.83 kg/ms while those in California have a loss of minus 67 cents. However, top Californian farmers are achieving a surplus of 89 cents and a strong focus on efficiencies mean they continue to make savings, says David. “The equivalent of all New Zealand’s milk is supplied by just 540 US mega dairies,” says David, who visited the USA to assess how NZ compares and what trends will emerge in the US in future. A mega dairy is classed as a farm which milks 2000 cows and has herds of 12,000 to 30,000 animals. Cows are kept in ‘containment’ facilities, some open-sided structures, others enclosed and air conditioned. Cows are milked 24 hours a day 365 days a year through mostly 60-bail rotary sheds or parallel, 40-aside herringbone sheds. Labour, mainly Mexican migrant labour, costs between $10-$12 an hour compared to $13$30/hr in New Zealand. There’s an even bigger gap in the cost of housing infrastructure. In the US building costs are between $1100 and $1500 per cow, compared to $2500 to $3500 in New Zealand. On the biggest farms, one calf is born every 30 minutes, and calves are kept in ‘hutches’, fed by bottles delivered by bike-riding calf-rearers.


CALVING

Reducing risk of mastitis

Prevention is always better than cure – and removing calves from cows within hours of birth has shown to reduce mastitis. DairyNZ has a number of recommendations to help reduce mastitis at this time of year and these include teat spraying springers two to three times per week before calving, or removing calves from cows within the first 10-12 hours after calving. Teat spray after every milking, and adding extra emollient until the weather improves and the risk of teat skin damage reduces, is also effective. Ensuring all cows are milking out completely, before leaving the colostrum mob is also important. Find and treat: • Strip all quarters and check for clinical signs at each milking. Check cows using the Rapid Mastitis Test before they leave the colostrum herd, to identify high Somatic Cell Count cows. Retain positive cows in the colostrum herd for 24-48 hours and re-check. • Record details and treat only clinical cases. • Strip all cows for clinical signs at least weekly during the first six-eight weeks of the season. Spread the task over two or more milkings to spread the load. • Make sure cows treated for mastitis are milked last. Find out more, at www.dairynz.co.nz

Guide to calf care Within six to 12 hours of birth, calves must be fed sufficient colostrum to give them immunity against common diseases, says DairyNZ.

Its good practice guidelines for calf husbandry state calves must be protected from the elements at all times and should be moved to shelter as soon as possible after birth. All calves, with exception of calves destroyed at birth, should be treated and managed equally – irrespective of their intended final fate. Enclosures must be fit for purpose and well maintained in order to minimise the risk of illness and injury to calves and stock persons. Calves must be comfortable, dry and clean. All calves must be handled gently. The use of sticks or electric prodders is not acceptable. Animals must be regularly monitored for signs of ill-health. Immediate action should be taken if an animal falls ill. Water must be freely accessible at all times. Calves must be a minimum of four days old before being selected for transport. They must be individually assessed for fitness to transport. For example, able to support weight on all four legs, have a dry navel, and appear healthy in all respects. Unfit animals must be withheld until fit, or humanely destroyed. Calves must be fed as close to transport as possible, and at least within two hours of pick-up. Collection of bobby calves must be from a suitable pen. This must not be located on the roadside.

‘Better own an acre…’ David believes New Zealand farmers do have the ability to increase production by gaining greater efficiencies from their grass-based system – and knowledge and tools are there to help them do so.

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Most dairy cows on mega dairies are housed well away from their food source. David says the replacement rate within the herds is 45 per cent, but by reducing this farmers can quickly ramp up production to meet demand. Most herds are housed some distance from their Solid Food for Soils feed source, which David says can be a major disadvantage. “One farmer we spoke to said: “We’ve forgotten what our grandparents told us – ‘if you own a cow you’d better own an acre’ – many don’t own the land the feed is grown on”. This makes the farms vulnerable to fluctuating feed prices, but a relaxing of requirements to grow corn for biofuel is bringing down the cost D oofl ofeed. Zest CalciZest 0800 843 809 07 362 7288

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Where calves must be destroyed on-farm, humane slaughter guidelines must be followed. Preference is for the use of a .22 as the means of humane destruction of calves with second options being captive bolt or home-kill/professional slaughterman. Euthanasia using a blunt object, although legal for very young and premature calves, is not the preferred means of destruction. The location of dead calves and slinks for collection must be inside the farm gate and covered. To find out more, go to: www.compliancetoolkit.co.nz

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Forum focus on feed, leaching, lean systems and staff The outlook for dairy farmers is generally positive, particularly in exports to Asia, according to Minister for Economic Development, Steven Joyce. Speaking at the second day of the Farmers Forum, Steven backed the optimism with a raft of figures, and his address was followed by a detailed update from DairyNZ’s strategy and investment leader for

productivity Bruce Thorrold. Bruce says 28 cents of every levy dollar is focused on research and development, and in recent times focusses on two areas. The first is feed conversion efficiency in dairy cows. Finding the genetic clues to why some cows eat less than others, yet still produce as much milk. Working on this for about 20 years now, researchers consider their most recent findings represent an extra $600/ha profit. They’ve also been working with

beef cattle and have found individuals which consume 28 per cent less feed than others, but can gain weight at the same rates. The second area has been forage improvement, which has enabled them to publish the Forage Value Index in 2012, initially on perennial ryegrass. This has been improved with the addition of annual and short-term ryegrasses now being included. This research hasn’t only measured nutritive results, but levels of persistence on challenging sites.

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Twenty-eight paddocks, on farms New Zealand wide, have been measured, with three to five cuts/paddock per year. Working with seed companies, this research produced genetic gains in both grasses and clovers. The Pastoral 21 research has been seeking productivity gains with no leaching, and there has been much work done on the leaching from urine patches. While standoff areas have shown to reduce leaching, one of the most interesting findings is leaching from patches is greatest between March-May each year. Adjusting farming methods for these periods has potential to reduce leaching by 40 per cent. New material on feed conversion efficiency will go up on the DairyNZ

website this month. Synlait staff led the first workshop to explain the ‘lean’ systems they’ve been introducing on 14 farms in the South Island. With large herds and multiple staff, the need for consistency and systems, which reduce waste in all areas, has been important. They’ve aimed for continuous small steps in the process, with improvements involving no or low cost. A system they call 6S has been introduced on each farm, with good ideas and progress reported back to the whole staff group at regular intervals. These include Safety, getting Sorted, Setting tools etc in order, Shining clean equipment and facilities, Standardising to best practice, and Sustaining it all.

Understating nitrate poisoning Nitrate poisoning is a very serious and rapidly fatal disease of sheep and cattle, and contrary to popular belief it is a climatic issue and generally not caused by nitrogen (N) fertiliser. To understand the disease it is important to first look at the biology of it. In the soil, organic N (eg dung and urine) is converted to ammonia then to nitrite and nitrate by soil bacteria (“nitrification”). Nitrate is the major form of N that plants take up; it is then converted in the plant to nitrite, then ammonia and into amino acids and protein using energy acquired through photosynthesis. Nitrate is normally present in plants at a level that does not cause problems in animals, however in certain conditions (see below), nitrate levels in the plant can build up to high levels. In the animal, rumen bugs convert nitrate to nitrite, which is then converted to ammonia and then protein (which is used as a protein source). When animals take in large amounts of nitrate quickly, they are unable to process it fast enough, so nitrite accumulates in the rumen and is absorbed into the blood. High levels of nitrite are toxic and convert haemoglobin (the red oxygen-carrying blood pigment) to methaemoglobin (chocolate brown), which cannot carry oxygen, so animals ‘suffocate’. Symptoms include rapid

breathing, gasping, tremors, weakness, staggering, chocolate-coloured membranes, collapse and death (as quickly as 30 minutes); often animals are simply found dead. Plant nitrate levels rise when nitrate uptake increases and/ or nitrate accumulates faster than it can be converted into protein; for example dull/overcast days, high soil temperatures, plant stress/disease (wilting, drought, insects, frost, cold), rapid plant growth or after a drought. Most commonly it occurs with annual ryegrasses, brassicas, maize, kikuyu and greenfeed oats; but rarely established perennial pastures. Some affected animals can be saved by emergency veterinary treatment, but pregnant animals will usually abort if they survive. It is important not to stress them when sick. Prevention is the key. Be aware of the plant species and climatic conditions that are a high risk and monitor accordingly. Let pasture and crops mature before grazing. Test plant nitrate levels if there is suspicion, but make sure the test method is valid for the plant species. Avoid putting hungry animals onto suspect crops; maybe feed them hay/silage/straw first, and slowly introduce them, eg one hour initially, then gradually building up to two to four hours per day. Monitor them closely and regularly, and remove at the first sign of trouble.

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Taking control – problem solving among ways forward They’ve also adopted a problem solving culture they call Root Cause Analysis, to accurately identify problems, and stressed that this calls for good record keeping in all areas. From the enthusiasm shown by the two women presenters, ‘lean’ is working well for Synlait. With the increasing variety of feed systems now being used in dairy farming, a workshop looking at the profitability being made by those using them produced some interesting results. High input systems (System 5) can, if done well, produce high profitability. Interestingly, those making the next level of profits were using all grass systems, with weekly farm walks, careful pasture management, and fewer input costs. Those farmers who tended to work from week to week, buying in supplements at higher cost when the grass didn’t grow as expected, are making the smallest profits.

Great farm teams

With the strong need to get good people into farm work and to keep them there and progressing, it is obviously time for some coherent advice from all quarters. The workshop on this reveals there

has been a lot going on behind the scenes, and the outcomes are now becoming apparent. DairyNZ, Federated Farmers, Primary ITO, Dairy Women’s Network and PICA are about to come out with a comprehensive skills matrix, designed around the basic premise of there being five levels of farm worker role; from farm assistant to herd manager, assistant manager, farm manager and business/ operations manager for bigger enterprises. These will have defined levels of on-farm experience, clear skill requirements (along with how to acquire these); and possibly even more important, the expected levels of supervision for each by those in charge. Federated Farmers has also just come out with a New Employers Pack, aimed at those taking on staff for the first time. This includes a raft of information on the need for record-keeping to satisfy the requirements of the welter of Government agencies involved. DairyNZ has a QuickStart booklet or web-based set of instructions for the first four roles. Given the number of farmers at a forum session, who admitted to having had an employee leave without giving notice, all this information is obviously well-needed for the industry to retain good staff.

Sustainable milk plans

With water quality grabbing media headlines frequently, some assistance to farmers to recognise how they might take action to improve things is being worked on vigorously by DairyNZ. The emphasis in the workshop is all improvements made on any farm have good effects downstream. The Sustainable Milk Plans effort draws together what’s already been done, and tailors future tasks to individual farms. It works through three parties working together; the farmer, his consultant and a representative from the DairyNZ team. For drains and streams, they work out best riparian widths and plantings. To comply with the WRC Variation 6 at least one water meter will be needed. Overall, the new system will benchmark what’s

there, understand any risk, use the largely free resources and professional advice, make a plan for change, and review and update as needed. It’s called ‘taking control’. By Sue Edmonds

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Farmers true rock stars of economy New Zealand is “the rock star” among world economies, not because of its movie-makers or IT companies, but because of farming, says Ballance AgriNutrients CEO Larry Bilodeau.

While other newer and more glamorous industries may have been picked 10 years ago to be economic stars, it is farming driving the current economic success, says Larry. Farmers are however, making good use of new and developing technologies, such as smart phones and iPads, to help them manage their businesses better. What used to be recorded on paper can now be recorded electronically; and farmers are using the information to farm in environmentally sustainable ways, while increasing profitability. “The best farmers have an instinct for the land and know that what is done today must stand the test 100 years from now. Farmers see themselves as stewards of the land,

caring for it for future generations.” Larry says the Ballance Farm Environment Awards play an important role in telling the stories of farmers who work hard to not only get the best performance from their land, but also to preserve the environment. “The rock star of our country is hardworking farmers; and the finalists in the awards demonstrate how good farmers can be,” says Larry, who is retiring as Ballance CEO in September. His retirement will end 17 years with the co-operative, including 14 years as chief executive. Ballance Agri-Nutrients chairman David Peacocke says under Larry’s leadership Ballance has evolved from a fertiliser business to a co-operative covering the full

spectrum of farm nutrient requirements. “Larry has always ensured our cooperative has stayed one step ahead of our shareholders’ and customers’ needs. He developed and led our strategy and

ensured we earned our place as a trusted name in complete farm nutrient management. That trust is reflected in our consistent financial performance.” By Elaine Fisher

Good condition cows are ‘money in the bank’ We managed to stop the march of the army caterpillars which appeared in our turnip and new grass crops in Welcome Bay last month but only because we were regularly monitoring the paddocks. Some farmers weren’t so lucky and their fodder crops and new grass paddocks were badly damaged by the caterpillars. If paddocks look like they’ve been lightly grazed, with just the tips of the grass nipped off – that’s a sign the army caterpillars may be present. Growing conditions have been so good lately that we now have cows grazing new pasture within 90 days of it being sown after maize harvest. We are also feeding out straw though. Straw gives the cows some fibre to balance the high energy the new grass provides and allows the cows get the best out of the new pasture. When feeding cows on new pasture, especially annuals during winter, be sure to test nitrate levels before grazing. Nitrate poisoning can result in stock losses. Attention needs to be given to the cows’ body condition score (BCS) to set them up well for calving. Cows in good condition are like money in the bank – they will most likely reward you by staying healthy and producing healthier

calves than poor condition cows. Appropriate BCS targets of 5 can be achieved by supplying quality supplement feed of 10 ME or more. This helps cows put on condition through the colder months. Without supplements they are likely to use much of what they eat just to keep warm. Lighter condition cows and second calvers should be drafted out into a separate mob and given extra quality supplement feed to increase their BCS scores to target. There’s a growing interest in the use of herd barns to keep animals warm in winter and cool in summer. Herd barns can also help protect pastures from pugging in winter by keeping stock off sodden paddocks. Better utilisation of supplementary feed is another major benefit. This can be a great option when farmers can supply most of their annual feed requirements from their own property. Relying too heavily on imported feed can be risky in years of short supply. Stand-off pads are another good option. With careful management however, many farmers still achieve good results from a virtually all-grass system. We still have some quality silage and straw available but as feed supplies tighten, we are having to transport feed up from the South Island to fill

demand. Threshed rye is particularly good and gives the added benefit of helping to re-seed paddocks where fed. It’s pleasing to see more farmers contacting us early to place orders for next seasons supplement. As the old saying goes proper planning prevents pitiful performance.

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MAIZE


MAIZE

Page 29

Improving soil for maize crops Conventional Plot using 121010 liquid, 50% Pot Super, and 250kg Urea

Diagram Right: Effects of humic acid from vermicast (HA), compared to the untreated control. There is clear evidence of longer lateral roots. Source: Zandonadi et al. (2010) p1031.

Revital Polt using 121010 liquid, Revital Maize, and 250 kg Urea

Most observers would say the recent maize harvest was a game of two halves, with the Bay of Plenty’s coastal strip romping away with great tonnage, thanks to adequate rainfall just at The trial is side-by-side in a 2.4ha paddock (1.2ha plot each day). The the right moment. only difference is the use of Revital maize product, substituted

for conventional base application. But the Waikato was hampered in achieving a great result by lack Some growers use straight chicken of rain limiting growth of the plant roots. This is a typical outcome of manure or compost to address the planting maize on maize year and sizing of cobs. Maize is situation, but Revital Maize Mix is after year, but there’s a a hungry crop and takes a superior quality blend of 30 per solution to help improve a lot out of your soil. cent vermicast, 40 per cent chicken texture, moistureWhen I collect soil manure, and 30 per cent high-qualholding capacity, and samples for maize ity compost. build the soil structure blocks, more often Vermicast contains growth-proback up – all of which than not the soil moting plant hormones, including will help maize plants texture is fine and gibberellins, auxins and cytokynins, root deeply, strongly and crumbly and has little which help mineralise nutrients and in bulk. or no organic matter make them bio-available. Vermicast Addition of an organic holding it together. The has been scientifically proven to fertiliser, like Revital soil is extremely dusty enhance root mass in maize plants. Maize Mix, is the way to and has poor structure Independent maize trials within achieve this result. to support strong maize

the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Taranaki using Revital Maize have Mix have shown significant yield increases for both grain and maize silage. Depending on the expected yield, cropping history and soil test results,

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Page 30

FARMING THROUGH THE GENERATIONS

Family’s Irish pioneer heritage

Kenneth Morton was just 21 when he sailed into Napier’s harbour aboard the Halcione in September 1878.

directors and after his marriage in 1890 to Josephine Mulvany. The couple made their own ‘Orena” cheese. When the Katikati dairy factory opened in 1902, they supplied it with milk from their pedigree Orena ShortHe must have been made of horn Stud. stern stuff because in March the Kenneth was a foundation following year Kenneth made the member of the Tauranga four-day journey by horse from A&P Show and as well as Napier to Katikati to visit his exhibiting at the first Katikati brother Berkeley. Tom and Grace Morton He’d arrived in Katikati in 1878 feature in the Katikati Mural A&P Show in 1913, held the as part of George Vesey Stew‘Our People, Our Story’ which position of president for many art’s second party of settlers – to recognises their roles with the years. Kenneth and Josephine’s become the only planned Ulster local A&P society. only son Tom attended No 3 Irish settlement worldwide. School in Walker Rd, walking or riding a horse As a single man Kenneth didn’t qualify to join there. In those days all supplies for the district the settlers brought out by Stewart but nonethearrived by steamer in Tauranga, from Auckland, less in 1883 he purchased the first of 700 acres and were transported by smaller craft to Katikati of land at Aongatete, not far from Katikati, and because the roads were virtually non-existent. The began a tradition of farming and community leadership which continues among his descendMorton family drove stock for sale over Thompants, who 131 years on still farm the land he sons Track into the Waikato, an arduous trip, with bought. animals often getting stuck in a big bog hole near His grandson Ken Morton and great grandson the summit. Craig, who farm at Aongatete, are proud of KenTom served in the Middle East with the Driscoll neth’s achievements and those of his son Tom. Scouts in World War 1 and was a member of In 1884 when the Katikati Cheese and Bacon the Legion of Frontiersmen, being made a life factory opened, Kenneth was on the board of member in 1985. He and his wife Grace (nee

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Tetley) eventually took over the family farm and Tom gained a reputation for breeding prize-winning Clydesdale horses. However, much of the original holding was sold to settle the inheritance of his five sisters.

Orena

Tom’s son Ken and wife Betty were the next to farm the land, and Ken established Orena Shorthorn Stud in the late 1960s, raising animals for beef rather than dairy as in his grandfather’s day. Betty started her own Aonga Prefix stud and exported semen from one of her top bulls to the UK. Their son Craig began a Kaimai stud, and all studs were combined to form Morton Shorthorns in 1996. Kenneth Ken, like his grandfather, has been president Morton, of the Katikati A&P Show, and today Craig at the holds the position. Both Craig and Ken have Aongatete played, and continue to play, important roles Railway with the New Zealand Shorthorn AssociaStation in tion, with Craig set to become its president the early this year. 1900s. Ken and Betty live on the family farm in Morton Rd but its day-to-day management is carried out by Craig, who lives with his wife Maree on a nearby farm in Works Rd – bought by his father 50 years ago.

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Kenneth Morton’s ticke t to sail on the Halcione cost 28 pound 10 shillings in 1878.

Despite the trend in the district of cutting up land for lifestyle blocks or growing kiwifruit, Ken says he’s never been Josephine Morton was the matriarch of the tempted to change from Katikati pioneer farming family. drystock farming. “It’s the people we have met through “I’ve never considered dairy farming breeding shorthorns – we have friends either,” says the committed shorthorn all over the world and shorthorn breedbreeder. ers are really nice, genuine people.” “Shorthorn were the first cattle to Ken, Betty and Craig and Maree, have arrive in New Zealand 200 years ago, built a reputation for not only producing but they are not such a well-known breed today,” says Ken, who admires the fine examples of the Shorthorn breed, but also for integrity as breeders. animals for their temperament, confir“If something goes wrong with an mation and meat they produce. But it’s animal we’ve sold, and sometimes it more than that which keeps him and does, we put it right.” Betty involved with shorthorns.

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FARMING THROUGH THE GENERATIONS

Page 31

Leadership and shorthorn cattle

“Some of our customers have so much trust in our stock they buy bulls and heifers sight unseen,” says Craig. Morton Shorthorn has 45 breeding cows and its bulls have won the champion title at the National Bull Sale eight times. In 1995 Orena Super Rattler sold for $21,000 and Morton bulls have made $9000 and $10,000 in sales too.

Historical photos courtesy of the Katikati Archives.

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Kenneth and Josephine Morton and Haymaking was labourfamily at their home on Morton Rd. intensive on the Morton farm similar needs to happen in New in the early 1900s. Bulls Zealand,” says Craig. “Part of our success has been inputs were used. We are not that we have imported semen organic but use organic fertiLamb from overseas to introduce new liser on the Works Rd farm and Craig and Maree also farm bloodlines,” says Craig. Next year’s 700 ewes and recently formed a animals are drenched only when bulls will be the progeny of a top necessary.” relationship with an Auckland Australian bull, which sold at aucCraig says one of the strengths restaurant, supplying lambs on tion for $46,000. of farming in the Katikati district a regular basis. Maree also sells “When we are looking for bulls is the service and support received lamb and mutton at the Tauranga to buy semen from, we look at from local businesses. He and Farmers Market and the Katikati their pH levels [which affects Ken value their relationships with market. “We have repeat customthe eating quality of beef ], the Aldridge Contracting, which ers who just love how the meat amount of fat, growth rates and makes bales 400 conventional tastes because it is top quality and fertility. bales on the farm annually. so fresh.” Craig thinks this is a “Meat with a certain amount of Shorthorn stud farming isn’t the model for beef farmers to follow fat tastes and cooks better and we way to get rich, and the Morton too. aim for calves with a higher than family could have made more “Increasingly, consumers want average birth weight – around money by diversifying into horto know where their food comes 4.3kg – as they will grow quicker ticulture, dairying or subdivision from, who produced it, and what than smaller calves.” – but that’s never been the Craig says with only about agenda for Ken. 45 shorthorn breeders in “Once you sell land like New Zealand, there are fewer this, you never get it back resources to promote the again,” says Ken. breed in the way that HerThe Morton farm is in a eford and Angus breeds have prime location on the shores been able to achieve. of the Tauranga Harbour – In contrast, shorthorns are and Ken and Craig believe highly regarded in Britain the unique lifestyle it affords Craig Morton and his parents Ken and Betty of farming and fishing is with breeders there entering agreements with supermarwith the bull they bred called Orena Super likely to endure for future kets. “I think something generations. By Elaine Fisher Rattler that sold in 1995 for $21,000.

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Velvet Korean co-operation A growing demand for deer velvet health products is behind increased co-operation between deer industries in both New Zealand and South Korea. “The Korean Deer Breeders Association used to be opposed to velvet imports, but they now accept that by

working together we can grow the pie for their farmers, as well as ours,” says Deer Industry New Zealand chief executive Dan Coup. Velvet is the name given to the new antlers stags grow each year, which is initially covered in a soft skin with short furry hair, rather like velvet. Long part of the allure of deer farming, with an Asian medical pedigree

going back thousands of years, velvet has recently stepped into the modern era. “In South Korea there is growing demand among affluent consumers for health foods and tonics based on traditional ingredients such as velvet and ginseng. Because of New Zealand’s reputation for natural, safe and quality-assured product, respected Korean food companies see us as the ideal source of velvet,” Dan says. DINZ estimates 20 per cent of New Zealand’s velvet production goes into health foods and tonics in South Korea – a market segment that was near non-existent 10 years ago. The retail value of these products is now more than US$100 million a year, with one children’s tonic alone taking around eight per cent of NZ’s velvet production.

China wealth

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This new demand is one factor in the gradual increase in New Zealand farm gate prices for velvet from an average of $NZ60 per kilogram six years ago to nearly $NZ100 per kg in the season just ended. Other important factors include declining velvet production in Asia and North America, and increasing wealth in China. Dan says it is in the long-term interests of New Zealand deer farmers that the Korean deer farming industry prospers. “Deer velvet plays an important part in the Korean culture. For example, many city folk like travelling to local deer farms to consume and buy antler products. Traditions like these help maintain market buzz and underpin demand ... they’re not the sort of thing that imported velvet could replicate.” Velvet supply from Korean deer farms has always been insufficient to meet demand from the traditional Oriental medicine market and healthy foods industry.

This shortfall became more acute when herds were badly impacted by an outbreak of foot and mouth disease four years ago. “It’s in the interests of Korean deer farmers that this demand is increasingly being met by supply from New Zealand,” says Dan.

Welfare standards

“We offer animal welfare, biosecurity, food hygiene and traceability standards that can’t be matched by velvet suppliers anywhere else in the world. Also, our industry is well organised and able to work with the Korean Deer Breeders Association on projects that benefit us both.” DINZ and exporters are very mindful of the free trade negotiations now underway between New Zealand and South Korea. "South Korean government charges, in particular a 20 per cent import tariff and excise duty of around nine per cent, are costing NZ farmers and Korean consumers dearly. Oriental medicine doctors and health food companies in South Korea share our view on this. It’s in all our interests to create a tariff-free pathway from the NZ producer to the Korean consumer,” Dan says.


RURAL DRIVER

Page 33

Agricultural Vehicles Guide

Taking it to the top Hamilton’s Josiah Natzke is still too young to have his driver’s licence, but the 15-year-old has proven age is no barrier to top motocross riding.

to get acclimatised for the championships on August 10, with warm up events planned with races in two European Motocross Championship events. Josiah’s parents Janine and Chris Natzke have been delighted with the support from sponsor KTM which has provided a KTM125

bike to be auctioned on Trade Me to go to the cost of the trip. “KTM will provide bikes and support in Bastogne (Belgium) and all that Josiah will have to do is turn up and ride,” says Chris. “The aim is to make a really good impression in Europe and, hopefully, it will lead to greater Following his success in March things, potentially a posito become the youngtion on a Grand Prix team est rider to ever win the in the very near future, senior national 125cc maybe next year or the year title, the secondary after.” student is now setting Josiah says he is excited his sights on Europe about competing at the after being picked to worlds and hopes it will compete at the annual lead to a chance to race in World Junior MotoEurope next year and is cross Championships in determined to do his best. Belgium. “I’m not going over there The teenage Kiwi Waikato rider Josiah Natzke (KTM 125) is ready to to come second; I’m going star will head across take on the best young riders from around the globe there to win.” to Europe early next “But I’ll simply do my at the World Junior Motocross Championships in month (July) to give best and see what happens.” Belgium. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ. himself plenty of time

Federated Farmers is advising its member the updated Agricultural Vehicle’s Guide is now available in an electronic format on the New Zealand Transport Agency’s website. The guide explains the rules for agricultural motor vehicles operated on the road, which came in on June 1, 2013. It applies to vehicles driven on a road – namely streets and highways, and also any place the public has access to, including bridges, beaches, riverbeds, car parks, reserve

lands, wharves and road shoulders. It includes information on: • Vehicle registration and licensing. • Road user charges (RUC). • Key vehicle safety issues such as being a slow, large vehicle with projecting parts, towing connections and lighting. • Warrants and certificates of fitness (WoF/CoF). • Driver licensing. • Transport service licence (TSL). • Work time and logbook requirements. • Fatigue management. To download the guide visit, www.nzta.govt.nz


Page 34

RURAL DRIVER

Riding into record book Whether he’s rounding up stock in Awakino Gorge, or competing against the country’s top dirt riders – you’ll never find Adrian Smith far from his bike.

Marlborough – helped him claim third for the season. “It was pretty hectic at the start,” says Adrian about the final race. “Ethan and I were out in front and battling pretty hard. I think we opened up about a three-minute lead over the chasing bunch.”

Last month the 28-year-old South Waikato sheep and beef farmer reminded everyone why he has such a strong connection with his bike when he made New Zealand motorcycling history claiming the national cross-country championships for the fourth time. But it was not the first title of the season for the Yamaha rider, who only a week earlier also claimed the New Zealand Enduro Championships class title in his over-200cc two stroke class. Following a dominant performance over the earlier three rounds in the cross country series, Adrian had accumulated a strong points advantage ahead of the final round in Marlborough and was favoured to take the crown, but he was never going to settle for a safe ride on his Yamaha YZ250. Talking after the event near Ward on May 17, Adrian – who Mokau’s Adrian Smith has just claimed has never been known for taking a record fourth national cross-country a sensible, low-risk approach – crown. Photo by Andy McGechan, www.bikesportnz.com said he knew he just had to “ride Despite knowing a top-three result smart and wrap up the overall win”. In the three-hour race, south of Blen- was sufficient to claim the season crown, Adrian believes he rode harder heim, he was tussling closely with rival than at almost any time in the series. Yamaha teammate Ethan Bruce who He described the record-setting Adrian eventually left behind – going on to win the round with Ethan finish- fourth title as a great thrill but he has no plans to call it quits: “I’ll certainly ing runner up on the day and for the be looking to get my name on the season. Raglan farmer Jason Dickey’s trophy again next year too.” solid performance – finishing fifth in


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The chiselled large, front grille gives the Highlander a bold presence on the road, with the two-tone lower bumper presenting a sports appearance. Large electric retractable exterior mirrors provide a practical touch to the +ORC exterior, with the rear spoiler and styl* ish rear door giving +GST a touch of class.

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The Highlander has interior storage and force limiters, while the front headrests have in spades, with a 24 litre consul between the driver’s vertical adjustments. and front passenger seats, which is big enough for the However, it is the practical multi-function secondlargest handbag or manbag. Add in a large, lockable row and third-row seating that really caught the glovebox, cup and bottle holders along with front reviewer’s eye. The generous size second-row seats and rear door pockets, and the Highlander is a very with manual and recline functions give plenty of practical vehicle. room and space, while rear seats provide a 60/40 split. Laying down Out on the open road, the 3.5 litre petrol engine surged the rear seats provides a huge cargo space for five passengers – and forward impressively each time the accelerator was pushed furwith rear seats in operation, the SPECIFICATIONS ther to the floor. The six-speed Highlander becomes a comfortable automatic transmission with seven-seater. Toyota Highlander artificial intelligence provides GXL 2WD Impressive better uphill acceleration Engine: 3.5L Petrol V6 Functionality of the Highlander and increased engine braking Maximum Power: is also impressive. It’s a breeze to downhill. 201KW @ 6200rpm drive around town and the reversMaximum Torque: ing monitor makes it easy to park, Braking control 337Mn @4700rpm even in tight spots. Out on the The Highlander’s poweredTransmission: 6-speed autoopen road it takes seven passengers assisted brakes give genuine matic with artificial and luggage with ease. braking control with the Antiintelligence However, it comes into its own Lock Braking System, Brake Price: RRP $61,990 + ORC as a five-seater, with a huge cargo Assist and Vehicle Stability Contact: Pacific Toyota space for work gear, or extended Control providing additional Corner Elizabeth St and road or sporting trips around our support. The Hill Start Assist Cameron Rd. 07 578 1099 beautiful country. controls make taking off on a Reluctantly handing the Highsteep inclines a breeze. lander GXL back to Pacific Toyota, As with all Toyota vehicles, Sideline Sid reflected on the safety is an absolute priority. Toyota slogan suggesting the Highlander is anything A 5 Star Ancap rating provides proof of the numerbut boring. What he found is a stylish, easy to drive ous safety features, starting with multiple airbags vehicle, with a heap of storage space that has all for the driver and passengers alike. Adjustable front the bells and whistles and charisma expected from seat anchors are complemented with child seat fixing Toyota excellence. By Sideline Sid, Barry Leabourn points. The front seat belts come with pre-tensioners


RURAL DRIVER

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The TRD Hilux is the latest addition to our proven Hilux family. Available in both Diesel and V6 Petrol models, this 4WD SR5 Double Cab comes in white, red and black only, with high spec accessories and great design: • TRD body kit – new look front bumper, front fog lamps and lower spoiler • 18” TRD alloy wheels • Hercules Terra Trac Tyres • Luxury interior black leather seats and power driver’s seat TRD HiluxLED is the latestrunning additionlights to our proven Hilux family. •The Integrated daytime Available in both Diesel and V6 Petrol models, this 4WD SR5 Be quick. To arrange a test drive – not that needspec much Double Cab comes in white, red and black only,you’ll with high convincing visit toyota.co.nz/hilux today. accessories–and great design: • TRD body kit – new look front bumper, front fog lamps and lower spoiler • 18” TRD alloy wheels • Hercules Terra Trac Tyres • Luxury interior black seats and power driver’s seat *Offer ends 30 June 2014. For full terms andleather conditions visit our website – www.toyota.co.nz • Integrated LED daytime running lights Be quick. To arrange a test drive – not that you’ll need much convincing – visit toyota.co.nz/hilux today.

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WELCOME TO KING COUNTRY King Country contacts 2014 Federated Farmers Lyn Neeson Category: Provincial Presidents Position: Ruapehu Province: Ruapehu 07 893 8547 07 893 8547 027 353 7907 alyn@xtra.co.nz Young Farmers Taumarunui Chairman: Dan Plowman 021 0260 0204 fencer.dan.contracting @gmail.com North King Country Chairman: Amy Tomsett 027 240 2729 atomsett@ballance. co.nz

Drainage Site work Farm races Tree work Spreading metal Bulk cartage Transit work Contouring Dairy conversion Forestry Environmental control work

PrimaryITO training provider Phone: 0800 20 80 20 www.primaryito.ac. nz/locations Otorohanga District Council 17 Maniapoto St, Otorohanga 0800 734 000 www.otdc.govt.nz Waitomo District Council Queen St, Te Kuiti 0800 932 4357 www.waitomo.govt.nz

Te Kuiti i-Site Rora St, Te Kuiti 07 878 8077 Ruapehu District Council 59-63 Hui St, Taumarunui 07 895 8188 www.ruapehu.govt.nz Ruapehu i-Site Railway Station, Hakiaha St, Taumarunui 07 895 7494

Otorohanga i-Site 27 Turongo St, Otorohanga 07 873 8951

Meeting new chilling standards By 2017, dairy farms will be required to snap chill milk to 10 to 12 degrees Celsius – and Dairyworx of Otorohanga is the local expert in design and installation of the equipment needed to meet the new standards. The four-year-old Dairyworx of Otorohanga has the staff and company is the local expertise dairy farmers need. GEA Farm Technologies service partner for Milfos, “We carry out installation of new WestfaliaSurge and Houle, includequipment in existing or new dairies, ing milking systems, stalling systems, maintenance of existing machinery and dairy automation, cooling and effluent light engineering,” says Hayden. systems. Because it is the service partner for Hayden Aymes and the team are all leading manufacturers of top quality locals, which means they know the dairy equipment, Dairyworx is able to area and understand the requirements offer a first class service and the latest of their clients, offering a service from technology to clients to ensure their Te Kawa south. milk harvesting systems operate to the As well as its own qualified technihighest standards. cal staff, Dairyworx also works closely It’s not just conventional dairies the with a company which specialises in company works on. It is currently refrigeration, ensuring clients have involved in the fitting out of a new access to the best advice and service. dairy for milking goats.


WELCOME TO EASTERN BAY OF PLENTY

Right equipment for job Equestrian introduction to region A shared love of horses is a great way to meet people – and newcomers to Eastern Bay of Plenty with an interest in all things equestrian will find a warm welcome and lots of information on local clubs at Whakatane’s Hoofcamp Saddlery. The saddlery is one of the largest and most comprehensive saddlery premises in New Zealand – and is a one-stop shop for horse-related contacts, says Hoofcamp co-owner Kathryn Dick. “We have contacts for local pony clubs, hunt clubs and trekking groups – and there’s lot to choose from in this region.” Kathryn and her daughter Nadesha, 17, ride and both are very involved with the Edgecumbe Pony Club. Nadesha is a talented young rider who has competed at the Horse of Year in Hawke’s Bay, as well as regional club events. “Riding is very popular in the Eastern Bay; and as well as the Edgecumbe Pony Cub there is the Kawerau Pony Club and the Whakatane Town Pony Club. “We are right into the hunt season now and the Eastern Bay Hunt and Rotorua, Bay of Plenty hunt clubs both attract riders from this region.” Trekking and social riding is also popular; and Kathryn can put people in contact with riders who share their interests. In addition, Hoofcamp has everything for horses and riders, from high quality feed to saddles, bridles, horse covers to riding attire. “Hoofcamp is now one of the few saddleries in the country that stocks Western saddles.” Kathryn says having the right saddle to ensure the comfort of both horse and rider is vital; and Hoofcamp has a range of new and second hand saddles for sale. The choice of clothing for all riders from pony club, to hacks and hunters is extensive and includes jodhpurs, boots, and safety helmets. Hoofcamp is a store well worth visiting even by those who aren’t committed horse people. “We stock belts, buckles, clips, snaps and rings for all manner of uses, which are hard to find anywhere else,” says Kathryn. “We also have an awesome range of giftware from America, which includes hip flasks with horses on them, photo frames with 3D horse images, a horsethemed brandy decanter and glasses, and thermal travel mugs featuring horses. There are horse-themed key rings too,” says Kathryn. From June 1-14 Hoofcamp is running a Fieldays special of 20 per cent off everything store-wide. With so much in store, it’s no wonder Hoofcamp is a popular destination for locals and newcomers.

The right equipment for the job is vital for safety and efficiency, as is after-sales service, and providing both to customers is what Chainsaws & Mowers Whakatane Ltd take pride in.

contractors and family,” says owner Peter Dench. Located in Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty and situated at Gateway Crescent, the company specialise in Walker Mowers, renowned for their efficiency, quality construction, durability , outfront mowing. “Whether you have a small garden “We offer specialist advice, superior patch or a large, park-like garden, service and a full range of outdoor Walker has the right ride-on mower for power equipment for the farm, forest, you,” says Peter. “Chainsaws & Mowers Whakatane will provide you with the right Walker mower, which comes fully assembled with a pre-delivery service to manufacturers’ specifications. We also offer a free after-sales service check to ensure longevity of your Walker mower.” Chainsaws & Mowers Whakatane also sells top brands of mowers, trimmers, chainsaws, brush cutters, hedge trimmers, cultivators, water blasters and much more. The company has a S o l i d F o o d full for Soils workshop and parts facilities with trained staff. “Come and see the team at Chainsaws & Mowers WhakaPeter Dench, of Chainsaws & Mowers tane for your brand new Walker Whakatane Ltd, with Walker ride-on Mower,” says Peter. mowers. DoloZest

Page 39

Eastern Bay contacts 2014 Federated Farmers Bay of Plenty Rick Powdrell 07 573 7481 027 489 4075 rrpow@xtra.co.nz Young Farmers Eastern Bay Josh Cozens 027 814 4218 joshandshaz@vodafone.co.nz Whakatane District Council Civic Centre, 14 Commerce St, Whakatane 07 306 0500 www.westernbay. govt.nz

Opotiki District Council 108 St John St Opotiki 3122 07 315 3030 www.odc.govt.nz Bay of Plenty Regional Council 5 Quay St, Whakatane 0800 884 880 www.boprc.govt.nz Whakatane i-Site Cnr Kakahoroa Drive and Quay St, Whakatane 0800 942 528 Opotiki i-Site 70 Bridge St 07 315 3031

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Page 40

WELCOME TO EASTERN BAY OF PLENTY

Living, breathing and riding motorcycles To say motorcycles and motorcycling are an important part of Tony Rees’ life would be an understatement.

Honda dealership, Tony Rees Motorcycles. Vicki is director and the company’s administration manager as well as Tony’s number one support person when he’s racing. Understanding bikes as both a rider and qualified mechanic means Tony is It is more accurate to say they are his well able to advise clients in the right life. “I live and breathe motorcycling,” motorcycle for them and that’s particusays Tony who began riding when he larly true for farmers. was 11 and in 1984 started his appren“We have a strong rural focus, selling ticeship as a motorcycle mechanic. 19 Tony took up road racingRange. and servicing farm bikes and four wheelThe allAtnew Honda 2014 Foreman ers to farmers from south of Te Puke to nationally and internationally and nine the Gisborne region,” says Tony. times has theHonda New Zealand road Thetaken all new 2014 Foreman Range. The Theall allnew newHonda Honda2014 2014Foreman Foreman Range. Range. Honda specialises in motorbikes race champion’s title. .egbegan for farmers and Tony says they are In 1994 he and wife Vicki a naR n Range. The all new Honda 2014 Foreman aand merRange. built to endure the conditions farmers motorcycle repair shop in Kawerau o The all new Honda 2014 Foreman F Theallall new Honda 2014Foreman Foreman Range. 4102 a The new Honda 2014 Range. The all new Honda Foreman Range. put them today own and operate the 2014 Whakatane dnthrough. The allHonda new Honda 2014 Foreman Range. oHAggressive The all new 2014 Foreman Range. wen ll New Styling a ehT nilytS weN e Aggressive New Styling vis

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“Farm bikes need to be reliable and safe. They are the farmer’s work horse and as well as selling new machines, we offer pick-up and delivery or on-farm service by our four technicians to get the bikes back in use as soon as possible.” When it comes to purchasing a new motorcycle, Tony says choosing the machine which suits both the use it will be put to, and the rider, is vital. To ensure that happens, the company has demonstration models of the 2014 Honda range in store and will arrange on-farm demonstrations too. As well as new Honda machines, Tony Rees Motorcycles has a selection of quality used Honda and other brand bikes for sale. Trail riding is popular in the Eastern Bay and Tony Rees Motorcycles sponsors and supports a number of local events including the Tarawera 100 which will be held on July 5 this year. For those past competitive or off-road riding, there’s also a range of cruising motorcycles.

“Riders are spoilt for choice today with all of the motorcycles which are available so that even when the bones get too weary for racing, you can still enjoy cruising.” Tony’s not at that point yet – he still competes in the NZ Superbike championship series.

Forty years’ service to farming community

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Many of Underwood and Wilkins’ customers have been buying their farm bikes from the Whakatane company for 40 years.

the right bikes. Just recently, one of our customers, a father from the East Cape, has got back into bike riding and introduced the sport to his children aged 11 and nine. “It’s great to see as I know trail riding with my own sons was one of the best things we did together.” It’s partly to encourage families to enjoy time out together that Underwood and Wilkins holds annual charity trail rides. This year the rides in March and April raised funds for Matata School and Taneautua Squash Club. Everyone from children riding mini two-wheelers and four-wheelers, to first-time and novice riders, to those more experienced are catered for, says Richard, who says as well as raising funds the events attract extended families from grandparents to tiny tots. “If not competing, they come along to offer support and enjoy the day.”

“We consider it a privilege that we have customers who have been with us since we began back in the 1970s, when farm bikes were first becoming trendy,” says Richard Underwood, who’s been with the comIncreased Load Capacity Brighter Headlights pany all of that time too. Brighter Headlights Brighter Headlights Brighter Headlights Brighter Headlights While Richard happily admits to being in the indusUpgraded Suspension Brighter Headlights Brighter Headlights sthgil daeH Upgraded Suspension rethgi Upgraded Upgraded Suspension Suspension Powerful 500cc Enginetry for decades, he stresses Underwood and Wilkins rB also has younger, well-qualified and experienced noisn epsuS members on its team, including technicians who are all dedar gpU Strengthened Rear Axle Setup NZQA qualified. Strengthened Rear Axle Setup Upgraded Suspension Strengthened StrengthenedRear RearAxle AxleSetup Setup Brighter Headlights Richard says it’s been exciting to be involved with the All New Stiffer Chassis Upgraded Suspension Upgraded Suspension nertS Upgraded Suspension Upgraded Suspension All New Stiffer Chassis AllAll New NewStiffer StifferChassis Chassis evolution of farm bikes from early basic machines to Suspension Upgraded Upgraded Suspension modern two-wheeler bikes, quad bikes and the increasingly popular side-by-side models. Strengthened Rear Axle Setup sissah Strengthened Rear Axle Setup Strengthened Rear Axle Setup Farm bikes are today a vital farm vehicle; and to limit C reff Strengthened Rear Axle Setup Strengthened Rear Axle Setup itS wAll eNNew www.hondamotorbikes.co.nz llA Stiffer Chassis Strengthened Rear Axle Setup downtime when things go wrong Underwood and Strengthened Rear Axle Setup RANCHER FOREMAN www.hondamotorbikes.co.nz www.hondamotorbikes.co.nz www.hondamotorbikes.co.nz All New Stiffer Chassis New Stiffer Chassis RANCHER FOREMAN AllAll New Stiffer Chassis All New Stiffer ChassisUpgraded Suspension RANCHER RANCHER FOREMAN FOREMAN TRX420 RANGE TRX500 RANGE Wilkins stock a comprehensive range of spare parts and TRX420TRX420 RANGE TRX500TRX500 All New Stiffer Chassis TRX420 RANGE RANGE TRX500 RANGE RANGE All RANGE New Stiffer Chassis adnoh where possible provide same-day repair and services. .www Underwood and Wilkins also has a full range of new Suzuki and Kawaski motorcycles. www.hondamotorbikes.co.nz Strengthened Rear Axle Setup RANCHER FOREMAN NAM www.hondamotorbikes.co.nz www.hondamotorbikes.co.nz EROF www.hondamotorbikes.co.nz www.hondamotorbikes.co.nz “While farmers want bikes for work, many RANCHER FOREMAN TRX420 RANGE TRX500 RANGE RANCHER FOREMAN EGNA RANCHER FOREMAN RANCHER FOREMAN RAll 005New Stiffer Chassis www.hondamotorbikes.co.nz www.hondamotorbikes.co.nzalso enjoy riding for fun and often the whole X R TRX420 RANGE TRX500 RANGE T REHC TRX420 RANGE TRX500 RANGE RANCHER FOREMAN TRX420 RANGE TRX500 RANGE TRX420 RANGE TRX500 RANGE RANCHER FOREMAN NAR EGNA TRX420 RANGE TRX500 RANGE R 024 family is involved. TRX420 RANGE TRX500 RANGE XRT “I get a real pleasure out of helping a www.hondamotorbikes.co.nz RANCHER FOREMAN family find TRX420 RANGE TRX500 RANGE Richard Underwood of Underwood and Wilkins with the certificate presented by Kawasaki Motorcycle Distributors NZ this year to recognise the company’s 30 years as a Kawasaki dealer. Selectable Diff Lock Brighter Front Headlights

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Powerful 500cc Engine Powerful 500cc Engine Powerful 500cc Engine Powerful 500cc Engine Powerful 500cc Engine Powerful 500cc Engine Powerful 500cc Engine

Available while stocks last. At participating Honda dealers only. Specifications may Available while stocks last. At participating Honda dealers only. Specifications may not apply to all models. Contact your local Honda Dealer forparticipating more information. Available Available while while stocks stocks last. last. At At participating Honda Honda dealers dealers only. only. Specifications Specifications may may not apply to all models. Contact your local Honda Dealer for more information. notnot apply apply to to allall models. models. Contact Contact your your local local Honda Honda Dealer Dealer forfor more more information. information.

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WELCOME TO EASTERN BAY OF PLENTY

Page 41

Awakeri answer to lame excuses Say Wrangler and townies will think you’re talking about jeans or jeeps – but in dairy farming circles a Wrangler is an essential farm tool for taking the hassle out of hoof problems.

A new Wrangler under construction in the company’s Awakeri factory.

Designed and built in Awakeri, near Whakatane, the Wrangler is a cattle restrainer for working on lame cows safely and easily. Although it has railings and a head bail, a key difference is the Wranglers’ underbelly girths which hold the cow and stop her falling and hurting herself during treatment. The hooves can then be winched up easily and safely so she can’t hurt herself or those examining her. Although specialised for lame cow treatment, the Wrangler can be used for a range of husbandry tasks including calving and caesareans. During calving the mobile Premier Wrangler can be set up in the paddock to have facilities on-hand, should a cow need assistance. Wilco Klein Ovink developed the Wrangler in 1993 for his own use while dairy farming in Otakiri. Although such equipment was common place in Europe and America, New Zealand requirements were quite different yet nothing was available. “Back then hooves were held with nothing more than

a piece of rope,” says Wilco. “With Kiwi cows walking huge distances every day, lameness is a serious issue costing most farmers thousands of dollars every year. By making hoof trimming safe and easy, farm staff will look at hooves at the first sign of trouble and prevent problems becoming serious.” Named after the American cowboys whose job it was to tie and immobilise cattle, the Wrangler has won

several Fieldays awards. Hundreds are now produced in a factory at Awakeri, along with head bails (standard gate head bails, or walk through), and the Ride-OverGate, which works like a spring-loaded cattle stop. With so many Wranglers leaving the factory for both new and existing cowsheds all over New Zealand, Awakeri is ensuring farmers have no lame excuses for lameness.

Agricultural tractors n o C l a c i r t Elec

‘Best possible’ service promise

The team at Gateway Mechanical are from left Steve Hocking, Karl Stevenson, Dion Stevenson, Tai Ripaki and Karl McIntrye.

Gateway Mechanical Service Centre in Whakatane is committed to providing the best possible, cost effective servicing and repair of tractors and rural machinery for all landowners in the region. “We are also committed to finding the right piece of second-hand machinery, at the right price, for clients too,” says manager Steve Hocking. The company is locallyowned and operated, which means there are no out-of-town mileage charges on top of the hourly rate. “We can come to your site at your convenience to service or repair your tractor and machinery. With over 35 years’ workshop experience in tractor repair and service, our dedicated staff have specialist expertise in a significant range of tractor types currently owned in the region,” says Steve. Gateway Mechanical is a non-franchised business and Steve says this has two main advantages. “We do not have fran-

chise overheads passed on to the customer and our charge out hourly rate is lower than many other workshops. “We are able to use after-market parts where they are appropriate and available, saving clients additional costs.” Steve says time is money and breakdowns are inconvenient and often more costly than they need to be. That’s why Gateway offers a quick response time designed to get clients going again as soon and as economically as possible. Gateway also trades in, and sources, quality second-hand machinery for either specific customers, or for its own yard for resale. Each item goes through the workshops to receive the level of service/repair

required to become fit for purpose now and beyond. “A recent acquisition to our commitment to servicing our rural sector is the addition of a dedicated, modern paint shop available,” says Steve. “In addition to the normal car painting market, our fully qualified painter also specialises in larger vehicle painting, including tractors, forestry equipment, farm machinery, quad bikes, ATV vehicles and caravans.”

it a

pays to have wrangler


Page 42

WELCOME TO CENTRAL PLATEAU

First woman to win award Rotorua’s Ruth Hone has scooped the 2014 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year making her the first female in the competition’s 25 year history to win the dairy trainee title. Ruth’s win followed her win of the Central Plateau Dairy Trainee of the Year title. While this year’s Dairy Industry awards show-

PH: 06 358 5806

Email: centralsilosltd@xtra.co.nz 57 Mihaere Drive Roslyn Palmerston North

cased inspiring stories of entrants switching from varying careers, Ruth’s had her sights set on making an impact in the industry from a very young age. “I believe I was born and bred to be a dairy farmer; I have always wanted to be one,” says Ruth, who grew up on her parent’s dairy farm near Rotorua. Consolidating her childhood knowledge and passion for dairying with education, the 24-year-old graduated Central Plateau Dairy Trainee of the from Massey University with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agriculture Year Ruth Hone says she was ‘born from Massey University in 2011. and bred’ to be a dairy farmer. Now three seasons into her dairying career, Ruth farms on a 250-cow, the Tihoi Western Bays Young Farmers 120ha property in Marotiri, near Club. Taupo, for Michelle and Ross Davison. Ruth says growing up on a dairy farm Discipline gave her a “solid grounding in the While obviously busy, Ruth says she values of life”. Choosing farming as a was inspired to enter the awards for a career, as her parents had done before second time, as it gives her discipline to her, seemed like a natural progression focus more on the technical aspects of – and Ruth says she’s just as passionate farming. about dairying today as she was as a Ruth also says the networking opporyoung girl. tunities are invaluable. “The ability to “I love the unpredictability of farmalign myself with mentors to help me ing; the diversity in the job that comes progress through the industry have from working with both animals and been the highlight so far,” says Ruth, the elements,” says Ruth. who is aiming to move to lower order “The progression opportunities sharemilking within the next five years, available, the chance to become selfand continue on to farm ownership. employed are also key. The fact that “The awards have been a fantastic we, as dairy farmers, are feeding the learning and mentoring opportunity. world really excites me too.” The feedback you receive as a contestRuth admits there are some chalant regarding your knowledge base and lenges, as with any career, but for her your goals are just invaluable and will they relate not so much to cows but to help set you up for future success.” the ability to fit everything in. In preparing for the final, Ruth “Yes, the work life balance, and the says she used “all resources available lack of daylight at times,” laughs Ruth, and trying not to leave any stone who around farming manages to fit in unturned”. numerous sporting events. This dedication, coupled with her She participates in equestrian hunts parents’ support – and her mantra of during winter and competes in show“opportunity comes to those who apply jumping in summer and enjoys ladies’ themselves,” – are sure to set this talbackyard tennis. She’s also a member of ented young farmer on the right track Taupo Harriers and is training for the to achieving her goals. Rotorua Marathon. Ruth also enjoys travelling and is current chairperson for By Jo Roberts

Central Plateau contacts 2014 Federated Farmers Rotorua Taupo Alan Wills Provincial President T: 07 333 8528 F: 027 281 8626 E: alanandalisonwills @xtra.co.nz Young Farmers Reporoa Chairman: Hamish Lee 0211 810 626 hamishlee1@ gmail.com Taupo District Council Story Place, Taupo 07 376 0070 www.taupodc.govt.nz Taupo i-Site 30 Tongariro St, Taupo 07 376 0027 Turangi i-Site Ngawaka Place, Turangi 07 386 8999

HiFLO PUMPS HiFLO PUMPS & IRRIGATION LTD We also supply complete feed mills designed for the small or large dairy farmer so why not start milling your own grain today and benefit from the savings Need a new pencil or centreless auger we stock a large range of grain augering equipment at great prices

GRUNDFOS ®

HiFLO PUMPS HiFLO PUMPS & IRRIGATION LTD


WELCOME TO SOUTH AUCKLAND

Pack ticks employment boxes Federated Farmers has developed a new employer’s pack to help first time employers meet their employment obligations and develop better working relationships on farm.

brand new drug and alcohol policy as well as an outline of the correct disciplinary process, Federated Farmers also have a free legal advice line for members should they need further advice. “No one enjoys being be wrapped up in red tape, and as market leaders in agricultural employment agreements we are excited to release this quick and easy way to avoid and understand it. I predict the buy in to this Employment Pack will be huge,” says Katie.

Farmers focus of refrigeration firm

“We understand farming and how essential milk quality is for farmers, so we aim to give our clients a reliable and cost effective quality service,” says owner Mike Barnett. Previously known as Waiuku Refrigeration, WRS Refrigeration Service has been in business for 16 years and specialises in on-farm and commercial refrigeration.

09 236 3082 021 155 1094 wclark@ps.gen.nz

Hauraki-Coromandel Kevin Robinson

“We want all employers to be able to put their best foot forward and this pack allows them to do that,” says Katie Milne, Federated Farmers Employment Spokesperson. “The new employers pack is in response to an overwhelming demand for it from our members. In a member survey 97 percent wanted an employment pack produced. So Federated Farmers has created one, which helps farmers get it right from the very start, and that ticks all the boxes. “As a farmer myself, I know farmers would prefer to know they are doing it right and understand what is required of them. This pack is designed for all farm types so I know all farmers will jump at this innovative employment pack. “We have streamlined the process so it will save farm employers time, money and frustration. Ideal for hands on farmers who would rather get on with their day job, knowing there is security and comfort in meeting industry best practice. “Employers can rest assured that they have all the information, requirements, forms and agreements that a first time employer needs. There is a

Focusing on farmers and the needs of their businesses is at the heart of everything WRS Refrigeration does.

Federated Farmers: Auckland Province: Wendy Clark

“We are available seven days a week, have fully equipped mobile workshops and qualified staff. We have no callout or mileage charges and don’t charge extra for working on weekends or public holidays – after all farmers don’t get paid anything extra for the milk they produce on these days, so we don’t charge them anything extra either.” WRS Refrigeration supplies, installs and maintains all farm refrigeration equipment including chilled water packages, glycol systems, Mahana hot water heat reclaim systems and direct vat cooling systems.

“We can supply all brands of equipment and work in conjunction with electricians and milking machine technicians to provide comprehensive on-farm solutions. “We also work closely with Fonterra, so we know the rules for milk supply and future recommendations, allowing us to help farmers futureproof their business.” WRS Refrigeration services a wide area including the old Franklin District, Hunua through to Thames, North Waikato, South Auckland and all areas in between.

027 286 1636 kevinandkate@xtra.co.nz

Young Farmers Franklin Cameron Balle 027 284 8059

cameron.balle@hotmail.co.nz

Page 43 Auckland City Bert McNally

021 657 751 bert.mcnally@pernodricard.com

South Auckland contacts 2014


WELCOME TO THE WAIKATO

Page 44

Innovative solution for effluent agitation Hauraki Plains farmer Henri Schipper has designed a windmill-powered stirrer for the farm effluent pond he built with the help of family and friends. The ingenious approach to handling dairy effluent is typical of the creative thinking of Henri and Yvonne of Swanslea Farm Ltd, which is one of the reasons they won the Meridian Energy excellence award in the 2014 Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Awards. Henri devised the windmill-powered stirrer for the two million litre concrete pond, installed a blowing

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pump to aerate the effluent and introduced ‘ecoZest’, a safe bacterial stimulant, for digesting the pond’s organic matter. The judges described the system as “unique” and “very forward thinking”. Judges also praised the excellent and productive partnership between Yvonne and Henri on their 107ha farm on the Hauraki Plains, between Ngatea and Thames. “The teamwork between Henri and Yvonne is exceptional for this business and has driven the success of the property, animals and family. Considering they have developed and done most of the work associated with the business themselves is a credit to

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WINNER of NZ Concrete Technology Award

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their vision and tenacity.” The Schippers milk 280 cows with production averaging 105,000 kg/ ms annually. They have a six-year-old 40-bail internal rotary shed and don’t employ any staff. They clearly enjoy working together and appreciate their Holstein Friesian cows. The cows are run in two herds “so there’s no bullying, A windmill drives the stirrer in the Yvonne won’t have that,” says effluent pond on the Schipper farm. Henri. They have some cows up to 14 Henri came to New Zealand from years old. “Some people think we are Holland at age 18 as a farmer’s son in crazy but we think if they’re not giving search of opportunity for land of his you any problems, why should you get own. rid of them?” He and Yvonne were married and The judges describe the Schippers as began sharemilking in June 1986. By “quiet achievers” and Henri as “very 1992 they’d purchased the original innovative; constantly thinking outside 56ha of their farm, and have since the square”. purchased a neighbouring property. The judges, and Henri, also credit The couple has four young adult chilYvonne for the “very high standard” dren, Cole, Leo, Dennis and Magan. of financial management, including a The two eldest live on the farm and strong history of debt repayment. work in the wider farming industry. The farm is flat land; the soil-heavy Judges’ comments marine clay requires special considera• Designed and developed innovation in wet weather. tive stirrer allowing energy efficient “Sometimes you can’t even get a bike effluent management. in the paddock,” says Henri. • Big overall energy awareness; wellAbout five years ago they installed maintained plant and machinery rubber matting in their cowshed yard runs efficiently and cleanly. to create another winter stand-off • Diesel generator at dairy shed for area. Using a hired grader, Henri has back-up; proactive and great “humped and hollowed”, with miniinsurance policy. mal topsoil disturbance, about 80 per • Glycol ice cooler, as a pre-cooler for cent of the farm, to assist drainage. milk, reduces overall energy costs.


14 Waikato contacts 20 Federated Farmers Chris Lewis President 07 872 4533 027 289 8942 hi.lewy@xtra.co.nz

WELCOME TO THE WAIKATO

Young Farmers North Waikato Chairman: Ethan Beattie 021 206 3604 Piarere Chairman: Robert Whitaker 027 858 3335 robwhitaker@live.com

South Waikato chairman: Hayden Bernhard 027 449 9342 bexoleary@hotmail.com Cambridge Chairman: Emma Taylor 022 139 7684 Hamilton City Chairman: Natalie Watkins 027 260 7667

Hamilton City Council Garden Place, Hamilton 07 838 6699 www.hamilton.co.nz

Waipa District Council 101 Bank St, Te Awamutu 0800-924-723 www.waipadc.govt.nz

Waikato Regional Council 401 Grey St, Hamilton 07 859 0999 www.waikatoregion.govt.nz

Hamilton i-Site 5 Garden Place, Hamilton 07 958 5960

Page 45 Te Awamutu i-Site 1 Gorst Ave, Te Awamutu 07 871 3259 Cambridge i-Site Cnr Queen and Victoria St, Cambridge 07 823 3456

President farming advocate Chris Lewis is the new Federated Farmers Waikato provincial president, replacing James Houghton who stepped down at the province’s annual meeting. “Chris has been a part of Federated Farmers for nine years and is well versed on the issues surrounding the Waikato region as well as the dairy industry at a national level,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers National President. “I would like to thank outgoing provincial president, James Houghton for his service to the province and Federated Farmers and congratulate him on his role on the Waikato Waipa Stakeholders Group, in continuing the collective conversation around water quality in Waikato. “We are in a year of change within the federation with leadership changes throughout the organisation, both nationally and provincially, Chris is an incredibly passionate advocate for the farming community and I know he will do a fantastic job,” says Bruce. Chris and his wife Caroline, who have two children, farm 1100 cows on their Pukeatua dairy farm. “I have farmed for 22 years and I'm really passionate about all things farming,” says Chris. “After sitting on the back benches of

Federated Farmers Waikato for a year I was all in, serving as vice dairy chair for five years and dairy chair for the past three years. I am passionate about the work we have achieved in Waikato to date and am looking forward to continuing the work as the provincial president. “I have a great relationship with the past three provincial presidents and know I have a wealth of knowledge and support to refer to.” “I greatly respect these guys and am grateful for the position they have left our province in. “The three biggest things on my radar in the coming years are the environment, staffing issues, and working within the province as a positive collaborator. “In today’s political environment, we work much better when we work together and I’d like to continue to work with people in the province rather than talking at them. “There is more than just one voice in our Waikato executive and I want to make sure that Waikato hears them. This is going to be an exciting three years for myself and Federated Farmers Waikato, and I look forward to working with you all,” says Chris.

Land Information wins major award At the Geospatial World Forum 2014 in Geneva last month, Land Information New Zealand received the Geospatial Application Excellence Award in Infrastructure for the LDS. “This award cements the data service’s place in the world as a leader in making government-held geospatial data readily available and accessible,” says LDS Manager Jeremy Palmer. Data freely available through the LDS includes New Zealand topographic, hydrographic, cadastral, title, electoral,

crown pastoral land, place names and geodetic datasets. In March, the data service also began hosting aerial imagery. “Nearly 10,000 people use the LDS for activities such as government administration, surveying, civil engineering, architecture, science, and navigation technology. “We hope to provide further opportunities for reuse, innovation and enterprise as we continue to increase the range of data available.”

THREE BROTHERS

E COM WEL

THREE BROTHERS


Page 46

WELCOME TO THE WAIKATO

Re-planting the bush he once felled The rolling hills of the Ormsby property south of Mount Pirongia once contained native bush 78-year-old Keith helped cut down “to get myself a farm”. At the time, he points out: “that was what was done”. By contrast, in the last five years alone the Ormsby family has planted 25,000 natives on the Ngutunui farm. In the last 10 years, all waterways and bush areas have been fenced and planted and

QEII covenants placed on 25ha. The effort has been recognised with Keith and Margaret winning the Donaghys Farm Stewardship Award and the Waikato River Authority Catchment Improvement Award in the 2014 Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Awards. Of the 250ha area, 202ha is available for the dairying operation. It has been run by sharemilkers, Grahame and Tania Wallis, for the last five years, with 568 (peakmilked) cows. Production last season was 189,000 kg/ms and they’re on target for achieving 200,000 kg/ms

this season. Grahame has thoughtfully split the cows into two herds. A Friesian-cross herd is milked twice-a-day for most of the season and have the shortest walk. The Jersey herd is run on the further hills, with the lighter cows doing less damage to pasture and being more mobile. They have to travel further to the shed, so drop to once-a-day milking during summer. The award judges applauded Keith’s early “common sense approach” to retiring steep gullies, which are now “showing through with some beautiful mature native stands”.

The Ormsby family has planted 25,000 natives on the Ngutunui farm.

The judges wrote of more recent work: “Intensive planting, creation and maintenance of gully wetlands have been carried out. Significant sediment trapping and nutrient stripping would be expected”. Early planting was done with help from pupils of Ngutunui School, which boundaries the Ormsby property. Keith and Margaret have a long connection with the school, beginning with their children. When the school’s roll dropped to a dangerously low six pupils in about 2004, the Ormsbys spearheaded a successful drive to return the facility to being a central community focus. Keith has just retired from 10 years as Board of Trustees chairman and Margaret from long-term volunteering as a teacher aid. The massive planting effort in the last five years has been a persistent family undertaking, says Keith. “Now, when the family come to visit, they always have to go and check what they planted.” Keith says they’re grateful for Waikato Regional Council’s ongoing support

with plants and advice. “They have been just excellent, really helpful; we couldn’t do it without them.” Keith traces his ancestry back to a local Maniapoto iwi and the first school teacher in the frontier settlement, now called Pirongia. He’s the current president of Alexandra Racing Club at Pirongia. Keith and Margaret have four adult children; Kay, Brett, Ross and Angela, and four grandchildren. Judges’ comments • Proactive approach to water protection; good management of soils and pastures on some challenging areas. • Obvious pride in environmentally sustainable dairy farm; ethos shows in staff and overall improving performance. • Impressive water test results show water quality improves as it travels through farm, from boundary to boundary. • A leader in example of good results from changes made to farming systems, to be able to farm with the environment.

Of 250ha, 202ha is available for the dairying operation run by sharemilkers.


WELCOME TO THE WAIKATO

Page 47

Clients benefit from combined expertise This means both technicians and electricians from the same company work together on new installations, upgrades or maintenance for dairy farmers.

A 24-hour emergency breakdown service is provided, enabling a quick and efficient back-up response for both electrical and mechanical breakdowns.

Electrico has a retail store and office at 181 Whittaker St, Te Aroha, and has recently relocated their workshop to 33 Lawrence Ave, Te Aroha.

The Electrico team includes milk and water technicians and electricians wellversed in all aspects of electrical contracting, including for dairy sheds.

Extending their Matamata branch, Electrico’s newlyopened Waikato Milking Systems dealership in Te Aroha is a one-stop shop for all your milking machinery, water, irrigation, effluent and electrical needs.

The retail store stocks just about everything any farmer from dairying, to poultry, pigs and goats may need – including Waikato Milking Systems parts, water line fittings and a range of pumps for water, irrigation and effluent, as well as electric motors and parts. Along with two milk and water technicians, Electrico has a team of electricians well-versed in all aspects of electrical contracting, including for dairy sheds.

Electrico Ltd

Dairy competitors eye China market A strong competitor could enter the Chinese market and threaten New Zealand’s dominance of dairy imports, Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler says. In 2013 New Zealand supplied more than 70 per cent of China’s dairy imports, but other countries are eyeing that market, he told the DairyNZ Farmers Forum at Mystery Creek, attended by around 600 farmers and farming industry representatives. New Zealand’s high market share reflects the high quality of its product, in terms of nutritional value and safety, and the marketing skills in achieving major inroads into a market that others have found difficult. “But other countries also produce clean milk and these producers have seen the high returns and market share that New Zealand enjoys in China. “Some, like the US producers, are investing in whole milk powder driers. While New Zealand is likely to continue dominating global milk powder export production for many years, we should expect competitors to more aggressively target the Chinese market. “This reinforces the need for further diversification in export products and markets, including positioning for the opportunities that are expected to open

up in the Indian market,” he says. Graeme also warned that dairy debt has almost trebled over the past decade, and currently stands at $32 billion. “It is concentrated among a small proportion of highly leveraged farms with around half of the dairy debt being held by only 10 percent of dairy farmers. Strong export earnings saw the sector’s debt to income ratio improve between 2010 and 2012, although for the decade as a whole this ratio tracked steadily upward.” The elevated debt level means that some farmers are potentially highly exposed if there are substantial declines in the milk price pay-out, or if land prices fall. However, he says many dairy farmers are being cautious and are using their higher net incomes to acquire additional property and undertake farm improvements without taking on new debt - and in many cases are repaying debt. “Dairy farmers are therefore generally taking a cautious approach in the knowledge that the current high prices can turn around quickly. This is encouraging to see given the vulnerability of the sector and its already high debt load.”

KEVIN WADE

FARM DRAINAGE & EARTHWORKS

Phone 0274 968337 or 07 884 6784


Page 48

WELCOME TO WESTERN BAY OF PLENTY

Western Bay of Plenty contacts 2014 Federated Farmers Bay of Plenty Rick Powdrell 07 573 7481 07 573 7481 027 489 4075 rrpow@xtra.co.nz

Western Bay of Plenty District Council Barkes Corner, Greerton, Tauranga 07 571 8008 www.westernbay.govt.nz

Bay of Plenty Regional Council 5 Quay St, Whakatane 0800 884 880 www.boprc.govt.nz

Te Puke i-Site 130 Jellicoe St, Te Puke 07 573 9172 Waihi i-Site Seddon St, Waihi 07 863 6715

Katikati i-Site 36 Main Rd, Katikiati 07 549 1658 Young Farmers Te Puke Nigel Gordon 027 355 1527 nigelgordon@live.com

Waihi Amber Rodger 027 812 9083 bambi23@ihug.co.nz

Old bird shows ‘ tricks of trade’ While some duck shooters went home empty-handed after opening day’s fine skies, an old Ohauiti bird got her limit and then taught her young neighbour the ‘tricks of the trade'.

Seventy-one-year-old Jeanette Nee managed to shoot her limit at the family farm pond on May 3. “I guess I must live in a different region – Ohauiti,” says Jeannette, who managed to shoot ducks and great hunting photographs of the day. “Our pond was brimming with ducks. “And the surprise of surprises is this old bird – I’m age 71 – managed to nail two birds with one shot at the crack of dawn. And not only that, I repeated the same feat at the end of the day.”

Callum Fullick, 15, accompanied his 71-year-old next-door neighbour Jeanette Nee to learn how to hunt and bag ducks. With her successful morning swiftly heard by nextdoor neighbour 15-year-old Callum Fullick – he accompanied her for a hunt later that day. “I took him out in the evening after he heard of my success and wanted to come and learn about shooting and safety [measures] with the shotgun,” says Jeannette. “I've got a good pond and I take the time to feed them, so they all come in,” says Jeanette, who says her success is pinned on “the three P's – patience, practice and perseverance”. Jeannette, who has been shooting since she was 12, also does her homework before duck shooting season begins, studying the behaviour of various duck species “and finding out they like to be fed yummy maize”. “I also study their flight patterns, where they’re flying over the farm; usually that starts three-four months beforehand, and also what time they’re flying. “I have a little diary to make notes; and I also work out which ones they are, so you don't make a mistake and shot a protected one.” Plus, practice, practice and more practice with her trusty Beretta 20 gauge shotgun – and as well with her camera – sees her have a blast. Asked why she puts in the added effort, Jeanette says: “I like to not waste any shells”. Jeanette says she’d enjoy the rest of the four-week game bird season, teaching her keen, young accomplice. “You don’t go annihilate everything – you get the limit and get a feed for neighbours around here who all like eating game. “I'll also mentor this young lad, who is so keen – and he carries all my gear and opens the gates too.” By Merle Foster


WELCOME TO WESTERN BAY OF PLENTY

Page 49

Sun Media, the Bay’s leading news Newcomers to the Western Bay will find all the news and views they need to help settle into their region provided by Sun Media, the Bay’s leading news organisation. SunLive, among the top most read news website in the country, and finalists in the recent Canon Media Awards, is constantly up-dated with breaking news to keep readers informed. www.sunlive.co.nz Readers can sign up to have news alerts and daily headlines emailed to their phones or computers, to ensure they are always in touch with what’s happening. SunLive reporters and photographers are consistently breaking news stories and increasingly readers rely on it as their major source of news. In fact SunLive is like the best of newspaper, radio and television all rolled into one. It’s instant, fresh, constantly updated and direct from the source to your screen or mobile as it happens. And it means no more subscriptions, daily delivery hassles, soggy papers and old news and best of all it’s free. SunLive offers a true daily news service, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, every day, all year. SunLive has sister news websites too. There’s Sun Live Eastern Bay, Sun Live Thames-Coromandel, SunLive Waterline and Sun Live Bay Driver. Find them all at www.sunlive.co.nz Based at No 1 The Strand, Tauranga,

the best of news and views to residents of the upper Coromandel. No other media delivers to every home in the Whitianga-Coromandel districts; including the RDs. Every year Sun Media publishes the highly regarded New Farm Dairies newspaper showcasing new dairy developments throughout the country, and it is delivered to 30,500 dairy farmers in both islands. Waterline Magazine, another from the Sun Media family, is a quarterly magazine with news and views about water sports and the industry. Motoring enthusiasts find their fix in the Bay Driver, the weekend motoring guide for buyers and enthusiasts. All are published by the region’s only privately-owned publishing company, Sun Media. Established in 2000, the family business of Claire and Brian Rogers is innovative and ground-breaking, and as well as its on-line news sites and print publications, operates a thriving graphic design division which ensure clients get the very best personal, local service.

My Name is Neil Woodward. I am a director of Z-Contracting- we are family run business, our team consists of three, being myself, my son and my brother. Our organisation has been established for over 18 years. I have been involved in applying crop protection programmes within the horticultal industry since 1966. We specialise within the kiwi fruit industry, We have the equipment to spray orchards with our two Atom sprayers and one recently purchased Tracatom Formula tractor which is also available for mulching and mowing.

My Name is Neil Woodward. I am a director of Z-Contracting- we are family run business, our team consists of three, being myself, my son and my brother. Our organisation has been established for over 18 years. I have been involved in applying crop protection programmes within the horticultal industry since 1966.

Sun Media is also publishers of the free papers, the Weekend Sun which reaches 159,700 residents in the Bay each week and Coast & Country which is delivered to 31,050 rural letter boxes from Gisborne, to Franklin, including the Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Taupo Regions. The latest edition to the family is the Peninsula Sun, a weekly paper delivering

We specialise within the kiwi fruit industry, We have the equipment to spray orchards with our two Atom sprayers and one recently purchased Tracatom Formula tractor which is also available for mulching and mowing.

     

Our Atom combined three noz accuracy.

We also u applicatio

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Our Atoms are set up with radar speed sensors, this combined with fully automated sprayer controllers and three nozzle rings enhances application efficiency and accuracy. We also use a quad bike for strip weed spray applications. We hold all certificates needed to meet Globalgap compliance. We look at all challenges to help ensure we protect your crop with excellence.

  Excellence  Through  Service  and  Innovation          

Ph E-ma


Page 50

WELCOME TO WESTERN BAY OF PLENTY

Smoothing the transition to new schools         

A new season presents an exciting opportunity for many farmers but when children are involved in the move to a new farm, there’s even more to consider and prepare for, says Jenny Smith, who is a resource teacher for learning and behaviour. “There are a few actions parents can do to help ensure a smooth transition for both their child and the new school,” says Jenny. Jenny and Dr Pauline Stewart, an educational psychologist and dairy farm owner, have put together some helpful advice for parents. It can be used as a reminder of things to do, before and during the transition, to help both children and schools with the change.

Advice for parents this Gypsy Day

Preparing for a new school - Enrol at the new school early to help them prepare. - Visit the new school with your child before they start, or visit their website.

- Sign up to school newsletters to learn about the school and stay informed. - Provide the new school with any information you have about your child’s academic levels, strengths or special needs that will help them settle in better. Starting a new school - Go to school with your child on the first day and meet the teacher. - Tell the school what your child enjoys and what they’re good at. - Find out key dates and information. - Let your child’s new teacher know how and when it’s best to contact you and provide emergency contact details. - Find out how the school involves parents with education. - Find out when the school social events are on, to meet the community. - Accompany your child to the first bus pick-up, if possible. - Remind your child it’s ok to be nervous and talk to them about how they are feeling. - Check in with the new school after a couple of weeks.

(Source DairyNZ publication Inside Dairy)

Dig this free service Farmers who accidently dug up or cut through an underground phone or broadband cable routed across their farm can be liable for the damage, even though they may not be aware of the cable’s existence or precise location. In light of this, Federated Farmers is advising members to be aware of a free service for identifying where underground phone cables are located on farms, before they unknowingly dig them up. The service is called ‘beforeUdig’ and can be accessed by calling

0800 248 344. The ‘beforeUdig’ service is free if you call between 8am and 5pm during weekdays. The service does ask callers to give at least two working days’ notice before starting up the digger. You can also request a free plan online at the website, but it might be easier to call during their working hours. Using the service should reduce the risk of inadvertently digging through an underground phone cable and the potential cost that may accompany such an accident.


WELCOME TO WESTERN BAY OF PLENTY

Page 51

Tractor test drives popular with farmers Bruce Wilkins has owned John Deere tractors for 20 years and although not in the market for a new one just yet, he was keen to test drive the latest 6150R at Cervus Equipment’s Drive Green event at Paengaroa.

The John Deere 6150R was among the tractors test driven at Cervus Equipment’s Drive Green events.

The local drystock farmer and maize grower was impressed with the comfort in the cab, including the side-ways motion of the seat to protect the operator from knocks when driving over rough terrain. “It’s probably as comfortable, if not more comfortable than driving a car.” Bruce says he likes the performance and reliability of John Deere tractors and the fact they hold their resale value. The Paengaroa Drive Green was the last of three held by Cervus in May. The other two were at Opotiki and Awakeri. Cervus Bay of Plenty branch manager Owen Jessop says the events were so successful Cervus will hold more in the future. “We haven’t run these events before, but they have been very popular with farmers with some confirmed sales and strong interest from all of the events. “Farmers have appreciated the opportunity to test-drive the tractors,” says Owen. As well as tractor demonstrations, the Gator, fast becoming a safer alternative to quad bikes, was also available to test drive and there were demonstrations of the fuel 360 Flush system for flushing diesel fuel systems to improve performance and reliability.

Bruce Wilkins of Paengaroa was keen to test drive the John Deere 6150R at Cervus Equipment’s Drive Green event at Paengaroa.

The Gator was also available to test drive at Cervus Equipment’s Drive Green event.

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Page 52

WELCOME TO WESTERN BAY OF PLENTY

Making a rural town a film hub Driving into Te Puke – you think kiwifruit, honey and milk – but could you soon discover film cameras and a red carpet? This is Te Puke Economic Development Group managing director Mark Boyle’s latest mission to draw economic benefits to the rural town – make it a Kiwi film-making hub. During the next few months, Mark is ambitiously pitching the Western Bay town to Kiwi film-makers as a competitive, costeffective, strategic location to make movies. “Our natural resources, capability, efficiencies and easy access to everything a film maker would want at a more competitive cost, makes for a compelling case,” says Mark. Since the town pulled together to help produce community-resourced film ‘The Z Nail Gang’, he’s seen Te Puke’s potential to market itself as a ‘TePukeWood’ type film location. “When we were filming the ‘The Z Nail Gang’ it became obvious there’s such a breath and differentiation of resource in Te Puke you could actually make it appealing to filmmakers.” He believes the town’s key uniqueness and

differentiation lies in its strategic location, competitive price for film-making and its large human resource – ready and willing to volunteer to get films made in Te Puke. “Te Puke has pioneered significant industry during the last 150 years. The kiwifruit industry is testament to that. Small community values often differ to those of our city cousins. People like to contribute and don't expect big pay packets. “We are not distracted by hustle and bustle, we don't stress, and we take a more measured, rural approach to planning and implementation.” Te Puke being in a strategic location is another drawcard, says Mark. “You can be on top of the Kaimai Ranges or fishing at Pukehina Beach within an hour. “We have mountains, native flora and fauna, forests, geothermal activity, marae, superb coastline, rivers and streams, pristine agricultural and horticultural land, industrial activity, townships, villages and multicultural communities all

with superb infrastructure. “We’re also minutes away from international and domestic airports, New Zealand’s premier sea port and two significant cities in Tauranga and Rotorua.” Mark says opportunity exists for rural properties to be used by film-makers too. “If you’re filming a movie, no matter what the scene or what the content, [in Te Puke] you can have access within a few minutes to a corporate environment, city, farm or orchard.” Mark says is Te Puke is also very competitively priced, compared to larger centres. “This includes accommodation, transport, communication and service providers. Our talent pool is vast, not only in the arts but in industry and innovation.” Asked if Te Puke will rebrand to the filming town of NZ, Mark says ‘no’. “What we’ve done in the last year is rebrand as ‘Te Puke Goodness Grows Here’ which

promotes the idea of the Zespri kiwifruit, Comvita’s manuka honey and high quality dairy products – this is just an idea we’ve been successful in recently making a community film.” By Merle Foster

Dress-code confusion An Englishman, a Scotsman, an Irishman, a Welshman, a Ghurkha, a Latvian, a Turk, an Aussie, a German, a Yank, an Egyptian, a Japanese, a Pakistani, a Mexican, a Spaniard, a Russian, a Pole, a Lithuanian, a Jordanian, a Kiwi, a Swede, a Finn, a Canadian, an Israeli, a Romanian, a Bulgarian, a Serb, a Swiss, a Greek, a Singaporean, an Italian, a Norwegian, an Argentinean, a Libyan, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist and an African went to a night club. The bouncer said: “Sorry, I can’t let you in without a Thai”.

ADDLINE TRANSPORT LTD


WELCOME TO WESTERN BAY OF PLENTY

Page 53

Building kiwi numbers in sight The success of a recent mission to resettle kiwi recovered from an unprotected area in the Urewera’s Southern Whirinaki has Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust volunteers optimistic of building up their population of New Zealand’s national bird.

Following years of going backwards in the mission, dedicated volunteers are now imagining a day when they can provide kiwis for other sanctuaries. It’s still many years away, but recovery project coordinator Nigel Veale says volunteers recently recovered a first breeding pair, which has been successfully introduced to the Oropi park. Now he’s aiming to recover another five pairs in the next two months. Nigel is at pains to emphasise kiwi are

Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust volunteer Nigel Veale, with radio tracking equipment used to recover kiwi from Whirinaki for the Oropi sanctuary. Photo Bruce Barnard.

being recovered from unprotected areas, where they are likely to be killed by predators without relocation – countering criticism about the recovery programme. “It’s really a win-win,” says Nigel, who talks of the agreement the kiwi trust has made. “A key difficulty has been in sourcing kiwis. It’s been very difficult to obtain them and generally people become quite protective of keeping them – and they don’t appreciate how vulnerable the birds are in unprotected areas.” The first attempt to recover pairs in June last year was unsuccessful, when it as discovered the breeding season began earlier than expected. Radio trackers were placed on two nests, where mature eggs were later recovered and since hatched at the Rainbow Springs nursery. “We are in a real quest to get as many breeding adults released into Otanewainuku as possible, with the aim of eventually being able to provide kiwis for other places, including areas like Southern Whirinaki, where it would be great to be able to give some back.” Nigel says volunteers hope to release another five breeding pairs before the breeding season begins in June, with similar numbers to be introduced annually. Within five to 10 years it’s hoped the introduced birds will have established a viable kiwi community, with sufficient birds to help repopulate other sanctuaries and parks. “I do feel we have some momentum. Establishing our population is an absolute

Mobile ‘drop shock’ protection Outdoor workers and adventure junkies understand the need to protect their communications from the elements and drop shock. The latest cases that protect gear from falls, dust, dirt, wind and rain are highly effective and functional. Best of all, they don’t restrict use of the gadget. The new generation of waterproof cases for iPhones are so slim and light, you hardly realise they’re there. Plus, they still have all the features available to the user. The latest Survivor Catalyst waterproof case for the iPhone 5 is tough yet stylish, and we’ve roadtested it this month. Rated waterproof to three metres, the Survivor offers total access to the charge port, full function touchscreen, microphones, speaker and camera.

The casing is sealed to keep out water, dust, sound and drop shock protection up to 1.8 metres. It makes it ideal for the beach, pool, surf, sand and snow environments. The easy side latches allow quick and simple installation of the phone. The clear audio performance is impressive and the results from the camera are unaffected by the slim housing. I found the Survivor casing actually improved the handling of the phone, making it easier to grip and operate, than without the case. There’s a full range of colours. Griffin Technology offers an extensive range of personal technology accessories, including headphones, cases for iPad, iPhone, Kindle and Samsung Galaxy; music and business technology. The Survivor Catalyst is available online at http://griffintechnology.com/ By Brian Rogers

numbers game. You need to have the numbers there to have an impact – that’s why we’re giving it a big push to get it over that hump.” By Hamish Carter


Page 54

HORTICULTURE

Five to contest grower title Five contestants, including the first woman to take part in four years, have entered the 2014 Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower of the Year. The contestants are Christopher Clement, operations advisor, Kiwifruit Vine Health, Tauranga; Craig Ward, technical advisor, Apata Group Limited, Katikati; Samantha Orr, line quality manager, Eastpack, Te Puke; Simon Bowker, field manager, Hume Pack and Cool, Katikati; and Patrick Malley contracting manager/director, Onyx Capital Limited of Whangarei. Although not from the Bay, Patrick is eligible to enter the contest because there is no young fruit grower event in his region. The contestants will go head-to-head on Wednesday, June 18, in a day of practical and theory tests

concluding with the awards dinner and their final speeches that evening at ASB Arena in Mount Maunganui. The winner Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower 2014 receives $1500 in cash, a one-day media and presentation training course in Wellington, as well as an all-expenses paid trip to Christchurch to compete for the title of NZ Young Fruit Grower and Young Grower of the Year. The second and third placed entrants receive $1000 and $500 respectively. The public can attend the day’s activities to support contestants and the awards dinner, where a keynote speaker will give an address. Tickets for the dinner are $90 each or $850 for a table of 10 and are available by emailing info@nzkgi. org.nz or by calling 0800 232 505.

Can NZ learn from what’s happening in the US? Four issues are keeping the US growers awake at night: lack of reliable and skilled labour; trade barriers, particularly access to China; imported pests; and drought. A recent American Farm Bureau survey found an inadequate supply of what they term ‘field labour’ could result in US food prices increasing by six per cent and a reduction in US production by US$60 billion annually. The American Farm Bureau study estimates US fruit production could fall between 15 and 31 per cent. The problem facing the US growers is the measures to allow overseas workers to come into the US and work in their orchards are bogged down in the political system. The American Farm Bureau survey is designed to get some political movement. We face similar problems in New Zealand. However, I’m pleased to say there is political support for ensuring there are sufficient overseas workers to supplement the New Zealand workforce. But like the US grower, the Kiwi grower has great difficulty in attracting and retaining New Zealand workers. In the kiwifruit industry, we have a number of initiatives running with the Government to address this, and reduce our reliance on overseas workers.

China

Access to China is a particular US problem. Apple imports to China have been banned for two years and last year China banned Californian citrus imports. The ban has been instituted by China for alleged post-harvest decay. China is an important market for the US and bans such as these place enormous financial pressure on growers. China is similarly important to New Zealand exports. To date, due to the strenuous efforts of Zespri and the kiwifruit industry, kiwifruit exports to China have not been affected. But as can be seen from the US example, exports to China are not to be taken for granted. During the last decade, the US citrus industry has had a series of diseases

(citrus greening and canker) and pests dramatically affect the productivity of the industry – not unlike the affect Psa-V has had on the New Zealand kiwifruit industry. It would seem these diseases and pests have arrived with tourists and Americans returning from holiday abroad. For example, the United States Department of Agriculture reports citrus greening affecting the Florida grapefruit production – and likely introduced via the Asian citrus psyllid – is responsible for the elimination of 6600 jobs and US$1.3 billion in lost revenue to Florida’s growers and US$3.6b in lost economic activity. In New Zealand, Psa is costing the NZ grower NZ$50 million each year in control; and during the last few seasons has caused a 25 per cent loss in productivity.

Drought

Since 2011 there has been little rain in California and its catchments. The 2012/2013 winter recorded the lowest rainfall since 1850. Now, 91 per cent of California is experiencing severe to exceptional drought conditions. This is of particular concern, as two-thirds of the US fresh produce exports come from California. There are predictions there will be a 20 per cent increase in wholesale prices for some produce categories; and a drop in exporting as the domestic US market is supplied before export markets. With the exception of severe drought, NZ growers are facing the same challenges as their US counterparts. By observing the US responses to each of these crises, we can better prepare to face similar crises in New Zealand. For example, the expansion of Kiwifruit Vine Health’s role from a focus on Psa to all biosecurity threats from overseas countries. We need to be prepared to face increasing pressure to find reliable and skilled labour, face trade barriers, deal with more diseases and pests invading our orchards, and drought. These are the roles of NZ kiwifruit growers and Kiwifruit Vine Health. The views expressed in this article are those of the author. Data was drawn with thanks from the April 2014 edition of Asia Fruit.


HORTICULTURE

Page 55

Less is more Avocados stimulate appetite for learning

It’s not run-off into waterways from pastoral land that’s the greatest concern. It’s what’s coming out the bottom into aquifers that’s the major contaminator – and the quickest and most effective way to stop it is to cease tipping it in the top. Nitrogen constitutes 78 per cent of the air we breathe; the top 20cm of pastoral soil holds 5000-15,000kgN/ ha. There’s no shortage of the stuff, it just has to be used more efficiently. And the claim farmers will produce significantly less, and have the value of their land decimated if they are no longer permitted to use nitrogen fertiliser, is an argument increasingly difficult to sustain. The motivation of farmers applying little or no fertiliser nitrogen is to preserve the value of their land by being able to continue producing without environmental damage; and their position is the one that will ultimately prevail. Any enterprise that destroys the base from which its wealth is generated is simply not profitable, and long-term intensive pastoral farming, driven by regular nitrogen applications, is just that. Central government, local and district councils will regulate in favour of the environment regardless of outrage from the farming community. Political power is with those in urban areas and the income generated from pastoral farming can be replaced, potentially leaving farmers with very expensive real estate and limited means of generating an income. But there is a solution that with a little further development may satisfy all. Ten years of measures from properties applying DoloZest and CalciZest based total nutrient programmes show they grow more total pasture than properties where conventional nitrogen-driven programmes are in place. Production is higher, both total and per hectare, and costs are lower. These farms are equally dependent on the availability of nitrogen for their growth; they are simply making more efficient use of the abundance of it in the air and soil. Pasture production, based on cage cuts, for the Berryman property – an intensive dairy operation at Otakiri near Edgecumbe in the Bay of Plenty – grew 21,635kg DM/ha for the 12 months to April 30, 2014. This an average of 59.9kgDM/ha per day. This autumn 10.8kgN/ha has been applied in a total nutrient mix to help stimulate grass growth with the arrival of cooler conditions. Late last winter 19kgN/ha was applied to 60 per cent of the farm, giving an average per hectare input for the season of 22.7kgN/ha. Although the pasture production figures are yet to be put into the Overseer model, previous independent analyses show the cage figures to be conservative. About one-third of the projected 1550kg/ha of milk solids this season is from bought in feed, leaving milk solid production from pasture in excess of 1000kg/ha. A record quantity of surplus pasture has been conserved during spring and early summer. Pastures are dense, and even with no obvious fertility patches. Calves are grazed on the property during the growing season and the herd wintered at home. Pipes measuring Nitrate-N leaching were installed in March 2011, along with the same number of pipes on a neighbouring property using a conventional fertiliser nitrogen-driven programme. The results to early-February 2014 show Nitrate-N losses to be about 70 per cent less than those from the neighbouring farm. Clover is the primary nitrogen-fixing agent on the Berryman property with summer pasture a mass of red and white flower.

Pupils in Room One at Waihi Beach Primary School are drinking in their learning by the cupful. Smoothies made with avocado and milk, plus a few other fruits, have become a hit with the 30 nine-10 year olds since teacher Lizette Turnbull showed how to make them as part of a health project. “I was discussing my plans to teach the children about how to be healthy with my father-inlaw Sid, who suggested focusing on the benefits of avocados, and promised to deliver them by the boxful to the school,” says Lizette. Since making the promise, avocado orchardist Sid Turnbull has kept Room One supplied with avocados on a regular basis. Most mornings there’s the smell of toast in the classroom, as students make avocado and toast, and several times a week, under supervision, they also whip up smoothies in a blender using avocado, bananas, berry fruits and Fonterra milk. “The beauty of this programme is the children are finding out for themselves how good avocado taste and how they do really help control appetite, by making you feel full. “When the class was having both a smoothie and avocado on toast we all of found we weren’t hungry, even at lunch time,” says Lizette. This message is an important one at a time when obesity rates are rising, particularly among young children. The students also carried out research about avocados, including using the New Zealand Avocado website, and the cookbook by avocado ambassador Nadia Lim. The students say: “Avocado are a super food.” “They help fill you up.” “Avocado is good for your skin. If you get some on your hands, rub it in.” “Avocados are better as a snack than chips or noodles.” “Avocados taste good.” Some students hadn’t tried the fruit before – but of 30-strong class, only two don’t like avocados. Most now also eat them at home, after telling their parents how good they are. “Studying avocados has been great for this class because we had access to the fruit, but also because

Left: Avocado smoothies are a hit with Room One students including Alex (nine), Ryan (10) Haille (10) and Mia (10). it makes sense to study a product which is grow in our area. If we’d been a Te Puke school, then we would have probably studied kiwifruit,” says Lizette.

Room One students and teacher Lizette at Waihi Beach School have discovered the delights of avocado smoothies and avocados on toast. Lizette says avocados are freely available in the Waihi Beach area, often from roadside stalls, so are a nutritious, enjoyable fruit within reach of the budget of most families. By Elaine Fisher

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For the tough jobs

avocados gorse bamboo shelters stumpgrinding invasive weeds forestry land clearing olives


Page 56

AVOCADOS

An avocado a day keeps Fiona on track Medal-winning paralympian Fiona Southorn seldom leaves home without enough avocados to eat at least one a day. The real estate agent from Waipu eats an avocado a day – and on race days she has three or four pieces of toast, avocado and Marmite for breakfast before taking to the track. She enjoys has a year-round supply of the fruit from

Frost Protection

Freshmax technical manager Dave Alderton, as well as sponsorship for her training kit and travel from Freshmax NZ. The nutritious fruit is an essential part of Fiona’s diet and indeed her training programme. Fiona says when she’s at home “it’s an avocado on my salad with my dinner”. “They are a great source of energy with good oils and lucky they are so tasty. “I’m not a big meat-eater. Avocado give me the good fats I need and are a lasting fuel, which helps with my stamina for training and racing.”

Trained by Jono Hailstone, Fiona takes her sport seriously; training six days a week. The 46-year-old, whose disability is described as limb deficiency in her left arm, says she got hooked on riding after biking to work. This led to her first international appearance, where she won a silver medal at the world championships. Fiona’s next big challenge is a world cup event in Italy and the Road Worlds in California in August.

For paralympian Fiona Southorn, an avocado a day is part of her winning formula. Fiona won bronze at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

Record avocado crop will test marketers New Zealand’s largest supplier of avocados to the Australasian market will be tested this year, with predictions a bumper crop both here and across the Tasman will create a challenging climate for exporters.

AVOCO is looking to offset those challenges and manage the large volume of New Zealand fruit by channelling it under the AVANZA brand into growing international markets, in particular Asia. AVOCO, a joint entity between Bay of Plenty-based Southern Produce and Primor Produce, is predicting next season to be NZ’s largest export crop ever – in excess of five million trays. Australia is also expecting an above average crop – meaning more competition for NZ to sell its avocados across the Tasman. AVOCO director Alistair Young says the company’s 2013/2014 inaugural season was successful, with more than 1.9 million trays exported, but next season would be the true test. “The challenges of a massive crop and a more competitive Australian market in 2014/2015 will mean AVOCO can really show what it’s made of.” Most of AVOCO’s trays were exported to Australia last year, which is NZ’s largest market for avocados. Alistair says high consumer demand for avocados

combined with a low crop volume from Western Australia and excellent flow planning by New Zealand resulted in high orchard gate returns for NZ growers. The two AVOCO partners are inaugural members of AVANZA and have worked together for more than 10 years as part of the collaborative marketing body. AVANZA exports avocados to all countries outside Australia, continually strengthening and expanding its export relationships with Asian markets, which include Thailand, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea and Japan. It’s hoped the relationshipbuilding efforts in Asia will pay off next season, softening the potential follow-on effects of a heavily-supplied Australian market. AVOCO and AVANZA director John Carroll says the next few months of preparation will be a critical part of AVOCO and AVANZA’s performance this season. “Our team is confident it has the people and expertise to make a strong plan, then optimise the flow of fruit to market so as to achieve decent value for growers.”


AVOCADOS

Page 57

New avocado variety A new “bigger and better” avocado has been launched in Australia.

The ATP gives Simon Turnbull safe and ready access to the avocado trees he’s pruning.

Pruning easy with 360 degrees of slew Simon Turnbull starts pruning high up in the avocado tree and rapidly moves down and from side to side, through the canopy, cutting off limbs. He’s using a hydraulic pole saw and working from the safety of the cage of an All Terrain Platform, dropping prunings well away from himself and the vehicle. “When I first came into the avocado industry from teaching two-and-a-half years ago, I operated a threewheel conventional platform but didn’t feel safe,” says Simon. “It took me about half a day to learn to drive this AT – now I’m happy working from it to prune or pick avocados.” Simon and his father Sid own one of three ATP machines in Katikati, designed and manufactured by the local company Mural Town Engineering And like other ‘converts’ to the platforms, he wouldn’t consider using anything else. The other ATPs are owned by orchard contractors. “It’s a significant investment but it is saving us money because we can prune and pick our own trees. I am able to position the ATP and pick fruit from four trees without moving it,” says Simon. That’s because the ATP has a continuous 360 degree slew and an articulated boom, which can reach to nine metres. The articulation means the cage with its operator can extend right into a canopy, without the machine having to change position. While the Woodland Rd orchard Simon is pruning has a relatively flat contour, it’s on steep ground the

ATP

ATP comes into its own. Mural Town Engineering owner, and designer of the ATP, Don Rust worked closely with those in the industry when designing and building the ATP. Operating safely on uneven and steep ground was a prime requirement, which Don has met by designing a machine which can operate safely on up to 25 degrees of slope. Stability and manoeuvrability is enhanced by its dual oscillating axles, which enable the vehicle to be driven over obstacles while reducing the ‘bump’ effect by up to 80 per cent. “Another advantage is the massive work envelope, which means prunings are never dropped onto the machine itself, avoiding damage and also not restricting its ability to be re-positioned,” says Don. The ATP was launched three years ago and orders grew so quickly, Mural Town Engineering has now out-sourced much of the manufacturing to keep up with demand. The vehicles are in demand from the Australian avocado industry; and Don has made minor adjustments to offer variable width so they can be driven into containers for shipment. The ATP is also finding favour in the construction industry, providing safe work platforms on building sites, or for water blasting tall buildings or cleaning windows. “They are also being used by arborists, because they can access trees without having to climb them,” says Don. Mural Town Engineering is about to release a smaller Lite series, petrol version of the diesel-powered ATP Super model.

The Hass-like variety, called Maluma, is being grown by Henk van Niekerk from DBC Farming in North Queensland’s Atherton tableland region, reports www.freshplaza.com The variety is also commercially grown for the export and domestic markets in South Africa. The Atherton tableland region produces about one-quarter of the 9.5 million cartons of avocados grown each year in Australia, predominantly of the Shepard and Hass varieties. In Australia, the trees fruit at the end of March, in the period between the Shepard and Hass varieties. They appear to be more tolerant of heat

waves. The Maluma is claimed to be more heat-tolerant than the normal Hass, has a bigger fruit and smaller stone and improved taste. The Plant Breeders’ Rights are held by the South African company AH Ernst and Seuns Ltd, trading as Allesbeste. More information on Maluma is available on the Maluma blog at www.maluma.info


AVOCADOS

Page 58

Access to China still years away Avocados have made it to the top of New Zealand’s list of horticulture products for access to China – but it could be two to three years before the borders open to the fruit.

Ministry for Primary Industries’ director of market assurance Tim Knox says the avocado’s status has been established following the recent China/ NZ Sanitary and Phytosanitary Joint

Management Committee meeting. Tim says China’s certification agency, called AQSIQ, had started preparatory work for the risk assessment of avocados from New Zealand in late-2013. “As the first next step, we will provide an update to the pest list for avocados, provided with the submission of 2010, and use that opportunity to once again affirm the status of avocados being New Zealand’s top priority for horticultural market access. “It is difficult to give an indication of the likely timeframe for AQSIQ to

complete their work, but our experience with other products is it could take up to two to three years and possibly longer if a significant phytosanitary issue is identified during the AQSIQ risk assessment phase.” Tim says MPI appreciates the importance access for NZ avocados to China has for the industry, and the additional profile the issue has following the announcement of its successful Primary Growth Partnership bid. New Zealand Avocado CEO Jen Scoular agrees, saying although China will be an important future market for the industry, gaining and retaining access won’t be easy. “Pipfruit NZ lost access last year and has been working to have access reinstated, which illustrates that gaining access doesn’t guarantee access in the future,” says Jen. “Currently, gaining access is a process we are following; but without perfect future predictability of results.”

By Elaine Fisher

Produce executive appointed for Australia Experienced produce executive Ben Bartlett has been appointed by Global Fresh to lead its recentlyestablished Australian company, Global Fresh Australia Pty Ltd. Ben brings a wealth of experience and varied competencies to the role, most recently as national category manager of fruit at Countdown supermarkets. Prior to this he enjoyed a 16-year career with MG Marketing in various roles, including three years as national imports business manager at La Manna Group, MG’s subsidiary headquartered in Melbourne. “We are thrilled to have secured Ben for this important and challenging role to both represent Global Fresh and oversee the development of our new Australian business operations and marketing initiatives,” says Global

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Fresh managing director Andrew Darling. To be based in Melbourne, and commencing duties mid-June, Ben will be working closely with Global Fresh’s nationwide network of customers located in each state, as well as providing in-market account management for retail programmes. “Across the various categories, close to 80 per cent of our current business is done in Australia; and so with the growth projections we have documented, we recognised it was time to make the investment into this key market,” Ben Bartlett has a wealth of says Andrew. experience in the produce industry. “We undertake this on behalf of our shareholders and our provide a platform for business many grower suppliers, in order growth in the import and export to maximise values and pursue the of other produce lines to and from numerous new opportunities that Australia with other parts of the exist.’ world where the company has The establishment of Global global sourcing connections and Fresh Australia Pty Ltd will also sales networks.


AVOCADOS

Results shining through I’ve been extremely busy these last three months getting soil and leaf samples from avocado orchards sent off to Hills Labs in Hamilton, and reviewing results following the previous spring application of Revital 30. It’s been very pleasing to see an excellent balance across both macro and micro nutrients. During the spring I included specific additives to the Revital 30 base fertiliser – and it’s great to see the leaf results shining through. Leaf size is enhanced, with a deep green lustre and a good curl of carbohydrates tucked away inside, ready and waiting to energise the flowering and fruit set next spring. A good number of growers have followed up with an autumn dressing of Revital 30, and with test results to

hand we have fine-tuned the blend to ensure the trees are primed for flowering with additional inputs of lime, lime flour, potassium, phosphate, magnesium, boron etc. The plan is to apply a bulk dressing twice-yearly, including relevant additives. Certainly, some trees you may need to pay more attention to and perhaps intervene with additional granular fertilisers. But in the main, there will be no more walking round in circles with buckets of avo mix every six weeks, wondering how much more flush the avo mix will push. Using Revital fertiliser is a different approach to avocado nutrition; and if you want to find out more about the sustained release benefits of the blend, being chemistry, biology, and organic matter, please give me a call for an on orchard consultation.

Page 59

Promoting avocado’s health and beauty attributes New Zealand’s avocado industry made a high-profile push into Asia with celebrity cook and New Zealand avocado ambassador Nadia Lim taking to the stage at a global food festival in Singapore in March to help promote consumption of Kiwi avocados. More than 17,000 people attended the Savour food festival, which featured Michelin star chefs and award-winning cuisine from around the world.

Growing demand from healthconscious consumers has already seen NZ avocado exports to Singapore soar from 600 trays per week to 3600 trays per week in the last five years. The promotion of New Zealand avocados at Savour was led by AVANZA Ltd, which collectively market 80 per cent of New Zealand avocados exported to Asia, with support from its Singaporean-based importer Freshmart and industry body New Zealand Avocado. AVANZA Ltd spokesman Carwyn Williams says Asian markets are very receptive to products that promote health and wellbeing. “The Singaporeans are rapidly

taking on board the health and beauty benefits of avocados. They’re high in potassium, protein, fibre, vitamins and antioxidants,” says Carwyn. “They’re also great for your skin and cardiovascular health so we expect to gain a lot from the exposure at Savour.” Freshmart spokesperson Qi Lin Phan says there is a lot of “untapped potential” in Singapore. “Avocados are still viewed as a ‘Western fruit’ and are used mostly in Western cuisine. But they are becoming increasingly popular among the educated, middle-aged group, who are looking for healthier additions to their daily diet.”


WINTER WARMTH

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Seven Papamoa College students are actively involved in helping other less fortunate than themselves keep warm in winter. The students of mixed ages are busy knitting blankets, which will be sent overseas through Mission Without Borders’ programme Operation Cover Up. Mission Without Borders is a Christian organisation serving people suffering poverty and oppression throughout the world. Papamoa College has been involved with Operation Cover Up for three years and sends the blankets off in July. Teacher aide Sandra Naylor says the group meets each Tuesday lunch-time, and the students also knit at home. “We’ve found the students get really excited about it. Some of them have never knitted before. “We talk about where the blankets are going, and they get to learn about poorer communities and what’s needed out there.”

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The students each knit at least one square per week. A blanket is made up of 42 squares, which are sewn together by Sandra’s mum when she visits from England. Deadline changes in 2013 mean the school couldn’t send blankets last year, so in July at least nine blankets will be posted. Sandra loves being involved in the programme and says the students learn many valuable lessons. “It gives you an impression of what’s out there; that there’s places very different to New Zealand.” Sandra often goes out “begging” for wool and is appealing for 8 ply wool and donations from businesses and residents. Wool and donations can be dropped off at Papamoa College.

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Pets feel the cold too and it’s a good idea to help those which live outside stay warm in winter. Rabbits and guinea pigs in hutches benefit from extra bedding of clean straw or hay and even insulation for their hutches. This can be as simple as putting old carpet or sacks on the hutch roof, even stapling them to the sides, and protecting them with a waterproof cover. Extending the covers over all or part of the run will also give the pets more shelter when the weather gets nasty. If temperatures drop significantly, moving the hutches into a shed or garage, or under trees will also help reduce the chilling effects on your pets. Dog kennels can also do with a bit of winter warming up, with extra bedding including hay or old cushions and ensuring the kennels are waterproof with no leaks. Adding insulation to the exterior will also help. Pampered indoor pets are more fortunate but they can feel the cold, just like us, when they go outside – so winter clothing for dogs, especially those with short coats, is a good idea. While pet coats are available from pet stores, some owners design and make knitted or fabric versions for their pets. Cats have a knack of finding the warmest place, indoors or out, but they do benefit from regular grooming in winter – as tangled fur isn’t as good at insulating as a well-maintained coat.


BUSINESS & FINANCE

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Get the basics right and the rest will follow It never ceases to amaze me how we seem to forget the basics and focus on what is not crucial to the business. Recently, I’ve seen a number of properties where inadequate fertiliser application has caused production to drop drastically. Yet you chat to the farmer and they play the blame game – the drought, the mother-in-law. I saw a dairy farm last week where little or no fertiliser went on and production has fallen from 70,000 kg/

ms to 55,000 kg/ms. On my own dairy farm, in the 1980s we dropped our fertiliser application and production dropped even faster. Viewing a kiwifruit property recently where nominal fertiliser had been applied, I noticed a direct correlation with nominal production. Then there is the avocado industry, where you can see the effect of low fertiliser application from the road in small leaves and yellow trees. Fertiliser applied adequately and sustainably is fundamental to your business.

This week I dropped my mower off for repairs. I rushed around to get it there only to be told they were a week behind and he’d ring me when it was ready. Not to mention he scribbled my notes on the work to be done on a scrap of paper. Where is the clip board and better communication? We need to focus down on the key ingredients essential to the success of our business – spotlight them and them only. When they are done, we are free to go fishing. Write down the essentials and tick them off. As I say: ‘There is only a week between a good and a bad farmer’. Get the jobs done and get them done on time. I mean I have got a degree in this stuff, but as my wife will tell you, I need to focus

Future-proofing the family farm The process of transferring the family farming business from one generation to the next can be time-consuming, particularly given the challenges of dealing with and distinguishing between family and business issues. As part of the process, communication with all family members is critical – as is obtaining advice and guidance from suitable professionals. One important component of the succession planning process is reviewing existing legal structure of the family farm in order to ensure protection of family wealth that’s been created during a lifetime, or generations, of hard work. The family farm needs to be sheltered from potential challenges arising from, for example, the remarriage of a surviving spouse, disputes arising between family members on the death of a surviving patriarch or matriarch, or upon distribution of assets to the children – not to mention protec-

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tion from government policies, whether now or upon death. In addition to these asset protection advantages, a well-designed structure will provide for the succession plan. An appropriate and robust legal structure will be created, or an existing structure reviewed and fine-tuned, with all the family needs and objectives in mind. A structure that doesn’t take the needs and objectives of all family members into account is, perhaps, doomed to fail from a succession planning perspective. Your lawyers may be able to assist with the facilitation process and provide the necessary expertise to create a strong foundation for each family’s unique succession plan. The key objectives include prioritising: 1. The protection and maintenance of the surviving spouse’s financial and emotional needs, including ease of access to capital

2. Providing for the succession for one or more of the children 3. The fair treatment of nonsucceeding children. At Harris Tate, we’re experienced in creating and managing the correct process. We also understand the need to work closely with other necessary specialist professional advisors to advance to desired outcome. The legal structure will include clear written guidance as to how the succession plan will operate and also provide the necessary flexibility so it can be reviewed regularly to ensure any changes in circumstances – whether personal, or in respect of profitability or viability of the farming enterprise itself – are taken into account. Planning the future direction and transfer of the family business should start as soon as possible – it will maximise and protect the value of the family business. The emotional and financial costs of getting the process wrong, including not having the appro-

priate legal structure, are extremely high and could potentially lead to costly and time consuming litigation – which could be avoided with some proper planning and structuring. David Foster is a director of Harris Tate Solicitors, Tauranga.

on the key ingredients too. That goes right through to spending time chatting with your staff members. Are they okay? Are they happy? Is the job meeting their expectations? Will they stay another year with you? It might be an opportune time to ask our wives the same questions. You see, life is complex and it has all these distractions. It is so easy to get side-tracked from what is important. If we get focussed on the basics, the rest will follow. Disclaimer – 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.


EDUCATION

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From toy animals to the real thing

Agriculture NZ graduate Hazel Vickers is just 19 – and has already secured a position working in the industry she plans to be a part of for the rest of her life. She is based on a 200 hectare farm on the outskirts of Hamilton, with a milking herd of 627. It is hard work, but she loves it. In fact there’s nothing she would rather do. “I’ve wanted to be a farmer all of my life,” says Hazel. “As a child, my favourite toy was my plastic farm animal set.” Hazel may be quietly spoken but she also boasts a quiet authority, coming from being secure in your work environment.

“This is everything I have ever wanted to do. I love working outside all year round and everything about it. My goal is firstly to work my way up to a management position and ultimately to have my own farm.” The Katikati teenager is just one of the many success stories from the Agriculture NZ training programme, based in Hamilton. Having been home-schooled for many years, Hazel always found the high school environment challenging. “I was extremely shy and got bullied a lot at school. I did my final year by correspondence, studying horticulture because agriculture wasn’t an option.” Her commitment to farming was obvious from the start, with a year spent working on a sheep and

beef farm and then in a voluntary position on a dairy property, just for the experience. “I never missed a day, I even worked on Christmas day, because I just wanted to learn everything and find a way into farming.” It was a chance flyer in her mother’s letterbox that led Hazel to Agriculture NZ – and she says it is one of the best decisions she’s ever made. Hazel paid her full course fee with money raised by picking avocados. It was money well spent and has set her up for a promising future career. In fact, Hazel was head-hunted for a full-time farming position before her training was even completed. Hazel says the opportunity to learn first-hand through farm placement is a key ingredient to success. Agriculture New Zealand is offering the chance for others to join the Go Dairying full-time training programme that

specifically targets future leaders, sharemilkers and farm managers, through a carefully planned mix of ‘on the job’ experience and training, and classroom learning. The programme is a 23-week course that utilises the NZ Certificate in Milk Harvesting as the qualification students are enrolled into. Students are placed on selected farms, where they experience everything from milking to effluent management and animal husbandry. The course ensures students gain experience in all seasonal-based dairy farming activities. Students learn practical skills on a working farm, while learning the theory behind farming in the classroom. Agriculture New Zealand staff are passionate about ensuring every student comes out with a full skill-set in dairying, plus a thorough knowledge of the technology that makes the NZ dairy industry a world-beater. Places are limited to 14-18 students each intake in order to deliver a top quality programme to people of all ages, including those from urban backgrounds. This programme creates the pathway to an exciting and rewarding career by providing the tools, experience; and more importantly, the opportunity. For more information, visit www.agnz.co.nz Hazel Vickers of Katikati has found her dream career in farming

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This new full-time, 23 week programme is designed to help you get started in the dairy industry. Go Dairying is a positive step towards your career in dairy farming; you will gain a comprehensive skill set in milk harvesting which combined with the right attitude, will see you ‘make your mark’ as a highly sought after employee – plus there are many opportunities within the dairy industry. *Course fee applies.

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Taste enough to confirm career A four-day Taratahi taster course convinced at Sophie Osborne of Ohaupo farming was the career for her. With a passion for agriculture since she was a small child, the former Hamilton Girls’ High School student chose to continue her education with Taratahi once finishing a four-day Taster Course in Masterton in October 2012. Sophie heard about the opportunity from her school careers advisor. She enjoyed the taster programme so much she enrolled in the Waikato campus’ Introduction to Farming Programme Level 2, which started February 2013. “I really enjoyed the 23-week programme. It was a fantastic learning atmosphere – just like one big family,” says Sophie. “For me, my day would begin at 6.30am and I would set off from Ohaupo at 7am to meet the Taratahi van in Te Awamutu at 7.30am. “The long days made were worth it

when I finished the programme with a Level 2 National Certificate in Agriculture (general skills), a Level 2 National Certificate in Agriculture (introductory) and was awarded top student.” After finishing Level 2, Sophie decided to enrol back at Putaruru for the National Certificate in Agriculture Level 3 (work ready). “Studying Level 3 at Taratahi is fullon; I often help milk 300 cows with Ashley Pennington in Kihikihi before the programme starts each day, so I’m up at 4.30am, then go to meet the Taratahi van in Kihikihi at 7.30am. “I’m home at 5.30pm, it really makes you get used to the reality of working a long day,” says Sophie. “I love going to campus each day and being on the go all the time; sometimes it can be a bit of a challenge, but it is a case of being disciplined and making sure you get enough sleep each night.” Sophie is about to begin work experience on a stud farm and she sees genetics as an area she’d like to explore more.


EDUCATION

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Helping young men to achieve full potential Since its establishment in 1869, Auckland Grammar School’s vision has been for each of the young men who attend the school to reach their full potential in all aspects of their lives. This vision has become known as ‘The Grammar Way’.

The school is unashamedly academic in its focus, steeped in traditional values and committed to offering young men the best opportunity to succeed in the classroom, on the sports field, and in musical, cultural and social activities. “Tibbs House, the school’s boarding establishment, offers a blend of excellence and proud tradition to young men who live beyond the school’s zone,” says senior housemaster Peter Morton. Located beside the school in the heart of the Epsom/Mount Eden community, Tibbs House provides modern and comfortable facilities for 120 young men. An adventurous spirit is encouraged among young men who attend Auckland Grammar School, and this includes trying new experiences such as big ship sailing.

Eight full-time teaching masters provide daily supervision, pastoral guidance and assistance during prep sessions, while two matrons meet maternal and medical needs. Tibbs House boarders are expected to conform to the highest standards of behaviour and maturity, to participate widely in school life and to develop into well-educated and well-adjusted young men. “The friendships gained at Tibbs House will be lifelong, and their experiences will be richly rewarding.”

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‘Always learning, always improving’ her motto She believes her interest in genetics has developed as a result of what she’s learned at Taratahi. “I passed science at school, but it wasn’t my strongest subject. Despite that I still loved it and now see the connection between science and agriculture in a practical nature every day. “Seeing it all in context on-farm basis has helped me make the decision on where I see my future heading.” Sophie says she now has a better understanding of how agriculture

works, not just on-farm, but the industry as a whole. This, she believes, is down to her Level 2 tutor Bob Orr and her Level 3 tutor Malcolm Downey and support of Taratahi Waikato. Participation in the programmes has helped Sophie build her confidence in everyday life and she’s made life-long friendships along the way. Sophie now plans to go to university – her motto is ‘always learning, always improving’ and Taratahi looks forward to supporting her on her exciting journey.

Sophie Osborne is currently a student at Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre in Putaruru, Waikato.

Call 0800 827 2824

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child will benefit from our unique learning environment and the highly regarded Cambridge International curriculum. ACG Tauranga opens in February 2015 with Years 1 to 9. Our preschool centre opens in Term 2, 2015.

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Young men are supported by eight full-time masters, offering expertise in a wide range of teaching subjects and activities, as well as nightly study guidance. To apply, please download an enrolment application at www.ags.school.nz/at-grammar/ boarding/ or contact Mr Peter Morton, Senior Housemaster, at p.morton@ags.school.nz or (09) 623 5432. Tibbs House, 87 Mountain Road, Epsom, Auckland 1023, New Zealand www.ags.school.nz


COUNTRY LIVING

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New technology trap wipes out all rats A high-tech leap in protecting wildlife, agriculture and property from pests has been proven in local ecology trials. The latest in locally-developed, multi-kill pest control technology has achieved the ultimate standard in Department of Conservation trials – and it’s now being used widely for pest control throughout New Zealand and in more than 15 countries worldwide. In incredible results for under-pressure birdlife, Wellington-developed

Goodnature automatic multi-kill rat traps have totally eliminated the predator rat populations in large-scale trials in Northern Te Urewera and Boundary Stream Mainland Island conservation sites. Official trial monitoring rounds at the two large-scale trial sites by DOC field personnel confirmed zero per cent rat monitoring rates – indicating once-thriving rat populations in the areas have been reduced to nothing. “New Zealand will one day be pest-free. Mark our words,” says

Goodnature director Stu Barr. “However, right now we have millions of rats, mice, possums, stoats and hedgehogs destroying our native wildlife, private property – and probably your sleep.” In a quest to halt one of NZ’s most serious environmental problems, Goodnature develops and manufactures automatic traps that humanely kill pest animals, then reset themselves up to 24 times. This latest in multi-kill pest technology gets its power from a small

compressed CO2 canister. The successful Goodnature traps automatically reset themselves after striking a pest and can kill up to 24 rats between gas canister replacements. The multiple-kill traps use an effective long-life rodent lure, which attracts rats to the trap. DOC deputy director general Kevin O’Connor says the rat kill results are very promising. “It is a significant step towards having a better and more effective trapping option for predator control in New Zealand.”

Trellis a versatile garden feature Retirement villages and motels are among the clients discovering the benefits of using trellis as an attractive and practical outdoor screen between units, says George Kuttel of Emilio’s Timber of Te Puke. “We are making trellis for a number of retirement villages and motels, which use it to provide privacy for guests and residents,” says George, who has been making trellis from his Te Puke factory for more than 22 years. As well as being a great way to create privacy and provide shelter from wind, trellis can be used as a screen for washing lines, or to provide screening for decks and barbecue areas. It can bring a sense of the garden inside, by creating a lattice for plants to grow up close to living areas, and as a light and airy structure to connect indoor and outdoor living. The majority of Emilio’s clients are from the Bay of Plenty, but George recently sent three orders to Timaru.

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COUNTRY LIVING

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Sweet Kiwi classic recipes ‘Sweet treats to share’ is a deliciouslooking book, beautifully bound, with a ribbon bookmark and gorgeous colour photos to accompany each tempting recipe. The recipes come with the best possible credentials too – they are from the kitchens of some of New Zealand’s best-known bakers, including Alexa Johnston, Allyson Gofton, Annabelle White, Dean Brettschneider and Kim Evans. They are, however, relatively simple and

straightforward recipes – well within the time constraints and abilities of home bakers. There are recipes for much-loved Kiwi classics, such as Afghan biscuits and ginger crunch, chocolate pudding, hot buttered muffins, shortbread and sticky date pudding, as well as modern twists on old-fashioned favourites. Thanks to publishers Penguin, Coast & Country has a copy of ‘Sweet treats to share’ to give away. To be in to win, email your name and address, with Cook Book Prize as the subject, to: elaine@thesun.co.nz Or put these details on the back of an envelope and post to: Coast & Country Cook Book Prize, PO Box 240, Tauranga 3110, to arrive no later than June 17. The winner will be announced in Coast & Country’s July issue.

Robust pre-employment screening advised In New Zealand it’s not an easy process to terminate an employee’s employment if they’re unsuitable for a role. For this reason – if you’re an employer – spend the time to ensure you offer employment to the best possible candidate for the role. We suggest using a broad range of pre-employment checks. The first of these checks includes looking carefully at any CV supplied by a candidate. Look for irregularities, inconsistencies and embellishments. Do the dates match up? What has the candidate listed under education and qualifications? Having undertaken several law papers at university is not the same as obtaining an LLB. Ensure you’re aware of exactly what qualifications the candidate has obtained, and when. When you’re satisfied the CV represents the candidate truthfully, we suggest considering a pre-employment criminal record check. The Ministry of Justice receives 15002000 requests daily. Unfortunately, the

average time to allow to receive results of a criminal check is four-five weeks. Criminal checks are especially useful if you’re employing for roles involving dealing with cash, driving a vehicle or dealing with children. Another useful check to undertake is a credit check. Credit checks can disclose a history of financial difficulty or recklessness that may make a candidate unsuitable for a particular role. If the role involves driving a vehicle belonging to the business, it’s essential to confirm any candidate being considered holds a valid driver’s licence. Do not rely on sighting a licence, as many people disqualified from driving fail to surrender their driver licence card. Explain to candidates your business operates a robust pre-employment screening process, as it’s important to you that it operates in a professional and transparent manner – as you consider your staff to be your greatest asset.

This article is intended as a point of reference and should not be relied on as a substitute for professional advice.

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COUNTRY LIVING

Q10 benefits more widely recognised Last month we concluded a series on cholesterol and heart disease. We looked at some of the dietary and supplement options for people to reduce cholesterol and generally to improve heart health.

Abundant Health

As a result, I received many contacts from people and I offered a lot of practical advice. For some it was just short telephone or email contact, for others we created complete cardiovascular wellness programmes. The most common questions were around statin cholesterol medication, statin side effects and alternatives to statins. I always state I cannot give advice on medications, as this is between a doctor and patient, and would never suggest people stop prescribed medications. My advice to people on statins is restricted to dealing with side effects and generally reducing heart disease risk through diet and various supplements. I have noted increasing numbers of GPs and specialists now understand the relationship between statins, co enzyme Q10 and the most commonly

experienced side effects. Next month I’ll prove without doubt the manufacturers of statins also know the full story. We will look at a US drug patent held by the makers of one of the top selling statins that proposes a new drug combining statins and CoQ10. My view is if quality Co enzyme Q10 is routinely prescribed at the right dosages alongside statins, most side effects would disappear. There are a group of people who, on discussion with their GP, had discontinued statin therapy because of side effects. There are some who for various reasons have decided not to use medications. With these people I recommended a three-month trial of the natural cholesterol manager Sytrinol with dietary changes, especially increasing soluble fibre and reducing sugars and refined carbohydrates. If you have further questions on this subject please contact me by phone or email. To join my weekly newsletter and read back issues, go to www.abundant.co.nz and click on weekly email newsletter. John Arts is a qualified nutritional therapist and founder of Abundant Health. Contact John on 0800 423 559. To read more go to www.sunlive.co.nz

Ideal accommodation and city enjoyment

Located minutes away from Palmerston North’s city centre, Gateway Motel is the ideal place to stay to enjoy all of the shopping, arts and culture, fine dining and great outdoors the township offers. Gateway Motel, on the Pioneer Highway, is a large ground floor complex boasting spacious, wellequipped units which include studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom family units. The motel has a playground and spa pool, as well as several grassed areas where you can sit back and relax on garden furniture. A barbecue is also available, and delicious cooked and continental breakfasts can be enjoyed in the new dining room. Continental breakfasts for ‘early starters’ can be delivered the night before. “Our motel is able to take a group of 80-plus, and all units are equipped with microwaves, kitchen facilities and Sky TV,” says Marian McMurray, who together with Ross and family operates Gateway Motel. Marian and family pride themselves on their friendly and helpful service. “We have a good clientele among the travelling public, and enjoy great return business from many satisfied customers. “We welcome any enquiry whether large or small. Written quotes can be provided for your group. Just ring or email and we will do the rest.” As well as being handy to the city centre, parks and gardens, Gateway Motel is close to Awapuni Racecourse, Manawatu Trotting Club, Go kart Track, Seventh Day Adventist College Longburn, Fonterra Longburn and Ohakea Air base. It is ideally located for day trips to enjoy the great outdoors too.


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Hauraki subdivision appeal resolved An order has been signed by the Environment Court resolving a long-standing appeal against the Hauraki District Plan subdivision rules. The resulting rules were negotiated during a long period between the appellants and Hauraki District Council. A significant component of this appeal is the virtual abolishment of further subdivision on the plains. This rule, requiring any new rural lot to be more than 80 hectares, was largely defended by council. However, it was agreed where there is more than one house existing on a lot less than 40 hectares, you can apply to subdivide lots containing the additional houses. A minimum lot size of 2500m2 and a maximum of one hectare are required. This rule allows for similar subdivision in the Waihi Basin only on lots currently less than 12ha. Any other opportunities on the plains or Waihi Basin will be based on boundary adjustments between existing

titles, where landowners have many titles or are amalgamating farms. The minimum rural lot size in the Waihi Basin remains at six hectares. These lots, containing existing houses that must have been occupied for five years, will now be the only small lifestyle lots allowed on the plains or the basin. Outside of those specific areas, lifestyle blocks will be subdivided from many existing larger lots. This is intended to create opportunities to subdivide a range of smaller blocks, generally between 0.5ha and 2.5ha, on the less productive foothills. Anybody who has existing approvals will be able to proceed with them, as resource consents normally have a total life of eight years as long as certain progress is made along the way. Another change affecting new lots in residen-

tial zones, except Turua, was negotiated under the appeal. Council originally pushed the minimum lot size up to 525m2 from the old 350m2. It was agreed a smaller lot size is appropriate only when creating a range of lot sizes in a subdivision. Now the minimum size can be as low as 450m2 on some subdivisions, as long as certain criteria are met. The rules are complex and the door is always open to alternatives which don’t exactly fit the rules. So if you’re contemplating subdivision, you should consult a surveying company familiar with the rules. Feel free to give me a call if you need to clarify how the changes may affect your plans. Brent Trail, managing director of Surveying Services, specialises in resource consent applications for subdivisions across the Waikato and Bay of Plenty. For further information, call 0800 268 632 or email: btrail@surveyingservices.co.nz

Research casts doubts on mammography Although it’s not yet accepted by most radiologists trained in mammography, modern computerised thermography is gaining ground as a breast health monitoring tool. Dr Mike Godfrey introduced thermography to New Zealand in 2002 and believes it’s likely to be the subject of urgently needed research, given limitations now becoming evident with mammographic screening. Mike says research is mounting that casts doubt on the benefits of mammographic screening, which is currently considered the ‘gold standard’ for breast examination. “Canadian, Norwegian and British studies recently published in medical journals have raised some contentious issues,” says Mike. “The results of the screening programme are now being measured in large numbers and there is growing concern in the medical community that it may be doing more harm than is justified.” Concerns include the risk of false diagnosis and unwarranted treatment. “The Swiss Medical Board recently concluded [New England Journal of Medicine, April 2014] ethically any health programme that does not clearly produce more benefit than harm is hard to justify, says Mike.

Reviews

BreastScreen Aotearoa clinical leader Dr Marli Gregory says the benefits and harms of breast cancer screening have been discussed for many years and are important considerations for BreastScreen Aotearoa, New Zealand’s breast screening programme. “The Ministry of Health’s National Screening Unit regularly monitors international literature and other international screening programmes. There are no plans to review the NZ breast screening programme at this time.

Marli says in NZ has experienced a steady reduction in breast cancer mortality rates since the BSA programme began. “BSA has commissioned a mortality study to assess the impact of breast screening. This study is looking at over a decade of data and will provide important information to inform future breast screening in New Zealand.” Mammography exposes women to about the same amount a person would expect to be naturally exposed to in about seven weeks, says Marli.

Informed

“To date, there has been no large scale, prospective, statistically valid, randomised controlled trials assessing the value of breast thermography as a screening tool to reduce mortality from breast cancer,” says Marli. Mike says while there’s still much to be done to get international agreements of thermography standards and protocols, modern computerised imaging deserves to be the primary breast screening modality, especially in the younger women.

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

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COAST & COUNTRY

PROUD LOCAL


FORESTRY

Financial pressures close doors Artefacts from the days of kauri logging in the Kaimai Ranges will no longer be on public display now the Katikati Heritage Museum has closed. The museum, which opened in 2000, shut its doors in May because of financial difficulties and the community trust which had been operating it is being wound up. The museum’s collection has been acquired by the Western Bay of Plenty District Council, which will put all artefacts into secure storage until such time as the community decides where it should reside. Katikati once had thriving kauri logging and milling operations and the original tram rail line used to bring logs out of the bush to Diggelmann’s Wharf crossed the museum site in Wharawhara Rd, just south of the town. The museum collection included a replica tramline and bogie in its grounds, and inside a special section was devoted to timber logging and milling. The museum also told the story of Katikati’s Maori settlers and the pioneers who founded what is the only planned Ulster Irish settlement in the world. Western Bay Mayor Ross Paterson says council regards the museum collection as precious to the community and to the legacy of all those who have invested so much in the museum in the past. “I have been a staunch supporter of the museum and I continue to see this collection as an important cultural and historical asset to use within the wider town centre development that we will be undertaking over the next few years.” The Katikati Heritage Museum Trust is to put the museum’s land and buildings on the

Happier times – Merv Gaelic, Rollo Dunlop, museum manager Paula Gaelic and Sam Dunlop, with the replica tramline installed at the Katikati Heritage Museum last August.

market so it can repay the property mortgage held by the Bank of New Zealand. Any surplus money will be paid to the second mortgagee – the Merriman family, who are the former owners of the museum. KHMT trustee Mike Williams says the closure of the museum is of great sadness to the museum trustees, who have been exploring all alternatives to keep it operating until its financial problems could be resolved. Having sought legal counsel, the trustees have been advised it would be in breach of their responsibilities to allow the museum to continue running at a loss. The trust has been able to repay all creditors owed by the museum, and by passing over the collection to the council, ensure it’s retained in public ownership on behalf of the community. This will allow time for the trust, council and community to decide what form and location the future of the museum and collection will take. “We have really made a good go of it and

now there is a significant collection that reflects the rich history of the Western Bay,” says Mike. “It is imperative to look forward and work together with the community. This has been a big learning curve and will stand us in good stead for the future.” Mike says the decision has hit the trustees hard, particularly because of its impact on the museum staff, who have lost their jobs, and on the many volunteers who’ve devoted so much to being part of the museum. “These volunteers have put a huge effort into this operation – it has not only been the work they have loved doing, but it has become a social hub for them – and all this will be lost with the closure,” says Mike. “The trust sincerely thanks everyone for their huge support and effort and look forward to working with everyone on the options for the future.” By Elaine Fisher

Mysteries no longer The closing of the Katikati Heritage Museum also brings to an end the popular Mystery Item competition in Coast and Country. Each month we featured an item from the museum and invited readers to identify it and share

stories about its use. However, last month, due to financial problems, the museum closed, so the competition will no longer run. No one was able to identify last month’s mystery item, which was a small device for rolling tailormade style cigarettes.

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Tuesday 24 June Tokoroa Employers’ Group

Come and join a like-minded group to talk about people management on your farm. If you have staff and want to learn some different tips and techniques, and also hear about what other people have done, this is for you. Topics will be advised closer to the time. Please note RSVP will be required before the event. Meet at Tokoroa Club, Tokoroa 10.30am-1pm. Call Wade Bell 07 871 8483 or email: wade.bell@dairynz.co.nz

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COAST & COUNTRY PRIZE UP FOR GRABS! Pictures and details can be emailed (high resolution jpgs)

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Coast & Country News June 2014