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Fieldaily THE


They came, they saw: Organisers reported 20,000 visitors in the first 90 minutes.

Eager farmers break the ice early I Official launch: Visitors at the opening ceremony, at which Primary Industries Minister David Carter officially declared Fieldays open.

Anne Boswell

t was a fine and frosty start to the National Agricultural Fieldays yesterday, with visitors and exhibitors braving a brisk but traditional icy morning at the Mystery Creek Events Centre. The opening day began with the KPMG agribusiness leaders’ breakfast in the ANZ marquee, organised to encourage agribusiness leaders to discuss the future of the industry. Not deterred by the cold start, visitors starting pouring through the gates at 8am and the sun soon warmed the site. The 2012 theme, The Changing Face of Farming, was a centrepiece in the main pavilion, focusing on the changing models of land ownership in New Zealand. Demonstrations started early, with the popular sheep dog trials, cutting horse event, tractor pull, Suzuki Extreme Air and Chelsea and the Dogstars.

Chilly start: Punters had to chip the ice from the seats in the stands at Fieldays’ opening ceremony.

The vibe was positive and visitors started buying products early, from lifestyle goods to gourmet food, farm machinery and household items. The Fieldays opening ceremony was

held at noon on the Village Green, with Fieldays board members and Primary Industries Minister David Carter opening the event. The AgTrader sculpture competition

pieces were displayed on the Village Green, drawing interest from visitors and exhibitors alike. The competition will be judged tomorrow. The Innovations Centre was popular as usual, showcasing the latest inventions and technology from the innovative thinkers of New Zealand. The winners were to be announced at a breakfast this morning and will be covered in tomorrow’s edition of the Fieldaily. This week, all international visitors are invited to the Business and International Visitors Centre, upstairs in the Mystery Creek Pavilion. It is a great place to relax, as well as providing private meeting rooms for business negotiations and opportunities to network with other international visitors. A showcase of world-leading agricultural companies is on display in the international exhibition area, in the northern end of the Mystery Creek Pavilion. ■ TH1303M 6/6/12














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Fieldaily THE


What’s on Thursday All Day Events Fieldays Innovation Centre powered by the University of Waikato Fieldays NZ Wire / Wiremark Fencing Championships PlaceMakers Kiwi’s Best Kitchen Theatre Tractor Pull Competitions STIHL New Zealand Festival of Logging Skills Miniature Horses Waikato Vintage Tractor and Machinery Club SPCA Waikato Crèche available

1.30pm 1.30pm 1.45pm 2pm 2pm 2pm 2.30pm 2.30pm 2.30pm

Event Timetable 8am 9am 9am 9am 9.30am 10am 10am 10.15am 10.30am 10.30am 11am 11am 11am 11am 11.30am 11.30am 12noon 12noon 12.15pm 12.30pm 12.30pm 1pm 1pm 1pm


Fieldays NZ Wire / Wiremark Singles Fencing Championships - M Road PlaceMakers Kiwi’s Best Kitchen Theatre - Rural Living area Tractor Pull - Tractor Pull Area Kid’s Mini Digger – Excavator area on I Road Sheep Dog Trials – L Road Vintage Tractor Parade Lamb Boning Demos – Lamb Boning Demo Area, Intersection of A Street & B Street PlaceMakers Kiwi’s Best Kitchen Theatre – Rural Living area Chelsea & the Dog Stars - Village Green Tractor Pull - Tractor Pull Area Ag Art Wear - Wearable Rural Art Showcase - Ag Art Wear Pavilion NZ Cutting Horse Association Demonstration Equidays Equine Area near Livestock Alley Suzuki Extreme Air – Demonstration Area Kid’s Tractor Pull competition – Tractor Pull area PlaceMakers Kiwi’s Best Kitchen Theatre – Rural Living area Hoofball – Demonstration Area What a Woman Wants – Ag Art Wear Pavilion Lamb Boning Demos – Lamb Boning Demo Area, Intersection of A Street & B Street Western Riding Demonstrations – Equidays Equine Area near Livestock Alley Tractor Pull - Tractor Pull Area PlaceMakers Kiwi’s Best Kitchen Theatre – Rural Living area Sheep Dog Trials – Sheep Dog Trial Area on L Road Suzuki Extreme Air - Demonstration Area Kid’s Tractor Pull competition – Tractor Pull area

2.30pm 3pm 3.45pm 4.15pm


Hoofball – Demonstration Area Chelsea & the Dog Stars - Village Green PlaceMakers Kiwi’s Best Kitchen Theatre – Rural Living area Ag Art Wear - Wearable Rural Art Showcase - Ag Art Wear Pavilion Lamb Boning Demos – Lamb Boning Demo Area, Intersection of A Street & B Street Vintage Tractor Parade Tractor Pull - Tractor Pull Area Suzuki Extreme Air - Demonstration Area NZ Cutting Horse Association Demonstration Equidays Equine Area near Livestock Alley PlaceMakers Kiwi’s Best Kitchen Theatre – Rural Living area What a Woman Wants – Ag Art Wear Pavilion PlaceMakers Kiwi’s Best Kitchen Theatre – Rural Living area PlaceMakers Kiwi’s Best Kitchen Theatre – Rural Living area

Inventions are part of the Fieldays flavour. Creations range from the sheer practical to the sometimes exotic. Here we showcase two entries from the Innovation Centre.

Seminar Series 9am

Rural Women New Zealand - The changing face of rural women in business 10am University of Waikato - Efficiency versus productivity 11am FoMA (Federation of Maori Authorities) - Maori Agribusiness: past, present and future 12 noon University of Waikato - The challenges of future rural population change 1pm Naylor Lawrence & Associates - Future Planning for the Best Outcome: Structure/Tax & Succession Planning 1pm CooperAitken Accountants (NZ Chartered Accountants) - Measuring Performance: Business Information & benchmarking 2pm Govett Quilliam - Succession Planning structures to make it work 3pm University of Waikato - This land is my land

For a more detailed list of events and seminars as well as site maps and full product and exhibitor listings, purchase a copy of the Fieldays programme which is on sale at all entrances for only $5.00

Straw man: George Murphy (pictured) and fellow Lincoln student Hugh Abbiss entered their portable conventional bale feeder into this year’s inventors’ competition. Designed to be sold in a lightweight flat pack, this versatile unit is easy to transport and can be assembled in less than 10 minutes, having only four bolts. Murphy said the covered feeder could be used for both straw or pellets and, being delivered in the flat pack and simple to assemble, the unit would be ideal for lifestyle farmers.

Gimme shelter: Another Lincoln student, Bejamin Abbot, stands in a scale model of his entry in the inventors’ competition, a portable wind shelter. Abbott, formerly of South Taranaki, recognised the benefit in having a shelter that could be taken to stock and easily moved depending on the direction of the wind. At three metres high, each panel is five metres wide. The standard six-panel structure provides a 140m-square safe zone and is easily transported using forks on a tractor.



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Fieldaily THE


Rural strategy on agenda A

key feature of the 2012 KPMG Agribusiness Agenda, and a subject that will be widely discussed at the National Agricultural Fieldays, is the strong sector support for an industry-wide strategy and vision – 81 per cent of industry leaders surveyed expressed support for an industry strategy. Key recommendations on developing a national primary industry strategy must include the industry and government working together. This should encompass a vision for the wider industry and the necessary actions to implement it; as well as explore the need for an industry-wide brand or integrity mark. Exploring opportunities to create an umbrella body or green table that could provide a unified industry voice to government and the wider population is

recommended. A cross-sector voice will reflect the position that is best for the longterm future of the primary sector. There’s encouragement for industry leaders to connect regularly with those in other sectors, in order to spark new ideas and opportunities. Industry good groups could have a role in facilitating this. The sector needs to analyse the changes in CAP (the Common Agricultural Policy) on global agricultural markets; with the goal of enabling appropriate planning and investment to mitigate the impact on New Zealand’s primary industry. The disconnect between urban communities and rural New Zealand must be addressed. This may include expanding Farm Day programmes, organising more events in urban regions that connect with the primary sector, and using media to highlight the realities of modern

NZ Primarily: Agriculture Minister David Carter, Fonterra chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden, Landcorp chief executive Chris Kelly and KPMG’s Ian Proudfoot meet at Fieldays. production and the benefits created by the industry. Investigating opportunities to supply customers with a virtual shopping basket, linking New Zealand-produced products with other key ingredients sourced globally is another key recommendation. These recommendations would go some

way to forming a national primary sector strategy or a vision to help us achieve that. Do we need a route map to the future? One thing is for certain, we need to continue working together to create opportunities for industry leaders to meet, network and discuss opportunities around the future of the primary sector.

Sopi doesn’t mean farmers are mopey In National Agricultural Fieldays week the situation and outlook for primary industries (Sopi) forecasts that the farm-gate contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) will grow by almost 67 per cent between 2009 and 2016, writes Dr William Rolleston, vicepresident of Federated Farmers. While the 2012/13 season will not be stellar it reflects the world economy. Despite this, the near-term outlook seems overwhelmingly positive. Soft commodities have experienced rapid appreciation over recent seasons and with the global economy cooling, a price correction has been expected. We have not been alone in advising our members to plan for lower gross revenues in the short term. Our advice is to budget conservatively and watch costs closely.

The good news is the Value added processing of continued growth coming out of course contributes much more China, India and major than this. Another thing from economies in Asia and Africa. SOPI is that about 58 per cent of We are well positioned, everything a farmer earns at the because as they continue to farm gate goes immediately on grow, their populations will buying what they need to farm increasingly demand a higher with. This ‘‘immediate protein diet. This is why Bruce consumption’’ is a major driver Wills has been overseas at the of our provincial economies. Yet World Farmers’ Organisation as Beef+Lamb NZ highlighted (WFO) congress. By getting trade Dr William last week with its input prices Rolleston on the WFO agenda we will not for sheep and beef, farm input only help meet the needs of a costs have risen well above growing world population but our inflation. Prudence is the key word for economy too. I believe it explains why suppliers and for all levels of government. primary industries at the ‘‘farm gate’’ are It is why Federated Farmers forecast to grow their contribution to GDP membership is vital. We are the only by almost 67 per cent 2009-2016; from $7.3 farmers’ organisation to submit on every billion in 2009 to $12.2b by 2016. council plan affecting pastoral agriculture.

Overall, the potential for our primary industries is immense. SOPI reinforces the need for our primary industries and the biological economy in general to have the infrastructure to grow value, markets and products. Take the case for ultra fast rural broadband. This is important to transform business models, transfer technology and to lower the cost of production. We also feel SOPI provides strong evidence to improve physical connectivity with and between our sea and airports. This means not only road and rail but coastal shipping too. It is about improving our physical access to market. SOPI shows how we have the economic bones from which to cluster a whole series of existing and new value adding industries around our primary industries.



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Fieldaily THE



The Fieldaily team caught up with some exhibitors at the first day of Fieldays yesterday.

On track: Murray Ireland demonstrates the Hustler Fastrak 54 mower to Kevin and Anna Harris, from Dannevirke.

Switched on: Gallagher had the New Zealand release of the I Series Fence Energizer Systems at Fieldays. Mike from Gallagher said their site was extremely busy.

On the up: Technipharm launched the highflow 260 hydraulic operated headbale at the Fieldays. Sales manager Steve Muir, pictured with Stuart Hammond of Otorohanga, said: ‘‘We are very proud of [it] and I reckon it will be popular, particularly with producers with larger cattle numbers.’’

Drilling down: Peter Banks, owner of the Stihl Shop in Hamilton, shows the one-man earth auger to Tom Webster, from Northcote.

Going green: ‘‘A top start to the Fielday,’’ RX Plastics marketing manager Phil Gatehouse said of day one. Pictured showing some of their fittings is Hamilton territory manager Colin Munro.

In the bag: Giltrap product specialist Kevin Lane talks with Matamata dairy farmers Peter and Jeremy O’Rielly. Giltrap spokesman Eric Crosby said they had had a fantastic year so far.

Hot air: After a very cold start the day became very busy for the staff on the Spraytech site. Operations manager Chris Taylor said there was interest across the range.

Asian consumers emerge as drivers of NZ farming Consumers, rather than politicians or regulations, will determine the future of New Zealand farming, according to National Agricultural Fieldays strategic partner ANZ New Zealand. ‘‘Demand for safe, high-quality agricultural products from the growing economies of China, India and Asia will increasingly determine what agricultural products are produced by New Zealand, and how we produce them,’’ said Graham Turley, ANZ commercial and agri director. ‘‘Supplying these markets will be the lifeblood of the New Graham Turley Zealand economy for the foreseeable future. ‘‘It’s crucial the focus of the farming sector now is producing the right products, at the right price and getting them to those markets.’’ For the 37th year, ANZ is getting behind National Agricultural Fieldays. ANZ New Zealand chief executive David Hisco said Fieldays had always been about looking ahead to the next step for agriculture. ‘‘It’s a great place to network, learn about new developments and explore new ideas – and this year will be very much about how best to run a farm as a



ANZ AT FIELDAYS ANZ is again heavily involved in Fieldays activities, including: ■ Ten public seminars and eight client events in the ANZ marquee. These are a vital part of promoting networking and the exchange of ideas. ■ A wide range of onsite banking services, with agri managers available throughout Fieldays to discuss all aspects of customers’ banking and financial needs. ■ As part of ANZ’s sponsorship of the New Zealand Olympic Team, it will be running Olympicthemed activities and competitions on the Village Green. ■ A London double-decker bus, which will bring a taste of the London 2012 Games to towns and cities across New Zealand, will start its journey at Fieldays. The bus will be open to the public with interactive games and activities such as rowing and cycling machines, as well as iPads for sending photos and messages of support to New Zealand’s athletes. The bus will be outside the ANZ main building next to the Village Green throughout Fieldays. ■ The ANZ main building will be open to the public, offering scones, hot drinks and soup throughout the four days. Destinations: The milk from these cows may end up in Asia. successful business and take advantage of the enormous opportunities ahead. ‘‘ANZ’s strategic partnership with Fieldays reflects our long-term commitment to New Zealand agriculture, which underpins our economy and is key to New Zealand’s economic success. ‘‘We’ve been sponsoring Fieldays for nearly 40 years, during which time millions have attended what has become a landmark event for agriculture in this country and internationally. ‘‘Nearly half of New Zealand farmers bank with ANZ or the National Bank. We are the largest supporter of NZ agriculture

and are uniquely placed to link farmers to export opportunities across Asia-Pacific.’’ The theme of this year’s Fieldays is The Changing Face of Farming, including the evolution from farmer to business-owner as farms become more productive and more complex. It will also explore the challenges and opportunities for the next generation of farmers, who are essential to the long-term sustainability of the industry. Turley said: ‘‘As well as showcasing cutting-edge technology and innovation, Fieldays provides a tremendous platform for exploring and developing ways to maintain New Zealand’s position as a world leader in agriculture.

‘‘With its focus on farming as a business, this year’s event will demonstrate how strong governance and management disciplines are increasingly important to the success of modern farms. It will also explore how consumers – rather than politicians or regulations – are fast shaping the industry, as they dictate their expectations of what and how we farm. ‘‘Key to this is understanding the entire value chain. ‘‘ANZ is committed to New Zealand agriculture, from farm gate to the consumer’s plate, through our networks across Asia and beyond, supporting New Zealand exports to those lucrative markets.’’

Fieldaily THE


Many a reason for being there HADLEY BRADSHAW





Why do you come to Fieldays? Had a free ticket, a good day to look around. How many times have you been? Twice. What is the best thing about the event? Seeing famous faces and the freebies. Anything missing in your view? Some nice cowgirls. How long do you come for? One full day.

Why do you come to Fieldays? Exhibit in the innovation centre, bale butler: enables you to pick up large bales and distribute. How many times have you been? First time in 10 years. I used to exhibit farm machinery in the 70s. What is the best thing about the event? I like to see the new inventions. Anything missing in your view? Everything you need is here, you just have to find it. Good to see big crowds. How long do you come for? One full day.


LIFESTYLE BLOCK OWNER, OF KARAKA Why do you come to Fieldays? Own a lifestyle block, good place to see products and learn. How many times have you been? First time. What is the best thing about the event? Lovely weather and easy to get around the event. How long will you spend here? Full day.






Why do you come to Fieldays? Paid day off to have a look-around. How many times have you been? Three times. What is the best thing about the event? Cruising around having a look. How long do you come for? One full day.

Why do you come to Fieldays? To catch up with friends. How many times have you been? Four times. What is the best thing about the event? Seeing innovations. How long will you spend here? Full day.

Why do you come to Fieldays? To visit some clients. How many times have you been? 18 years or more. What is the best thing about the event? Seeing clients face to face. How long will you spend here? Three full days.

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Fieldaily THE


AgResearch’s many achievements will be in the spotlight at Mystery Creek.


gResearch’s role in the changing face of farming is the theme for the organisation’s stand in the Premier Feature area at this year’s National Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek. AgResearch chief executive Dr Tom Richardson said it was 20 years since the organisation, along with the other seven Crown Research Institutes, was established. ‘‘Our stand will feature some of AgResearch’s achievements over the last 20 years which have helped the face of farming to change, and also profile current research which will help enable farmers to adapt to changes in markets, climate, regulations and farming practice.’’ He said farmers had always been keenly interested in research and how scientists’ work could help improve the productivity and profitability of their farms. ‘‘Here in the Waikato in 1880, farmers met at the Cambridge Club to hear Major John Wilson read a paper on The Cultivation of Grasses which was based on a grassland fertiliser trial started in 1856 in England. Last month, about 700 farmers attended the DairyNZ Farmers’ Forum at Mystery Creek to hear from both DairyNZ and AgResearch scientists – and pasture was one of the topics covered.’’ Forage, genetics, biocontrol and animal health are all categories which feature in the on-farm achievements highlighted on this year’s AgResearch Fieldays stand. ‘‘The biocontrol story is a particularly good one,’’ Richardson said. ‘‘In 1991 we released a parasitoid wasp for the control of argentine stem weevil, in 2006 we released another parasitoid, the irish wasp, this time to tackle the clover root weevil. By 2017, when both the irish wasp and clover root weevil are likely to be established in pastoral areas throughout the country, we estimate the benefits from the biocontrol agent at $150 million per year. And the biocontrol work is ongoing – we’re now looking at the possibilities of using it for giant buttercup.’’ One aspect of AgResearch’s current work in forage on display at Mystery Creek is called The Hidden Half – the story of roots. Richardson said that historically,


Research leads the way Good stories: Tom Richardson, AgResearch’s chief executive points to successes in biocontrol. forage plant breeding had been based on above ground research. ‘‘Over the last 20 years, DairyNZ estimates that profits of dairy farms have increased $400/ha due to forage. For AgResearch to continue to enhance the value, productivity and profitability of New Zealand’s pastoral sector, we need to continue to improve our understanding of forages,’’ he said. ‘‘Roots deliver nutrients to the plants, and if we can improve nutrient efficiency, that means less nitrogen and phosphorus is lost to waterways and that helps protect water quality. As well, deeper rooted plants have better drought tolerance.’’ Also on the AgResearch stand will be a mini replica of what is the first large-scale hill country research in many years. In a trial funded by Beef + Lamb New Zealand, AgResearch is researching forage and

forage systems to design farm systems to finish young stock without flat country. The work involves trials on uncultivable hill country sites in Waikato, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu and Canterbury, where they are planting up to 30 species of novel legumes at each site. Maximising your animals’ potential through understanding their needs is another key feature on AgResearch’s stand. This area will showcase the work of the animal welfare and behaviour specialists, and shows how scientists are decoding heat signals to understand health, welfare and productivity using an infra-red thermal imaging camera. ‘‘Working with Agriculture and AgriFoods Canada and Massey University we have shown that the technology can be used to pick up, very sensitively, changes in eye temperature that indicate pain and

stress in cattle, sheep and deer, for example, during painful procedures. More recently, we have realised its potential to assess other health and welfare states by development of automated image collection systems. We’re doing a significant amount of work in this area, and it will help position farmers to cope with increasing compliance standards around animal health, welfare and sustainability.’’ Also featuring on the stand is Farmax, a software tool. AgResearch scientists originally developed the technology and the organisation retains a share in the business. Farmers visiting the AgResearch stand will be able to get a supply-versusdemand graph for grass growth over the year on their farm, and model the change in responses with a change of inputs (for example, increasing/lowering stocking rate/supplements/fertiliser).

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Fieldaily THE


Agricultural Fieldays matters to townies, too


e might be mostly townies these days but we still value the rural sector. And that’s why the National Agricultural Fieldays is such an important annual event, says Waikato University’s inaugural chair of agribusiness, Professor Jacqueline Rowarth. ‘‘New Zealand is one of the most urbanised countries in the world – 86 per cent in 2010 and growing at 0.9 per cent a year,’’ she said. ‘‘Most people no longer have connections with the land but research shows the majority of New Zealanders agree that if the rural sector is doing well, people in the urban sector will be better off. Conversely, only a minority of rural New Zealanders are convinced of

the importance of urban New Zealand.’’ Fieldays provides the ideal nexus for rural-urban understanding, Rowarth said. ‘‘This country is too small for disconnect. We are only 4.4 million people, but we feed approximately another 20 million overseas, and there is potential to supply even more food with the application of innovation, creativity and technology to the agri-food value chain.’’ Rowarth is spearheading Waikato University’s agribusiness research and teaching programmes, which complement existing research strengths in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, and other areas adding value to land-based industries. She said the university was perfectly situated to contribute to

‘‘If the rural sector is doing well, people in the urban sector will be better off.’’ Jacqueline Rowarth innovation in the sector. ‘‘The Waikato really is the Silicon Valley of agribusiness. The herringbone milking parlour, the electric fence, in-line milk sampling and added-value milk ingredients all came out of the Waikato.’’

She said innovation was fostered by the fertile mix of businesses and organisations in the region, including Fonterra, Ballance Agrinutrients, LIC, DairyNZ, and the Gallagher Group, among others, plus a clutch of Crown research institutes, industry bodies, Waikato Innovation Park and Waikato University. The university is a strategic partner of Fieldays, and Rowarth will be facilitating a series of discussions on this year’s Fieldays. The theme: the changing face of farming. She will also join other Waikato academics to present the latest research relevant to land-based industries.

Chemists electrify systems for clean water Two chemists from Waikato University have come up with an innovative method for treating bore water on Waikato farms. Along the way, they may have hit upon a low-cost solution for developing countries, where many people have limited access to clean and affordable water. Associate Professor Alan Langdon and post-doctoral researcher Dr Hilary Nath decided to try using electrochemistry to remove the iron and manganese prevalent in bore water from Waikato’s peaty soils. The residues give the water its typical browny-orange colour, and generally make it undrinkable without expensive treatment using aerators, filters, ion exchangers and tanks. The researchers came up with a simple system that uses an electric current passing between two perforated titanium electrodes to turn naturally occurring chloride ions in the water into chlorine. The chlorine then oxidises and precipitates out the metal contaminants and also disinfects the water passing through the system, making it safe to drink. Best of all, the whole system can be powered by a car battery. ‘‘By bringing the electrodes closer together than anyone else has been able to, we can reduce electrical resistance and consume less power,’’ Nath said. ‘‘And because the flow path through the cell is very short, we can achieve good water flow at modest pressure.’’

Brainwaves: Post-doctoral researcher Dr Hilary Nath, left, and Associate Professor Alan Langdon with their water purification system. The system is known as PEFT – perforated electric flow through – and patents are pending. A prototype will be on show at one of two Waikato University stands at the National Agricultural Fieldays; the university is a strategic partner at Fieldays. Langdon and Nath now plan to test the prototype on a Waikato farm but the invention’s real value may lie in its application in developing countries. The researchers noticed that the closer together the two electrodes were positioned, the higher the electric field generated between them. And the higher the electric field, the

more potent the chlorine being produced. The two together were so powerful they could kill bugs in the water at much lower chlorine levels than normally required – the electric field was able to puncture the membrane of a bug, making it 100 times more susceptible to the disinfecting effect of the chlorine. ‘‘What this means is that you can disinfect water with chlorine levels much lower than can be tasted,’’ Nath said. At slightly higher applied voltages the PEFT cell can also disinfect water by the electric field alone, with no need to produce any chlorine. The researchers can see huge benefits in

this discovery for the food industry, particularly for cold pasteurising liquid food products without the need for costly heating and cooling units. ‘‘It’s low technology but it’s very clever nevertheless,’’ Langdon said. WaikatoLink, Waikato University’s commercialisation arm, is helping with the development and funding of a working prototype. The Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet) – a collaboration focused on research commercialisation – is also providing support as well as investment from the Science and Innovation Ministry’s PreSeed Accelerator Fund.

Outgro Bio Agricultural opens new plant in the Waikato Innovative biological fertiliser company Outgro Bio Agricultural has opened a mixing plant in Hamilton. The purpose-built production facility for the storage, preparation and mixing of custom-made fertiliser treatments is equipped with state-of-the-art milling, weighing, mixing and storage equipment to meet the company’s rigorous quality control requirements.


All liquids are measured through calibrated flow meters to the nearest millilitre and soluble solids are milled to a powder and weighed. Naturally occurring minerals are premilled to a fine particle size to allow quick uptake in the plant and biology within the soil. All treatments are produced and sprayed on the land in a fluidised form. ‘‘We make sure farmers get exactly what


they pay for and that what goes on the field is top quality. Outgro is all about producing treatments that bring measurable benefits to each farm,’’ said Outgro Hamilton plant manager Matthew Schwass. Waikato farmers would benefit from reduced transport costs for their biological fertiliser treatments, thanks to the location of the new plant, said Outgro sales

manager Paul France. ‘‘We have built up a strong customer base in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty area and are delighted to publicly demonstrate our commitment to them by establishing a plant in Hamilton.’’ The plant will service farmers from Waikato/Bay of Plenty to Northland and is part of Outgro Bio Agricultural’s on-going national investment into science, innovation and technology.

Fieldaily THE


OPINION POLL Graham Turley

Managing Director, Commercial & Agri, ANZ

Conor English

Chief Executive, Federated Farmers

Each day of FIELDAYS速 our panel of experts will tackle the big issues affecting agriculture in New Zealand

Dr Jacqueline Rowarth

Inaugural Chair of Agribusiness at Waikato University's Management School

Liz Evans

Sir Henry van der Heyden

National president, Rural Women New Zealand

Chairman, Fonterra

Are there enough young people being attracted to a career in agriculture?

Are there enough young people being attracted to a career in agriculture?

Are there enough young people being attracted to a career in agriculture?

Are there enough young people being attracted to a career in agriculture?

Are there enough young people being attracted to a career in agriculture?

I think there's huge opportunity in the agriculture sector, but the barriers to entry are high. New Zealand faces a lost generation of young farmers who cannot raise the capital to take the first step towards a career in farming. At the end of last year we created a $60 million start-up fund to help with this, and we've been holding seminars around the country to help with the knowledge and business expertise side of things. The response has been incredibly positive - there's a lot of interest out there, it's just about reducing those barriers to entry. In saying that, it's important to remember that agriculture is not just about shearing sheep and milking cows. There is a huge supply chain supporting the sector - from research to business advisors, exporters, transporters, and veterinary services to name a few. I think there is a job to be done around raising the awareness of the diversity of opportunities in the industry - particularly to young people in urban areas.

We are fortunate to have some excellent young people involved in agriculture. Their passion, expertise and hard work is making a big difference. But yes, as with many other sectors, there is a challenge getting enough young people coming through to own, work on and support our farms. There are excellent and challenging opportunities not only on farm, but also in the supply chain to market. Farms are complex business and they need excellent people to run them. We are celebrating success much more, and this will add to the attraction.

The government listing agriculture in the "skilled migrant" category at the beginning of the year indicates market failure in New Zealand-educated people. Showing that we as a nation regard agriculture as number one would assist school children to see the range of exciting and rewarding career options in the primary sector. Everything that the younger generation wants (status, salary, security and variety) can be achieved - but status in the eyes of society is paramount at the beginning when they are choosing subjects at school. That and fun, of course - but the concept of fun changes with maturity.

No, not in the food production, export business sense. There are many young people attracted to "working with nature", which too often seems to mean planning, regulating and monitoring other people's work. What is needed are well paid and resourced career farmers committed to achieving a sought-after product to feed New Zealanders and earn an export dollar.

Yes, I think there are but there's always room for more. If you look at the stats over the past few years we've seen an increasing number of young people taking agriculture courses at the likes of Lincoln and Massey. Agriculture is a key part of New Zealand's future and there are big career opportunities. Education is a great way to open doors in the industry.

Is overseas ownership of our farmland an issue or a media beat-up?

Is overseas ownership of our farmland an issue or a media beat-up?

I live in Marlborough which, since the early 1970s, has experienced a major and sustained change in land use and ownership. Grapes now cover the plains where vegetables, fruit and grains once reigned. On the surrounding hills, exotic forests dominate the traditional sheep and cattle country. Who owns most (reportedly 80 per cent) of this grape and forest land? Who gets the biggest share of the profit from the production of wine and wood? The answer: overseas investors - a situation mirrored in many other areas. Media beatup or not, this appears to be the reality of our situation regarding land ownership.

There needs to be some strategic discussion on the topic. Our land is one of our biggest assets. It is a mixed landscape in terms of farm ownership. Our business is still owned by farming families but farms are consolidating and getting bigger - this has been the trend for 100 years.

Is overseas ownership of our farmland an issue or a media beat-up? There are a lot of issues to be worked through. It's good to have a debate on these things. Overseas investment provides valuable capital which is important for ongoing development which in turn can help us capitalise on the growing opportunities in the developing markets. However, we also need to encourage New Zealanders to invest in the sector, to capture more of the profits and reinvest it back into our economy. I don't think it's one way or the other. It's always a balancing act.

Who in the industry inspires or disappoints you? The merino industry is a great example of a successful New Zealand export business from the production to the marketing. Jeremy Moon from Icebreaker has created the benchmark. He proved that you don't have to just pack wool into bales - you can make a fantastic product and ship it to the world.

Why is Fieldays such an important event? Fieldays is our flagship event for our agriculture business - and agriculture is an extremely important part of our business. We currently have about $17 billion invested in lending, and half that again in commercial businesses supporting the industry. Fieldays is a fantastic opportunity for us to see both our agricultural and commercial clients come together to network; we see the latest innovations and technologies, and we hear about the latest business thinking and insight.

Is overseas ownership of our farmland an issue or a media beat-up? Possibly both. There are a rang of views on this. We currently owe about 47 billion of debt to foreign owned banks. There is no doubt that New Zealand has benefited enormously from people from overseas coming here to own and work on their farms and live in the community. Investment is important in what is becoming an increasingly capital intensive industry. But I can understand why there is a range of views. The critical thing is that we continue to have profitable and sustainable farming.

Is overseas ownership of our farmland an issue or a media beat-up? It is an issue because it is being handled emotionally rather than logically. Discussion of alternatives is required - lack of foreign investment has been considered to be an issue in terms of development of New Zealand for years. The question for the primary sector is how can we achieve investment without losing brand - and the answer is that selling land might be a better way to achieve what is required than selling companies.

Who in the industry inspires or disappoints you?

Who in the industry inspires or disappoints you?

Inspired by people who do things and not just sit around talking about it. There are too many to name but there are many excellent leaders in Federated Farmers. Disappointed by people who just say no to progress just for the sake of saying no.

I am impressed by Keith Cooper's move into consumer psychology with the SFF branding and packaging, Theo Spiering's grasp of New Zealand and the need for "our Fonterra", and the way the quiet leaders such as Paul McGilvray (Tatua CEO) and Peter Landon-Lane (Plant and Food Research CEO) are working, enabling their staff to achieve innovative developments.

Why is Fieldays such an important event? Because it is a showcase for agricultural innovation, a meeting place for people, a place for the exchange of ideas and an important market place.

What is your favourite Kiwi wine? Any chardonnay from Gimblett Gravels vines in Hawke's Bay.

Why is Fieldays such an important event? Allows engagement with all types of people with very different perspectives on problems and opportunities. Collaboration of people with ideas leads to innovation and that is what the whole world is after. It starts here.

What is your favourite Kiwi wine? Sauvignon blanc - we're fantastic at producing it and I always try and reward good behaviour and achievement with support.

Who in the industry inspires or disappoints you? I am inspired by the men and women of the land who get out of bed every morning, rain or shine, to milk the cows, grow the crops, shift the sheep, feed the chickens and pigs and in so doing, keep the wheels of agricultural business turning. When their day's work is done, you will find them away raising funds for their rural school, at a working bee for the local hall or organising a community event.

Why is Fieldays such an important event? This is my first visit to the Fieldays - ask me next week about its importance. Having said that, Rural Women New Zealand members have had a long and proud involvement with Fieldays from the start which must make it a very special event.

Who in the industry inspires or disappoints you? We have a lot of good leadership right across the industry. Our priority is to keep this leadership coming through with platforms like the Governance Development Programme. It's really important to have good industry leaders. Our industry needs to be led by farming leaders so that our farmers have inspiring people that they can follow and drive their businesses forward.

Why is Fieldays such an important event? Fieldays is an opportunity to showcase the country's modern technology and innovations in the industry. New Zealand has always been at the cutting edge of developing this. I think Fieldays remains popular with farmers because they know they'll get to see some of the very latest technology offerings when they visit as well as having.

What is your favourite Kiwi wine? Those guys at Mt Difficulty down in Central Otago are doing great things with Pinot Noir.

What is your favourite Kiwi wine? Happily gave up drinking alcohol just over two years ago. But, prior to that, favourites were Drylands SB and Cloudy Bay Pelorus sparkling.

What is your favourite Kiwi wine? Anything made by one of our clients. We're lucky to have talented and successful winemakers all over the country. FIELDAILY, THURSDAY JUNE 14, 2012





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Daily Fieldays newspaper from Waikato Times

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