Kate started her clothing business in a small cottage on her parents’ Romney - Perendale crossbred sheep farm Davaar Station - Page 40 Reviving the strong wool industry Winter 2022 www.waterfordpress.co.nz
2 | Page | 12 Page | 32 Page | 52 Page | 25 Page | 46 Meet Lou Lou’s friends Chatham’s farming a different ball game Target of 23 microns with Snowline genetics Top fleece, top lambs 2022 Southland/Otago Dairy Manager of the Year Laura Murdoch’s cow herd is so “people-friendly” it has led to some interesting opportunities. From fuel oil to pressing oil seeds The collapse of a bio-diesel initiative by the now-defunct state-owned collier Solid Energy has proved a boon for seed oil manufacturer Pure Oil NZ. No job too big or small for Pankhurst Growing up around big tractors and the smell of freshly cut summer grass, there was never any doubt that Ben Pankhurst would follow his passion for machinery. Gore farmers Quentin Whitehead and Heidi Blake are using Snowline genetics over their Texel Poll Dorset cross flock to further lower the micron of the wool. A system that is 30 years in the making at Castle Ridge Station near Ashburton, is producing stunning fine wool Merino fleeces and equally stunning lambs. Farming on Chatham Island requires a very different mindset to mainland operations which usually have a lot more leeway when drafting stock. Page | 20 CONTENTS >> Index | Page 64 These conditions are prescribed for the sake of understanding between the Company and its clients. Advertising is charged for on the basis of space taken up using a standard tabloid page. Actual space may be reduced during the printing process but this will effect all advertisers equally so no credit will be given for any reduction in size due to processing. The Company reserves the right to alter, change or omit entirely any advertisement or article that it considers to be objectionable or which may contravene any law. In the event of a failure on the part of the Company to insert advertising as instructed the Company may publish the advertisement at the first available subsequent reasonable date unless the advertisement features date sensitive material. Every care shall be taken to publish the advertisement in accordance with the advertisers instructions as to page and position but the Company reserves the right for whatever reason to place advertising in a different position and in doing so shall incur no liability whatsoever. Advertisers must advise business rural immediately of any error or omission in advertisements and shall work constructively to remedy the situation which in the first instance shall be a rerun of the corrected advertisement in the next available issue of business rural. Where advertisement proofs have been faxed or mailed to the client 48 hours prior to the nominated printing cutoff time acquiesce shall be taken as confirmation and acceptance. Corrections made by telephone shall be accepted but the Company reserves the right to decide whether a further proof should be faxed or mailed to the client. Accounts for advertising are due for payment within seven days of publication of the newspaper. Accounts not paid within this time may incur a penalty of 3% per month until the account is paid. Any debt collection costs incurred by the Company will be added to the account of the debtor. Views and opinions expressed in business rural are not necessarily those of the editors, Waterford Press Ltd or publisher. Business rural welcomes contributions from freelance writers & journalists. All articles published at editors discretion. Business rural accepts no responsibilty for loss of photos or manuscripts. Printed by: Published by: Christchurch Office 112 Wrights Road, Addington, Christchurch Phone 03-983 5500 PO Box 37 346 www.waterfordpress.co.nz Queenstown Office 70 Glenda Drive, Queenstown 9300 PO Box 2581, Wakatipu MANAGING DIRECTOR James Lynch email@example.com EDITORIAL Editor Randall Johnston firstname.lastname@example.org Paul Mein email@example.com Journalists Kelly Deeks, Hugh DeLacy, Russell Fredric, Renata Hopkins, Richard Loader, Kim Newth, Karen Phelps, Sue Russell, Virginia Wright SALES ROOM Adam Feaver, Chris Graves, Megan Hawkins Mandi King, Allan J Knowles, Chris McPhee, Lisa Moffat, Colin Morais, Catherine Norton, Chris Pearce, Alasdair Thomson firstname.lastname@example.org PRODUCTION DEPARTMENT General Manager Luke Lynch email@example.com Graphic Artists Connor Gosnell, Anton Gray, Nick King, Sophie McCleary, Liki Udam. firstname.lastname@example.org CONTENT COORDINATORS Alissa Crosby, Ann-Marie Frentz, Andrea Benns OFFICE AND ACCOUNTS Helen Bourne email@example.com Jill Holland firstname.lastname@example.org Lyn Barlow email@example.com
| 3 RURAL PEOPLE » Sonia Dillon Becoming a part of the solution Grazing and lifting beet on the Dillon farm. Inset: Sonia Dillon. Virginia Wright 15a Hokonui Drive, Gore PO Box 172, Gore 9740 Phone: 03 208 9240 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.ocr.co.nz Pleased to support Sonia & Mark Dillon Mike Millard | Nathan Heenan | Rose Johnston | Emma Hewiston | Sarah Collie Although Sonia Dillon has been a paying member of Federated Farmers since she began farming after university it wasn’t until the government started introducing its suite of environmental regulations that she began attending some of the Southland Federated Farmers’ Arable Section meetings. Always prepared to be part of the solution rather than sit back and complain, she answered the call to ll the position of chairperson early last year and has been involved in their work around those regulations and the proposed Three Waters Reforms ever since. One thing that hasn’t changed since she started is the sheer volume of work. “After a year I’m blown away by how much work some people do and how much there is to still do,” says Sonia. “We’re currently in the environmental court still trying to nd the balance between realistic expectations and protecting the environment, especially around cultivation of land buffers and setbacks, intensive winter grazing and what to do around wetlands. It’s a complex balancing act.” Back on their own farm the Dillons continue with their beet-harvest contracting and their relatively small sheep and beef operation, but their main activity is in mixed cropping. This year they’ve increased their cropping by 50 hectares to meet an increase in demand which Sonia puts down partly to the high milk payout, partly to the impact of both Covid and the war in the Ukraine. They process and sell 70% of the grain they grow, a mixture mostly of barley and wheat, directly to dairy farmers. Generally they’re making up blends to order according to the speci cations given by the farmer and their nutritionist. “Whatever recipe they are working on we put it together and deliver Phone: 03 202 5467 Email: email@example.com PO Box 140, 109 Riversdale-Waikaia Rd, Riversdale 9744 Brian Mahon - Director Cell: 027 436 5118 Carl Scully - After Hours Cell: 027 630 3164 it, whether it’s a simple 50/50 barley and DDG, or a way more complex mix of wheat, DDG and PK (Palm Kernel),” says Sonia. DDG is a maize by-product from methanol production imported from the States and it’s one of the components requested by some of the Dillons’ clients. “We’d much rather have New Zealand grown.” say Sonia. “They use it because it’s quite high in protein, so we’re getting into growing more beans in the hope that it might be the equivalent.” The Dillons’ research into crops they could grow which would mean they could avoid using imported products led them to fava beans. Although peas are also a viable option they’re trickier to grow and, according to the research, slightly lower in protein than the beans. “Fava beans are probably equally as high in protein if not a bit higher than the DDG so we’re hoping to shift some of the DDG out of our mix and put fava beans in,” says Sonia. “They grow pretty easily. The trickiest bit is harvesting them and then crushing them up again.” While others are using it already it’s new for the Dillons. The trial they did with one of their clients showed the cows production staying up, just as they’d hoped: so far so good. “Basically it’ll be on an equivalent price for protein as the DDG, but the bonus is that you know that it’s all from New Zealand, therefore none of the bio-security risks. Also we have real limitations on being sure of being able to get the imported products, so it will mean we know from the outset that we will be able to supply what we say we will rather than just crossing our ngers and hoping.” says Sonia. If cow production continues to stay up the fava bean protein option would seem to be a winner for the Dillons, for dairy farmers, and for New Zealand.
4 | RURAL PEOPLE » Simon Davies Emissions tax dilemma for farmers Simon Davies (at right) farms at the mouth of the Tokomairiro River near Milton with wife Joanna and two daughters Georgina (8) and Juliet (5). Georgina and Juliet on the back of the side by side (below). Russell Fredric Every drop means quite a lot when it’s from Peters Genetics CLAYTON PETERS 03 204 8817 027 222 4421 TERS MORGAN PE 03 204 8849 027 440 7411 JUSTINWALLIS 03 976 6509 027 225 8330 For all your Livestock cartage requirements give us a call. PO BOX 128, BALCLUTHA 9240 PHONE 03-417 8485 · PHONE 0800-101 333 · FAX 03-417 8488 PHONE (03) 444-4737 · RD3 Ranfurly 9397 TRANSPORT (HYDE) Although self-described as a ‘lunatic for work’, former Federated Farmers Otago president Simon Davies likes to work as smart as possible. He and his wife Joanna have lived on their 750 hectare home farm at the mouth of the Tokomairiro River near Milton since 2011. The couple have two girls, Georgina, 8, and Juliet, 5. In 2020 they added to their home farm a 400 hectare lease block which has needed a lot of improvement. The block currently carries around 3600 stock units while the home farm carries 5500 to 6000 stock units comprising 350 dairy heifers wintered from May to May, 5000 Wairere breeding ewes and 1200 hoggets. The original Kelso ock on the home block was swapped out for Wairere stock. Seventy Angus breeding cows have also been carried, but these will be off-loaded to accommodate more pine plantings for carbon credits, in addition to the existing 100ha and six or seven kilometres already planted for shelter belts. Considerable investment has been made in infrastructure on the home farm including double fencing seven kilometres of stock race, new cattle yards, general fencing upgrades and upgraded electricity and water supply. Simon completed all the fencing, but has contractors do most other work which means he has just one full-time worker, who was employed more recently. “One of the reasons I’ve (employed someone) is up until I started off-farm activities I was pretty much running the place on my own reasonably comfortably. “I’m a bit of a lunatic for work, but I get contractors to come and do my shearing, tailing and crutching. I do what I can with contractors, all my cultivating is done with contractors.” Although the farm is coastal, it includes rolling to steep hill country which is ideal for pine trees and during the past three years some of the steeper faces have been planted to gain carbon credits. “When we came here there was about 75 hectares of pine. We’ve now got 100 and I’ve committed another 30 hectares to go into pines this winter.” Simon is planning to plant another 100 hectares next year, but the income from the carbon credits creates a moral dilemma, he says. “If I planted it all in trees my growth turnover would nearly double and my pro t would go up nearly tenfold. That’s not selling timber, that’s just selling carbon credits at $100 a tonne.” Simon is effectively being forced to plant trees to mitigate the cost of taxes driven by the Primary Sector Climate Action Partnership, He Waka Eke Noa, which was established to price agricultural greenhouse emissions through the emissions trading scheme. “At the moment we are only having to pay for 5% of our emissions. That is progressively ramping up so by 2030 we will be paying for 10% of our emissions and it correspondingly ratchets up every year. “The dilemma I have is I’m basically being asked to reduce my stocking rate by 10% per year.” Issues like this and the torrent of government policy farmers are facing is frustrating and extremely taxing, but the work undertaken on their behalf by Federated Farmers is amazing, Simon says. “Federated Farmers policy team are unbelievable and in my opinion they are the best policy people in the sector. “They do truckloads of work, but they are extremely challenged by the volumes of legislation that’s owing out of central government at the moment.”
YOUR NEWCAREER STARTS HERE -RLQ XV DW 7HOIRUG IRU FHUWLȴFDWH DQG GLSORPD OHYHO VWXGLHV LQ $JULFXOWXUH :RRO 7HFKQRORJ\ (TXLQH DQG PRUH /LYH RQ FDPSXV RU DV D GD\ VWXGHQW DQG EHFRPH SDUW RI WKH 7HOIRUG H[SHULHQFH Visit sit.ac.nz/telford or call 0800 TELFORD Telford Campus Partners with Farm 4 Life for Dairy Industry Training Tangaroa Walker, creator of Farm 4 Life has partnered with SIT to help dairy workers gain a dairy industry quali ication PHOTO: SIT A new collaboration between Telford, Southern Institute of Technology’s agricultural campus, and Southland dairy farmer, Tangaroa Walker, the creator of Farm 4 Life, intends to provide dairy farm workers nationwide with the opportunity to gain a recognised quali ication while they work. Mr Walker has been dairy farming in Southland for the past nine years; he created and developed Farm 4 Life three years ago because he saw a need to educate workers in the dairy sector. The educational social media channel shows an all-encompassing view of what dairy farming entails, from helping cows to calve, through to putting up electric fencing. “I started ilming the videos because there was nothing like that when I started out – if there had been, it could have fast-tracked my career by a couple of years,” he said. Out of that, the Farm 4 Life HUB was developed as an online video learning platform, with thousands of clips communicating “the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of dairy farming”. There is a humorous element in Mr Walker’s presentation of the learning material in the videos; his down-to-earth approach clearly has an appeal, with his clips clocking up over 80 million views. “The engagement is really high,” he said. “A lot of that is due to doing a lot of ‘lives’ – people really respond to what I do.” That quality engagement with people through producing the content, drives the purpose of Farm 4 Life for Mr Walker, as he continues to focus on making the industry a friendlier place for entry-level workers. Dr Sally Dobbs, Head of Faculty SIT2LRN and Telford Campus, said it was Mr Walker’s positive attitude and love for the dairy industry which in luenced SIT to get involved with Farm 4 Life. The videos provided training, but it was Mr Walker’s vision to take it further and provide an industry-recognised accreditation to dairy workers. Through partnering with Farm 4 Life, SIT have been able to utilise Mr Walker’s material; now students using Farm 4 Life videos and apps will be able to achieve the Certi icate in Farming Systems and Equipment (Level 3) Dairy strand. “The NZQA quali ication brings a whole lot of legitimacy to the HUB and what I do, and it creates a greater separation between the HUB, which are proper learning videos, and my social media content. It will allow me to be more myself,” Mr Walker said. Telford will manage a pilot programme starting on 30th May. With a limited number of spaces available on the pilot, Mr Walker said they wanted to select the participants from over 600 Farm 4 Life subscribers who are already using the HUB. “The thing I’m really excited about is there’s now a place for those kids who don’t like school, who struggle to read and write – they’ll be able to learn and upskill through observing and watching,” he added.
6 | RURAL PEOPLE » Callaghan Innovation Turning innovative ideas into high-tech products Richard Loader Established as a Crown entity in 2013, Callaghan Innovation is at the heart of helping Kiwi businesses grow faster for a better New Zealand by activating innovation. Callaghan Innovation takes its name from Sir Paul Callaghan (1947 – 2012), one of New Zealand’s greatest scientists. A highly-respected and inspirational leader and teacher, Sir Paul championed science and business as being crucial to New Zealand’s economic growth. His wish was for New Zealanders to get more value and return from their ingenuity by combining science, innovation and commercialisation. Callaghan Innovation’s role as New Zealand’s innovation agency is to support science and technology-based innovation and its commercialisation by businesses to improve their growth, competitiveness and productivity. Partnering with ambitious businesses of all sizes, Callaghan Innovation delivers a range of innovation and research and development (R&D) services to suit each stage of a business’s growth. “Callaghan Innovation works with businesses to invest in R&D, translating innovative ideas into hightech products and services that will bring value to New Zealand,” says Simon Yarrow, Agritech Lead. “We work with New Zealand start-ups, innovators, iwi, businesses, entrepreneurs and other government agencies and operate across a variety of sectors including CleanTech, agritech, Industry 4.0, advanced manufacturing, and healthtech among others.” Callaghan Innovation also enhances the ef cacy of New Zealand’s innovation ecosystem by connecting talent, opportunities and technology based innovation across organisational boundaries working closely with MBIE (Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment), NZTE (New Zealand Trade and Enterprise), NZVIF (NZ Venture Investment Fund), CRIs (Crown Research Institutes), and other organisations that help increase business investment in R&D and innovation. Simon explains that Callaghan Innovation’s services are broadly split into three areas: Innovation and expertise, innovation funding and innovation skills, and connecting the innovation ecosystem. “From an innovation expertise perspective the agency provides businesses with access to more than 200 of New Zealand’s leading scientists and engineers to assist with technology based innovation and deep-tech problem solving to overcome technical challenges. Through innovation funding and innovation skill the agency enables its customers to innovate with funding for R&D activities as well as access to world-class training and development programmes to grow innovation skills and capability. “By connecting the innovation ecosystem we actively connect New Zealand’s innovation talent with opportunities and research. We run industry events where innovators get inspired, connect and upskill, including Southern SaaS and Matariki X. “We also help New Zealand businesses understand major trends and opportunities, inspiring them to get involved. We challenge businesses to step up and seize those opportunities through technology, innovation and commercialisation.” Operating from three main sites and a regional partner network across New Zealand, Callaghan Innovation’s team empower innovators by connecting people, opportunities and networks, providing tailored technical solutions, skills and capability development programmes, and R&D funding. Callaghan Innovation is currently working with AgritechNZ as part of the Agritech Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) to supercharge global growth for New Zealand’s agritech sector. A service that Callaghan Innovation has partnered with AgritechNZ to develop is the Agritech Support Explorer, a new website which helps businesses navigate the rapidly evolving funding and support landscape with easy-to-access information tailored to speci c needs. Callaghan Innovation’s role is to support science and technology-based innovation and its commercialisation by businesses to improve their growth, competitiveness and productivity. Inset: Simon Weir, Callaghan Innovation agritech group manager. • Uni ed voice page 8 Callaghan Innovation’s role as New Zealand’s innovation agency is to support science and technology-based innovation and its commercialisation by businesses.
| 7 RURAL PEOPLE » Callaghan Innovation Callaghan Innovation is currently working with AgritechNZ as part of the Agritech Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) to supercharge global growth for New Zealand’s agritech sector. Necessity is the mother of invention and KLIMA has been described as the best innovation to come into grape growing since the mechanical harvester — that’s how signi icant it is. Developed in 2007 by two innovative Kiwi viticulturalists from North Canterbury, Nigel George, and Marcus Wickham, KLIMA Cane Pruning Technology is a specialised stripping and mulching machine designed for the viticultural industry. Until KLIMA was launched cane pruning was reserved for premium grape varietals with the removal of waste and unwanted cordons and canes done by hand — a very physical, time-consuming, and potentially injury prone process. “Pruning is the most labour-intensive task of the vineyard calendar year,” says KLIMA Director Tina George. “Sta were getting harder to get and a big proportion of our labour source were local people who often struggled with the very physical component of manually pulling out the unwanted cordons and canes. By eliminating this manual part of the process we could de-risk the sta requirement for each season while retaining the skill and quality part of the pruning process.” By making the fruiting wires releasable and making strategic cuts to release the unwanted cordons from the parts of trunk and the canes that needed to be kept, the waste canes and old cordons could be removed mechanically. KLIMA technology along with the business was born with huge success both in New Zealand and abroad. Health & Safety compliance coupled with the need to minimise hazards meant that when using the KLIMA machines the chance of injury during the process of pulling out the unwanted cordons and canes is eliminated. Since its irst launch the innovative team at KLIMA has developed and re ined a highly e icient and revolutionary machine that allows cane pruning to be more cost e ective than spur pruning, decreasing pruning budgets and de-risking labour requirements by up to 50%. Manufactured in Waipara, KLIMA’s markets now includes customers throughout New Zealand and Australia, with new markets opening up in North America. From its original Generation One release designed for growers running larger areas, a smaller more diverse Generation Two machine has been developed that can be utilised in more diverse viticultural set ups. “The take-up has been huge,” says Tina. “Pre-Covid we were selling four to ive machines into the New Zealand market each year with about the same in the North American market. When Covid hit in 2020 we started to get orders from lots of smaller grape growers looking to de-risk their whole pruning season. Last year we manufactured fourteen KLIMA machines and this year it is twenty two”. Next level pruning technology De-risk pruning by reducing your labour requirements and pruning costs by 50% Manufactured by George Manufacturing in Waipara, New Zealand 122 Georges Road, RD2 Amberley, 7482 Nigel (021) 329-272 GEORGEMANUFACTURING www.klima.co.nz KLIMA Cane Pruning Technology is a specialised stripping and mulching machine developed in New Zealand, is the world leader in cane pruning mechanisation FUTURE PROOF YOUR VINEYARD WITH KLIMA PRODUCTS
8 | RURAL PEOPLE » Callaghan Innovation Agritech is the use of technology in agriculture, horticulture, and aquaculture to improve yield, ef ciency, and pro tability. Connecting, promoting agritech in NZ Richard Loader AgriTech New Zealand (AgriTechNZ) was established in 2018 to create a connection between everyone involved in New Zealand’s agritech ecosystem and provide an independent but powerful uni ed voice. Agritech is the use of technology in agriculture, horticulture, and aquaculture with the objective of enabling sustainability and improving yield, ef - ciency, and pro tability. It includes digital technologies, smart tools and equipment, biotechnology and any innovation that enables food systems. “Many agritech innovations are addressing the very important questions that Kiwis, and the world, are facing right now, whether that’s around environmental management, labour shortages or climate change,” says AgriTechNZ Chief Executive Brendan O’Connell. “These are all burning issues and that is where agritech is front and centre.” AgriTechNZ’s foundation was about creating a centre of gravity for all of the interests around agritech in and from New Zealand, explains Brendan. “While connecting people to the internal ecosystem, there is also the external voice bringing Kiwi agritech businesses into global markets. We’re connecting with agritech organisations all around the world so we can create introductions and pathways for companies to connect with their peers overseas.” Representing 160 members, as well as the wider industry sector, AgriTechNZ is an independent non-government membership group, funded by its members. “The membership is quite diverse and encompasses agritech trading businesses including wellestablished agritech brands that New Zealand is famous for, along with a growing number of smaller early-stage businesses. It includes investor groups, research organisations such as the universities and Crown Research Institutes, government agencies, and agri-businesses that represent paths to market for agritech or act as integrators of agritech solutions. Membership also includes farmer and grower industry groups such as DairyNZ, Beef and Lamb New Zealand, Horticulture New Zealand, and Apple and Pears New Zealand.” The organisation’s role is to connect, promote and advance agritech in and from New Zealand. Creating that sense of community with people understanding that there is something connecting all these businesses together was the rst step in AgriTechNZ’s journey, says Brendan. “Recognising agritech as a sector in and of itself has been an important rst step. Agritech is a key service provider to New Zealand’s primary industry, but it also has a signi cant export footprint with a large export potential. So it’s important in terms of its contribution to New Zealand’s GDP.” AgriTechNZ also plays a key role representing agritech’s contribution when it comes to government policy making, by working with Government partners, informing government policy and making sure the technology voice from an agritech perspective is well understood. “It’s useful that we’re a non-government entity, because we can provide that independent voice for the sector as a whole. Many of our members would be well able to represent themselves in discussions with the government or other parts of the New Zealand ecosystem. But having that representative voice of the sector can be very powerful and it makes it easier for the Government to interact with the sector as a whole.” Biological solutions for agriculture and horticulture. biostart.co.nz Soil biostimulants, forage preservatives, biofertilisers, biopesticides, animal prebiotics and crop protection products. Made in NZ for Ag: 0800 274 524 or Hort: 0800 116 229 BioStart: Agriculture and Horticulture Biostimulants BioStart was founded in 1994 and, like many kiwi businesses, was started by a farmer with an original idea and a spare corner in his shed. That farmer was Dayne Plummer. Dayne’s early understanding of the role of microbes in improving plant and animal growth and productivity lead, over time, to the development of a range of biological products that harnessed the abilities of bene cial microbes. Their rst product was an animal health product for calves, a prebiotic at a time before prebiotics were available in New Zealand. Calf, like many of BioStart’s other products, is based on fermentation extracts and works by promoting bene cial microbes already in the calf’s digestive system. Ruminant, for lifting sheep and cattle health and weights, and LactoPlus, for lactating, cows and goats, followed. Next BioStart developed products that activated the biology in the soil that helped plants thrive (Mycorrcin, Digester, and ThatchBusta). Once again BioStart developed these products well before most understood what biostimulants were. Biostimulants are now one of the fastest growing areas of the agrichemical market. Foliacin, a foliar biostimulant, followed after a discovery that foliar microbes also help plants thrive. Their resulting horticultural biostimulant range is now widely used to provide bene ts such as faster plant establishment, higher sustainable yields, better nutrient uptake, higher quality wine and improved fruit quality. Using the same technology BioStart created their perennially popular forage preservative range, SilageKing, MaizeKing and Hayking, for making high quality forage. BioStart CEO, Dr Jerome Demmer, and science lead, Dr Chris Chilcott, oversee production and trials to ensure the products meet scienti c standards and produce consistent and measurable results. They also develop new products in response to the issues that farmers and growers bring to BioStart’s farm advisors. More recent developments include live microbe products that tackle some of the issues currently faced by New Zealand farmers: reducing nitrogen fertiliser use (Biostart N), grass grub control (BioShield) and plant diseases (TripleX and Terracin). BioStart products are sold in New Zealand, Australia, Italy and Ireland.
| 9 RURAL PEOPLE » Callaghan Innovation Agritech includes digital technologies, smart tools and equipment, biotechnology and innovations that enable food systems. Hydrometrics - GW50 Groundwater Optical Nitrate Sensor You have to measure it, to know what you’re dealing with! ™ • Measures concentration of groundwater nitrates in real-time. • Cost efficient to run. • Remote data-logging capability, capable of delivering results directly to smartphones. • Continuous monitoring tool, only requires periodic cleaning. • Proven to work and supported by New Zealand Regional Councils. www.hydrometrics.co.nz | HydroMetrics Groundwater monitoring for the environment HydroMetrics nitrate sensors offer real-time groundwater monitoring that puts the tools into the hands of land owners and businesses so they can become the environmental guardians of their land and water. The technology came about when Lincoln Agritech scientists needed to install several groundwater nitrate sensors to monitor concentrations, says Andy Matheson, General Manager of HydroMetrics, a division of Lincoln Agritech Ltd. “Affordable nitrate sensors were non-existent, which is a signi cant barrier to dealing with the issue of nitrate in waterways. Existing nitrate sensors were incredibly expensive, didn’t necessarily t the 50mm wells typically found on farm, and tended to have a lot more in the way of speci cations than needed for this particular issue. How can farmers be expected to manage the issue if they can’t even afford to measure it?” Working alongside hydrogeologists, over a three-year period Lincoln Agritech’s engineers and scientists created a purpose-built optical nitrate sensor that was simple to use, at a fraction of the cost. The HydroMetrics sensor is speci cally designed to withstand rugged outdoor environments and can be installed and left in- eld, transmitting real-time data via telemetry. “Many farmers want to get an understanding of their on-farm nitrate level, which might vary across the farm,” says Andy. “By looking at the change across the sensors you can see the impact that the farming system is actually having. It provides a scienti c approach and a chance to build up a database and have fact-based discussions with regulators.” Accurate, affordable, and designed for everyday use, HydroMetrics’ robust groundwater nitrate sensors are speci cally built for a diverse range of environmental, agricultural and industrial uses, including farming, irrigation schemes, horticulture and research. “Our sensors have since been used in numerous central and regional government funded programmes throughout New Zealand, and internationally by private clients in water management, R&D, and primary and processing sectors.” Launched in 2016 and manufactured in New Zealand, HydroMetrics sensors have been very well received in New Zealand and are now being exported to international markets. “A speci c focus is Europe with the EU Nitrates Directive now driving investment into clean drinking water monitoring infrastructure, a trend we’re now seeing globally,” says Andy. “Late last year we decided to create HydroMetrics as a separate business unit to focus on the sensors as a commercial opportunity.”
154 Bringing it all together with FarmIQ Map-based farmmanagement software driving better decisions, improved performance and peace of mind ahead of audit time. Find out more at farmiq.co.nz The lives of Kiwi farmers are about to get a whole lot easier when FarmIQ, New Zealand’s leading farm management software, integrates with Figured which has established itself as the most popular farm nance system for all kinds of kiwi farmers. Farm IQ’s mantra is ‘bringing it all together’ and that is what its joint venture with Figured is all about, says FarmIQ’s CEO Will Noble. “The FarmIQ software provides the core which integrates with all the other systems farmers are using so that they don’t have to rekey data.” Currently, farmers manage their stock reconciliation — the farm’s biological balance sheet — through FarmIQ but that data must then be rekeyed into Figured, the farmers’ nancial balance sheet. Those days are over, explains Will. “Having accurate numbers is really important, while rekeying data is a pain point, particularly if you’re running a large operation with multiple stock classes. The integration between Figured and FarmIQ is living our mantra of bringing it all together for the bene t of our farmers, giving them more time to farm. They just manage their stock numbers in FarmIQ on a day-by-day basis using our app, which they can use in the paddock to register births, deaths and moves. That data transfers seamlessly through to Figured, giving farmers a real time view of the entire farm system including the nancial and biological balance sheets.” Aside of the obvious bene t of having realtime data to monitor the nancial performance of the farm there are more profound bene ts. As new rural lending rules start to take e ect under legislation driven by the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) the partnership and integration between Figured and FarmIQ will support farmers seeking to borrow at preferential rates. Now used by 5000 Kiwi farmers, FarmIQ was established eleven years ago, a part of a Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) between MPI, Pamu — formerly known as Landcorp — and Silver Fern Farms. The original partnership sought to derive greater returns from the red meat supply chain, from inside the farm gate to the supermarket shelf. At the conclusion of the PGP project, FarmIQ was spun-out as a commercial entity and its capability extended beyond red meat to include dairy, via strategic partnerships with Synlait and CRV. FarmIQ remains farmer-focused, designed to make the planning and recording of everyday activities on farm simple and easy, with those records accumulating to make assurance and compliance reporting a breeze, taking the stress out of evidence reporting to regulators and processors. FarmIQ maintains data integrations with many on-farm systems, reducing the burden of rekeying data, such as yard equipment to record animal events, and precision agriculture capturing proof of placement for chemical and nutrient applications to the land. The farm map at the centre of FarmIQ is a real time management tool that includes farm environment planning and health and safety for farm sta and visitors. Re ecting on the success of FarmIQ, Will says it is undeniably its farmer focus. “Our number one value is farmer focus. In everything we do we try to look at the world through the lens of the farmer, to understand their needs.” FarmIQ—Keeping track of it all
The genesis for Figured came from two enterprising Kiwi farmer/accountants who believed there had to be a better way to provide farmers with visibility over the nancial performance of their businesses. Xero’s accounting software was gaining traction in the market and the two farmer/accountants set about designing a product that enabled farmers and their advisors to construct a comprehensive nancial plan for their farming operation. Connecting toXero, transactions update and refresh within the plan, providing a real-time helicopter view of how the farmingbusiness isperformingat any point in time, empowering farmers tomake informed decisions based on actual data. Eight years on and Figured has become New Zealand’s leading farm nance system, with a growing global presence. “We’re very well established in New Zealand, have a strong presence in Australia, a presence in the United Kingdom and a team on the ground in the US,” says John Gibson GMAustralia and New Zealand. “We’re very strong in dairy and livestock and we also have the ability to support cropping and horticulture.” The product has evolved from simply being a budgeting and planning product across a season to now having multi-year planning capability. “A farmer can model an annualised plan up to ten years. That helps them to understand the long-term plan and ambitions, expansions, diversi cation and succession. They can bring that back and work in the current season’s plan towards achieving those longer-term ambitions. For the accountants, we’ve just brought out a business intelligence solution, which enables ‘what-if’ scenarios to be run through the Figured system. We can create opportunities for the accountants and advisors to proactively reach out to their farmer network and advise what the impact might be and suggest a revision to the plan.” Figured believes Farmers should expect seamless integrated technology that’s just easy to use. As part of their mission they’re in partnership with FarmIQ and are working on an integration between the two systems. “We really like what FarmIQ are doing in the market and think there is a lot of synergy between the two companies. They’re the champions and market leaders when it comes to the physical and operational activities that happen on a farm— recording things like livestock movements, the application of fertiliser and health and safety. The piece that we’re really good at is nancial planning. The synergy is taking the physical information managed in FarmIQ and bringing the elements that have a nancial implication into Figured. The integration we’re developing with FarmIQ is taking all the livestock movement and seamlessly migrating that to Figured’s Livestock Tracker which is a reconciliation of all livestock on the property. We can take sales and purchases of livestock and nancially model that out within Figured. The problem we’re trying to solve for farmers is duplication of e ort.” Re ecting on Figured’s success over the last eight years, John says it is as simple as putting a product in the hands of a farmer that gives them an up to date and accurate view of the nancial performance of their farming business. “It’s empowering.” Two heads dare to dreambigger
12 | DAIRY PEOPLE » Chris Reilly & Laura Murdoch Meet Lou Lou’s friends: Flossy, Munchkin and Big Filly Laura Murdoch, Southland/Otago Dairy Manager of the Year with Sweet Pea. Karen Phelps Winner of the 2022 Southland/Otago Dairy Manager of the Year category Laura Murdoch’s cow herd is so “people-friendly” it has led to it being involved in some interesting opportunities including featuring on Invercargill Mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt’s Christmas card and Tik Tok. Unsurprisingly Laura, also known as ‘Lou Lou The Cow Whisperer’, has nicknames for many. Patsy (aka number 97) is so “pat oriented”, says Laura that she sometimes walks 20 metres and stops for a pat before moving another 20 metres and stopping again. Sweet Pea (number 107) is the gentlest cow Laura has ever come across and Big Filly (number 182) is like a horse and doesn’t mind people jumping on her back for a ride (Laura calls her a “grass fuelled quad”). Munchkin, Ginger Ninja, Flossy and LB (Little Bum) are some of Laura’s other favourites in the herd. “I just love cows, I love their faces, they’re the cutest things,” gushes Laura. “They’re like friends with their own traits. It’s cool to bond with them. Most people don’t give them the credit they deserve; they’re actually very intelligent.” So what happens when they must move on from life in the dairy herd? Laura admits that’s not a fun day but is also pragmatic. “At the end of the day I know I’ve provided them with a really cool life full of fun, friendship and excitement. The boss gets stuck with the job of putting them on the truck,” she says with a smile. Laura Murdoch with Invercargill Mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt. Farm owner Chris Reilly hitches a ride on Big Filly. Cow number 97, nickname Patsy, stops for an obligatory pat. Boss is Chris Reilly, owner of the 83ha, 230-cow Mokotua property. Laura says Chris is likewise as cow mad as she is, which was a prerequisite for the job. They came into contact when Laura posted on Facebook looking for a new opportunity. Thirty eight year old Laura came to farming later in life. She started her career as an accountant before deciding to pursue her rst love – cows – entering the dairy industry in 2017. Her passion for learning, progression and animal welfare has seen her move through the ranks quickly, culminated in her dairy industry award win. “I wasn’t brought up on a farm and started this career path quite late. I absolutely love what I do and can’t know enough so I’ve done a lot of courses. I entered the awards to see where I’m at and I was over the moon to win. It was something that I can now tick off my bucket list.” The Friesian and Kiwi Cross herd produces around 500kgs/MS per cow. Laura is trying to compact mating and improve the beef characteristics of the herd with three weeks of Friesian/sexed semen for the top cows in the herd, Friesian for the rest and short gestation Hereford on the low producing cows. The following three weeks she uses Speckle Park straws and some Wagyu and then Murray Gray bulls. The empty rate was slightly higher for this particular season but this methodology will mean they hopefully don’t have to send too many bobby calves to the works – something both Laura and Chris hates doing. Laura’s accountancy brain (she still runs her own small accountancy business on the side) kicks in to target PW and BW as well to increase the asset value of the animals. It will also feed into a business plan that has seen Laura and Chris exploring the option of purchasing a block where Chris can raise beef, drystock and carry overs as well as make baleage from surplus grass. It will mean that Chris can move off the farm to live on that block so Laura has a place to stay on the farm (she currently has her own home in Invercargill and drives in each day) that will accommodate her as well as her three pet sheep, goat, two cats, dog, three chickens and pet pigeon. Future plans also include continuing to showcase all the bene ts of the dairy industry and help others where she can. “The dairy industry is quite unusual in that it’s more like a big family. People are very willing to share knowledge and help each other and I love that. It’s also very rewarding for me to see the cows progressing and doing well. In the dairy industry I feel like I’m doing really good things.” mmca.co.nz Congratulations Laura Murdoch Otago/Southland Dairy Manager of the Year 2022 Our chartered accountants & business mentors can help grow and strengthen your farming business. Talk to us today to Calf Dehorning Pregnancy Scanning Pre-mating Scanning Certified Technician No Mileage Charged Allan & Kerri Clark | Scanning & Dehorning are our primary focus 021 0293 8477 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ultra-scan.co.nz Proud to supply veterinary services & Animal Remedies for Chris Reilly & Laura Murdoch For the best Parts, Sales & Service in the South
| 13 Mossburn dairy farmer Jason Herrick says New Zealand has the lowest carbon emission to milk production in the world. DAIRY PEOPLE » Jason & Sandy Herrick Russell Fredric Time to celebrate our farm systems Public perception is the driver for attitude change within the farming community, says Mossburn dairy farmer Jason Herrick. “Through the media we’re always in the eye of the general public, and never for the good things we do. “ When I was growing up every person had an attachment to a farm somewhere around the country – it could be through a family member, or friend in a farming family. In those days everyone knew how farms operated and where the food came from. These days very few people have that attachment and most kids don’t know where the milk they drink comes from; they don’t know what farms are for. People continuously see things on social media and mainstream media where farmers are painted as villains.” Jason says the constant attack has resulted in a hermit like attitude where farmers isolate themselves from the world beyond the farm gate, never admitting to being a farmer for fear of rebuke. “That will lead to mental health and well-being issues and ultimately impact on the wider public as more people leave farming and less people choose farming as a career. I use my own family as an example. None of my four kids want to go farming. They have seen what I have been through over the years and they don’t want to go through that.” Jason asks the question: “Without farmers how will the food be produced that affords Kiwis the lifestyle they have become accustomed to, yet take for granted? How can farmers once again be the proud backbone of the country?” It was with baited breath that Jason eagerly awaited the Government’s Climate Change report released by Green Party Co-leader James Shaw, only to nd agriculture was conspicuous by its absence. “Apart from the $710 million to help with R&D to help limit emissions, there was nothing. It is not hard to see what the Government’s attitudes are when agriculture was not included in the report. I would like to have seen a shift in attitude towards farming. “I would like to see the Government start to advertise and celebrate our farming systems to the world, because New Zealand dairy has the lowest carbon emissions to milk production in the world. That needs to be celebrated and the New Zealand public need to be aware of it. If the rest of the world were doing what we are doing would we have the same emissions worldwide? Probably not. It’s a worldwide problem, not just a New Zealand problem, as portrayed by this Government.” Re ecting on global events Jason says the full impact of the Russian/Ukrainian war is yet to be felt by Kiwis already hurting at the purse with spiralling in ation and cost of living. “New Zealand can produce enough food for forty million people, so in that sense we’re not going to starve. But the war in Ukraine is impacting on fuel prices and we are increasingly reliant on imported fuels. “This year Canterbury had a very poor crop harvest and suddenly all the companies are importing grain from overseas to meet the shortfall. That will disappear as of next year because Ukraine and Russia are a major supplier of grain on the world market. “As that supply ceases Australia, where most of our grain comes from, will put grain out to other areas of the world and there will be less for us. The public won’t really understand the full implication until it hits them nancially.” Maybe then Kiwi farmers will once again be valued – at least for a few days. “Through the media we’re always in the eye of the general public, and never for the good things we do.” KEYSE CONTRACTING Agricultural Cultivation Phone: 03 2486465 Mobile: 027 2051988 Proud to support Jason & Sandy Herrick Your electrical and refrigeration specialists in Southland and South Otago • Farm vat refrigeration and pre cooling • Heatpumps • Dairy services • All electrical maintenance and installation Hayden Baxter 027 765 8427 or Hamish Heaslip 027 215 0362 email@example.com
14 | Cows walk past a stunning eld of red tulips at Gladvale 2 Farm (GV2). DAIRY PEOPLE: Gladvale Farm Richard Loader Nitri cation inhibitor a ‘game changer’ Southland dairy farmer David Lindsay would like to see the re-introduction of nitri cation inhibitor dycandaimide (DCD), saying that it would be a game changer for the dairy and cattle industry. “Everyone accepts there has to be more change and improvement in regard to how we farm but there’s only so much we can do without the tools. We already have technology that works well to reduce nitrate leaching and nitrous oxide gas as well as increasing grass production and that’s DCD, the most widely used nitri cation inhibitor in the world.” The sale and use of DCD’s in New Zealand was suspended in 2013 after very low levels of the substance were detected in milk powder samples from New Zealand. The suspension was later supported by MPI and sales have not returned. “It has no human health effect, even at high levels, but because there were no international standard it was considered a contaminant. If we had DCD or some other nitri cation inhibitor in our farming toolbox it would have a signi cantly positive effect on water quality and would go a long way to helping farmers meet some of the emission targets being imposed.” David says that while the Government demands farmers reduce emissions on one hand, on the other hand it restricts the use of technology that already exists to do so. Ravensdown has previously pushed for the return of its ‘eco-n’ product that contains DCD. “It would be nice to see the Government use some of the $710m climate emergency response fund recently announced for agriculture to allow the reintroduction of DCD or similar nitri cation inhibitors. That would be a game changer for the industry.” A sixth generation farmer, David is at the helm of Gladvale Farms which consists of ve dairy units encompassing 1350 hectares and two support blocks totalling 900 hectares. Four of the dairy units are in the Oreti Plains area, with the fth unit forty kilometres away in Dipton West. Gladvale Farms generally milks 3700 cows across its farms. Heavy investment in cow barns and feed pads enables lactation to be extended to winter milking on three of the properties, while cows on the other two properties are wintered out to graziers. The support land is used for rearing beef cattle and dairy heifers. Gladvale Farms currently provides employment for around thirty- ve staff across its entire operation including ve staff looking after dairy support. Enjoying the challenge of farming and seeing the business grow, David says growing up on a farm you develop a passion for it. Being a farmer was certainly something he was always going to do. Any spare time I had, when I wasn’t going to school, I was out on the farm helping dad with anything that needed doing. It gives you an understanding from a very young age about how to operate a farm. As a whole, New Zealand’s dairy industry has a positive outlook. “We’re predominantly a pasture based system which provides obvious advantages at the moment when you look at what’s happening around the world. So we’re in a good space but it just depends on how hard the Government goes with some of the targets it is setting. We need access to the technology that the rest of the world is using to reduce emissions. That will be the game changer.” Ritchie, Ashton and Amanda Caldwell, Geoff Lindsay, Mary-Anne Lindsay and Dave Lindsay. Merc spreading lime at GV3. Fert Wholesale Direct Ltd Farmers, are you concerned about improving your fertiliser efficiency and environmental footprint? Then Fert Wholesale Direct Ltd can help, as we have helped Gladvale Farms Ltd The ONE System which through independent trials shows a doubling of response to N. And more recently, our Revolutionary Compound Urea/SOA product where every granule contains both forms of N. Contact Shane Harold on 021 0235 6491 or firstname.lastname@example.org ETHAN MATHIESON M 027 634 7534 E email@example.com Visit www.progressivelivestock.co.nz for more info Progressive Livestock lives up to its name, delivering progressive solutions for a diverse range of clients PROUD TO BE SUPPORTING GLADVALE FARMS LTD · Livestock Specialist · Buying and Selling · Grazing Contracts · Valuations · Auctions and Clearance Sales · Bull Plan Finance Options · Exporting For all your livestock requirements please contact Duncan Stalker 027 441 1518 New feed pad completed at GV2waterfordpress.co.nz