Environmental impact to hit land values

Environmental constraints on dairy farms will have more impact on land value and make farm profitability more pivotal to buying land in the future.

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  • Keeping their eyes on the prize

    North Otago sharemilkers Hayden and Robyn Williams know where they want to go, and they know how they want to get there. They told Anne Lee DairyBase has been a key tool in working towards their goals.

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  • People Power Pays off

    Breeding quality stock has been a lifelong passion for Willie Muir but he told Claire Cameron that with an increasing reliance on employees in his farm business he now has his sights set on improving his people management skills.

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  • You’re not crazy… just stressed out

    You’re not crazy, you don’t have to battle stressful situations on your own, you’re not weak when you ask for help and, like a broken leg, depression doesn’t define you – it’s just what you have for a time.

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  • AgriHQ Pulse gives agri-business a new edge

    NZX Agri's market intelligence and data brand AgriHQ has launched an agri-business news service - AgriHQ Pulse.

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Supporting Gypsy Day students

A Southland primary school principal is trying to help dairy farming children who move schools mid-year because of Gypsy Day.

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  • Dairying in a different world

    A crisis in British dairy farming, The Guardian reported early in the New Year, threatened to require David Archer to sell his herd and cease milk production at Brookfield farm somewhere in Middle England.

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  • A mixed year for shares

    Investors in a2 Milk Company had a much more prosperous 2015 than those who invested in Fonterra Shareholders Fund units or Synlait shares.

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  • Retro payments down

    Last month’s drop in milk price will not only have an immediate effect on cashflow over coming months, it will also cut 20c/kg milksolids (MS) off retrospective payments going into next season.

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  • Winning supply chain

    Fonterra in China has a winning business model with four integrated parts unmatched by other foreign companies, newly appointed managing director for Greater China, Christina Zhu says.

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Serious business and a bit of fun

Planning is the key to success for this year’s Sharemilker-Equity Farmers of the Year, Justin and Melissa Slattery. They told Anne Lee their plans include every aspect of farm management, and also ways to enjoy life.

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  • Staying in the black

    Running a pasture-dominant, all-grazing system with reduced feed and nitrogen fertiliser inputs can significantly reduce nitrate leaching without necessarily inflicting a big blow to profit.

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  • Breaking new ground

    Three years’ worth of data is being crunched for the ambitious Pastoral 21 project at Telford in South Otago, where the research team was looking to reduce nitrate leaching by 30% and increase operating profit by at least $100/ha.

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  • An environmental balancing act

    Finding a balance between successful dairy farming and decreasing the risks to our natural resources is a challenge facing New Zealand farmers as regional councils roll out new water and land plans to meet the requirements of the National Policy Statement for Fresh Water Management. 

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  • Catching the gas

    A Nelson engineer has designed a modular bio-digester that will take the methane gas from dairy effluent and use it to power the farm.

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Keeping water use to a minimum

When the Welch family looked at a new effluent system as part of constructing a new dairy and feedpad they wanted one which minimised water use. 

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  • Breeding the perfect cows

    Averaging 80 contract matings in his herd every year, Murray Gibb is hoping to breed an outstanding bull for the industry one day. *Sheryl Brown* visited the Waikato farmer to find out how he bred one of the best herds in the country.

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  • For the love of cows

    Breeding Jerseys is a passion for Tony Landers and is what led him to be involved in the Jersey Genome programme. He tells *Cheyenne Stein* about his involvement in the programme and the benefits it has to the breed.

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  • Expanding the index

    *Feed efficiency trait* Selecting cows for feed conversion efficiency is another step closer with a trial established to measure the feed efficiency in bulls and their half-sisters.

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  • An important cog in the wheel

    For a Canterbury couple with a passion for breeding, attention to detail is all-important. Steve and Nina Ireland talked to *Anne Lee* about the importance of breeding animals that meet the needs of the New Zealand market.

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People-first in health and safety

Rachel and Kenneth Short say getting on top of your health and safety policies doesn’t have to be about piles of paperwork and shouldn’t be about simply ticking the compliance boxes. They told Cheyenne Stein how they strive to run simple yet effective systems that make health and safety on their farm a breeze.

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  • Magnetic attraction

    Taking a more precise approach to identifying soil types on a farm can lead to significant drops in Overseer nitrate loss predictions.

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  • Right up to speed

    David Bartley would rather have his foot on the accelerator than the brake.

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  • Barn helps keep it simple

    When faced with a choice between upgrading a cold damp house and building a wintering barn, Southland farmers Blair Murdoch and Rebecca Jamieson told Karen Trebilcock it was no contest – the barn won. 

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  • Flying high and low

    Dodging jets isn’t a hazard for most farmers, but for Dunedin sharemilker Hamish Jenkins it’s part of the daily routine. He talked to Karen Trebilcock about the challenges of farming next to the runway.

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  • Weights up but new research on way

    Big improvement in heifer liveweights has shown up in an LIC study but there’s still room for more, particularly at later growth stages.

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  • Bulls for heifers

    While a lot of the focus in reproduction is on heifers and cows, Otago farmer Kelly Allison says the bull is just as important. He talked to Karen Trebilcock about his dairy bull stud.

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  • Once-a-day wins

    Greg and Hannah Topless are into the second season of their once-a-day milking journey with their small Taranaki herd. They talked through the upsides and downsides with *Jackie Harrigan.*

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  • Not the retiring type

    Retirement isn’t a concept that comes easily to Ray and Sandra Hocking. They told *Anne Hardie* they’ve done it once, but now they’re back farming and enjoying the challenges. They’re also enjoying the success of owning one of the country’s top bulls, thanks to Ray’s interest in genetics.

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  • Spaans new DairyNZ head

    Waikato dairy farmer Michael Spaans has been elected the new chairman of DairyNZ.

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  • A passionate dairy man

    “An all-round good guy who loved life, loved his family and loved the dairy industry” is how LIC’s current chairman Murray King remembers David Milne, who died peacefully on the West Coast in early September at the age of 71.

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  • Talk to banks about finances

    DAIRY farmers are being encouraged to stick together and talk to friends, family and agribusiness professionals to help them get through the tougher economic times ahead for the sector.

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  • Cows ‘struggling’ with intensification

    Genetic gain in New Zealand has focused on breeding cows to suit low-input systems and they are struggling to stand up to the rapid move to intensive farming, breeding consultant Don Shaw says.

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  • The impact of oil

    There is little positive news to report from the dairy markets. The markets have started 2016 in a lacklustre way as the sheer volumes of milk being produced across the globe weigh heavily.

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  • Environmental wins

    Maybe a copy of this issue of Dairy Exporter needs to be dropped in every urban mailbox for all the city folk that have swallowed the mainstream media’s “dirty dairy” campaign of a few years ago.

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  • Dairy Diary February

    *February 18* – The Lincoln University Dairy Farm runs its first focus day for the year between 10am and 1pm. Visit www.siddc.org.nz[http://www.siddc.org.nz].

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  • History and the present

    There is a well known quotation from the Spanish philosopher George Santayana that says, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” So let’s take a brief look at the history of the New Zealand dairy industry, and see if old George’s insight has any relevance to it today.

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A jewel in the north

Awanui sits at the base of Far North’s Aupouri Peninsula, with Ninety Mile Beach to the west and some of the country’s favourite beaches to the east. That makes it a great location for a dairy farm, especially a 243 hectare one producing up to 1250kg milksolids (MS) a hectare without irrigation.

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  • Crank it up

    Huge scope exists on a 488 hectare south Canterbury farm that milks 1600 cows through an 80-bail rotary and has the potential to be cranked up to the next level.

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  • Heart of the south

    A 171 hectare dairy farm for sale in the heart of central Southland milked 480 cows for 208,688kg milksolids (MS) last season.

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  • A walk in the park

    Specimen trees on clean pasture create a park-like scene on a Reefton farm that is described as one of the tidiest dairy farms on the West Coast, while also producing most of its supplements and wintering the cows.

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  • Get a good start

    Burleigh Grange Farm has had all the hard work done with its conversion and now, in its second season, the sale of the 105 hectare south Canterbury farm creates an opportunity for someone to step into farm ownership.

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Getting a good start

A report released recently by economic research agency BERL on the potential economic, environmental and financial impact of the Queen of Calves rearing system on New Zealand dairy farming found if 10% of the national herd adopted the system over the next 10 years, 25 million tonnes extra milksolids could be generated from the same grazing footprint.

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  • The long road to recovery

    As the lower North Island flood clean-up gains momentum after recent flood events farmers face a stressful time considering the state of their pasture and to what extent silt deposits will affect their soil. 

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  • All class

    With continuously variable transmission and cutting-edge, on-board technology, the new Claas Arion 600/500 CMATIC is arguably the most advanced, efficient, versatile and comfortable mid-range tractor available in New Zealand.

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  • More than a trade show

    While the low dairy payout will undoubtedly cast a shadow, exhibitors and organisers National Fieldays at Mystery Creek remain confident the event will continue to cement itself as a global showcase for New Zealand farming enterprises.

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  • Built for absolute reliability

    SAM fertiliser and combo spreaders are reliable and built to last. 

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It’s all in the planning

While most New Zealanders soaked up the warm weather, Dairy Exporter Associate Editor Anne Lee spent the summer shivering in a UK winter investigating wintering options developed in a cold climate. 

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  • Animal health

    *Feet*

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  • Slurry cleaning systems

    Passageways or scrapeways both indoors and outside can be cleaned by automatic scrapers. Most common were hydraulic scrapers that require a raised, covered track to be installed in the centre along the length of the passageway.

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  • Effluent management

    Storing and managing the slurry from a housed cow system or scrapeways on an outdoor pad can require a significant capital outlay for storage and handling.

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  • Quantity makes the difference

    Moorepark has carried out several experiments on crop wintering diets and found that how much the cow is offered makes more difference than what it’s fed.

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Simple steps to great yards

*New dairies*

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  • Innovators keep on innovating

    The exhibits at Fieldays’ Innovation Centre this year featured the usual array of probables, possibles, and perhaps-not winners. Tim McVeagh had a look at a few of the promising ones with details provided by those on the stands.

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  • Pre-season plant pointers

    Ryan Hall, manager of the QCONZ farm team, has some tips for getting new season milk production off to a good start. 

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  • Getting the dairy up to scratch

    With seasonal milk suppliers cranking back up again, it is timely to review systems to ensure milk hygiene and compliance requirements are met.

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