Deer Industry News - Deer Industry New Zealand

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ISSN 1176-0753<br />


Issue 33 • December 2008 • Official magazine of <strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> and the NZDFA<br />

Season’s<br />

Greetings<br />

to all our<br />

readers!<br />

Also in this issue:<br />

<strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong><br />

Velvet Marketing<br />

Company<br />

initiative p20<br />

• A world in turbulent times: deer not immune<br />

• Venison production: competitive edge confirmed<br />

• Landcorp commitment to deer industry still strong<br />

• Powered by velvet.org in world’s top 10<br />

• Velvet judging criteria<br />

• Drip loss research<br />

• Pastoral Genomics momentun continues to build<br />

• DEER Select sire summaries

editorial<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> a sound investment in turbulent times<br />

The world is in the throes of systemic<br />

adjustments that most of us have not<br />

witnessed in our lifetimes. Tighter credit<br />

markets, shrinking balance sheets and<br />

slowing economic activity will affect<br />

the markets in which we sell and the environment in which<br />

we grow and process our products. Your Board commits<br />

to maintaining prudent fiscal governance of DINZ while<br />

continuing to invest in promotion and other industry-good<br />

activities. Despite turbulent conditions, now is not the time<br />

to slow or stop industry development.<br />

With a new Government come new policies which affect the<br />

deer industry. I’d like to briefly run through my perspective<br />

on a number of them:<br />

Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS): DINZ welcomes a select<br />

committee review of the ETS but is concerned that the scope<br />

appears narrow. DINZ believes an intensity-based ETS rather<br />

than cap-and-trade is pragmatic and less likely to reduce our<br />

competitiveness. The pastoral sector must continue to work<br />

collectively on this issue.<br />

Resource Management Act (RMA): The RMA should not<br />

be a means to tie up projects in process costs and red tape.<br />

DINZ welcomes the Government’s commitment to introduce<br />

a reform bill in its first 100 days of office.<br />

Broadband: DINZ believes the Government has this wrong.<br />

A roll-out of ultra-fast broadband to 75 percent of <strong>New</strong><br />

<strong>Zealand</strong> homes will include few rural homes, where the<br />

Contents<br />

Editorial: In turbulent times, deer farming is a sound investment .................3<br />

DINZ news: Grand velvet photo competition ....................................................4<br />

CWD surveillance: come on southerners – do your bit! ...........................6<br />

NAIT show goes on ....................................................................................8<br />

Ticking the right boxes – it matters ..........................................................9<br />

NVSB Update ...........................................................................................10<br />

Venison production shows healthy gross margins .................................12<br />

General news: Landcorp would be hit hard by ETS .......................................15<br />

Animal Health Board Update ..................................................................16<br />

Time getting tight for Pest Management Strategy review ......................17<br />

Johne’s information networks taking shape ...........................................18<br />

Coming events and sire sales .................................................................18<br />

Elk/Wapiti: Utilising mother nature for bigger gains .............................19<br />

<strong>Industry</strong> news: <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> Velvet Marketing Company launched .............20<br />

Tyrolean dried venison .............................................................................22<br />

Venison <strong>Industry</strong> Strategic Intent ............................................................22<br />

Powered by velvet.org.nz in world’s top 10 .............................................24<br />

Wild Plaza ................................................................................................25<br />

Latest Chef Ambassador to endorse Cervena® in United States .........31<br />

Farmers’ markets in <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> ..........................................................32<br />

Market Talk: BOGO F&D Ltd ....................................................................33<br />

Market Report: Venison and velvet updates .................................................34<br />

Stagline: NZDFA velvet and hard antler competitions review ........................38<br />

Focus Farm and productivity group Conference 2008 ............................40<br />

North Island Velvet Competition .............................................................41<br />

Venison added to menu for local derby ..................................................42<br />

Economist knocks ETS into shape ..........................................................44<br />

Research: Collaboration points way to Johne’s-resilient bloodlines .............45<br />

Learning how venison holds its water ....................................................46<br />

NZDFA invited to invest in pastoral genomics programme ....................48<br />

Scientist honoured for deer vaccine work ...............................................49<br />

DEER Select Sire Summaries: 1 December 2008 ...................................50<br />

need is actually greatest. Farming families are remote, but<br />

are comfortable collaborating with each other to achieve a<br />

better result. The internet, particularly Web 2.0, is all about<br />

collaboration and removing distance. The $48 million for the<br />

Broadband Challenge Fund is only 3 percent of the size of<br />

the Government’s planned $1.5 billion investment in ultrafast<br />

broadband. The Government does not appear to have a<br />

specific goal for rural broadband access. One is required.<br />

Research, Science and Technology: The Government<br />

appears to have decided to discontinue the R&D tax credit<br />

and the $700 million Fast Forward Fund. It will instead<br />

invest more money in research consortia, more secure Crown<br />

research institute (CRI) funding, have Prime Minister’s<br />

prizes for science and create a role called Prime Minister’s<br />

Science Adviser. DINZ supports more investment in consortia<br />

for industry-researcher-Crown collaboration. There should<br />

be circumstances where the Government invests more<br />

than 50 percent where warranted. DINZ supports more<br />

secure funding for CRIs to provide more career certainty<br />

for scientists. However, there is a risk that CRIs will act in<br />

isolation, or worse, on political whims. <strong>Industry</strong> involvement<br />

is necessary to avoid wasted, ill-directed use of resources. We<br />

do not want researchers to climb a ladder only to find it’s up<br />

against the wrong wall.<br />

The venison schedule is 60 percent higher than the 10-year<br />

average for this time of year. Prices have increased faster<br />

than for competing proteins, some of which are seeing price<br />

softening. This is a real threat. It is more important than ever<br />

for producers to stay connected to the market through close,<br />

committed relationships with processor/marketers who in<br />

turn have close, committed relationships with distributors in<br />

touch with the final consumer. The industry needs to avoid<br />

the trading of venison in the market and procurement-driven<br />

rather than market-driven schedules.<br />

Turning now to the financial performance of our industry,<br />

there is always a lot of discussion about the most profitable<br />

livestock farming option. At present, venison offers very<br />

attractive returns in terms of cents per kilogram of dry matter<br />

consumed. I am very pleased to see confidence returning<br />

to the deer industry, and I’m sure financial institutions will<br />

support developing and growing deer units, based on the<br />

very compelling evidence provided in this issue of <strong>Deer</strong><br />

<strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong> (pages 12-14).<br />

I wish readers a happy and safe Christmas. I hope you have a<br />

refreshing break and come back ready for a positive 2009.<br />

John Scurr, Chairman<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong><br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong> is published by <strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> six times a year in February, April,<br />

June, August, October and December. It is circulated to all known deer farmers, processors, exporters<br />

and others with an interest in the deer industry. The opinions expressed in <strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong> do not<br />

necessarily reflect the views of <strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> or the NZ <strong>Deer</strong> Farmers’ Association.<br />

Circulation enquiries: <strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong>,<br />

PO Box 10-702, Wellington, Ph 04 471 6114, Fax 04 472 5549, Email info@deernz.org<br />

Editorial and advertising enquiries: Words & Pictures, PO Box 27-221, Wellington, Ph 04 384 4688,<br />

Fax 04 384 4667, Email din@wordpict.co.nz<br />

Cover: Katherine Sharp of Stag Genetics, Anakoha Bay, Picton, was the deserving winner of our Grand<br />

Velvet Photo competition with this finely composed shot.<br />

Issue No 33 • December 2008 3

news<br />

Grand velvet photo competition:<br />

The Winners!<br />

A late flurry of entries meant our judges were kept busy right down to the wire, sifting through the many wonderful<br />

photos submitted for our Grand Velvet photo competition. We now have a great new pool of images for helping<br />

promote our velvet antler products to the world.<br />

Judges’ comments<br />

First Prize: $600<br />

The overall winner is Katherine Sharp of Stag<br />

Genetics, Anakoha Bay, Picton, with this stag in an<br />

excellent pose, against a nice backdrop of native bush,<br />

emphasising <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong>’s clean green environment.<br />

It’s our cover shot for this issue of <strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong>.<br />

Condition of deer: Some great photos were spoiled by<br />

shabby winter coats still being shed, which is obviously<br />

what typically happens this time of year.<br />

Backgrounds: Try to avoid features such as fences,<br />

yards, dead trees, tracks or buildings in the background<br />

unless they’re a part of the story you’re conveying.<br />

Framing: <strong>Deer</strong> don’t always cooperate by standing still,<br />

but try to think about the composition of the photo.<br />

What part will features such as trees, water, horizons and<br />

pasture play in the shot? Will they enhance the photo<br />

or be a distraction. How does a group of animals look<br />

together? Are any partially obscured or facing the wrong<br />

way?<br />

Cropping: Be careful not to crop photos too tightly.<br />

Some great shots were spoiled when the lower legs or<br />

back end of an animal were cut off. On the other hand,<br />

cropping can also be used to create an unusual effect.<br />

Light conditions: Difficult light conditions can become<br />

an asset. For example, backlit animals and their velvet<br />

can look stunning in silhouette. Strong sunlight can be<br />

good, but it also creates strong shadows. The diffused<br />

light during bright but overcast weather can help pick<br />

out details and give an almost luminous look to your<br />

subjects.<br />

Picture resolution: Make sure your digital camera<br />

is set at high resolution. Some wonderful photos were<br />

Second Prize: $250<br />

Third Prize: $150<br />

Chris Petersen’s photography featured over many years in<br />

the Warnham & Woburn photo awards, and this delightful<br />

photo captures his stags advancing expectantly on the<br />

photographer after a late spring snowfall in the Te Anau<br />

Basin.<br />

Tom May’s stag looks in excellent form – happy with life and<br />

rather pleased with himself. This is a nicely composed photo<br />

showing a healthy stag, a good head of velvet and a wellmanaged<br />

farming environment.<br />

4<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong>

news<br />

too small for us to publish. A good<br />

front-page photo will be at least 2000<br />

pixels along its shortest edge (about 5<br />

megapixels total). A photo taken for a<br />

poster should be even larger. This gives<br />

us the flexibility to crop the photo.<br />

Focus/depth of field: Difficult with<br />

a moving target, we know, but sharper<br />

focus on the main subjects would<br />

have brought more entrants into the<br />

reckoning. Using a telephoto lens your<br />

depth of field (the area in focus) will<br />

be quite narrow, but if you get it right<br />

a sharply focused deer with the trees/<br />

pasture slightly blurred can look very<br />

effective. A tripod can be useful in<br />

these situations.<br />

Date stamp: Some cameras<br />

automatically include the date and<br />

time on the image. Please turn this<br />

feature off! Photoshop tells us when<br />

the photo was taken, the camera and<br />

settings, without the information being<br />

part of the photo image.<br />

And finally…<br />

Our special thanks to all those who<br />

got out there and stalked their stags<br />

with a camera. You’ve helped us<br />

compile a great resource for the good<br />

of all the industry and we intend to<br />

share the best of your efforts through<br />

this magazine and our promotional<br />

material.<br />

Rhys Griffiths<br />

Velvet Marketing Services Manager<br />

Highly commended<br />

Our shortlist also featured a number<br />

of other excellent entries which<br />

showed real flair, imagination and<br />

thoughtfulness but unfortunately<br />

just missed out on a place. <strong>Deer</strong> are<br />

never easy to photograph at the best<br />

of times, though these following<br />

pictures seem to have caught them<br />

perfectly. We would like to mention<br />

the following photographers for<br />

their efforts, under a “Highly<br />

Commended” section and they<br />

will receive a bottle of something<br />

pleasant in recognition of a nicely<br />

composed photo. Your entries will<br />

be published and acknowledged in<br />

future issues of <strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong><br />

as space permits:<br />

(Top) Tom Loveridge of Taranaki,<br />

with his portrait of stags in velvet<br />

against the majestic background of<br />

Mount Taranaki.<br />

(Middle) Trevor Thomas of Central<br />

Hawke’s Bay with this great<br />

grouping of stags.<br />

(Bottom) Angela Kelly of<br />

Rotorua submitted this fantastic<br />

shot of Mac taken by Tracey<br />

Robinson Photography. The judges<br />

acknowledge that the quality of this<br />

photo was superb!<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

!"<br />

#$%<br />

!"<br />

&<br />

'%(<br />

)*!%<br />

$<br />

$<br />

<br />

+( <br />

Issue No 33 • December 2008 5

news<br />

CWD surveillance: come on southerners – do your bit!<br />

The deer industry’s centre of gravity might be slowly moving south, but it’s the southern South Island that needs to lift<br />

its game when it comes to vigilance against chronic wasting disease (CWD).<br />

A review of the CWD surveillance programme by Dr Lachlan<br />

McIntyre, MAF’s Senior Adviser – Surveillance Group<br />

(Animals), shows that the overall number of brain samples<br />

submitted between 2002 and now (4,500) is satisfactory.<br />

However the geographic spread of samples has been very<br />

uneven, and MAF would like to see more submissions<br />

coming from areas that are currently very lightly sampled.<br />

Very few samples are currently received from South<br />

Canterbury, Otago and Southland. The only areas to have<br />

been sending in plentiful samples are the central North Island<br />

and central Canterbury.<br />

CWD is a member of the ‘family’ of transmissible spongiform<br />

encephalopathies (TSEs), which includes mad cow disease.<br />

No TSEs have been detected in <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong>, but a credible<br />

and robust surveillance programme is necessary if our TSEfree<br />

status is to be preserved.<br />

Canada’s experience with BSE is a sobering reminder of<br />

the impact it can have. Beef animals there plunged in value<br />

from $1300 to $130 after the disease was discovered. If CWD<br />

was found in <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> it would affect not only the deer<br />

industry but also sheep and beef would be<br />

affected because of increased scrutiny from<br />

our markets.<br />

MAF and DINZ pay farmers $100 + GST<br />

for each deer brain submitted for sampling,<br />

while vets are paid $160 + GST for their<br />

part. The scheme is designed to target<br />

animals most likely to be at risk and showing<br />

symptoms consistent with CWD. These<br />

include deer two years and older showing<br />

signs of ill-thrift and wasting, behavioural<br />

changes, nervous disease or pneumonia. Illthrift<br />

is the main symptom cited when deer<br />

are selected for monitoring.<br />

Dr McIntyre says scouring is not considered<br />

an indicator, the weight loss being caused<br />

by not eating. He notes that affected animals<br />

may urinate excessively, which could give the<br />

appearance in females of scouring on the hindquarters.<br />

At a glance<br />

He says some vets are taking advantage of Tb testing to<br />

look over stock and identify any likely candidates for CWD<br />

surveillance, and suspects a number of those chosen are in<br />

fact suffering from Johne’s disease.<br />

In his report, Dr McIntyre recommends that future sampling<br />

be focused on areas where few or no brain samples have<br />

been submitted, with an awareness programme in undersampled<br />

regions to improve the response.<br />

“We recommend the current surveillance programme<br />

continues with modification to restrict sampling to farms<br />

which have been either minimally sampled or not at all. At<br />

present we’re getting too many samples from a small number<br />

of farms and not enough from a wider range of farms.” The<br />

total sample numbers per year could be allowed to decline,<br />

the report continues, but infrastructure should be maintained<br />

• MAF pays farmers<br />

$100 + GST per<br />

brain submitted.<br />

• Vet must see live<br />

animal to confirm<br />

it is a candidate for<br />

monitoring.<br />

• <strong>Deer</strong> must be at<br />

least 2 years old.<br />

• Suspect symptoms<br />

include illthrift,<br />

wasting, behavioural<br />

changes, nervous<br />

disease, pneumonia.<br />

Dr. Lachlan McIntyre: Many of the animals selected for CWD<br />

testing may be infected with Johne’s disease.<br />

so that a rapid increase in sampling can be<br />

implemented if necessary. From November MAF<br />

has limited the number of samples accepted from<br />

individual farms to two per submission.<br />

Speaking to NZDFA Branch Chairmen at their<br />

October meeting, Dr McIntyre said the fact we<br />

had imported deer from North America, where<br />

CWD is in the deer population means it is wise<br />

to monitor our own animals closely. He said it<br />

probably affects Red deer, but there is no history<br />

of exposure to confirm susceptibility. He said<br />

the disease is spread by prions, not bacteria or<br />

viruses, and these are probably ingested. If the<br />

disease were present in <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> it could be<br />

spread among deer through normal husbandry<br />

practices such as scanning, Tb testing and<br />

velvetting.<br />

“The incubation period can be years, but<br />

the actual disease progresses over weeks or months,” he<br />

explained.<br />

He said samples for testing could also be taken from other<br />

parts of the deer such as the peripheral lymph nodes,<br />

but these methods have yet to be validated by the world<br />

organisation for animal health (OIE).<br />

On the question of why sampling for CWD monitoring has<br />

been lacking in the South, he said he understood much Tb<br />

testing is done by non vets, meaning less opportunity for vets<br />

to get onto farms and do the sampling. One Branch Chairman<br />

suggested the demands of the dairy industry meant vets had<br />

little time for the CWD monitoring work.<br />

Dr McIntyre reminded farmers that the vet needs to see the<br />

live animal to confirm it is a candidate for monitoring. The<br />

farmer killing the animal and bringing the head into the vet<br />

for sampling is not acceptable, he said.<br />

6<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong>

news<br />

NAIT show goes on<br />

The NAIT juggernaut rolls on, with a series of farmer meetings and presentations at A&P shows held during November<br />

and December to sell the concept to the rural sector. The roadshow’s public meetings will be completed by Christmas,<br />

but consultation through some on-farm field days will continue until March next year. It’s hoped these will be held on<br />

farms where RFID technology is working, so that the impact at a farm level can be discussed.<br />

The discussion document on NAIT received nearly 100<br />

submissions, including separate contributions from DINZ,<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> Association and NZDFA. MAF had extended<br />

the closing date for submissions to allow Federated Farmers<br />

to complete their membership survey, and the analysis of<br />

submissions plus the feedback received during the NAIT<br />

roadshow is now scheduled to be completed by March 2009.<br />

NAIT Project Manager Craig Purcell says feedback from the<br />

meetings will help shape the design of NAIT. When he spoke<br />

to <strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong> he had just attended farmer meetings<br />

at Winton and Gore, where there was a strong presence from<br />

deer farmers.<br />

“They reinforced their concerns around ownership of the<br />

data, and that had been reported by other sectors. They also<br />

made the point about the high proportion of deer – about<br />

70 percent – that go direct to slaughter when they leave the<br />

farm. We knew about this, but it’s been helpful to hear about<br />

the concerns first hand.”<br />

Concerns from both cattle and deer farmers about loss of tags<br />

have been coming through strongly at the meetings. “That’s<br />

something we’ll look at more closely.”<br />

Feedback received from farmers who attended the Southland<br />

meetings was tinged with some frustration that the meetings<br />

were challenging to run, with the floor often dominated by<br />

Federated Farmers advocating their strong position. Media<br />

have referred to these meetings as “testy”. The deer farmers<br />

at the meetings said that while the responses given to<br />

concerns raised seemed to be stock answers to justify the<br />

current stance, and while deer farmers’ positions were well<br />

known to NAIT, it was nonetheless useful to have that grass<br />

roots perspective. <strong>Deer</strong> farmers however, in spite of that of<br />

willingness to listen, felt it was going to be very difficult to<br />

make changes they see as critical to the scheme’s design.<br />

Craig Purcell says farmers want the transition to NAIT to<br />

be slower, while those in the rest of the value chain want it<br />

implemented quickly. The dairy sector is “very comfortable”<br />

with the NAIT concept, which won’t demand much change<br />

except the requirement to tag young calves going to rearers.<br />

A number of beef farmers had highlighted the paradox of<br />

having NAIT-tagged cattle running with un-tagged sheep<br />

on the same property. “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” Craig<br />

comments. “Our brief is to make sure it’s relatively simple to<br />

clip on another species later on.”<br />

He says the one-on-one conversations held around the<br />

country have been very fruitful. “We talked to more than 100<br />

people at the Canterbury show with discussions ranging from<br />

one minute to well over an hour.”<br />

MAF’s Ian Govey concurs. He says the face-to-face meetings<br />

are yielding excellent feedback, with many practical issues<br />

being teased out more than they may have been in the<br />

written submissions. The 2011 implementation date still<br />

stands, but will ultimately depend on a number of factors,<br />

including the enabling legislation, he says.<br />

Federated Farmers wasted no time attacking the NAIT<br />

proposal through the media, and the manner the scheme is<br />

being introduced based around their interpretation of a draft<br />

cost benefit analysis and views related to the biosecurity<br />

argument if all species are not included.<br />

The submissions of NZDFA and DINZ are broadly in line<br />

with each other, and express similar reservations. Differences<br />

centre around the benefits of the NAIT scheme. NZDFA<br />

says the scheme will have no benefit until all livestock<br />

including pigs and sheep are brought on board to satisfy the<br />

biosecurity aspects. DINZ takes a pragmatic view that there<br />

will be a competitive marketing advantage to be had from<br />

moving to a NAIT programme from the current AHB system,<br />

regardless of whether all livestock classes are on board.<br />

Key points in the DINZ submission included:<br />

• support in principle for traceability and a lifetime<br />

individual animal passport based on a unique animal<br />

identity<br />

• opposition to the mandatory inclusion of deer in NAIT<br />

in 2011 unless appropriate technology is available<br />

• concerns about potential costs and proposed governance<br />

structure for the system<br />

• support for the Animal Health Board (AHB) model as a<br />

governance structure utilising the incorporated society<br />

governance model<br />

• commitment to further investigating UHF and unique<br />

global ID system technology (which may also be more<br />

suitable for sheep) as a more appropriate pathway for<br />

NAIT implementation<br />

• support for investigating re-use of RFID tags to help<br />

lower costs<br />

• concern about fitting Fallow deer and animals on game<br />

estates into the system.<br />

Key points in the NZDFA submission included:<br />

• opposition to mandatory introduction until all relevant<br />

species are included in the scheme.<br />

• concern that 70 percent of deer make only one trip –<br />

direct to slaughter from the farm where they were born<br />

– and so present a very low biosecurity risk<br />

• support for using the AHB’s database and governance<br />

structure as a basis for NAIT<br />

• delaying mandatory inclusion of deer until UHF<br />

technology is properly evaluated and commercially<br />

available if proven<br />

• support for a 50:50 split between the Crown and<br />

industry for operating costs, rather than the 35:65 split<br />

proposed<br />

• commitment to use Focus Farms to evaluate use of both<br />

LF and UHF tags as a precursor to eventual acceptance<br />

of the appropriate technology by farmers<br />

• belief that there is no support from deer farmers for<br />

either the introductory or mandatory phases of NAIT as<br />

proposed<br />

8<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong>

news<br />

On the plus<br />

side….<br />

Speaking to NZDFA Branch<br />

Chairmen in October, <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong><br />

Food Safety Authority Verification<br />

Agency Technical Manager, Chris<br />

Mawson said other countries<br />

such as Canada, the United States<br />

and Britain had been forced into<br />

traceability systems. He said<br />

the world was moving in that<br />

direction and our producers had an<br />

opportunity to learn from others’<br />

experience before deciding how we<br />

could use the technology to our<br />

advantage.<br />

“Current food safety risks [from<br />

<strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> animal products]<br />

are fairly negligible, but we have<br />

an opportunity [through NAIT] to<br />

further demonstrate how our riskbased<br />

systems work.<br />

“From a biosecurity perspective,<br />

our experience with the Waiheke<br />

Island hoax showed there are<br />

significant gaps in our ability to<br />

quickly identify and trace animals<br />

in a disease emergency. Those<br />

gaps can be closed by an electronic<br />

programme.<br />

“A number of food processors<br />

are identifying individual animal<br />

traceability as important and<br />

probably a key part of their<br />

marketing of animal products.”<br />

• belief that market access,<br />

traceability and food safety<br />

requirements are adequately<br />

catered for by existing industry<br />

programmes.<br />

A recent prototype trial involving 26<br />

Waikato and King Country farmers<br />

will be used to help refine the NAIT<br />

proposal. Meat processors, sales<br />

organisations and transport companies<br />

were also involved. The study<br />

showed that farmers could easily<br />

grasp the system, according the NAIT<br />

independent chairman, Ian Corney.<br />

www.nait.org.nz<br />

Ticking the right boxes – it matters<br />

If the requirements to fill out animal status declaration forms (ASDs) seem<br />

pedantic, get used to it!<br />

That was the message to deer<br />

farmers from NZ Food Safety<br />

Authority Verification Agency<br />

Technical Manager, Chris Mawson<br />

at the October Branch Chairmen’s<br />

meeting. Chris was explaining the<br />

rationale behind the Authority’s<br />

On-Farm Verification programme<br />

(see <strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong> October<br />

2008, page 9).<br />

The boosted programme started<br />

this month and will see an increase<br />

in the number of livestock farms<br />

visited by the NZFSA Verification<br />

Chris Mawson: Reminder that ASD forms are<br />

Authority veterinarians. Of the statutory declarations and need to be done<br />

600 sheep, beef and deer farms to correctly.<br />

be visited annually (up from the<br />

current 240), it’s likely that 80-100 will be deer farms.<br />

This is to strengthen assurances to overseas markets that we are complying with<br />

both their requirements and our own.<br />

Chris explained that the EU Veterinary agreement signed in 1996 is still a world<br />

leader in terms of trade access through a bilateral agreement. It’s based on the<br />

concept of equivalence, i.e. accepting that our programmes deliver the same<br />

outcomes as the EU’s own law. A key principle of this agreement is that we<br />

demonstrate compliance with our own rules and standards. Systems such as ASDs<br />

are scrutinised for compliance and accuracy by importing country regulatory<br />

authorities, so their full and accurate completion by farmers is essential said Chris.<br />

The visits will be done by NZFSA VA vets from about 60 licensed plants. Southland<br />

Branch Chairman, Brian Russell said he’d heard of one on-farm visit that had<br />

taken five hours, with the vet clearly unfamiliar with deer farming. Waikato’s Steve<br />

Borland added that an audit on his dairy runoff had taken about four hours. Chris<br />

Mawson acknowledged that there had been such occurrences in the past. The<br />

changes made by the Agency to the programme and selection of people who have<br />

a good understanding of <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> farming practices, should preclude this type<br />

of situation reoccurring. He had anticipated the visits would be completed in two to<br />

three hours, and that there would be clear advance notice and explanation of what<br />

information was required and what the review process would be.<br />

He reminded the Chairmen that ASD forms are a statutory declaration and so should<br />

be done correctly. It needs to be made clear on the form who is signing them and<br />

the information needs to be supported by farm records.<br />

Animal welfare requirements, a voluntary part of the audit process, are included<br />

in the programme in order to gain an understanding of farmers’ knowledge about<br />

this aspect of farming. Animal welfare is gaining a higher profile in many countries<br />

and <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> farmers need to be aware of this, he said. Wairarapa Branch<br />

Chairman, Tony Bayliss pointed out that welfare requirements during transport are<br />

not part of the audit. Chris Mawson conceded that live animal transporters are not<br />

targeted, but the on-farm verification programme will look at farmers’ understanding<br />

of the requirements for the transport of animals. The welfare of animals on arrival<br />

of animals at processing plants is monitored by Verification Agency vets on a daily<br />

basis and any issues arising regarding transport are dealt with immediately.<br />

He said velvetting was one area likely to be of interest to overseas authorities, partly<br />

because it’s not done in many countries and the Verification Agency and MAF had<br />

done a lot of work with the deer industry to ensure compliance with the welfare<br />

requirements for this activity.<br />

Issue No 33 • December 2008 9

news<br />

NVSB Update<br />

The end of the last velvetting season was one of the tidiest in the experience of DINZ Quality Manger John Tacon.<br />

Reporting to the Branch Chairmen in October<br />

he said there were currently 1,067 certified<br />

velvetters. A further 150 are in abeyance and<br />

6 had been suspended for non-payment of<br />

fees going into this season. Overall there were<br />

80 new velvetters joining the programme, but<br />

there was a loss of about 99 on the previous<br />

year, mainly through people exiting the<br />

industry.<br />

John said many signing up to the programme<br />

for the first time are long-term farmers, and<br />

there had been a big increase in enquiries and<br />

new contracts for the programme.<br />

The number of ID tags issued so far this<br />

season was down about 60,000 on last season<br />

and that difference was unlikely to close by<br />

more than about 15,000. This would represent<br />

a drop of about 18 percent on the tags issued<br />

last season – an indication that there are fewer stags out<br />

there.<br />

John said there had been significant concern from velvet<br />

processors about the proposed new velvet ID tags with<br />

readability an issue with blood splash. There are still plenty<br />

of tags in stock to be used up, but NVSB is investigating<br />

getting the tags printed here in <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> again once<br />

those are used up.<br />

He said last season was the first time the proportion of<br />

certified velvetters being audited had dropped from 20<br />

percent to 10 percent. Eventually 113 of the 143 notified<br />

audits were done.<br />

The main issues identified in the audits were familiar ones:<br />

hygiene, handling and operator safety.<br />

Vet training days were being offered through the NVSB<br />

auditors again this year; there had been a good response<br />

from Southland vets but not so from other regions.<br />

There will be no significant changes to the NVSB Manual<br />

during the current update, John reported. The 49 changes<br />

being made are mainly housekeeping to tidy up minor<br />

anomalies. The manual is out of print and a new edition will<br />

be produced soon.<br />

All the sales<br />

with all the<br />

details<br />

DINZ Quality Manager John<br />

Tacon: a significant increase<br />

in enquiries about NVSB<br />

programme.<br />

The NVSB is due for review, but this won’t<br />

happen until possible changes to the Agricultural<br />

Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Act are<br />

confirmed.<br />

Transport and welfare<br />

The changed standard for antler length during<br />

transport (maximum 110 mm) is once again a<br />

QA rather than a welfare issue – unless a stag<br />

arrives at the processor with a broken antler. John<br />

said any issues about antler length will now be<br />

communicated to farmers by NZFSA Verification<br />

Agency through the processor.<br />

There had been a number of welfare issues (on<br />

farm and transport related) over the past year, John<br />

noted. Twenty farmers signed admissions of guilt to<br />

various velvetting and transporting offences including<br />

performing illegal surgical procedures and ill treatment of<br />

animals. This action precluded them from going to court in<br />

these instances, although the admissions could be used as<br />

evidence in subsequent cases.<br />

John said that in the few cases where deer have arrived dead<br />

at processing plants, one of the main causes is the use of<br />

trucks with large cattle pens. The pens must be divided with<br />

a centre gate and there is a maximum of eight per pen at 100<br />

kg, he reminded farmers.<br />

DINZ had an good working relationship with the MAF<br />

Enforcement Group and NZFSA VA, and John commended<br />

those groups for their positive and inclusive attitude.<br />

Finally John announced some changes in the <strong>Deer</strong>QA<br />

Transport committee. Ken Swainson has stood down after<br />

being on the committee since its inception in 1992, and was<br />

thanked for his sterling service over that period. There are<br />

two new members: former Branch Chairman Pip Rutland<br />

and David Wearing of Canterbury’s Central <strong>Deer</strong> Freighters.<br />

The <strong>Deer</strong>QA Transport Programme continues to thrive with<br />

all venison processors accepting only accredited transporters<br />

delivering deer to their plants. With new drivers coming in<br />

to the industry on a regular basis, driver training courses<br />

are still run on an as-required basis in various regions<br />

throughout the country.<br />

Contact Sharon or Rebecca Phone: (07) 332 5892 Fax: (07) 332 5891 Email: tradedeer@xtra.co.nz<br />

Website: www.tradedeer.co.nz<br />

10<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong>

news<br />

Venison production shows healthy gross margins<br />

There’s money in deer. It seems like a long time since that could be said with conviction, but the analysis tells a very<br />

positive story. In fact some venison enterprises are offering the best returns for investment on <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> farms.<br />

A comprehensive gross margin analysis<br />

comparing relative profitability across<br />

all major <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> farm enterprises,<br />

produced by Southland farm consultant<br />

Graham Butcher from Rural Solutions,<br />

show returns from finishing purchased<br />

weaner deer tops all farming options in<br />

the Southland-based model. Relativities<br />

are also confirmed in a North Island model<br />

(page 14).<br />

Finishing weaner deer returned 22.64<br />

cents/kg DM consumed, compared to<br />

11.90 cents for a Southland dairy farm<br />

conversion, 15.10 cents from an existing<br />

Southland dairy unit, and 13.68 cents for<br />

bull beef rearing (Table 1).<br />

Graham’s in-depth breakdown has<br />

produced some revealing data on the<br />

best options for land use in the region,<br />

challenging perceptions on farming<br />

investment. It’s a very robust analysis that<br />

takes all direct costs into account, truly<br />

reflecting what it costs to grow farmed<br />

animals.<br />

The most profitable land use option is<br />

finishing weaner deer, followed by summer<br />

and winter lamb trading, then crossbreeding and finishing using an<br />

Elk/Wapiti terminal sire, ahead of all dairy enterprises (Table 1).<br />

Table 1: Gross margin analysis based on cents/kg<br />

dry matter consumed.<br />

Enterprise<br />

The returns from dairy farming are likely to be lower than many<br />

would expect, but as we went to press, Fonterra was announcing<br />

further ‘softness’ in prices from the $6/kg used in this model. Whole<br />

milk powder prices had declined 49 percent since July and EU skim<br />

milk prices were down 45 percent. Further downward price pressure<br />

was expected.<br />

Rural Solutions’ analysis has taken into account all of the direct<br />

expenses associated with each enterprise type to truly compare<br />

bottom lines.<br />

“It takes more grass to graze dairy heifers, and costs reflect that,”<br />

says Graham Butcher. “The results represent the true total costs<br />

of production by including all of the management and pasture<br />

production expenses that occur in a normal dairy operation.”<br />

Considered analysis of the relative returns for future land use across<br />

<strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> is crucial, and Graham is urging farmers to take a long<br />

and critical look at all the figures as they weigh up their long-term<br />

options.<br />

The analysis is a starting point to critically examine how to make<br />

more profit from dry matter produced .<br />

“Understand what is needed to produce the best profit from your<br />

land type, before deciding on land-use and livestock changes. There<br />

are opportunities for improving production, and improving returns<br />

from existing land types, so objectively comparing gross margins<br />

on all livestock types is very important for farmers and their bank<br />

advisers to ensure any decisions are based on solid data.<br />

“For example, farmers will likely increase pasture production to<br />

convert an existing sheep, beef or deer farm to dairying. But if the<br />

farm is capable of growing substantially more grass, they should sit<br />

down and look at how that extra dry matter can be best used.<br />

c/kgDM<br />

consumed<br />

Purchase weaner deer, finishing (above average) 22.64<br />

Purchase weaner deer, finishing, with conversion costs 20.23<br />

Summer lamb trading 19.34<br />

Winter lamb trading 17.92<br />

Terminal Sire ( Elk wapiti) crossbreeding and early finishing 16.45<br />

Southland dairy (established) 15.10<br />

Terminal Sire crossbreeding & early finishing with conversion 13.88<br />

Bull beef, rearing 13.68<br />

Breeding Red hinds, finishing 12.93<br />

Bull beef, 100kg purchase 12.86<br />

Dairy cows, winter at 13 kg/$30 12.81<br />

Dairy heifer grazing 12.21<br />

Southland dairy, with conversion 11.90<br />

Breeding Red Hinds, finishing with conversion costs 10.81<br />

Breeding ewes [140 percent, 50 percent hogget mating] 9.29<br />

Autumn-purchase steer calves 9.19<br />

Red Hinds, selling weaners 9.15<br />

Breeding cow, finishing 8.95<br />

Breeding ewes [135 percent, no hogget mating] 8.38<br />

Breeding cow [calving year 2, sell weaners] 7.37<br />

Breeding ewes, store [135 percent, no hogget mating] 7.06<br />

Hinds, selling weaners with conversion costs 6.43<br />

“It may be that utilising existing deer<br />

fences and restocking provides the returns<br />

farmers will be looking for in the current<br />

economic climate.”<br />

Graham believes it’s very easy to be swayed<br />

by attractive milk solids payout figures, but<br />

there are considerable extra direct costs and<br />

increases in other farm expenses to factor<br />

in on dairy in day-to-day management,<br />

compared to all other land uses. There is also<br />

more debt servicing and compliance costs<br />

involved with a dairying conversion.<br />

“Analyse carefully – take into account debt<br />

loading and how comfortable you are with<br />

debt, along with lifestyle preferences. Don’t<br />

base the decision solely on gross income.”<br />

Based on current costs, these returns show<br />

deer farming, and in particular finishing<br />

weaners, is profitable. Buying an existing<br />

deer farm, restocking or even converting<br />

sheep and beef to deer are all attractive<br />

and profitable options to consider.<br />

About the analysis<br />

Graham Butcher’s detailed gross margin<br />

analysis of sheep, beef, dairy and deer enterprises presents a return<br />

based on cents per kilogram of dry matter consumed, an accepted<br />

practice for comparing land uses. While it is a relative rather<br />

than absolute approach – individual farms’ costs will differ – it is<br />

nonetheless a good guide for profit.<br />

Basing his assumptions on standard <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> farm models using<br />

Farmax and StockPol, the analysis presents relative profit objectively,<br />

comparing only the direct costs from the different production systems.<br />

Income is based on current schedules (November 2008).<br />

Costs of management, feeding and animal health that are inherently<br />

the same are not included in the calculation.<br />

The analysis takes into account the current cost of direct expenses<br />

on stock, feed, animal health and management, and the capital<br />

costs of improvements specific to the production system, but not<br />

farm loans or drawings. It also gives profits from finishing and from<br />

purchasing deer with no conversion costs and then compares that<br />

with conversion factored in.<br />

All of the comparisons are regionally based to ensure benchmarking<br />

is valid, but the conclusions from his Southland analysis can be<br />

applied across <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> farms in general.<br />

The analysis is a current snapshot based on current returns and<br />

expenses, but farmers also need to examine long-term trends and<br />

market volatility.<br />

Schedule venison prices received by farmers in this gross margin<br />

analysis are based on an $8.00 AP grade seasonal average. Average<br />

price/kg received for weaners ranged from $3.80 for 52 kg liveweight<br />

average hinds, to $4.25 for 56kg liveweight average stags.<br />

Although purchased weaner deer finishing returns were very<br />

positive, the profit on selling weaner hinds is relatively poor, at 6.43<br />

cents, reflecting a current disparity between weaner selling prices<br />

in 2008, and the profit returned from finishing those weaners this<br />

season as the venison market firmed strongly.<br />

12<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong>

news<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> farming profitability:<br />

Breeding and finishing using Elk/Wapiti terminal sires option<br />

“All gone by December”<br />

The productivity strategy has a mantra “more calves, earlier and<br />

heavier”. The gross margin analysis by Graham Butcher includes a<br />

study of a heavy weight, high-performance venison breeding and<br />

finishing system, based on Elk/Wapiti sires selected for high EBVs.<br />

This analysis has been scaled to the model used in the October issue<br />

of <strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong>, page 11.<br />

The farming system is based around John and Mary Falconer’s<br />

Clachanburn Elk, located in the Maniototo area of Central Otago. The<br />

high country extensive tussock hill breeding operation combined<br />

with relatively high-cost autumn/winter finishing on developed,<br />

irrigated pastures of high-quality autumn-saved grass, swedes,<br />

silage and a small amount of barley.<br />

Farm performance is high. The 900 head commercial herd is<br />

based on a crossbred hind averaging 140kg, including R2yo hinds.<br />

Conception rate has averaged 93% over the past three years, and<br />

weaning percentage 90-91%.<br />

Weaning is delayed post rut to first week in May. Following joining of<br />

selected high-EBV Elk/Wapiti 3yo stags (45-70% Elk/Wapiti on DNA) in<br />

mid February, hinds and weaners are moved to the irrigated flats and<br />

power pastures and introduced to silage to boost late lactation.<br />

Clachanburn has a heavy emphasis on animal health. Young stock<br />

are drenched, vaccinated for yersiniosis and selenium treated in<br />

March. Vaccine booster, drenching and copper treatment are done<br />

at weaning in May, with selenium dose and parasite pour on drench<br />

done mid winter and pre spring.<br />

Weaners are 70kg at the March animal health treatments and<br />

wean at an average 90kg in the first week of May.<br />

Elk/Wapiti bulls are removed on 25 April and all dry hinds are<br />

culled following scanning.<br />

The programme targets boosted winter weaner growth of 180g/<br />

day, finishing on early spring grass to supply at peak schedule. Peak<br />

weights average 60kg (male and females) over 8 – 9 weeks.<br />

Shipments head out weekly, with 54% sent by end September,<br />

the next 31% in October and the balance gone by the first week in<br />

December.<br />

In this buoyant season, returns have averaged $595 per head at<br />

$9.38/kg, a far cry from 2007’s $386 per head and $6.35/kg.<br />

We have used Clachanburn’s well-documented performance data<br />

in the established model to show how a breeding and finishing<br />

operation based on Elk/Wapiti terminal sires performs on the same<br />

basis: income in cents per kg, per kilogram dry matter consumed.<br />

Farm profile<br />

600 Crossbred hinds (540 ma/60 R2yo) (15-35% Elk/Wapiti)<br />

92% MA hinds weaning %<br />

86% R2 Hinds weaning %<br />

90% Mean weaning %<br />

18 3yo High EBV Elk/Wapiti breeding bulls<br />

8% replacement rate in females<br />

1% death loss adults<br />

1% death loss weaners<br />

Income<br />

Numbers Gross income ($)* $/head<br />

Income: Venison<br />

62.5kg @ $9.30/kg average males 263 148,858 566<br />

57.5kg @ $9.30/kg average females 202 105,032 519<br />

Cull hinds @ 77kg average carcass wt @ $9.30 /kg 49 34,276 699<br />

Cull breeding stags @120kg @ $9.30 3 3,286 1,095<br />

*less inspection fees ($9.50 and levy at $0.09)<br />

Income: Velvet<br />

18 Breeding stags 6kg average at $72.00/kg 108kg 7,357 409<br />

Spikers<br />

0kg<br />

Total gross revenue 298,809<br />

*less levy and MAF deduction<br />

Enterprise costs<br />

Number Total cost ($) $/head<br />

Venison and velvet<br />

Transport costs @ $6.50/head 517 3,361 6.50<br />

Sub total 3,361<br />

Direct enterprise on-farm costs<br />

Feeding<br />

Winter feed adults @ $23.57/head 600 14,142 23.57<br />

Winter feed weaners @ 53.56/head 520 27,850 53.56<br />

Winter feed stags @ $48.00 18 864 48.00<br />

Sub total 42,856<br />

Animal health<br />

Animal health adults 600 6,000 10.00<br />

Drench weaners @ $9.00/head 534 4,806 9.00<br />

Copper/ Selenium @ $5.00/head 1,134 5,670 5.00<br />

Pregnancy scanning @ 3.50/head 2,100 3.50<br />

Velvetting adults $17.50 18 315 17.50<br />

Velvetting spikers 0 0<br />

Tb testing @$2.50 600 1,500 2.50<br />

Sub total 20,391<br />

Stock purchases<br />

Breeding stag (good EBVs) replacements @<br />

3 10,500 3,500<br />

$3,500 X 3 per 600 hinds per year<br />

Sub total 10,500<br />

Total direct enterprise costs 77,108<br />

Note: Feeding<br />

This system utilises the cold dry winters ideally suited for deer.<br />

Weaners are offered 2kg DM of swedes for winter (125 days),<br />

utilising 1.3kg daily with 1.1kg DM silage and 0.1kg of barley<br />

consumed daily. Hinds return to the hill following weaning and<br />

return to eat silage and clean up swedes in the latter part. Total<br />

winter costs average $29/head with weaner feed being almost ⅔ of<br />

the costs to achieve the 180g/day average winter growth ($53.56/<br />

head) and hinds at $23.57 share of the specific supplementary feed.<br />

Feed Unit cost Total ($)<br />

10.8ha Swedes (yield 8 tonnes Including regrassing @ $1,667/ha 18,004 4.79c/kg DM<br />

DM/ha)<br />

503 tonnes silage used $25/tonne 12,575 13.2c/kg DM<br />

6.72 tonnes barley $450/tonne fed 3,240 23.27c/kg DM<br />

Conservation fertiliser (silage) $18/tonne DM 9,045<br />

Total winter feeding costs 42,864<br />

Bottom line<br />

We calculated the amount of feed that this level of production<br />

required for lactation and production of venison with 18-25kg<br />

put on over winter and in early spring to reach targeted finishing<br />

weights:<br />

Gross Margin Venison Breeding Finishing $221,701<br />

Calculated kg DM used 1,016,787 21.8 c/kg DM consumed<br />

Rural Solutions’ gross margin analysis takes a detailed, pragmatic<br />

view of enterprises. It includes interest on capital stock and has<br />

calculated conversion costs from sheep and cattle to deer. For<br />

completeness, the gross margin analysis concludes:<br />

Enterprise gross margin $221,701<br />

Less interest on stock capital at 8.5% $54,431<br />

Interest on capital required for conversion of 220ha<br />

$26,180<br />

@ $1400/ha @ 8.5%<br />

Gross margin after interest and conversion costs $141,090<br />

Kg DM consumed<br />

1,016,787 kg DM<br />

Gross margin per kg DM consumed<br />

13.88 cents/kg DM<br />

Gross margin after interest only (established deer farm) $167,270<br />

Kg DM consumed<br />

1,016,787 kg DM<br />

Gross margin per kg DM consumed<br />

16.45 cents/kg DM<br />

Issue No 33 • December 2008 13

news<br />

Icon at 7 years - 9.60 kg SA2<br />

North Island figures back venison profitability claim<br />

Eighty percent more profitable than intensive breeding ewes – that’s how deer finishing stacks up in a simple land use<br />

option analysis prepared by Mark Macintosh, Facilitator for the DINZ Northern Regions Focus Farm Programme.<br />

Based on return per kilogram of<br />

feed utilised, Mark’s work backs the<br />

findings from Rural Solutions’ more<br />

detailed gross margin cost breakdown<br />

across farming enterprises. Both<br />

reports rate venison among the most<br />

profitable options.<br />

“Land use definitely favours deer<br />

over sheep and beef from an<br />

economic point of view, so venison production offers a costeffective<br />

business option,” says Mark.<br />

Sticking with the industry and building deer numbers<br />

therefore stacks up financially. Mark believes conversion<br />

could also be an option for some sheep and beef farmers<br />

with an interest in deer.<br />

“It’s a different type of farming, so it’s a lifestyle choice<br />

as well as a financial decision. It won’t be for everyone.<br />

However, the profit per kilogram of feed input from deer<br />

is nearly twice that of sheep and beef. The numbers are<br />

compelling.”<br />

Mark presented some land-class comparisons to farmers<br />

attending a recent North Island deer Focus Farm field day in<br />

Te Awamutu. “There was a lot of discussion about improving<br />

returns, and a growing awareness that there is good<br />

Land use Policy Price/head Profit c/kgDM<br />

1. Intensive breeding ewes 140% lambing with 75% from hoggets (includes Lambs at $81.00, $5.00 schedule 14.4<br />

shearing costs)<br />

2. Trading steers, 18 month system Finishing in autumn at 2.5 years of age. 300kg cwt $850/head margin, $4.50 schedule 15.6<br />

3. Bull Beef Finishing at 18 months, 268kg cwt $4.30 schedule 16.5<br />

4. Grazing dairy heifers 50% taken on as weaned calves in December, balance 6.00/week as calves, $8.00/week 16.3<br />

in May<br />

as yearlings<br />

5. <strong>Deer</strong> finishing Weaners purchased in autumn and sold Aug-Jan 55kg cwt at $8/kg schedule 26.0<br />

6. Dairy cows, short-term grazing Taken on for 4-8 weeks June/July $25.00/head per week, over winter 28.0<br />

profitability for deer on hill country in the North Island.”<br />

Based on an analysis using Farmax modelling, deer<br />

finishing came out at 26 cents/kg DM, second only to shortterm<br />

grazing dairy cows at 28 cents/kg DM. This compares<br />

with intensive breeding ewes at 14.4 cents, trading steers in<br />

an 18 month system at 15.6 cents, bull beef at 16.5 cents,<br />

and grazing dairy heifers at 16.3 cents.<br />

Results and their policy assumptions for the various<br />

enterprises are shown in more detail in the table above.<br />

All returns include a cost component for interest on stock at<br />

10% but no other enterprise costs associated with feed, stock<br />

health or animal management as these are assumed constant<br />

on a SU basis across enterprises.<br />

• Contact Northern Regions Focus Farm facilitator Mark<br />

Macintosh: 027 449 1077, mark.mac@agfirst.co.nz<br />

14<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong>

general news<br />

Landcorp would be hit hard by ETS<br />

If carbon emissions were priced at $25 a tonne, the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) as it stands, fully implemented,<br />

would wipe 75 percent off Landcorp’s bottom line, according to the state-owned enterprise’s National Manager –<br />

Services & Strategy, Collier Isaacs.<br />

Speaking to Branch Chairmen at their October meeting, he<br />

said Landcorp would like to see more being done to help<br />

agriculture reduce emissions, rather than simply being taxed<br />

for emitting. “That’s why we’re investing $100,000 in the<br />

Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium.”<br />

He said Landcorp would need to plant about 17,000 hectares<br />

in forest to fully offset its emissions. “We have about 7,000<br />

hectares now, but about 5,500 hectares of that is pre-1990,<br />

so it’s no use to us [for ETS purposes]. We’re fortunate we<br />

have some hard country that might be suitable for planting,<br />

but even so, we could probably only capture about half our<br />

equivalent emissions in a carbon sink this way. But we won’t<br />

be planting anything that would be better off under sheep,<br />

cattle or deer.”<br />

The review provided for in the legislation will take<br />

international competitiveness into account which could help<br />

mitigate against some of the impacts of the ETS, Collier said.<br />

“The scheme creates a positive marketing angle, but it may<br />

not help with survival.”<br />

Landcorp had made some strident submissions on the ETS to<br />

the select committee, in line with others in the agricultural<br />

sector.<br />

Collier Isaacs’ association with deer goes back around<br />

25 years, and continues today in his role as independent<br />

Chairman of DEEResearch. He noted that as the owner of<br />

55,000 breeding hinds Landcorp continues to put $100,000<br />

each year into deer research to invest in their productivity as<br />

well as the industry’s.<br />

With such a large herd, Landcorp is well placed to assist<br />

with farm-based research and is willing to share its results.<br />

One such area is Johne’s disease (JD), which continues to<br />

be a significant issue for Landcorp. With movement from the<br />

breeding to finishing properties, the disease is easily moved<br />

into finishing operations. Landcorp has a testing programme<br />

and is working with AgResearch’s Dr Colin Mackintosh on<br />

options for managing JD.<br />

Collier said the Landcorp deer herd, which accounts for<br />

about 6-8 percent of the national herd, covers the full range<br />

when it comes to growth rates and reproductive performance.<br />

“We will definitely benefit from the productivity strategy,<br />

along with the rest of the industry. We’re conscious of<br />

our size in the deer industry and the potential impact we<br />

could have. Many of our management personnel come<br />

from an industry-good background, so we do think about<br />

consequences.” One example of this was resisting the<br />

temptation to accept some very high, potentially short term,<br />

procurement offers for Landcorp’s venison this season.<br />

Landcorp currently derives about 40 percent of its revenue<br />

from dairying and 10 percent from deer, in line with its<br />

strategy. The other 50 percent is divided equally between<br />

sheep and beef – down from 75 percent just 5 years ago. The<br />

diversified livestock portfolio now helped cushion Landcorp<br />

if one sector was suffering.<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> numbers in<br />

Landcorp’s herd<br />

had fallen in the<br />

last two years,<br />

but that reflected<br />

sale of properties<br />

near Taupo, not a<br />

changed attitude<br />

to deer. Drought<br />

conditions and land<br />

development on<br />

the West coast had<br />

also cut Landcorp’s<br />

capacity for deer<br />

recently.<br />

“We’re putting up<br />

more deer fencing<br />

on the Rangitaiki<br />

Station and putting<br />

more deer into the<br />

Te Anau basin, so<br />

the numbers we’ve<br />

lost will be made up<br />

again. We still have<br />

faith in the deer<br />

industry!”<br />

Collier Isaacs: happy to talk turkey<br />

with industry on joint venture for a<br />

Southland focus farm.<br />

Collier said Landcorp farmed a total of about 175,000<br />

effective hectares, and could probably put another 10,000<br />

hectares behind deer fencing without breaking too much<br />

of a sweat, but there was inevitably a balance to be struck<br />

in some land classes between finishing deer or sheep, or<br />

running dairy support. Currently Landcorp was a bit short on<br />

lamb and deer finishing land, Collier said.<br />

“We have been a bit overstocked in some of our deer<br />

developments, and we’d prefer to have fewer animals putting<br />

on more weight.”<br />

Collier didn’t see parallels between the 2001 price peaks and<br />

today’s high schedule. “We are not building a bow-wave of<br />

unsold product this time, nor does the industry have large<br />

numbers of deer overall, so the odds of a major price tumble<br />

are reduced. This not to say current international economic<br />

conditions won’t provide some challenges.”<br />

In response to discussion about the need for a new Focus<br />

Farm in Southland, Collier had encouraging words for the<br />

Branch Chairmen. “If you wanted to pick one of our farms<br />

in the Te Anau basin and turn that into a Focus Farm or<br />

satellite, we wouldn’t have a problem with that.”<br />

He said Landcorp would take a look at any proposal put<br />

forward by the deer industry to contribute, say $25,000 to<br />

such a Focus Farm project. “We could go 50/50 with the<br />

Southland Branch. We have a lot of deer in that region, so<br />

let’s talk.”<br />

That’s one invitation deer farmers will be only too keen to<br />

accept.<br />

Issue No 33 • December 2008 15

general news<br />

Animal Health Board Update:<br />

Steady progress continues<br />

A slower than expected drop-off in infected herd<br />

numbers on the West Coast, and some unexpected<br />

breakdowns in the Waikato have combined to slow<br />

down the decrease in Tb-infected cattle herds across the<br />

country, the Animal Health Board (AHB) reports.<br />

At a presentation to NZDFA Branch Chairmen in October,<br />

AHB Disease Operations Manager, Keith Lewis said the<br />

number of infected cattle herds had dropped by only four, in<br />

the 12 months to June 2008.<br />

The pattern was similar for deer herds, with a steady decline<br />

in infected herds over the past decade, but a relatively modest<br />

drop (18 down to 16 infected herds) in the year to June 2008.<br />

Since then, the last remaining infected herd in the North<br />

Island has been cleared, bringing the national total to 15.<br />

There were 386 Tb reactor deer in the 12 months to June<br />

2008, but the number of confirmed Tb animals was just 23.<br />

Keith said the AHB was currently predicting a total number<br />

of infected herds (cattle and deer) of 118 by June 2009, a<br />

conservative figure that allowed for 14 infected deer herds.<br />

He added that national figures for period prevalence were<br />

still tracking below the 2001 projections, and were in line<br />

with the current national plan.<br />

In discussion with the Branch Chairmen, there was some<br />

concern that the large number of cattle movements caused<br />

by last summer’s drought, and the continuing expansion<br />

of dairying, could be helping spread the disease. It was<br />

confirmed that calves less than one month of age do not<br />

require tagging, as their risk of spreading Tb is extremely<br />

low.<br />

The issue of resistance to depopulation orders, which<br />

sometimes sees emotions boiling over and threats issued,<br />

was also raised during questions and answers. There<br />

was general agreement that all deer farmers need to take<br />

ownership of the Tb strategy, and if there are concerns about<br />

herds not being tested or unauthorised movements, then<br />

farmers should not be afraid to speak up.<br />

The recent case of a South Island dairy farmer fined $25,000<br />

plus a further $25,000 in costs, provoked a lively discussion.<br />

Some felt that the fine under the Biosecurity Act could have<br />

been much higher. Others pointed out that the penalty was<br />

not only financial, with the farmer concerned now having<br />

trouble finding grazing.<br />

Keith Lewis said three other significant prosecutions were<br />

in the pipeline. He said the worst offenders cause problems<br />

for everyone, not just the AHB. Their breaches can end up<br />

involving regional councils and in extreme cases the armed<br />

offenders squad has been called out.<br />

Rotorua Branch Chairman Andy Mitchell repeated his concerns<br />

about possible large-scale movements of vectors following<br />

removal of plantation forests in the central North Island. He<br />

had been shooting large numbers of possums on his Bay of<br />

Plenty farm since deforestation began in the area, and said<br />

there were also reports of very high possum numbers on<br />

Landcorp property where trees had been cleared.<br />

16<br />

Time getting tight for Pest<br />

Management Strategy review<br />

The pressure is on for MAF and the AHB to agree on<br />

a strategy to take out for consultation early next year<br />

as part of the scheduled review for the National Pest<br />

Management Strategy (NPMS) for bovine Tb.<br />

A detailed proposal must be presented to the Biosecurity<br />

Minister David Carter by 30 September 2009.<br />

Animal Health Board (AHB) Disease Operations Manager,<br />

Keith Lewis updated Branch Chairmen on the review<br />

process at their October meeting, noting that a new low-cost<br />

containment option for bovine Tb requested by MAF was<br />

unlikely to work.<br />

He said the AHB’s review had identified two preferred<br />

options to date: containment or eradication. Once the preconsultation<br />

work is complete – preferably by the end of this<br />

year – one of these will be taken out for consultation with<br />

farmers and the public.<br />

Containment is essentially a continuation along the present<br />

path, maintaining pressure on vectors and reducing vector<br />

risk areas until the 0.2% period prevalence goals is reached.<br />

Then the disease and infected wildlife would need to be kept<br />

pegged back below that threshold. The main disadvantage of<br />

this approach is the ongoing maintenance cost of disease and<br />

vector control, which AHB estimates is about $55 million per<br />

annum.<br />

The more ambitious eradication option seeks to keep up<br />

the current methods to eventually eradicate the disease<br />

entirely from both wildlife and livestock. (See Figure 1.) AHB<br />

believes this is achievable, with the South Island West Coast<br />

the last area to be cleared. Biological freedom from Tb in<br />

<strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> is estimated by AHB to take 25 years from now.<br />

While initially more expensive than the containment option,<br />

eradication would eventually see testing and vector control<br />

cease. It is not expected that possums would be eradicated<br />

per se.<br />

A third option, “ad hoc control”, would involve no formal<br />

NPMS and is not being seriously considered. Neither is the<br />

“do nothing” option. Both are considered to lead to higher<br />

costs and deteriorating Tb status over the long term.<br />

Federated Farmers and Meat and Wool <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> have<br />

declared support for the eradication option, while DairyNZ<br />

and MAF are yet to decide which they will support. DINZ<br />

and NZDFA are also broadly in support of the eradication<br />

option, but also agree with MAF and DairyNZ’s approach,<br />

which calls for a robust analysis of the technical data,<br />

assumptions and cost-benefit analysis. In addition to vector<br />

control, the strategy will consider all the policies that support<br />

the overall aim, such as the testing regime and movement<br />

control.<br />

Keith said progress on the strategy review to date has been<br />

slower than expected.<br />

MAF and DairyNZ have convened a working group which<br />

involves AHB members and independent disease control and<br />

economic advice, he reported.<br />

“AHB’s strategy options have withstood detailed technical<br />

scrutiny and there may be some cost savings available within<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong>

general news<br />

Figure 1: Comparative projected costs for<br />

containment and eradication options.<br />

the eradication and containment strategies.<br />

The group has also requested an additional<br />

lower cost ‘minimal containment’ model.”<br />

Looking at a reduced spend on vector<br />

control for this model, at $30 million/<br />

year, AHB had concluded that the number<br />

of infected herds would probably rise and<br />

eventually stabilise at around 1300 in 15-20<br />

years’ time.<br />

“Realistically the choices for a preferred<br />

strategy option come down to the<br />

eradication and containment strategies as<br />

presented in November 2007,” Keith said.<br />

Retiring AHB Members’ Committee Chairman, Errol Croad<br />

commented that it was essential that the different funding<br />

providers from the dairy, beef and deer sectors agreed on<br />

the strategy and funding formula. “If they are agreed, then<br />

the Government will back it. But if there is any opportunity<br />

for the Government to pull the money from this programme,<br />

they will do so,” he warned. “I have stressed in my [AHB<br />

Members’] committee, that we do not go out for public<br />

consultation unless we agreed on the formula – otherwise<br />

we’ll end up with the same debacle we had seven years<br />

ago.”<br />

The current funding formula sees vector control costs split<br />

between regional councils (10 percent), the Government (50<br />

percent) and the beef, dairy and deer sectors (40 percent).<br />

For disease control, the farming industry pays all costs. Total<br />

deer sector contribution to the NPMS in the 2007/08 year<br />

was $1,977,000.<br />

It is understood that, in the past, the dairy sector has been<br />

reluctant to shoulder its full share of the funding burden.<br />

Keith Lewis said MAF and AHB need to agree on the<br />

preferred option by Christmas. A draft strategy proposal<br />

and public documents would be developed during the<br />

first quarter of 2009, with farmers and the wider industry<br />

consulted in April and May. The next three months would<br />

be taken up with analysing submissions and preparing a<br />

strategy review proposal for the Minister by 30 September.<br />

“There is absolutely no room for slippage,” Keith Lewis<br />

concluded.<br />

ETB Test approval progress<br />

MAF Biosecurity <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> has given interim approval<br />

to use the modified ETB test in surveillance areas for C5+<br />

herds. In a report to Branch Chairmen, AHB Technical<br />

Manager, Paul Livingstone noted concern that in trials<br />

to date, the modified ETB test appeared significantly less<br />

sensitive to Tb in deer than the ETB test.<br />

He has asked MAF to hold off from making a decision on<br />

the modified ETB until the last of the data from three trials<br />

being carried out by AgResearch was available.<br />

Tb tests: expect a call<br />

As of late October, there were between 1,000 – 1,200<br />

overdue whole-herd Tb tests in the AHB’s records (tests<br />

more than 180 days late). Until now, the AHB has written<br />

to the farmer concerned and the supplier who did their<br />

last test, to remind them that a test is due. In order to<br />

cut down this backlog, farmers will now be phoned to be<br />

reminded their test is due and asked who they want to do<br />

the work. AHB will then phone the nominated tester and<br />

inform them, in an endeavour to get them together with<br />

the farmer to schedule the work.<br />

Keith Lewis says it was found some deer vets hadn’t been<br />

inputting deer test results into their Disease Management<br />

Information System, which causes problems when results<br />

from subsequent blood tests come in.<br />

“By ringing the farmers and vets directly we’re finding<br />

that quite a few of the ‘overdue’ tests have actually been<br />

done, but the data’s been sitting around. Or we’re finding<br />

that the farmer is no longer farming deer. The personal<br />

contact with the farmer has been excellent, because we<br />

get a lot of other useful feedback. Most farmers we talk to<br />

have been happy to hear from us.”<br />

Keith expects the backlog of overdue tests should<br />

be cleared within six months using this more direct<br />

approach.<br />

Game estate culls OK for export<br />

The <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> Food Safety Authority has given AHBrecognised<br />

Wild Game Estates the green light to export<br />

venison from culled animals to Germany as wild game.<br />

Previously the animals could only be sold on the<br />

domestic market, but lack of demand has seen the<br />

venison from these animals wasted until now. They can<br />

now go through a game packing house with a proper Tb<br />

assessment by the meat inspectors.<br />

Only those game estates that meet the Game Estates<br />

Association’s industry-agreed standards are recognised by<br />

the AHB for this trade.<br />

Issue No 33 • December 2008 17

general news<br />

Johne’s information networks taking shape<br />

A network of consultants with specialist knowledge of Johne’s disease (JD) in deer has built to around 30, reports<br />

Johne’s Management Ltd (JML) National Database Manager, Jaimie Glossop.<br />

Jaimie told NZDFA Branch Chairmen at their October<br />

meeting that the veterinary specialist network will be trained<br />

in May/June 2009. She said the consultants, predominantly<br />

veterinarians, will be provided with a technical manual and<br />

software to collate all farm-based JD information. This will<br />

include information on results from Paralisa and ETB testing,<br />

reports of JD-related deaths and non-specific reactors to Tb<br />

tests and, of course, reports to farmers from the JML national<br />

database on animals slaughtered with JD-suspect lesions.<br />

This information would help the consultants build a clearer<br />

picture of a farm’s JD status, and develop a strategy for<br />

managing the disease.<br />

The vets will also have their own JD-related web page<br />

on the <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> Veterinary Association’s VetLearn®<br />

Vetspace page, and it’s hoped to eventually make this pooled<br />

knowledge available directly to farmers.<br />

“I’m happy to talk to individual farmers about their JD issues<br />

while the veterinary specialist network gets up and running,<br />

but we’re also encouraging farmers to first talk to their vets,<br />

who can also contact me.”<br />

Jaimie reported that a second mailout had gone out in October,<br />

this time to about 200 suppliers whose slaughter animals had<br />

included at least one with JD-suspect lesions. The mailouts are<br />

done once every four months, so farmers could be receiving<br />

the news up to four months after the event.<br />

She said, in the future, it is planned that when a line is found<br />

to have a significant number of animals with JD-suspect<br />

lesions, the supplier would be informed as soon as possible.<br />

Another planned channel for fast-tracking feedback to<br />

farmers will be through the JML website, where suppliers<br />

will be able to log in and check their own results – this<br />

information will never be more than one month old, Jaimie<br />

said.<br />

JML is currently developing a service agreement with the<br />

Johne’s Research Group (2) to provide technical advice,<br />

develop the next series of JRG Bulletins and update the<br />

Johne’s Manual, which was launched in October 2006.<br />

JML will have a presence at conferences and field days,<br />

including the Lawrence Farmerama and Lincoln field days<br />

early next year.<br />

Producer Manager Tony Pearse told Branch Chairmen that<br />

work is still continuing on the challenging task of developing<br />

a voluntary herd status classification system.<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong> will be running regular updates from<br />

JML, including statistical results on JD prevalence analysed<br />

by Massey’s EpiCentre.<br />

• For further information contact Jaimie Glossop:<br />

0800 456 453, j.glossop@johnes.co.nz<br />

Sire sales: 2009<br />

Date Sale/location Time<br />

6 January Tower Farms 11.30 am<br />

Windermere Red <strong>Deer</strong> Stud<br />

4.00 pm<br />

7 January Raroa Red <strong>Deer</strong> 11.00 am<br />

Kelly Oaks <strong>Deer</strong> Park<br />

2.30 pm<br />

Love Red <strong>Deer</strong><br />

4.30 pm<br />

8 January Rodway Park Ltd & Sarnia Park 11.00 am<br />

Pampas Heights Red <strong>Deer</strong> Stud 2.30 pm<br />

10 January Unfehlbar <strong>Deer</strong> 9.30 am<br />

Peel Forest Estate<br />

2.00 pm<br />

Pelorus Stud<br />

6.00 pm<br />

11 January Stanfield’s European Red <strong>Deer</strong> Stud 1.30 pm<br />

12 January <strong>Deer</strong> Genetics 9.30 am<br />

Foveran <strong>Deer</strong> Park<br />

2.30 pm<br />

13 January Gloriavale <strong>Deer</strong> Park, Littledale <strong>Deer</strong> 12.00<br />

Park: Insignis Park, Christchurch noon<br />

14 January Remarkables Park Stud 1.00 pm<br />

Netherdale Red <strong>Deer</strong><br />

6.30 pm<br />

15 January Arawata <strong>Deer</strong> Stud 1.30 pm<br />

Ingor <strong>Deer</strong> Farm<br />

6.30 pm<br />

16 January Doncaster <strong>Deer</strong> Partnership TBA<br />

Brock <strong>Deer</strong><br />

Wilkins <strong>Deer</strong><br />

17 January Littlebourne Wapiti 1.00 pm<br />

Tikana – Wapiti<br />

3.00 pm<br />

18 January Lochinvar Wapiti Farm 11.00 am<br />

Maryland Wapiti<br />

4.30 pm<br />

19 January Clachanburn Elk 12 noon<br />

20 January Rothesay Trophy <strong>Deer</strong> 1.30 pm<br />

21 January Edendale Wapiti TBA<br />

22 January Raincliff Station Wapiti 1.00 pm<br />

27 January Steinvale Wapiti 1.00 pm<br />

COMING EVENTS: 2009<br />

Date Event Time/Location<br />

17 January NZ Elk/Wapiti Bull Auctions and NZEWS<br />

Hard Horn (Antler) and Velvet Competition<br />

31 January Southland Branch 2 year old velvet<br />

competition<br />

Contact for further<br />

details<br />

Winton Tom May: 027 433 3171<br />

4:00pm, Norma & Harry Robinson’s, Janet Horrell: 03 236 8720<br />

1 February Fiordland Branch velvet competition Chris and Helen Carran’s, same format as<br />

previous years<br />

10 February 2008 Environment Awards field day<br />

featuring use of alternate dryland pasture<br />

species (Duncan and Co award)<br />

11 February Central Regions Focus Farm Community<br />

field day<br />

1:00pm-4:30pm, Lyndon and Millie<br />

Matthews’ property, Puketira <strong>Deer</strong>, 6<br />

Glenallen Road, Waikari<br />

10:30am-5:00pm, Tim Aitken and Lucy<br />

Robertshawe’s property, The Steyning,<br />

Tikokino, Hawke’s Bay<br />

19 February Canterbury Focus Farm community field day 10:30am-5:00pm, Mendip Hills<br />

Station, Parnassus<br />

21 February National Rising Stars hard antler and velvet<br />

competition<br />

Chris Petersen: 03 249 8996<br />

Natalie Fraser: 04 471 6110<br />

Facilitator Richard Hilson:<br />

027 275 3943<br />

Facilitator Peter Bradley:<br />

027 649 1107<br />

“The Oaks”, Tower Farms, Cambridge Sharon Love: 07 332 5892<br />

24 February SCNO Focus Farm community field day 12:30-5:00pm, Ross and Sally Stevens’<br />

property, Whiterock Station, Rangitata<br />

Gorge, South Canterbury<br />

25 February Northern Regions Focus Farm Community<br />

field day<br />

26–28 May <strong>Deer</strong> industry conference: “Passion and<br />

profit”<br />

12:30-5:00pm, Bruce Simmond’s<br />

Rotorua property, Northern Boundary<br />

Red <strong>Deer</strong>, 1129 Northern Boundary<br />

Road, RD 3, Rotorua<br />

Facilitator Nicky Hyslop:<br />

027 474 4149<br />

Facilitator Mark Macintosh:<br />

027 449 1077<br />

Palmerston North Travelodge Natalie Fraser: 04 471 6110<br />

Tony Pearse: 021 719 038<br />

18<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong>

general news<br />

Utilising mother nature for bigger gains<br />

You won’t need to increase the size of your commercial hinds to successfully raise fast-growing fawns when you use<br />

Wapiti sires, says Elk/Wapiti stud breeder Dave Lawrence.<br />

“Mating a Wapiti bull to your Red<br />

hinds is simply utilising mother nature<br />

and allows you to take advantage of<br />

maximum biological efficiency. You<br />

don’t need to sacrifice breeding hind<br />

numbers when you use Wapiti sires.<br />

Neither will you sacrifice reproductive<br />

performance.”<br />

Dave says the 12-month carcass weights<br />

used by the Elk and Wapiti Society<br />

of <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> in its advertising are<br />

based on widely accepted growth<br />

rates and weight data, sourced<br />

from AgResearch Invermay, Lincoln<br />

University, the <strong>Deer</strong>Master manual and<br />

the <strong>Deer</strong>South performance monitoring<br />

and benchmarking group.<br />

“Invermay research into lactation<br />

of Red hinds has shown that udder<br />

development is positively stimulated<br />

by a hybrid foetus compared to a Red<br />

foetus. After birth it was shown that<br />

a Red hind feeding a hydrid fawn will<br />

produce one-third more milk than if it<br />

were feeding a Red fawn.”<br />

He says a lot of effort has gone into promoting<br />

genetic gains within Red deer, but points out<br />

that using a Red sire of average genetic merit from within<br />

the DEER Select database over a Red hind would yield a<br />

liveweight advantage of 5.5kg at 12 months. This would<br />

translate to a carcass weight advantage of 3kg. Dave claims<br />

a Wapiti terminal sire over the same Red hind could yield a<br />

12-month carcass weight advantage of 17kg compared with<br />

the product of a standard Red sire.<br />

“Thanks to the efforts of the Elk and Wapiti Society we now<br />

have a competitive schedule for these larger carcasses. After<br />

this was negotiated through the creation of NZ Elk we’ve<br />

got this available across the board. In the past, switched-on<br />

farmers who were targeting the spring schedule were using<br />

Wapiti sires to achieve the weights early, but these animals<br />

were being killed at 55-58 kg before they came into their<br />

best growth phase. Now the bigger carcasses aren’t being<br />

penalised, and that gives huge flexibility.”<br />

The NZ Elk company works in with Gore’s Clover Meats.<br />

Dave Lawrence notes that within a very short time of<br />

Clover Meats getting under way with NZ Elk, the other<br />

big processors started to match the better prices for larger<br />

carcasses.<br />

He says velvet production is another plus with Wapiti/Elk.<br />

“Wapiti velvet has achieved a premium per kilo over Red<br />

velvet for many years. It generally has a thick beam, is<br />

substantially heavier than average Red deer velvet and is the<br />

closest that <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> producers can come to the more<br />

traditional Chinese and Russian product.”<br />

Thinking big: Elk/Wapiti terminal sires will give you the carcass size you want,<br />

says the Elk and Wapiti Society. Photo: Linda Scott.<br />




1 PM<br />

On offer, a good selection of 3 and 4 year old<br />

Fiordland and NZ Wapiti Bulls<br />

On farm sale, 234 Piakonui Road<br />

Walton, Matamata<br />

All deer TB and Johne’s tested<br />

Our C5 TB status will have no negative impact<br />

on the destination herd’s current TB status.<br />

For details contact:<br />

Mike Steiner 027 439 2444 or 07 880 9979<br />

Harley Steiner 027 431 7431 or 07 888 3958<br />

Graeme Churstain 027 473 5853<br />

Paul Lampp 027 442 6477<br />

Issue No 33 • December 2008 19

industry news<br />

<strong>New</strong> PGG Wrightson/Tasman velvet initiative<br />

targets two-thirds of sales<br />

Following the failure of negotiations between Velexco, PGG Wrightson Limited and Tasman Velvet Processors Limited to<br />

forge a single business earlier this year, a new initiative has emerged. As <strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong> was going to press, PGG<br />

Wrightson and Tasman Velvet Processors announced a new company which they expect will improve the performance of<br />

the <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> velvet export supply chain. The model initially allows a one-third ownership by producers with three<br />

producer directors on a seven-seat board.<br />

The parties, with velvet producer support, intend to<br />

incorporate a new company, the <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> Velvet<br />

Marketing Company Limited (NZVM), with a focus on<br />

marketing <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong>’s quality deer velvet to world<br />

markets.<br />

Through the commitment of producers, NZVM will become<br />

responsible for the marketing of two-thirds of <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong><br />

velvet sales and will have the critical mass to drive further<br />

efficiencies and targeted marketing initiatives.<br />

“This exciting development is the first step towards<br />

improving returns for <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong>’s velvet producers<br />

through a focus on marketing rather than commodity<br />

selling,” said Conrad Wilkshire, General Manager of PGG<br />

Wrightson’s Velvet Division.<br />

Critical to success will be the development of robust<br />

commercial partnerships with both Korea and China.<br />



3rd Annual Stag Sale<br />

On Farm<br />

Saturday 10th January 2009<br />

Breakfast & stag viewing 9am<br />

Auction 10am<br />

1st stop for the PGG Wrightson bus<br />

Stud 20 minutes from airport<br />

STAG WALK Fri 19 Dec - 3.30pm<br />

Stags in the shed. No binoculars required.<br />

Visitors always welcome<br />

2008’s fantastic spikers are 2009 sale stags<br />

Something for everyone!<br />

Contact Guy Brady & Lynette Terry-Brady<br />

Phone 03 3478158, Fax 03 3478159<br />

Mobile 021 664 805 Guy, Mobile 021 058 3566 Lynette<br />

Email Unfehlbar@xtra.co.nz<br />

Website www.english-red-deer.co.nz<br />

PGG Agents: Graham Kingsman 027 422 3154<br />

Ron Schroeder 027 4321 299<br />

ER0023608©<br />

“Consumer demand for <strong>New</strong><br />

<strong>Zealand</strong>’s quality velvet product<br />

remains strong in these markets,<br />

but we need to satisfy their<br />

demand in a more focused and<br />

efficient manner if we are to<br />

obtain the best possible returns<br />

for producers,” Conrad added.<br />

Tasman Velvet Director, Chris<br />

Taylor agreed.<br />

“At a time when the world<br />

economic outlook remains<br />

uncertain, it is imperative that we<br />

seek out strong partnerships with<br />

the distributors of <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong>’s<br />

quality deer velvet. We intend<br />

NZVM to focus on relationships.<br />

There is an interdependence<br />

between sellers and buyers which<br />

has been underestimated in the<br />

past, and this has led to missed<br />

opportunities for mutual benefit.<br />

“Producers have been galvanised<br />

by low velvet prices in recent<br />

years to create structures to drive<br />

industry reform, but the key<br />

element missing has been a link<br />

to a proven marketing company,”<br />

Chris said. “NZVM will fill this<br />

void.<br />

“This is a totally commercial<br />

solution. It brings together two<br />

key players in the industry<br />

while leaving the door open for<br />

Chris Taylor, Tasman Velvet:<br />

interdependence between<br />

sellers and buyers has been<br />

underestimated.<br />

Conrad Wilkshire, PGG<br />

Wrightson: we need to<br />

satisfy their demand in a<br />

more focused and efficient<br />

manner.<br />

producers to share ownership and take part in the marketing<br />

principles, strategies and decision making. NZVM will have<br />

a similar structure to other marketing organisations in the<br />

rural sector, and already proven in the fine wool industry in<br />

particular.”<br />

Ownership will be split three ways, with PGG Wrightson and<br />

Tasman Velvet each expected to take a one-third share in<br />

NZVM and the remaining third open to producers.<br />

Messrs Wilkshire and Taylor said they recognised that the<br />

initiative would succeed only with the support of producers –<br />

both as suppliers and through a role in establishing NZVM’s<br />

governance structures.<br />

“The aim of Tasman Velvet and PGG Wrightson is to<br />

demonstrate the value of NZVM in the coming months as<br />

a prerequisite to building producer support. We are open-<br />

20<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong>

industry news<br />

minded about the form of producer participation. We<br />

believe that existing producer co-operatives and interest<br />

groups are well placed to become involved if they wish to<br />

do so.”<br />

They said the VSM Supplier Council – comprising 12<br />

velvet suppliers from around the country with significant<br />

investment in the deer velvet industry – had shown strong<br />

support for the establishment of NZVM.<br />

The initial NZVM board will comprise seven directors –<br />

two each from PGG Wrightson and Tasman Velvet and<br />

three producer directors.<br />

NZVM has already been welcomed by Tie Ling Ji Da <strong>Deer</strong><br />

Products of China, one of <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong>’s largest buyers of<br />

velvet.<br />

“Interest is also coming from Korean buyers, who need a<br />

reliable supply of quality product with delivery matched<br />

to their business requirements,” Conrad Wilkshire said.<br />

Tasman Velvet has considerable experience in the<br />

international velvet market, a niche processing capability<br />

and a strong presence in China.<br />

PGG Wrightson provides collection and grading services to<br />

<strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> producers and operates the spot sales pools<br />

and VSM sales service for producers.<br />

NZVM is a registered company effective 5 December<br />

2008. Operations will commence ahead of the <strong>New</strong> Year,<br />

with the early priority being further communication with<br />

producers.<br />

DINZ and NZDFA welcome NZVM<br />

initiative<br />

DINZ Chairman, John Scurr said the development is positive.<br />

“Initiatives such as this which help to move velvet down a<br />

tighter, more coordinated supply chain are good news. It’s very<br />

consistent with work that other companies like Velexco are doing<br />

and I anticipate that a more orderly marketing structure will<br />

assist all sellers including independent agents”.<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> Farmers’ Association Chairman Bill Taylor has also<br />

welcomed the formation of this new company.<br />

“This announcement demonstrates a commitment to the future<br />

of velvet by PGGW and Tasman, and I believe deer farmers will<br />

support it with product at least.<br />

“The <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> Velvet Marketing Company (NZVM) will<br />

offer farmers an opportunity to take some ownership by way<br />

of investment in the company that markets their velvet. While<br />

Velexco has offered this same opportunity in the past, farmers<br />

have failed to support the co-operative in sufficient numbers<br />

to effect change. NZVM may also find it difficult to attract<br />

investment from producers,” said Bill Taylor.<br />

The press release announcing the initiative says “existing<br />

producer co-operatives and interest groups are well placed to<br />

become involved if they wish to do so”. Bill says this is exactly<br />

what the NZDFA would like to see take place. “The association<br />

believes the best interests of velvet producers will met by a<br />

coordinated marketing approach supported by as many producers<br />

as possible.”<br />

VSM 2008/2009<br />

A collective system for a<br />

more controlled sales process<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

“We believe sustainable returns are built around quality velvet<br />

and improving the average price for the season”<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

For further information contact:<br />

National Velvet Manager<br />

Tony Cochrane<br />

03 344 3660 or 0275 918 438<br />

tcochrane@pggwrightson.co.nz<br />

North Island Manager<br />

Gordon Herrington<br />

027 597 4591<br />

Velvet Administrator<br />

Vaughan Sandford<br />

0275 963 926<br />

PGG Wrightson Velvet Freephone 0800 4 velvet (0800 4 835 838)<br />

<br />

Issue No 33 • December 2008 21

industry news<br />

Tyrolean dried venison:<br />

Adding value to the game<br />

trade<br />

Not all commodity-type venison ends up as goulash.<br />

One long-term fan of <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> venison is a specialist<br />

producer of dried game meats in Austria. Ager GesmbH,<br />

based in the picturesque Tyrol region of southern Austria,<br />

manufactures game items and ready meals for distribution<br />

throughout Europe.<br />

The company was founded to process local wild shot deer<br />

and wild boar, but as the supply of local game could not<br />

keep up with demand for the company’s gourmet products,<br />

Ager looked to <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> as a reputable supplier of<br />

venison.<br />

The main item the company produces is game speck, or airdried<br />

ham. Speck is a very traditional food and part of the<br />

local culinary culture of the Austrian/Italian alpine region.<br />

Meat drying has been practised for centuries as a means of<br />

preserving food for the long, cold alpine winters. The process<br />

is similar to the production of the famous Italian hams such<br />

as Parma, where the only added ingredients are salt, herbs,<br />

mountain air and time.<br />

Ager takes whole muscles from the leg and forequarter<br />

and seasons them with a mix of flavourings. They are then<br />

hung for six months to dry. Over this time they lose up to<br />

40 percent of their weight through evaporation, but develop<br />

deep and complex flavours. The venison is then vacuum<br />

packed into 500g pieces or thinly sliced and laid on trays for<br />

sale. The spec is sold mainly through retailers and Ager’s<br />

customer list is growing with sales throughout Europe.<br />

A recent development has been pre-cooked frozen ready<br />

meals. Ager is producing roast venison, venison goulash and<br />

venison geschnitzeltes (like stirfry) meals using <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong><br />

venison. These are pre-cooked and come with a sauce with<br />

a mixture of pre-prepared side dishes. Ager produces these<br />

mainly for the retail sector, where frozen ready-to-cook<br />

meals continue to be among the fastest-growing segments of<br />

European supermarket sales. The product is also useful for<br />

supplying catering establishments that don’t have time or<br />

expertise to create these sorts of dishes from scratch.<br />

Ager prefers frozen venison because the microbial counts and<br />

product shelf-life are consistently lower than chilled. As they<br />

do not depend on a quick turnaround, the company can buy<br />

frozen in larger quantities when they are available and then<br />

manufacture when it suits the business.<br />

Consultation for Venison <strong>Industry</strong> Strategic Intent 2009-2014<br />

The Venison <strong>Industry</strong> Strategy helps determine DINZ actions to advance the interests of the <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> deer industry.<br />

It is a reference point for the Productivity Strategy, and while no individual venison exporting company is bound by it, it<br />

provides a framework for some individual activities.<br />

The Venison <strong>Industry</strong> Strategic Intent 2005-2009 is entering<br />

its final year, and while the venison industry has changed<br />

markedly since this strategy was first conceived in 2004, the<br />

underlying issues remain.<br />

In the coming months, venison marketers will be considering<br />

some of the issues they face in establishing stable<br />

profitability for the industry, and making recommendations<br />

for either individual action, or collaborative activities.<br />

The core short-term challenges for the industry are:<br />

• establishing committed supply arrangements from<br />

pasture to plate to provide certainty for marketing <strong>New</strong><br />

<strong>Zealand</strong> venison, and providing some price stability<br />

• increasing venison production to supply a demanding<br />

market, providing sufficient raw material for processors’<br />

needs<br />

• maintaining demand in diverse markets and growing<br />

this demand as supply increases.<br />

The strategy must be adaptable to change. For example,<br />

the original volume targets for market diversification in the<br />

2004-2009 strategy were achieved in year 2 as a result of the<br />

massive increase in production when farmers reduced deer<br />

numbers in 2005 and 2006. However, some of this alternative<br />

The picturesque Tyrol region in Austria is home to game meats<br />

specialist, Ager GesmbH.<br />

business was not established at sustainably profitable prices<br />

for farming deer and, as volumes have fallen, many of these<br />

newer customers have fallen away.<br />

But reducing the industry’s reliance on the traditional<br />

game restaurant sector remains as important today as it did<br />

during the high production period of 2005 to 2007. This is<br />

because over-reliance on sector could expose the industry<br />

to sudden market shocks. Rather than simple volumebased<br />

targets, companies work to diversify distribution<br />

channels, developing specific products for specific users, so<br />

that the volume of venison flowing to European restaurant<br />

wholesalers can be kept in balance with expected demand.<br />

At the same time, the European ‘game’ restaurant will<br />

continue to be the best-returning sector for <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong>.<br />

For the foreseeable future, affluent Europeans who want<br />

game meals in winter will pay more than any other largeuse<br />

sector, and this will continue to be the focus of venison<br />

marketing activities.<br />

Over coming months DINZ will be working with venison<br />

marketing companies to refine the goals of an industry<br />

strategy, and will seek the views of all participants in the<br />

value chain.<br />

22<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong>

industry news<br />

Powered by velvet.org.nz in world’s top 10<br />

Brazil’s north-eastern states of Ceará, Piaui and Maranhão provided an exotic and challenging setting for the Ecomotion<br />

2008 Adventure Racing World Championships last month.<br />

<strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> deer velvet was once<br />

again helping power the elite with<br />

the DINZ-sponsored team Powered<br />

by velvet.org.nz maintaining their<br />

spot among the world’s top-ranked<br />

competitors.<br />

Biking made up the biggest<br />

proportion of the 3-day, 529<br />

km course (46.5 percent). The<br />

remainder was divided between<br />

paddling (26.7%), trekking<br />

(20.8%) and sailing (6%).<br />

The Powered by velvet team<br />

was led by Rhys Burns, with<br />

Sonya Clark, Nathan Peterson<br />

and Chris Morrissey. (Peterson,<br />

a multisport specialist,<br />

replaced team regular George<br />

Christison. George was busy<br />

flying the Powered by velvet<br />

flag back home, racing in the<br />

inaugural “Lake to Lighthouse”<br />

multisport race from Lake<br />

Waikaremoana to Wairoa,<br />

where he came second.)<br />

Team member Sonya Clark<br />

is no stranger to deer, or the<br />

velvet that helps her team’s<br />

performance. She grew up<br />

on a deer farm in Lumsden,<br />

Southland, where her father<br />

Tom Clark still runs a<br />

velvetting herd. Sonya spoke<br />

to <strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong><br />

about the team’s latest<br />

foray into international<br />

adventure racing.<br />

She reports that Powered<br />

by velvet finished 10 th<br />

out of 60 teams, in a<br />

typically hard-fought race.<br />

In touch with the leaders<br />

throughout the race, the<br />

team was placed as high<br />

as third during the earlier<br />

stages. A series of three<br />

punctures and a missed<br />

turn on one of the final<br />

legs saw the team slip<br />

back to its tenth spot, but<br />

Sonya says the experience<br />

has been invaluable.<br />

C’mon kiwis! The velvet-powered team trekking<br />

through the sand dunes on one of the early race<br />

stages<br />

Chris Morrisey and Sonya Clark snatch a short sleep<br />

break during the event.<br />

Powered by velvet.org.nz took a hard-fought 10th spot in<br />

the World Championships. From left: Nathan Peterson, Chris<br />

Morrisey, Rhys Burns and Sonya Clark.<br />

“At this top level there is now very little between the<br />

leading teams,” she says. “It only takes a small slip to<br />

cost you placings. When we did lose our bearings it was<br />

heartbreaking, and made worse by swarms of flies that kept<br />

biting us while we figured out where we<br />

were!<br />

“We’ve learned a lot about tactics and our<br />

strengths and weaknesses; we realised<br />

later that a half-hour break would have<br />

set us up better for that section. We know<br />

we’ve got a lot of potential and we’re<br />

confident with our speed. We can foot it<br />

with the best – next time we’ll race a bit<br />

smarter.”<br />

One interesting variation in this race was<br />

the option to go after a bonus point by<br />

paddling an extra 9 km. This gave teams<br />

the right to rest for only four hours rather<br />

than the mandatory eight. Sonya says<br />

they eschewed this opportunity because<br />

they thought it would fit their rest<br />

patterns better, but on reflection they may<br />

been better to go for the shorter rests.<br />

Sonya says the teams were based at the<br />

Mosquito Blue Hotel in Jericoacoara,<br />

on the coast, racing back towards the<br />

resort from the North, starting with a 13<br />

km trek through the sand dunes. “There<br />

was less racing on foot than we were<br />

expecting. There was a headwind all the<br />

way back, and when we were paddling it<br />

was always upstream or against the tide!”<br />

As expected the tropical heat was a<br />

challenge, with temperatures of up to 46<br />

degrees. “We’d each take out six litres of<br />

water, and come back with nothing! As<br />

long as you kept sweating you were OK.”<br />

The first paddle was in the sea at night.<br />

Rough conditions and strong tides meant<br />

it took an hour and a half to get just<br />

four kilometres. But there was an upside.<br />

“There was lovely phosphorescence<br />

in the water at night – quite romantic<br />

really. I don’t think anyone else noticed it<br />

though!”<br />

They appreciated some good “meaty”<br />

sections, including a 12-13 hour stage<br />

up a river with very little water, which<br />

involved as much bush bashing as<br />

paddling.<br />

Sonya says the sailing section of the race<br />

was eventually canned, as they were in<br />

the hands of local fishermen who sailed<br />

the boats. “Some teams just about sailed<br />

back to <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong>! It was totally<br />

out of our control, and we couldn’t communicate with the<br />

fishermen – one team had to pay their man to sail faster!”<br />

Unlike the recent Wulong race, when team members were<br />

struck down with illness, everyone stayed in good shape<br />

24<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong>

industry news<br />

for this race. The only mishap was a lost big toenail and bruised toes for Nathan<br />

Peterson.<br />

Sonya is in no doubt the deer velvet regime followed by all of the team members<br />

continues to boost their recovery times and help them through adversity. “In<br />

Wulong, even when the guys were feeling ill, they managed to keep racing strongly<br />

and we’re sure the velvet plays a part in that.”<br />

She says adventure racing is in good heart with a lot of good teams at the top.<br />

The title was won this year by another <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> team (Orionhealth.com). The<br />

highly fancied Nike team which came second also had two kiwi team members.<br />

Powered by velvet.org.nz is very keen to build on their recent success. They hope<br />

to enter the next race in the ARC series in <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> early next year as a team,<br />

while Sonya, Nathan and George raced in Abu Dhabi in separate teams earlier this<br />

month.<br />

“We’d like to say a special thanks to our sponsors and our fantastic support crew:<br />

my father Tom, and Tristan, Manu, Anne and Phill. We hope to race in China again<br />

next year and we would love to enter the 2009 World Championships in Portugal!”<br />

• While Powered by velvet was just out of the top placings in Brazil, team<br />

member Sonya Clark has good reason to remember this year’s event. Partner<br />

Tristan – a member of the support crew – popped the question at the end of<br />

the race and they’ve became engaged. <strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> wishes the<br />

happy couple all the best for the future.<br />

Wildplaza promotes game<br />

meats know-how<br />

“AZTEC” Pure Woburn at 4 years.<br />

38pts, SCI. 427 4 /8.<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> has recently joined a Dutch organisation aimed<br />

at increasing consumer acceptance of Game. Wildplaza is a grouping of<br />

Dutch and Belgian companies which handle game meats. These include<br />

wild venison, hare, pheasant and wild boar, but many of the companies<br />

also import or buy <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> venison for their customers. The<br />

organisation intends to be the source of information on game meats for<br />

consumers and the press in the Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherlands,<br />

Luxembourg). It is beneficial to have a direct involvement to ensure that<br />

<strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> venison is well represented and clearly differentiated from<br />

European wild venison. Alongside the website, Wildplaza has issued press<br />

releases to the food and consumer media about the safety standards and<br />

the healthy profile of game meats. Further consumer promotion activities<br />

are planned.<br />

www.wildplaza.com<br />

Tuesday 6th January<br />

11.30am<br />

4pm<br />

Warnham<br />

&Woburn<br />

LEADING the<br />

Wednesday INDUSTRY 7th January<br />

with Outstanding VELVET<br />

11amWeights & Breeding<br />

Record Trophy Stags.<br />

Enquiries to: John & Paula Kempthorne<br />



PH: 07 847 4809 • FAX: 07 846 1984<br />

MOBILE: 0274 958 987<br />

e.mail: info@windermere-deer.com<br />

website: www.windermere-deer.com<br />

2.30pm<br />

4.30pm<br />

11.00am<br />

2.30pm<br />


S T A G<br />

SALES<br />

Thursday 8th January<br />

WITH<br />


W A I K A T O<br />

“HUDSON” Pure<br />

Massive Velve<br />

R O T O R U A<br />

Issue No 33 • December 2008 25

industry news<br />

Shawn McLean:<br />

Latest Chef Ambassador to endorse Cervena® in United States<br />

Another US chef has taken up the call to endorse Cervena to fellow chefs in North America.<br />

Multi-award wining chef Shawn McLean has agreed to assist <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> promote Cervena in<br />

the coming year. Shawn is a fan of all things <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong>. He visited here in 2006 and toured<br />

a deer farm in the South Island at the invitation of <strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong>.<br />

Shawn operates three restaurants in Chicago. Spring, a seafood restaurant, opened in 2001<br />

to immediate national acclaim. That year, Spring was nominated for the James Beard<br />

Foundation’s “Best <strong>New</strong> Restaurant” award, and Shawn was named by Esquire magazine as<br />

“Chef of the Year”. In 2002, he appeared in “40 Under 40”, Crain’s Chicago Business’ highly<br />

competitive list of who’s who in the city. This was followed by a vegetarian restaurant the<br />

Green Zebra in 2004 and, in 2005, Custom House was opened. This modern interpretation of<br />

the classic steakhouse focuses on artisan meats, which include regular appearances of Cervena<br />

on his menus.<br />

“I was blown away by our visit to a deer farm near Wanaka when I visited <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong>,”<br />

Shawn says. “I had no idea that deer are raised in such a natural environment. It’s no wonder<br />

the meat tastes so good. I’ve been using produce from <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> in my restaurants for a<br />

few years, and Cervena venison is a perfect fit for my steakhouse menu.”<br />

He joins other chefs Brad Farmerie (<strong>New</strong> York), Todd Grey (Washington DC), 2008 Cervena<br />

Plates winner Peter Pack (Napa Valley) and Chris Thompson (Houston) as well-known chefs<br />

using and endorsing Cervena. Given Shawn’s high profile in some parts of the United States,<br />

DINZ will be featuring him in advertising in food service magazines over the coming year.<br />






We have selected our best three year old sires of PROVEN genetics for sale. The offering will consist of Bloodlines of Pure<br />

WOBURN, WARNHAM, HUNGARIAN, GERMAN and FURZELAND. In the past we have offered and sold 2 year stags<br />

that have cut up to 6.0 kg SA Grade velvet at 2 years, cut at the correct time (not overgrown).<br />

The Auction will include PURE BRED sons of:<br />

STEIN-GOR German, 8.1kg SA2 velvet at 9 years<br />

WILLIE German/Warnham. 8.6kg SA2 velvet at 7 years<br />

HENSHAW Furzeland, 14.8kg antler at 7 years<br />

KAIZA German, 7.0kg SA2 velvet at 9 years<br />

GREEN 112 Red Barron Son Dam Furzeland/Woburn 5.40kg<br />

SA2 velvet at 6 years<br />

GREEN 402 Romulus Son/Dam Red Barron daughter 6.5kg SA2<br />

velvet at 6 years<br />

Red 34 Chancellor Peel Son, Dam German/Woburn. Grown<br />

out 2007<br />

Stags delivered Otago and Southland FREE.<br />




(Capital Stock)<br />

For sale due to change in<br />

farming practices<br />

4% Overriding commission to all non<br />

participating companies or agents<br />

Ingor <strong>Deer</strong> Farm is QA accredited and TB accredited (C10) No. R96046. Catalogues available mid December.<br />

Please direct all enquires to – Allan Wilson: Waimatua No.11 RD, Invercargill.<br />

Phone/Fax: 03-216 7999, Mobile: 0274-748 901, Email: ingor@xtra.co.nz<br />

Brian Duggan: Phone: 03-211 3130, Mobile: 0274-324 212<br />

Issue No 33 • December 2008 31

industry news<br />

Farmers’ markets in <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong><br />

The growing interest in locally sourced food is being matched by strong growth in interest in farmers’ markets around<br />

<strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong>.<br />

According to the Healthy<br />

Food Guide, there are<br />

now close to 30 weekly<br />

farmers’ markets from<br />

the Bay of Islands to<br />

Invercargill, selling all<br />

manner of locally grown<br />

produce, from papaya to<br />

swedes. Included in the<br />

mix at many of these<br />

markets are venison and<br />

venison smallgoods.<br />

Some writers have<br />

been making fairly<br />

extravagant claims about<br />

the benefits of farmers’<br />

markets, crediting them<br />

among other things with<br />

greater environmental<br />

friendliness, fresher<br />

products and a lower<br />

carbon footprint than<br />

conventional food<br />

buying. None of these<br />

assertions is based on<br />

any fact, and in many<br />

Standing behind his product: Thornton Peck sells venison smallgoods from the Basecamp range at his stall<br />

at the weekly Waitangi Park farmers’ market in the heart of Wellington. Basecamp, located in Katikati, was<br />

established in 1992 by Bill Hensley. The company’s venison salamis are sold at markets throughout<br />

<strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong>.<br />

cases are likely to be wrong. The trend does indicate the<br />

positive association that farmers’ markets evoke among more<br />

idealistic consumers, however.<br />

Some farmers have chosen to forgo the more established<br />

method of getting their venison to market, and have instead<br />

undertaken the marketing of it themselves. Attendance at<br />

farmers’ markets provides a visible presence for venison to<br />

the more inquisitive consumers who frequent these events.<br />

It also provides a direct interface between consumers and<br />

the farmers who grow the deer. As consumers seek more<br />

information about the provenance of their food, this direct<br />

communication provides a level of reassurance about where<br />

food comes from, how it is raised, and who (literally) is<br />

standing behind it.<br />

Of course farmers’ markets are only one sales channel<br />

for venison in <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong>. The volume sold through<br />

supermarkets by local marketing companies, and to<br />

restaurants via wholesalers, is much higher than volumes<br />

sold at farmers’ markets. Supermarket sales of venison have<br />

been boosted in recent years by point-of-sale promotion,<br />

instore tastings and regional television advertising.<br />

While it’s nice to see another outlet for <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong><br />

venison, DINZ does not provide financial assistance to<br />

individual companies for attending farmers’ markets.<br />

Individual companies choose how they sell their deer and<br />

DINZ does not consider it appropriate to subsidise this form<br />

of distribution, as it does not subsidise other methods such<br />

as distribution through supermarkets or selling via websites.<br />

Where there is a non-commercial, industry-good element,<br />

however, DINZ does support sellers of <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> venison<br />

to promote the attributes of the product.<br />

32<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong>

industry news<br />


BOGO F&D Ltd<br />

Innovative, professional and energetic would be the perfect way to describe the successful entry into the velvet market<br />

by BOGO F&D Ltd. The company was also very methodical in its launch, identifying the youth market (children to young<br />

adults) as its key audience.<br />

Since its launch in April 2008, BOGO<br />

has sold considerable volumes of its<br />

innovative product, a drink aptly named<br />

Chongmyeongbo – aptly named because<br />

Chongmyeongbo is based on the oriental<br />

medicine prescription, “Chongmyeongtang”.<br />

This is prescribed for brightening<br />

the ear and eye (improving hearing and<br />

sight). Chongmyeong is synonymous<br />

with wisdom and brightness.<br />

In April this year, DINZ CEO, Mark<br />

O’Connor and Velvet Marketing Services<br />

Manager, Rhys Griffiths met BOGO’s<br />

Deputy General Manager, Mr Kang who<br />

explained how their process for choosing<br />

a good, consistent quality source of velvet<br />

led them to <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong>. Having a large<br />

pharmaceutical organisation (Daewoong)<br />

as its parent company gives BOGO the<br />

means for research and development<br />

into novel delivery systems. Daewoong is<br />

Korea’s largest manufacturer of the spout<br />

pouch, or cher pack.<br />

BOGO has developed and patented a<br />

technique that uses enzymes to break<br />

down the antler and enable a greater<br />

uptake of nutrients from the antler.<br />

The product is designed to target<br />

the growth and health of children,<br />

teenagers and “examinees” (students<br />

studying hard). A key focus is packing a<br />

whopping 1 gram (1,000 mg) into each<br />

pouch while still making it pleasant<br />

to drink. BOGO highlights three key<br />

benefits for the product:<br />

• produced by Daewoong, a wellknown<br />

and respected<br />

Korean pharmaceutical company<br />

• no harmful materials such as<br />

antiseptic, caffeine and colouring<br />

• produced under strict hygiene<br />

conditions in modern facilities.<br />

The novel pouches are enjoyed by young<br />

people as they keep the drink cool and<br />

can even be frozen to form “slushies”<br />

during the hottest part of summer.<br />

Chongmyeongbo is marketed to children<br />

when they:<br />

• need balanced nutrients for growth<br />

and development<br />

• are exhausted from too much study<br />

• are weak due to<br />

an unbalanced<br />

diet<br />

• have low energy<br />

due to excessive<br />

study although<br />

they have no<br />

health problems.<br />

given away to potential customers to<br />

try. The response was great, lifting sales<br />

during the third quarter by 40 percent<br />

over the previous quarter. The strategy<br />

included targeting the consumer through<br />

pharmacies and mall displays.<br />

“We are very excited about <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong><br />

<strong>Deer</strong> Velvet and want to continue to<br />

extend our business [range],” says Mr<br />

Kang. Since April, BOGO has launched<br />

another three <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> velvet-based<br />

products with more on the horizon.<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> has<br />

contributed, albeit in a small way,<br />

to the Chuseok campaign. “It’s great<br />

dealing with BOGO,” says DINZ Velvet<br />

Marketing Services Manager, Rhys<br />

Griffiths. “They are not only energetic<br />

professionals; they are also very focused<br />

on their goals. Their plans are well<br />

mapped out and they have the backing<br />

of a major pharmaceutical company.”<br />

Mr. Kang, Deputy General<br />

Manager, BOGO F&D Ltd.<br />

In September, BOGO<br />

embarked on its<br />

biggest campaign<br />

with Chongmyeongbo<br />

to date. Targeting<br />

Chuseok (Korean<br />

Thanksgiving Day),<br />

BOGO created 5,000<br />

posters, 5,000 leaflets,<br />

500 point-of-sale<br />

units, newspaper<br />

advertising and 15,000<br />

sample packs to be<br />

Posters, brochures and sample packs were part of the massive effort<br />

that went into the Chuseok campaign.<br />

Issue No 33 • December 2008 33

Market Report<br />

Velvet<br />

As the world’s financial crisis intensifies, major economies are experiencing a strengthening of their currencies through<br />

the repatriation of funds. Though velvet sales to date are still relatively slow, some key importers are hoping that<br />

consumption of velvet will remain similar to last year. After a long process with a lot of hard work by all involved, it was<br />

good to see the first shipment of sliced, branded <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> velvet exported to Korea.<br />

Currency<br />

Over the past year, the Euro has<br />

strengthened around 20%, USD by<br />

nearer 30%, Chinese RMB by 34%<br />

and Japanese Yen by almost 36%<br />

against the <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> dollar (NZD).<br />

During this time, however, the Korean<br />

Won has weakened against the NZD<br />

by 16.5%. This indicates the state of<br />

our main market’s economy.<br />

900<br />

850<br />

800<br />

Korean Won to <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> Dollar: 24 Nov 2007 to 24 Nov 2008<br />

Korea<br />

750<br />

• With the huge volatility in the<br />

currency and the weak world<br />

economic situation, importers have<br />

been slow to commit to larger<br />

700<br />

velvet volumes to date. Reports<br />

from other industries such as wine<br />

and green-lipped mussels show<br />

a similar stagnation in Korea,<br />

650<br />

although some importers are<br />

relatively positive that demand for<br />

velvet by consumers may hold firm.<br />

• After many months and hard work by various organisations,<br />

the inaugural shipment of sliced velvet from <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong><br />

to Korea took place. The consignment went through the<br />

customs channels smoothly. This new product form offers<br />

excellent potential for the industry to add value in <strong>New</strong><br />

<strong>Zealand</strong>. Key benefits for Korean buyers may include tamperevident<br />

packaging ensuring product authenticity, good<br />

traceability systems and security in the knowledge that the<br />

entire consignment has undergone <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong>’s strict QA<br />

programmes.<br />

• The second round of preparatory talks between <strong>New</strong><br />

<strong>Zealand</strong> and Korean government officials on the potential<br />

Free Trade Agreement occurred late in November. The talks<br />

are designed to set boundaries for the FTA negotiations<br />

scheduled to begin early in 2009. <strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong>New</strong><br />

<strong>Zealand</strong>’s Executive met with with chief negotiator Alison<br />

Mann, who wanted to hear about the deer industry’s<br />

interests.<br />

• The Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) joint promotional<br />

campaign, which DINZ assisted with, met sales expectations<br />

(see Market Talk on page 33). Sales for BOGO F&D Ltd<br />

continued to grow significantly over the previous quarter.<br />

Since the campaign to market the velvet-enriched drink<br />

Chongmyeongbo, sales growth has been steady, though<br />

the company is uncertain about future targets due to the<br />

economic crisis and anticipates growth may slow in the short<br />

term.<br />

• Plans for the velvet as a vitality food promotion to be held<br />

at the Seoul Millennium Hilton (SMH) were finalised. The<br />

month-long promotion kicked off on 1 December and will<br />

be a focus of the hotel during this period. Promotional<br />

material includes:<br />

– Banners leading to the entrance of the hotel<br />

– Other banner displays set up throughout the hotel<br />

11/24/2007 12/13/2007 1/01/08 01/20/2008 2/08/08 02/27/2008 03/17/2008 4/05/08 04/24/2008 05/13/2008 6/01/08 06/20/2008 7/09/08 07/28/2008 08/16/2008 9/04/08 09/23/2008 10/12/08 10/31/2008 11/19/2008<br />

– Electronic newsletters and website promotion<br />

– Postcard Direct Mail to their database of over 20,000<br />

– General print media advertising.<br />

• The Executive also met with a major food processor to<br />

progress consideration of a product as a next step from<br />

the three year Seoul Hilton promotion. The idea is to<br />

see if it is achievable to turn velvet into a healthy food<br />

product represented on supermarket shelves in Korea (as<br />

with Ginseng). This avenue is at its early stages, with a lot<br />

more work needing to be done before any product can be<br />

commercially realised.<br />

China<br />

• China continues to grow in importance and exports over<br />

the rolling 12 months to the end of September show that<br />

sales into China increased from NZD$3m to $10.5m over the<br />

previous year. This lifted China’s share of <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> velvet<br />

(value) to 40% versus Korea’s 52% (down from 67% the<br />

previous year). It is important to note that this velvet is often<br />

re-exported to South Korea.<br />

• Delegates from a large deer-focused province in Northern<br />

China, Heilongjiang, are planning to visit early next year<br />

providing an opportunity for more communication between<br />

the industries. Interactions between <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong>’s deer<br />

industry and possible relationships with similar industries<br />

in China are aimed at seeking ways to stimulate a lift in<br />

domestic consumption. Another such area is Xifeng (in<br />

Liaoning Province), a county populated with around 350,000<br />

people and a significant focus on deer products.<br />

• Feedback from two further processed marketing companies<br />

in China (pet nutraceuticals and human supplements) on<br />

ongoing joint promotional campaigns is positive:<br />

– The pet marketer reports strong, steady growth in the<br />

Asian market. They have also successfully acquired new<br />

products to strengthen their range.<br />

34<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong>

Market Report<br />

Venison<br />

Schedule<br />

In week 49 (week beginning 1 December) the average<br />

published schedule for AP 50-60kg stags was $8.90. The<br />

schedule is 35% higher than the same week last year, and<br />

almost double the average of the preceding 5 years. The<br />

reported average schedule stayed above $9.00 for 13 weeks,<br />

peaking at $9.60 in week 44. The schedule is the highest ever<br />

for week 49.<br />

Production<br />

In the 12 months ending September 2008, 605,506 deer were<br />

processed. This was 1% less than the 12 months to September<br />

2007, providing 32,000 tonnes of venison (carcass weight<br />

equivalent). More tellingly, production in the last quarter of<br />

this period (July, August, September) was 30% less than the<br />

equivalent period in 2007. DINZ understands that while plants<br />

are running to capacity in December, forward bookings for<br />

autumn processing space are low.<br />

DINZ has done its budget for<br />

2008/9 based on an estimate<br />

$10.00<br />

of 450,000 deer slaughtered,<br />

$9.00<br />

25% down on 2007/8.<br />

Exports: Season<br />

ending September<br />

2008<br />

Total venison exports for<br />

2007/8 were worth just over<br />

$300 million, at an average<br />

value of $14,400 per tonne.<br />

In 2000/01, the total value<br />

of exports was $249.4<br />

million at $13,557 per tonne.<br />

Europe, which imported<br />

19,450 tonnes, increased<br />

in importance from 89% of<br />

exports in 2006/7 to 93%<br />

in 2007/8. The only non-EU<br />

markets in the top ten are<br />

Switzerland and the United<br />

States, which both recorded<br />

small increases in volume.<br />

‘Other’ markets have seen the<br />

biggest decrease. Germany<br />

clearly remains <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong>’s<br />

No. 1 market, with direct<br />

$/kg<br />

$8.00<br />

$7.00<br />

$6.00<br />

$5.00<br />

$4.00<br />

$3.00<br />

$2.00<br />

$1.00<br />

$-<br />

Venison exports: Top ten destinations (by volume) 12 months ending September<br />

Tonnes Total NZ$ F.O.B. NZ$/Kg<br />

2007 share 2008 share 2007 2008 2007 2008 change<br />

Germany 8,729 41% 7,981 38% $82.6m $109.7m $9.46 $ 13.75 45%<br />

Belgium 2,386 11% 2,628 13% $33.5m $47.8m $4.03 $ 18.18 30%<br />

Sweden 1,786 8% 2,001 10% $12.2m $18.0m $6.83 $8.99 32%<br />

France 1,698 8% 1,716 8% $18.7m $23.8m $11.03 $13.86 26%<br />

Austria 891 4% 1,102 5% $6.6m $11.7m $7.43 $10.64 43%<br />

United States 1,014 5% 1,017 5% $15.1m $16.3m $14.92 $16.06 8%<br />

Netherlands 621 3% 985 5% $10.3m $20.8m $16.53 $21.15 28%<br />

Switzerland 962 5% 977 5% $13.6m $20.0m $14.13 $20.44 45%<br />

Italy 555 3% 800 4% $4.6m $8.3m $8.21 $10.38 26%<br />

United Kingdom 446 2% 764 4% $6.1m $9.3m $13.63 $12.19 –11%<br />

Others 2,070 10% 965 5% $17.8m $15.6m $8.61 $16.17 88%<br />

Total 21,158 100% 20,935 100% $221.1m $301.4m $ 10.45 $ 14.40 38%<br />

Source: Statistics <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong><br />

exports accounting for 38% of volume and 36% of value.<br />

Belgium and The Netherlands combined increased the most, to<br />

account for 23% of exports by value. While importers in these<br />

markets have worked hard to increase sales of chilled venison<br />

through retail, and increase out-of-season consumption, this<br />

increase in value also reflects the increased volume of chilled<br />

product imported by local firms for distribution to the rest of<br />

Europe.<br />

Market conditions<br />

The higher prices importers paid for <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> venison<br />

through 2008 are causing some concern as sales through<br />

restaurants and hotels ease off due to the current economic<br />

difficulties in European markets. Restaurant sales are reported<br />

to have dropped as consumers seek to save money and<br />

business expense accounts are trimmed. With increasing<br />

unemployment, reduced business confidence and falling house<br />

values in most Europe and North America, pressure has come<br />

Average Published 55-60KG AP Stag schedule<br />

2005<br />

2006<br />

2007<br />

2008<br />

Av 01 - 07<br />

1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39 41 43 45 47 49 51<br />

week<br />

on higher-priced proteins<br />

as shoppers seek the value<br />

option. The positive side is that<br />

retailers report solid turnover<br />

of chilled venison, indicating<br />

that consumers might forgo a<br />

meal out, but replace it with a<br />

special meal at home.<br />

Promotion<br />

<strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> venison has been<br />

promoted in 20 cities over the<br />

past month, with another 5<br />

local promotions planned for<br />

December. Web advertising<br />

has been purchased on widely<br />

used German language sites<br />

to provide information for<br />

consumers and indicate where<br />

venison is available. Because<br />

the volumes they have received<br />

in chilled form have been<br />

lower than in previous years,<br />

importers have not felt the<br />

need to push its availability to<br />

consumers and so have been<br />

less keen to promote <strong>New</strong><br />

<strong>Zealand</strong> venison this year.<br />

– The human supplement marketer reports success after<br />

capitalising on <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong>’s Powered by Velvet Wulong<br />

Mountain Quest Challenge in September. They report good<br />

distributor growth following the launch of their athletes’<br />

range at the event and increased sales through their new<br />

website platform and mail-order partnerships.<br />

• These organisations met each other for the first time in<br />

October, with an opportunity for the marketing managers<br />

to discuss ways to work together to promote <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong><br />

deer products. Both organisations have complementary, noncompeting<br />

skills to help each other overcome obstacles and<br />

maximise opportunities. They intend to keep up contact.<br />

<strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong><br />

• DINZ continues to work with stakeholders to develop<br />

brochures and sales collateral for the pet industry. It is aiming<br />

to have material ready for a significant veterinary conference<br />

in Florida in January, which will be attended by <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong><br />

stakeholders. The idea behind the new brochure material<br />

is to strengthen <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> velvet’s credibility amoung<br />

veterinarians. “Made by nature, supported by science” is the<br />

slogan accompanying the new position and highlights work<br />

showing velvet efficacy in companion animals. Work to update<br />

the technical manual has begun and will complement the new<br />

supportive collateral.<br />

Issue No 33 • December 2008 35

stagline supplement<br />

NZDFA velvet and hard antler competitions review<br />

Following the 2007 competitions round, and discussion conducted through Stagline-online, a forum of interested Branch<br />

Chairmen and competition leaders was held during the 2008 NZDFA conference to address current concerns about the<br />

way velvet and hard antler is judged.<br />

Issues identified at the time were:<br />

Velvet antler<br />

• Dealing with non-typical heads, (super heavyweight,<br />

unusual styles, degree of damage, overgrown,<br />

commercial values and grading)<br />

• Consistency or individuality of competitions<br />

• Standardised judging criteria (weight points calculation).<br />

Hard antler<br />

• Scoring systems, consistency of hard antler scoring<br />

systems, the so called “modified SCI score, judges’<br />

experience, and ongoing accuracy of publicity.<br />

Discussion and outcomes<br />

Velvet antler competitions<br />

The meeting confirmed leading competitions used a<br />

consistent or near-consistent approach to judging, scoring<br />

criteria and score and result calculation sheets, had good<br />

links either nationally or intra island, or allowed other<br />

Branches to offer entries.<br />

Well-supported local but less formal competitions allowed<br />

judging by experienced and/or respected industry personnel,<br />

and may adopt a different approach.<br />

• It was agreed that the current set of rules and Agreed<br />

<strong>Industry</strong> Grading Guidelines (2008), while reviewable,<br />

served the primary purposes for velvet antler judging.<br />

• The rules for judging should specify these standards and<br />

be a binding document so that competitors, committees<br />

and judges have a clear point of reference.<br />

• For the major Branch and large competitions, these rules<br />

should be clearly set out in association with an entry<br />

form.<br />

Judging points<br />

There will be no change to the current scoring criteria and<br />

emphasis. Judging will continue to use the current system<br />

of adding fault points from a base zero for the perfect head.<br />

The multiplier for weight remains as a factor of 7.5 for Red<br />

deer heads and 5.0 for Elk/Wapiti Supreme and the beam<br />

factor remains 2.5. The emphasis on objective measurements<br />

(~35%, and beam circumference ~15%) remains. Velvet<br />

quality (~30%) and style (20%) remain. In addition, 10<br />

judge’s discretionary points (the WOW factor), remain).<br />

• It was agreed that for some atypical outlier heads,<br />

judges could consider additional penalty points in<br />

discussion with the velvet competition chair. In<br />

such rare cases, that move would be initiated by the<br />

combined judging panel.<br />

Nationally: “Big Three” competitions – acceptance of<br />

entries<br />

The workshop confirmed that the committee was the<br />

appropriate body to accept or reject any competition velvet,<br />

but judges could comment and ask for further discussion if<br />

damage or grading issues arose. The competition organisers<br />

would remain the final arbiter of entry acceptance.<br />

• Four major areas of disqualification or non acceptance<br />

are recognised:<br />

– Not frozen (applies to thawed velvet from<br />

transportation, but mostly to fresh cut velvet)<br />

– Damaged as defined in the current <strong>Industry</strong>-Agreed<br />

Velvet grading Guidelines.<br />

– Malformation: Both as defined in the guidelines and<br />

at committee discretion within established rules<br />

– Overgrown (as defined in industry guidelines as the<br />

OG grade).<br />

• While not universally accepted, it was agreed that for<br />

damaged velvet there should be no compromise or<br />

tolerance of damage at the three major nationally based<br />

competitions. Such heads should not be displayed with<br />

competition velvet.<br />

– The group accepted that genetic merit and damage<br />

are not necessarily correlated and opportunity to<br />

additionally penalise such velvet exists with judge’s<br />

discretion<br />

– Heads such as these could be displayed and<br />

highlighted at Branch competition level<br />

– Commercial industry grading expertise should be<br />

sought.<br />

The NZDFA, on behalf of the national competition and others<br />

who wanted to subscribe to these standards, will register<br />

competition rules setting a standard for acceptance or nonacceptance<br />

by the competition committee around the current<br />

Guidelines following use in the 2008 competition round.<br />

• It was proposed, (for further discussion), that this group<br />

could develop competition guidelines that catered for<br />

extreme non-typical SA heads in addition to the SAP and<br />

SAT heads.<br />

– A separate SAP/SAT class and a separate SA at the<br />

national or NI competitions will be held as these are<br />

clearly defined in the grading charts.<br />

– The winning heads in each class be considered for<br />

Champion/Reserve champion.<br />

– The Trophy/Super heavyweight all comers class as<br />

defined in the Waikato-run national event is supported<br />

as a unique competition class.<br />

Malformation<br />

• It was agreed the malformation description was clear<br />

enough in the rules and could be dealt with case by<br />

case in each competition.<br />

• It was confirmed that for the national competition, the<br />

current definition of malformed velvet would be adhered<br />

to and such entries continue to be disqualified and not<br />

displayed. Most agreed that this should be the standard<br />

for all major competitions.<br />

Heavy/non-standard heads<br />

Judges can work with competition organising committees on<br />

the question of heavy/non-standard heads as follows:<br />

• Competition organising committee to consider style of<br />

head, and if it does not conform to style requirements, it<br />

is not presented for judging.<br />

38<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong>

stagline supplement<br />

• Judges in consultation with organising committee can<br />

create a significant penalty to relegate the significance of<br />

weight in considerations.<br />

• Committee could change the weight calculation in the<br />

standard judging criteria.<br />

Commercial value<br />

• There was strong opposition to velvet commercial value<br />

having any sort of dominance in scores for individual<br />

antler competitions. The established commercial<br />

competitions catered well for that class.<br />

Grading guidelines Definition/descriptor<br />

Damaged SA and A Dam 1: Repairable skin damage: Broken bottom tynes<br />

Dam 2: Non-reparable skin damage. Broken beam or trez tyne<br />

Malformed<br />

a) Antler in SA, A, B etc grades must be of good conformation, i.e. with a<br />

trez tyne and all the tynes and beam in proportion<br />

b) without a trez tine is to be reduced one grade<br />

c) may be down graded for excessive length regardless of time of cutting<br />

d) is subject to grader discretion based on the principle of separating lateand<br />

well-cut velvet<br />

Overgrown 1<br />

SA and A grade which exceeds maximum top length<br />

SALT and ALT which is indented<br />

SA, AS and AM grade velvet which begins to indent within the maximum<br />

top length may not be graded OG<br />

Hard antler<br />

Following the passage of the SCNO 2008 AGM Remit calling<br />

for standardisation of scoring and reporting of hard antler, a<br />

new series of hard antler scoring sheets has been developed<br />

for Red, Elk/Wapiti typical and non-typical and Fallow deer<br />

heads for competition. (Thanks to Hub Hall, Andrew Mitchell<br />

and Natalie Fraser.)<br />

The NZDFA competition score is still based on modified SCI<br />

(i.e. in inches) and scoring process, but the measurements<br />

in competition for Red and Fallow deer span and burr will<br />

be excluded. Elk/Wapiti antlers will include four beam<br />

circumference measurements. Discussions with EWSNZ<br />

continue as to whether the calculated span (Combined<br />

length of main antler beam measurements divided by 2.48<br />

as developed by NAEBA) is included. If so, that will be<br />

known as the EWSNZ score. Score totals will be expressed as<br />

“inches of antler”.<br />

• In 2003 there was a formal request from the NZ SCI<br />

chapter (Via Gary Joll) to NZDFA (notified to the<br />

stud industry at that time), asking that in relation to<br />

advertising:<br />

– there was moderation in the use of the term “SCI<br />

scores”<br />

– at the very least the scores be termed “modified SCI”<br />

– a date and Measurer’s name be publicised<br />

– the Measurer be qualified.<br />

The meeting also agreed that for competition:<br />

• Hard antler that was required to be frozen in order<br />

to stop spoilage (or remain nicer to be near) was in<br />

fact strictly hard velvet and should not be eligible for<br />

competition (event had been hand stripped).<br />

• Previous “scores”, weights, etc at time of cutting were<br />

not relevant to competition at the time and were not<br />

to be promoted at competition. (There will be further<br />

clarification on this point in future issues.)<br />

Gloriavale <strong>Deer</strong> Park • Littledale <strong>Deer</strong> Park<br />

“Don’t Miss Out !!”<br />


Two Mystery Stags to give away<br />


2 pre-determined stags will be given away<br />

ABSOLUTELY FREE to the Highest<br />

Bidder on that stag. The lucky winners<br />

will be announced at the end of the sale.<br />


Kingston: 6yrs, 17.2 kg HA dried, 535 7 /8 SCI, 70”outer span<br />

Stag Sale<br />

Tuesday 13th<br />

January 2009<br />

12:00 noon<br />

Insignis Park,<br />

Christchurch<br />

Affordable Prices<br />

All lots must go!<br />

• Offering approx 70 stags and 20 yearling<br />

hinds bred from the country’s leading sires<br />

• Early BBQ lunch & drinks provided<br />

before sale at 11:00 am<br />

• All deer pre-sale Johnes tested free<br />

Legend: 4 yrs, 510 2 / 8 SCI, 12.1 kg HA dried<br />

Featuring sons of<br />








Gloriavale <strong>Deer</strong> Park<br />

Jonathan Christian:<br />

Ph: 03 738 0224 Fax: 03 738 0212<br />

Gloriavale <strong>Deer</strong> Park, Private Bag 611<br />

Greymouth 7840 Email: deerfarm@gloriavale.co.nz<br />

or your local PGG/Wrightson Agents<br />

Littledale<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> Park<br />

Breeders of leading English Red <strong>Deer</strong><br />

Mike Dempsey:<br />

Mobile: 027 351 0879<br />

Ph: 03 318 6560 Fax: 03 318 6501<br />

Downs Road Glenroy Rd 2 Darfield<br />

Email: demps@farmside.co.nz<br />

Issue No 33 • December 2008 39

stagline supplement<br />

Making the DIFFerence<br />

Focus Farm and productivity group conference 2008<br />

The rapidly growing and successful DINZ-funded Focus Farm programme had a major boost in October when all those<br />

involved – focus farmers, community group chairmen, facilitators, the productivity working group and AgResearch,<br />

Massey and Otago University researchers – met at Invermay for a two-day conference.<br />

It was the first-ever national gettogether<br />

for those involved in Focus<br />

Farms. The gathering created an<br />

opportunity for participants to get<br />

better acquainted and discuss common<br />

challenges, success stories and<br />

regional issues.<br />

While properties and management<br />

systems vary greatly between Focus<br />

Farms in the different regions, there<br />

are common features of interest to<br />

all deer farmers. These practical<br />

constraints to productivity will be<br />

addressed by the community groups,<br />

aided by targeted expertise.<br />

Common animal health concerns<br />

across all regions included:<br />

• establishing a Johne’s disease<br />

(JD) status<br />

• understanding and managing the<br />

impact of parasitism<br />

• drench programmes<br />

• risk of drench resistance.<br />

Better tools, better monitoring and<br />

better decision support were key issues for the next two years.<br />

The conference called for further cost benefit work on<br />

testing and cull programmes for all diseases, especially JD.<br />

AgResearch is developing that tool for use within the Focus<br />

Farms.<br />

Reproduction and genetic improvement were also dominant<br />

themes. Concerns included the wide range of scanning<br />

results and the even wider spread in weaning percentages.<br />

Variables that need more investigation included:<br />

• spiker mating success<br />

• single sire or multi-sire mating across a wide range of<br />

ratios<br />

• stag age<br />

• stag breed and strain type<br />

• general performance of stags.<br />

The group also focused on the cost of getting hinds in calf,<br />

emphasising wastage, the cost to systems of late calves and<br />

retaining empty hinds – all key constraints to understanding<br />

and improving productivity.<br />

The contrast between 2-year-old and mixed aged hind<br />

performance also remains an issue for further review<br />

including the option of incorporating empty R2 hinds into a<br />

venison supply system.<br />

There is also a keen interest in developing programmes<br />

on Focus Farms comparing AI and natural breeding (High<br />

EBV stags vs. semen collection and use) and demonstrating<br />

the value of targeted genetics to achieve better venison<br />

Participants on the conference field day to view Grant and Andrea Cochrane’s Totara Hills<br />

farm. This property has recently completed its three-year Focus Farm programme.<br />

production within the seasonal and management constraints<br />

of each farm.<br />

The group travelled to the Cochrane family’s Otago Focus<br />

Farm, Totara Hills as field day to review the progress there<br />

over three years. Here, and on the Southland Focus Farm,<br />

there has been a 10kg lift in weaning weights and a quantum<br />

shift in early venison supply patterns. The following areas<br />

worthy of attention included:<br />

• use of synchrony tools and the impact of concentrated<br />

calving patterns balanced by weather risks, mismothering<br />

and management challenges<br />

• liveweight change profiles and flushing effects in hinds,<br />

especially R2yo<br />

• identification of hinds with poor lactation performance<br />

• role of nutrition at mating (improving and concentrating<br />

conception patterns)<br />

• cost benefit analysis of various breeding choices<br />

• cost benefit analysis of scanning and foetal aging<br />

• role of DNA testing in commercial farming.<br />

“How can we do this better?” was a common theme.<br />

Researchers and DINZ staff were advised that “If you want to<br />

really hear what the farmers are thinking or wanting, hang<br />

around for the venison and beers. That’s where post-field day<br />

discussion really starts!”<br />

There is an increasing public involvement in the projects,<br />

especially via the Sustainable Farming Fund projects. There is<br />

an opportunity to attract sponsorship because of the expertise<br />

involved and the commitment to the Making The DIFFerence<br />

Focus Farms.<br />

40<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong>

stagline supplement<br />

Field days will also concentrate on<br />

the basic key point(s), relevance to<br />

increasing profits, and awareness<br />

of the costs involved in changing<br />

systems. Recommended systems need<br />

to be up and running on Focus Farm<br />

so that they can be evaluated and<br />

discussed, but Focus Farms are not<br />

laboratories – they are commercial<br />

enterprises.<br />

Lack of time or commitment for<br />

in-depth reading is one challenge<br />

for those communicating the lessons<br />

learned on Focus Farms. Field day<br />

planning should also be focused<br />

around clear, simple and relevant<br />

messages. Three major communication<br />

channels were identified:<br />

• seeing on-farm systems first hand<br />

and discussing them, either at<br />

the field day or follow up<br />

• summary reporting after the field<br />

day (Focus Farm newsletter)<br />

• Print or electronic media: <strong>Deer</strong><br />

<strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong>, The <strong>Deer</strong> Farmer,<br />

Country-wide, Stagline-online, etc<br />

Although regional differences will<br />

mean circumstances and management<br />

styles vary between Focus Farms,<br />

there is a strong commitment<br />

to applying the science behind<br />

productivity gains on all farms.<br />

This approach will succeed and<br />

community groups will be more<br />

effective if subgroups responsible<br />

for broad topic areas evolve. It was<br />

suggested that AgResearch could give<br />

specialist advice to each subgroup.<br />

The conference also pledged that there<br />

will be:<br />

• better preparation for field days<br />

• more community group support<br />

• commitment by each region’s<br />

Focus Farm and community<br />

group to quickly establish a fullyear<br />

plan with fixed dates<br />

• local and rural media publicity<br />

following field days<br />

• improved communication with<br />

more emphasis on data, practical<br />

research and other information.<br />

There was considerable value in this<br />

conference. A working paper is now<br />

being prepared to assess feasibility<br />

and support for a combined industry<br />

technical conference, separate from<br />

the annual deer industry conference<br />

held every May.<br />

Tony Pearse<br />

Producer Manager, DINZ<br />

North Island Velvet Competition:<br />

Plenty of life left in the North!<br />

A very successful 2008 PGG Wrightson North Island Velvet Competition was<br />

hosted by the Waikato Branch at Kingsgate Hotel, Hamilton, on Saturday<br />

29 November.<br />

In a season that looked like we might<br />

struggle for entries it was a fantastic<br />

display with a great turnout to the<br />

dinner. The challenge was to get at<br />

least one entry from every Branch,<br />

and with 62 entries from 11 out of<br />

the 14 North Island Branches, we did<br />

well.<br />

A late cutting season in most regions<br />

saw the 3 year Red and Wapiti section<br />

a bit lighter this year, and we had our<br />

usual challenge of grading those extra<br />

big heads using the current guidelines.<br />

The North Island Committee decided<br />

not to introduce the new non-typical<br />

class this year and look forward to<br />

feedback from the Nationals.<br />

Tower Farms’ entry (Ideal Neil @ 7 years – 9.43kgs –<br />

32.55pts) cleaned up three awards: Winner Champion<br />

Red, Champion of Champions and People’s Choice.<br />

“The display of velvet was impressive<br />

and the enthusiasm from those<br />

who attended and supported the<br />

competition was really encouraging,”<br />

said retiring competition committee<br />

Chairman, Bob Atkinson.<br />

The committee would like to formally<br />

thank Bob for his passion and<br />

leadership for this competition in<br />

the last four years as Chairman and<br />

for his 15 plus years he has run the<br />

Waikato competition. His experience,<br />

leadership and financial support has<br />

been a vital part of the success of the<br />

competition.<br />

On behalf of our major sponsor PGG<br />

Wrightson, Tony Cochrane commented<br />

that even in the current climate for<br />

selling velvet, the enthusiasm and<br />

persistence to produce a high-quality<br />

product remains solid.<br />

“The weights per age group continue<br />

to lift the bar annually.”<br />

“PGG Wrightson is grateful for the<br />

opportunity to be principal sponsor<br />

and thanks the organising committee<br />

for their efforts to maintain an<br />

important event that gives producers<br />

individual representation of their<br />

herds and regions. I look forward to<br />

seeing North Island velvet competing<br />

well in the deep South at the national<br />

competition on 10 December,” Tony<br />

said.<br />

Thanks to PGG Wrightson for their<br />

continued support of the<br />

competition, to our class<br />

sponsors, and supporting<br />

sponsors and to the following<br />

NZDFA Branches for their<br />

contribution: Coastal, Taihape,<br />

Central Regions, Kaipara,<br />

Rotorua, Waipa and Poverty<br />

Bay. And thanks to all<br />

Branches for their valuable<br />

feedback on how we can<br />

make the 2009 competition<br />

reach more farmers. Thank<br />

you to The Elk and Wapiti<br />

society for their input and<br />

continued support.<br />

As the focus changes from<br />

velvet to venison, feedback<br />

from the Branches has highlighted<br />

an interest in a venison class in next<br />

year’s competition. The committee<br />

look forward to working with Duncan<br />

& Co and the Rotorua and Waikato<br />

organisers of the successful Branch<br />

Challenge Venison competition to<br />

bring venison growers an exciting<br />

new class in the 2009 North Island<br />

competition.<br />

The Central Regions Branch is<br />

looking forward to hosting the 2009<br />

competition and hopes to see some<br />

new faces on the committee and<br />

among competitors.<br />

• Results brochures for the North<br />

Island Velvet Competition and<br />

National Competition are included<br />

with this issue as inserts.<br />

Issue No 33 • December 2008 41

stagline supplement<br />

Venison added to menu for local derby<br />

As with most North Island Branches, the majority of Rotorua Branch members focus on venison, and it’s a struggle to get<br />

support for the traditional velvet competition. This year we added a venison class to our social velvet competition and<br />

Christmas party to see if we could spark a bit of interest. Well it seems we have started a bit of a bushfire!<br />

After one phone call to Duncan & Co<br />

Rep and Waikato member, Bob Dunn,<br />

the idea took off. The competition<br />

became a head-to-head challenge<br />

between Rotorua and Waikato to see<br />

who could produce the best line of 10<br />

yearlings.<br />

We worked with Dave Smith and his<br />

team from Duncan & Co and came<br />

up with the outline and with only a<br />

few weeks’ notice Rotorua had 6 and<br />

Waikato 12 entries for the big challenge.<br />

Our aim for the competition was to<br />

create something new and get some<br />

detailed feedback on carcass quality<br />

back to farmers.<br />

Two days were set aside for processing<br />

the competition entries and all entries<br />

were delivered the day before. Each<br />

entry line of 10 yearlings could be<br />

mixed sex and there was no minimum<br />

weight.<br />

Dave and Shelly from Duncan & Co<br />

judged on the following criteria:<br />

• Presentation at the plant<br />

This includes, visual assessment, velvet compliance,<br />

cleanliness, evenness of the line, correct tagging, correct<br />

paperwork and any issues found during pre-slaughter<br />

veterinary inspection.<br />

• Carcass conformation<br />

Carcasses were judged on weight, GR measurement,<br />

conformation scoring of legs, loins and fore quarter.<br />

Deductions were made for damage to any primal<br />

muscle, defects found by the meat inspector at carcass<br />

inspection or any carcass blemishes.<br />

Scoring was weighted towards carcass conformation. Each<br />

carcass had a possible score of 18 points (15 points available<br />

in the conformation category).<br />

42<br />

Scoring was<br />

weighted<br />

towards carcass<br />

conformation.<br />

Presentation of the Duncan & Co Shield to the Rotorua winners.<br />

From left: Stu Fuller and Steve Hewson, Pukeha Farms and Dave<br />

Smith, Duncan & Co.<br />

There were 18 entries for the 2008 competition, each<br />

supplying a line of 10 deer yearlings. Dave Smith from<br />

Duncan & Co said overall the standard of carcasses presented<br />

was good and all competitors should be congratulated.<br />

There was no minimum weight for the entries but the target<br />

weights were 50 to 60 kg and target GR was 4 to 8 mm,<br />

reflecting market preferences. The conformation grading of<br />

the three cut categories recognise good muscle definition and<br />

the value this adds to the primal cuts.<br />

All entries were killed over the two days prior to a BBQ lunch<br />

and viewing on Friday 21 November, hosted at the plant by<br />

Duncan & Co. The judging was explained and a sample of<br />

carcasses viewed. More than 30 people came to the plant and<br />

Trevor demonstrated boning out a carcass, which gave some<br />

of the hunters a few new tips.<br />

As the line scores below show, the winning line was clearly<br />

in front, but you could have thrown a blanket over the next<br />

four. The overall winner and the Waikato Branch winners<br />

were announced at the North Island Velvet Awards Dinner on<br />

Saturday 29 November.<br />

LINE SCORES (from a possible 180)<br />

1st 177 Rotorua – Pukeha Farms<br />

2nd 167 Waikato – Peter McGlashan<br />

3rd 166 Rotorua – Love Red <strong>Deer</strong><br />

4th 165 Rotorua – L H Moore<br />

5th 164 Waikato – Viv & Jane Parker<br />

“Our line up included two Wapiti cross hinds and eight pure<br />

Red stags,” explains Steve Hewson from Pukeha Farms. “Our<br />

Wapiti sire stags come from Clover Farms and our Red sire<br />

stags from Love Red <strong>Deer</strong>. The yearlings were fed on grass<br />

with a winter crop of swedes and turnips. The competition is<br />

a good concept; we really enjoyed selecting our entry.”<br />

A detailed score sheet will be supplied to every competitor.<br />

With the presentation of the very cool Duncan & Co Shield at<br />

the North Island Velvet Competition and the challenge being<br />

set for a repeat showdown between Waikato and Rotorua,<br />

interest in the concept has quickly grown.<br />

Feedback from Branches about supporting the North Island<br />

Velvet Competition has prompted the committee to start<br />

discussions with Duncan & Co to work out how to offer the<br />

venison challenge to all North Island Branches and introduce<br />

a new class in the 2009 Competition.<br />

The focus and returns have shifted in the last two years from<br />

velvet to venison and it would be a fitting result to see our<br />

competitions reflect this change. Thanks to Duncan & Co<br />

for working with us to make this happen and the wonderful<br />

enthusiasm from the Rotorua and Waikato Branch members<br />

who organised and supported the competition.<br />

Sharon Love<br />

Executive Committee, NZDFA<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong>

stagline supplement<br />

Economist knocks ETS into shape<br />

Following last month’s change of government, the future shape of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is still in the air.<br />

With the legislation to go back before a select<br />

committee and prospect of a carbon tax now back on<br />

the table, the new Government is clearly looking at<br />

a wider range of options than simply tinkering with<br />

the existing scheme. However, most commentators are<br />

picking that ACT’s wish to scrap the scheme altogether<br />

will not be fulfilled.<br />

At their meeting on 29 October – held before the<br />

election – Branch Chairmen gave a sympathetic hearing<br />

to a presentation on the original ETS legislation from<br />

economist Dr Brent Layton. He is skeptical of the ETS<br />

in its current form and has recently retired as Chief<br />

Executive of the NZ Institute of Economic Research.<br />

He reminded Chairmen that the ETS as it stands brings<br />

farmers on board in 2013, with an initial “free allocation” of<br />

credits based on 80% of 2005 figures. This allocation would<br />

be progressively scaled back to zero from 2018 to 2030. There<br />

was confusion about how this allocation could be worked<br />

out and whether it would be allocated to individual farms or<br />

through processors, Brent noted.<br />

He said it would be “political folly” having a select<br />

committee decide on allocations, as planned.<br />

“No other country has committed to include farming in<br />

an emissions scheme. The EU hasn’t even talked about it;<br />

Australia will consider it, but not before 2015.”<br />

Farmers would be affected both directly and indirectly,<br />

through additional costs on petrol and diesel, and on<br />

electricity. Even at the government figure of $25/tonne for<br />

carbon emissions, there could be a 10 percent increase in<br />

electricity costs – despite the fact that most of our electricity<br />

is generated without creating emissions.<br />

“There will be a significant windfall gain to the owners of<br />

most power generation: the Government.”<br />

NZIER assessed impacts of the ETS on different sectors,<br />

taking direct and indirect effects into account. Brent said the<br />

then Climate Change Minister was unimpressed with NZIER’s<br />

model, although it had been positively peer reviewed by the<br />

Minister’s own people. “Even Treasury were reasonably kind<br />

about our model.”<br />

He said subsequent changes such as the delay in introduction<br />

of petrol shifted the timeframes, but didn’t lessen the impacts<br />

of the ETS. The NZIER model (Table 1) suggested seriously<br />

negative impacts on the two main livestock sectors, which<br />

are more emissions intensive than non-livestock sectors (deer<br />

farmers, although lumped in with “Other Farming” in the<br />

NZIER analysis could probably identify closest to sheep and<br />

beef).<br />

The NZIER model showed a neutral to positive impact for the<br />

arable (under “Other Farming”) and horticultural sectors.<br />

Brent Layton said problems with the ETS as initially designed<br />

included the impact on farmers as “free allocations” abated,<br />

the fact that no other farmers were to be handicapped this<br />

way and the price extremes associated with an untested<br />

international carbon market.<br />

Table 1: Predicted impact of ETS on main sectors. Source: NZIER<br />

Change from base % Contribution to GDP Employment Capital stock Land price<br />

Hort & Fruit 4.9 10.4 4.3 9.3<br />

Sheep & Beef -6.6 -9.0 -11.9 -23.4<br />

Dairying -12.9 -19.8 -22.4 -40.6<br />

Other Farming 0.1 3.5 -0.7 -2.2<br />

Economy -2.1 0.0 -3.4<br />

He said Treasury had been quiet about the fact that the<br />

quirks of the ETS could yield it billions of dollars in windfall<br />

gains, further down the track. The Australians’ fiscally<br />

neutral approach was preferable, he added.<br />

<strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> had diplomatic and strategic advantages<br />

from signing up to Kyoto and bringing in an ETS, and this<br />

benefited the entire country. Therefore the burden should be<br />

shared by the general public, Brent said.<br />

There was also an anomaly in the current scheme which<br />

would see a cap on <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> emissions lead to an<br />

increase in emissions elsewhere. One solution could be an<br />

independent governance body to regulate free allocations,<br />

thereby neutralising some of the inequities – rather than the<br />

current scheme which vested most decisions in the Minister.<br />

“It’s a myth that the ETS charges polluters directly for the<br />

cost of their pollution. It is an incentivisation scheme, not a<br />

payment for a cost that you’re actually imposing,” Brent said.<br />

“We don’t know how much we should actually pay to stop<br />

the problem.”<br />

There’s a considerable willingness among some <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong><br />

politicians to sacrifice some industries for an unquantified<br />

political advantage, he said. “Unless we know what those<br />

advantages are, we haven’t a dog’s show of knowing what<br />

we should pay for them.”<br />

Some politicians and Treasury officials were overly keen to<br />

get their hands on windfall gains from an ETS, he added.<br />

Brent also attacked the government position that the<br />

Minister should be making the key decisions about resource<br />

allocations under an ETS, likening it to central planning<br />

under communist regimes.<br />

Finally, Brent said, the imposition of an ETS was tantamount<br />

to expropriation of property, because it arbitrarily imposed a<br />

charge on an economic activity they had developed perfectly<br />

legally. “A desire to force behaviour change rides over their<br />

rights or investments.”<br />

NZDFA Executive Committee Chairman, Bill Taylor<br />

commented that Brent Layton’s presentation was some of the<br />

best common sense he had ever heard spoken on the subject<br />

of the Emissions Trading Scheme.<br />

44<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong>

esearch<br />

Collaboration points way to Johne’s-resilient bloodlines<br />

A deer stud and a university have collaborated to turn the grim and costly task of testing and culling for Johne’s disease<br />

(JD) into a promising line of research.<br />

Peel Forest Estate has teamed up with Otago University’s<br />

Department of Microbiology and Immunology to not only<br />

combat JD in the Peel Forest stud herd, but also to explore<br />

ways to identify individual animals and bloodlines in the<br />

herd that show resilience against the disease.<br />

The herd at Peel Forest was hit hard by JD in 2000, and the<br />

stud withdrew from selling live animals. Owner Graham<br />

Carr decided to meet the challenge through an intensive<br />

programme of testing and culling using the Paralisa® test.<br />

In doing so Graham had to make some hard decisions,<br />

culling some apparently healthy animals that the testing<br />

programme had selected.<br />

While all farms undertaking a test and culling programme<br />

are faced with similar decisions, the detailed stud database<br />

at Peel Forest has enabled Otago University’s Professor Frank<br />

Griffin to retrospectively analyse the pedigrees of infected,<br />

uninfected and diseased animals, thus identifying susceptible<br />

and resilient lines.<br />

Frank says a significant number of the culled animals have<br />

been subjected to post-mortem follow-up, to accurately<br />

establish their status with respect to infection or disease.<br />

“The purity of Graham’s bloodlines and access to multiple<br />

embryos from individual dam/sire combinations has been<br />

extremely helpful in identifying breed effects,” Frank says,<br />

adding that the access to animals from the stud breeding<br />

programme “has provided a scientific platform for genetic<br />

studies which I believe will never be duplicated again in any<br />

species of domestic livestock. I believe this programme has<br />

produced some of the most informative findings I have been<br />

party to in almost 40 years as a researcher.”<br />

What they have found is that animals from some bloodlines,<br />

including one known as B11 which are crossbred terminal<br />

sires, appear resilient to the disease.<br />

The term resilient is chosen carefully. Frank Griffin defines it<br />

as “the ability of an individual (animal) to maintain acceptable<br />

health and productivity following exposure to infection”.<br />

This is distinct from resistance, which is an ability to remain<br />

free from infection. “Resilience is a relative term which<br />

measures the negative impacts of infection,” he explains.<br />

While the collaboration has revealed some linkages between<br />

resilience and certain bloodlines, there is clearly more to be<br />

discovered about mechanisms of these links. “Our goal is to<br />

identify the small group of genes associated with functional<br />

immune responsiveness that contribute to resilience. We are<br />

convinced that no single gene will define this trait but it will<br />

result from a small number of genes working in consort,”<br />

Frank says.<br />

He is confident that stags from the resilient bloodlines being<br />

identified at Peel Forest could improve the JD resilience<br />

of their offspring. He adds that the ultimate challenge is<br />

to ensure that production traits and resilience traits are<br />

co-selected, and that superior genetics are not lost to the<br />

industry.<br />

“As Peel Forest Estate continues down the pathway to<br />

produce resilient deer and with the knowledge that we<br />

are gaining regarding breed and bloodline influence, our<br />

breeding focus is changing. We will still retain our strategy<br />

of producing genetics that will assist the industry to improve<br />

productivity. However, we will focus on resilience as being<br />

equally important. DBVs are important, but the fitness<br />

of animals used either for finishing or as replacements is<br />

equally important in order to sustain high performance<br />

animals that farmers need,” says Graham Carr. He says Peel<br />

Forest sells only 3-year-old stags that have been repeatedly<br />

tested for JD.<br />

On the question of the role of resilient animals in the<br />

spread of JD, Frank says that, intuitively, resilient animals<br />

would pose either no risk or a significantly lower risk for<br />

the spread of Mycobacterium paratuberculosis, “but proving<br />

this would be very expensive as it would require exhaustive<br />

microbiology monitoring to be carried out on large numbers<br />

of slaughtered animals.”<br />

He says there is no reason other studs also facing a Johne’s<br />

challenge on their properties could not undertake a similar<br />

programme, provided they were prepared to make the serious<br />

investment needed in elective culling. “Perversely, a strong<br />

JD challenge offers the bonus of selection for resilience<br />

among purebred animals, although the attendant cost of<br />

culling susceptible animals is significant.”<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong> spoke to a number of other scientists<br />

involved in deer health and genetics research about the<br />

successful collaboration between Peel Forest Estate and Otago<br />

University. The development was generally welcomed, but the<br />

scientists said they were looking forward to further independent<br />

analysis of the data that the work has yielded so far.<br />

Issue No 33 • December 2008 45

esearch<br />

Learning how venison holds its water<br />

We all know that when it comes to tenderness and mouth watering juiciness, venison stands head and shoulders above<br />

other meats. One of the most passionate believers in the qualities of venison is a scientist who knows more than most<br />

about what makes our champion protein tick.<br />

AgResearch MIRINZ’s Dr Eva Wiklund is<br />

undertaking two projects that will throw<br />

more light on what happens to venison after<br />

slaughter, and possible ways to get it to<br />

market in optimum condition.<br />

One problem, well known in the venison<br />

processing industry, is drip loss in chilled<br />

product – the tendency for venison to exude<br />

liquid. As a regular attendee at the <strong>Deer</strong>QA<br />

Venison Processors’ Technical Committee, Eva<br />

hears first hand feedback from processors and<br />

their customers about quality issues, and drip<br />

loss has been identified as a high priority.<br />

It’s a natural process linked to one of<br />

venison’s greatest strengths – its tenderness.<br />

Enzymes in the muscle cells – calpains – are<br />

Dr Eva Wiklund.<br />

central to the story. In life, the calpains are<br />

busy regulating the muscle protein turnover;<br />

building muscle when animals are growing and breaking<br />

down protein if extra energy is needed. In death, however,<br />

the calpains start to break down cell structures in muscle<br />

tissue. This is the secret to the tenderness of venison, a<br />

process that occurs very quickly post slaughter compared<br />

with beef, which benefits from ageing. While the animal is<br />

still alive, calpain inhibitors regulate the enzyme’s activity<br />

and prevent the cell structure from being degraded, but this<br />

balance is lost after slaughter.<br />

Drip loss, this unwelcome side effect of the rapid<br />

‘tenderising’ process post slaughter, is becoming more<br />

important as the proportion of venison exported in chilled<br />

form grows. With chilled venison taking at least six weeks<br />

to reach its markets, drip loss inside vacuum packaging can<br />

be quite pronounced by the time the product reaches the<br />

consumer, but the meat is also very tender. After a prolonged<br />

period, the drip inside vacuum packaging can also discolour<br />

the meat.<br />

Drip loss is more pronounced in venison than other meats.<br />

Further water loss happens during cooking, but this is a<br />

result of heating and denaturation of the proteins rather than<br />

enzyme activity.<br />

Eva Wiklund says that although the phenomenon is well<br />

known, the processes that cause the chilled meat to expel<br />

moisture this way are not well understood. Research into<br />

these fundamental processes is the first step towards finding<br />

ways to manage them, she adds.<br />

A related problem for the presentation of venison is poor<br />

colour stability. Cut meat exposed to air will ‘bloom’ a nice<br />

cherry red colour as myoglobin, the oxygen-transporting<br />

protein in muscle tissue, quickly oxidises. (Myoglobin<br />

contains iron and forms the pigments responsible for meat’s<br />

colour.) Unfortunately this is a relatively fleeting stage, and<br />

the meat will eventually take on a less appetising grey/<br />

brown appearance as the myoglobin continues to change<br />

on exposure to oxygen. There is a higher concentration of<br />

myoglobin in venison than in beef, which is why the colour<br />

46<br />

change is more pronounced in venison.<br />

The two research projects being led by<br />

Eva Wiklund are designed to increase<br />

understanding of the processes that go<br />

on in chilled venison following slaughter.<br />

The work could eventually point the way<br />

to processes for mitigating the unwanted<br />

drip loss and colour instability without<br />

compromising the wonderful tenderness of<br />

venison.<br />

The first programme, seasonal variation in<br />

venison quality, is already well underway.<br />

DEEResearch is contributing $20,000 to<br />

the $80,000 project, with the balance<br />

funded by AgResearch.<br />

The study has sampled muscle from deer<br />

slaughtered at four different times of<br />

the year – December, March, June and<br />

September – to assess the seasonal variation in drip loss,<br />

colour, calpain activity and tenderness.<br />

Eva says preliminary results show deer slaughtered in<br />

December have yielded the most tender venison and, along<br />

with the tenderness, the greatest water loss during chilled<br />

storage. The March-slaughtered venison was noticeably less<br />

tender, and this seems to be linked to greater presence of<br />

calpain inhibitors in the muscle tissue at this time. The July<br />

and September-slaughtered venison was intermediate in<br />

tenderness between the March and December product. Water<br />

loss during cooking did not seem to be linked to season,<br />

however.<br />

At press time, Eva was still awaiting results showing seasonal<br />

Drip loss (purge) in a vacuum bag. Venison sample has been<br />

chilled at –1.5 C for 9 weeks.<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong>

esearch<br />

variation in calpain activity, and any possible linkage to<br />

tenderness and drip loss.<br />

The real payoff from this research lies in the potential<br />

for modifying processing in a way that will inhibit<br />

drip loss without sacrificing tenderness, Eva says. “It<br />

might be possible to change something like the speed<br />

of chilling that will make only a small impact on<br />

tenderness – too small to notice – but which will help<br />

overcome the drip loss problem.”<br />

Looking at colour stability, Eva says not much is known<br />

about the phenomenon in meat chilled for an extended<br />

period of time, which is true for beef, lamb and<br />

venison. It may be possible to optimise the packaging<br />

methods and materials used – which are based on beef<br />

and lamb processing techniques – to something more<br />

suitable for the oxygen-sensitive venison.<br />

The second research programme,<br />

venison and water holding, is at<br />

an earlier stage, and is a more<br />

applied project, Eva explains.<br />

DEEResearch is contributing<br />

$50,000 to the programme, with<br />

AgResearch/FRST providing the<br />

remaining $50,000.<br />

The first of two experiments<br />

focuses on venison and beef<br />

and will include objective<br />

measurements of changes in<br />

water-holding capacity of chilled<br />

product over intervals ranging<br />

from one day to 14 weeks post<br />

slaughter. Changes in colour,<br />

water loss during cooking and<br />

tenderness will also be measured.<br />

The second experiment in this project will evaluate the<br />

effects of spray chilling of deer carcasses, specifically<br />

Breeding programme caution<br />

urged<br />

Eva Wiklund acknowledges that it’s important for the<br />

deer industry to increase on-farm productivity with fastergrowing<br />

or more reproductively successful animals, but<br />

warns that developing a more efficient animal should not<br />

be at the expense of product quality.<br />

She gives the salutary example of the pork industry in<br />

Europe and the United States 20 or 30 years ago: “They<br />

developed a lean, fast-growing pig, but it was very stress<br />

sensitive, so that in fact some animals could die during<br />

transport. These pigs also had leg problems resulting<br />

from the fast growth. The meat produced was ‘pale, soft,<br />

exudative’ – very high drip loss soon after slaughter made<br />

the meat dry, tough and horrible to eat. The gene for<br />

fast growth was later found to be directly linked to stress<br />

sensitivity.”<br />

Eva says livestock breeding programmes need to take note<br />

if genes for higher productivity were associated with any<br />

negative animal health or meat quality impacts.<br />

A<br />

A<br />

Water-holding capacity measured with the centrifuge method. (A) PhD<br />

student Dominic Lomiwes takes a small sample along muscle fibres, cut out<br />

and placed in a centrifuge tube. (B) Sample, tube and drip (on the bottom<br />

of the tube) after centrifugation.<br />

Water-holding capacity measured with the press method. (A) Small cut up meat sample is placed on<br />

a filter paper and then in a press. (B) Filter paper after the press test. Inner circle is meat and the<br />

outer circle is meat juice/water pressed out of the meat.<br />

on water uptake/distribution, drip loss, colour and<br />

microbiological quality. Eva says only a few <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong><br />

deer slaughter premises use spray chilling for venison at<br />

present. It’s done to provide a more humid atmosphere and<br />

help prevent weight loss through evaporation as the meat<br />

dries out during chilling, when fans are blowing air over<br />

the carcasses. It is important to differentiate this technique<br />

from the so called ‘enhanced’ meat products. In these,<br />

brine – including salt and phosphates – is used to improve<br />

tenderness and juiciness and can add considerable weight to<br />

pork, beef and poultry products, she notes.<br />

The project will examine variations in water-holding capacity<br />

of different parts of the carcass after spray chilling. Ten<br />

carcasses will be tested, with another ten in a control group<br />

chilled in the same conditions but without spray chilling.<br />

“I’m curious to know what will happen to venison from<br />

spray-chilled carcasses up to 14 weeks later – how much drip<br />

loss will there be?” Eva says.<br />

Because beef and lamb carcasses have much more surface fat<br />

than deer carcasses, they are likely to respond differently to<br />

spray chilling.<br />

“Even though <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> is a world leader in venison<br />

processing, many of the parameters used are simply taken<br />

from lamb or beef,” Eva says. “That might work in some<br />

areas but not all. Venison is a very different meat to lamb<br />

or beef. We need to know more about the way it behaves so<br />

that we can protect its quality all the way to the end user.”<br />

The venison and water-holding project is expected to be<br />

completed by the end of July 2009.<br />

Issue No 33 • December 2008 47<br />

B<br />


esearch<br />

NZDFA invited to invest in Pastoral Genomics<br />

programme<br />

The NZDFA has been invited to add to the deer industry’s investment in the next phase of the Pastoral Genomics<br />

Research Consortium’s (PG’s) research programme. Stakeholders’ patience and ongoing investment into pastoral<br />

genomics research thus far is on the verge delivering some impressive productivity and sustainability gains, Branch<br />

Chairmen were told at their October meeting.<br />

The deer industry has contributed to the<br />

programme through DEEResearch throughout<br />

PG’s first seven-year research phase (PG1).<br />

DEEResearch funding of $34,000 pa is committed<br />

until the end of this first development phase,<br />

ending 30 June 2009.<br />

The Consortium is seeking an ongoing<br />

commitment at a similar level from stakeholders,<br />

for a further five years (2009-2014) to bring<br />

this work out of the lab and onto the farm.<br />

This second phase is known as PG2. Research<br />

Dr. Zac Hanley.<br />

stakeholders for PG1 include DairyNZ, Meat<br />

& Wool <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong>, Fonterra, DEEResearch,<br />

AgResearch and the Foundation for Research Science &<br />

Technology.<br />

PG is also asking for an additional deer industry commitment<br />

for PG2 of $10,000 pa through NZDFA. (NZDFA has not<br />

provided any direct funding for PG1.)<br />

PG’s request for funding commitments from its stakeholders<br />

for PG2 is subject to the consortium’s full proposal being<br />

accepted and funded by FRST.<br />

Dr Mike Dunbier, Chairman of PG, and Dr Zac Hanley,<br />

Consortium Manager, updated Branch Chairmen on research<br />

progress.<br />

The productivity targets for PG1 were very specific, and from<br />

the outset included:<br />

• 25% increase in forage biomass from ryegrass and<br />

clover<br />

• increase in condensed tannins to improve protein<br />

quality and therefore animal production<br />

• improved drought tolerance<br />

• increased persistence of clovers alongside ryegrass and<br />

under grazing pressure<br />

• increased quality in terms of palatability, energy,<br />

nitrogen efficiency.<br />

Sustainability and long-term productivity are important<br />

drivers for the PG2 work, Zac said. He noted that some of<br />

the biotechnology being applied involved using only ryegrass<br />

genes in ryegrass, or only clover genes in clover.<br />

The name for this intra-species gene transfer work has been<br />

trademarked as Cisgenics® by PG. It enhances conventional<br />

plant breeding and does not involve the cross-species<br />

gene transfer that exercises so many opponents of genetic<br />

engineering.<br />

The Consortium has modelled advantages of these gains<br />

for the dairy industry, showing up to a 271% increase in<br />

economic farm surplus per hectare if some of these objectives<br />

are achieved – “eminently doable with what we’ve got,” Zac<br />

said. Extrapolated onto sheep, beef and deer the combined<br />

positive impact using this model could be as much as $450<br />

million pa.<br />

He said sustainability was now a bigger part of the<br />

Consortium’s goals than before.<br />

“<strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong>ers spend a billion dollars a year on<br />

fertilisers. Any change we can make to [efficiency] is<br />

going to be money in the farmer’s pocket. You don’t<br />

have to do so much work as you might imagine<br />

to make a plant 50 percent more efficient. Even a<br />

10 percent improvement in nitrogen use efficiency<br />

would make a startling difference to how much is<br />

there for the animals, and how much [fertiliser]<br />

you’d have to put on.”<br />

Key research areas planned for PG2 include:<br />

• nutrient use efficiencies: nitrogen, phosphorus, water<br />

• tailored forage composition: rumen (including<br />

condensed tannins), digestibility, forage composition<br />

• ‘watching brief’ targets: ryegrass persistence and<br />

establishment, alternative forages, whole-farm<br />

biotechnologies.<br />

Making the big gains involved a whole portfolio of<br />

approaches, Zac said. “There’s a whole bunch of ways we<br />

can attack these problems.”<br />

The work would happen at three levels: wide breeding<br />

(something both scientists and gardeners have done for<br />

years), marker-assisted breeding and functional genomics,<br />

or Cisgenics – the scientific nitty gritty which sees candidate<br />

genes for valued traits re-introduced to their hosts.<br />

Zac said the beauty of industry-good research was the high<br />

level of collaboration, which meant gains made were shared.<br />

This helped accelerate progress. He was at pains to point<br />

out that the financial benefits estimated from improvements<br />

in the field are very conservative. “A single gene has been<br />

responsible for a 130 percent increase in biomass in lab<br />

tests. This is why our target for a 25 percent increase is<br />

unambitious.”<br />

Commercialisation of the new technologies would be done<br />

in such a way that would deliver the most benefits to <strong>New</strong><br />

<strong>Zealand</strong> pastoral farmers, Zac said. PG was not interested in<br />

royalties, and any that were earned would be ploughed back<br />

into further research. “Royalties would be waived if they had<br />

the effect of inhibiting or delaying benefits to <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong><br />

farmers.”<br />

He said some innovations from the project are ready for<br />

market development; for example the Consortium is working<br />

with Agriseeds on some of the clovers that have been<br />

developed. While it was inevitable that the commercial<br />

entities that brought the new cultivars to market would<br />

profit from the publicly generated intellectual property, none<br />

would be given a monopoly on the technology. Mike Dunbier<br />

pointed out that some partner companies were already<br />

investing in commercialising new cultivars arising from the<br />

programme.<br />

48<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong>

esearch<br />

Containment facilities at Lincoln<br />

University were perfect for<br />

replicating experiments with some<br />

of the new cultivars, putting them<br />

through challenges such as the<br />

drought that hit the Waikato last<br />

summer. “We can show that if you<br />

had our plants in your field, they’d<br />

have done way better,” Zac said.<br />

Mike Dunbier noted that there was<br />

a budgetary limit to the number<br />

of traits that could be pursued.<br />

Good winter growth was not one<br />

of these, but he said that a plant<br />

bred to tolerate one particular type<br />

of stress was likely to bear up well<br />

under other challenges, including<br />

low temperatures.<br />

Because of the public interest<br />

that gets attracted to any new<br />

biotechnologies, PG would take the<br />

initiative to explain to stakeholders<br />

the science behind the new<br />

cultivars and the benefits they<br />

would offer. Surveys had shown<br />

there was less resistance to the<br />

idea of a plant modified with a gene from its<br />

own species, than, say, a gene from a fungus.<br />

There were concerns nonetheless. Overseas, these were more<br />

pronounced in Europe than the United States.<br />

Cisgenic technology, or reintroducing genes from the same<br />

species, is technically genetic modification, so release of<br />

new cultivars developed this way will still require approval<br />

The ryegrass plant on the right has a significan advantage in biomass after drought<br />

treatment, courtesy of a single change in its genetic code.<br />

through ERMA. <strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong> scientists are working with<br />

ERMA to develop an approach to this form of biotechnology.<br />

“[a new cultivar] hasn’t got anything new in it. It’s just been<br />

well arranged and put together properly.”<br />

For further information:<br />

www.pastoralgenomics.com<br />

Scientist honoured for deer vaccine work<br />

AgResearch scientist Dr Bryce Buddle, who helped develop the Yersiniavax® vaccine, has been twice honoured in recent<br />

weeks.<br />

He has been elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of <strong>New</strong><br />

<strong>Zealand</strong> (RSNZ), one of 10 new Fellows elected by the RSNZ for their<br />

innovative science.<br />

Shortly after this award, the RSNZ awarded Bryce the Hutton Medal<br />

in Animal Sciences for 2008. The biennial award recognised his longstanding<br />

work in the control of infectious diseases in livestock and<br />

wildlife.<br />

Bryce carried out the yersinosis vaccine development work during the<br />

1990s in collaboration with Colin Mackintosh, who ran the field trials,<br />

and Frank Griffin, who did the immunology studies in terms of the<br />

responses in deer.<br />

The successful vaccine was the first to have been developed against the<br />

Yersinia pseudotuberculosis organism in any animal. The killed vaccine<br />

has three strains of the organism. Bryce says the practice of running<br />

large numbers of dairy calves from different farms on runoffs is starting<br />

to lead to a yersinosis problem in cattle also, although the current<br />

vaccine is not suitable for cattle.<br />

The Hutton Medal also recognised Bryce’s diagnostic work with bovine<br />

Tb in cattle and wildlife reservoirs. He and his colleagues are currently<br />

working on developing a Tb vaccine for cattle that will not induce a<br />

response to the skin test.<br />

Issue No 33 • December 2008 49

esearch<br />

Sire Summaries: 1 December 2008<br />

These sire summaries list sire breeding values calculated from<br />

a single analysis of information from herds located around<br />

<strong>New</strong> <strong>Zealand</strong>. This analysis enables the genetic performance<br />

of the sires used in these herds to be compared on the same<br />

basis, after differences in environment have been removed.<br />

To appear on the list, a stag must have a minimum of 5<br />

progeny recorded, have a minimum accuracy for 12-month<br />

weight breeding value of 75%, and have progeny born in<br />

the last 2 years. There are separate lists for English stags and<br />

European and Composite stags. The breeding values on the<br />

two lists are directly comparable (providing both lists have the<br />

same analysis date recorded).<br />

The information presented is for growth only, with the traits<br />

reported being weight at 12 months (W12) and mature weight<br />

of hinds (MWT). Both breeding values (BV) and accuracy of<br />

each breeding value (acc%) are reported. Number of progeny<br />

are reported as “number born in the last 2 years/total number<br />

of progeny” where the two numbers differ.<br />

The lists are ranked in descending order based on the breeding<br />

value for 12 month weight (W12BV). The list for English stags<br />

includes the top 10 of 33 stags listed, based on W12BV. The list<br />

for European and Composite stags includes the top 30 of 293<br />

stags listed.<br />

Full, sortable lists for all sire stags are available on the<br />

DEEResearch website and clicking on the breeding values<br />

link on the home page: www.deeresearch.org.nz<br />

DISCLAIMER: While every endeavour has been made to<br />

ensure the accuracy of information in these reports, SIL and<br />

AgResearch expressly disclaims any and all liabilities that may<br />

arise from the use of the information.<br />

English top 10<br />

Rank (W12BV) Birth Herd Current Tag No Progeny W12BV W12Acc MWTBV MWTAcc Current Flock Prefix<br />

1 Pelorus <strong>Deer</strong> TOBY 83/169 11.8 97% 4.7 84% Peel Forest Estate<br />

2 Stanfield English DARTAGNION 45 10 89% 4 75% Stanfield English<br />

3 Stanfield English 68/95 1/30 7.9 89% 6.3 76% Pelorus <strong>Deer</strong><br />

4 Pelorus <strong>Deer</strong> BENTLEY 35/91 7.3 94% 5.3 78% Foveran <strong>Deer</strong> Stud<br />

5 Stanfield English ARAGORN 161/190 5.7 96% 1.5 81% Stanfield English<br />

6 Canterbury Imp Red <strong>Deer</strong> 96053 23/215 5.4 96% 4 88% Canterbury Imp Red <strong>Deer</strong><br />

7 Stanfield English MERLIN 91/192 5.3 97% 7.6 84% Stanfield English<br />

8 Windermere Red <strong>Deer</strong> Farm 295/90 1/28 5.3 87% 1.1 72% Windermere Red <strong>Deer</strong> Farm<br />

9 Pelorus <strong>Deer</strong> 45 25/71 4.7 91% 1.8 72% Foveran <strong>Deer</strong> Stud<br />

10 Stanfield English WILLIAM JOHN 275/428 4 98% 2 84% Foveran <strong>Deer</strong> Stud<br />

European and Composite top 30<br />

Rank (W12BV) Birth Herd Current Tag No Progeny W12BV W12Acc MWTBV MWTAcc Current Flock Prefix<br />

1 Peel Forest Estate ATLAS 60 25.3 94% 22.3 79% Peel Forest Estate<br />

2 Canterbury Imp Red <strong>Deer</strong> COSSAR 185 22.1 97% 21.2 81% <strong>Deer</strong> Improvement<br />

3 Peel Forest Estate 4052 7 22 83% 21.5 72% Peel Forest Estate<br />

4 Remarkables Park <strong>Deer</strong> Farm LUCIANO 64 21.9 93% 14.7 72% <strong>Deer</strong> Improvement<br />

5 Stanfield Eastern MAXIMILIAN 168/427 21.4 98% 25.9 94% Stanfield Eastern<br />

6 Stanfield Eastern 3152 90 21.1 94% 22.4 81% Wilkins Farming<br />

7 Black Forest Park KURGAN 42/48 20.7 92% 22 83% Black Forest Park<br />

8 Black Forest Park KABUL 44/289 20.5 98% 20.5 93% Black Forest Park<br />

9 Peel Forest Estate ADMIRAL 198/236 19.8 98% 12.5 84% <strong>Deer</strong> Improvement<br />

10 Stanfield Eastern MOSSIMO 89 19.8 95% 19.8 83% <strong>Deer</strong> Improvement<br />

11 Doncaster <strong>Deer</strong> Partnership WAIPAHI 34 19.6 89% 16.5 72% <strong>Deer</strong> Improvement<br />

12 Doncaster <strong>Deer</strong> Partnership 5073 5 19.3 81% 13 66% Doncaster <strong>Deer</strong> Partnership<br />

13 Sunny Downs CROATIA 46 18.7 90% 9.6 69% Sunny Downs<br />

14 Black Forest Park 02P185 5 18.4 79% 15 67% Black Forest Park<br />

15 Black Forest Park SUPER NOVA 25 18.3 89% 16.1 79% Black Forest Park<br />

16 Landcorp Stuart 382/05 11 18.3 83% 17.6 71% Landcorp Stuart<br />

17 Stanfield Eastern COLOSSUS 73/101 18.2 96% 17.4 83% <strong>Deer</strong> Improvement<br />

18 Stanfield Eastern MAXIMILIAN II 84 18.1 93% 19.1 84% Stanfield Eastern<br />

19 Landcorp Stuart 389/05 16 17.6 85% 11 71% Landcorp Stuart<br />

20 Fairlight STALLONE 42 17.5 90% 11.6 73% Fairlight<br />

21 Black Forest Park 02P166 32 17.3 88% 15.3 76% Black Forest Park<br />

22 Canterbury Imp Red <strong>Deer</strong> CRUSADER 116/154 17.2 97% 16.2 83% <strong>Deer</strong> Improvement<br />

23 Landcorp Stuart 293/04 26 16.8 86% 16.9 73% Landcorp Stuart<br />

24 Invermay MOSGIEL 48 16.6 92% 13.8 75% <strong>Deer</strong> Improvement<br />

25 Black Forest Park PISCES 14 16.5 85% 16.5 74% Black Forest Park<br />

26 Doncaster <strong>Deer</strong> Partnership CARL 207/275 16.3 98% 13.2 90% <strong>Deer</strong> Improvement<br />

27 Landcorp Stuart 365/04 6 16.3 80% 10.9 64% Landcorp Stuart<br />

28 Bennett TEMUKA 83 16.2 94% 12.7 74% <strong>Deer</strong> Improvement<br />

29 Black Forest Park 03B278 35 16.1 91% 16.8 79% Wilkins Farming<br />

30 Stanfield Eastern 3150 12 16 85% 18.5 74% Stanfield Eastern<br />

50<br />

<strong>Deer</strong> <strong>Industry</strong> <strong><strong>New</strong>s</strong>

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