Waikato Farming Lifestyles

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March 2021 Edition<br />

A trek to tranquillity<br />

Pages 6–7<br />

Ahuwhenua<br />

competition<br />

finalists<br />

Girls on the grid<br />

Producing<br />

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Integrity<br />

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Phone: 0800 466 793<br />

Email: info@integrity.nz<br />

General Manager: Deb Wright | deb.wright@integrity.nz | 021 639 696<br />

Environmental<br />

leaders inspire<br />

Dairy farmers at the Dairy Environment Leaders Forum heard<br />

first-hand what will be required of all New Zealanders to meet our<br />

climate change obligations.<br />

Editorial: Ann van Engelen, Paul Campbell, Andy Bryenton<br />

Advertising: Teresa Steed 027 525 8223<br />

Accounts: accounts@integrity.nz<br />

Distribution: Laurie Willetts<br />

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

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After*<br />

The Wellington forum’s first day<br />

opened with keynote speaker Climate<br />

Change Commission chair Dr Rodd Carr,<br />

followed by Climate Change Minister<br />

James Shaw and speakers from<br />

other sectors.<br />

Dr Carr told the group of around 40<br />

Dairy Environment Leaders that all New<br />

Zealanders have a responsibility to<br />

begin reducing emissions if we are to<br />

rise to the climate challenge.<br />

“Human beings have a carbon<br />

footprint, no matter what we do, so it’s<br />

about containing it, and how we contain<br />

it,” he said.<br />

“The climate waits for no one. As a<br />

nation, we can choose what we do but we<br />

can’t choose not to reduce emissions. It<br />

is about our share of the responsibility.<br />

The science is now so clear that we<br />

have to act because greenhouse gases<br />

are causing the climate to change. The<br />

needle on the dial is moving toward<br />

doing what we can, when we can.<br />

“There is technical feasibility,<br />

economic effects and social acceptance<br />

we need to address. I think the journey<br />

is underway; we just have to configure<br />

how we do it. Long-term, we will need a<br />

technological breakthrough.”<br />

Climate Change Minister James<br />

Shaw echoed that view, saying there<br />

are diverse tools farmers can use in<br />

different farm conditions across New<br />

Zealand, and there is time to achieve<br />

the changes. “We can get to where we<br />

need to, over the next 30 years, with<br />

the options we have now,” said Mr<br />

Shaw. “Fortunately, we are not starting<br />

from scratch. There has been a lot of<br />

good work done in the last five years,<br />

including through the He Waka Eke<br />

Noa partnership.”<br />

Dairy Environment Leaders chair<br />

Melissa Slattery said farmers are<br />

committed to playing their part to<br />

solve environmental challenges and<br />

have a lot of great work underway<br />

already. She said regulations need to<br />

be practical behind the farm gate and<br />

have pragmatic timeframes.<br />

“Dairy Environment Leaders Forum<br />

is an opportunity for environmentallyminded<br />

farmers to get together and<br />

discuss the opportunities we see, the<br />

challenges we face and the support that<br />

we will need to succeed.”<br />

DairyNZ strategy and investment<br />

leader Dr David Burger said the forum<br />

is a valuable opportunity for farmers<br />

to hear first-hand the factors being<br />

considered for New Zealand’s future and<br />

to ensure decision-makers understand<br />

the challenges and practicalities<br />

on-farm.<br />

“It is one way our Dairy Environment<br />

Leaders can meet and hear from<br />

decision-makers, discuss the sector’s<br />

future and solutions farmers are rolling<br />

out for climate change and water quality.<br />

“Our farmers lead the world in the<br />

production of sustainable and low<br />

emission milk, and we want to ensure<br />

we protect that position.”<br />

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Ahuwhenua competition finalists<br />

Anahera Hale, Ben Purua and Quinn Morgan are the finalists in the 2021 Ahuwhenua Young Maori<br />

Dairy Award.<br />


The award is designed to recognise<br />

up-and-coming young Maori in the<br />

dairy, sheep and beef and horticulture<br />

industries, with this year’s competition<br />

focussing on the dairy industry.<br />

Judge Aaron Hunt says the standard<br />

of entrants in the competition was very<br />

high and reflects the number of young<br />

Maori who are making successful<br />

careers in the dairy sector.<br />

“The sector has natural appeal<br />

to young Maori because it offers an<br />

outdoor lifestyle and a significant career<br />

path,” says Judge Hunt.<br />

“It is also good for those with young<br />

families and allows them to have a<br />

supportive environment in which to<br />

work. The judging panel found all<br />

the entrants passionate about the<br />

industry and enthusiastic about their<br />

future prospects.”<br />

The Ahuwhenua Trophy management<br />

committee chairman, Kingi Smiler, says<br />

it is great to see another cohort of young<br />

Maori from the dairy industry entering<br />

this event.<br />

“The Young Maori Farmer competition<br />

is very important both for Maori and the<br />

dairy sector because it helps foster a<br />

Ben Purua, from Tokoroa, is a 2021 Ahuwhenua Young Maori Dairy Award finalist<br />

new group of potential leaders and role<br />

models for the future.<br />

“Since the award was inaugurated, it<br />

has proven to be very popular and has<br />

attracted high-quality entrants, many of<br />

whom have gone on to take leadership<br />

roles in the wider agri sector.”<br />

Twenty-five-year-old Anahera is the<br />

2IC farm assistant on Rod and Jacquie<br />

McPherson’s dairy farm near Whakatane.<br />

They run between 340/345 cows and<br />

winter about 360 cows. Anahera says<br />

she loves her dairy farming career —<br />

especially the fact that she can work<br />

outdoors and with animals.<br />

Ben Purua is 26 years old and<br />

currently working as the 2IC for a<br />

contract milker at Trinity Lands farm<br />

near Tokoroa, which runs 900 cows.<br />

He recognises that the dairy industry<br />

has helped turn around his life. Quinn<br />

Morgan, also 26, is very new to the dairy<br />

industry and is in his first season of<br />

farming, working as a farm assistant for<br />

Sam and Kate Moore on their 155ha<br />

farm in Otakiri near Whakatane.<br />

The winner of both the senior and<br />

junior competition will be announced<br />

on Friday May 14. More details are<br />

available at ahuwhenuatrophy.maori.nz.<br />

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Girls<br />

on<br />

the<br />

by Ann van Engelen<br />

grid<br />

The Nash family are big stock car supporters with<br />

Ange, Craig and daughters, 12-year-old Charli and<br />

eight-year-old Milla, all members of the<br />

Dargaville Production Stock Car Club.<br />

I was born, my dad<br />

Warren Beachen was a<br />

“When<br />

top Northland saloon<br />

driver, and I was introduced to the sport<br />

from a very young age,” says Ange.<br />

“I grew up in Dargaville and have fond<br />

memories of going to the track with<br />

mum and dad when I was very little.<br />

Dad gave up for many years but is back<br />

racing at Waikaraka Park. He is one of<br />

the big boys and drives a limited saloon.<br />

He pops up to our meets when he can.”<br />

Ange travelled overseas in 2000, and<br />

when she returned, she met Craig, who<br />

had started racing cars himself in 2003.<br />

“We met through a mutual friend. I<br />

started going as a passenger with him,<br />

and he eventually talked me into driving,<br />

and I got the bug. I started driving myself<br />

in 2006 and then he built his own car<br />

and gave me his old one.<br />

“Craig is so talented he can build<br />

a car from scratch. People talk to me<br />

about motors, and I laugh and say Craig<br />

does everything. I just hop in and drive.<br />

When I got Craig’s old car, we painted it<br />

pink, white and black. We are a Honda<br />

family when it comes to racing. I have a<br />

Prelude. Craig drives a Civic, and he and<br />

Charli rebuilt an Integra for her.<br />

“Getting out on the track is a huge<br />

adrenalin rush. It may look slow to the<br />

spectators, but when you are out there<br />

— it is all go. You are reading what<br />

the other drivers are doing and what is<br />

going on.<br />

“There is a competitive side, but it<br />

is more about fun. If you are not having<br />

Ange Nash enjoys every aspect of racing at the Dargaville Speedway and says<br />

the sport is fun and helps to build confidence in young drivers<br />

fun, you shouldn’t be out there. People<br />

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every week.<br />

“Drivers have to meet the Circle<br />

Track Racing Association of New<br />

Zealand standards and rules for their<br />

vehicles. New cars go through a rigorous<br />

scrutineering process. We have the roll<br />

cage, five-point harness and safety gear.”<br />

Drivers and passengers wear overalls,<br />

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Three generations of speedway drivers — Ange, her dad Warren Beachen<br />

and Ange’s 12-year-old daughter Charli with their race vehicles<br />

“You have to be tight in your belts<br />

because you don’t want to be moving<br />

around in your seat. To begin a race,<br />

we go to the grid for starting. We do a<br />

slow lap in preparation, and then the<br />

flag drops, and the race is on.<br />

“You can have a plan on the day, but<br />

it depends on who is in front of you and<br />

how they drive. The track conditions<br />

come into account. Some people like<br />

wet tracks, and some prefer dry.”<br />

Craig had been asking Charli if she<br />

would like to try racing for years.<br />

“Last year, she was keen, and his<br />

brother had the Honda Integra sitting on<br />

his back lawn. He gave it to her to turn<br />

into a race car. Charli and Craig worked<br />

on it together. They dismantled it, built<br />

the roll cage and put it back together.<br />

Now she knows how it is done, and she<br />

helps tie the cars on to the trailer for<br />

race days. Charli and Milla also wash<br />

the cars.<br />

“Charli is in the novice grade, which<br />

is young learning drivers, and she will<br />

stay there for a few years. I go as her<br />

passenger as I freak out too much as a<br />

spectator. I am then a mentor helping<br />

her to learn the gears, watch the flags<br />

and everything else going on.<br />

“Being involved in racing early teaches<br />

children resilience and how to win and<br />



lose. It is good for her to not be great at<br />

it. Racing helps build confidence.<br />

“I cried the first time she was on the<br />

track, purely out of being proud of what<br />

she accomplished. Milla thinks when<br />

her dad wins Lotto, he can buy her a<br />

quarter midget.<br />

“There are so many talented drivers<br />

in our club. People come from Taipa,<br />

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beyond at times. I race with the men<br />

because there are not many lady drivers.<br />

I really enjoy the challenge.<br />

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A TREK TO<br />


by Andy Bryenton<br />

Deep in the central <strong>Waikato</strong>, Nicole Singh has created a thriving<br />

tourism business alongside the productive farm she and<br />

her husband Shaan live and work on. Balancing equestrian<br />

adventures with innovations in livestock, Stone Hill is a place of<br />

natural beauty and surprises.<br />

Growing up in rural Germany,<br />

Nicole lived in a town that has<br />

more in common with her current<br />

<strong>Waikato</strong> address than the cities one<br />

often associates with the heart of<br />

industrial Europe.<br />

“I came from a small village where<br />

everyone knew everybody else,” she<br />

says. “It was a remote location but<br />

perfect for owning and riding horses.<br />

Before I came to New Zealand, I was<br />

living in Berlin for my career, but I always<br />

wanted to go back to the countryside,<br />

and I wanted to have horses again.”<br />

A backpacking tour, working in Kiwi<br />

cafes provided one of those unexpected<br />

twists which make life interesting.<br />

Meeting and marrying Kiwi Shaan,<br />

Nicole moved to the <strong>Waikato</strong>, to a place<br />

near the green forests of Sanctuary<br />

Mountain in Pukeatua. Half a world away<br />

from the centre of Europe, this was a<br />

place of similar rural tranquillity to her<br />

hometown. It was also a place with a<br />

rich equine history.<br />

Shaan and Nicole represent the third<br />

generation of Singhs to farm Stone Hill’s<br />

rugged and rolling pastureland, where<br />

weathered remnants of old volcanoes<br />

thrust through the turf to create walls,<br />

pinnacles and a unique landscape.<br />

“We’ve had visitors comment that it<br />

looks like Lord of the Rings country,”<br />

says Nicole.<br />

However, the reality of farming there<br />

is far from the fantasy of moviemaking.<br />

To patrol the 1,500 acres of Stone Hill,<br />

Shaan’s father and grandfather took to<br />

horseback, eschewing the quad bike<br />

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Riders set off on the trail from Stone Hill’s<br />

farm base to the picturesque hinterland<br />

Picking horses with the right temperament<br />

and personality is all part of creating the perfect team<br />

and a bit of company while mustering<br />

and droving.<br />

Soon Nicole began to offer horse<br />

trek adventures through the interesting<br />

scenery of Stone Hill. She found that<br />

people were very interested in coming<br />

and exploring the landscape. Some were<br />

also there to explore the very concept of<br />

horse riding itself; people from big cities<br />

and foreign lands where getting in the<br />

saddle was never a day-to-day option.<br />

“Before Covid, when our lives were<br />

‘normal’, about 70 per cent of our<br />

guests were from overseas, places<br />

like Australia, France, England and<br />

Germany,” says Nicole.<br />

“About 30 per cent were Kiwis. Now,<br />

of course, it’s 100 per cent locals<br />

enjoying the experience, but we have<br />

not slowed down on the weekends due<br />

to Kiwis exploring their own country.”<br />

Those numbers mean it’s necessary<br />

to keep a large stable of horses onsite.<br />

Nicole has a herd of 10 currently<br />

living at Stone Hill, each with their own<br />

personality and temperament.<br />

“I think I have a good sense of<br />

choosing the right horse for my team,”<br />

says Nicole. “They also get a lot of<br />

care, training and attention here. They<br />

live together as a herd, which is very<br />

natural for them, and meet new people<br />

all the time.<br />

“Sometimes we have people returning<br />

who ask to ride the same horse as the<br />

last time because they have made a<br />

bond over the few hours of the trek, and<br />

that’s a wonderful thing.”<br />

Some treks take only a couple of<br />

hours, while others can last up to five.<br />

A favourite route allows riders to stop<br />

on a hilltop, drink from a natural spring<br />

of clear, clean water, and enjoy a picnic<br />

before riding back to base. Sometimes<br />

the working farm is as fascinating as<br />

the ride or the landscape, says Nicole.<br />

“We love educating people from the<br />

city about the real New Zealand farming<br />

experience. We get compliments,<br />

some of surprise, as to how clean and<br />

ecologically friendly everything is, from<br />

our clear streams to our happy livestock.”<br />

Building a functioning tourism<br />

enterprise next to and around a working<br />

farm with one-third in dairy and the<br />

rest in sheep and beef has been hard<br />

work, but good work. Nicole always<br />

has time for the next innovation; she’s<br />

thinking about glamping opportunities,<br />

and how to create a cabin or campsite<br />

for overnight trek-and-stay adventures.<br />

This is one of the few places where<br />

you can come on holiday with your own<br />

horse, and that’s an avenue of possible<br />

future expansion.<br />

Meanwhile, Shaan has brought<br />

45 water buffalo to Stone Hill, an<br />

experiment in cheesemaking with an<br />

Auckland mozzarella maestro.<br />

“The best part is that some of our<br />

visitors have absolutely loved the horse<br />

ride here. They’ve gone on to have riding<br />

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The late Sir Geoffrey Peren played a leading role in the<br />

development of the Perendale sheep breed, in addition<br />

to the establishment of Massey Agricultural College.<br />


Born in Surrey, England, in 1892,<br />

Sir Geoffrey took a keen interest<br />

in nature from a young age. He<br />

was just 14 when he chose to leave<br />

England to go farming in Canada,<br />

moving to a small mixed farm in<br />

southern Ontario. Two years later, he<br />

took up work as a teamster in British<br />

Columbia and also gained orcharding<br />

experience. On winning a scholarship to<br />

the Ontario Agricultural College in 1911,<br />

Sir Geoffrey’s agricultural academic<br />

studies began. Four years later, after<br />

graduating with a Bachelor of Science<br />

in agriculture, Sir Geoffrey enlisted in<br />

the Canadian Field Artillery, serving in<br />

France during the first world war. He rose<br />

to the rank of major and was awarded<br />

the Croix de Guerre.<br />

At the end of the war, Sir Geoffrey<br />

worked at the Ministry of Agriculture<br />

and Fisheries (MAF) research station in<br />

Kent, England as an assistant then as<br />

a MAF inspector. From 1920 to 1924,<br />

he lectured at the University of Bristol’s<br />

agricultural and horticultural research<br />

station. Sir Geoffrey, and his wife<br />

Violet, moved to New Zealand in 1924<br />

following his appointment as the new<br />

chair of agriculture at Victoria University<br />

in Wellington.<br />

With much ongoing discussion about<br />

the need for an agricultural training<br />

institution in the North Island, Sir<br />

Geoffrey joined forces with the professor<br />

of agriculture at Auckland University<br />

College, Professor William Riddet. The<br />

two professors travelled to assess<br />

potential sites, settling on land near<br />

Palmerston North.<br />

Massey Agricultural College, named<br />

after former prime minister William<br />

Ferguson Massey, was officially opened<br />

in March 1928. Sir Geoffrey was<br />

appointed principal of the agricultural<br />

college, and Professor Riddet became<br />

the chair in agriculture. On returning to<br />

Massey after serving in the second world<br />

war, where Sir Geoffrey commanded<br />

the Manawatu Mounted Rifles and<br />

other units, he furthered his interest in<br />

research and teaching.<br />

The areas of sheep husbandry and<br />

wool, and the development of fleece<br />

testing, particularly interested him.<br />

Sir Geoffrey began looking at the<br />

development of a sheep breed that<br />

would particularly suit the North Island’s<br />

steep hill country. It followed on from<br />

earlier attempts by a handful of North<br />

Island sheep farmers crossing Romneys<br />

with Cheviots.<br />

The Perendale, named after Sir<br />

Geoffrey, was produced from the<br />

offspring of a Romney ewe and a Cheviot<br />

ram. In 1959, he was also a key figure<br />



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Sir Geoffrey Peren and Professor William Riddet check<br />

out a possible site for the new Massey Agricultural College in 1926<br />

in the formation of the Perendale Sheep<br />

Society of New Zealand.<br />

Horowhenua sheep farmer, Gilbert<br />

Timms, is a former president of both the<br />

Cheviot and Perendale Sheep Societies.<br />

His involvement with Perendales<br />

stretches back more than half a century.<br />

It was while working for sheep farmer<br />

David Law as a teenager that he met<br />

Sir Geoffrey.<br />

“He was a very enthusiastic man with<br />

sheep and did a great job for Massey,<br />

the Perendale breed, and every breed<br />

really,” said Gilbert.<br />

“He had a saying ‘keep the water<br />

dripping on the stone’. Just keep<br />

improving all the time.”<br />

Gilbert said Sir Geoffrey was very<br />

encouraging, particularly towards<br />

new breeders.<br />

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“Romneys and Southdowns were<br />

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Sir Geoffrey encouraged and helped<br />

people to get started and ensure they<br />

registered with the breed society. He<br />

would tell them what to do to improve.<br />

“The Perendales are really good<br />

dual-purpose sheep, really hardy<br />

and adaptable.<br />

“When things get tough, they don’t<br />

die. They might lose condition, but<br />

they hang in there and bounce back<br />

very quickly.<br />

“They are a good breed, and the<br />

Perendale Society has worked hard to<br />

keep the standard up, right through<br />

the years.”<br />

Perendale Sheep Society of New<br />

Zealand president Warren Ayers said<br />

Sir Geoffrey was the father of the breed.<br />

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The 1928 offi cial opening of Massey Agricultural College with<br />

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Photographer JH Daroux, Palmerston North — taken March 20 1928<br />

“He was very forward-thinking for his<br />

time, not only with Perendales but with<br />

other genetics as well.”<br />

Sir Geoffrey was awarded a CBE in<br />

1953 and a KBE in 1959. In 1977,<br />

Massey University awarded him an<br />

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New life for<br />

old police jerseys<br />

Police are supporting a repurposing initiative with a New<br />

Zealand-owned woollen mill to turn old jerseys into unspun fibre<br />

and then into blankets for official police use only.<br />

The blankets are initially due to<br />

be trialled with Wellington’s maritime<br />

policing unit and in patrol cars.<br />

The current uniform policy states<br />

that all obsolete or faulty items of<br />

police uniform must be returned to be<br />

destroyed and disposed of at a landfill.<br />

Since June 2019, 17 tonnes of uniform<br />

items have been returned for disposal<br />

in this way.<br />

“Working in partnership with other<br />

groups to explore ways to achieve<br />

broader positive outcomes is important<br />

to us, be they environmental, social,<br />

economic or cultural,” said manager<br />

procurement and contract management<br />

Ged Callaghan.<br />

“We’re hoping that this initiative<br />

to recycle what would have been<br />

destroyed and sent to landfill can be<br />

a springboard into other recycling or<br />

repurposing initiatives.”<br />

In July 2020, a call went out for old<br />

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test run. Procurement worked with<br />

Response and Operations Group (R&O)<br />

to ensure this went smoothly.<br />

Staff answered the call, and 145<br />

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Martin, who manage police uniform<br />

supplies. The jerseys were sent on to a<br />

team at The Information Management<br />

Group (TIMG), who manage police secure<br />

document blue bins. They removed and<br />

destroyed the police coat of arms and<br />

anything else on the jerseys that was<br />

not wool.<br />

These leftover jersey pieces were<br />

then sent to Woolyarns, a 74-year-old<br />

Lower Hutt- based mill that’s usually in<br />

the business of turning natural fibres<br />

like wool and possum fur into yarn.<br />

“This is certainly a different project<br />

for us, and we’re literally breaking down<br />

the jerseys and turning them back into<br />

woollen fibre that can be repurposed<br />

into a new product,” said Woolyarns<br />

general manager Andy May.<br />

Old police jerseys are being repurposed and<br />

turned into blankets for official police use<br />

“The test run was a success, and we<br />

have proved police jerseys can become<br />

yarn once again.”<br />

In collaboration with police R&O<br />

Group, a prototype hand-knitted beanie<br />

was initially produced, and consideration<br />

was then given to other types of woollen<br />

products before deciding on a blanket.<br />

Staff at Police National Headquarters<br />

were canvassed for a name for the<br />

blanket. The winner was Ahurutanga,<br />

meaning warmth, comfort and security.<br />

Staff are encouraged to hand their old<br />

jerseys in to be recycled.<br />



OWNERS<br />

IF YOU ARE<br />




(Part one)<br />

WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES March 2021 11<br />

Inflammation<br />

Is your body hot, cold or lukewarm? I am not talking about<br />

your actual body temperature but the degree to which<br />

unwanted inflammation is affecting your body.<br />

Some inflammation we can feel and<br />

see. There is also silent inflammation<br />

that has no symptoms but can<br />

cause disease.<br />

Inflammation is an amazing part of<br />

our body’s healing systems. It is an<br />

essential part of how we fight infections<br />

and heal against damage caused<br />

by injuries. It is always associated<br />

with fighting infection. Without<br />

infl ammation, our fi rst infection or<br />

injury would have probably ended<br />

our lives. The signs of infl ammation<br />

are heat, swelling, redness and pain,<br />

including loss of function.<br />

Inflammation is a process where our<br />

immune (white blood) cells produce<br />

a wide range of chemicals that<br />

coordinate the process of removing<br />

the cause of the problem and then<br />

clean up the mess to complete the<br />

healing process. These processes<br />

are incredibly complex and involve a<br />

wide range of cell types and a variety<br />

of messenger compounds. Many<br />

infl ammatory problems are caused<br />

by overactive messengers triggering<br />

unwanted inflammation.<br />

The infl ammatory process is like<br />

your kitchen tap. When working well,<br />

you get cold water when you turn the<br />

cold tap and hot water when the hot<br />

is on. Unwanted inflammation is like<br />

turning the cold tap and getting warm<br />

or even hot water instead.<br />

A common cause of unwanted<br />

inflammation is when our body tries<br />

to repair a problem that it cannot<br />

fix. That is typical of osteoarthritis.<br />

The problem is caused by cartilage<br />

erosion. However, most of the pain<br />

is caused by immune cells inflaming<br />

joint tissue in an attempt to repair it.<br />

All this does is cause unnecessary<br />

pain, swelling and loss of function.<br />

If you are affected by arthritis<br />

or any infl ammation, I recommend<br />

following an anti-infl ammatory diet<br />

with supplements that can help reduce<br />

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Feel free to contact me if you<br />

have questions.<br />

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12 March 2021 WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES<br />

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Dairy women finalists<br />

A sharemilker, a Dairy Business of the Year recipient, and a<br />

contract milker and farm consultant have been named as this<br />

year’s finalists for the Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year award.<br />

WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES March 2021 13<br />

Belinda Price, a sharemilker based in<br />

Whanganui, joins Ashburton dairy farmer<br />

Rebecca Miller and Chevon Horsford, a<br />

contract milker, farm consultant and<br />

Maori farm adviser in Whangarei, in the<br />

running for the respected industry award<br />

managed by Dairy Women’s Network.<br />

Already a celebration of leadership<br />

inside and outside the farm gate, this<br />

year’s award shows a strong focus on<br />

people and highlights the work of the<br />

three finalists in leading and mentoring<br />

others through their farming journeys.<br />

Dairy Women’s Network trustee and<br />

award judge Sophie Stanley said the<br />

three finalists were recognised by the<br />

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“Belinda showed strong focus and<br />

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Maori farmers and other wahine toa in<br />


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the industry are inspiring. Rebecca’s<br />

positivity, enthusiasm and holistic<br />

approach to farming and family life<br />

shine through her nomination, which has<br />

enabled her to give back to the industry<br />

in a number of varied roles.”<br />

The finalists were selected by a<br />

judging panel comprised of Sophie,<br />

2019 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year<br />

Trish Rankin and representatives from<br />

Fonterra, Global Women and Ballance<br />

Agri Nutrients.<br />

Sophie said the award and the judging<br />

process shine a light on the work these<br />

women do for the industry behind<br />

the scenes to encourage the next<br />

generation of dairy women to follow in<br />

their footsteps.<br />

“What excites me the most is being in<br />

the presence of incredibly hard-working,<br />

passionate and inspiring women who<br />

every day wake up to make the dairy<br />

industry a better place for their families,<br />

peers, the environment and New Zealand<br />

as a whole.”<br />

The recipient will be announced at a<br />

gala dinner in Taupo on April 3. Miles<br />

Hurrell, chief executive of Fonterra, will<br />

be presenting the award. Registrations<br />

are still open to join in and celebrate<br />

the finalists.<br />




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14 March 2021 WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES<br />


by Andy Bryenton<br />

Gas axed in proposed plan<br />

The plan is in from the central government; no new natural gas connections to the network or bottled LPG connections after 2025.<br />

Ailing gas heating and hot water systems may have to switch to electricity or biomass when replaced, and existing natural gas<br />

supplies might be phased out as early as 2050.<br />

The story of natural gas begins<br />

millions of years ago, with the mass<br />

extinctions that ushered out the<br />

dinosaurs. The end of that story looks<br />

likely to be written by government<br />

legislation, starting in the present day.<br />

Proponents are in favour, for green<br />

reasons, preventing what is being<br />

called the Anthropocene extinction,<br />

the climate shift that could wipe out<br />

life as we know it. Detractors point to<br />

the almost universal use of natural gas<br />

for barbecues, restaurants, welding<br />

and more.<br />

The end of gas is part of the Climate<br />

Change Commission’s report on how<br />

New Zealand could go carbon neutral<br />

by 2050.<br />

While many of the suggestions made<br />

in the report are focussed on agriculture<br />

and transport, the gas phase-out came<br />

as a shock to small businesses in the<br />

hospitality industry, where 95 per cent<br />

of restaurants are gas-powered. It’s also<br />

prompted a rethink by building firms<br />

looking at future-proofing their designs,<br />

and consumers considering the end of<br />

califonts, gas hot water heaters and gas<br />

fires, gas ovens and hobs.<br />

“We can’t continue to postpone what<br />

we need to do to reach our goals,”<br />

said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.<br />

“The government will not hold back,”<br />

she reiterated, saying that future<br />

generations should not foot the bill for<br />

current inaction.<br />

The cost of this is estimated at one<br />

per cent of our national gross domestic<br />

product each year, or roughly $2 to<br />

$3 billion.<br />

However, those in the gasfitting<br />

industry, those who supply gas to<br />

homes and restaurants, and those who<br />

sell heating, cooking and water heating<br />

appliances will feel a much bigger shake<br />

up coming.<br />

Already gas products have seen a dip<br />

in sales, based only on the revelation<br />

Government proposals to reduce carbon emissions include the recommendation that gas could be<br />

turned off for good, starting with no new installs in just four years’ time.<br />

that there’s 29 years to go before the<br />

tap is turned off. That, to some, is a<br />

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y Andy Bryenton<br />


Apprentice stars sought<br />

New Zealand’s building industry is searching for its top rising stars, as the 2021 Registered<br />

Master Builders Apprentice of the Year competition gets underway. Applications are open now for<br />

young builders to have their chance in the spotlight.<br />

‘As an apprentice, you are<br />

the sector’s future leaders,’<br />

states the invitation to get<br />

involved. ‘The competition<br />

will test your project<br />

management, business and<br />

presentation skills as well as<br />

practical skills.’<br />

The competition tests<br />

not just the skills of young<br />

tradespeople on the tools,<br />

but all those other aspects<br />

that make for a top builder.<br />

Fostering this kind of talent<br />

is vital to producing the<br />

leaders of tomorrow in an<br />

industry tasked with tackling a<br />

nationwide housing shortage.<br />

Applications are open from April 1 and<br />

run all month. Every entrant receives a<br />

complimentary pack of clothing and gear<br />

from Carters, the hardware and timber<br />

company, to help get them started. The<br />

middle of the year will see practical<br />

tests laid down and judging taking place<br />

region by region.<br />

Thomas O’Brien, 20 from the<br />

Northern region, employed by Beacon<br />

Construction and trained with BCITO,<br />

took the title of 2020 Master Builders<br />

New Zealand’s Master Builders, BCITO and Carters are proud to<br />

team up to foster young talent with the apprentice of the year awards<br />

Carters Apprentice of the Year. The<br />

competition runner-up went to Matthew<br />

Van Boheman, 23 from Bay of Plenty-<br />

Central Plateau who is employed by<br />

Beck Building, with Mark Lovelock, 27<br />

from the Upper South Island, employed<br />

by Timbercraft Construction, being<br />

awarded third place.<br />

As well as bragging rights and a<br />

fantastic boost for their CV, each<br />

regional winner in 2021 will receive a<br />

place at a specially designed Outward<br />

Bound course, top-flight tools<br />

and products from Carters’<br />

suppliers, and a business<br />

tools grant from Carters to the<br />

value of $2,000. Then there’s<br />

the honour of representing<br />

the north at the national<br />

competition in Auckland<br />

during November.<br />

There’s an extensive<br />

application to be part of<br />

this competition, as young<br />

apprentices will need their<br />

employer and training advisor’s<br />

support to get involved.<br />

However, it’s a great way of<br />

advancing young careers, and<br />

an opportunity to celebrate not<br />

just the young people who have decided<br />

to train up and become future builders,<br />

but also the companies passing on<br />

their skills and experience to make<br />

this possible.<br />

If you know an apprentice who is<br />

dedicated and talented enough to<br />

deserve a shot at the top honour in<br />

their profession, tell them to visit<br />

apprenticeoftheyear.co.nz and get<br />

prepared now to apply in just under a<br />

month’s time.<br />

WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES March 2021 15<br />

Interior painting<br />

Wallpapering<br />

Exterior Painting<br />

Spray Painting<br />

(07) 873 9104<br />

027 290 8776<br />

www.daverowe.co.nz<br />

decorator@daverowe.co.nz<br />

Wear a helmet.<br />

A helmet is a must while riding<br />

a quad bike around the farm.<br />


This 3 Bedroom, 2 Bedroom, 108m2 simplistic<br />

yet functional home design will work for a small<br />

family or couple.<br />

It utilizes space extremely well has everything<br />

you need including a light and bright open plan<br />

living area and master bedroom with ensuite.<br />

Pre-built in our factory ready to be delivered to<br />

your site<br />

$285,000 incl. GST Ex-Factory (exclusions apply)<br />

Contact us for an information pack on info@perrymodular.co.nz or<br />

call to arrange a viewing of our display home on<br />

0800 836 466 or visit www.PerryModular.co.nz

16 March 2021 WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES<br />

New Zealand Made Greenhouses<br />

Designed and Manufactured right here in New Zealand, our greenhouses are built to last.<br />


Auto-opening roof<br />

vents provide adequate<br />

ventilation and temperature<br />

control. Triggered by a wax<br />

mechanism, they open and<br />

close based on temperature.<br />



Unique gutter system for<br />

collecting rain water.<br />


Unique rubber bead sealing<br />

system designed to hold<br />

the glazing panels firmly<br />

in place while adding<br />

significant strength to the<br />

overall structure.<br />


Heavy duty aluminium frame<br />

to provide years of trouble<br />

free service with minimal<br />

maintenance.<br />


All Winter Gardenz Greenhouses<br />

come with a strong aluminium<br />

base and have foundation<br />

mounting options to suit most<br />

applications.<br />


From Thin Tanks to shade<br />

covers and everything in<br />

between, we have several<br />

accessories for you to<br />

choose from to get your<br />

greenhouse set up!<br />


Long lasting, powder coated<br />

finish in black with Dulux<br />

Powder coat. Looks great and<br />

requires minimal maintenance.<br />

Covered by Dulux non-fade<br />

warranty.<br />

www.WinterGardenz.co.nz 0800 946 837<br />

For over a decade, Winter Gardenz has been manufacturing<br />

the highest-quality residential and commercial Greenhouses,<br />

right here in New Zealand. We create stunning greenhouses<br />

that are built to last and easy to assemble, using high-quality<br />

polycarbonate glazing and Toughened Safety Glass. This,<br />

combined with strong and sturdy aluminium profiles that are 2-3<br />

times the weight and thickness of most of other greenhouses,<br />

gives Winter Gardenz Greenhouses maximum durability.<br />

We have New Zealand’s largest range of greenhouse sizes, from<br />

6ft x 6ft structures for the hobby gardener at only $1,995, to<br />

12ftx24ft structures that are perfect for entertaining, all the way<br />

up to large-scale commercial and architectural greenhouses. We<br />

also offer a range of customisation options and accessories to<br />

help create the perfect greenhouse space for you.<br />

While we have always strived to stay competitive on price, we<br />

refuse to compromise on quality, and that’s why even our decadeold<br />

structures still look great. Cheap imported greenhouses<br />

often become a disappointment to their owners within a year<br />

or two, with panel blowouts, discolouration, broken glass, and<br />

even structures that completely blow over and twist up into a<br />

hazardous heap. With our strong and sturdy aluminium framing,<br />

our highest standard glazing materials, and our innovative design,<br />

you can rest assured that your Winter Gardenz greenhouse<br />

purchase will stand the test of time.<br />

Please visit our website for more details. We would love to help<br />

you get started with your backyard greenhouse today!<br />

New Zealand’s Leading Manufacturer<br />

of Innovative, Award Winning Residential,<br />

Architectural & Commercial Quality<br />

Greenhouses & Accessories<br />

www.WinterGardenz.co.nz 0800 946 837


WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES March 2021 17<br />


A home with a view<br />

Chris and Caroline Lewis don’t do things by halves. In one year, they demolished their house,<br />

renovated their farm cottage, excavated a section and built their 310sqm, four-bedroom dream<br />

home on a four-acre section. If that wasn’t enough, moving day was in the middle of calving season.<br />


The family’s dream home is on<br />

their Pukeatua farm, at the base of<br />

Maungatautari Mountain. Although<br />

architecturally designed, the couple<br />

worked with the Urban Homes team on a<br />

number of suggestions that significantly<br />

reduced the cost of their build without<br />

losing any of the design elements.<br />

Central to the build was capturing the<br />

view of the mountain and creating an<br />

outdoor entertaining area, complete with<br />

a pool. It’s not just the mountain that’s<br />

a feature of Lewisridge Farm; there’s<br />

plenty to admire within, from feature<br />

barn doors and oversized windows<br />

to boldly painted statement walls. An<br />

increased 2.55m stud height creates a<br />

feeling of space and openness, while the<br />

polished concrete floor gives a stunning<br />

salt and pepper look in keeping with<br />

the modern style of the home, allowing<br />

Chris’s collection of 8,000 recycled<br />

Canterbury bricks to take centre stage<br />

behind the fireplace.<br />

Caroline says they wanted a beautiful<br />

home but something that wasn’t too<br />

show-home-like. “It was important for<br />

us that the house complemented the<br />

environment it was to be built in. We<br />

have a lot of established trees on our<br />

property, plus Maungatautari Mountain<br />

nearby, so the home had to hold its<br />

own. It’s all come together really well<br />

and looks amazing.”<br />

Having gone through the build<br />

process twice, Caroline’s advice for<br />

others building a home is to spend time<br />

on research. “Time is essential,” she<br />

says. “We had the time to look into<br />

renovation options first, then go down<br />

the build track.”<br />

She admits they asked many a<br />

question of the Urban Homes team, but<br />

nothing was ever too much trouble. “They<br />

are always so genuine and very honest<br />

about cost,” she says. “The service from<br />

the Urban team has been amazing!”<br />

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18 March 2021 WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES<br />


by Andy Bryenton<br />

Home of the year sets trends<br />

They’re the Academy Awards of tradespeople, the builders’ Golden Globes; the New Zealand Master Builders Home of the Year<br />

Awards has been handing out coveted titles for many years. Each of those years is reflecting in the styles, materials and designs<br />

utilised in the winning homes.<br />

This year 359 entries contested<br />

awards across many price-bracket<br />

categories, reflecting the ways in which<br />

graceful execution of architectural<br />

principles could be achieved with<br />

modest budgets and small spaces, as<br />

well as with grander designs. There were<br />

also awards for specific rooms, such<br />

as bathrooms and kitchens, awards for<br />

outdoor spaces and landscaping, and a<br />

special award for sustainability.<br />

“House of the Year continues<br />

to showcase what is possible in<br />

home building each year, across<br />

all price brackets,” said David<br />

Kelly, chief executive of the Master<br />

Builders Association.<br />

“We are delighted to play our part,<br />

supporting homeowners by protecting<br />

their investment during the build and<br />

for the next 10 years.<br />

“Building guarantees are an essential<br />

part of the build process, and we are<br />

proud to have the most comprehensive<br />

product on the market.<br />

“Our guarantee has protected more<br />

than 140,000 homes through all<br />

economic cycles of the past 30 years.<br />

Congratulations to all of this year’s<br />

winners — you’ve done our sector<br />


The New Zealand Master Builders Home of the Year<br />

for 2020 has set the trends for 2021 and inspired designers and architects<br />

Think think think.<br />

Think about what you’re carrying. Think<br />

about where you’re going.<br />



proud.” Longevity, functionality, energy<br />

efficiency and clever use of space were<br />

all core factors in deciding winners<br />

across the country, from a 90 square<br />

metre modern bach-style home in<br />

Flaxmill Bay, Cooks Beach, through to<br />

the long, low, glass-fronted supreme<br />

renovation winner, brought to life by<br />

Haimes Building in Taupo.<br />

The supreme winner was constructed<br />

in Queenstown by Triple Star<br />

Management, but it’s not the views<br />

or location that cinched the top spot.<br />

Blending modern techniques and light,<br />

airy glazed areas with traditional stone<br />

created a visual impact. While it was<br />

the small details that impressed;<br />

this home also took out the supreme<br />

bathroom award.<br />

“This home is an outstanding example<br />

of the builder’s attention to detail.<br />

Clever use of natural materials creates<br />

an intriguing home that has visual<br />

warmth and a harmonious balance,”<br />

said the judges’ panel. “The geometry<br />

stirs the imagination with a dramatic<br />

use of steeply pitched roofs, sculptured<br />

shapes, and five interconnecting<br />

pavilions. It’s clear that this incredible<br />

home has been designed and built<br />

to successfully offer comfortable<br />

living. The flawless implementation of<br />

these details proves this build was no<br />

easy feat.”<br />


• Building Maintenance – No job too big or small.<br />

• Painting - Interior and Exterior Plastering/Rendering<br />

• Treat and repair rusted steel in dairy sheds or buildings.<br />

• Ability to work in between milkings.<br />

• Acid washes and chemical treatments to remove grime and dirt build up.<br />

• Non slip epoxy coating, providing safe walkways in the workplace.<br />

• Maintenance programs to ensure upkeep on property assets.<br />

• Ensure high ratings on shed inspections.<br />

• Concrete grinding and resurfacing to remove pitted concrete.<br />

Before Before Before<br />


Web: www.asapdecorativespecialists.co.nz<br />

Ph: 07 390 ASAP (2727)<br />

Email: Info@asapdecorativespecialists.co.nz<br />



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2. 12 months or more since last service<br />

3. Strange noises or smells<br />

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Ph 0800 7422846 or 07 8893344 to book<br />

morrinsville@laserelectrical.co.nz<br />

1 Anderson Street Morrinsville<br />

Laser Electrical<br />


WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES March 2021 19<br />


Technology offers a helping hand<br />

The days when a farmer needed to walk the paddocks to check on pasture growth and see where a renewal programme was needed<br />

are still valid and a part of normal farm operation. Technology is also at hand, which makes the job quicker and less tiring perhaps.<br />

Technology is opening up handsfree<br />

pasture assessment. DairyNZ has<br />

established that in the past few years<br />

some 50 per cent of farmers are using<br />

this for pasture measurement, with<br />

the balance surveyed still using visual<br />

examination on the land.<br />

There are improvements on the<br />

old favourites: plate meters, sward<br />

sticks, and tow-behinds with Bluetooth<br />

connectivity and apps to automatically<br />

upload paddock data to software.<br />

Some of these tools come with global<br />

positioning systems (GPS), so you can<br />

link paddock pasture data to your<br />

farm map.<br />

Also, emerging recently has been<br />

pasture measurement by satellite or<br />

using a robotic tow-behind to populate<br />

your feed wedge or farm map with<br />

the data without slipping on the<br />

gumboots. Drones have also been<br />

found increasingly effective in remote<br />

assessment of far-distant paddocks.<br />

Of course, that doesn’t mean getting<br />

into the paddocks to check pre-grazing<br />

covers and post-grazing residuals are<br />

any less important.<br />

Pasture management software is<br />

getting simpler to use, DairyNZ says.<br />

With a growing number of options, from<br />

simple to advanced, it’s easier than<br />

ever to find something that fits with<br />

your decision making. Using tactical<br />

tools like a Feed Wedge and DairyNZ’s<br />

Drones are providing a farm overview<br />

Spring Rotation Planner will help keep<br />

you on track when pasture growth<br />

rates and covers fluctuate. Comparing<br />

whole-season paddock dry matter<br />

(DM) performance will lead to paddock<br />

improvements, including pasture<br />

renewal rates, drainage and soil fertility.<br />

The value of closing the gap between<br />

current annual pasture harvest and the<br />

farm’s potential, around $300 extra<br />

profit for every extra tonne of DM<br />

harvested/year, can be quite an eyeopener.<br />

Find out more about pasture<br />

management at dairynz.co.nz.<br />

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Phone 03 324 3951 Julie 027 324 4431<br />

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20 March 2021 WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES<br />


The importance of renewal<br />

Pasture renewal is important for increasing productivity and long-term farm profitability, particularly in the dairy sector.<br />

While grasses can grow indefinitely,<br />

factors such as drought, pests,<br />

and pugging damage will cause<br />

deterioration. Total DM production<br />

drops, weeds increase and feed value<br />

is therefore reduced.<br />

Renewal can see increased total<br />

pasture yield (one–eight tonnes DM/ha/<br />

yr) and gives control over seasonality<br />

of production. It makes pasture<br />

management easier by using late<br />

heading varieties to minimise the drop<br />

in pasture quality as seed heads appear<br />

in late spring.<br />

New pastures produce, on average,<br />

0.5–0.9 MJME/kg DM more. Reasons<br />

for this include higher proportion of<br />

desirable species, later and more<br />

uniform flowering, leafier sward, with<br />

fewer seed heads produced and less<br />

dead leaf material.<br />

Most new perennial ryegrass cultivars<br />

are available with new endophytes<br />

developed to solve particular problems<br />

in different regions.<br />

Thus animals are fed better. Cows<br />

on new pasture graze more grass, and<br />

that grass is leafier, higher in ME and<br />

more palatable.<br />

That will be reflected in more milk<br />

solids production, faster live-weight<br />

gains, higher stocking rates, and<br />

at the end of the day, much more<br />

contented cows. Replacing poorproducing<br />

pasture is profitable. It is<br />

one of the simplest ways to invest<br />

on-farm for a significant and relatively<br />

predictable rate of return.<br />

Although the rate of pasture renewal<br />

is often set by historical practices or<br />

the budgeted levels, the most profitable<br />

rate of renewal for an individual<br />

dairy farm is best determined by an<br />

analysis of paddock performance, and<br />

from this, the cost/benefit for gains<br />

through renewal.<br />

Analysis of your pasture growth data<br />

will help you plan the most profitable<br />

renewal programme. While you may<br />

instinctively know your best and<br />

worst paddocks, without measuring or<br />

assessing pasture growth, paddocks<br />

cannot be accurately ranked to identify<br />

worst performance.<br />

The best paddocks to renew are the<br />

poorest producers as these have the<br />

potential for the greatest improvement.<br />

For example, where the yield can<br />

be increased by two tonnes of DM/<br />

ha, the return is around 130kg MS/<br />

ha. The return will be greater if the<br />

extra growth occurs at a time of the<br />

season when animal demand exceeds<br />

pasture growth.<br />

Renewed pasture has benefits<br />

The highest producing paddocks on<br />

a farm indicate the property’s overall<br />

potential. Under-producing paddocks<br />

highlight the opportunity for extra<br />

pasture growth.<br />

Use grazing and yield records to<br />

identify your best and worst paddocks.<br />

The more measures and assessments<br />

you have to compare, the better (and<br />

easier) the decision will be.<br />

If records are unavailable, use the<br />

Pasture Condition Score Tool and walk<br />

your farm at least six months before the<br />

sowing date.<br />

Successful farmers understand …<br />


FOR YOUR<br />



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Now there is an extremely cost effective and easy to use product that will bring back<br />

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has been specially formulated for the<br />

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two pack system combining a Portland cement, fine aggregate based micro concrete<br />

and sophisticated binders that provide superior, compressive, tensile and flexural<br />

strength as well as a very high level of abrasion resistance and adhesion. This<br />

product is suitable for repairing worn or pitted areas or to provide a non-slip surface<br />

where necessary.<br />

A two pot clear epoxy sealer can be supplied to<br />

reduce the wearing effects of milk and acid.<br />


can be supplied as a ‘do it yourself kit’ and<br />

delivered anywhere in New Zealand or applied,<br />

in most areas, by contractors.<br />


Part A is supplied in 20kg bags and covers<br />

approximately 3m square. Part B modifier is<br />

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and approximately 4litres per 20kg bag would<br />

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mike@troweltrades.co.nz<br />

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y Paul Campbell<br />


WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES March 2021 21<br />

Farmers need competent spreaders<br />

Drive through rural New Zealand anywhere from North Cape to Bluff, and you will soon see fertiliser spreading, by land or air, as<br />

farmers boost the productivity of soils often deficient in nutrients.<br />

The work is almost always carried<br />

out by contractors, specialists in the<br />

business of getting the best spread for<br />

the farm they are engaged on.<br />

Today, contractors must be skilled in<br />

many facets of their operation, abiding<br />

by increasingly tight regulations in<br />

several areas of their business, so it is<br />

incumbent on their employers to make<br />

sure they are fully accredited.<br />

WorkSafe New Zealand provides<br />

the ground spreading industry with<br />

guidelines in a specific manual aimed<br />

at doing the job well. It says that<br />

when working with fertiliser, you can<br />

be exposed to a number of potentially<br />

serious hazards.<br />

Farmers, contractors and workers<br />

need to be aware of the risks when using<br />

fertilisers and know how to use them<br />

safely. This material can be dangerous<br />

to work with, especially in adverse<br />

weather or if it isn’t stored properly.<br />

“With the Groundspread Fertiliser<br />

Association, we have produced guidance<br />

for farmers, contractors and workers on<br />

how to safely use fertiliser on the farm,”<br />

a Workplace Safety spokesman says.<br />

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“This covers general health and safety,<br />

job planning, storage and maintenance,<br />

pre-start checklist, dealing with hazards<br />

and emergency planning.”<br />

Another area where contractors need<br />

updated qualification is in following the<br />

government’s vision to see a noticeable<br />

improvement in freshwater quality. New<br />

regulations to effect this came into force<br />

last September.<br />

These are aimed at reducing the<br />

amount of pollution — nitrogen,<br />

phosphorus, sediment, E coli and other<br />

contaminants — entering waterways<br />

from our cities and our farms.<br />

These contaminants can be<br />

harmful to human health and<br />

damaging to freshwater fish and other<br />

aquatic species.<br />

Higher nitrogen levels contribute<br />

to the growth of slime and other<br />

harmful plants.<br />

The government is committed<br />

to supporting farmers to make the<br />

further changes needed to stop<br />

water quality from getting worse and<br />

starting the process of reversing past<br />

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22 March 2021 WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES<br />





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<strong>Waikato</strong> <strong>Farming</strong> <strong>Lifestyles</strong> - Oct20 Secure Covers 2.indd 1<br />

19/10/2020 6:47:57 AM


WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES March 2021 23<br />

Winter is time for stock care<br />

New Zealand’s codes of animal welfare generally require that livestock have access to areas that are free of surface water and<br />

mud, have protection from adverse weather and are able to lie down and rest comfortably for sufficient periods to meet their<br />

behavioural needs.<br />

Of course, it goes without saying<br />

that stock requires feeding. As winter<br />

approaches, farming thoughts are<br />

concentrating on good feed sources.<br />

Two main risks with winter cropping are<br />

that animals can get sick from changing<br />

their diet from pasture to crops too<br />

quickly, and paddocks can quickly get<br />

muddy during long, wet periods. These<br />

problems can quickly become welfare<br />

concerns. Mud happens. However, it can<br />

be managed; some resources to help<br />

are available online.<br />

The Winter Grazing Action Group,<br />

established in early 2020, is made up<br />

of 15 representatives from industry<br />

organisations, government, vets, farmers<br />

and other rural professionals. It’s tasked<br />

with implementing recommendations<br />

to improve animal welfare in winter<br />

grazing systems.<br />

The group has put together guidance<br />

for farmers. Short-term expected<br />

outcomes for animal welfare will help<br />

farmers understand what they’re doing<br />

well, highlights where improvements can<br />

be made, offer advice around planning<br />

during the year and has some important<br />

winter grazing management practices.<br />

Following the guidance will be good<br />

for the animals’ welfare. The group says<br />

the practice changes are realistically<br />

achievable by spring 2021.<br />

Action group chair Dr Lindsay Burton<br />

said it’s important everyone worked<br />

together to ensure farmers had the<br />

right tools to get through winter on<br />

MPI’s website.<br />

“Ensuring you follow a gradual<br />

transition plan when moving your<br />

animals from pasture to crop and back<br />

again will help prevent issues. This is<br />

particularly important for cattle wintered<br />

on fodder beet.<br />

“For farmers, the focus heading into<br />

winter should be on providing the right<br />

feed at the right time, as well as shelter<br />

and easy access to drinking water. Doing<br />

this should have the flow-on effect of<br />

limiting stock movement and help<br />

reduce damage to crop and soil.”<br />

Farmers and rural professionals<br />

should refer to the levy organisations<br />

websites — Beef+LambNZ, DairyNZ and<br />

Deer Industry NZ. They have advice on<br />

good winter grazing practices and specific<br />

recommendations for transitioning stock<br />

on to crop and balancing the diet, which<br />

differs between the species.<br />

During the lockdown period, Dr Burton<br />

says the action group has remained<br />

committed to progressing its work to<br />

improve wintering practices, meeting<br />

virtually to keep up the momentum.<br />

“We recognise the good work that<br />

has already been done by farmers<br />

throughout New Zealand.”<br />

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