Home' Clutha Leader : March 21st 2013 Contents 8
Clutha Agricultural Development Board
It is AGM and review time for the Clutha Ag. Board. We are pleased to show you some
snippets of our recent activities on this page.
We will complete our Clutha Council contract in June this year and thank them for their
support of this organization since 1999.
After a couple of tough financial years, we are pleased that we will present those at the AGM
with a small 'profit' for the 2012 financial year. This has been achieved with the support of our
members, our volunteer executive, sponsors and the supporters of our trials and on-farm
A new future is ahead for the Ag. Board and the nature of this future will become clearer over
the next couple of months, hopefully with lots of member input.
Are microbes the next big thing?
The Ag. Board is optimistic that our spring 2012 probiotics calf trial and on-going work with
microbial inputs into farming systems will have huge benefits for farmers.
Our Sustainable Farming Fund application SFF
L12-083 "Effects of a probiotic supplement on
growth, feed conversion and general health
of dairy calves" grew, with the co-operation
and extra support of DairyNZ, to a study of 10
replicated groups of between 12 and 24 calves
with one of the pairs receiving a fresh probiotic
supplement with their milk and the other pair
being a control group. Over 300 calves were
involved and we weighed them all weekly over a
seven week period.
48 grams per day
The science paper is being drafted as this
newsletter is being released, but it appears
that the conclusion will be that fresh probiotic
supplementation induced an average increase in weight gain of 48 grams per day per
The P value for the data (for those of you who have done statistics) is <0.001. This means
that the data is very, very reliable.
Claims are made to farmers all the time for products and procedures and it's the Board's
intention to put the science behind the trial, the results and the value proposition in front of
farmers as soon as possible. The MPI SFF reports will be available when completed. We
have also asked DairyNZ for support in the follow-up extension work. We aim to give farmers
the understandings and confidence to look for independent evidence before making farming
systems and buying decisions.
The Ag. Board has made a hugely promising start to this work on microbial inputs into farming
systems. We are very keen to see the reactions to this world-class trial and where it will take
Updated grass grub advice and demonstrations
Ag. Board staff are undoubtedly the only two people in the Clutha district to be a bit
disappointed that the grass grub issue does not appear to be high this season. The lack of
grass grub finds has limited farmers' involvement in our "advice and demonstration" trial of
some new technologies.
This project (SFF L12-133) is a co-operative endeavour in association with AgResearch
scientists, Beef + Lamb New Zealand and Balance Agri-Nutrients. Grass grub attacks in
some years are inevitable. Even a moderate grass grub infestation (300/m³) will cause a 20%
production loss and the problem is generally widespread across the district.
We have set up six demonstration farms at Te Houka, Hillend, Owaka, Clydevale, Hindon and
West Otago to encourage farmers to look at some new technologies for management and an
appropriate timetable for best effects. In February we dug susceptible without finding huge
numbers of grass grubs. Of course, this is good news for this season.
It is now likely that a West Otago farm will host our demonstration day to show the effects of
a variety of treatments and encourage farmers to take timely action in the new season.
22 May: Clutha Sheep Council autumn 'event' this year -- Ideas on how to meet water
standards. Guest speakers include Dr Doug Edmeades and reps from the ORC. Should be
an instructive and entertaining afternoon at the Town & Country club in Balclutha.
23 May: At the Waihemo Lodge, Palmerston, a B+LNZ seminar afternoon on fertilizers. Dr
Doug Edmeades is a key speaker, as is Peter Wilson (South Otago's Melrose Station). Get
some 'good oil' and some voices of experience on a topic which is a big black hole for many
30 May: (date and farm to be confirmed) Demonstration Day for our Grass Grub project.
Come and look at the trial plots with treatments for the last couple of months to be inspected.
Get the timetable so that you don't have significant grass grub damage in the years ahead.
Our last chance to make use of Colin Ferguson's (AgResearch scientist) experience.
Ag. Board moves into the Arcade
We have enjoyed the co-operative endeavour
at Development House since 2005 and
thank the good people at Enterprise Clutha,
the Community Co-ordinators, and Daniel
with his 'Making a Difference' programmes
for their contributions to a pleasant working
environment. We appreciate the Clutha
Council's having made this space available
during our time with Council contracts. We
have been moved out and are moving on --
into what was the Arcade at 35 Clyde Street.
We are under what was the Loft café, and
are happy to talk to you here or at your place
about your ideas to bring quality extension
and trials on important agricultural issues
into the Clutha district.
Food & Fibre Hemp options
The Catlins Hemp Group, which the Ag.
Board supports, has had every reason to
be discouraged from their investigations
into this crop and its associated variety of
products. They have been restricted by the
bureaucrats, hit with unreasonable charges,
swamped in paperwork, had their crops
attacked by birds, been unable to harvest
effectively, and been denied by funders and
politicians. Yet they still see the potential and
are determined to succeed.
This has been made much more possible
by the involvement of a grain expert from
Advance Agriculture in Gore. The group also
has a new, fertile piece of ground for the
2012-13 season and a farmer determined to
grow a successful crop.
An important step forward has also been
made with this crop in the political arena
with the positive recommendation to the
application A1039 to have whole hemp seeds
be accepted as a foodstuff in Australia and
New Zealand as it is in most other countries
in the world. The bureaucrats at Food
Standards Australia New Zealand have
listened to submissions and run a public
consultation process (which we submitted to)
and have agreed with the case. It is now up
to the two countries politicians to agree and
make the necessary law changes, or think
they know better than the evidence suggests
and destroy the opportunities.
Annual General Meeting
Tuesday 26 March 2013
South Otago Town & Country
6.00 pm Annual General Meeting
A review of the 2012 year
Election of the Executive -- note three
members are to retire by rotation and are
standing again; there is at least one other
available place to fill; nominations for the
Executive are to be in the hands of the
secretary before the meeting; please contact
the Projects Manager for a nomination form.
6.45 pm Guest Speaker
Colin Brown - Currently Managing Director
of TracMap Holdings, TracMap Aviation,
TracMap NZ Ltd.
Colin was born and bred in Omakau Otago.
Colin has a BAg.Sc from Lincoln University
and early on was a valuer in Blenheim and
farmer at Wangaloa. NZ Young Farmer of
the Year in 1982. Colin was involved closely
with formation of the Clutha Agricultural
Development Board and served on the
Executive committee in the early days. He
has been Chair of the Milton Community
health establishment Board, active in the
BOT of Arthur Burns and Silverstream
Primary school, and offices incl. Chairman
of the New Zealand Grassland Association.
Colin purchased Thomas Electronics Ltd
and became more interested in the latest
global tracking processes. He sold this firm
and developed TracMap in 2006 as a special
GPS guidance tool for fertiliser spreading
and placement. This has expanded from
its Mosgiel base to sell products into many
parts of the world.
7.45 pm Dinner (optional and own cost)
Please RSVP especially if staying for
dinner, to help with arrangements:
Malcolm Deverson (Projects Manager)
Ph. 03 418 3188
Clutha Agricultural Development Board
Are you an Ag. Board member? Currently we are using email as the main means to
communicate with members. If you haven't given us yours, please consider this. We only
send you one or two a month and, of course, we do not disclose this address to anyone else.
Just send an email to us saying 'add to your email list' or add it to the slip you send back with
this year's subs -- the invoices have been sent out his week. Thanks.
Invitation to join
$30 is all it takes to be part of this important, unique Clutha organisation.
Please complete and return with your payment to Box 149, Balclutha.
Name: ............................................................ . Phone ....................................... .
Address: ............................................................................................................... .
Single/ partnership membership $30 inclusive of gst.
Corporate/ business membership $60 inclusive of gst.
Survey soon . . .
We have sent a survey out to members this week about the Ag. Board and its future. We
welcome comment and opinion from anyone, so ask us for a survey copy if you would like to
support us with some feedback. An email to us is the easiest way but we can send survey
forms out if you ask. Phone 03 4183188; email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you QSM
The Clutha Agricultural Development Board congratulates our esteemed Life Member, Peter
Cummings of Lawrence, for his Queen's Service medal award in the New Year's Honours.
We join the rest of the Clutha community in thanking Peter for his service over the years.
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