Rural Supplies
17 July 2019

PGG Wrightson Livestock Roundup July 12

Peter Moore, PGG Wrightson Livestock GM talks to Mark Leishman on the Country TV’s Round Up (Friday, July 12th).

In this interview Peter provides an update on the following:

  • Weather conditions - farmers will be pleased that the wet conditions around the country will be helping to raise soil moisture levels.
  • Breeders have been happy with the clearance rates and pricing achieved through the PGG Wrightson Bull Sales held across the country throughout May and June
  • PGW’s Defer-A-Bull product is available for Dairy Farmers looking to buy bulls.  Defer-A-Bull is a simple to use and a great product to assist with cashflow during spring – because farmers can buy bulls now and pay later. 
15 July 2019

Waiheke Island's Largest Vineyard

With 76 individual vineyards dotted across a 2,362 ha property at the eastern end of Waiheke Island in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf, Man O’ War has a unique and special viticultural operation.

Starting as a small, experimental planting of Bordeaux wine grapes in 1993, Man O’ War vineyard is now a complex, quality-driven and uniquely beautiful enterprise. Its 76 vineyard blocks spread  from east towest, north to south, on slopes across the Waiheke property, plus 7 ha on neighbouring Ponui Island, to create a breath-taking patchwork of vineyards of around 60 ha in production. The biggest single vineyard is just 3 ha.
Vineyard Manager Matt Allen has been here since the beginning, working with the property’s owners, the Spencer family, to fulfill their vision to produce quality wines and improve profitability of this land which is challenging to farm due to location and drought.

“We couldn’t look over the fence to see what others were doing because no one had planted grapes out here before!” says Matt. “It’s always been a team effort between myself, the owners, our winemakers and various consultants.“It’s not traditional grape country, compared to the Poverty Bay flats where I come from. We don’t have any flat ground on Waiheke, so it’s a European style vineyard. The whole property was mapped for soil, slope and aspect, and with weather station data, we put together the patchwork of vineyards we have today. We targeted north-facing slopes for the reds. On the lower parts of the property, soils are more clay-based which gives us weight and structure for these wines. Higher up, it’s more of a free- raining,volcanic soil, and a little cooler, so we planted Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc which helps retain freshness and acidity.

We didn’t get it all perfect and have made some changes by grafting.” Specialised equipment like a small Niko tracked viticultural machine enables trimming, mowing and spraying on the steep slopes. A tracked tractor by Antonio Carraro has also been a great tool. “We work vine by vine, row by row; no multi-row equipment for us given the limitations of topography, and all pruning and  harvesting is done by hand.”Matt acknowledges the support of his Fruitfed Supplies Technical Horticultural Representative Steve Sherson who travels to Waiheke weekly or fortnightly from the Helensville branch.

“My relationship with Fruitfed goes back to the early ‘90s when I worked for Montana. Ross MacDiarmid was my first rep, having taken the initiative to come to Waiheke and provide service for vineyards here. Steve now provides that regular service. Others have come and gone, but we are very grateful to Fruitfed for sticking to the service and they’ve built a relationship with many growers on the island.” 

Steve explains that “Fruitfed’s relationship with Waiheke wineries dates back 30 years or so. Starting out monthly when there were only a couple of vineyards, now I make  weekly trips over on the ferry during spring and summer, and fortnightly trips in winter. To help growers between visits, commonly-used crop protection products are made available at a secure storage site for them to access.” Man O’ War’s location, 40 twisty minutes’ drive from the Oneroa ferry, has seen investment in backpacker-style accommodation for like-minded wine people from all over the world who come for pruning and harvest.

“The recently opened tasting room was an important evolution for the brand,” says Matt. A function pavilion and beachfront chapel is now complemented by a brand-new wedding pavilion. “We have a tight crew here and these facilities combine to make a fantastic offering.”

Matt says they broke all kinds of records  with this year’s harvest. “We’ve got close to 400 tonnes before, but this year we picked 620 tonnes with some vineyards coming in to full production after grafting. We hada great run with weather, great flowering and an amazing growing season. It’s brutal on everybody – not too  many people in the country hand-harvested 600 tonnes! Throw a few boat trips in there as well, but it’s been really rewarding. Quantity will be up there with some of the best years Waiheke has ever seen.”

5 July 2019

PGG Wrightson Livestock Roundup June 28

Mark Leishman talks to PGW Livestock GM, Peter Moore in the latest Livestock Update.  This week’s interview focuses on general conditions, the successful launch of bidr® at Fieldays and an update on the market. 

General Conditions
Fresh mornings and beautiful days are giving good feed utilization for farmers giving we have had a dry summer with sporadic rain. There is a worry of not having enough water to see farmers through to summer, but over the last 2 weeks there has been enough rain to get things growing and moving along and hopes are that late winter and early spring will see adequate rain to lead into summer. 

bidr® Launch
This launch exceeded expectations with high interest from clients, farmers and other agencies. There was a lot of discussion around utilizing bidr® coming into the slower parts of the season. Peter also gives a brief explanation of what bidr® is and how it works. 

General Market Update
A quiet period for the markets currently. The sheep market continues to remain strong, with high international demand for beef and lamb and a $7 pay out for dairy next year. The commodities are looking good across the board. 

Rural Diary July
1 July 2019 External Supplier

The four legged rural athlete

New Zealand’s hard-working farm dogs are one of the biggest assets to a sheep and beef farmer, provide them with the right nutrients to help them perform.

Working dog’s muster thousands of sheep and cattle across hill and high country, a tough job that cannot be done any other way. These ‘rural athletes’ regularly cover 60 to 100 kilometers a day on big hill-country musters, much of it at 20 to 30 kilometers per hour. Understanding this has led to important improvements in their diets.

TUX Energy Extra Kibble is a high protein, high fat formulation designed to fuel high performing dogs. TUX Energy Extra provides 100 percent complete and balanced nutrition and the baked kibble format helps maintain dental health and is convenient and easy to feed. TUX Energy Extra uses only locally sourced meat and animal fats and is made up of 25 percent protein and 20 percent fat for body maintenance and better digestibility. It has a good balance of high fat and carbohydrates for energy and speed, plus it contains fibre for good gut health. 

TUX Energy Extra is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) Dog Nutrient Profile for Adult Maintenance.

Visit your local PGG Wrightson store to view the range of working dog feed.

Supplied by Nestle Purina Petcare

External Supplier

Rural Diary July
1 July 2019 External Supplier

Servicing that matters

Whilst it may seem not that long ago that irrigation was turned off, winter is an ideal time to check, replace and repair your equipment before you need it again soon.

By now all irrigators should be “winter ready”. Pumps and irrigators should be drained, all cords and other moveable parts should be tied neatly and away from the ground and most importantly, your irrigation equipment should be safely stored or placed in a way it’s best protected during the winter months. 

A thorough inspection is additionally required to prevent downtime and ensure cost efficiencies when the irrigation season starts again. Clayton Lucas, National Operations and Service Manager for PGG Wrightson Water, says that some of the most common issues found in the field during their winter servicing programme include: 

  • Nozzle and sprinkler wear on irrigators, causing excess water use and uneven distribution of water.
  • Pumps using excess energy due to pump wear, increasing your energy bill for no return.
  • Uneven tyre pressures on any given pivot span, resulting in excess rutting in paddocks and excessive drivetrain wear. 

Compliance requirements also drive the need for this yearly servicing inspection. Any farmer that exercises a consent to apply water to land has an obligation as part of their Farm Environment Plan (FEP) to produce records showing their irrigation equipment has been well maintained. 

If you have a detailed maintenance checklist, you may feel comfortable to carry this yearly inspection out yourself. For large irrigators such as pivots and travelling hoses however, a specialist provider is often brought in at this time of the year. 

PGG Wrightson Water has the only Valley Certified Technicians in New Zealand and offers a comprehensive (up to 75 or more areas checked) winter service for most brands of pivot and linear irrigators. This includes a full electrical and mechanical warrant of fitness. Other options available from the PGG Wrightson servicing team include: 

  • Servicing of submersible, surface, house and stock water pumps.
  • Winterising of irrigators and pump sheds.
  • Servicing of OCMIS irrigators.
  • Sprinkler pack checks and upgrades.
  • Pivot panels upgrades on older machine to a newer more modern ICON panels for Valley irrigators and most other brands.

If any areas or parts need replacing the client is notified immediately, and in most cases the repairs are done whilst the crew is on-site.

BOOK YOUR SERVICE NOW: Email, phone 0800 864 774, or fill out our enquiry form.

Supplied by PGG Wrightson Water

External Supplier

Rural Diary July
1 July 2019 Jay Howes

The benefits of digital farming

Agriculture has known a constant evolution, from the early domestication of plants and animals to the use of crop rotation, cultivation and fertiliser and the green revolution of the 1960s. Agriculture has now entered a new phase, the ‘digital age’. 

Digital technologies including the internet, mobile technologies, data analytics, artificial intelligence and other digitally-delivered services are changing agricultural practice and the food chain. Many farmers are already using GPS guided tractors to plant crops, and embracing technologies such as sensors connected to their mobile phones that deliver real time information to assist in the decision making process. 

Agribusinesses are also looking at the benefits of digital innovation to improve their services, and PGG Wrightson is no exception. PGG Wrightson Technical Field Representatives (TFRs) use the latest decision support tool called Greenlight Grower Management (GLGM) supplied by UK based software company Muddy Boots. 

GLGM is a cloud-based decision support software that enables TFRs to collect and store client specific farm data. Using this data they are able to create agricultural chemical and fertiliser plans, review past applications and activities, share crop and paddock history and view soil test data to ensure crops have the best chance to grow to their full potential. The GLGM software is unique in the fact that it is the only software of this kind that can support the user to reach the right decision using soil and crop data that is specific to New Zealand conditions. 

Using fertiliser recommendations as an example, TFRs can go into a paddock pre-crop and take a soil sample. This is then sent away to Hill Laboratories to be analysed. This soil analysis is then automatically loaded into a client specific GLGM site that the TFR has populated. The site holds information such as the crop to be grown, the expected yield and soil type the farm is located on. 
Using the soil test data, GLGM calculates maintenance and capital fertiliser requirements for the paddock taking into account specific crop nutrient removals and soil type. This then assists the TFR to choose the correct fertiliser product to provide the optimum amount of each nutrient needed and maximise crop yield while maintaining and/or improving soil nutrient status. The software creates a professional fertiliser report the TFR can present to clients and contractors ensuring everyone is informed of what is being applied to their land. 

One of the key benefits of GLGM is that it provides the TFR with a tool for customers to use for data management. The software keeps a record of all sprays and fertiliser used on a paddock. This can then help inform important decisions like crop rotation and future fertiliser applications, with the benefit of detailed reflections on previous seasons. This means the customer has the ability to review decisions from last season to plan for the season ahead. Furthermore, this historical information also can assist farmers with traceability/accountability, with regards to buyers and regional council requirements. 

Don’t miss out on the second article of this series discussing in more detail the benefits for farmers in next month’s Rural Diary.

To see how GLGM is being used to help create accurate fertiliser and agchem recommendations for your farm, contact your local PGG Wrightson Technical Field Representative for a demonstration. 


Jay Howes

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