2014

Feed to farmers faster press release

"SealesWinslow is celebrating as its $10 million upgrade to get feed to farmers faster nears completion. The investment has predominantly focused on its Morrinsville feedmill and distribution centre, officially opened last week, and includes improvements to its counterpart facilities in Ashburton and Wanganui."


Feed to farmers faster


27 November 2014


SealesWinslow is celebrating as its $10 million upgrade to get feed to farmers faster nears completion. The investment has predominantly focused on its Morrinsville feedmill and distribution centre, officially opened last week, and includes improvements to its counterpart facilities in Ashburton and Wanganui.

The wholly-owned subsidiary of Ballance Agri-Nutrients, SealesWinslow has made the investment to lift its service and manufacturing and distribution capabilities to better meet the needs of its customers.

Speaking at the official opening at Morrinsville, Ballance Chief Executive Mark Wynne said the investment was another way the co-operative was supporting farmers to lift production and productivity.

“The Government has ambitious goals to double primary sector exports by 2025 and we all know about the growing demand for food in emerging markets where wealthier consumers are spending more on what they eat at home and more on eating out.

“We need to increase production from the same amount of land, and leave that land in better shape than we found it for future generations. Taking advantage of these opportunities starts on the farm with well-fed animals reaching their full potential. Good nutrients in the soil and in feed are the key.”

Ballance General Manager Animal Nutrition Graeme Smith said feed plays a key role in farm profitability and animal health right through the year and especially over summer.

“Continuity of supply and quality are crucial. Our investment means we can make more, make it better and make it faster.”

He says the project has locked in SealesWinslow’s ability to manufacture and deliver a comprehensive range of stock feeds, with a strong focus on product quality. Enhancements to production have been supported by provisions for smarter storage and distribution solutions as well as specialist support with animal nutrition advisors working with customers to ensure the best results on farm.

The $10 million investment also includes integration and enhancement of information systems to improve and enhance business process such as order tracking and production planning, as well as improvements to manufacturing plant process control systems.

Maintaining profitability in a low payout year

"Dairy farmers are already feeling the pressure of a lower payout this year and are now on the hunt for strategies to cut costs."


Maintaining profitability in a low payout year


28 October 2014

Dairy farmers are already feeling the pressure of a lower payout this year and are now on the hunt for strategies to cut costs.

However, James Hague, consultant nutritionist to animal feed producer SealesWinslow, points out that there are opportunities to increase profitability even when times are tough.

“It is all about finding the most effective and efficient way of turning feed into milk. As a part of Ballance Agri-Nutrients we are focussed on helping farmers with this process so they can achieve the best results for their farm.

“We have access to a range of tools which help us to compare a farmer’s potential milk production to their actual production, identify the gaps and then then come up with the approach for filling those gaps so that production and profitability are optimised.”

SealesWinslow have analysed over 500 herds using a milk prediction software programme, which compares a farm’s actual production to its target production to identify any deviations as the season progresses. They have found that the average farm could achieve an additional 30,000 kgMS based on their peak production.

The results are noteworthy, says Mr Hague. “At a $5.00 payout, that’s an additional $150,000 worth of gross income.”

Any gains to be made are not just down to adding purchased feed into the mix. Ballance offers a full package, which includes maximising the benefits of home grown feed in combination with looking at where improvements could be made so that a balanced diet is on offer.

“There is a good amount of forage already grown on the farm that gets wasted. The waste isn’t underfoot, it’s within the cow. Some purchased feeds do little to improve the utilisation of grass and silage, so we look at balancing the diet to help extract as much feed value as possible from the whole diet.”

SealesWinslow offers a free service to help farmers to crunch the numbers using their expertise and a range of different tools. To ensure that the diet is profitable the team looks closely at returns on dollars invested in feed. Margin is a key measure and needs to be sufficient to translate down to the bottom line and fit in with cash flow.

Farmers looking for help with balancing their herd’s feed supply with demand to maximise production and profitability can call the SealesWinslow team on 0800 287325.

Assess your own feed quality

One simple, practical way to gauge the quality of a bought in feed, is by assessing your herd’s dung. If a purchased feed is not well processed, or the diet is out of balance, then you will see runny, bubbly dung. It is an indication that feed is passing through the digestive system too fast and as a result there is inadequate fermentation and feed value is being lost.

Poorly fermented feed will pass into the lower digestive tract where it tries to ferment again, this is known as “hind gut fermentation”. As this fermentation produces acids it can damage the gut lining and the cow’s system will have to work hard to repair the damaged tissue. This is unpleasant for the cow and uses up valuable energy that should be used for milk production.

New look for SealesWinslow

"Animal nutrition company SealesWinslow has a new look – reflecting its important place in parent company Ballance Agri-Nutrient’s portfolio of farm nutrient management advice, products and technology."


New look for SealesWinslow


19 May 2014

Animal nutrition company SealesWinslow has a new look – reflecting its important place in parent company Ballance Agri-Nutrient’s portfolio of farm nutrient management advice, products and technology.

The SealesWinslow brand is changing in line with the wider Ballance group and other subsidiary companies Super Air and Ag Hub, bringing together all of the complete farm nutrient management offerings under one consistent logo.

General Manager Animal Nutrition, Graeme Smith, says that while the business will still retain its name, it now has a more obvious link to Ballance with the blue infinity growth symbol, which is instantly recognisable in the New Zealand agriculture market.

“Since Ballance acquired shares in SealesWinslow in 2011 we have been working hard to lift our capability and align the business with the Ballance infinity growth symbol and everything it stands for, including sound science and proven results for farmers.”

The most recent example of its investment in improving the business is the recent announcement of a $10 million upgrade now underway to increase production at its manufacturing facilities and better meet the needs of customers.

While the company is focusing on getting the back end of the business in order, they are also giving just as much attention to the front end to increase the availability of on farm services which are supported with specialist animal nutrition and complete farm nutrient management advice. 

New branding will be rolled out in phases with the most high profile branding being prioritised, and everyone can expect to see the change over the coming months.

“It’s a new look for an old trusted name, that shows everyone that we are part of something bigger and better.”

$10m upgrade

"Farmers purchasing animal nutrients from SealesWinslow will have better access to feed at times of peak demand, with a $10 million upgrade underway to increase production at its manufacturing facilities."


$10 million upgrade to deliver feed when needed


15 April 2014

Farmers purchasing animal nutrients from SealesWinslow will have better access to feed at times of peak demand, with a $10 million upgrade underway to increase production at its manufacturing facilities.

One year on from becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of farm nutrient co-operative Ballance Agri-Nutrients, SealesWinslow is making significant investments in its service and manufacturing capabilities to better meet the needs of its customers.

“Feed plays a key role in farm profitability and animal health at key times of the year, particularly around calving and in summer when pasture growth slows right down, so continuity of supply is critical,” says Ballance General Manager of Animal Nutrition, Graeme Smith

“It can be a challenge to deliver on orders fast enough during peak seasons, and we are really looking to up our game to make sure we have product for all of our customers where and when they need it.”

Mr Smith said that in the feed market it is important to get the balance right between fresh, quality feed, and building enough inventory to cater for spikes in demand.

“We need to make more, make it better, and make it faster, as well as make provisions for smarter storage and distribution solutions.

“A key part of this strategy will be to leverage the company’s place within Ballance and utilise select Ballance service centres as distribution hubs to provide greater access for customers to pick up bagged product.”

In addition farmers already have access to product through more than 200 rural merchant stores throughout the country including PGG Wrightsons, RD1 and Ashburton Trading Society.

Mr Smith said that the project – flagged for completion before the coming spring season – will have a significant impact on SealesWinslow’s ability to manufacture and deliver a comprehensive range of stock feeds, with a strong focus on product quality and manufacturing capacity to ensure best product, best delivery.

While the company is focusing on getting the back end of the business in order, they are also giving just as much attention to the front end to increase the availability of on farm services which are supported with specialist animal nutrition and complete farm nutrient management advice. 

Two new field consultants in Northland and North Otago will join the current team of twelve, and the specialist animal nutrition science extension arm of the business will be aligned with the core Ballance science extension team, adding additional science extension officers in both the North and South Islands. An animal nutrition science manager role has been added, which will focus on working with the market to demonstrate the economic benefits of the strategic use of animal feed.

As Ballance looks to deliver a fully integrated complete nutrient management service to its customers the wider Ballance field team will also be available to provide support for its animal nutrition division.

What will the upgrade deliver?

  • New textured feed (muesli) production plants for Ashburton and Morrinsville to extend capacity to deliver a range of compounded muesli-style feeds
  • Improved production capacity in Ashburton and Morrinsville to enhance ability to delivery dry pellet compound feeds
  • An upgrade to the Ashburton molasses block plant to improve production capacity and product quality
  • Increased bagging capacity at Ashburton including the introduction of robotic stackers to speed the process and reduce heavy lifting hazard for employees
  • Enhanced production and bagging facilities at the Wanganui plant to further boost the capacity of the Wanganui plant which was opened last year
  • Integration and enhancement of the information systems to improve and enhance business process such as order tracking and production planning
  • Enhancements to the manufacturing plant process control systems which enable better process control and improved product quality assurance.

Warmer weather heats up facial eczema risk

"Warmer weather is making a welcome return around the country, but when humidity rises, so does the risk of facial eczema which can significantly impact on milk production and animal health. "


Warmer weather heats up facial eczema


3 December 2014

Warmer weather is making a welcome return around the country, but when humidity rises, so does the risk of facial eczema which can significantly impact on milk production and animal health.

The disease can hit dairy and beef cattle, sheep, deer and goats, damaging the liver, affecting bile ducts and causing sensitivity to sunlight. For dairy cows, even the early stages can result in a drop in milk production.  DairyNZ recommends starting zinc treatment two to three weeks before the spore growth danger period for maximum protection.

Fungal spores growing in pasture – especially fresh, new grass, are the root cause and spore counts increase where grass temperatures are above 12 degrees for three consecutive nights. Counts can vary from farm to farm and even between paddocks.

Ballance Agri-Nutrients Agro-Science team member Jackie Aveling, speaking on behalf of animal nutrition subsidiary SealesWinslow, says with a reduced dairy payout, farmers should be especially alert and adopt a prevention approach to protect production of valuable milk solids.

“It’s a sad fact that often ideal grass growth conditions, such as warm wet weather are also ideal for facial eczema spores. It is not always easy to detect facial eczema in its early stages.

“Often farmers are unaware of the full extent of a facial eczema problem until it’s too late. For every three in a hundred cows showing clinical signs of facial eczema, that can be the tip of the iceberg with subclinical cases potentially involved up to 70 percent of the herd. We know the disease can cause production losses of up to 50 percent, so we are recommending a preventive strategy as the best course of action.”

Zinc treatment from late December through to May is commonly used to help prevent facial eczema. A popular option is dosing troughs with zinc sulphate, however this doesn’t always deliver the best results since the bitter taste can put the herd off the water.  This has been addressed with Zincmax+. 

“Its peppermint taste makes it palatable and it includes organic copper. The taste helps ensure herds keep up their water consumption, which is important given their needs can exceed 100 litres at this time of year,” says Mrs Aveling.

The organic copper helps offset zinc’s antagonistic affect which reduces the absorption of this important trace element. Copper is important for production, immune response and also cycling ahead of breeding. Low copper levels can also affect growth and fertility in heifers.

Zincmax+ is a registered facial eczema treatment with Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (ACVM).    Farmers interested in finding out more can contact their local SealesWinslow representative on 0800 287 325 or visit their local rural merchant store.

Symptoms

First sign of facial eczema is a drop in milk production occurring soon after the intake of toxic spores (subclinical FE). Cows are restless at milking time, seek shade, and lick their udder. Another drop in production occurs when physical symptoms (clinical FE) become obvious. Check unpigmented or thin skin which thickens and peels because of sun sensitivity.

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