Home' Otago Southland Farmer : September 7th 2012 Contents 12
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The old and the new
By COLIN MORRISON
Whilst the rudimentary layout
of a shearing shed has hardly
changed in the last 100+
years, the arrangement of the
milking shed has been totally
transformed. This is due not only to
ongoing technological innovation,
but also to the greatly increased size
of New Zealand dairy herds.
I used to love visiting the small town-
supply farms around Canterbury to
carry out milking machine repairs.
Many of these farms had been in the
same family for generations, and not
only were the milking parlours weird
and wonderful, compared to a
modern day farm dairy, the area
around them were usually dotted
with all sorts of buildings in various
states of disrepair, literally full to the
brim with all sorts of treasures'
stored away for future use'.
I recall one particular farm where an
outbuilding housed a complete
blacksmith's shop - furnace, bellows,
anvil, and tools hanging on the walls.
If you could ignore the years of dust
and cobwebs, it was as if the
blacksmith had just stepped out for a
minute. Sadly the majority of these
farms have been swallowed up by
urban sprawl and the growing
intensity of the milking industry in
The modern day dairy farm has a
farm dairy which has been
intelligently designed to ensure a
good cow flow, worker comfort,
good lighting and good hygiene -- a
far cry from some of the old
concrete block or wooden buildings I
had serviced. Many of the new
buildings contain offices, rest room
and even space for young children to
be placed in a safe environment
whilst Mum and Dad milk the cows. A
well thought layout will allow the
farmer to increase milk productivity,
eliminate stress on the cows and run
a farm dairy that is efficient and very
easy to keep in immaculate
condition, which in itself will also
eliminate stress on the dairy worker.
Modern day building materials, steel
framing -- a necessity for height and
weight loading, and new building
techniques, coupled with the use of
such products as insulated sandwich
board panels make new dairy sheds
functional and aesthetically pleasing.
A typical "sandwich panel" is made
up of a metal skin containing a core
of either mineral wool, polystyrene
(EPS), polyurethane (PUR),
polyisocyanurate (PIR) or other such
"hybrid" materials. Polystyrene filled
sandwich panels offer very
economical solutions for achieving a
reliable temperature control and
provide a coated and hygienic
surface which can be washed down
frequently to maintain the hygiene
which modern day dairy farming
Nothing can stop the march of
progress and the new dairy sheds
are a pleasure to work in, however
there is a little bit of me which
misses the old and sometimes
ramshackle buildings, which just
oozed history and character.
Farmers warned against gas drilling
Activist says farms in Australia hard to sell after exploration holes made
By ELYSIA TILBROOK
Doom sayer: Australian environment campaigner Drew Hutton.
Farmers should be concerned
about the decreased value of their
farms if coal seam gas exploration
went ahead in the Waimea Valley,
an environment campaigner said.
Australian environment cam-
paigner Drew Hutton was in Gore
talking to people about the
Government's planned explo-
ration for coal seam gas.
The Waimea Valley Tender Block
covers 1214 square kilometres of
Bids for oil and gas exploration
permits in the area close mid
October, with an announcement
on successful bids due in mid
It was Mr Hutton's view that coal
seam gas would ''absolutely''
decrease property values as gas
exploration had affected proper-
ties in Queensland, Australia,
over an area 250km wide.
''Not one property with gas has
sold in the past two years,'' Mr
Hutton said. Hundreds of holes
could be drilled on farmers'
properties in the search for traces
of coal seam gas, which could
have an impact on farmers, he
said. ''I want farmers to lock the
gate and refuse access until it can
be proven to be safe.''
Farms, water resources and
culturally significant areas
needed to be protected, he said.
It was up to New Zealand to
develop a good strategy to deal
with the proposed exploration of
coal seam gas.
New Zealand should not model its
mining operations on what was
happening in Australia.
In Australia a big problem with
mining exploration was water.
If coal seam gas exploration were
to take place in areas where the
water systems were vulnerable
then it could have a negative
impact on water supplies, Mr
Hutton said. Fracking was a
popular topic at the moment.
''About 40 per cent of wells are
fracked but even when fracking
doesn't occur there can still be
Fracking caused massive pres-
sure in the ground to blow apart
the coal seams, he said.
Mr Hutton has been on a
nationwide speaking tour sharing
his experience of working with
farmers threatened by coal seam
gas and underground coal gasifi-
cation in Queensland.
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