Monday, May 29, 2017
Latest Reviews
 

Fewer cows not the answer

Posted on 12th May 2017 12:47 | By Peter Burton

Two reports just released reviewing New Zealand’s environmental performance, (OECD and GLOBE NZ) have both called for a substantial reduction in animal livestock numbers. Prime Minister Bill English has stated that the Government has no intention of demanding the one third cut called for in the reports. And that’s the best possible position...

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Internal parasite treatment and control

Posted on 11th May 2017 13:18 | By Phil Rennie

With the warm and moist weather at present, and young stock needing to eat a lot of grass to meet their growing requirements, there will be plenty of exposure to worms. These internal parasites do a lot of damage to young animals in particular, which makes autumn an important time to have a worming control programme in place. The most prolific worm...

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Don't listen to your neighbour

Posted on 10th May 2017 13:20 | By Brent Trail

With so much change these days information is dating real fast. This has always happened but the speed seems to be picking up – and rural subdivision is getting harder. Don’t be under any illusion that the government reforms to the Resource Management Act, recently announced, are going to make it easier either – from my experience...

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Food security policy needed for NZ

Posted on 10th May 2017 12:01 | By Mike Chapman

New Zealand produces an abundance of food and exports 60 per cent of our fresh fruit and vegetables to other countries around the world. Horticulture is in a growth phase with export values growing 40 per cent for the two years from June 2014. There are times each year when what we grow in New Zealand is needed to feed the people of New Zealand. Spring...

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We all have a part to play

Posted on 9th May 2017 16:28 | By Bill Webb

It looks like all of those warnings we’ve been hearing for at least 20 years about the impacts on weather of climate change have come true – and with vengeance. I said in the April column the weather had been weird, and it just got weirder. We were fortunately able to harvest our maize in the few fine days between cyclones Debbie and Cook. However,...

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Excellent fishing when weather allowed

Posted on 9th May 2017 16:01 | By Jesse Gread Te Kuia Skipper

We’ve had a month of mixed weather providing good results on days we could venture out. Starting off strongly we had a good hapuka trip out to Mayor Island with a group of lads from the Taranaki.  As we ventured out from the marina I was sure this would be a trip to remember with the weather and tides lining up nicely. The boys wanted...

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Consistent management element of success

Posted on 9th May 2017 11:24 | By Tony Bradley

With many growers recently completing avocado crop forecasts, the reality of the next avocado production volume is starting to hit in many orchards. We are seeing the end of a great season for volume and pricing returns. Congratulations to the exporters on achieving this. However, it is important to the industry that we as growers are consistent in...

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Edgecumbe should have been protected

Posted on 9th May 2017 10:42 | By David Law

Utter despair – the the feeling when in the blink of an eye your whole life, plans and progress are turned upside down! I live in Hamilton now but the news of the flooding in my hometown of Edgecumbe struck an emotional cord. We have been there. Our family farm was just across the Rangitaiki River from Edgecumbe and in 2004, under similar weather...

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Growth in the name of immigration

Posted on 9th May 2017 10:24 | By Don Fraser

It seems that the Government is happy to have very open borders, bringing in 70,000 people annually because it keeps growth in the economy. That is probably true, but there are some serious distortions appearing. I also appreciate that these figures include Kiwis returning home to New Zealand – and a caveat here is that if the world turns grumpy...

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Farmers should compare fertiliser

Posted on 9th May 2017 08:22 | By Robin Boom

Recently a farmer had contacted me boasting he had just applied a fine prilled lime product at 250kg/ha which he was told by the company selling it was the equivalent of applying 2.5 tonne/ha of standard agricultural lime and how this had saved him a whole lot of money on cartage and spreading costs. I asked him how much per tonne it had cost, which...

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Autumn time to assess trace elements

Posted on 12th Apr 2017 13:55 | By Phil Rennie

It is well-known trace elements are important for normal animal function. And during April and May is an ideal time to assess the mineral status of dairy and beef cattle because they transition out of the autumn and head into winter. Mineral deficiencies can result in subclinical and clinical ill thrift affecting production, growth and reproduction....

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Goodbye facial eczema

Posted on 10th Apr 2017 13:54 | By Brett Petersen

In all articles on facial eczema I’ve read, only the symptoms are dealt with – never the causes. The causes are simple: monoculture farming practices, usually through following institutionalised advice. That’s great for the country and a myriad of other businesses, but rarely does the individual farmer any good. Innovation does not...

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Give consumers the choice

Posted on 8th Apr 2017 13:51 | By Mike Chapman

Horticulture New Zealand commissioned Consumer NZ to do an independent survey of consumers, asking if they wanted mandatory country of origin labelling on fruit and vegetables. Seventy-one per cent of those surveyed said they did. Interestingly, more than three out of four female respondents said they wanted mandatory country of origin labelling on...

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It’s easy to throw stones at easy target

Posted on 6th Apr 2017 13:45 | By Peter Burton

When everyone in the farming industry is either hurting, or at least feeling like it might be their turn soon, it’s easy to let rip. And at the moment, the dairy industry resembles a ­barn door and therefore an easy target. What’s important to remember is the dairy farming industry is made up of individuals, with families, and they...

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The Kiwi disconnect and wilful blindness

Posted on 4th Apr 2017 13:44 | By Don Fraser

It occurs to me that there is a lot happening in the world as people go away from globalisation and back to identifying with their own continent and ethnicity. Is it the Brexit and Trumpet effect? Everywhere in New Zealand there seems to be this Kiwi disconnect between reality and what is happening. Examples could include: Friends who are building...

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Weird six months of weird weather

Posted on 2nd Apr 2017 13:41 | By Bill Webb

Weird is the only way to describe the weather of the last six months. It was a weird, cold wet spring, a weird unpredictable summer. And now it looks like a weird and very wet autumn. The winds first blew from the west Southwest and then we finally got some north easterlies in mid-February. But that stopped and turned to southwesterly again, drying...

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Phosphorus – are farmers p addicts?

Posted on 31st Mar 2017 01:38 | By Robin Boom

Phosphorus is recognised as one of the four contaminants Waikato Regional Council’s Plan Change 1 and other councils are seeking to reduce. And although much fuss has been made of nitrogen, in the Waikato region the majority of waterways are more phosphorus-limiting than nitrogen-limiting as far as algal growth is concerned. Yet phosphorus hardly...

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Protectionism versus truth-telling

Posted on 12th Mar 2017 09:17 | By Sue Edmonds

First we had traceability, then sustainability, threatening our ability to sell overseas. Now we’ve also got protectionism, whatever that turns out to mean. One thing it is bound to mean is our export products will have to stand up to whatever overseas countries’ testing, or purity criteria, they choose to put on them. Today it’s...

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Intensive farming saves water quality

Posted on 11th Mar 2017 11:16 | By Peter Burton

Soil carbon – you can build it or burn it – but it’s the very thing we rely on for our survival. Without it there is no plant growth as we know it, and as its being diminished less nutrient and moisture is available for plant uptake. Any reduction in soil carbon levels, due to it being a highly effective filter, results in a decrease...

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