Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Latest Reviews
 

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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Of hot scones and old tractors

Posted on 10th Mar 2017 13:14 | By Don Fraser

Remember when we milked a house cow out in the paddock sitting on an old wooden stool using a stainless steel bucket jammed between our knees? And when walk-through cowsheds had that special smell and we cleaned up the yard by scooping the muck up with a square mouth shovel into a ‘konaki’ and then swilled the yard clear with buckets of...

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Earthquake could hit feed prices

Posted on 10th Mar 2017 10:12 | By Bill Webb

The link between the November Kaikoura earthquake and feed prices for North Island farmers might not be immediately obvious – but there is one, and it could prove costly. The ongoing harsh dry conditions throughout the country, not to mention the February fires in Hawke’s Bay, have accentuated what was already shaping up to be a shortage...

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Extra police to make communities safer

Posted on 9th Mar 2017 14:38 | By Todd Muller

In his first major announcement of election year, Prime Minister Bill English has unveiled a significant government investment in Police and the wider justice sector to reduce crime and keep our communities safe. The $500 million Safer Communities package will provide an extra 1125 police staff, including 880 sworn police officers. This initiative...

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Livestock staggers risk in late-summer

Posted on 9th Mar 2017 11:06 | By Phil Rennie

Both rye grass and paspalum plants can cause similar neurological conditions – commonly referred to as staggers – as opposed to ‘grass staggers’ – which relates to low magnesium in livestock soon after birth. These two fungal-neurotoxin induced diseases can cause generalised tremors in all ages of cattle, sheep, deer,...

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RSE employers role model for others

Posted on 9th Mar 2017 09:01 | By Mike Chapman

Horticulture is growing. Exports grew 40 per cent in the two years from 2014 to 2016. This growth is supported by an increasing workforce made up of permanent Kiwi workers and seasonal workers. Research New Zealand recently released a report about this. This report confirms horticultural employers are employing more New Zealand permanent and seasonal...

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‘BREXIT’ and ‘TRUMPET’ – like it or lump it

Posted on 20th Feb 2017 08:00 | By Don Fraser

Financewith Don Fraser Fraser Farm Finance The world has changed forever. Globalisation is now threatening the people and they are voting against bureaucracy, control and the money in their countries, going into the hands of a few. Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States has shone the spotlight right on an over-controlled...

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Common sense main ’additive’ missing in farming

Posted on 19th Feb 2017 08:00 | By David Law

Beneath the surfacewith David Lawof Forward Farming A lot can be learned or assumed by a slow drive down a farmer’s tanker track, particularly if cattle are close enough to observe. To a trained eye, the state of their health is very noticeable and often the reasons for them not looking in top condition can also be obvious. Arriving at...

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Fertiliser just keeps getting cheaper

Posted on 18th Feb 2017 08:09 | By Robin Boom

Robin BoomAgronomic Advisory Services The week before Christmas both Ballance and Ravensdown dropped their prices on some imported products – and for the farmer it just keeps getting better. In my 27 years of providing independent fertiliser advisory work I’ve never seen anything like the selection of companies and wide variation...

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Solution to environmental pollution

Posted on 17th Feb 2017 18:18 | By John Morris

What can you say, when you realise that soluble synthetic minerals are the cause of toxic nutrient leaching into the environment? You can say: ‘Ban all soluble, synthetic, toxic minerals!’ The farmers are being blamed for this problem. As nutrient leaching has become a risk to the viability of farming, we cannot blame the farmers. But unfortunately...

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‘She’ll go another turn’ may be false economy

Posted on 17th Feb 2017 18:16 | By Bill Webb

Bill WebbFeed SolutionsOutlook Many dairy farmers have responded to the drop in payout by taking long hard looks at their businesses and making savings of between $1 kg/ms and $1.20 per kg/ms, according to DairyNZ’s figures. DairyNZ also reports more farmers than ever are preparing farm budgets, which is excellent news. In the past I’ve...

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