Gorse quickly populated bare ground left in the wake of last year’s Port Hills fire.

Forage: Gorse loses battle with Italian ryegrass

Sandra Taylor Italian ryegrass is proving to be an effective and environmentally friendly gorse control agent on a trial site on Christchurch’s Port Hills. Set up in the wake of last year’s fire, the Lincoln University-trial is looking at using various gorse-control methods including chemical treatments and the use of competing vegetation to suppress and ultimately kill gorse seedlings. Professor …

Trossachs Kate Morgan (pictured with calf) was a bossy cow full of character.

MARKETING: Horned, hairy and meaty

Lauril and Drew Stein’s names were synonymous with the Highland cattle and Simmental breeds in New Zealand from the 1980s to the late 2000s. They talked to Country-Wide deputy-editor and granddaughter Cheyenne Nicholson about one of their most ambitious ventures – to sell Highland beef through supermarkets. In the early 1980s Lauril and Drew Stein bought 24 hectares of bare land. …

Kirstin and Simon Engelbrecht, with children Anna and Charles, when they were national winners field day for the New Zealand Ewe Hogget Competition.

Home block: Don’t lie awake worrying

Kirstin Engelbrecht Palmerston, Otago It has been a dry start to the year here in East Otago.  We are not on our own with many areas the same making for decisions to be made. Simon and I are in our 12th year here at Stoneburn and continue to enjoy it. After a good scanning the rest of the winter seemed …

The power of plantain

Large and small-scale trials are testing the merits of plantain in pasture. Anne Lee reports on work under way at Massey University.   Plantain and its powers to reduce nitrate leaching have been the focus of studies at both ends of the scale spectrum at Massey University. From the detailed effects of plant compounds and the microscopic activity in the …

Milking intervals: It’s all about the cows

Sharemilkers Jason Macbeth and Beth Phillips use a range of milking intervals based on the needs of their cows. Anne Hardie reports. Young dairy guns Jason Macbeth and partner Beth Phillips use three different milking regimes through the season and it’s all centred on their cows so they are producing well the following season and beyond. This year the young …

The big cheese

Anne Lee On a scorching, dry, 36C day in central Canterbury, water buffalo just aren’t a class of stock you expect to see out happily grazing. Even less likely is the idea that these huge, horned beasts would soon be lining up to be milked. But at Wairiri Buffalo, south of Darfield that’s exactly what you’ll see. Lucy Appleton and …

Help for those who want out

Sheryl Brown   Dairy as a collective may need to support the exit of dairy farmers for the overall good of the industry under new land-use change rules, DairyNZ strategy and investment leader for sustainability Rick Pridmore says. Pridmore retires from his role at DairyNZ in January after more than a decade as its sustainability guru. He wants to see …