Millie (left) and Ellie Morgan.

New life for a Fairlie good business

Lynda Gray Endearing touches abound at the Farm Barn café. An antler adorns the wooden rafters and is used to great creative effect in table and floral decorations. There’s deer on the wallpaper in the ladies’ loos, on linen tea towels in the gift shop, and in the outside animal farm yard enclosure is Mia the friendly hind. The stylish …

Home Block: Welcome to the summer rain

Charlotte Rietveld Rakaia Gorge, Canterbury At the risk of raising my head above the parapet, summer turned out to be a blinder. Just as December’s blistering heat and wind was threatening near wipe-out of barely germinated winter feed crops, it rained. And it rained, and rained. My dearly departed crop-farming grandmother used to confidently predict summer rainfall of “an inch …

Ratio theory discredited

Australian research found that basic cation saturated ratio(BCSR) doesn’t work and is an inefficient use of fertiliser. Queensland University’s school of land and food sciences carried out the review in 2007 because of the use of “balanced” Ca, Mg, and K ratios, as prescribed by the BCSR concept by some soil-testing laboratories rather than the sufficiency level concept. It concluded …

Tom Mason and farm manager Fraser Campbell – the travel offer aims to attract more “Frasers” to the business.

Joint approach to staffing

Former Nuffield scholars in New Zealand and the United Kingdom have teamed up to provide young people overseas experience opportunities. Anne Lee  reports. It’s a dream opportunity – a guaranteed job in the United Kingdom with a cash grant to get you there and then the offer of a job back home when you’ve seen some of the world. Canterbury …

Phil Beatson – There is a robust relationship between milk urea concentration and urinary nitrogen.

The answer’s on your docket

Sheryl Brown The answer to the amount of nitrogen being excreted in cows’ urine could already be on farmers’ milk dockets. The milk urea concentration (MU) figure farmers see on their daily bulk milk test report has a strong correlation with the amount of nitrogen cows are excreting in their urine, CRV Ambreed head of research and development Phil Beatson …

Jenima and Joe Foster manage the large Okaihau Pastoral dairy farm in Northland, and recently also became part-shareholders.

High-input profitability

Hugh Stringleman Northland’s showplace high-input dairy farm, Okaihau Pastoral Ltd, was profitable in the 2015-16 season when most dairy farms nationwide made a loss. It generated $1429/hectare operating profit ($455/cow) and made 3.2% return on capital (ROC), when the Northland average was only 0.2%. That was the season with the lowest inflation-adjusted payout of modern times ($4.30/kg averaged across Fonterra, …