Cattle in a stock yard.

Large mobs a problem

Much media coverage of Mycoplasma bovis has focused on dairying, but calf-rearing is where the pathogen causes most problems overseas, as Andrew Swallow found out when he talked to one of the world’s leading experts. Large herds and communal calf-rearing systems are where Mycoplasma bovis causes most problems overseas, a United Kingdom expert on the pathogen Dr Robin Nicholas says. …

John Small on Wai-totara Farm, Dannevirke with R2 Red Devon cross steers and heifers. Picture: Brad Hanson

Preview: In at the deep end

A young couple found themselves taking over the family farm following parental death. Russell Priest reports. Faced with the death of both his parents in close succession John Small had little time to reflect before taking over the farming business. John was brought up on the farm which his parents had farmed for 30 years. He spent two years working …

Rather than just chasing production the Williams family is aiming to be excellent caregivers of their land.

Organic opportunities: Their own land of milk and honey

The benefits of organic dairy farming outweigh the challenges. Sheryl Brown reports. Neville and Louise Williams have done it all, throughout their 35 years farming. They have milked cows in a high-input, high-stocking-rate system, they have milked once-a-day, and now they are certified organic farmers with 2.5 cows to the hectare and have installed robotic milkers. The couple like to …

Sign in and out and wash your boots at the same time. Hugh has gone for bright pink to draw people’s attention to the biosecurity point at the farm dairy.

M bovis: One big biosecurity lesson

The arrival of Mycoplasma bovis has highlighted the need for good biosecurity measures across the country. Anne Lee reports. Biosecurity begins at home, right at the farm gate and the boundary fence – it’s not just about security at the country’s borders. It’s one of the big lessons farmers around the country are learning quickly following the detection of Mycoplasma …

Joanne Leigh: ‘If this (acidification) is done right you can eliminate the risk of M bovis.’

M bovis: Acid test for calf milk

Large-scale calf-rearer Joanne Leigh finds citric acid is the answer to cutting the risk of the spread of Mycoplasma bovis. Sheryl Brown reports. Adding citric acid to whole milk is a practical and cost-effective method to reduce the risk of infecting calves with Mycoplasma bovis-infected milk. Top-Notch Calves has recently completed milk trials with Fonterra and DairyNZ to lower the …