Forestry devastation compounded the effects of flooding on the North Island’s east coast recently. Picture: Tairawhiti Civil Defence.

Farm forestry: Saving baby from the bath water

Despite the devastation caused when forestry slash and debris added to the flooding woes of Tolaga Bay, afforestation is fundamentally beneficial for erosion mitigation. Denis Hocking reports. Forestry is caught in both the limelight and the headlights – the billion trees versus a million tonnes of debris around Tolaga Bay. The slash and debris around Tolaga Bay, and earlier Nelson, …

Francis Frost with Lucy Wildman and their children Iggy, 9, (left) and the original inspiration for the horror, Frankie, 7.

A fibre fit for littlies

Exporting merino clothing designed for young children and babies has involved doing the rounds of international trade shows. Jo Cuttance reports. Knowing what the retailer likes about your brand means you can tailor how you will sell your product to them. Lucy Wildman co-owner of Little Flock of Horrors, an Auckland-based baby and children’s merino clothing company whose range is …

The feed restriction worked exactly the same in a pasture-only situation or where cows were fed a total mixed ration.

Preview: Transition -keep it simple

Restricting feed as cows approach calving helps mobilise the animals’ body fat. Glenys Christian reports. Transition cows don’t need a complicated diet and feeding them can be simple, DairyNZ researcher, Jane Kay told the Northland  Agricultural Research Farm (NARF) field day at the end of May. She stressed to farmers attending the benefit of slightly restricting cows’ feed as they …

Dr Dawn Dalley, left and Dr Robyn Dynes – achieving nutrient and GHG loss restriction targets is possible while maintaining profitability.

Emissions go hand-in-hand

Anne Lee As farmers work their way through how they can limit nutrient losses to water they’re now having to come to grips with limiting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to air. The good news is though – in many cases the two can go hand-in-hand and there need be no major impact on profitability. DairyNZ senior scientist Dr Dawn Dalley …

Aquila Sustainable Farming’s general manager Shaun Neeley.

Organics: Success with the switch

A German-owned farming operation has become New Zealand’s biggest organic dairy operation, following EU certification. Karen Trebilcock reports. Several thousand German mum and dad investors are changing dairying in Southland. In November, Aquila Sustainable Farming’s six farms, milking 5500 cows, will start supplying European Union-certified organic milk to Open Country’s powder plant at Awarua Bay. The Hamburg-based investment fund’s Southland …

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. …

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 …