Dirk Sieling with his mussel leachate/effluent injector.

Shelling out with waste

With a ready source of mussel farm waste a Coromandel farmer is looking to cut the aromatic effect on locals while improving soil fertility. Glenys Christian reports. Coromandel dairy farmer Dirk Sieling believes he can not only reduce fertiliser inputs on his farm but also help remove a waste stream from one of the area’s other important industries. He’s recently …

Palm kernel cut start of evolution

Glenys Christian Landcorp’s (Pamu) move to stop feeding cows palm kernel is now worth $160,000 a year in premiums to its Canterbury dairy farms supplying Synlait, its head of environment, Alison Dewes told the Environmental Defence Society (EDS) Conference in Auckland in early August. It would have some planning in place by December to move to farming under ecosystem health …

Brent Page's family has been farming the same land since 1852.

New uses for muck

Squeezing the fluids from dairy effluent and mixing the resulting solids with sawdust offers a comfortable surface for cows to stand on for a farm in a high-rainfall area. Anne Hardie reports. The squeezed solids from Brent and Kathy Page’s dairy effluent on their Golden Bay farm is going to form the base for the wintering barn next year, mixed …

Mike and Russell Phillips: how much Ecotain in the sward would improve farm bottom line and make meeting N leaching targets possible? Picture: Brad Hanson

Collective action

Russell Phillips is embarking on a journey to raise the content of plantain on his Te Rehunga farm and supporting a research project to start a catchment-wide action to plant farms in 30% of the N-reducing forage. Jackie Harrigan reports. Russell Phillips has been dairy farming at Te Rehunga, south of Dannevirke since he was 21, on a farm that …

Fine lime may work faster than regular ag-lime but claims the same lift in soil pH can be achieved with a tenth of the rate were rubbished by Roberts.

Defence against the dark arts

Andrew Swallow If Harry Potter author J K Rowling were a soil scientist, she might have cast Ants Roberts as her ‘Defence against the Dark Arts’ master. Roberts is the winner of the New Zealand Grassland Association’s Ray Brougham Trophy. It entitles the winner to to give a national lecture tour. Roberts has used his to slay several sacred cows …

Wool new luxury brand centrepiece

Tony Leggett Wool’s extraordinary qualities will underpin a new brand that launched last month, to promote a range of luxury products made from New Zealand fibre, for affluent consumers. Some of NZ’s leading architects and interior designers got a sneak peak last month at the official Hushaberry Heritage brand and the range of products on the eve of the NZ …

Soil fertility rules

Whatever happens in the future with fertiliser soil scientists Drs Robert McBride and Doug Edmeades say the truth about soil fertility and pasture nutrition will not change because it is a mature science. Agknowledge’s independent soil consultants and scientists have listed the following seven key facts farmers need to know to get the best bangs for their fertiliser bucks. 1 …

Protocols for raising multiple, orphan and pet lambs

John Smart Interest in artificially rearing lambs has risen with the increase in lamb price this season. Not only are farmers considering the usual waifs and strays but also taking one lamb off those ewes with triplets. This has the advantage of: Improving lamb survival.  Unless you already have loss rates of less than about 15-17% then there is probably …