Adam now has more information on how each cow is performing.

Ahead with technology

A cow chewing her cud has long been an indicator of cow health. Anne Hardie reports how monitoring collars can help show how a cow’s ruminations are affected by the state of their health. Information from cow monitoring collars shows Adam McManaway and Kirsten Daymond the changes in ruminations and activity of every cow in their 465-cow herd so they know the …

Lush lands of Tower Peak

Southland’s Takitimu mountains are home to a huge station raising young heifers for Canterbury equity partnerships. Anne Lee reports. High up against the soaring, ragged Takitimu mountain range that sits as a gateway to Fiordland, is the last place you’d expect to find a vast, lush terrace that’s home to 3200 dairy heifers. The huge, 1300-hectare, Tower Peak Station is …

Shawn and Nells Nicholas. Photos: Emma McCarthy

Diversifying with prime cuts

Shawn and Nells Nicholas wanted to recreate the nostalgic experience of having a relationship with your local butcher. The contract milkers have dusted themselves off after a difficult couple of years and have diversified their business portfolio by opening their own butchery in Te Awamutu. Sheryl Brown reports. Walking into Expleo Butchery you’re immediately enveloped into a family atmosphere. Shawn …

Michael Murphy – Irish Dairy Farming Leader and international businessman, during the Pasture Summit at Claudelands Events Centre, Hamilton, Monday 26 November 2018. Photo: Stephen Barker/Barker Photography. ©NZ Farm Life Media Ltd

Focus on the grass

Sheryl Brown New Zealand and Irish dairy farmers need to focus on low-cost grass systems to be competitive in the future, Irish and NZ dairy farmer Michael Murphy says. “Only NZ and Ireland live or die on pasture-based systems. We should be very mindful of the competitiveness of the grass-based industries as against the confinement industries over time.” NZ and …

Nicola Johns and Ice on a gun dog adventure.

Worth a shot

Annabelle Latz What started as fun family holidays has turned into a passion, sport and lifestyle for Nicola Johns. Gun dog trialling runs in the family, her dad Graeme Johns has a few decades under his belt. So it was love at first sight when eight-week-old black Labrador Ice arrived at Christchurch Airport for Nicola, seven years ago, so she …

The FBI shook the family tree in GEDmatech database and the Golden State Killer, Joseph James DeAngelo, fell out.

Testing the two-legged animal in the top paddock

Genetic testing has yet to take off in a big way for agriculture, but humans are flocking to the service, geneticist Nicola Dennis writes. It is 10 years since I hit the streets as a youthful and hopeful science graduate. It was the dawn of the genomics age and it was time to change the entire world with genetic testing. …

Prevention better than cure

Rebecca Harper When it comes to flystrike, prevention is better than cure, and there are some practical steps farmers can take to guard against it. In what could be shaping up as a bad year for flies, farmers should be particularly vigilant in a warm, humid summer, when soil temperatures reach above 12C. Maintaining regular shearing and crutching, and keeping …

Tulips from Balfour

The blaze of colour from a leased block of tulips on Blair Drysdale’s northern Southland farm lifts his spirits in a moist and miserable spring. Quite often when farmers share their frustrations about the weather in conversation with others, we’re accused of just being a “whinging farmer”. But for farmers and horticulturalists alike among others, it dictates our day-to-day operations, …

Kaiwera farm managers Sam and Renata Woodford with their children Nia (9) and Louis (7).

Dairy lessons for Super Fund farm

Stopping stock wastage of bobby calves and increased biosecurity are behind a beef and bull breeding unit developed in Southland. Karen Trebilcock reports. FarmRight is using lessons learnt on its dairy farms to develop and manage a large beef and bull breeding operation in Southland for the New Zealand Super Fund (NZSF). The 1222-hectare former sheep and beef block at …