There’s more to genes than cloning.

Wicked problems and the unbiased mind

Sometimes a fresh perspective can provide new solutions to old problems. Gertje Petersen from AbacusBio explored gene technology with a group of students and found a new way to look at it. Climate change, equality, poverty – these are “wicked problems”, issues that are difficult to solve because they have no universal definition, because of contradictory knowledge or because the …

Does everyone know and understand the financial performance, options and constraints of the business?

Succession: Only treat your children equally if it is fair

Peter Flannery I often hear, “We need help to put together a succession plan for our family. We want to treat all of our children equally.” “That’s easy” I say. “Sell the farm(s), take out enough capital for yourselves, plus a bit more, and then divide the remaining capital equally among your children.” “We can’t do that. One of our …

Two-tooth Wiltshire ewes with lambs.

Preview: No wool, no worries

Shearing, dipping, crutching, dagging, docking and much of the mustering and yarding are things of the past on a King Country sheep farm. Russell Priest reports on a wool-less revolution. No-wool sheep have delivered a 61% reduction in labour costs and a $256/ha increase in farm surplus compared to woolled sheep for King Country farmers Grant and Sandy McMillan. When …

John Schnuriger with one of his prized purebred Jersey cows.

Purebred Jerseys and a question of purity

Bob Edlin  The Purebred Jersey Breed Society (NZ), “committed to keeping the Jersey breed 100% pure” according to its website, did not make a submission to the Ministry for Primary Industries review of the dairy herd improvement regulations. “We don’t get supplied with information from the ministry sent to other breed societies and I was unaware of the consultation,” society …

DairyNZ Southland/South Otago regional leader Richard Kyte (left), Beef + Lamb Southern South Island extension manager Olivia Ross and Environment Southland principal land sustainability officer Nathan Cruickshank walk through a paddock of fodder beet.

Southern comfort

Southland farmers and sector bodies are bringing science, good management practices and cross-sector engagement together to protect the health of land, waterways and stock during winter periods. Karen Trebilcock reports. Southland dairy farmers and winter graziers will be using good practices to stop losses to waterways, retain soil structure and look after the health of their cows this winter. The …

A question of fertility

Anne Lee Just get on with it because we need this – yesterday, was the catch cry from farmers at the Pasture Summit’s Future Cow workshop They were talking about fertility in the national herd, with farmers reinforcing the urgency with which they want genetic researchers and breeding companies to pursue the shortcoming that both directly hits profitability and is …