From fish to the farm

Joanna Davies Getting into your own farm can be done if you have a long-term strategy, work hard and give up instant gratification. You also need luck and the ability to take the right opportunities when they present themselves. There are two parts to owning a farm; getting the deposit to purchase it and having enough money to run it …

Bridging the Divide

Young Farmers Otago Southland territory manager Leanne Woodhead believes the rural and urban divide can be bridged through Young Farmers, TeenAg and Agrikids clubs. “You don’t have to be off the farm to become a member. Our members are young professionals in their field, they are the next generation of young leaders and if we can provide a platform for …

Farmers baulk at Marlborough rules

Lynda Gray The overly prescriptive nature of the proposed Marlborough Environment Plan has not gone down well with some local farmers. “It’s humungous, complicated and has so many rules,” Federated Farmers regional policy advisor Kristy McGregor says. The Feds compiled an almost 450-page submission, following eight meetings attended by almost 250 farmers. It listed as one of the major concerns …

Transition to a grass-eating adult

Cheyenne Stein Young ruminants are functionally monogastrics for about two to three weeks post-birth. A ruminant’s stomach has four parts: a reticulum, rumen, omasum and abomasum. All four parts are present at birth but only the abomasum is fully developed and functional. Their rumen is small, sterile and underdeveloped at birth. This all needs to change in order for calves …

Shooting the animals

Jackie Harrigan Shooting wild animals –not necessarily with a gun – is the growth industry of South African agriculture with 20 million hectares of damaged and marginal agricultural production land converted to game ranches in the past 15 years. South Africa is a very dry country with an annual rainfall of around 600mm. Many regions can no longer support conventional …

All scrubbed up ready for surgery

Amy Hoogenboom Vet student, Massey University You know you are a vet student when you are looking forward to the weekend. Not because you have an amazing, carefree, alcohol-fuelled, fun-packed extravaganza planned but because you have lecture notes and assignments that you are eager to get finished and on top of (the same plan as you had last weekend but …

Measuring up

Information is king and it’s turning grass and forages into dollars on Barnhill, an undeveloped hill block in Southland. Gerard Hall reports.

The costs and benefits of growing feed on a northern Southland farm have come under close scrutiny.

The decision to invest in pasture cages, monthly cuts and charting the results was an easy one for Guy and Vicki Goodeve who manage Barnhill, a 1019ha undeveloped hill block near Lumsden in Southland.

Simply the best

A simple system, executed exceptionally well with a heavy emphasis on feeding has paid off in more ways than one for two farmers in an equity partnership-owned sheep and beef farm at Alfredton, near Eketahuna.

Over four years Jim Varty and his son Brendan have averaged a return on capital of 5.9% on Wai-iti, more than three times the national average for all sheep and beef farms.

They have paid off $330,000 in principal and bought $63,000 of ewes in the past two years alone.