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. …

John Small on Wai-totara Farm, Dannevirke with R2 Red Devon cross steers and heifers. Picture: Brad Hanson

Preview: In at the deep end

A young couple found themselves taking over the family farm following parental death. Russell Priest reports. Faced with the death of both his parents in close succession John Small had little time to reflect before taking over the farming business. John was brought up on the farm which his parents had farmed for 30 years. He spent two years working …

Eradication feasible but immense task – NZVA

Andrew Swallow Two risk factors stand head and shoulders above all others when it comes to the risk of picking up Mycoplasma bovis, New Zealand Veterinary Association chief veterinary officer Dr Helen Beattie says: prolonged contact with an infected animal, and ingestion of infected milk by calves. “Everything else pales in significance in comparison,” she told Country-Wide. The minuscule, wall-less …

Brian and Kerry Thompson on their Brunswick farm.

PREVIEW: Raising breeding cow performance

The Thompson family have switched their cattle operations from steep Wanganui hills to easier land with profitable results. Russell Priest reports. A win-win agreement between father and son, Brian and Kerry Thompson and Horizons Regional Council has seen the Thompsons’ long-established Simmental herd move from extremely steep terrain to gently rolling pastures next door. Since then it hasn’t looked back. …

The late Collis Blake helped saved many families’ farms in the turmoil caused by the economic reforms.

Champion to the rescue

Terry Brosnahan Collis Blake was a hero to the many farmers he helped through economic reforms of the 1980s. He led protests against farm mortgage sales forced by lenders’ unfair skyscraper-like interest rates. He negotiated with the banks so farmers had a future. Phil Taylor was working at Flock House when he met Collis through a farm discussion group. Collis …

Time to transition cattle

In the second in a series of columns, scientist Jim Gibbs discusses achieving and maintaining maximum intakes in beef cattle in winter beef finishing systems. By now, most farms have transitioned the cattle to the beet crops. If you haven’t, you should have, because it is harder to do so in wet and cold weather, and liveweight (LWT) gains on …

Andrew Bendall on Lochar Downs station.

Catwalk Trust – What a great charity

With change ahead Andrew Bendall, manager of high country station Lochar Downs, Cromwell, is planning on a marathon run. Farm stuff later, we must all know someone who has had an accident leaving them with a spinal injury. Absolutely changing there lives forever, for them their love ones and people around them. So, in November this year I’m joining about …