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 …

One less wallaby in the Hakataramea Valley.

On the wallaby trail

Wallabies might look cute, but in South Canterbury they’re a serious pest. Peter Snowdon and a friend did their bit to reduce the population. “On the Wallaby Track”, the title of a famous Australian artwork, has also been used to describe itinerant rural workers or swagmen moving from place to place for work. In this case it’s not quite swagmen, …

Finding your ‘sweet spot’ on the scanning curve

One of the keys to healthy lambs is healthy ewes. Tony Leggett explores how farmers can capitalise on good nutrition for optimal lambing results. Take a bow, sheep farmers. Collectively, you have achieved a 56% increase in the weight of lamb produced per hectare in the past 25 years. Lambing percentage has increased from around 100% average to 125%, lamb …

It’s been a season of plentiful growth throughout the country.

Autumn Action

Planning and action taken in autumn can help pave the way for a smoother and stress-less winter and spring. Farmers and industry experts share some suggestions. Clean up It’s been a season of plentiful growth throughout the country, so getting any rank pasture back in check before winter is a smart move, Canterbury farm consultant and Advance Party facilitator Wayne …

Peter and Suzy Corboy on their Catlins farm.

Taking a day off

This year Suzie Corboy decided she wasn’t going to work on her birthday, and neither was her husband. What a difference a week can make. We started the year getting very worried we were heading for another dry summer, as we had only 30mm of rain in the last 49 days of 2018. In the first seven days of 2019 …