Fine lime may work faster than regular ag-lime but claims the same lift in soil pH can be achieved with a tenth of the rate were rubbished by Roberts.

Defence against the dark arts

Andrew Swallow If Harry Potter author J K Rowling were a soil scientist, she might have cast Ants Roberts as her ‘Defence against the Dark Arts’ master. Roberts is the winner of the New Zealand Grassland Association’s Ray Brougham Trophy. It entitles the winner to to give a national lecture tour. Roberts has used his to slay several sacred cows …

Wool new luxury brand centrepiece

Tony Leggett Wool’s extraordinary qualities will underpin a new brand that launched last month, to promote a range of luxury products made from New Zealand fibre, for affluent consumers. Some of NZ’s leading architects and interior designers got a sneak peak last month at the official Hushaberry Heritage brand and the range of products on the eve of the NZ …

Soil fertility rules

Whatever happens in the future with fertiliser soil scientists Drs Robert McBride and Doug Edmeades say the truth about soil fertility and pasture nutrition will not change because it is a mature science. Agknowledge’s independent soil consultants and scientists have listed the following seven key facts farmers need to know to get the best bangs for their fertiliser bucks. 1 …

Protocols for raising multiple, orphan and pet lambs

John Smart Interest in artificially rearing lambs has risen with the increase in lamb price this season. Not only are farmers considering the usual waifs and strays but also taking one lamb off those ewes with triplets. This has the advantage of: Improving lamb survival.  Unless you already have loss rates of less than about 15-17% then there is probably …

Maximising productivity – a vet’s view

Sandra Taylor Feeding sheep is the answer to maximising the kilogram of lamb weaned per kilogram of ewe mated. Veterinarian Pete Anderson says the drivers of this are lambing percentage and lamb weaning weight. The drivers of these are lambing percentage which is made up of scanning and total lamb losses. Lamb weaning weights are determined by the age at …

The triplet opportunity

Triplets are an inevitable consequence of increased fertility and several farmers shared their experiences of managing triplet lambs at the seminar. Reece Cleland: Annandale Station- Lambing 220-240% in their triplet-bearing ewes. Reece manages the 2700-hectare hill country farm near Springfield, running Romney ewes and Angus cows. Scanning in mid-July this year showed they had 660 sets of triplets-so 15 per …

Preview: Lamb prices to break new ground

Amid record farmgate prices for lamb and mutton, the 2017-18 season is drawing to a close. The key question is what the prices will be when spring lambs start flowing from November. AgriHQ senior analyst Mel Croad reviews the markets and looks at what may happen this season. Based on current pricing levels, it is clear opening farmgate prices in …

Mendip Hills manager Simon Lee, Andrew Johnston from Luisetti Seeds and owner David Black have created forage hubs in their hill country.

Chicory lifting hill country productivity

Grazing is about more than grass these days, as new forage crops are introduced. Sandra Taylor reports on the results for one North Canterbury farm. A decision to use areas of cultivable hill country to grow specialised forages is having a profound effect on Mendip Hill’s farm business. By growing areas of chicory and clover and lucerne through their hill …