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 …

Spring slug warning

Crops will need closer monitoring for slugs this spring to avoid a repeat of the damage seen in 2016, FAR’s new environmental research manager Abie Horrocks says. While weather ultimately drives slug damage, reduced tillage is increasingly a factor. “Don’t wait until you can see slug damage in the crop,” she says. “By then the slug population will likely be …

Shaping land to improve drainage

Dan Bloomer LandWISE has been using GPS mapping and modelling to create very accurate contour plans. Some of the software we use can model the effects of rain storms and identify water flow paths, depth and velocity, and areas where water will pond. The flow-path analysis also highlights areas at risk of soil erosion. We can design new land topographies …

High octane forages drive farm

Russell Priest Photos John Cowpland   A Hawke’s Bay farming operation is successfully finishing an increasing number of lambs and bulls on a range of high-quality forages. Four years ago Kirsty Hill and Gary Holden (see p7) decided to quit breeding ewes and cows to intensify the farming business. Kirsty, who has completed a Farmax consultants’ course, ran the numbers …

Deer Farmer: Managing Johne’s

Lynda Gray Sean and Cassie Becker were gobsmacked when Johne’s was confirmed in their weaner mob in mid-July 2011. The 480 weaners, trucked about 10km from the Tiroiti breeding block to Kokonga for wintering, looked fine for the first three or four weeks given the bone-dry summer and autumn. But then things started going pear-shaped with a handful starting to …

Battle for TeenAg and Young Farmer titles

Jackie Harrigan Despite the dull and cold weather in Feilding on Friday, competition was running hot at the practical and Agrisports day of the Young Farmer Grand Final at Manfield. The TeenAg and Agrikids finalist from around the country competed through very cold winds – and Agrikids finalists had to bob for apples and then drink a bottle of cold …

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 …