Positively sheep

There is a lot to celebrate in the July content of Country-Wide.

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  • Milk plant about to yield results

    Oceania Dairy Company's milk processing plant at Glenavy, south of Timaru, is nearing completion and due to start production in September this year.

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  • All will be revealed

    Competition is going to be fierce between contestants of the Miss Waitaki Valley Beauty Pageant 2014 being held at Kurow on August 2.

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  • Bridge spans the generations

    The Cathill Arch bridge in North Canterbury stands as a monument to Kiwi ingenuity and a “can-do” attitude.

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  • Razing the steaks

    Work is well underway on demolishing the sheep section of Alliance Group's 121-year-old Mataura meat processing plant in Southland. 

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Quad fine dumbfounds

Farmers are calling for more common sense around quad bike safety requirements.

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Stooks and stacks of surprises

Winter is a time for us to slow down a bit. With our mid-winter week having 63 more hours of nocturnal darkness than in mid-summer we just don’t have the same daylight to get things done. 

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  • In full swing

    I thought we had a lot of growth last autumn but this year has exceeded 2013. With 150mm of rain in March and then again in April the only problem was finding days fine enough to do the farm work. 

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  • Best of both worlds

    How, might you ask, did an urbanite like me end up at Lincoln University studying agricultural science? 

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  • Maize of challenges

    Winter – that time of year when we, as seasonal 50:50 sharemilkers, get to catch up on all of the jobs that we didn’t get to or only managed to half-pie complete over the milking season. 

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  • A world of opportunity

    Now that winter has arrived I have had some time to contemplate my Nuffield global focus tour. 

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Nothing wrong with sheep

They’re light on their feet, flexible, and positive about sheep farming. *Country-Wide* visits the farm of Kirstin and Simon Engelbrecht, winners of the 2014 New Zealand Ewe Hogget competition. Photos: *John Cosgrove*

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  • Keeping a level head

    Last month I had the pleasure of meeting Scottish scientist Kathy Dwyer who, more than 10 years ago, did the work showing that lamb behaviour at birth was the biggest determinant of lamb survival.

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  • Who’s your daddy?

    Modern genetic evaluation systems rely on having a pedigree with good accuracy – that is, only some errors occur in matching animals to their parents.

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  • Lessening the burden

    A drench efficacy test is to determine how effective each drench group is against the individual parasite species so that you can make an informed decision about your choice of drench to use.

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  • Resistance to change

    Drench resistance problems need addressing but there is consensus among industry leaders that regulation is not the solution.

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Can’t beet it

Fodder beet is fast becoming the mainstay of John and Rachel Jefferson’s dairy support block as they become more comfortable with the crop and its management.

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  • Save our seeds

    University of Warwick’s Crop Centre at the has won a five year contract from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to continue to host the United Kingdom Vegetable Gene Bank (VGB).

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  • Feed sheep not cows

    Farmers with high performing sheep flocks are far better off feeding them than selling the feed to dairy farmers.

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  • A work in progress

    Maintaining good cow and young stock condition in the most economical way is the bottom line at Eden Bank, the winter support block for Concept Farms, a large-scale dairy farm on the Maniototo.

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  • Admiring the View

    They might feel a little like a Johnny-come-lately in the area but Grant and Ele Ludemann are rapt with their decision to buy a slice of Central Otago hill country.

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A double-edged sword

On the one hand Otago dairy expansion has opened a better paying market for cropping farmer Barrie Allison, on the other hand it has gobbled up land he used to lease and shrunk his farming operation.

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  • Cream of the crop

    Only two per cent of Hugh and Sharon Ritchie’s arable land is given the full cultivation treatment – the 15ha of land at Drumpeel Farms is cultivated for carrots which need a fine seed bed.

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  • Supermarket pressure ‘happening everywhere’

    The prosecution of Australian supermarket chain Coles for the way it forced 200 small suppliers to pay rebates shows the practice is rife internationally, Labour Party commerce spokesman Clayton Cosgrove says.

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  • Ag companies’ chance to attract investors

    Agribusiness companies are being invited to showcase to investors their expansion plans and need for more capital in match-making by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE).

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  • Environmental economics part of ag job now

    Environmental economics is fast becoming a big part of the agricultural economist’s job, as the profession struggles to produce enough people to fill jobs.

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Syndicate ventures

Machinery syndicates have evolved over time and range from sharing equipment with neighbours to extensive contracting businesses with shared ownership.

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  • Learn not to burn

    With the price of fuel an increasing onfarm cost Country-Wide has 14 tips to help understand and maximise efficiency when using a tractor.

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  • Ground-breaking advance

    The Diskavator, a 2005 National Fieldays’ new inventions award winner, has been lying low for the last nine years waiting for the agricultural cultivation industry to accept its revolutionary tillage concepts. It’s now about to awaken and give the industry a good old dose of reality that it badly needs.

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  • Labour of love

    Amuri identity Carl McKay has been working with earthmoving equipment for nearly 50 years – over that time he’s also built up an impressive array of vintage machinery.* *

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  • The good oil on tractors

    The idea behind hydraulics it to transmit a force from one point to another using an incompressible fluid – James Hoban applies this principle onfarm.

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Know your obligations

Nutrient management – what do these words mean to you? 

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  • All aboard for water quality

    More onerous tasks for overworked farmers? This may not necessarily be the case – a farm environmental plan could lead to long-term benefits onfarm and off. Consultant *Keri Johnston* explains.

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  • Overseer a mixed bag

    Concern about nutrient management regulations brought 200 farmers together in a packed room in Ashburton last month.

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  • Barking up the right tree

    It would be something of an understatement to describe Gary Fleming as a tree-lover.

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  • A suite new test

    New Zealand’s honey industry can now test manuka honey faster and more cost effectively than ever before thanks to a new three-in-one test introduced by Hill Laboratories. 

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Digital self defence

Every so often the media will be full of stories about a major computer problem, usually a virus.

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  • Get smart

    Last month we looked at malicious software that can cause severe problems on your computer. This month we take a look at things that are less of a problem but still worrisome.

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  • Scanning the scammers

    The first week in June was Fraud Awareness Week 2014 (FAW2014) which is run by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Consumer Affairs team in support of a global education campaign initiated by the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN).

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  • Gauging your progress

    Did you know that “the first electric street lighting in one Nelson suburb was powered by a small hydroelectric generator in the hills above the city.

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  • Ag companies’ chance to attract investors

    Agribusiness companies are being invited to showcase to investors their expansion plans and need for more capital in match-making by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE).

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Posts, possums, pigs – prosperity

Raetihi’s Maurice Cole is a living example of the adage that hard work never killed anybody.  *Russell Priest* and photographer *Graeme Brown* paid the spritely 87-year-old a visit.

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  • Focus on speed

    Every consumer camera today comes with a sports mode feature – it’s the “running man” icon on the menu or main control knob on top of the camera.

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  • Sharing the road

    Freedom camping has endured some blight but it comprises two distinct groups.

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  • Back in time and place

    The Maori youth seated across from me on the ferry was strumming a guitar.

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  • Room to zoom

    When we view a photo our perceptive vision is usually limited to the spot we are concentrating on. As our eye moves over the picture it notices other elements such as arrangements of colours and objects that can trigger latent memories which we then attach familiar emphasis to or disregard as unimportant. These memories construct a narrative to the picture – a story about what is happening in the frame.

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Knife-edge of drench resistance

The deer industry is on a drench resistance knife-edge, internal parasite researcher and Southland vet Dr Dave Lawrence says.

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  • Koreans keen on Kiwi quality

    Four years ago New Zealand velvet was considered inferior to Russian velvet by Korean oriental medicine doctors.

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  • Double trouble

    Could more twins push deer industry productivity? Can twinning hinds be genetically selected for? How do the survival and growth rates of twins compare with single fawns?

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  • No easy answer

    Whether or not to vaccinate for leptospirosis is not a straightforward question to answer, Massey University’s Professor Peter Wilson says.

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  • Hard home coming

    A double whammy of leptospirosis and drench resistance was not the welcome-back-to-farming present John Hamilton had bargained for. 

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Head to Head: A comparison of dairy bull beef and traditional beef R2 finishing policies

Rising two-year dairy bull beef production is more efficient than rising two-year traditional beef steer production.

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  • AgInnovation bulks up

    Whether you are a stud breeder, commercial beef farmer, an established or aspiring farmer, there is something for everyone at this year’s AgInnovation.

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  • Black cattle blueprint

    Mendip Hills Station’s Simon Lee is in his eighth season as manager of the 6130ha property. He’s a fan of Hereford cattle but also a fan of hybrid vigour – thus the station’s slightly unusual cattle policy.

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  • Quiet achievers

    Twenty years of cross breeding commercial cattle has thrown up a genetic mix that suits Heughan and Carol Gordon’s Hawke’s Bay farming business.

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  • Balancing traits

    Genetic improvement relies heavily on achieving balanced change in all the traits that influence productivity and profitability. Unfortunately, genetic improvement is much more difficult to achieve than is genetic change.

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Leg prices recover

The demand from China has helped meat companies clear stocks of frozen lamb cuts and the new season will start positively for all players, writes Hugh Stringleman.

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The power of lime

South Otago farmer sheep and beef farmer Peter Wilson loves lime.

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Sparkling wine and berries

A 171ha Canterbury farm growing blackcurrants and producing wine is on the market.

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The business of innovation

An innovative farmer is calling for more support to get New Zealand farm inventions on retail shelves.

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  • Lifting the wool on sheep genetics

    A University of Otago researcher is among an international team that has sequenced the sheep genome pinpointing genes that are unique to sheep including those that help support secretion of the grease needed to maintain wool.

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  • One-man race

    The sheep bulk handler is a hydraulic sheep race designed by Australian-owned ProWay Livestock Equipment.

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  • The perfect launch

    When asked to judge at last year’s National Fieldays innovation awards the team at Locus Research were impressed with the potential they saw.

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  • Fieldays specials from Mitsubishi

    Every year at the National Fieldays the car makers try to outdo each other. This year Mitsubishi have outdone themselves.

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