Pointed victory

Wendonside farmers Bevan and Wendy Hopcroft took out this year’s Merial-Ancare West Otago-Southland Ewe Hogget competition with their Crossbred ewe replacements. 

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  • All join in the Lions share

    It’s an extraordinary event when one of the country’s largest privately-owned station’s throws its gates open to welcome 230 lycra-clad mountain bikers, runners and walkers on to the property.

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  • Young guns

    The masterminds behind the annual Becks kid’s hunting competition – from left to right – *Fynn Duncan* (13), *Henry Smith* (13), and *Luke Duncan* (15), got on to the scent of the event idea four years ago after going along to a Central Otago adults hunting competition. They sorted the detail of a similar kids event in the back of the school bus, stopping of at the Becks Pub with a letter to enlist the support of the publicans.

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  • At the top table

    There’s more to Jonny Trevathan than meets the eye.

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  • Farm privilege

    In this issue we bring you more on top Wairarapa farmers Don McCreary and Anna Johnston after a recent field day on their farm.

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Minding your farm business

Budgets, stock reconciliations, performance summaries, key performance indicators – it’s enough to make the mind boggle. Farming is a complex business, and understanding how your farm is performing financially is key to improving your bottom line.

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  • Lincoln Hub plans gain momentum

    The Lincoln Hub should attract more interest from the private sector with the appointment of a project manager for the facilities and a full-time chairman, AgResearch chairman Sam Robinson says.

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  • Export lamb prices offset fall in volume

    Higher export lamb values have more than offset a fall in volume in the first half of the trading year, with prices continuing to rise.

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  • Avoid buying into trouble

    Over my thirty years in farm management consultancy I have helped many people analyse the options of buying, selling, leasing, and other significant farm business investments. 

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  • AgResearch changing course

    It’s no surprise that AgResearch’s Future Footprint Plan has gone down like a lead balloon with the southern farming fraternity. The plan proposes to dramatically downsize the Invermay campus and relocate up to 80 staff to Lincoln University. But what exactly is the Future Footprint Proposal and what is AgResearch’s rationale for the $100 million shake-up of science delivery?

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The other side of the fence

If you were to tell me twelve months ago that I would be in Moscow at 4am writing an article for Country-Wide I probably would have told you that there was more chance of me being an organic high country dairy farmer – but here I am.

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  • Moving on

    Five months ago we sold our sheep and beef breeding property. I was the fifth generation Holloway to own the farm and I can tell you it has been an emotional roller coaster for me.

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  • Lessons still to be learnt

    They say that those with the greatest sense are the ones that have the strength to break their New Year’s resolution early. I wonder whether foolish is a better word for people like myself that make aloof resolutions under the influence of peer pressure in the first place. 

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  • Morale-testing times

    I write this the day before April Fools’ Day. I am tempted to sneak outside tonight and drop a cup of water into the rain gauge and see if anyone is fooled. I won’t though because it is hard enough keeping everyone’s morale up at the moment without playing a dirty trick like that.

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  • A life’s work

    I once studied agriculture for a whole year. Obviously only a small part of the entire subject but the problem was I lacked the practical experience to challenge the theories I was learning – that’s all they were unless linked to a particular set of circumstances.

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From waves to hills

Farming off his own bat was always John Scott’s ultimate goal during nearly two decades of commercial fishing.

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  • Farm humming along

    Having every string in the farm business fine-tuned is why the Keinzley AgVet Wairarapa Sheep and Beef Farm Business of the Year hums.

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  • Lincoln Hub plans gain momentum

    The Lincoln Hub should attract more interest from the private sector with the appointment of a project manager for the facilities and a full-time chairman, AgResearch chairman Sam Robinson says.

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  • Farming with vision

    Lifting the performance of an already high producing farm is a challenge but it is one the Craw family on Banks Peninsula is more than willing to take.

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  • Potential realised

    Winners of the 2014 Gisborne-Wairoa Farmer of the Year award, Rob and Karen Newman have been concentrating on lowering debt and raising farm productivity.

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Pasture damage notches up

Many Southland farmers have been alarmed by recent damage to clover pastures. Trudi Baird gets to the root of the problem.

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  • Lincoln Hub plans gain momentum

    The Lincoln Hub should attract more interest from the private sector with the appointment of a project manager for the facilities and a full-time chairman, AgResearch chairman Sam Robinson says.

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  • Toxic time for pastures

    Nitrate poisoning looks set to be a real risk in both crops and pasture this autumn with damp and overcast conditions affecting much of the country.

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  • Caution over set stocking lambs

    Banks Peninsula farmers Hamish and Annabel Craw are considering lambing on their lucerne this spring.

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  • Korea shows renewed interest in NZ deal

    A trade lobbyist noticed a new-found enthusiasm for a Pacific Rim trade deal on a recent trip to South Korea, which could auger well for a breakthrough in languishing bilateral trade talks with New Zealand.

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Succeeding into the future

Food – everyone needs it. And our local plant breeding and seed industry is right at the beginning of the food production process. In fact, our sector actually underpins New Zealand’s productive base.

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  • Lincoln Hub plans gain momentum

    The Lincoln Hub should attract more interest from the private sector with the appointment of a project manager for the facilities and a full-time chairman, AgResearch chairman Sam Robinson says.

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  • Blotch on the landscape

    Speckled leaf blotch affected cereal crop yields last season and growers are being encouraged to adopt integrated disease management (IDM) practices to control the disease in the face of fungicide resistance.

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  • Korea shows renewed interest in NZ deal

    A trade lobbyist noticed a new-found enthusiasm for a Pacific Rim trade deal on a recent trip to South Korea, which could auger well for a breakthrough in languishing bilateral trade talks with New Zealand.

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  • Aussie-Japan trade deal ‘sets bar low’

    Farming leaders are worried a trade deal between Australia and Japan has set the bar for tariff removal disappointingly low and could undermine efforts to eliminate trade barriers in the Pacific Rim region. 

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Renminbi pay-off ‘depends on China’

    The pay-off to exporters from a deal to allow direct trading of the New Zealand dollar with China’s renminbi will depend ultimately on how much control the Asian giant is prepared to relinquish over its financial system, a government insider says.

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  • Eye in the sky scrutiny

    Drone technology is creating a stir of excitement despite scepticism it could just be an expensive farmer’s toy with a hefty $15,000 price tag.

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Global swarming

The world is making a beeline to manuka honey produced in New Zealand – now the industry wants to create an even bigger buzz.* *

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  • New scheme unleashed

    A wildly successful Australian biodiversity programme helping landowners is being trialled in the Kaimai and Mamaku catchments.

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  • A natural sweetener

    Cutover forestry sites far from ports look likely to offer some of the best potential for new blocks of manuka grown for honey.

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  • The wooden spoon goes to?

    The ForestWood 2014 conference in mid-March, with the accompanying announcement of some Labour party forestry policy, provided what seems to be an increasingly rare opportunity for forestry and wood to get a bit of coverage in the media. 

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  • Challenging conditions will remain despite rain

    Dairy cows in drought areas could be as much as one condition score below calving target and boosting those scores should be the priority, DairyNZ Northland regional leader Tafi Manjala says.

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Taking keyboard control

Keyboard shortcuts can speed up your workflow on a computer but not everyone knows about them – even those who do might not be aware of some of the more obscure ones.

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  • Lincoln Hub plans gain momentum

    The Lincoln Hub should attract more interest from the private sector with the appointment of a project manager for the facilities and a full-time chairman, AgResearch chairman Sam Robinson says.

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  • Leaky Windows

    Here we go again on the merry Microsoft go-round. A new Windows 8.1 Update 1 download has been leaked by Microsoft and it has features we’ve been hearing about since Update 1 screenshots started appearing. 

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  • Click to buy

    I buy many mainly small and low cost items through the internet – in other words, I shop online. I can buy online either through a local or an overseas supplier.

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  • Xero to take farming into the clouds

    New Zealand accountancy software giant Xero is investing in the rural sector with a new technology designed to link farm budgets with rural suppliers and industry partners.

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AgInnovation adds BBQ cook-off to menu

AgInnovation event director Murray Meads is hoping at least a dozen teams enter the Heartland Beef National Barbecue Competition.

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  • Value-added history

    BOOK REVIEW

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  • A factory takes shape

    When it was set up in 1914 the Tatua Co-operative Dairy company was one of hundreds of cheese-producing dairy factories serving farmers in the North Island. To the north was the huge Thames Valley Co-operative Dairy Company, founded in 1901, to the south the Cambridge Co-op Dairy Company, and to the west the Waikato Co-operative Dairy Company.

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  • Taking to the road

    – Country-Wide writer Trena Marshall recently restored and refitted “Abe” – a vintage 1968 caravan. Now she has embarked on a tour of the South Island.

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  • History on a plate

    The chance to showcase two old-fashioned mutton recipes attracted celebrity chef Richard Till to the recent Victorian Farm Comes Alive event at Totara Estate, south of Oamaru.

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Manager versus nature

The extreme climate at Haldon Station in the Mackenzie Basin is demanding of both stock and staff. Lynda Gray investigates.

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  • Forward planning

    AgResearch’s Future Footprint proposal has not stopped future development plans for Invermay’s 143ha deer farm.

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  • Tapping into profit

    How do Central Hawke’s Bay deer farmers make the irrigation water stack up for their farms?

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  • Devoted to deer

    Richard and Emma Lawson are steadfast supporters of farming deer and would love to see others follow them into the industry. Marie Taylor reports.

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  • German chefs meet NZ cuisine

    With Spanish and Eastern European venison slicing a bigger chunk of market share in Germany, promotion of New Zealand venison to influential German chefs is paramount.

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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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Buying water reliability

Irrigation schemes are not created equal so understand the limitations of a community scheme before buying land in its the zone.

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Pride of the south

Many years ago in the mid-90s I had the opportunity to road test the first Prado model and this latest offering from Toyota is a veritable world away from that first drive.

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  • A true Pioneer

    If you’re looking for a versatile, safe, and manoeuvrable four-wheel drive workhorse or recreational vehicle at a reasonable price you need look no further than Honda’s recently-released Pioneer side-by-side (SxS).

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  • Welcome rain brings nitrate risk

    Rain is welcome as the dry weather affects pasture growth in many regions but it brings the danger of nitrate poisoning in stock, Ballance science manager Aaron Stafford warns.

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  • Rain helps hit records

    The Southern Field Days at Waimumu set new records for both visitor and exhibitor numbers this year.

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  • Iodine: One jab does it

    The decision to supplement and what to use are issues that concern farmers on pockets of iodine deficient soils throughout the country.

    Read more…

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10 years 4

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