Farmers urged to discuss suicide


Suicide is more prevalent in farming communities than the city, and people need to talk about it, Southland Federated Farmers president says.

Understanding feed crucial


An expert says farmers could achieve milk solids that are 100 per cent of liveweight.

Grazing contract talk vital

Grazing cows

Waikato farmers grazing heifers for dairy farmers urged to keep clients informed of the condition of their stock in the wake of the current drought conditions.

Zeroing in on weather information

Niwa, New Zealand, ocean, weather

Niwa's new weather and environmental forecasting service is aimed at farmers.

Gate swings both ways

Washing down after milking

OPINION: Sharemilking is a hybrid between self-employment and employment but that hasn't stopped some harsh treatments of sharemilkers.

Succession issues warning

Joel Salatin

Farmers warned they risk ageing alone unless they confront issues around farm succession.

Facial eczema warning

Sheep with facial eczema.

Veterinarians are warning farmers to begin preventative treatments for facial eczema after the recent spell of wet, humid weather.

Navigating barriers to learning


"I try to help," says Rongotea dairy farm manager Peter Wapp about his work as a PrimaryITO mentor.

Winning the battle against dyslexia


Through technical aids and mentoring help, PrimaryITO is assisting farm workers to fight back against dyslexia.

Check before lighting fires


People wanting to light fires in rural areas of Taranaki should ensure they check the wind conditions, says Taranaki's principal rural fire officer.

Software becoming essential

Overseer nutrient budgeting

Complexities of a nutrient budgeting tool are being broken down for farmers as the computer program becomes an integral part of land and water regulation.

New quake law may affect farm buildings

Earthquake generic

© Fairfax NZ News

OPINION: "Did you feel that little rumble," Freddy asked Pebbles after an earthquake woke him from his afternoon nap.

Update for key soil tool

Bala Tikkisetty carries out a visual soil analysis that will give him a better understanding of soil quality.

Good soil condition remains the key to successful sustainable farming and a visual soil assessment tool has been updated with important new indicators.

Diagnosing mycotoxicosis a challenge

Dr Lucy Waldron.

One of the biggest challenges when dealing with mycotoxicosis in farm animals is simply making a diagnosis.

Help at hand


JON MORGAN - © Fairfax NZ News

Help is available for dairy workers and employers caught in on-farm problems around pay, conditions, health and safety.

Getting the right visas


Farmer Freddy is finishing hanging the last of the decorations on his tree when Pebbles turns up.

Time to call in the fert pros

Fertilisers are a costly but essential element of farming, soil scientist Doug Edmeades says.

The average dairy farmer spends $80,000 year, the sheep and beef farmer about $60,000, on fertiliser - a total of $1.5 billion a year.

Warning over stubble burnoff

A farmer burns off stubble on a farm near Methven.

Fire authorities want farmers to think of their neighbours before they set the first match to 20,000 hectares of crop stubble in Mid-Canterbury next year.

Farming wages in spotlight

NZ money, cash

If you're in the habit of averaging pay out over a season, you're likely to be doing something unlawful.

Cash convenient but at a cost

Cash generic

Despite the temptation, Freddy needs to remind himself of the consequences of paying cash to casual workers.

Job net cast wide in schools

Mt Taranaki

Taranaki organisations are pitching to teachers and students the opportunities available for a career in agriculture.

Plenty of boxes to tick when subdividing

magnifying glass dollar

Farmer Freddy is sitting with Pebbles at the kitchen table, looking through the real estate section of the newspaper.

Striking before fly strike


Flystrike affects millions of sheep and kills hundreds of thousands annually.

'Averaging out' dangerous

Southland Times photo

OPINION: Farmers running the risk of court action from employees over unlawful seasonal "averaging" of salaries that breaches the Minimum Wage Act.

Fertiliser spreading slope danger

Groundspreaders are being told to take extra caution on slippery slopes this spring after a several fatalities.

Tricky ground conditions are testing truck drivers spreading fertiliser on farmland as they seek to avoid a repeat of last year's terrible toll.

Regrassing no silver bullet

Pasture on a farm.

Routine regrassing of older dairy paddocks on high-performing irrigated farms may not always be cost effective.

Rural road rules warning

Tractors on a highway.

Rural contractors urged to keep up to date with regulation changes governing work hours and use of public highways to avoid falling foul of the law.

Irrigation considerations

Irrigation NZ chief executive Andrew Curtis.

Understanding likely future environmental constraints is a key issue for farmers to consider when installing irrigation.

Cashflow key to irrigation outlay


New research reveals there is no "one size fits all" when looking at what is needed to make new irrigation pay.

Check the tax treatment of vehicles

Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series Double Cab Ute

Don't take a haircut due to Fringe Benefit Tax costs on farm vehicles.

The importance of a LIM report

House for sale, real estate, property

Getting a LIM report before buying a property is advised, but why and what sort of information does it include?

Farm advice: ACC levies


Freddy does very little work on the farm after taking on a 50/50 sharemilker, so why is he still paying ACC levies?

Flocking to show off inventions

Ayla Hutchinson

OPINION: The innovations marquee is my favourite place at the Fieldays. I can spend hours there quite happily.

Farming not for the unskilled

farmer cows

OPINION: I find it disappointing that Work and Income New Zealand persists in using the agriculture and horticulture sectors as a dumping ground for unskilled labour.

Why so keen to predict the future?

drought farmer

OPINION: The news is all good for the rural economy, according to economists' crystal balls. But we all know how that can change.

Sales patter and succession

Fieldays innovation

It's that time of year when farmers flock to Mystery Creek, looking for the innovations and bargains.

A career choice with variety

Tim van de Molen

OPINION: Farms are multimillion-dollar businesses and a broad range of skills is required.

Farming and technology

GPS farming

OPINION: Freddy Farmer finally buckles to technology after a visit from his 21-year-old nephew.

Meat company co-operation needed


OPINION: While Fonterra farmers should take heart from last week's good news, we all must try to live within our means.

Irrigation benefits stack up

Bruce Wills

OPINION: It is time Hawke's Bay ended the annual rainfall lottery, writes Bruce Wills.

PGW investor short on rural know-how

PGG Wrightson

OPINION: Those staunch southerners, they just can't abide all that jibber-jabber. Grunt your piece, then shut up and have a Speight's.

It's time to move

cows milking time

OPINION: Moving house may be one of life's most stressful events, but for sharemilkers it can be an annual occurrence.

Time to relax, take a breather


OPINION: After a difficult season, some events now allow us to showcase and celebrate some of our industry successes.

Drought's costly legacy

Hereford calves

OPINION: The drought's impact will be most severe on beef and lamb farms.

Market dominance not the answer

coins money

OPINION: Having control of the market is a very seductive idea. Most of us have wondered how profitable and simple life would be if we just had the chance to be in control.

Monitoring a key to better performance

computer cables

OPINION: The ''internet of things'' is not a network, but a new buzz phrase describing the growing use of network-connected embedded microprocessors, often connected to sensors or other data-gathering instruments.

Looking out for one another

farmers business

OPINION: Self-interest seems to be pervading our formerly close-knit rural communities.

Are we ready for a foot-and-mouth?

foot and mouth

OPINION: The recent auditor-general's report clearly shows that we are not ready for an outbreak of foot- and-mouth disease.

Taxing aspect of farm sales

farm sales

OPINION: Tax experts are key to averting disaster when selling your farm.

Fertiliser needs are unique


Farmers often ask if they should reduce phosphate fertiliser inputs when finances are tight.

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