Heat goes on farmers

Sheep and beef farmer Miles Anderson is  worse off than this time last year when there were still some moisture reserves in the soil.

South Canterbury farmers are making silage and hay as fast as they can before nor’westers decimate pasture.

Hook catchment farm environment plan template approved

Environment Canterbury has announced its approval of a farm environment plan template for the Hook catchment.

Environment Canterbury approves a farm environment plan template for the Hook catchment.

Alliance Group director bucks the trend

Alliance Group director Dawn Sangster has little female company on private sector boards.

Few women can match Dawn Sangster in the private governance world.

Lifting our game

Dairy NZ's stratey and investment leader Mark Paine says time have changed and farmers need to work together to attract people to the industry

DairyNZ's strategy and investment leader Mark Paine says working together to lift the dairy industry's game as farm employers is vital.

Dairy disruption and volatility here to stay

Cows feed on hay on a Washington farm. Increased milk production is being soaked up by a lift in US cheese and butter consumption.

IN THE last two weeks we have seen increasing signs of further disruption and volatility in dairy. First, we had good news with Fonterra announcing it had turned the corner In relation to enhanced corporate profitability.

Waikato shows the way to restore a river’s health

The Mighty Waikato's Healthy River Project is tackling the tough stuff.

Doug Edmeades prefers a rational presentation of the evidence on water quality, not a cheapskate, alarmist red-dotted map.

Farmers fear the worst

Sheep forage for feed on the roadside during last summer's drought.

Farmers are bracing for an El Nino that could rival past droughts.

Farm issues the same wherever you go

Waikato Federated Farmers president Chris Lewis.

OPINION: A few weeks ago I went to local MP Barbara Kuriger's electorate briefing at Otorohanga.

Opinion: growing up in the countryside

Beef + Lamb New Zealand's Western North Island farmer director Kirsten Bryant on her farm.

Farming means the family is intertwined in the job.

Mouth-watering weeds to dine on

"What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered."

A block of weeds can be a weed patch or a "veritable salad bowl'.

Retiring from the farm

Life after retiring from farm work is not always what it is cracked up to be.

The lessons learned after retiring from the farm.

Conversations: Love your neighbour

Federated Farmers Otago president Phill Hunt.

It's the fact we have been trying to ignore but no longer can: almost 200 New Zealand farmers have committed suicide in the past eight years.

Turning greenhouse gases into an opportunity

Zach Mounsey and Doug Avery check out a cattle beast with a methane collection kit fitted on a farm 250km from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Huge opportunities await those who look for better plant and grazing system, says Doug Avery.

Heeding the lessons of history

Research is emerging showing the big beneficial effects that constructed wetlands can have on N and P loadings into waterways.

The environmental alarmists should have more faith in science, writes Doug Edmeades.

Smoothing out the milking seasons

Most farmers with free-stall barns end up eventually shifting to non-seasonal production.

New Zealand has to supply milk consistently throughout the year if it wants to be in the value-add game, writes Keith Woodford.

Canterbury's water wealth a California dream

Snow melt is well down in California

Californians dream of Canterbury's water riches.

Muddying the waters of progress

The Thames, with nitrogen levels more than12 times that of the Waikato River, is considered "healthy" by the OECD because it has over 120 species of fish.

The Environment Aotearoa report left it to the reader to interpret the measurements of water quality – and the reader, inevitably, reacted emotively, writes Jacqueline Rowarth.

Climbing the agri-food value chain

There has to be one online site where Chinese can buy all of their guaranteed New Zealand-origin food, and then it has to be delivered to them in one big basket within 24 hours.

The way for New Zealand agri-food companies to get to Chinese consumers is through online marketing. And that has to be with an NZ Inc approach, says Keith Woodford.

What about this, the flag they missed?

Aquamarine and blue

I want a change, how about one of these, writes Jon Morgan.

Time to hang up the farm boots

Pita Alexander asks if farmers are ready to hang up their farm boots.

Is it time to hang up the farm boots, asks Pita Alexander.

Time to sort out that business plan

Waikato Federated Farmers dairy chairman Chris Lewis.

Most farmers will be looking at their businesses in the coming weeks as the year winds down and we plan ahead.

Breaking down the barriers to providing more affordable housing

Special housing areas are one way to tackle housing shortages, but the Productivity Commission says tougher action may be needed.

OPINION: There has been a timely call for action over the country's housing shortages, writes Lawrence Yule.

Farm life teaches children lessons

Children frolic around a farm stream.

When you're farming, the environment – both on and off farm – is intertwined in the context of your family. 

On-farm strategy, tactics and the Lincoln dairy farm

Dr Racheal Bryant explaining the management of tetraploids and gibberrelic acid at the LUDF focus day.

Keith Woodford goes along to the Lincoln dairy farm’s latest field day and finds a well-managed farm with well-nourished cows.

Running around like a headless chook

The days when farmers turned up in their thousands to field days are long gone. Here, former AgResearch scientist Julie Everett-Hincks, at a field day near Marton in 2009, shows farmers what causes of death to look for in dead lambs.

Agricultural research, and in particular AgResearch, continues to bleed. It is so sad for those of my generation to watch the destruction of what once was a proud and internationally respected institution.

Farm business risks lurk around the corner

Farmers can do a lot to reduce risks outside the farm gate, says farm accountant Pita Alexander.

By taking control farmers can reduce many of the risks lurking outside their farm gate.

Curiouser and curiouser – AgResearch disappears down the rabbit hole

At the opening of the Agricultural Greenhouse GasResearch Centre in Palmerston North in 2011 were AgResearch chairman Sam Robinson, the centre's director and the then-minister David Carter. The centre is now caught up in AgResearch's "right-sizing" plan.

The Government has trimmed $100 million in “right-sizing” from AgResearch since reforms began. What is the CRI’s right size, Doug Edmeades asks.

Fossicking in Fonterra’s annual report

A worker prepares to milk cows on a farm managed by Fonterra  in Yutian County, Hebei Province around 150km southeast of Beijing. Fonterra's China farms are getting about $13 or a little more per kg milksolids. Yet they have still made a loss of $3.67 per kg milksolids, with interest still to be accounted for.  .

THE release of Fonterra's annual report on 24 September coincided for me with a long plane trip back from China. I used the time trying to work out what all the numbers really mean.  It was not an easy task.

There are other uses for maize grain

Matamata District Federated Farmers chair Stew Wadey.

The most general comment to me these past two weeks has been the slow spring grass growth for many.

Family differences in farming

Farm accountant Pita Alexander finds there is often light years between the ways fathers and sons work in farming.

If we had to draw a comparison between farming father and sons then typically the son would have a "go-go'' attitude and the father err towards a "go-slow'' approach.

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