Barns could be the answer

Dairy herd home

OPINION: A move to partly dairy farming indoors seen as a way towards doubling exports by 2025 and maintaining or improving our water quality.

Over-population central to debate


OPINION: Let's try and look at a few issues around climate change. When you really get down to it, it's about population.

Wider focus key for meat industry


OPINION: Meat Industry Excellence has been criticised for being too dairy-focused and needs to change.

No clarity in call

Water Quality

OPINION: Water quality concerns are not going away, despite what farmers may hope.

Bright dairying future

Jon Morgan

OPINION: It's clear our economic future will have a strong dairy component and the tricky part for Fonterra is to keep the bad news to a minimum.

Understanding Fonterra gets harder

pattrick smellie

OPINION: It's hard to escape the suspicion that the farm gate milk price formula is out of whack.

Fonterra narrows focus on China

Dairy cows.

OPINION: Milk could be spilt if Fonterra doesn't stop relying on a single market and a single product.

Extract pollutants later

Salted away: Desalination plants take seawater in one end and produce pure potable water out the other end.

OPINION: Doug Edmeades has a cunning plan to strip the nutrients from drainage water before they pollute our streams.

Raw milk market revives faith

Raw milk

Given that I have been drinking raw milk for years, I'm a convert to its natural, healthy and nutritious benefits.

Hit the dairy companies


OPINION: Fish and Game wants dairy companies prosecuted if their poor performing farmers fail to step up environmentally.

Farmers, townies on same page

A 2011 file photo of dairy cows in a waterway.

OPINION: Is dairy farming being made the scapegoat for the quality of New Zealand's waterways?

Small is no longer profitable

Dairy cows.

OPINION: The lifestyle I desired from milking a small herd of cows suddenly seems to be quaint and old fashioned.

Milk rethink needed

Glasses of milk

OPINION: If Fonterra is going to grow with any rapidity, it is going to need more shareholder funds.

Critics need to keep up with facts

Manawatu River pollution

OPINION: As farmers change, their environmental critics need to lift the conversation.

Fonterra needs more capital


OPINION: If Fonterra were this year to pay its farmers the price which Fonterra's Milk Price Manual calculations say it should, it would make a big loss.

Farmers pay for price war

Federated Farmers president Bruce Wills.

OPINION: New Zealand's Federated Farmers president Bruce Wills claims dairy farmers across the Tasman have been ruined.

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.

Harden up, farming kills

New-born dairy calf.

OPINION: You know something? The world is a horrible place. We're sheltered from the worst of it here, but we need to face up to some hard truths.

We don't like seeing animals suffer

James Houghton

OPINION: New Zealand has strict codes of practice relating to how calves are treated.

Seismic shift in beef

Dairy cows

The global beef industry is on the cusp of substantial change.

Siphoning Waikato's future

Waikato River

OPINION: Auckland's bid for more water from the Waikato River risks depleting the region's resources as well as the quality of it.

The new age, rural-style

Federated Farmers president Bruce Wills.

OPINION: While the idea of an internet party may have merit its early rhetoric towards rural New Zealand needs reworking.

Farmers' survival guide

Pita Alexander

OPINION: Let's give the crystal ball another dusting and see what might lie ahead for farmers in the next seven years.

Time to be accountable

Neglected cow.

OPINION: Farming's bottom dwellers are letting the industry down, and it is time for them to shape up or get out.

Blue the new green

Dairy cow.

OPINION: This year New Zealand will achieve a historic breakthrough on freshwater management.

Energetic inspiration

Grass on a New Zealand farm.

OPINION: There's been plenty to keep us occupied on the farm over January, so it's been very much a case of head down.

Danine a little shaky


OPINION: French food company Danone should be more concerned about its own chequered history than suing Fonterra.

Food for thought

Pita Alexander

OPINION: Farm accountant Pita Alexander tries to predicts the future of New Zealand farming over the next seven years.

Water storage becomes vital

Water storage ponds on Caberfeidh Station.

OPINION: While we all accept the climate is changing, there are dividing views on the cause and the impacts it will have.

Farmers show resilience

DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle.

OPINION: The past year was a clear signal that farmers are adapting, changing and farming better through challenges.

Farmers not the villains

James Houghton

OPINION: Farmers are not to blame for the price of food increasing.

Sorry tale of swaps


OPINION: It has been a victory - of sorts - for farmers as court action looms over the sale of interest rate swap loans to rural customers.

Farmers not the Grinch

Federated Farmers' dairy leader Willy Leferink

OPINION: With Christmas close at hand, dairy farmers could be forgiven for thinking there may have been a small gift coming from Fonterra.

Don't forget your rod

Southland Times photo

OPINION: Fish & Game NZ boss challenged to visit Southland to see what dairy farmers do, how they do it and what they'll be doing in the future.

Fonterra faces big milk problem


OPINION: The intricate pricing method is under stress, Chalkie reports, and there is not enough capacity to process increasing amounts of milk.

It's time dairying dumped denial


OPINION: It is time to stop bashing the messenger and avoiding the message to dairy farming over water quality.

Farmers doing their bit

Federated Farmers president Bruce Wills.

OPINION: There is an army of determined farmers out there who go to work each day to improve their farm environment.

Farm wage visits welcomed

James Houghton

OPINION: Labour Inspectorate's visit to farms over dairy farming wages is a welcome initiative that provides an opportunity to see where farmers can improve.

Meat industry reforms stall

Lamb carcases.

OPINION: Banks are the ones most likely to decide which NZ meat co-op survives in an industry that needs reform but can't reach a consensus.

When the going gets tough

Pita Alexander

OPINION: The top 10 per cent of farm business couples expect problems and try to eat them for breakfast.

Farmers invest in water solutions

Federated Farmers' dairy leader Willy Leferink

OPINION: We're in the same waka when it comes to water quality, Federated Farmers dairy chairman claims.

Water goals unrealistic

James Houghton

JAMES HOUGHTON - © Fairfax NZ News

OPINION: Farmers are not the only ones who are part of the water quality issues, yet it is deathly quiet in the cities.

Farming image in peril

Cow in a muddy paddock.

OPINION: Farming's biggest challenge is holding onto its preciously held image as an able, statesman-like caretaker of the land and resources.

Fast and dirty death?

Dirty dairying.

OPINION: How many ways does it need to be said? Dairy intensification is killing our country.

Unite to fight rural crime need

Police in a rural area.

OPINION: Information gathering vital in building a network to help protect rural communities.

A peculiar beast

Raw Milk

OPINION: At the offer price of $5.50 a unit, the Fonterra Shareholders Fund float a year ago was a real money maker for those who got a piece of the action.

Trust, transparency essential

Jack Hodder

JAMES HOUGHTON - © Fairfax NZ News

OPINION: Fonterra's reputation affects every single one of us, not just shareholders.

Let's not waste water

Federated Farmers president Bruce Wills.

OPINION: Having a reliable source of water makes sense as does storing it in times of plenty which is surely good business practice.

Water everywhere - so let's use it

Cows in a flooded river.

OPINION: Few countries can match New Zealand in terms of water quality and water availability.

Water should be valued

Rakaia River

OPINION: New Zealand's intensive farming model has a fundamental problem. The cost of water is grossly undervalued - if it's valued at all.

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