Lessons from many mentors

Pita Alexander tracks his many mentors through a long working career.

My first boss was my mother and she was a quiet achiever who pulled me into getting things done rather than pushing me.

Internet in the land of the long trenches

New Zealand faces higher costs than other countries in developing a broadband network.

OPINION: Just comparing New Zealand's broadband prices with those overseas is simplistic because costs are higher here.

Trapped in a cage

Science time is immeasurable. "I spent 10 years studying the problems related to soil acidity in New Zealand and still there is work to be done," says Doug Edmeades.

The CRI Act has trapped science in an inappropriate framework, writes Doug Edmeades.

It's cow heaven

There are an estimated 650 free-stall cow barns in New Zealand.

OPINION: Keith Woodford sees a tortured path ahead to new dairy systems that meet environmental, animal welfare and economic criteria.

Anti-farming nutters are at it again

Jon Morgan, the editor of weekly agricultural paper, NZ Farmer, has strong views on recent controversies surrounding a large shipment of livestock from New Zealand to Mexico.

OPINION: No-one likes to see an animal suffer and it appears we're more vigilant about this than we are about anything else, including child cruelty.

How the animal rights argument got skewed

The livestock carrier Nada  leaves the Port of Timaru with 50 000 lambs and 3000 cattle.

Come clean on live animal shipments

Treating animals well is part of the Kiwi culture

New Zealand animal welfare standards are  amongst the highest the world.

OPINION: Animal welfare matters to New Zealanders and to the Primary Industries Ministry, writes Scott Gallacher

Editorial: Work safety bill suffering death by 1000 cuts

Pike River manager Steve Ellis and engineering manager Rob Ridl look at the memorial board containing the 29 men's tags near the entrance to the mine.

OPINION: New Zealand has a shameful work safety record, one of the worst in the West.

NZ needs to stop putting animals in floating prisons

Livestock being loaded aboard the Nada, docked at the Timaru Port.

OPINION: What is the point of animal protection laws when they are so ineffective at ensuring animal welfare?

McScience hard to swallow

Today's Dr McScience spends little time out in the field doing science.

Agricultural research is a shambles.

Biofuels, grain and the American Midwest

Farmer Dan Roberts inspects his corn crops during harvest in Minooka, Illinois.

Keith Woodford ponders the influences on grain and dairy prices swirling around the American Midwest states.

New tax rules for farmers

Cow Gas, Burp and Fart emisions to be taxed. Farm in Methvan. DAIRY COWS CATTLE
Pic Jane Sanders
Story Keri Welham

OPINION: IRD clarifies the method dairy farmers should use to claim tax deductions on loans from New Zealand Dairy Farming Trusts.

Quick changes do more harm than good

Banks are encouraging farmers to maintain expenditure where that expenditure feeds directly into income, says Keith Woodford.

It’s a time for dairy farmers to hunker down, but not lie doggo, says Keith Woodford.

Don’t take my word for it

Doug Edmeades  breaks his rule and responds to a letter to the editor questioning his intellectual honesty.

Doug Edmeades breaks his rule and responds to a letter to the editor questioning his intellectual honesty.

Education the key to farm safety

Jane Ward from Colyton, Manawatu, learns safe quad bike riding with David Skiffington from FarmSafe.

OPINION: A punitive approach to farm safety will not work, writes Federated Farmers' Katie Milne.

Better off at Pak 'n' Save?

Dairy farmer Lyn Webster.

OPINION: A positive attitude is all very well and good but if the money ain't there, you can't last very long.

Rural communities face challenge

Stew Wadey is chair of the Matamata District Federated Farmers.

Our rural communities are well aware now of what the challenges the substantial reduction of income forecast for our dairy industry participants will actually mean.

Dairy industry critics need to tell both sides

Federated Farmers dairy chairman Andrew Hoggard.

OPINION: Recent report on the cost of NZ's dairy industry needs to look further than evidence that suits its needs.

Our 'magic mantle' is something to celebrate

Treat soils like a baby  - keep them warm, don't let them get waterlogged and feed them properly.

OPINION: It’s more than the dirt you find under your fingernails. Soil is a living breathing thing of noble beauty.

Unhappy farmer still backing Fonterra

Andrew McGiven says farmers risked eroding Fonterra's collective strength if they leave the co-operative  to chase a perceived short term advantage.

OPINION: Farmers risked eroding Fonterra's collective strength if they leave the co-operative to chase a perceived short term advantage.

The end is nigh! No, not quite yet

The urea plant at Kapuni, South Taranaki. If fertiliser N was banned it would condemn 3 billion people to death.

Doug Edmeades says the old saw is correct: It’s difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.

Difficult decisions ahead as low payout starts to bite

Lyn Webster says she has some hard decisions to make in order to find an effective strategy to get through the next season.

OPINION: It seems to me that Fonterra cannot pay its suppliers a decent milk price two seasons in a row.

Our Australian neighbours

Our Australian neighbours look to be in good nick.

OPINION: We don't need to love - or even like our neighbour, but if we are going to borrow or do business with them then you must do your homework.

How to save the sheep industry

11012013     INLAND     photo: WARWICK SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ 
First lamb sale of the yearat Feilding Saleyards. PGG Wrightson Stock Agent Dan Flanagan.

Clive Dalton offers 11 pointers on how to arrest the decline of the sheep industry.

Council picking rates favourites

The Waipa District Council is leaning on farmers to carry an increasing burden of rates, over and above what is reasonable for the services they receive, Chris Lewis says.

OPINION: Council's 180 degree turn on rating mix that increases rates disproportionately causing angst in a rural community.

Kernels of truth in the chaff

The Earth from the space station. It is unlikely that the science asserting the Earth is a sphere will be contradicted.

Science is open and self-correcting, unlike the 'isms' based on faith or dogma.

Opinions welcomed at Fed Farmers

Australia's share of global dairy trade fell from 15 per cent to 7 per cent between 2002 and 2012.

OPINION: Federated Farmers' flourishes when members have shown passion for a topic and offered to roll up their sleeves.

GMP not the answer for combating low payout

15/09/2013. NEWS. ROBYN EDIE/. Entering into Fonterra's Guaranteed Milk Price scheme is hard decision to make at the beginning of the season when farmers are busy with calving.

OPINION: Oh bugger – I seem to have lost my crystal ball.

The longevity of Country Calendar?

Country Calendar cameraman Richard Williams and soundie Don Paulin share a joke with Debbie Campbell in the greenhouse.

for Country Calendar story, SST April 5 first use

OPINION: Country Calendar is a television mystery. Why has a TV programme about farming not just survived, but flourished, over two generations?

Council should rethink TB funding position

Animal Health Board ground control contractor traps possums in a high-risk bovine tuberculosis (TB) area.

OPINION: OSPRI’s Peter Alsop is adamant the Waikato Regional Council needs to rethink its position on tuberculosis funding.

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