An inspiring start to farming life – Diane Bishop:
The Otago Southland farmer names Tangaroa Walker as its 2012 newsmaker of the year.
The world is Tangaroa Walker’s oyster.
Since winning the Ahuwhenua Young Maori Trainee-Cadet of the Year Award in June last year, he has taken up a lower order sharemilking position on the farm he previously managed at Rimu, near Invercargill.
“I’m really loving it,” Tangaroa said. . .
Beekeepers eschew kiwifruit orchards as Psa sprays create ‘hazard’ - Jonathan Underhill:
Some beekeepers have pulled their hives out of kiwifruit orchards, concerned that sprays used to control the Psa vine-wilting bacteria are the latest hazard for an under-siege bee population.
“More than one beekeeper has withdrawn their hives,” said John Hartnell, honey exporter and bees spokesman at Federated Farmers. He wouldn’t put his own hives on a kiwifruit orchard, saying “that would destroy my business overnight.” . . .
Varroa spread takes heavy toll – Tim Cronshaw:
Some South Island beekeepers with hives freshly exposed to varroa mites have lost up to 25 per cent of their bees.
They have been forced to replenish their hives with new bees by putting in a man- grafted queen cell in the top box of a non-infected colony and shifting it across to restore a full population.
Varroa has continued its run to as far south as Invercargill now, with the few remaining pockets in the South Island expected to be infected by autumn. . .
Pasture for dairy cows under trial - Terri Russell:
A Southland agricultural research centre is participating in its first trial of grass that will be grazed by dairy cows instead of sheep, a likely result of the shift to dairying in Southland, the centre manager says.
Woodlands Research Station is one of four sites throughout New Zealand hosting the trial, run by DairyNZ and AgResearch, to measure the growth of different pasture varieties.
The centre is monitoring eight varieties of grass over five years and across 20 paddocks. . .
Outlook cloudy for 2013 – Allan Barber:
As we head into the New Year, the Christmas break has provided an opportunity to consider how the meat industry is likely to pan out during 2013. But literally as I write this speculative opinion piece, the fate of the American economy is still uncertain – although the Senate approved a restructured deal on taxes and expenditure yesterday, Republican dominated Congress has yet again balked at reaching an acceptable conclusion.
By the time you read this, the situation will no doubt have changed again for the better or the worse, but it isn’t easy to predict which. . .
Farmers are taking quad bike safety seriously, but the latest incident in the Hawke’s Bay, again highlights this message is not getting through to recreational users.
“Recreational users, quad bikes and alcohol are a cocktail for disaster,” says Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers spokesperson for health and safety.
“While many farmers are heeding the safety message, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment need to find a better way to convey safety when it comes to recreational users. . .