Rural round-up

Red meat earnings potential missed – Andrea Fox:

It’s time red meat and fibre farmers woke up to the potential to lift their earnings that is right under their noses instead of blaming meat companies and markets and the dairy industry.

That’s the crux of the message to farmers at workshops highlighting missed earning opportunities due to lack of business planning and constant measurement of production performance.

Presented by ANZ, the country’s biggest rural lending bank as part of its red meat industry extension commitment, and agribusiness consultant Will Wilson, the ongoing workshops hammer the message that the most opportunities for beef and sheep farmers exist in their paddocks, not beyond the farmgate.

Beehive thefts annoy bee keepers – Kirsty Lawrence:

Beekeepers are wondering what more they can do to protect their hives as the prosecution rate for theft remains low.

In the past year, 375 beehives have been reported stolen between Palmerston North and Whanganui, a distance of about 75 kilometres.

In Northland, about $500,000 worth of hives were stolen earlier this year.

A 50-year-old salesman from rural Palmerston North has been charged with stealing eight beehives in Manawatu recently. . .

What about the rabbits? – Kate Guthrie:

If we knock back ferrets and feral cats will rabbit numbers soar? It is a concern that’s frequently raised, particularly in farming areas where rabbit control is already an issue. As rabbits are the main prey of ferrets and feral cats, it seems intuitively logical that rabbits will thrive without their predators. But there is a lot more going on with respect to what really controls rabbit numbers – as research into rabbit population dynamics reveals.

In response to the farming community’s concerns, Landcare Research scientists Grant Norbury and Chris Jones reviewed the current research literature on rabbits. . . .

A welcome for the shearers – Anne Hughes:

Running the shearing shed can be physically and mentally demanding. The lead-up to shearing requires good planning to bring sheep to the yards, allocate grazing after shearing and maximise returns from your wool clip.

This usually means lots of mustering and long days in the yards, especially when shearing is combined with weaning and drenching.


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No farmer, no food.

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