Large farms have more eco-options – Colin Williscroft:
Harder hill country farms have more options for increasing productivity and eco-efficiency than easy hill country farms, AgResearch scientist Alec Mackay says.
Farmers on extensive sheep and beef farms on hard hill country can continue to make production and eco-efficiency gains by increasing the reproductive performance of ewes and lamb weaning and growth rates, he told the Animal Production Society’s annual conference.
They can shift from breeding cows and older cattle to buying and finishing younger cattle. . .
Stinginess upsets plant breeders – Richard Rennie:
The Government has been accused of leaving plant breeders short when it comes to addressing Treaty of Waitangi issues around plant variety rights.
Policy makers are in the process of seeking breeder input on the revised Plant Variety Act to better protect breeders and their seed and germplasm.
Maximum fines are only $1000 and offer little disincentive to the theft of plant intellectual property. . .
Steak award gives company confidence – Sally Rae:
It’s a long way from Mataura to Dublin.
But that was the journey taken by Alliance Group’s steak, which won a gold medal in the World Steak Challenge in Ireland.
The company’s Pure South handpicked 55-day aged beef, processed at its Mataura plant, won a gold medal for ribeye and a bronze medal for fillet.
There were more than 300 entries from 25 countries and the title of world’s best steak was awarded to a grass-fed Ayrshire ribeye steak reared in Finland and entered by JN Meat International, from Denmark . . .
A survey of New Zealand companies involved in the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme has garnered positive results.
The survey, by Immigration New Zealand, shows 45 percent of the RSE members grew their businesses as a result of employing workers from the Pacific.
Immigration’s Pacifica Labour and Skills Manager, George Rarere, said a stable, seasonal workforce meant more employers were able to expand, invest more in equipment and offer jobs to locals. . .
Flexi-milking – same Milk more sleep – Anne Hardie:
Flexible milking frequencies have proved a solution to a Westport farm’s problems with dry summers, Anne Hardie reports.
Last season John and Jo Milne milked their cows twice a day, 3 in 2, 10 in 7 and once a day to achieve good production results during a severe drought on their Westport farm and plenty of sleep-ins.
You read it right – 10 in 7. From mid-December to the end of February they were milking the cows 10 times during the week which meant twice a day (TAD) on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, then once a day (OAD) on the other days. And through the season they changed milking frequencies four times. . .
Exciting year in dairy for Kimberley – Yvonne O’Hara:
Kimberley Simmons (15) is passionate about dairy cows and has had an excellent year so far, dairy-wise.
It has included a trip to International Dairy Week in Australia in January, and a win in a national competition last month.
The Menzies College year 10 pupil lives with her parents Teena and Sandy and brother Jack on a 61ha property near Dacre.
The family runs 175 cows and several chickens, and they have three studs – the Brydale Jersey Stud, the Lowburn Milking Shorthorn Stud and the Lowburn Holstein Friesian Stud. . .