Rural round-up

July 16, 2019

Saving the planet one post at a time – Mark Daniel:

Working as a farmer and fencing contractor for 15 years made Jerome Wenzlick very familiar with fence posts — now he’s “saving the planet one post at a time”.

Over these 15 years, Wenzlick says he saw quality slipping, wastage rising because of breaking posts and at times post availability was a problem.

He had a ‘eureka moment’ during a fencing job next to an old rubbish dump where he had posts breaking on plastics hidden below the surface.

“Surely if plastics are this tough we should be making fence posts from them,” he mused. . . 

The nation’s least worst farmers – Luke Chivers:

Banks Peninsula farmer and self-confessed radical Roger Beattie is never short of new ideas for the primary sector. Luke Chivers visited him to hear about some of the maverick’s pet projects.

On the south side of Banks Peninsula, where the wind gives the tussocks a permanent bend and the next stop is Antarctica, Roger Beattie is mustering his next big plan.

The wild sheep breeder, blue pearl and kelp harvester and would-be weka farmer wants to explain how unique foods and fibres can be produced by combining the diversity of nature with Kiwi can-do ingenuity. . .

How to make $700 a day from trees – Steve Wyn-Harris:

Let us talk about planting trees.

It is, after all, the season for doing just that.

I’m not planting the big numbers I once did, mainly because I’ve filled in all the places where trees were a better option but partly because I’m slowing down.

I’ve planted something like 60,000 trees myself, which sounds reasonably impressive until I mention 30,000 were pine trees. . .

From the ground up – Maureen Howard:

We’ll need to feed extra billions by mid century while being kinder to the land and reducing planet-heating carbon emissions to zero. The challenge has prompted some to call for a great food transition.  Maureen Howard talks to a farmer playing his part.

“It’s like cottage cheese, but black,” says Peter Barrett of the soil that lies beneath Linnburn Station, his 9300ha beef and sheep station at Paerau in Central Otago.

Above ground, depending on the time of year, sheep may be spotted grazing beneath the gaze of yellow sunflowers, surrounded by a mix of up to 30 other plant species.

Not just a pretty postcard, Linnburn Station is home to 25,000 winter stock units. In fact, this is farming close the limits. Much of the terrain is exposed rocky high country and for the past two years, the already low mean annual rainfall has declined to just 170mm. Temperatures fluctuate from below zero to 40degC. . .

The record-setting $10,000 dog – Sally Rae:

This is the story of a dog called Jack.

Bear with, as it can get a little confusing given that Jack – sold for a record price of $10,000 at last week’s PGG Wrightson Ashburton dog sale at Mayfield – was bred by another Jack.

Lake Hawea Station farm manager Jack Mansfield (24) bred Jack the heading dog, giving him to his great-uncle, renowned triallist Peter Boys, when the pup was 2 months old.

Mr Boys owned Jack’s sire and it was “general rule of thumb” to give a pup in return.

Mr Boys, a retired farmer who lives in Timaru, named the pup Jack and trained him up. . .

Rural Safety and Health Alliance kicks off – Sharon O’Keeffe:

Sometimes you need to go back to square one when tackling something as important as farm safety, particularly when there hasn’t been a significant improvement in the statistics.

A new partnership of rural research and development corporations is investing in a fresh approach to improve primary production’s health and safety record centred on innovative research and extension.

The partnership, called the Rural Safety and Health Alliance will invest in practical extension solutions informed by industry input on work, health and safety risks. . . .

 


Rural round-up

June 2, 2014

Dairy growth transforms High Country –  Graeme Acton:

The dry grasslands of the South Island’s Mackenzie Country are a truly iconic New Zealand location. But Insight investigates how much pressure the landscape might face from plans to increase dairying.

The Mackenzie Country is a tough and unforgiving land where farming is difficult, and where generations of New Zealand farming families have struggled with snow and ice, drought and pests.

But the Mackenzie Country is undergoing a transformation, a quiet revolution where the tussock is giving way to ryegrass, and where the sheep are slowly being replaced by dairy cows.

Irrigation in the Mackenzie raises two vital issues: the protection of water quality and the protection of the current landscape. . .

 Fashion stores get the wool message – Patrick O’Sullivan:

Shepherds mixed with shopkeepers and fashion designers stroked city sheep at the launch of Wool Week on Monday.

The “We’re Loving Wool!” message is being spread throughout the nation’s cities this week, thanks to Primary Wool Co-operative sponsorship.

The launch was at Auckland’s Britomart, where the country’s top designers were in attendance.

Zambesi’s Liz Findlay, Campaign for Wool New Zealand Fashion ambassador, shared the impact of wool on her clothing collections. . .

 Gypsy Day marks homecoming for Waikato farmer –  Erin Majurey:

Watch out on rural Waikato roads this weekend.

It’s likely to be busy as farmers pack up their troubles and head to pastures new for the start of the next dairy season.

It culminates tomorrow with what has become known as Gypsy Day – the day when contracts are up and farms change hands.

Many have spent this week packing boxes and cleaning their ovens preparing for moving day, when they will march their stock down the road only to pick up where they left off.

Among them is Ruakura herd manager Joel Baldwin who is heading home to Putaruru.

Baldwin, 24, will start sharemilking on his father Gray’s farm. . .

 Gypsy Day challenges some schools:

A rural principal says while Gypsy Day means a lot of work for farmers, it’s also a difficult time for country schools.

The first day of June marks the start of the new dairy season, and sharemilkers around New Zealand are shifting farms to start new contracts.

The principal of Lauriston School in mid-Canterbury, Dianne Pendergast, says the uncertainty of where pupils and their families will be can be stressful for teachers trying to plan class sizes. . . .

 

Still keen to see who’s top dog – Sahban Kanwal:

Peter Boys has been dog trialling for 50 years and he is still going strong.

Boys, from Timaru, has been competing for as long as he can remember and he does not have any plans to quit soon.

“I am going to compete for as long as I can – I still have about 10 years left in me,” he said, as he finished his turn in this year’s New Zealand and South Island Sheep Dog Trials Championships, at Waihi Station near Geraldine.

Boys’ dog, 4-year-old Jem, is not quite as old a hand at the championships as her owner, and according to Boys, she has maybe another six years of participating in these events. . . .

http://worldtruth.tv/


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