Experts to look at promising year ahead

The horticulture industry will hear about the opportunities, challenges, innovation and export growth in the year ahead at its conference in Tauranga next month. American food and agribusiness expert Roland Fumasi has been announced as one of the keynote...... Read More

Dairying and its environmental impact

In addition to the over-application of nutrients from water-soluble and non-bio-friendly fertilisers, it is nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions with high global warming potential and close association with dairying that should be our focus in terms of greenhouse...... Read More

What will be the change kicker?

It was interesting to receive a phone call from a retired economist recently. He rang to say the point made in my last article that farmers were not to blame for the practices resulting in environmental degradation, instead fault lay with the advice...... Read More

How much is enough – and when to stop

It seems we spend our lives tearing around working and earning money with little idea of how much is enough. Enough work? Enough money? During the last boom when farmers were busy buying up the neighbours, my phone rang hot with farmers who were not...... Read More

Farmers have been ’brainwashed’

The Ministry for the Environment and Statistics NZ recently released a damning report showing increasing nitrogen and phosphorus in a percentage of NZ rivers. Surprise surprise. The clean rivers plan, which is sweeping the country, is to drastically...... Read More

Double the amount of rain in five months

The weather has always been reliably unreliable – but at least its overall patterns have until now, been reasonably predictable. Given what we’ve experienced so far this year it appears we now need to prepare for the unexpected all the time. Three...... Read More

Clovers will help clean up Lake Rotorua

Last month I gave a half-hour presentation to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Plan Change 10 hearing committee relating to Lake Rotorua with support persons Anna Mayne and Rotorua-based vet-consultant Hugh Jellie. Anna has developed her Ag...... Read More

Should I take Co Enzyme Q10?

Co Enzyme Q10 – also known as CoQ10 – is a vitamin-like substance essential for life. While we normally make all the CoQ10 we need, some people – because of age, health problems or medications – can benefit from taking extra good...... Read More

Managing Ostertagia parasite challenges

Ostertagia – or brown stomach worm – is a significant problem for all ruminant livestock grazing New Zealand pastures. Infestations of this parasite are harmful to productivity and can ultimately lead to death. It is noticeable from autumn...... Read More

Fewer cows not the answer

Two reports just released reviewing New Zealand’s environmental performance, (OECD and GLOBE NZ) have both called for a substantial reduction in animal livestock numbers. Prime Minister Bill English has stated that the Government has no intention...... Read More

Internal parasite treatment and control

With the warm and moist weather at present, and young stock needing to eat a lot of grass to meet their growing requirements, there will be plenty of exposure to worms. These internal parasites do a lot of damage to young animals in particular, which...... Read More

Don't listen to your neighbour

With so much change these days information is dating real fast. This has always happened but the speed seems to be picking up – and rural subdivision is getting harder. Don’t be under any illusion that the government reforms to the Resource...... Read More

Food security policy needed for NZ

New Zealand produces an abundance of food and exports 60 per cent of our fresh fruit and vegetables to other countries around the world. Horticulture is in a growth phase with export values growing 40 per cent for the two years from June 2014. There...... Read More

We all have a part to play

It looks like all of those warnings we’ve been hearing for at least 20 years about the impacts on weather of climate change have come true – and with vengeance. I said in the April column the weather had been weird, and it just got weirder....... Read More

Excellent fishing when weather allowed

We’ve had a month of mixed weather providing good results on days we could venture out. Starting off strongly we had a good hapuka trip out to Mayor Island with a group of lads from the Taranaki.  As we ventured out from the marina I...... Read More

Consistent management element of success

With many growers recently completing avocado crop forecasts, the reality of the next avocado production volume is starting to hit in many orchards. We are seeing the end of a great season for volume and pricing returns. Congratulations to the exporters...... Read More

Edgecumbe should have been protected

Utter despair – the the feeling when in the blink of an eye your whole life, plans and progress are turned upside down! I live in Hamilton now but the news of the flooding in my hometown of Edgecumbe struck an emotional cord. We have been there. Our...... Read More

Growth in the name of immigration

It seems that the Government is happy to have very open borders, bringing in 70,000 people annually because it keeps growth in the economy. That is probably true, but there are some serious distortions appearing. I also appreciate that these figures...... Read More

Farmers should compare fertiliser

Recently a farmer had contacted me boasting he had just applied a fine prilled lime product at 250kg/ha which he was told by the company selling it was the equivalent of applying 2.5 tonne/ha of standard agricultural lime and how this had saved him a...... Read More

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