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Farmer decision making with regard to Climate Change and Biological Gas Emissions

AgFirst have undertaken a literature review and analysis of Farmer decision making with regard to Climate Change and Biological Gas Emissions. The report has been prepared for the Biological Emissions Reference Group (BERG).

Observations on effects of forestry on marginal land

Article by Bob Cathcart of AgFirst Northland dated April 2017 on 'Observations on effects of Forestry on marginal land inland of Kawakawa'.

The effects of Exotic Forests on Soil

Article by Bob Cathcart of AgFirst Northland dated October 2017 on 'The Effects of Exotic Forests on Soil, Ground Water, Water Quality, Air Quality and Native Flora and Fauna'

Massey University Ag Student Winners

Congratulations to Erica from AgFirst Manawatu-Whanganui who received the Massey Agriculture Alumni Achievement Award.  We would also like to congratulate Sam Pike (who is a part time employee at AgFirst Manawatu-Whanganui) for receiving the NZ Institute of Ag and Hort Science Leading Student Award. Click here to see the full article

Good Financial Reasons to Produce Beef from Dairy Herds

There are compelling reasons for dairy farmers to increase the supply of beef calves from dairy cows, says a farm consultant.

Dairy farmers would welcome the additional beef income and the calves were easier to sell, but First farm consultant Bob Thomson is warning farmers against using just any beef bull.

He said a dairy-beef calf might not be required as a heifer replacement in the dairy herd and was therefore surplus to requirements, but farmers stood to earn a lot more if they used proven beef genetics.

Dairy Beef Programme Launched

A new dairy beef programme has been launched by farm consultancy group AgFirst and Hamilton-based meat processor Greenlea to help promote better use of beef genetics among dairy farmers.

Beef genetics are an increasingly popular option for dairy farmers because resulting calves from mated dairy cows are fetching good values at four-day-old calf sales around the country.

The programme requires farmers to commit to a minimum of 100 straws of either Hereford, Angus or Simmental genetics that are to be mated with mature cows. Dairy farmers in the pilot scheme would receive free beef semen for insemination.

Sharemilking Agreements – Is it time for an upgrade?

Dave Miller seems to think so, and his opinion is based on research into the industry which AgFirst carried out over the last season. This discovered the number of Herd Owning Sharemilking arrangements was dropping, and more Variable Order Sharemilkers were turning to Contract Milking arrangements. The reason appears to be because of milk price volatility.

How to Rear Valuable Calves

The challenge to create a better value proposition for rearing dairy-beef calves is compelling and one the dairy and beef industries are acutely aware of.

Top in Rural Consulting

Belton was one of three category winners announced at the Rural Professional of the Year Awards last week. The judges were impressed with the calibre of the five candidates and said there was little separating them.

Role of Nitrogen Fertiliser to Lift Lamb Weaning Weights

A recent study confirmed that lamb weaning weight is king when it comes to sheep profitability. Weaning percentage is important too, but a 1 kg increase in weaning weight is equivalent to a 5% increase in lambs weaned. With lambing just around the corner there is management decisions to be made now to ensure a high weaning weight.