A wealth
of knowledge
and experience

Early Weaning Weighed Up

Early weaning means cow intake can be slashed and high-quality feed redeployed. Whether it pays depends on how you use it, AgFirst’s Bob Thomson says.

If you’re not targeting autumn calf sales as your main payday from beef farming there can be a strong case for weaning calves considerably earlier than traditional timings, drought or no drought. Andrew Swallow reports.

Accurate Entry of Overseer Data Vital

AgFirst farm consultant Dave Miller said high leaching farmers needed to maintain a close check on their numbers when submitting their nitrogen reference point as required under the Healthy Rivers plan for change. 

Do It Once, Do It Right

With a young family and plenty of daily jobs to do on farm each day, Don and Kathy McKinnon want to ensure they can manage their effluent as effectively as possible without any unnecessary work. They milk 180 kiwicross cows on the farm they have been operating for the last 10 years at Opiki south of Palmerston North.

Get a Plan

Regional council water and nutrient plans coming into force around the country vary in what farmers are required to do to become compliant. But common to most is the recommendation or requirement - as in Canterbury and the Tukituki catchment in the Hawke's Bay - to complete a farm environment plan (FEP).

Don’t Go It Alone

Have you thought about who’ll be on your advisory team in the coming season? Or how to
get the most from your team? AgFirst Waikato director and agricultural consultant Nico
Mouton shares some helpful tips. 

Farmers Look for Stock to Manage Grass Surplus

Manawatu farmers with an abundance of grass are dipping into the store market as rain hits the region again. A dull, windy and wet summer has generated strong pasture growth on many farms, say farmers. AgFirst consultant Erica van Reenen said grass growth had been "top notch" for this time of the year with regular rain and warm temperatures, but lambs needed some sunshine to perform well.

FarmTune Programme

Easier, Better, Faster, Safer
Attend these proven workshops with your team and get practical
tools that:
• Can improve all areas of your business (inside the dairy,
farm office, farm workshop/toolshed, health and safety).
• Are low cost solutions that add to your bottom line.
• Teach you and your team how to root out waste and inefficiencies
• Help you and your team create simple, procedures which make training easier.

Rising to the Challenge

Tararua farmers Blair and Robert Castles have not let the threat of Horizons Regional Councils One Plan being challenged in court put them off completing their consent to farm the sensitive upper Manawatu catchment. They told Jackie Harrigan how they found it a positive experience.

Consultant Hones Skills for New Farming Demands

As farmer are increasingly required to walk a tightrope between environmental compliance and farm profitability, the demands on consultants is growing. Stacey Belton is a former DairyNZ scholarship recipient who's now helping farmers understand what's expected of them.

Hilton Collier – Ngati Porou

His life mission is to continue to push the development of tribally-owned lands is now being connected to the users and consumers of the products from the farms he works with.