Centralisation adds simplicity, savings

Centralising the administration of the use of 1080 and other pesticides is expected to save taxpayers and users $11 million over the next 20 years.

Keeping BVD out the best option

A Hamilton pathology company hopes a shift in focus around bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) detection will significantly reduce its occurrence in cattle herds.

Green kiwifruit volumes falling

A difficult spring flowering, wet conditions to Christmas and a touch of Psa have all contributed to a slide in expected Green kiwifruit volumes in the coming harvest.

Sheep measles low but vigilance still needed

While sheep measles prevalence had remained low over the past season, storm infections had cost some farmers up to $30,000 in lost revenue, Ovis Management project manager Dan Lynch says.

Foresters fear tree disease entry

A disease running rife in forests overseas could devastate the New Zealand timber industry in a way similar to Psa in kiwifruit should it ever end up on local shores

From the ground up

Lameness in sheep causes wastage through early culling and reduced stock performance. Not only that, it’s hard to be satisfied with your flock if there are hobblers at the back or knee-grazing going on.

Recording lameness type helps

This is a story that illustrates how recording the type of lameness you have can help manage lameness on your farm.

Different types of lameness have different risk factors. In this case, the farmer noticed an increase in sole injury when previously the main issue had been white line problems.

This showed there were new risk factors onfarm that needed to be identified.

Some years ago I was called in to help a farmer who had a lameness problem.

It was a farm milking about 600 cows. I remember the phone call from the farmer.

“The reason I am ringing for help,” he said, “is that I have had more than 150 lame cows this season and there are still three months to go until drying off.

Breeding for tolerance

Introduction of facial eczema-tolerant genetics into the Whakamarumaru Station sheep flock five years ago is starting to pay dividends for owner Mark Nelson.

The station, at Crownthorpe in Hawke’s Bay, is in an area noted for being a facial eczema (FE) hotspot and the disease has previously been a problem for the traditionally summer dry property.

The property has been in Nelson’s family since 1900 and he is the fifth generation to farm Whakamarumaru. Nelson is manager and part-owner, along with other family members.

The station runs a breeding herd of 220 Devon-Angus cross cattle, with a further 20-30 yearling cattle put to a low-weight bull if they are up to a target weight of 380kg.

A mob of 500-600 mixed-age ewes go to a Suffolk ram on January 3 and the rest of the breeding flock, about 3000 ewes, go to a Romney ram on March 10.

Nelson aims to hit the Christmas market with the early lambs and they are gone by the middle of November. They aim to finish all lambs and achieve an average of about 19kg carcaseweight.

Bovine viral diarrhoea – a cautionary tale

Bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) is a surprisingly common viral disease of cattle and other ruminants.

It is serious and widespread in New Zealand with an estimated 60% of dairy and beef cows having been exposed to the disease.

BVD infection can have major impacts during mating and pregnancy.

It can cause infertility, embryo loss, abortions (slips), small slow-growing calves, deformed calves, and the birth of dead calves.

The most damage is done when BVD infects pregnant cows. If a cow contracts BVD in the first four months of pregnancy while the developing calf’s own immune system is forming, she could give birth to a persistently infected (PI) calf.

PI animals are the main source of infection within a herd.