PULPIT: Changing topic from dismissive to empowerment

It's now a common expectation of farmers in New Zealand to demonstrate adaptability, innovation and best practice.

And, it’s now well-known that farmers must have the skills of business executives to biologists, engineers to economists and veterinarians to policy analysts too.

PULPIT: Science’s major role in our farming future

I grew up during rapid changes in farming techniques from Blue Stone drenching of sheep for parasite control to anthelmintics, rubber rings for animal castration and tail removal. The wool boom of the late forties and fifties led to dramatic changes in farming practice such as the application of fertiliser by Tiger Moth biplanes, which could only carry a eight-hundred weight payload.

PULPIT: NZ soil carbon stock measurement under way

In the last of the three-part series about soil carbon, Dr Paul Mudge from Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research looks at data gathering under way at different scales to increase knowledge of New Zealand’s soil carbon stocks and how they’re changing with time.

PULPIT: Soil carbon influences climate, farm productivity

In the first of three articles about soil carbon, Prof Louis Schipper from the University of Waikato explains why soil carbon matters to farmers, what influences it and what we currently know about carbon stocks in New Zealand’s pastoral soils.

PULPIT: Animal welfare is not black-and-white

I reply to your opinion writer Alan Emerson regarding my knowledge of vets.

My father was a large animal vet and was second in command of the practice which had seven to 10 vets.

PULPIT: Don’t just follow the sheep

Uncertainty is everywhere. 

Many industries and sectors are reeling from the dramatic impact of covid-19. Strategists are out in force helping business owners and executives work out the ‘where to next?’. 

PULPIT: Light at the end of long, winding NZ wool tunnel

The trials and tribulations of the sheep wool industry have been well-aired over the years. Anyone who has taken an interest in the industry, specifically in crossbred wool, will know farmers are currently facing such low prices that it has been uneconomic in some cases to even shift the wool off their farms.

PULPIT: Input v output-based regulation

The impact of farming on the environment is facing scrutiny and significant policy reform is underway, but it’s critical New Zealand has a conversation about whether we want input-based or output-based regulation.