The Hound understands that Mike Petersen’s time as NZ agriculture’s special trade envoy will soon end.
If taking dust baths and rolling around in the mud are your favourite pastime, you're bound to get pretty dirty. But for New Zealand's top ranked bull, LIC's Howies Checkpoint, it is also a great reason to be treated to the full spa experience.
Farmer royalty will gather this month to acknowledge the best breeding brains, and bulls, in the country.
A new innovation means farmers can set up drafting of cows for the next milking from wherever they happen to be, and in the time it takes to send a text.
On a farm just out of Te Awamutu, there is an immense rivalry going on. The purpose of the rivalry is to be identified as the best Holstein Friesian 2-year-old in a group of heifers that have been genomically identified as genetically superior.
Imporving their six-week in-calf rate by just 10% means the average New Zealand dairy farmer (386 cows) stands to benefit from an additional $15,440 (based on a $5.50/kgMS payout).
Farmers who used new genomic technology from their cooperative, LIC, in 2008 and 2009 will shortly receive a credit for the premium they paid for the product in those two years.
One of New Zealand's budding scientists will travel abroad later this year to complete his PhD, after winning the 2012 Doctoral Studentship Award from LIC.
"Pasture management is where the farming system starts," says Morrinsville dairy farmer Johan van Ras. In the order of things it comes before animal health because if you haven't got this right, your business can't perform.