Professor Steve Morris, Massey University: The New Zealand Beef Cow

December 1, 2016

If you farm beef cows, you’ll want to listen to this interview with Professor Steve Morris of Massey University, who has been the leading beef cattle researcher in New Zealand for some time. Recorded on a Red Meat Profit Partnership conference call, Steve discusses whether beef cows still have a place on sheep and beef farms, and what that role is; what are the KPI’s that farmers should set for their cows and how important is Body Condition Scoring to top performance and profitability. Many other topics are covered such as ideal cow size, what to look for when selecting bulls, the importance of identifying your target market, how to minimise calving difficulties, yard weaning in New Zealand systems and whether confinement feeding has a place.


Dr Neale Towers and Robert Carter: Facing up to Facial Eczema

November 22, 2016

On this RMPP conference call from 16 November 2016, we discuss facial eczema – its causes, and how farmers of sheep, cattle and deer can avoid, remedy or mitigate its impacts. Robert Carter is Chair of the Facial Eczema Working Group that brings together sheep, beef, deer and dairy industries, and Dr Neale Towers has worked on FE matters for most of his career. As well as detailed discussion of the fungus that causes the problem and the risk factors, we discuss what farmers should be monitoring for pastures and animals, and the methods that are proven to make a beneficial difference.


Dr Doug Edmeades: Making the most of your fertiliser

October 21, 2016

Fertiliser and lime account for about 20% of Farm Working Expenses on a typical New Zealand sheep and beef farm. Dr Doug Edmeades shares his advice on how to optimise that spend by monitoring soils, clovers and pastures, as well as considering the components of fertiliser and lime – not just the product as a whole. He discusses the importance of focussing on the weakest link (the most limiting nutrient) and he answers listeners’ questions. The topics covered include: the rise in potassium deficiency on sheep and beef farms; cost/benefit analyses of nutrient application; what phosphate retention means; economic optimums for soil fertility and pH, and how to apply them to different blocks in your farm; the benefits and unlikely risks of molybdenum; how lime works and how to use it effectively; and how we feed the all-important soil flora and fauna.


David Stevens: The Lamb Weaning Decision

September 21, 2016

When should we wean lambs? Why? What information should we gather to inform the decision, or do we just go off the calendar? Dr David Stevens is a Senior Scientist in the AgResearch Farm Systems Team. He’s based at Invermay and works with farmers across New Zealand and around the world on questions like these. On this podcast he gives his thoughts on what farmers should be assessing, and we also talk about the critical factors to get right in the lead up to weaning, to achieve high lamb weights and top performance after weaning. Plus we cover some other topics such as bearings and tail length. For some associated reading, check out our factsheet 

Lactation, lamb growth and the lamb weaning decision


Derrick Moot: Lucerne and other dryland legumes

August 24, 2016

Derrick Moot is Professor in Plant Science at Lincoln University. On this Red Meat Profit Partnership conference call from 17 August 2016 he discusses the importance of legumes, especially lucerne, in dryland farm systems. We discuss establishment and management for grazing and supplement, and answer listeners’ questions.


B+LNZ Farmer Consultation 2016

August 2, 2016

James Parsons, Beef + Lamb New Zealand's chair and farmer director for the Northern North Island, talks about the proposed new approach to market development and the review of B+LNZ's Constitution. For more information, visit the Farmer Consultation 2016 page on our website.


Richard Whittington: Johne’s Disease

July 20, 2016

This Red Meat Profit Partnership conference call from 18 July 2016 discusses the diagnosis, control and management of Johne’s Disease (JD) in livestock. The Johne’s Disease Research Consortium (JDRC) was set up in 2008 by Beef + Lamb New Zealand, DairyNZ and Deer Industry New Zealand to bring some coordinated effort to the study of JD in NZ - and specifically, to develop tools for NZ farmers to manage JD on-farm. The bacterium is widespread in NZ ruminants, but the levels of clinical disease are relatively low. Richard Whittington is a professor in the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney, and was in NZ to speak to producers and researchers at a JDRC workshop. He holds a wealth of knowledge around diagnostics and sheep and control programmes for JD.


Craig Hickson and Mike Petersen: The New Zealand Red Meat Industry

July 6, 2016

Craig Hickson is the founder and owner of Progressive Meats Limited. In this 2013 podcast he talks with Mike Petersen, then chair of Beef + Lamb New Zealand and now New Zealand Special Agricultural Trade Envoy, about his experiences in the industry and what he sees as the inherent industry characteristics we all need to be aware of.


Mike Barton: Farming with limits - the Lake Taupo experience

June 20, 2016
Mike and Sharon Barton farm beside Lake Taupo, and have had to adapt to tight controls on nitrogen leaching. In this podcast from April 2013, Mike talks with B+LNZ Environment Extension Manager Erica van Reenen about their experiences, how they have adapted to the situation, and the possibilities certified good stewardship can open up for primary production.


Jim Gibbs: Making the most of fodder beet

June 9, 2016

Fodder beet has been described as a ‘game changer’ for beef farming. It is widely used for dairy cattle wintering, and there is growing interest in using it for sheep. Dr Jim Gibbs, of Lincoln University, has been at the forefront of fodder beet research and uptake over the past decade. On this Red Meat Profit Partnership conference call, he discusses how to maximise animal productivity with fodder beet and the guidelines for feeding it to stock.