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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Bob Thomson is an agricultural consultant with AgFirst, based in Hamilton. Bob knows beef farming inside and out - and on this call he talks about the secrets to success, the opportunities for both beef cows and high-performance beef finishing, and answers questions.