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Episode 19 – Reducing fertiliser costs without compromising fertility

Fertiliser has famously gotten more expensive, but with the introduction of a wholesale fertiliser company, is the market is about to change? Sheryl Haitana talks to farmers and experts about this market shake-up and discovers ways farmers have been able to manage their fertiliser costs and nutrient footprint, including using variable rate fertiliser applications, and annual soil testing.

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Shade Trees for Cows & Profit

Trees could be making a comeback on the Canterbury Plains as the area looks to become more resilient to climate change – and pines may not get a look in.
Words Delwyn Dickey

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Episode 18 – Outstanding in their field

The Dairy Industry Awards took place in Queenstown last weekend, and host Sheryl Haitana takes the opportunity to talk to those leading the way in the dairy sector. Guests include: Will Hinton & Kali Rangiawha, Share Farmers of the Year; Kieran McCahon, Dairy Manager of the Year; Kirwyn Ellis, Dairy Trainee of the Year.

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National DIA Award winners

The trophy for the National Share Farmer of the Year has gone home to the Mighty Manawatu this year and the National Dairy Manager of the Year has its first Northland manager engraved on it.

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Pasture Health Check

Thinking ahead can have a significant impact on the success of your season. We talk to Graham Kerr from Barenbrug about the importance of undersowing.

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Episode 17 – Celebrating women in dairy

The DWN’s 2024 “Enhance, Elevate, Evolve” conference was held in New Plymouth last week. Sheryl Haitana takes the opportunity to talk to Katrina Roberts, Fonterra Woman of the Year; Jules Benton, CEO of DWN; and Rebecca O’Brien, DWN Regional Winner of the Year.

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Change Takes Time

The journey to organic dairy farming, building biodiversity, removing synthetic fertiliser and breathing life back into the soil does not happen overnight, but it starts by digging a hole.
Words Sheryl Haitana & Sarah Perriam-Lampp. Photos Camilla Rutherford, Sentient Imagery & Ella Bailey

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Is Breeding the Answer?

Finding a marker or proxy in a dairy cow that correlates with low or high methane is the big prize.
Words Delwyn Dickey

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Pasture Will-ing

At the November 2023 Pasture Summit in Canterbury Will Green and Will Grayling shared an insight into their two very different farming businesses for a master-class in profitable pasture-based dairying.
Words Anne Lee. Photos Sarah Perriam-Lampp.

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Episode 16 – Do we need a mindset shift towards staff?

Are we in need of a mindset change when it comes to staffing dairy farms? In this episode we dive into how to make the most of an upskilled generation of workers and discuss how to keep them in farming businesses for longer.

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Keep the finisher in mind

Dairy farmers wishing to phase out bobby calves will need to raise animals that will compete with other land uses. Sheryl Haitana reports.

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Welcome on-board

The process of recruiting new staff should always be treated as an opportunity to improve your business. Understanding the type of person you require to create a successful team is a given, however, how you manage the onboarding process will ensure you achieve that sweet taste of success! Words Chris Coughlan

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Episode 15 – Managing cash flow pressure vs sustainability pressures with your bank

Figured’s modelling initially saw the start of this season with 38% of dairy farmers making a loss. Forecasts have improved by the end of the season so are the banks going to be more supportive of longer term investment into sustainability goals? This episode shares insights & forecasts, ways to deal with the bank for the long-term and how to manage the mental load of debt and cash flow stress.

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Episode 14 – Cows grazing on a salad bar create healthier milk

Early indications that if cows get to choose what they eat it may result in milk that contains higher levels of nutrients for its human consumers.
As part of a Lincoln University research trial, cows fed a range of specific pasture species in strips are producing milk that has higher levels of compounds such as vitamins E and B.

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Salad Bar for Health

“Setting the table” in a novel way that allows cows to choose what they eat, may be resulting in milk that contains more health-giving nutrients for its human consumers. Words Anne Lee.

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Episode 13 – Protectionism against NZ dairy exports makes stormy seas ahead

As we come to a close on the 2023/2024 NZ season we look to review market performance and forecasts for the season ahead. This episode talks to three experts who are focused on the markets every day, including commentary on avian flu in the US, dairy production in China and how we can negotiate our way through Europe's protectionism measures against dairy.

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