Rural

Animals - The environmental blame game

During our New Zealand Veterinary training we learn extensively about farm systems. This farm system knowledge includes agronomy and soil science. This broad science background enables us to communicate on a scientific basis across many disciplines. From...... Read More

On the farm - SpongeBob soil

I’m sure many of us will have been watching what has been going on in Australia this summer with increasing dread, especially as our own mercury has continued to climb. As I write, it is already seven weeks since any significant rain, after a year...... Read More

Country Life - A Labour of love

Ah, February, the month of love and my first column for the year, so I thought it would be super-lovely to write a good old-fashioned local love story to put us on a good footing for the year ahead. I met Barbara and Joe Kurmann in November last year,...... Read More

Gardening - Bugged by bugs

Well, if there was ever a year that I was grateful for my bore, it’s this one. With lawns, paddocks and even mature trees around us taking on a distinct crispy look, my green oasis is a lush haven! The tropical conditions are bringing out the bugs...... Read More

Dieting for pets

New Year’s resolutions focusing on self-development, specifically body composition and physical fitness, emotional and mental wellness, are repeating themes at this time of the year. The continuum from illness to health is an interesting one and...... Read More

On the farm - How green is our grass?

Farming has been in the spotlight a great deal this year as our attention has increasingly been drawn to the climate change emergency. Pastoral farmers in particular are feeling beleaguered by issues ranging from their greenhouse gas emissions, freshwater...... Read More

Gardening - Investing in irrigation

It’s been a magnificent start to summer, with day after day of gloriously sunny weather. All indications point to continuing dry conditions and hill pastures around the district are already starting to brown off. It’s in a season like this...... Read More

Animals - Okay to belch

Leafy vegetation is full of cellulose that animals like us cannot digest. If we could digest grass clippings, imagine the dent that would make in the weekly grocery bill. But many herbivores have a clever trick of providing an expanded area of their intestinal...... Read More

Country Living - Maddening birds

The Christmas grinches arrived early at my house this year. Yes, unfortunately my festive season was partially marred by a pack of feathered gate-crashing freeloaders, hellbent on bombarding my life with their overactive ovaries and slobbish-like tendencies....... Read More

Animals - Treating ears

Ear infections are one of the most common reasons for pet owners to consult with their vet. The condition becomes apparent when your pet constantly scratches its ears. Head shaking, reddening, scaling and swelling of the externally visible part of...... Read More