Fenceless Farming to Water Concerns: Current Events in New Zealand Agriculture

As a journalism geek, I like reading through agriculture news. Here are some recent New Zealand agriculture news stories, their openings, and notes from my experiences here:

Breaking out of the milk powder trap: Why dairy may turn to barns

April 29, 2017

“The next big thing for dairying in the South Island looks like it might be – indeed it may have to be – cows in barns.

“Cue the sharp intake of breath, but Jeff Gould, a dairy farmer who runs 1100 cows by the Rangitata River near Ealing in mid-Canterbury, agrees.

“Yes, he knows. Putting cows indoors? That is what other countries do. New Zealand prides itself in being all natural. Animals grazing free range in a field.

“And it is regarded as the lower cost production model too. Our competitive advantage. Elsewhere they truck in grain for the cows, as well as having to pay for their housing.”

For me, this has been a story of high intrigue as I observe the differences between New Zealand and American dairy farming. A major difference is the use of barns as shelter for the cows. New Zealanders plant shelter belts around large blocks of land and plan the paddocks within them. Continue reading