Massey University is looking into electronic cow collars and trying to figure out if they do what they say and whether they are worth the money. The systems allow farmers to manage herds remotely and in some cases provide invisible fences for stock management. Massey Rural Valuation Lecturer Iona McCarthy says the research project aims to find evidence to show the systems are beneficial for farmers.
Seven Central Hawke’s Bay students from Argyll East School had a school trip to the Stortford Lodge saleyards to see the cattle sold off their school farm. The school farm is 2ha providing students with an opportunity to be farmers in their own right. The Farming Club has been going for many years and is currently run by Rose Hay. They meet each Friday morning to discuss what needs to be done, and carry out any tasks such as feeding calves, grubbing thistles and fixing fences. Typically, the cattle are bought in as calves, and the kids are put on a roster system to feed the calves. Depending on the season, they will be grazed solely on the school farm, though in drier years neighbouring farms have taken the cattle on for a short period. The cattle are grown out and sold when it is appropriate to do so. So how did they go. Well they sold a line of R3 Shorthorn-dairy steers at 692kg t for a tidy $2000 followed by a R2 heifer called Pepper who made $1160.