Saturday, April 13, 2024
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Andrew Stewart

22 posts

OFF THE CUFF: A growing plague of pests

This year we have enjoyed what I would previously called a ‘normal’ year in terms of the weather. Our little patch of the Rangitikei used to be described as summer safe, but it would be a brave farmer to utter those words these days. Although frequent rainfall and warm temperatures are great for growing grass, these conditions have also proved beneficial for an ever-expanding plague of pests on our farm.

OFF THE CUFF: Labour’s own mission to the moon

Friday, the 16th of July 2021, will be forever remembered in New Zealand as the day Kiwi farmers found their voice. What we witnessed throughout NZ was nothing short of extraordinary. I feel incredibly privileged and honored to have been in a room of like-minded farmers when Bryce McKenzie of Groundswell NZ first spoke of the Howl of a Protest. None of us, including Bryce, could have ever dreamed of such a huge showing of unity.

OFF THE CUFF: It’s not what you think, Jacinda

We live in a cluttered world, where there are billions of sounds and images. That landscape is also filled with the cancer that is social media, a mainstream media that struggles to display journalistic integrity and a general public that is sometimes disconnected from hard truths.

But sometimes one clear voice has the power to cut through.

OFF THE CUFF: Our farming future’s in good hands

In a year where everything has gone to hell in a handbasket, one could be forgiven for having a pessimistic outlook on life. But from a totally unexpected source, my perspective on the farming future in this country has been given a significant boost thanks to the optimism and enthusiasm of three young boys.


OFF THE CUFF: Time to be KYND to yourself

During the winter months, farmers often have more time for maintenance and planning than they do at other times of the year. Yet they often forget and neglect maintaining the single most important piece of equipment on-farm – themselves.

I must admit to being one of those farmers.

OFF THE CUFF: Embrace rather than persecute farmers

Never, ever in our wildest nightmares could anyone have imagined what a whirlwind this covid-19 outbreak means for our world. 

Borders closing, self-isolation, panic buying and business uncertainty are all now our reality even before we head into the unknown territory that is a total lock-down. It is still difficult to comprehend all that is happening during these testing times. 


OFF THE CUFF: Dry death by 1000 cuts hits farming communities

Summer safe. It used to be a short phrase everyone in the farming community could relate to. 

Fortunate farmers lived in pockets of the country where summer rain rolled through regularly to keep grass growing, crops thriving and water stocks replenished. 

We have all read, listened to and watched the man-made climate change debate rage on until many of us can not stomach it any more.