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Action Station - Country Calendar

To catch a glimpse of life here at Waikura Station you can watch our episode of Country Calendar here

More muscling reduces dark cutting

Exciting new research conducted at Western Australia’s Murdoch University by Peter McGilchrist and his colleagues has shown that increased muscling decreases the incidence of dark cutting.

This research is of significant value when the estimated cost of dark cutting carcases in Australia is around $35 million per year.  “Dark cutting meat is dry to taste, spoils very quickly, has variable tenderness and is very dark in colour,” said Peter McGilchrist. 

If muscling (EMA) is increased to an above average level (greater than 70cm2 for a 250kg carcase) the risk of dark cutting should be greatly minimised.  “To achieve this, producers should utilise sires with an estimated breeding value (EBV) for EMA higher than the average,” Farm Online.

To read the full article, visit The Land Farm Online

Hereford Prime Beef Supreme

Hereford Prime was named Grand Champion Brand at this year's Steak of Origin final event.  It seems that Hereford cattle are the best bet when it comes to achieving consistent unrivalled quality.  Secure yourself a Hereford bull at this year's sale and be part of the breed that is leaping ahead.  Congratulations Bowmont Wholesale Meats.  Visit the Hereford Prime website

Hereford sired cattle more profitable

The value of cross breeding with a Hereford bull has been proven in a recent American research project, where Hereford sired cattle were US$30 per head more profitable.

Read the full report

Agri Events

Keep up to date and view the latest Agricultural events in and around your region at the NZ Farmers Weekly NZX Agri Events page.




FACIAL ECZEMA, what is it and how to reduce its effects.

Facial Eczema (FE) is a disease which affects sheep as well as cattle, goats and deer.  Sheep with the disease develop liver damage and in severe cases the animal will show visible signs of photosensitisation or sunburn.  Sheep with photosensitization appear very uncomfortable due to the painful itch that develops. 

Sheep with FE become ill-thrift and have reduced productivity and fertility.  In severe cases of FE, sheep will die or have to be euthanased. 

The disease is most common in warm moist conditions usually between January and May.  FE is caused by a toxin called sporidesmin which is produced by the spores of a fungus called Pithomyces chartarum that grows in the dead litter at the base of the pasture. 

This is a significant and unfortunately common disease for many North Island sheep farmers and its economic effects can be dramatic due to production decreases and sheep deaths.

Unfortunately, there is not yet a cure for this disease and therefore prevention is the best option.  The most successful and recognised prevention option is breeding for tolerance.  FE tolerance is highly heritable at approximately 40%, which therefore means you can make relatively fast genetic progress within your flock.

Buying rams from breeders who test their rams for FE tolerance will therefore gradually help to build up tolerance to this disease in your own flock. 

Here at Hain Romneys we have been have been testing our rams for Facial Eczema tolerance since 1984.  We have made excellent progress, and can really see the benefits of building on this gene pool.  The majority of rams tested from our inner flock have no liver damage at high dose rates under the Ramguard Plan at Ruakura.

If you want to reduce the economical effects of FE on your farm, purchase your rams from Hain Romneys.



Sam and Gemma Hain
06 867 8097
Sid and Merran Hain
06 862 8096