The Country-Wide Podcast

The Country-Wide Podcast

Bringing' you the best of rural New Zealand for nearly 50 years via your mailboxes, now it’s time for our seasonal stories from the magazine to weekly updates straight to your ears. Proud to celebrate the grit and the smarts it takes to farm as well as good ol' fashioned country culture with The Country-Wide Podcast. Hosts: Rebecca Greaves - Editor of Country-Wide For more information & to subscribe to Country-Wide, visit


May 23, 2024 60 mins

Those in New Zealand’s deer industry have an exciting future ahead of them, as they come out the other side of the pandemic era. Deer Industry NZ (DINZ) held its conference earlier this month, and say there is a lot to look forward to, including disseminating into more overseas markets and moving into the retail space.

We hear from a key specialist in the industry, Ron Schroeder, ahead of his retirement, about his hope for the fut...

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Reinstating live animal exports from New Zealand is currently on the table under the new coalition government and is drawing attention from all sides of the debate.

Sceptics are worried about how it will impact New Zealand’s reputation and protecting animal welfare, and question whether it’s giving away our valuable genetics. 

On the other side of the debate, those in the industry say it's a great opportunity to take leadership o...

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What keeps rural advisors awake at night? How to feed an ever-increasing population from a declining land area whilst at the same time reducing its environmental footprint.

2023 Nuffield scholar and AgFirst Chief Executive, James Allen says, their are significant trends in the use of technology in the agricultural sector coming at farming faster than we can understand and the role of the agricultural advisor needs redefined. 


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Waste takes many different forms onfarm, such as plastic packaging and chemical drums, and there are some great initiatives out there with an aim to give these resources another life - sometimes even back on the same farm!

So when it comes to the circular economy of recycling onfarm waste, it is about viewing it as a resource, rather than rubbish.

Guests include:

  1. Evan Maehl, Managing Director, WM New Zea...
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When it comes to looking at the future of regenerating biodiversity, farmers have a key role to play, with 24% of native biodiversity found on sheep and beef farmland, second only to conservation estate.

In this episode, we hear from three experts who highlight the work farmers are already doing to regenerate biodiversity, including in wildlife and plantings, and the opportunities for collaboration. 

Guests include:

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Over 2 million calves are produced from the dairy herd in NZ every year, with only a quarter retained for herd replacements. How do we build a ‘beef on dairy’ industry that is growing successfully in the States?

2023 Nuffield scholar and Canterbury farmer, Matt Iremonger says, money may save the bobby calf but to have a successful beef on dairy value chain several key changes need to be made to our dysfunctional supply chain.


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The wellness industry is valued at $1.8 trillion so why aren’t we positioning New Zealand red meat’s positive health attributes? 

From selecting the right sire through to how we market our beef, hear from three experts from livestock genetics sales ahead of bull sale season, our new host of BEEF Country and an AgResearch scientist who have thoughts on where we need to focus our efforts.

Guests include:

  1. C...
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In February 2024, the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) approved seven foreign buyer sales to pine trees under the eye of the current coalition government. 

It has hill country sheep and beef farmers scratching their heads as to whether National and ACT were even listening to the drum being beaten by the “50 Shades of Green” movement at all?

But what about the private property rights of retiring farmers to not have bureaucrats det...

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Globally old chemistry is being withdrawn from the market and being more selective is encouraged for both avoiding insecticide & pesticide resistance whilst also bringing down onfarm costs. 


So how do you control pests without relying on an overuse of pesticides? Three science experts believe there is a major knowledge gap on pests and  diseases in pasture, forage and cereal crops.


They say not everything that is an ins...

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Shearing & animal health costs outstrip the income from strong wool and one academic believes it’s a no brainer to lean into Wiltshires (shedding sheep).

But when one former shearer-turned-Wiltshire-farmer goes against his passion for wool for profit you get curious!

Rebecca uncovers the benefits of the breed from the research trial at Massey University along with the inspirational story of one East Coast farmer who had his c...

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If anyone is going to put life, farming and resilience into perspective, Rosie Dowling is one of the best with her incredible story. 

On the first day of Covid lockdown she was in Starship hospital when police arrived to share the news of Gav Dowling’s tragic on farm death. With three young children and debt in their first farm, Rosie wasn’t going anywhere and was determined to carry on farming despite a steep learning curve.  


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The government has scrapped the proposed Significant Natural Areas (SNA’s) regulation, so what opportunities does that present for sheep & beef farmers to receive income from these areas?


There has been a single focus on carbon, but now the concept of receiving funds or credits for planting native bush rather than pine trees on farms could encourage farmers to retire sensitive land to regenerating native bush. 


But what...

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Are you having to balance a lack of feed and holding ewe condition in a dry Autumn? 

This episode is jam-packed with technical knowledge from two farmers - Mark Zino & Alistair Bird - as well as a Marlborough veterinarian.

Mating time is the time to wrap your ewes in cotton wool, says Mark as he shares how to juggle feeding grain and silage to not overdo it. Alistair shares why he’s not mating his ewe hoggets this season ...

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There’s never been a greater interest in shearing given all the world records in New Zealand in the last 6 months, but at the same time we have a significant decrease in farmer appetite for the costs of shearing due to the price they are receiving for strong wool.

With Golden Shears 2024 being packed with crowds and the share number of women coming into both shearing and wool-handling, how do we keep stoking the fire of talent...

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Is it possible to truly forecast a drought? Country-Wide editor, Rebecca Greaves speaks to three passionate industry experts working to support New Zealand farmers to avoid being caught out by drought by staying one step ahead of mother nature. 

Whether it’s fancy new forecasting technology or a drastically improved water strategy, it’s not going to speed up farmers in drought stricken areas right now, such as the top of the S...

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Are you poised to take advantage of opportunities as they come along? Country-Wide editor, Rebecca Greaves is taking their farm through integrated farm plan workshops in 2024 so they can  better understand the value.

Guests include:

  1. Rachel Joblin, Agribusiness Consultant, BakerAg
  2. Sara Clarke, General Manager - System Establishment and Support - Ministry for the Environment
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A recent national report shows a third of sheep farmers have triple drench resistance - what does that mean for you? 

Well, imagine finding out you're leaving $100,000 on the table every year due to having 20% lower growth rate on your lambs by not addressing drench resistance? 

Wherever you are on the drench spectrum, taking control and making management changes by knowing your parasites can reap financial rewards.

Guests inclu...

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When you are looking at putting the axe through on-farm costs, one of the biggest items that is under scrutiny is fertiliser.

To balance your decision making, take a listen to how a farmer and soil scientist recommend how to reduce your spend on fertiliser without sacrificing soil fertility. 

Guests include:

  1. David Bielski, Farm Manager, Craigmore Station
  2. Dr. Ants Roberts, Chief Scien...
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In a special bonus episode with independent nutrient advisor, Melinda Turner, helps balance animal health with the soil nutrients we are applying to ensure we aren’t curbing the animal’s performance in the meantime.

Guests include:

  1. Melinda Turner, Farm Nutrients Advisory


  1. Sarah Perriam-Lampp, Managing Director, CountryWide Media

Melinda see’s great value whe...

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Guests include:

  1. Ed Harrison, farm consultant, Baker Ag
  2. Dr. Todd White, Head of Product and pasture scientist, Farmax
  3. Frazer Weir, Head of Agri, BDO Christchurch


  1. Rebecca Greaves, Editor, Country-Wide
  2. Sarah Perriam-Lampp, Managing Director, CountryWide Media


When a typical North Island hill country...

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