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Preview: Country Life

RNZ: Country Life

Country Life takes you down country roads to meet ordinary people achieving their dreams. We live in a beautiful country...


Shanghai Pengxin Go It Alone

Fri, 19 May 2017 21:29:00 +1200

This week the state owned farming company Landcorp came to the end of its four year sharemilking agreement to run 16 central and southern North Island farms for the Chinese company Shanghai Pengxin. The high profile farms were formerly owned by the Crafar family and went into receivership seven years ago. Turning the rundown farms around was much more difficult than either party predicted. It's been a testing time but both parties are proud of the progress that's been made.

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Shear Warmth

Fri, 19 May 2017 21:26:00 +1200

Lyn Neeson and her daughter-in-law Monique Neeson were looking at the wool cheque from the family's remote King Country farm and thought there must be a way to earn more from wool. They now make old-fashioned lambs' wool blankets.

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Eco System Engineers

Fri, 19 May 2017 21:14:00 +1200

AgResearch scientist Nicole Schon works wonders with worms. Her research shows a healthy worm population can promote pasture growth as well as help water move through soils. As part of her work she set up The Great Kiwi Earthworm Survey in 2015 to find out where earthworms are located. Farmers were asked to participate in the survey to help build a national picture of earthworms.

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Regional Wrap

Fri, 19 May 2017 21:06:00 +1200

The dairy season is coming to an abrupt halt in the North Island and in the South, winter's made an appearance.

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Full Episode for Friday May 19, 2017

Fri, 19 May 2017 21:03:00 +1200

Country Life finds out about the first ever major Chinese/NZ government pastoral farming joint venture and where it's at now as Landcorp hands the management of the former Crafar farms back to Shanghai Pengxin, AgResearch scientist Nicole Schon works wonders with worms and Lyn Neeson and her daughter-in-law Monique Neeson are making old-fashioned lambs' wool blankets.

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Go with the flow

Fri, 12 May 2017 21:29:00 +1200

Last November's 7.8-magnitude earthquake has altered the course and flow of the Clarence River in southern Marlborough, creating new challenges for farmers and new possibilities for a local rafting operation.

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Lifestyle lessons

Fri, 12 May 2017 21:23:00 +1200

The Lifestyle Block website has been running for 17 years. It's kept up with the times running webinars and talk back forums. It has thousands of "hits" every day, and not just from New Zealanders.

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Bow ties and backpacks

Fri, 12 May 2017 21:15:00 +1200

Julian Goulding has swapped city life and a corporate wardrobe for bare feet, a t-shirt and life in the King Country. He's moved to Taumarunui where he has started a custom-made bow tie business, works with students at the local high school, and shuttles cyclists and walkers to the Timber Trail. He says he's never been happier.

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Regional Wrap

Fri, 12 May 2017 21:09:00 +1200

Rain arrived onto already wet pastures in the North Island and in the South, it's becoming too cold for the grass to grow in Central Otago.

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Dairy Doldrums in Australia

Fri, 12 May 2017 21:05:00 +1200

Brett Worthington is the head of the rural news department for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. He explains why some Australian dairy farmers are taking legal action against the company they supply.

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Full Episode for Friday May 5, 2017

Fri, 12 May 2017 21:03:00 +1200

The changing landscape of the Clarence River, dairy woes in Australia, the Regional Wrap, 17 years of advice to life-style block owners and bikes and bowties in Taumarunui.

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Family Fruit

Fri, 05 May 2017 21:29:00 +1200

Kiwifruit and avocados grow particularly well in Northland. Now the Malley family of Maungatapere is adding raspberries, blackberries and figs to the mix.

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Feedback: Margery Renwick

Fri, 05 May 2017 21:25:00 +1200

After hearing last week's feature about the Anzac Day service in the small town of Wimbledon, Margery Renwick wrote in. Her father was a school teacher there in the 1920s, and he and her mother used to ride a motorcycle with sidecar up to visit family and friends in Hastings.

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Knock Out The Needle

Fri, 05 May 2017 21:17:00 +1200

Marlborough farmer Tim Struthers has spent several years trying to control Chilean Needle Grass on his sheep and beef farm near Seddon. The invasive weed can out-compete pasture grasses and its seed attaches easily to wool and can dig through a sheep's pelt and muscle.

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Regional Wrap

Fri, 05 May 2017 21:17:00 +1200

More dairy herds are being dried off, or slowed to once a day milking now and there's the first snow on some North Island ranges. Southland dairy farms are also moving down to 16-hour-a-day milking in order to keep the season going as long as possible.

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Keeping Catchments Healthy

Fri, 05 May 2017 21:05:00 +1200

Agribusiness consultant Deane Carson is encouraging farmers to use petrifilm E.coli count plate kits to test water quality levels on their farms in Southland.

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Wimbledon Remembers

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 21:29:00 +1200

The Hawkes Bay community of Wimbledon has a permanent population of just 10, but at least 150 gather each year for its ANZAC Day service, followed by a free lunch at the tavern.

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Time To Wine Down

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 21:17:00 +1200

Grapes came off early at the Te Whare Ra organic vineyard in Marlborough this year so were saved from damage that would have been delivered by Cyclone Debbie. Cosmo Kentish-Barnes catches up with Te Whare Ra winemaker Anna Flowerday.

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Regional Wrap

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 21:10:00 +1200

Lovely calm and sunny days, with cool nights, let North Island farmers and croppers get onto the land for cultivation or repair work, and the kiwifruit harvest had an uninterrupted week for a change. In Mid-Canterbury arable farmers are busy planting winter wheat and barley along with some late planted ryegrass for seed.

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Hazelnut Harvesting

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 21:05:00 +1200

Gilda Otway grows hazelnuts in the Puaha Valley on Banks Peninsula using permaculture and organic principles.

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Full Episode for 28 April 2017

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 21:03:00 +1200

Hazelnut harvesting, Regional wrap, Te Whare Ra and Wimbledon remembers.

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Shearing for Michael

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 21:29:00 +1200

Neighbours, friends and strangers took to the boards recently in Whangamomona for a 24-hour shearathon to raise money for suicide prevention. Michael Herlihy, a talented shearer and the youngest of eight children, died last year at just 20.

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Forget Me Not

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 21:17:00 +1200

The Coronation Garden in Little River is a living memorial for local men who died in WWI and WWII. Designed by local nurseryman Bruce King, the garden is packed with perennials, rhododendrons, flaxes and bulbs he's grown and planted himself.

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Rukuhia War Letters

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 21:12:00 +1200

Rukuhia Homestead is just south of Hamilton. It's been owned by the Glenn family since 1925 and when Val Glenn moved into what had been her grandparents house, she found a box of letters written during World War Two. She has two of the letters on display in the homestead hallway. They were written by young men who remembered the Waikato property fondly. They never came home. They died aged 24 and 26 years.

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Regional Wrap

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 21:08:00 +1200

The North Island is drying out after the Easter rain, and cool temperatures are helping kiwifruit mature. The rams out in force on hill country farms in Marlborough and there's tons of feed around, while farmers in the lower country are gearing up to get the Ewes scanned.

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Country Bumpkin Pumpkin

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 21:05:00 +1200

The Little River Support Group hosts the Giant Pumpkin Festival every year on Anzac weekend. The old style country fair attracts hundreds of visitors and competitors from around Canterbury and all proceeds go to the Little River School.

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Full Episode for Friday April 21, 2017

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 21:03:00 +1200

Herlihy Family shearathon, Little River Support Group hosts the Giant Pumpkin Festival, and the Coronation Garden in Little River.

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Field Day For Farmers

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 21:29:00 +1200

Country Life's Cosmo Kentish-Barnes was very thankful for his gumboots when he visited the extremely muddy South Island Field Days in Kirwee. The three-day event is the oldest and biggest demonstration field days in New Zealand.

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Take that, Tutsan

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 21:21:00 +1200

Tutsan's days are numbered. Thanks to years of fundraising and work by a team of mainly volunteers, the invasive weed is now on the menu for a moth and a beetle that have been brought to New Zealand to control it. Tutsan takes huge amounts of farmland out of production and costs the country millions in lost earnings.

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Kiwi Bites

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 21:14:00 +1200

Kerikeri kiwifruit grower Sandy Mecredy wanted to hear her daughter and friends biting into golden wafers of thin kiwifruit, so ten years ago she started drying the fruit that was rejected by a nearby kiwifruit packhouse.

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Regional Wrap

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 21:10:00 +1200

Many North Island farms have saturated soils after a week of rain and in-between the downpours contractors are trying to harvest maize. In the South Island rain is destroying grape crops in Malborough while in Southland more rain would be welcome.

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Top Crop

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 21:05:00 +1200

Ashburton farmer Eric Watson has become a Guinness World Record holder after producing the world's highest yielding crop of wheat.

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Full Episode for Friday April 14, 2017

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 21:01:00 +1200

South Island Field Days, Tutsan Action Group, Kiwi Bites, Wheat Growing Record.

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Take that,Tutsan

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 21:21:00 +1200

Tutsan's days are numbered. Thanks to years of fund-raising and work by a team of mainly volunteers, the invasive weed is now on the menu for a moth and a beetle that have been brought to New Zealand to control it. Tutsan takes huge amounts of farmland out of production and costs the country millions in lost earnings.

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Planting for posterity

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 21:29:00 +1200

More than 50 years ago Jaap and Sue Van Dorser cleared and then planted up a small section of the Awahou Stream which flows into Lake Rotorua. Over 20 years ago they were joined by another couple and since then they've worked together every Wednesday morning, clearing and planting the river banks. 

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Cover Story

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 21:14:00 +1200

Mesh cover laid over potato crops is proving effective in controlling potato pests and reducing potato blight without chemical sprays.

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Regional Wrap

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 21:10:00 +1200

The country's largest on-farm deer sale was held on High Peak Station, Mid Canterbury, this week and Edgecumbe farms are swamped. Much of the rest of the North Island is sodden too.

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Helping Hand

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 21:05:00 +1200

Bay of Plenty farmer Mike Mexted considers himself very lucky. He only has surface flooding on his farm and has been able to take in cows from an inundated dairy property a few kilometres away at Edgecumbe.

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Full Episode for Friday April 7, 2017

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 21:03:00 +1200

Awahou Stream Care Group, Potato Mesh Charles Merfield, Mike Mexted.

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