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First topdressing trials

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The first aerial topdressing trials were made at Ōhakea in 1948. A New Zealand Air Force Avenger torpedo bomber was fitted with a reserve petrol tank modified to carry and release fertiliser. Trays were laid on the ground to measure the rate and spread of ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Loading fertiliser

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The cost of aerial topdressing depends on the time taken to apply the fertiliser, and the associated aircraft cost. The speed at which fertiliser can be loaded into the aircraft, and the time spent on each trip largely sets the price of the job. The bucket ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Accurate fertilising

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The accurate placement of fertiliser is important both from the viewpoint of getting the best response from pasture and to avoid fertiliser drifting into waterways and other environmentally sensitive areas. The Spreadmark scheme developed by the Fertiliser ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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One more river to cross

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

On high country runs, roads and bridges are not always available, or the easiest option for moving sheep. These musterers on Branches Station, Central Otago, show how to herd sheep across a river when necessary. When there is more water in the river they ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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The Aramoana

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The inter-island ferry Aramoana sailed between Wellington and Picton for 22 years, from 1962. With a crew of 90 she was able to take 788 passengers, 70 cars and 30 rail wagons. Animals carried by rail stayed in the wagons during a voyage, and stock trucks also travelled on the ferry. ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Nolan cattle

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In the early 20th century, the Nolans and other Westland families drove cattle from the Cascade River in the south to Whataroa, where they were put onto trucks – a distance of about 270 kilometres. Earlier, before the road could take trucks, they had to ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Country lads

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In 1941 the National Film Unit made a film of the departure of New Zealand soldiers to fight in the Second World War. Adolf Hitler had called the Kiwi soldiers ‘poor deluded country lads’; but the film made a virtue of this description. This extract ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Savile Cup polo final

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Morrinsville beat Cambridge 5–4 in the final of the Savile Cup at Feilding in 1949. Polo involves four players on each side, and in this match they played eight chukkas (periods), with each rider using four horses. In 2008 it was more usual to have ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Fred Dagg adjusting a TV aerial

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

When a second television channel was introduced in 1975, reception was an issue for many viewers, particularly in rural areas. Comedian John Clarke, in his persona of farmer Fred Dagg, demonstrates how to adjust an aerial for TV2 reception.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Investigating grey mould rot

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This video clip shows one of the problems of storing kiwifruit infected with the botrytis fungus – the fruit go mouldy. Scientists have been able to prevent fruit from going mouldy for at least two years by applying antibiotics. However, antibiotic treatments are used only in experiments and ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Training ‘rehab’ soldiers

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

After the Second World War governments believed that New Zealand’s economic fortunes rested on agricultural exports, so much encouragement was given to boosting production. One initiative was to assist returned servicemen onto the land. As this film clip ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Ruakura research station

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In the two decades after the Second World War the government’s research station at Ruakura, in the Waikato, made a major contribution to research to improve dairying. This clip from an annual field day shows that Ruakura was also active in farmer ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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National ploughing championships

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The fourth national ploughing championships were held at Hastings in 1959. Stuart Allison from Milton, Otago, won the silver plough trophy, and went on to represent New Zealand at the world championships in Northern Ireland.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Young Farmer of the Year competition

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The final of the Young Farmer of the Year competition is contested on national television. As this clip from 2007 shows, contestants have to cope with some difficult tasks. These young farmers are trying to master an air-seeder drill in the machinery ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Ploughing with a team of horses

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

This farmer is using a six-horse team and a three-furrow plough in the Kaiapoi district of Canterbury in the early 1950s. By this time tractors had replaced horse teams throughout the country, but this farmer considered that the old method grew a higher ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Border dyke irrigation

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In regions with low annual rainfall, irrigation allows farmers to increase production, and also to have reliable production from year to year. Irrigation systems are costly and so the crops or animal produce from the farm must be able to more than ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Harvesting wheat

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

In 1950 this header harvester was state-of-the-art technology in New Zealand. However, harvesting and bagging wheat was a three-person task, followed by collecting bags and transporting them to storage. Later, larger harvesters and a bulk handling system ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Processing organic vegetables

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Heinz Watties, a large food-processing company, encouraged many of its vegetable growers to convert to organic methods in the 1990s. This video clip shows organic potatoes and peas being prepared for processing at a Heinz Wattie’s factory.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Rain damages cherries

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

All of the care and careful management needed to produce a valuable cherry crop can be quickly undone by severe weather. Hail can damage the surface of the fruit or, as in this case, persistent rain can cause the fruit to swell and burst their skins when ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage
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Cherry exports to Japan

Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Cherries are a major export crop. To export cherries to Japan New Zealand had to assure Japanese authorities that codling moth, which is prevalent in New Zealand but not present in Japan, would not be introduced with exported fruit. This 1985 film clip ...

Ministry for Culture and Heritage