Fash­ion­fash­ion ag-style

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Feature -

AG ART WEAR is where fash­ion meets the farm. This pres­ti­gious com­pe­ti­tion en­cour­ages artists and de­sign­ers from across New Zealand and Aus­tralia to delve into the depths of their imag­i­na­tion and cre­ate a piece of wear­able art for the body from ma­te­ri­als used in the prac­tice of farm­ing. This year the shows will move to a new cen­tral lo­ca­tion on the Vil­lage Green stage. The shows will run each day with three cat­e­gories – De­signer Tra­di­tional, Avant Garde, and Class­room Cou­ture – and there is a fan­tas­tic prize pool of over $7000 up for grabs.

Find out what it takes to be a farmer

FIEL­D­AYS is big on ed­u­ca­tion and it has cre­ated the Fiel­d­ays Ca­reers and Ed­u­ca­tion Hub, sup­ported by NZ Young Farm­ers. The hub fa­cil­i­tates in­ter­ac­tion be­tween those want­ing to find out more about ag ca­reers and es­tab­lished agribusi­nesses and ed­u­ca­tion pro­grammes. You will be able to speak with ca­reer cham­pi­ons, take part in daily sem­i­nars from in­dus­try lead­ers, and re­lax with friends and NZ Young Farm­ers. Each day fea­tures a dif­fer­ent as­pect of the in­dus­try, with rel­e­vant peo­ple al­ready work­ing in the in­dus­try avail­able to dis­cuss op­tions and an­swer ques­tions.

Gorse is an es­pe­cially hard plant to con­trol once it is es­tab­lished due to its per­sis­tent nature.

Its ni­tro­gen-fix­ing abil­ity means that it tends to in­habit ar­eas with poorer soils where other plants find it hard to sur­vive. It also has very durable seed; re­searchers have found that it can re­main vi­able in the soil for up to 40 years and even plough­ing or burn­ing of the soil won't help if it's not done cor­rectly. In fact, these meth­ods of­ten pro­vide even bet­ter con­di­tions for gorse seeds to ger­mi­nate in be­cause there is lit­tle, if any com­pe­ti­tion from other plants that aren't so hardy.

A thick layer of gorse plants makes the un­der­ly­ing soil more acidic, so re­plant­ing ef­forts will need to take this into ac­count – choose trees and shrubs that do well in acid soils.

1re­move the root crowns or they will re­sprout.

Plants with a base di­am­e­ter larger than 15cm should be cut us­ing a saw or chain­saw. At this point you could use a chem­i­cal gel on the stump, oth­er­wise you will need to pull out the root sys­tem to stop it re­sprout­ing.

The best time for this strat­egy is just as the plant starts to flower – the gorse's food re­serves in its roots are low at this point, and there will be no seed spread to worry about. Large-scale gorse in­fes­ta­tions can be cut back us­ing heavy ma­chin­ery, and big dig­gers are es­pe­cially use­ful on steep ter­rain. How­ever, you’ll still need to be dili­gent in con­trol­ling re­growth, and it can be hard to re-es­tab­lish pas­ture on steep ar­eas if you’re hav­ing to fer­tilise, lime and sow seed by hand.

3con­trol re­growth over 4-5 years. An­other op­tion is to use cat­tle (to help tram­ple the young gorse), then sheep (to eat down any good for­age re­main­ing), then goats (who will eat the young gorse, a very nu­tri­tious plant for them).

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