In other news…

Number 8 Network does a round-up of stories from about our district from other media outlets.

New home just purrfect

IT’S ALL GOOD NEWS for the black-and-white tom, who used to live in the car park at Frankton’s McDonald’s. The Waikato Times reports the lucky feline has been adopted by Kayte and Haydn Korach and is now happily living in their Puketaha home.

Frankie was rescued by the Waikato SPCA after living more than a year in the car park, says reporter Jenna Lynch.

His new cat mum says it was an easy decision to adopt Frankie, who had found international fame after the story of his addiction to fast food went viral.

Frankie is settling in well and even has his own bedroom. He is fond of belly rubs and cat biscuits.

“He’s not really that active and is pretty chilled. He’s a really easy going cat.”

He’s not fat, she says, just solid. Well done Kayte and Haydn, and here’s to Frankie.

For the full story, click here.

Battle against black beetle continues
Mention was made of Gordonton dairy farmer Martin Henton in the NZ Farmer and the Nelson Mail recently. His farm is one a number being monitored for the pasture-damaging South African black beetle.

The research is being carried out by AgResearch pasture scientist Warren King who has been studying black beetle populations in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty since the 2007-08 drought.

Dr King with friend.  Pic:  the talented Peter Drury.
Dr King with friend. Pic: the talented Peter Drury.

Both papers reported that a string of dry summers and autumns had contributed to higher black beetle numbers. As many as 95 black beetles per square metre have been seen. Thirty or more is typical, but any more than 20 is a concern.

The larvae cannot be treated with insecticide since the chemicals would find their way into grazing cows and then milk.

“We are trying to develop new tools,” he said.

Dr King found black beetle levels remaining at alarming levels in some paddocks, while completely disappearing from others.

Four out of the 24 Waikato paddocks monitored this season had more than 20 black beetles per square metre, the level at which Dr King is concerned, with one of three of Gordonton dairy farmer Martin Henton’s monitored paddocks delivering a reading of 28. There were no black beetles present in 10 of those paddocks.

Black beetle larvae have cost the Hentons $180,000 in lost milk production which dropped 20 per cent as a result of the incursion.

“It’s starting to be worrying . . . It’s incredible how much damage something this little can do.”

Dr King is expecting next season’s numbers to be “calamitous” because of the drought.

“…For many farmers the opportunity they have got to establish a good strong pasture is now with a novel endophyte. They should be concentrating on making their pastures black beetle resistant with NEA2 and AR37 – those two are the most commonly recommended. They are available from all rural retailers.”

Click here for the full story in the Nelson Mail.  And why not click this link for a story in the Waikato Times a few years ago, by N8N’s Annette Taylor.

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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