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Farm Environment Awards Winner’s Field Day

Media Release May 8 2008

Ballance Farm Environment Awards Supreme Winner’s Field Day

One of Canterbury’s most environmentally sustainable farming operations will be on public view at a field day on Tuesday, May 27.

Mark and Nicky Morrow, who farm sheep, beef and deer on 1025 ha at Montalto, Ashburton, won the Supreme Award at this year’s Ballance Farm Environment Awards for Canterbury.

The judges were impressed with their excellent farm productivity supported by a high level of animal welfare, a desire to minimise environmental impacts and cost effective management. Judges felt that they had strong financial planning to allow for diversification and off-farm investment. They have an excellent contribution to the community as a past monitor farm and involvement with the Mayfield A&P Society.

The Morrows also won the PPCS Livestock Award.

The judges pointed out that the farm has very good integration of cattle and sheep in grazing management and a breeding programme is in place to finish stock earlier. “The Morrows have compiled an excellent employee handout identifying animal health plans, farming principles and adverse event plans,” the judges notes said. “Mark and Nicky have a well laid out farm which assists with stock movement and management.”

The judges commended the Morrows for their excellent stock management policies in a fairly harsh environment. ‘We can’t take the land with us but we certainly are here to look after it while we have it,’ Mark says.

Several years ago due to a big snowfall they used up a year’s worth of supplementary feed in just three weeks. They now plan to keep two years ahead of their feed requirements, making their own supplementary feed. This is mostly fine chop silage but this year, in response to low sheep returns and also due to their son Ben’s experience and interest in cropping, they are introducing 100ha of cereals.

The field day on May 27 starts at 10.30am. The Morrows farm is located at 1067 Mayfield Klondyke Road. Visit www.ecan.govt.nz/bfea to view a location map.

Judging coordinator, Joanne van Polanen, says “Topics such as farm succession, winter feed and irrigation options from the Rangitata Diversion Race will be covered. There will also be a discussion on the effect of the carbon trading scheme on agriculture in New Zealand. The day will include a number of speakers and a farm tour. A barbecue lunch will be provided and morning and afternoon tea will be available.

Ballance Agri-Nutrients is the principal national sponsor for the Awards programme, with Environment Canterbury as the regional partner for the Canterbury awards. Other sponsors are PGG Wrightson, Hill Laboratories, PPCS, LIC, and Gallagher.


ENDS


Visit the website at www.ecan.govt.nz/bfea or www.bfea.org.nz

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