Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Otago Station Celebrates Biological and Financial Success

Central Otago Station Celebrates Biological and Financial Success.

The winner of the inaugural Supreme 'Healthy Soils' Green Agriculture Innovation Award was announced in front of ground-breaking farming audience in twin events in Rotorua and Christchurch.

David Crutchley received the Supreme Award as a testament to his outstanding outcomes with crop and animal production and health on the 6000 ha Shortlands Station. The Award also recognised David's success in achieving outstanding profitable results in the stark beautiful Central Otago landscapes. David may be familiar to many as a champion dog trialist on the popular 80's "The Dog Show".

Davids winning entry was shortlisted from 10 other Award category winners, which included Bio Farm, Meadowbank Station, Kokako Vineyard, Kono Beverages, Lindsay Farm Dairies, Soil Matters and Youth Award recipient Genevieve Steven.

In 2005 David became acutely aware that farm costs were gaining ground on his profit line. "I could see that the farm operation was no longer sustainable". After years of poor advice from consultants, David decided to open the door and open his mind to any "snake oil rep who came down the drive way". A visit from Bill Thompson at Healthy Soils, a company based in Dunedin, sparked an inspiring new way of managing the farm from the soil up.

With this new knowledge around farming, he turned his profitability around, tripling profits; through optimising soil health, reducing costs, maximising weight gains, reproduction and increased DM production.

Shortlands Station replaced acid based ferts with a full biological strategy of solid fertilizer toped up with fish based liquids. Chemicals are now kept to a bare minimum as they are no longer required. "The results were astounding. George and Bill (at Health Soils) had explained that our biology was decimated and could take up to 5 years to correct. We were not expecting a result like this in the first year."

The animal health costs, when compared to the NZ Beef and Lamb benchmarks, average $2.00 less per stock unit. Swede crops have doubled and all signs of rot have been nurtured out of the soil. Lambing rates have risen from 103% to 128%, less drenching is required, lambs are finishing faster and pastures are lasting longer

Driven by the on-farm results David took part in scientific trials with Dr Peter Espie from AgScience. Dr Espie has measured unprecedented lifts in DM per unit of input, illustrating how the biological approach is far more efficient than the current farming system. A paper has been submitted for review for the Grasslands Conference in November.

"The science is now there to back what farmers and growers around the country have been reporting," says the event organiser Nicole Masters, from Integrity Soils, "not only does the science support biological soil practices, it has exceeded our expectations in providing proof of concept; that yes indeed optimising biology leads to increases in dry matter and production."

The field day and GAIA Award dinner events were held in Rotorua, and Christchurch attracting a wide range of farmers, growers, iwi, industry and political representatives.

The Rotorua Dinner was opened by Te Taru White, deputy chairman of Te Arawa Federation of Maori Authorities followed by call to action by Mayor Stevie Chadwick who had been inspired by the opportunities offered by the biological farming approach to land management.

Dr Christine Jones, the keynote speaker and author of the first Green Ag Innovation Awards in Australia clearly showed how methods enhancing biological activity enabled producers to profitably reduce nitrogen and acidic phosphate applications.

With the huge success of this inaugural event, future Awards will follow to recognise and celebrate the success of producers who are showcasing that low input does not mean low output.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Economic Update: RBNZ Says Rate Cut Seems Likely

The Reserve Bank will likely cut interest rates further as a persistently strong kiwi dollar makes it difficult for the bank to meet its inflation target, it said. The local currency fell. More>>

ALSO:

House Price Action Plan: RBNZ Signals National Lending Restrictions

The central bank wants to cap bank lending to property investors with a deposit of less than 40 percent at 5 percent and restore the 10 percent limit for owner-occupiers wanting to take out a mortgage with a deposit of less than 20 percent, according to a consultation paper released today. More>>

ALSO:

Sparks Fly: Gordon Campbell On China Steel Dumping Allegations

No doubt, officials on the China desk at MFAT have prided themselves on fashioning a niche position for New Zealand right in between the US and China – and leveraging off both of them! Well, as the Aussies would say, of MFAT: tell ‘em they’re dreaming. More>>

ALSO:

Loan Sharks: Finance Companies Found Guilty Of Breaching Fair Trading Act

Finance companies Budget Loans and Evolution Finance, run by former 1980s corporate high-flyer Allan Hawkins, have been found guilty of 106 charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act for misleading 21 borrowers while enforcing loan contracts. More>>

ALSO:

Post Panama Papers: Govt To Adopt Shewan's Foreign Trust Recommendations

The government will adopt all of the recommendations from former PwC chairman John Shewan to increase disclosure and introduce a register for foreign trusts with new legislation to be introduced next month. More>>

ALSO:

The Price Of Cheese: Cheddar At Eight-Year Low

Food prices decreased 0.5 percent in the year to June 2016, influenced by lower grocery food prices (down 2.3 percent), Statistics New Zealand said today. Compared with June 2015, cheese prices were down 9.5 percent, fresh milk was down 3.9 percent, and yoghurt was down 9.2 percent. More>>

ALSO:

Financial Advisers: New 'Customer-First' Obligations

Goldsmith plans to do away with the current adviser designations which he says have been "unsatisfactory" in that some advisers are obliged to disclose potential conflicts of interest and act in their customers' best interests, but others are not. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news