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Ballance Farm Environment Awards application period extended

Ballance Farm Environment Awards application period extended for Canterbury farmers

Canterbury farmers have been given another three weeks to enter this year’s Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

The entry deadline has been extended to Friday October 30 to allow farmers more time to get their entries in before judging commences in November.

The Canterbury Ballance Farm Environment Awards Judging Coordinator Sandra Taylor acknowledged that drought and a low dairy pay-out have made for a tough start to spring and for many farmers entering the Awards has been low on the priority list.

“Recent rain and warmer temperatures will hopefully take the pressure off and give farmers a chance to think about getting their entries in.”

She points out the judging process gives farmers the opportunity to benchmark their businesses and get feedback from a team of experienced and knowledgeable judges.

“The judges strive to make the judging process as relaxed and informal as possible while providing farmers with useful and constructive feed-back.”

Climatic conditions are always taken into consideration during the judging process.

“Judges are looking at the bigger picture, at how the environment is managed within the context of the wider farm business, they are certainly not looking at how high pasture covers are.”

Sandra believes the Ballance Farm Environment Awards are particularly relevant as farmers are increasingly being called upon to demonstrate environmental responsibility by local and central governments as well as consumers.

“The Awards are an ideal opportunity for farmers to get feed-back on what they have been doing to maintain and enhance their environment.”

There are nine Award categories which cover soil and nutrient management, livestock management, farm stewardship, community involvement, integrated management and crop harvest.

Entries for the Canterbury Regional Ballance Farm Environment Awards are open until 30 October 2015. The annual awards evening will be held on 23 March 2016. Visit www.bfea.org.nz for more information on how to enter.

Since 2002 the Canterbury Regional awards have involved more than 200 entrants, 80 trained judges, as well as two national winners, 12 Supreme and around 145 award winners.

A Field Day will be held at Omarama Station on 6 November at the farm of Richard and Annabelle Subtil – winners of the 2015 Supreme Award. The 12000ha family owned farm winters 23,000 stock units, including 7500 Merino ewes and 310 Angus-Hereford cows.

The award judges described the property as a proven farm business demonstrating excellence in financial, environmental and social sustainability. They also noted the operation is run by an exceptional team that includes both family and staff, and its production and financial performance are industry leading.

ENDS

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