Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Farm Environment Awards Help Equity Managers Build Knowledge

Ballance Farm Environment Awards Help Equity Managers Build Knowledge

Otago dairy farmers Terry and Jacqui Carr are always looking for ways to increase their farming knowledge.

Equity managers for the Argyll Dairy Farm Partnership, the Carrs regard farming competitions as a good way to benchmark themselves against other dairy farmers while also gaining valuable farm management information.

The Ballance Farm Environment Awards helped them do just that.

“We entered because we wanted to improve our knowledge of environmental issues and to pick up information that would help us grow our business in a sustainable way,” says Jacqui.

Sustainability has always been a key focus for the Clydevale operation, which milks 1200 cows on 332ha (effective) northwest of Balclutha.

“It’s not just about ticking the boxes, it’s about making sure that we look after our staff, our land and our industry.”

With dairy farming subject to increasingly strict regulations and scrutiny, the Carrs have taken a proactive approach to addressing environmental issues.

This includes fencing off a buffer zone to keep stock away from the Clutha River, which borders the farm. Riparian planting to enhance this zone has been included in the annual budget.

Fertiliser is applied carefully to avoid nutrient loss and the farm’s effluent systems have been designed to “go above and beyond” council requirements.

The Carrs won the LIC Dairy Farm Award and the Meridian Energy Excellence Award in the 2013 Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA).

Judges were impressed with their passion for technology and energy efficiency and their dedication to staff management, health and safety, recording and maintenance. They also noted the “exceptional relationship” between the Carrs and their contract milkers, Chris and Sandra Campbell.

The Meridian Energy Excellence Award recognises farmers who are “driving excellence in utilising on-farm opportunities to generate or maximise energy efficiently”.

Argyll Farm has two farm dairies, but only one is used during the early and latter parts of the season to reduce labour and energy costs.

Both dairies utilise heat exchange units to increase energy efficiency, and the newest dairy features a lightweight, composite rotary platform that requires less power to operate.

All houses on the farm are well insulated and fitted with modern and efficient heating systems.

Jacqui says their experience in the Ballance Farm Environment Awards provided reassurance that the business was addressing environmental issues in the correct manner.

“Being involved in the awards confirmed that we were doing the right thing,” she says.

“Getting our entry together was a good exercise for us and the actual judging process was done in a very relaxed manner. It wasn’t just the judges asking us questions, we were also able to ask them questions and so we picked up a lot of information from them.”

Jacqui says the expert judges made a number of good recommendations.

“One judge even suggested we put a ladder in our effluent ponds, just in case someone falls in.”

Jacqui says the feedback received from the judges was excellent.

“We felt it was a very worthwhile experience and we would certainly encourage other farmers to enter the competition. It’s a great opportunity to increase your knowledge.”

Entries for the 2014 Ballance Farm Environment Awards are now open. Entry forms are available at www.bfea.org.nz

More information on the 2014 Ballance Farm Environment Awards, including regional closing dates, can be found on the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust website.



© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Budget 2022

At base, the political biffo back and forth on the merits of Budget 2022 comes down to only one thing. Who is the better manager of the economy and better steward of social wellbeing – National or Labour? In its own quiet way, the Treasury has buried a fascinating answer to the “who’s best at running an economy during a crisis?” question, at page 57 of the Fiscal Strategy section...


Government: Helps Supermarket Shoppers Get A Fair Deal
Urgent Budget night legislation to stop major supermarkets blocking competitors from accessing land for new stores has been introduced today, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Dr David Clark said... More>>

Budget 2022: A Secure Future In Difficult Times
Budget 2022 will help build a high wage, low emissions economy that provides greater economic security, while providing support to households affected by cost of living pressures... More>>


Budget: Climate Investments Provide Path To Economic Security
The Government is investing in New Zealand’s economic security by ensuring climate change funding moves away from short-term piecemeal responses and towards smart, long-term investment... More>>


National: Jacqui Dean To Retire From Parliament In 2023

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean has announced that she will not be seeking re-election at the 2023 election. “I have advised the President and Leader of the National Party that I have decided not to put my name forward... More>>

Classification Office: Following Decision To Ban Manifesto The Buffalo Mass Shooting Livestream Is Now Banned
The livestream video of yesterday’s mass shooting in the United States has now been banned, Acting Chief Censor Rupert Ablett-Hampson announced this morning. The decision follows on from his decision yesterday to call in and ban the ‘manifesto... More>>

Borders: New Zealand Poised To Welcome International Students Back
New Zealand is fully reopening to international students and the Government is committed to help reinvigorate and strengthen the sector, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today... More>>




InfoPages News Channels