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


Opotiki dairy farmers win BOP win Ballance Farm Award

Opotiki dairy farmers Jared and Sue Watson win Bay of Plenty Ballance Farm Environment Awards

Opotiki dairy farmers Jared and Sue Watson have won the Bay of Plenty Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

Sue and Jared have been 50:50 sharemilkers since 2002 now milking 282 cows once a day on a 120ha platform in the Waiotahe Valley.

Jared and Sue’s win was announced at a gala dinner at ASB Baypark at Mt Maunganui on Friday night, where they also won the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award, LIC Dairy Farm Award and a Bay of Plenty Regional Council Environment Award.

The Awards judges said the couple work to each other’s strengths with Jared’s on-farm ability with livestock, pastures and stewardship and accountant Sue’s analytical abilities. They said the Watsons show enthusiasm and passion for all aspects of their business including sustainable dairying and “doing the right thing” by the environment.

At any time of year, floods can inundate up to 80 per cent of the Waiotahe Valley property, which is just 20 metres above sea level in a valley with a river running through it – a challenge Jared manages with a no-pugging policy and two loafing pads and a feed pad. As well as river flats, the farm includes a moderate to steep runoff block.

Ninety five hectares of the effective milking platform is owned by Jared’s parents Kent and Cherry Watson. Sue and Jared lease 25ha to the dairy unit and carry 54 R1 and 21 mixed-age beef cattle on the remainder of their 74ha block, which also has a 15ha block of native bush. A 10ha support block is also leased nearby and grows maize, lucerne and winter oats.

The 2015/16 season yielded 109,561kg milk solids with 260 mixed age cows (1095kg/MS/ha). While production has dropped with the move to once-a-day milking this season, the change has renewed Jared and Sue’s energy for dairying.

“I’m pretty enthusiastic about how well it is going and the huge positive impacts it’s had on our lives. Before we changed to once-a-day this season I was seriously wondering how many more years I could keep dairying – now I’m enjoying farming again,” Jared says.

“The cows still get moved several times each day but shifting them takes way less time than milking. Calving was much easier too – in fact I enjoyed it this season,” says Jared who is assisted by full-time employee Adam Rowson and Alan Thoresen part-time.

Sue is a financial accountant in Whakatane. She says her off-farm income and the support of Jared’s parents have been instrumental in the success of the change to once-a-day milking. It has also enhanced family life for them and their sons Luka, 12, and Niko, 10.
“Jared no longer has to rush off for the afternoon milking and he’s so much more relaxed.”

The change of farming practice had reduced costs and resulted in healthier, happier humans as well as cows, said the judges.
The Watsons have stopped feeding palm kernel with maize and lucerne now grown on a neighbouring lease block and chicory incorporated into the grazing round on the milking platform.

Sue and Jared have more time to focus on the environment and continuing the tradition of planting trees begun by Jared’s great grandfather. They are the fourth generation to farm the Waiotahe Valley property and live in a restored family home built in 1888.

The farm features many native and exotic trees which provide shelter and shade and beautify the property. The drains on the farm are well managed, fenced and planted. Maintaining the water plants and dense vegetation on the banks has reduced nutrients in the water and provides habitat for fish, birds and insects. The run off adjacent to the dairy platform also has retired and well planted areas.

Significant thought has gone into the nutrient programme: the use of foliar N and the fertiliser policy has resulted in a more diverse, deeper-rooted sward. Jared has a good understanding of the soil types and soil testing is carried out biennially.

Stock are in good condition and knowledge of the dairy herd’s breeding is a clear strength.

Award winners
A number of other category awards were announced at the Bay of Plenty Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

Richard Sisam, Bruce Sisam and Matthew Sisam of Sisam and Sons Ltd with a dairy, sheep, beef and forestry operation at Whakatane won the WaterForce Integrated Management Award and the Massey University Innovation Award.

Brent Looney, Natasja Boon and Glen Penny from organic dairy farm BA Looney Trust at Edgecumbe won the CB Norwood Distributors Ltd Agri-Business Management Award and the Hill Laboratories Harvest Award.

Sheep and beef farmer Allen Coster, Mataiwhetu Farms, at Kaimai won the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Award and the Pukekauri Farms People in Agriculture Award.

Whakatane kiwifruit orchardists Iain and Leanne Blackwood, Blackwood Orchard, won the Zespri Kiwifruit Orchard Award, while fellow kiwifruit growers Brian and Jan Barton from Katikati won the Farm Stewardship Award in partnership with the QEII National Trust and the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust.

Waihi dairy farmers Suejane Brumby and Jason and Holley Perrin won a Bay of Plenty Regional Council Environment Award.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Covid-19: Dissolution Of Parliament Delayed As Govt Hunts Source Of New infections

The dissolution of Parliament has been deferred by at a least a few days due to the new covid-19 cases, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.
This was in case Parliament had to be reconvened as more information came to light, Ardern said at a briefing on the three-day level 3 lockdown in Auckland and level 2 alert for the rest of the country.
A decision about the dissolution of Parliament and any flow on effects for the timing of the election would be considered on Monday, Ardern said... More>>


National: Emma Mellow As Auckland Central Candidate

Tonight the National Party has selected Emma Mellow to stand in the Auckland Central electorate for the 2020 General Election. Emma Mellow replaces retiring MP Nikki Kaye who first won the seat from Labour in 2008. Emma leads a team of communications ... More>>


Travel: Update On New Zealand And The Cook Islands Bubble

The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Henry Puna have welcomed the completion of phase one in the establishment of a travel bubble between New Zealand and the Cook Island. More>>

Election 2020: Labour Launch

E ngā mana e ngā reo Ngāti whātua ngā mana whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau, e tika te kōrero Ehara taku toa he toa (taki tahi) he toa (taki tini) No rēira tātou e huihui mai nei, ka ‘Hoake tonu tātou’ Thank you for that welcome. And thank ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Political Twins, And On Labour Extending Its Wage Subsidy Scheme

A quick quiz for the weekend. Which political party currently represented in Parliament issued a press release yesterday that contained these stirring passages: “[We have] long supported a free trade and free movement area between Canada, Australia, New ... More>>


Parliament Adjourns: Adjournment Debate: Speaker Trevor Mallard

The 52 Parliament has sat for the last time before the September Election. It sat for 245 days... More>>


E-Cigarettes: Vaping Legislation Passes

Landmark legislation passed today puts New Zealand on track to saving thousands of lives and having a smokefree generation sooner rather than later, Associate Health Minister, Jenny Salesa says. The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) ... More>>


Covid-19: Poll On Management Approval

New Zealanders’ overall trust in the Ministry of Health and Government to manage the COVID-19 pandemic is at 82%, down from 91% during April. Overall distrust that the Ministry and Government will manage it in ways which best protect themselves More>>

Election 2020: National Releases 2020 Party List

National’s 2020 Party List is a strong mix of experience coming up through our Caucus, and new and exciting talent joining our team from communities across New Zealand, Party President Peter Goodfellow says. “The National Party is incredibly ... More>>

Horizon Research Limited: How Judith Collins Stopped The Bleeding

Horizon Research includes questions on voting from time to time in its surveys – for both forthcoming referenda and general elections. More>>

Your Vote 2020: Bringing Election Coverage To Viewers Across TVNZ Channels And Platforms

As New Zealand gets ready to head to the ballot box this September, 1 NEWS is bringing voters comprehensive coverage and analysis of this year’s General Election. TVNZ’s coverage will draw on the depth of experience held across the 1 NEWS team, says Graeme ... More>>

Economy: 30% Believe Households Worse Off, 298,000 Expect To Lose Jobs

64% of New Zealanders feel the economic position of their households is the same or better than a year ago – and 30% think it is worse or much worse, while 298,000 think they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months. Households’ perceptions ... More>>

State Services Commission: Findings Of Investigation Into COVID-19 Active Cases Privacy Breach

Deputy State Services Commissioner Helene Quilter has today announced the findings of an investigation into a breach of privacy regarding sensitive personal information. The investigation looked into who or what caused the disclosure of the information, ... More>>

International Security: New Zealand Suspends Extradition Treaty With Hong Kong

The New Zealand Government has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and made a number of other changes in light of China’s decision to pass a national security law for Hong Kong, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. More>>






InfoPages News Channels