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

 

Sustainable Vegetable Producer Wins Top Spot At Horizons Ballance Farm Environment Awards

Woodhaven Gardens has been named 2020 Regional Supreme Winner at the Horizons Ballance Farm Environment Awards, run by the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust.

The awards champion sustainable farming and growing through a programme which sees one Regional Supreme Winner selected from each of the 11 regions involved. All Regional Supreme Winners are in the running for the Gordon Stephenson Trophy, with the winner of this national award to be announced at a later date.

Woodhaven Gardens is a family business established in 1978 by Eric and John Clarke, with the lifestyle choice soon becoming a passion for producing the best produce available.

The Levin property is unique for its size and crop diversity – 23 different vegetables, plus maize and ryegrass to improve soil health and reduce nutrient losses. Annually, they sell 27 million individual vegetable units which is about 10% of the national supply, and contribute between $30–35mil to New Zealand’s GDP.

In recent years, Woodhaven has significantly invested in reducing its environmental impact, adopting a science-led approach that balances conservation with commercial success.

The judges said major changes to farming practices have resulted in a significantly reduced environmental footprint, with further improvements ongoing.

“Woodhaven is a leader in research for the vegetable industry – contributing time, money and land in order to measure and provide evidence. This large-scale fresh vegetable growing operation is driving change in environmental sustainability.”

Woodhaven Gardens. From left, John and Jay Clarke.

They commended the Clarkes for shifting production areas in order to reduce nitrogen loss and minimise the impact on water quality.

Woodhaven’s owners and directors view the farm holistically – growing for themselves while also enriching the lives of their staff, community, local iwi and environment. Their approach has been shared with Horticulture New Zealand and is being rolled out to other growers in the region. Watch their video on YouTube from 7.30pm tonight.

As well as receiving this year’s Regional Supreme Award, they also received the:

  • Hill Laboratories Agri-Science Award
  • Norwood Agri-Business Management Award
  • Synlait Climate Stewardship Award
  • WaterForce Wise with Water Award

Each year, the Ballance Farm Environment Awards offer unique, pan-sector opportunities for the sharing of ideas and information among grower peers, agribusiness professionals and the wider community.

Other 2020 Horizons Award Winners.

Brendon & Rachel Williams 
Pencoed Trust – Marton, Rangitikei

Pencoed. Brendon & Rachel Williams.

Brendon and Rachel are third generation farmers on this property that was chosen for its excellent soils and has been actively developed since 2000 under a family Trust.

The arable and finishing property’s main crops are wheat, maize, peas and grass, while it finishes about 2,500 lambs and 100 cattle annually.

Decision-making is based on caring for the soil – including using soil maps and having extensive sub-soil drainage. The farm is one of the first arable cropping enterprises to seek resource consents under the Horizons One Plan. Other conservation measures include retirement planting, reducing the use of fossil fuels, stock exclusion from waterways, retention dams to reduce runoff, and a fully reticulated water system.

Knowledge is a key tool, enabling the family to make informed decisions around improving production systems – ultimately producing a sustainable income.

Tony & Lynda Gray 
Kinross Partnership – Apiti, Manawatu

Kinross. Lynda & Tony Gray.

This family-operated business is owned and operated by Tony and Lynda Gray who are focused on maximising returns in an environmentally sustainable way.

It was the first farm to complete an Horizons Whole Farm Plan (SLUI) and over the past 14 years this has included planting more than 1,000 poplar poles and 6ha of Douglas fir.

Along with 1,260 sheep, 100 beef and 420 deer, the farm incorporates 125ha of QEII- covenanted regenerating native bush and has a possum control programme that includes poisoning and trapping. The Grays are fencing off the last waterway and are planning to isolate wetlands and do riparian planting. They have started investigating carbon farming options and are working with a local beekeeper who has hives on the farm.

The farm is starting to reap financial rewards from years of improvements around livestock production and environmental protection, and the family wants to ensure this progress continues.

Mark Johnston & Rebecca Jeffery
Ruahine Range Views – Dannevirke, Tararua

Ruahine. Rebecca Jeffery & Mark Johnston.

These owner-operators have completely transformed the dairy section of their property since buying it in 2017, merging two dairy farms into one self-contained unit.

They now farm 350 dairy cows over 131ha, with a further 80ha adjacent to boost the summer milking platform. The farm has a low stock rate and high production – about 1.7 cows per hectare – and significant time and investment has gone into improving infrastructure and water provisions.

The biodiversity of the property has also undergone a transformation, including the planting of 5,000 pines and 700 natives over the past two years, the creation of four wetlands, monthly possum control and the installation of kilometres of fencing along creeks.

The couple has implemented everything they wanted for the farm and feel they have greatly improved the state of the property since they took over.

Dave Milne
Lakeview Farm – Levin, Horowhenua

Hillary and Dave Milne of Lakeview Farm

Lakeview Farm combines forestry with a beef and sheep breeding and fattening unit managed by Dave Milne, along with a dairy unit managed by a 50:50 sharemilker.

About two-thirds of the 1,580ha property is devoted to sheep and beef breeding and finishing, with 130ha used for dairy farming and the balance consisting of forestry, wetlands and native bush.

Pine trees have been planted mainly on sandy ridges prone to erosion, while the farm has worked with local Iwi and councils to fence off areas of native bush and Lake Horowhenua.

Pests and weeds including gorse, rabbits, possums and Canada geese are controlled on the property, and a more formal animal health plan has been developed in recent years in association with the local vet clinic.

A key focus for the farm is to work with good people in order to improve the land so it’s in better order for future generations.

Chalky & Lesley Leary 
Onga – Hunterville, Rangitikei

Onga. Chalky and Lesley Leary.

Owner-operators Chalky and Lesley Leary have had a stake in Onga since 1973 and are now setting up a succession plan for their nephew to take over.

Along with breeding sheep and cattle, Onga farm has 118ha of radiata pine that brings in an average yearly income of $100,000. The property was smothered with gorse in 1973 and forestry was originally introduced to control it – and later to help manage erosion. The farm is now virtually gorse-free and boasts significant new infrastructure.

Three blocks of native bush are protected with QEII National Trust covenants and, for shade and erosion control, native bush is continually being fenced off and poplars planted. Other priorities are actively managing possum and deer, along with soil and water conservation.

Having spent 12 years in local government, Chalky appreciates the challenges facing both councils and farmers, and is keen to demonstrate the good work that’s happening.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Twitter Wars, And The Muller Muddles

Whatever the failings of our own politicians, spare a kind thought for the majority of Americans who did not vote for Donald Trump. Sure, it was depressing this week to watch Todd Muller clinging for dear life to his talking points on Q&A, lest he be carried away in the slavering jaws of Jack Tame…. but this was mere incompetence, not malice. At the same time the President of the United States was (a) falsely accusing one of his media critics of murder, and (b) threatening to shut down Twitter for attaching a warning label to Trump’s attempt at poisoning the electoral process by falsely claiming that postal voting has led to extensive voter fraud... More>>


 


Government: Freshwater Package Backed By Comprehensive Economic Analysis

Decisions on the Action for Healthy Waterways package are supported by comprehensive environmental and economic impact analysis by leading New Zealand research institutes, universities, and private sector firms. More>>

ALSO:

National: "Todd Muller Announces Shape Of Next Government"

National Party Leader Todd Muller has announced the line-up of the next Government. “New Zealand is facing perhaps the toughest time that almost anyone alive can remember. “We are borrowing tens of billions of dollars to get us through this crisis. There ... More>>

ALSO:

Lockdown Rules: Timeline For Moving To Level 1 Needed

The BusinessNZ Network is calling for more clarity about the conditions under which businesses can move to Covid level 1. The network is concerned about large numbers of businesses that are at risk of closure if restrictions continue at the current ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Day Of Reckoning

Congratulations. You are one of the 55 members of the National caucus being called together tomorrow to choose who will lead you to either (a) catastrophic or (b) honourable defeat on September 19, thereby saving some (but not all) of the jobs currently on the line. Good luck. Your decision process starts NOW... More>>

ALSO:


Budget 2020: Jobs Budget To Get Economy Moving Again

Investments to both save and create jobs in Budget 2020 mean unemployment can be back to pre COVID-19 levels within two years and could see the economy growing again as early as next year. More>>

ALSO:

Covid-19 Response: Law Setting Up Legal Framework For Covid-19 Alert Level 2 Passes


The law establishing a legal framework for the response to Covid-19 has passed its final reading and will become law in time for the move to Alert Level 2 tonight.
This is a bespoke Act designed specifically to stop the spread of COVID-19... More>>

ALSO:


Trans-Tasman Bubble: PMs Jacinda And Morrison Announce Plans

Australia and New Zealand are committed to introducing a trans-Tasman COVID-safe travel zone as soon as it is safe to do so, Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison MP have announced... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Support For Arts And Music Sector Recovery

A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: New Zealand Joins Global Search For COVID-19 Vaccine

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods, and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, which will enable New Zealand scientists to contribute to global research efforts ... More>>

ALSO:

The Dig: Steady State Economics: We’ve Got Some (systems) Thinking To Do

In this time of impending economic and ecological crises, we urgently need to aim for a sustainable or ‘steady state’ economy. In order to get there, we will need to adopt a ‘systems-thinking’ outlook taking into account the interconnections of our complex world.

In short, we’ve got some systems thinking to do... More>>

ALSO:

Election 2020: Parties Get Into gear

The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. Using the most democratic list ... More>>

ALSO:

Insight Into Regenerative Agriculture In New Zealand

There is a fast growing movement in New Zealand that has been happening out in paddocks, fields, gardens and hill country across the nation. It is a movement that holds the promise to reshape our productive land use industries towards systems that work with the natural environment to regenerate the land. The movement is that of regenerative agriculture. More>>

ALSO:

Covid-19: Tracer App Released To Support Contact Tracing

The Ministry of Health has today formally released the NZ COVID Tracer app to support contact tracing in New Zealand. Kiwis who download the app will create a digital diary of the places they visit by scanning QR codes displayed at the entrances to ... More>>

ALSO:


Govt: Deep Concern At Hong Kong National Security Legislation
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong.... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels