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


Innovative Dairy Farming Couple Wins Supreme in Northland

Innovative Dairy Farming Couple Wins Supreme in 2015 Northland Ballance Farm Environment Awards

Pakotai dairy farmers Rachel and Greig Alexander are the Supreme winners of the 2015 Northland Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA).

At a special BFEA ceremony on March 18, the Alexanders were also presented with the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award, LIC Dairy Farm Award, Massey University Innovation Award, and the WaterForce Integrated Management Award.

Their business, Waikopani Holdings Ltd, farms a total of 486ha on two farms (one dairy and the other beef) in the Mangakahia River Valley, about 50km northwest of Whangarei.

Greig and Rachel have farmed the family dairy farm since the mid-1990s and have continued to improve the property and build a very sustainable business.

The couple’s innovation and constant willingness to think outside the square won praise from BFEA judges, who were particularly impressed by the land use decisions applied to the 126ha milking platform.

They said the Alexanders have carefully matched land uses to the capability of the various land types for sustainable production. Steeper areas have been retired from grazing and planted with a range of production forestry species, and extensive riparian and wetland areas have been re-established in the valley systems.

Judges also commented on the careful attention to detail shown towards grazing, financial and nutrient management.

Last season the operation milked 350 cows, achieving production of 1452kgMS/ha in a drought-affected year. The herd has a very high genetic potential with a BW of 149, which puts it in the top 5% of herds nationally.

The high-input system makes good use of home-grown feed, with imported supplements used to fill feed gaps.

On-off grazing is practised to minimise pugging and soil damage while reducing fine sediment loss in heavy rainfall. Sediment and nutrient run-off from paddocks is captured in protected wetland traps that have become a feature of the property.

All waterways have been fenced, along with bush and wetland areas, and BFEA judges commented on the “impressive, active, long-term biodiversity and biosecurity management practices”.

Water levels in reservoirs and water use are electronically monitored with data on display in the farm dairy

Health and safety aspects were proactively addressed on the farm, said judges, and farm infrastructure is “well-constructed and maintained”.

Off-farm, the Alexander family is involved in sports clubs, calf clubs, and school hostel management, and has established a scholarship fund to support their local primary school.

A BFEA field day will be held on the Supreme-award winning property on Thursday May 7.

Winners in the 2015 Northland Ballance Farm Environment Awards were:

Supreme award, Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award, LIC Dairy Farm Award, Massey University Innovation Award, and WaterForce Integrated Management Award: Rachel and Greig Alexander, Waikopani Holdings Ltd, Pakotai.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Award: Laurie Copland and Copland Family Trust, Broadwood, Kaitaia.

Hill Laboratories Harvest Award: Angela and Tony Payton, Whispering Pines, Kaitaia.

PGG Wrightson Land and Life Award, Donaghys Farm Stewardship Award, Northland Regional Council Water Quality Enhancement Award: Sandy and Ian Page, Tahere Farm, Pataua North, Whangarei.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Energy Resources Aotearoa: Doubling Of Coal Use Shows Need For Local Natural Gas

New figures showing a near doubling of coal-fired electricity generation highlight New Zealand’s energy shortage and the need for natural gas as a lower carbon alternative, according to Energy Resources Aotearoa... More>>

E Tu: ‘Sense Of Mourning’ As Norske Skog Mill Set To Close

Workers at Norske Skog’s Tasman Mill now know they’ll be losing their jobs in little over a month’s time.
On Wednesday afternoon, workers were told the mill will be stopping production from the end of June... More>>

Stats NZ: Card Spending Sees Strong Growth In May

Seasonally adjusted card spending rose by $189 million (2.3 percent) between April 2021 and May 2021, Stats NZ said today.
Spending rose across all industries for the first time since New Zealand moved to level 1 in June 2020... More>>

Auction: 1.4 Million In Rare Vintage Watches, Gems, Jewels & Diamonds Go Under The Hammer At Webb’s

An auction event showcasing over 1.4 Million dollars in rare jewels, gems, diamonds and vintage watches is due to take place this Sunday by Auckland based auction house Webb’s... More>>

Catalist: NZ’s New SME Stock Exchange, Gets Licence To Go Public

New Zealand has a new stock exchange – designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to raise up to $20 million a year from the public.
Called Catalist, the exchange has already been successfully working the private investment sector.... More>>

E-Commerce: Over 40% Of Those Engaged In The Bitcoin Community Are Millennials

Bitcoin has emerged to be a popular topic among millennials with digital currency increasingly being viewed as a potential source of creating wealth through investments. The interest in bitcoin by millennials signals the role this age group plays in the possible realization of the digital currency’s mass adoption... More>>