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Show Me Sustainable Dairy Farming

Show Me Sustainable Dairy Farming

Pakotai dairy farmers, Rachel & Greig Alexander, winners of the 2015 Northland Ballance Farm Environment Supreme Award, are hosting a field day at their Award winning property at 3305 Mangakahia Road on Thursday 7th May 2015.

Their dairy farm will be open to all interested parties, commencing at 10.30am, with the day concluding with a light lunch at approximately 1.30pm.

The field day will provide the opportunity for visitors to learn how Rachel and Greig interpret ‘sustainability’ in their farming business. The Alexanders will explain how they incorporate sustainability into their day to day operation while still achieving bottom line profitability across the farming business, which also includes a beef operation and forestry.

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.

The couple’s innovation and constant willingness to think outside the square won praise from the award 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.

Along with an overview of the total business and a tour of the property, the field day programme will include information on the innovative use of clover silage for supplement, pest control and bush management, minimising water use and the integration of beef and forestry in their farming operation.

The Alexanders also won the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award, LIC Dairy Farm Award, Massey University Innovation Award, and the WaterForce Integrated Management Award.

Other 2015 Northland Winners were:
Laurie Copland and Copland Family Trust, Broadwood, Kaitaia.
• Beef+Lamb New Zealand Livestock Award

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

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


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