This is the fist Ravensdown newsletter I’ve been involved with and I hope you agree it is an informative and varied read.You’ll see how the acid plant development in Awatoto is increasing its reliability. You can read about our expansion in the Wairarapa and how we maintain silos on the West Coast. Your laboratory ARL and your aerial spreading business Aerowork, show how they are innovating to keep costs down.On page 12, there’s a peek at the brand new Smart Maps tool and I’d urge you to visit www.myravensdown.co.nz to see how your farm details look.Our technical experts give their topical views on glyphosate resistance and how to best move forward after a long dry summer. I know the team is proud of our research and science focus, so it was great to see a record number of papers submitted at Massey University’s Fertiliser and Lime Research Centre annual conference.Over the past few weeks, we’ve been supporting the Regional Finals of the ANZ Young Farmer Contest. We’ve been sponsoring that for 27 years and already help the finalists by being involved with judging the agriskills category. But this is the fist year we’ve tried to do something for those fans whose support of the finalists encourages them to do their best.Also the regional New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards are taking place. We have seen the most entries ever, so this is an event which is going from strength to strength. Ravensdown sponsors the Pasture Management Award and we’ll bring you news about the winners of that in the next edition.I hope you enjoy the read and if you have any questions or feedback for me, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.Also included in this issue:• Winning the bug battle below ground.• Your farm maps just got smarter.• Supporting young farmers.
As a 100% farmer-owned co-operative specialising in nutrient management, you can be sure that we have teams putting the farmers’ point of view at regional council, court hearings and other forums.Whatever side of the ‘fertiliser divide’ you stand on, the reality is that farmers in all regional councils’ areas are under pressure to reduce their environmental footprint. It is our belief that regulations like the ones being imposed in the Manawatu / Wanganui area can be minimised if voluntary action is taken now.And of course, sustainable practices are an important part of the story to tell consumers about our farming practices and can also help deliver better results for the farmers’ bottom line.In this Smart Nutrients special, we take a look at the economic contribution fertiliser makes to soil fertility and the bottom line of NZ Inc. We’ll see how far fertiliser has come and what’s in store for its future.The good news is that with our ‘Smart Nutrients’ toolbox, Ravensdown can help all farmers to lift their production whilst mitigating their environmental impact.Also included in this issue:• 60 years of fertiliser data at Winchmore.• Mitigating nitrate leaching.• End to grass grubs' free lunch.
The contribution to the economy of our rural sector’s production is clearly defined. According to the Ministry for Primary Industries, last year, dairy meat and wool were 42% of merchandise exports. In dairy alone, export income was $13.85 billion.Ravensdown has the trained teams, the technology and the products to help farmers raise production whilst reducing their environmental impact.With the Land and Water Forum drawing up recommendations and regional councils developing regulation, there is an unprecedented level of hearings, submissions and conferences on the subject of water quality. On page 18, you can read about how our people are lobbying on farmers’ behalf at this important time.Speaking of important times, details of our annual results and your rebate can be found on page 20. It was a solid year, where each New Zealand business unit was profitable and contributed to record revenues, whilst your co-operative shielded shareholders from world price volatility.Also included in this issue:• Get the facts about farm water quality.• How shareholders are doing their bit.
Ravensdown is delighted to start another quarter century of support for agricultural leaders by sponsoring the National Bank Young Farmer contest. Now in its 26th year of support, Ravensdown is a gold sponsor for the event whose finals took place in Dunedin in May.Many of those early young farmer contestants have gone on to become industry leaders and build very successful farming businesses. Some are responsible for the new generation of contestants who never cease to astound me with their knowledge and expertise.As you’ll see in this edition, through our Hugh Williams Scholarship we also help to support the leaders emerging from agricultural studies from Lincoln and Massey. We also run scholarships with Parininihi Ki Waitotara, Atihau, Mangatu Blocks Incorporation and Tahora.The opportunity for leaders to emerge and seize the reigns has never been greater. Based on the current showing, farming’s future looks bright in these youngsters’ hands. Also included in this issue:• Southland data flows in.• Whole-farm testing.• Your lab in the NIR future.