Monday, 1 August 2016
Ground Effect®, Spring 2016
Welcome to the third edition of Ground Effect
So here we are with another spring edition of Ground Effect packed with insights and tips to help boost the performance of the agri-sector for the benefit of New Zealand.
First cab off the rank is popular radio host and former All Black Richard Loe reflecting on the importance health and safety holds for him.
As we leave winter behind, Tim Lissaman, one of our Farm Environmental Consultants points out how changing to wintering dairy herds on farm can be a false economy when N-loss and nutrient budget impacts are included. Next winter may seem like a long way off, but if you’re considering starting to winter cows on farm, it is well worth planning ahead.
On page 6, shareholder Grant McKenzie talks about how the environmental consultancy helped him with a land use change. This dedicated team within Ravensdown continues to be extremely busy which demonstrates how many shareholders are taking their environmental performance seriously. Meanwhile fellow shareholders Rob and Mary Andrews describe the ideas at the heart of their improvement philosophy on page 12.
Our field-based team are out there talking to farmers facing a huge variety of challenges. Dr Ants Roberts looks at getting bangs for buck from fertiliser investment and how to avoid throwing out the belt-tightened baby with budget-cut bathwater. Technical Manager Agronomy James Bryan outlines the benefit of controlled release urea, while Agri Manager Marty O’Connor discusses the spring ‘pinch-point’ for pasture production.
Our tried and tested pasture-first philosophy seems timely in tighter times and has always played to New Zealand’s competitive advantage. Innovation Development Manager Dr Rob Murray tells us about how recent innovations to our Smart Maps technology can future-proof your business with good decision-making from managing information. A track record of soil tests and fertiliser maps can show what’s been effective in the past. This historical evidence can now be combined with future-facing data such as weather forecasts, soil temperatures and other environmental conditions.
The ballistics model underpinning our IntelliSpread precision aerial spreading service also deals with predictions based on complex calculations cross-checked against actual results. This helps pilots and farmers by predicting where fertiliser will land given the speed of the plane and the wind. The computer-controlled doors then adjust automatically so that the fertiliser lands where it’s intended.
Included in this issue:
More for the beer:
Hops and their explosive growth.
Fertilising on a budget
Dr Ants Roberts.