Understanding farm systems is imperative to adding value to our customers’ businesses, as is taking a ‘whole system approach’ to our agronomic service offering. To build on our knowledge of working farm systems and good rotation planning, we took on the lease of a 190ha portion of Glenroy farm located near Hororata in the Canterbury foothills in late 2020.
The lease block at Glenroy is an exciting addition to the Catalyst Performance Agronomy portfolio and can add real value to the arable and pastoral farming sectors. We are seizing the opportunity to undertake research for our business and to demonstrate innovative agronomic practices, all while sharing our own farming system journey within our team and our wider customer base.
The four key objectives of this project are:
- that it is commercially viable;
- that it is environmentally compliant;
- that it adds value to our staff and customers; and,
- that it represents what our customers do and the markets we engage with.
Heading into winter 2021, the block is sown with 15ha fodderbeet, 60ha autumn wheat, 90ha oats/Italian mix and the balance in existing perennial pasture. The intention is to graze 300 R2 in-calf heifers through to calving.
This lease block is part of 300ha of rolling arable with some steeper country. There is an annual average rainfall of 1200mm and heavy Templeton soils with variable low to medium base fertility.
The climate, topography, low base fertility and baseline of 25kgN of the land present us with some challenges to overcome. The issue of environmental legislation and the pressures the winter cropping market is being put under has resulted in a lot of uncertainty, and often confusion, for farmers about what’s required to reduce their Nitrogen levels. Through our lease block at Glenroy, we endeavour to demonstrate the environmental sustainability of farm systems with winter cropping, and be fully transparent with our own compliance journey.