Winter in the Bay of Plenty has been a tough one for farmers and townies alike. Floods and cyclones gave the region a real hammering and many in the community are still recovering from the impact.
But with spring’s arrival, BOP farmers will be getting on with planning for the months ahead and making sure they’re maximising their productivity.
It’s fair to say there’s a bit of pressure to make the right decision when it comes to pasture and cropping options. Especially when the pasture has suffered so much damage recently.
As the Technical Sales Representative (TSR) for Farm Source Te Puke, Quentin Brears knows what challenges farmers in the area are facing.
“We’re coming out of a wet winter with water-logged soils that make pasture more prone to pugging. This means less pasture production grown on-farm and in some cases we’re seeing areas of pasture we can’t get onto until late spring to mid-summer,” says Quentin.
This spring Quentin is urging his farmers to establish a feed wedge.
“I can’t stress enough the importance of building a feed wedge to help allow cows to peak and set up pastures for future production. A great option for those who don’t have facilities to feed and stand-off cows is setting aside a ‘sacrifice’ paddock which in turn could be cropped to use those nutrients further down the track,” says Quentin, who in January last year was made Technical Sales Manager (TSM) overseeing four other TSRs in the BOP area – a role that’s in addition to his TSR job.
Quentin and his fellow TSRs benefit from extensive training and keep up with industry best practice so their farmers can get on with the day-to-day running of their farms.
“Farmers these days have enough to worry about. We are given a lot of training and kept up-to-date with the latest products and technologies, not to mention the resources we have access to through back-up from our vendor reps. We work hard to take the stress out of cropping by giving expert advice, applying ag-chem/fert or both when required, regular crop checks and being there at the end to calibrate yield to get maximum utilisation,” says Quentin, who is married with four young children.
Going the extra mile for their farmers is all part of the job, says Quentin, who recalls working closely with a struggling farmer to drastically reduce his costs.
“Last year there was one particular farmer who was not going to be able to afford everything he needed to set up for calving and the new season. He had been around town and gathered quotes which were all very similar. Farm Source had just released the farmer support package where we had really ramped up the amount of Farm Source dollars on certain items. I had a look at his quote which was just under $5,000. I highlighted all the products on the quote that had Farm Source dollars attached, added up the cost and it came to just over $2,000. So we basically halved his quote, and he was able to purchase all he needed to get up and running.
“At the end of the day, we are here to help support our farmers for a sustainable future. We stand proud of our mission to lower on-farm costs for a more profitable return for our farmers,” says Quentin.
Talk to your local Fonterra Farm Source TSR today.