Spring’s arrival will see Kaipara farmers getting on with planning and making sure they’re on track to reach their productivity goals. It’s a busy time of year and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by choice when making decisions, particularly around pasture and cropping.
Knowing where to turn for trusted advice and expertise is vital. You want someone with a proven track record when it comes to achieving great results on farm. Having someone nearby who has local knowledge is an added bonus and, for many Kaipara farmers, that person is Shaun Ruddell.
Shaun is a Technical Sales Representative (TSR) working from the Dargaville and Ruawai Farm Source stores and has been in the role for seven years.
Farming is in Shaun’s blood - he grew up on a family farm in the Mangakahia Valley and now oversees it. With the help of a contract milker, he currently milks 300 cows on 110 hectares (ha) effective, producing 400kg of milk solids (MS) per cow on a grass-based system.
With his farming background and skin in the game himself, Shaun understands what farmers in the region are going through. He knows the wet winter has been a challenge and he’s urging his farmers to be patient.
“Don’t worry about hitting target residuals until your paddocks dry out in Northland. One pugging event can reduce grass grown by up to 30 percent in one season. By doing this it will pay dividends later in spring, giving you a better surplus to prepare for what summer may throw at us.”
With mating getting underway, a focus on nutrition is also key – it plays such an important role when it comes to good reproductive performance.
“One way or another, make sure your cows are fully fed going into mating and their energy levels aren’t too low. Some farmers using once a day (OAD) milking as a tool around mating are seeing some really awesome results in this area,” says Shaun.
Going the extra mile for his farmers is all part of the job for Shaun, who is married with two young sons.
“I enjoy going above and beyond for our farmers, especially in cropping season when decisions need to be made then and there. Even at the weekend, I’m never far from my phone or vehicle.”
Farm Source TSRs work closely with key Farm Source vendor reps from the likes of Agriseeds, Nufarm, Pioneer, with regular training taking place to ensure the TSRs are up-to-date with the very latest products and solutions.
“We have a tight relationship with our vendors and we’ll often work together to give the farmer maximum benefits,” says Shaun.
“I deal with a lot of farmers and see what works and what doesn’t; sometimes its horses for courses. At Farm Source, we are constantly bettering our expertise in the right channels so we keep leading the dairy industry. We want them to succeed so they come back next season and achieve even greater results.”
Talk to your local Fonterra Farm Source TSR today.