Making the right calls on-farm this spring is not something any farmer takes lightly. Whether it’s about cropping, pasture or ag-chem, every decision counts during spring.
For farmers throughout the region, especially the two thirds of Taranaki farms dedicated to dairy production, optimising dollar performance and maximising productivity will be top of mind.
Neville Giddy is Fonterra Farm Source Technical Sales Rep (TSR) for North Taranaki and his 15 years as a sales rep in the Taranaki region, six of those with Farm Source, has enabled him to build an unique business rapport with farmers in his area.
Neville knows that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution and understanding a farmer’s individual needs is vital.
“For example, when it comes to cropping, not every crop is suitable for each farmer – each farmer has different needs and requirements. So what a farmer sees their neighbour doing might not work for them.
“It’s about helping farmers plan their seasonal requirements and understanding what their visions are for the season and then working together to get the most value we can for them,” says Neville.
The sentiment is echoed by Neville’s colleague Cliff Duggan who is TSR for South Taranaki.
“We all have the same goal in providing the best service in the most cost-effective way to provide a return for the farmer,” says Cliff, who left school at 16 to join the co-op, then known as Kiwi Dairies.
A true understanding of the realities of farming underpins Cliff’s approach with his farmers.
“I understand their wider business and look to find solutions that will add value to their business”
To further strengthen their offering to farmers, Farm Source TSRs work closely with key vendor reps from the likes of Agriseeds, Nufarm, and Pioneer.
“We can call on the expertise of specialists which is always really handy and we’ll take them out to chat with a farmer when required. So if a farmer is interested in growing a particular crop for instance, and they want to talk to someone who specialises just in that crop, then we’ll bring the vendor out to their farm and away they go,” says Neville.
Cliff agrees and adds “I know I always have back up advice and technical support from our key vendors, and like me, they are committed to helping find the right solutions for our customers.”
For Cliff, a key focus right now is helping farmers choose the most cost-effective summer supplement for their system while Neville’s top tip for his customers this spring is to consider the long term impact of their decisions.
“Avoid taking shortcuts. Because what you put in is what you get out,” says Neville.
Both TSRs agree that while choosing the right road to take when it comes to things like seed, fertiliser and ag-chem takes some working through, no matter which direction you choose to head in, your local Fonterra Farm Source team is here to help with the right solution for you and your farm.