Morrinsville TSR Bryn Sanson has a lifelong association with dairy farming. He was raised on dairy farms in Helensville and Parakai then worked alongside his Dad on a 380-cow dairy farm after finishing high school.
Keen to bolster his lifetime of practical experience, Bryn headed off to hit the books at Otago University where he studied science.
"After graduating University I moved back to Northland where I worked for Farm Source as a TSR out of the Helensville and Wellsford branches," says Bryn.
A transfer to Waikato followed two years later and Bryn has been the TSR at the Morrisville store since early 2017. He looks after farmers in the area south of Morrinsville and it’s been all hands to the pump in his corner of Waikato this spring.
"Spring is a very busy time with mating taking up a good portion of that time. Farmers also are looking at spraying paddocks for spring weeds and preparation for cropping (spraying out, cultivation, planting etc)," says Bryn.
Ensuring farmers have adequate cropping and feed plans for spring and summer is on the agenda, along with assessing potential risks.
"This year we could be looking at a drought, especially if the northern hemisphere is anything to go by. The reduction of PKE in cow diets will also be a factor, so plans should be around potentially blending imported supplementary feed or growing crops on farm," says Bryn.
The technical side of the role appeals to the scientist in Bryn, and he says his main interest is in Agronomy and Agrichemicals, especially through the crucial spring and autumn periods.
"Every year presents different challenges and it tends to be these technical areas where I think I can add value for farmers.
"Farmers are experts at running their farm. Our job first and foremost is to do the best by the farmer. We strive to offer value but also quality to our farmers. But they can’t be expected to know the details and differences between every product they use. That’s where I come in, I have the training and the right people around me to give relevant information about products to help the farmer make the best choice for their business,” says Bryn.
The people Bryn refers to are his colleagues and vendor reps. "I have a very strong relationship with my vendor reps who I work closely with during relevant times of the year. They provide product info as well as the science to back up the product. Not to mention the technical training and insights and great support."
Having said that, sometimes a bit of good old-fashioned practical thinking is all it takes.
"Recently I had a farmer that was looking at direct drilling his chicory into a newly sprayed-out paddock. I advised placing a damp sack with a brick on it in the paddock to assess what slug issues might be lurking unseen. Checking it in the morning he had around 10 slugs underneath the sack which indicated there was quite a large slug burden and I advised he spread SlugOut over the paddock to control the population as they can be quite devastating to a newly germinated crop of chicory. There has been plenty of occasions where slugs have got the better of a young crop and has led to a replant!"
Bryn’s interests outside of work are plentiful and include hiking, climbing, skiing, squash, golf, fishing, diving, hunting, to name just a few.