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Being crowned national winners of the 2016 Ballance Farm Environment Awards has been the culmination of a 30 year journey for Hellensville farmers Richard and Dianne Kidd.

“Being mindful of the impact of our farming operations on the environment doesn’t detract from the overall productivity,” says Richard. “Instead it prompts you to consider all of the decisions you make and drives efficiency throughout the farm system, helping to increase production.” 

Among the sustainable initiatives on the 376 ha sheep, beef and forestry unit, Whenuanui Farm, are fenced off gullies and waterways; biodiversity corridors planted with native species; large areas of raupo sediment traps to capture nutrients; trees and flax planted along fence lines; as well as shade, shelter and reticulated water available to livestock in every paddock.

To get the most out of their sustainably designed farming system Richard and Dianne tap into the soil nutrient expertise of Ballance and credit their local Nutrient Specialist, Ross Neal, as being “a great asset.”

  “In working with the Kidds we’ve tested and analysed the various soil types on their farm to find the right product and nutrient amounts required to maximise output,” says Ross.

“A good example of this is on the productive peat flats which have shown high Olsen P levels historically. This autumn we have gone with PhaSedN, a nitrogen and elemental sulphur product, which has generated excellent pasture growth.

“Richard and Dianne have put an impressive amount of work into designing a farm system that lowers stress on the stock, raises productivity and protects the environment for future generations.”

  

 

"For Richard and Dianne Kidd, achieving their vision for a high producing farm that considers the wellbeing of both stock and environment is the product of clever-thinking, dedication and knowing where to turn for expert advice when needed."