SDF celebrates move to SDH
SDF – the local farmer led Southland Demonstration Farm at Wallacetown near Invercargill has much to celebrate as it changes from operating a leased farm to establishing the new Southern Dairy Hub.
SDF chairman Maurice Hardie, commended the vision of the initial farmers who set up the demonstration farm and the farms owners, Pam and her late husband Stephen Brock for the provision of their farm which has contributed immensely to raising the profile and productivity of dairy farming in Southland.
“Nine years ago, farm owners Stephen and Pam Brock made their Wallacetown dairy farm available to the Southern Dairy Industry to showcase dairy farming in Southland. Over this time the farm has grown into a leading example of low cost, highly productive sustainable dairy farming. It has helped generate national interest in further research and demonstration that will occur through the soon to be established Southern Dairy Hub.”
“The leased farm has enabled SDF to demonstrate the value of a locally run demonstration farm, partake in a number of industry research programs and demonstrate a range of successful outcomes. These include the value of new pasture species, implications and opportunities with wintering-on, the use of fodderbeet, staff work hours management, and health and safety initiatives, to name just a few,” said Hardie.
“The intention was to continue the lease for another 12 months but an agreement has been reached with the Brocks for them to resume management of the farm in line with the original agreement. As SDF wants to focus on SDH we’ve jointly concluded the right outcome is to finish now as was initially intended.”
The new farm is under conditional purchase and will be converted to an 800 cow research and demonstration dairy farm for the wider Southern Region. Known as the Southern Dairy Hub, it will continue the work of demonstrating profitable, sustainable dairy farming systems, while also being able to undertake large scale – 200 cow – farm systems research.
“The conditional agreement allows for all necessary plans and consents before the purchase goes unconditional,” noted Mr Hardie. The new farm is to start milking mid-2017.
Matthew Richards, Chair of the Southern Dairy Development Trust (SDDT), the trust that owns SDF on behalf of Southern dairy farmers applauded the Brocks for their provision of the farm and their willingness for Southern farmers to visit and learn from the farms performance. “On behalf of all Southern dairy farmers, I’d also like to thank the current and past SDF
board members and SDDT trust members, and the farms sponsors and partners - DairyNZ, Ravensdown, LIC, SIDDC, Westpac, PGGW Seeds and McIntyre Dick and Partners. These companies and individuals supported the vision of SDF and backed the project from the beginning,” says Richards.
Demonstration in Southland will take on a different format for the next 12 months while the new farm is established. SDF will continue to work closely with DairyNZ to demonstrate how farms can harness more pasture and home grown forage for milk production and thus have low cost highly productive adaptable dairy systems.
For further information please contact:
Chair of Southern Dairy Development Trust
027 206 6071