Mid Canterbury Arable Farmer David Grant was awarded the “Federated Farmers Arable Farmer of the Year Award 2021” at the arable industry awards in Christchurch on Wednesday night.
David’s contribution to the industry through is work with the Foundation for Arable Research, and in innovation and information sharing, made him an outstanding candidate for this year’s award, Feds Arable chair Colin Hurst said.
The Arable Farmer of the Year Award is designed to recognise a member who excels at arable farming and to acknowledge the standard of excellence they set for the industry.
“The award acknowledges a farmer who balances production and profit requirements against environmental, sustainability and other compliance requirements.
“Success in the arable industry typically flies under the radar in New Zealand, that’s why Federated Farmers created this award, to recognise and highlight achievement of the highest level,” Colin said.
A fellow Mid Canterbury grower, Graeme Bassett, won the Biosecurity Farmer of the Year award.
This award is designed to recognise a member who is focused on protecting their property from the risks posed by unwanted pests, weeds or diseases, and has done biosecurity related advocacy work on behalf of all growers.
“Graeme was one of the first farmers who put procedures and protocols in place, including processes for contractors coming onto farm, with seed contamination being a key priority,” arable industry vice chair (seeds) David Birkett said.
“He has led by example for others in the industry to follow and we can learn a lot from Graeme’s work.”
The Grain Grower of the Year award went to Southlanders Morgan and Karen Horrell .
This award recognises a member who has made a contribution to the wheat industry over a number of years and has demonstrated outstanding wheat yields.
The Horrells farm at Wendonside in Southland and grow winter wheat, winter barley, milling oats, garden peas, Blue peas, ryegrass seed and forage brassicas.
They achieve constantly strong crop yields across the board and use a no-till farming system. Their wheat yields and quality would be in the top 10% of Southland growers annually with a medium input operation.
The Seed Grower of the Year award also went to South Otago growers Craig and Anna Whiteside, who farm just north of Clinton.
The Whitside’s crops include winter wheat, winter barley, spring barley, milling oats, garden peas, radish seed, Asian brassica seed, tick bean seed, fava beans, ryegrass seed and turf grass seed. They have a large-scale operation and use 5 percent of the farm for their own trials of new crops.
The lone North Island winner on the night was Waikato grower Paul Hunter, the winner of the Federated Farmers Maize Grower of the Year award.
The award is designed to recognise a member who is a grower with outstanding maize silage or grain yields but also makes a contribution to industry and recognises someone who balances production and profit requirements against environmental, sustainability and other compliance requirements.
In his 25 years of crop farming on his own property Paul has constantly been involved and supportive of industry research and development.
He is a member of a group of northern North Island growers started 10 years ago who have embraced trying new concepts. He has made his own three-year conversion from conventional to strip till, which has been a highly successful transition.