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Central Otago farmers produce prize-winning Cleancrop™ Hawkestone swede crop

Central Otago farmers produce prize-winning Cleancrop™ Hawkestone swede crop

Central Otago farmers produce prize-winning Cleancrop™ Hawkestone swede crop

Jaimee and Chris Pemberton have had their eyes on winning the Alexandra Winter Feed Crop Competition prize for some time. This year, their Cleancrop™ Hawkestone swedes took out the swede category, at an estimated weight of 19 tonnes (t) of dry matter (DM) per ha, about 4 t of DM per ha more than achieved previously.

Chris and Jaimee farm Clynelish, a 170 ha irrigated property in equity partnership with Karl and Ro McDiarmid in Becks, Central Otago. Jaimee was looking for someone to add value to their business, including help with building crop rotation plans and the overall farm operation, so she contacted PGG Wrightson Alexandra Technical Field Representative, Tony Sanders.

Clynelish is transitioning from a beef and dairy grazing property to a mixed livestock and arable system. A transition like this can be complex, and with a range of different crops and spray combinations, it is important to understand the effect different chemistry may have to avoid any potential future residual issues. Jaimee and Chris value the expertise Tony brings to support them in achieving good results.

The Pemberton’s use pelletised Cleancrop Hawkestone swedes which they get Maniototo Contracting to precision drill. The pelletised seed is sown with a 375 mm spacing between rows to allow individual plants even spacing to grow.

The Cleancrop Brassica System works well on their property as they have weeds that Telar® controls including fathen and shepherd’s purse. Californian thistle is controlled with a second application, once emerged.

The swedes are now providing winter feed for the dairy grazers and Chris says although it has been a cold frosty winter, there is plenty of feed for the stock.

Chris has found that second-year crops which have been through the Cleancrop Brassica System have fewer weeds compared to the paddocks which have been through a conventional brassica programme. As they begin to grow more specialist arable crops, a lower weed burden will be critical.

Jaimee and Chris also have their own contracting business, Pemberton Contracting. During the spring and summer, Chris spends a lot of time working on other farms across Central Otago. This is why the Cleancrop Brassica System works well for them as it provides a simple way to control weeds early, setting them up to achieve a high-yielding crop.

The Pemberton’s know they can rely on Tony to monitor the crops frequently and alert them of any potential threats. Having a second set of eyes when Jaimee or Chris cannot be there has made their agronomy decisions an enjoyable and satisfying part of farming, says Jaimee.

To better understand the suitability of growing Cleancrop™ Hawkestone swedes within your cropping programme, contact your local PGG Wrightson Technical Field Representative.