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Cropping programme helps achieve production goals

Cropping programme helps achieve production goals

Cropping programme helps achieve production goals

Having spent his working life farming in northern Wairarapa, fifth-generation farmer Ed Kight has overseen the evolution of the farms owned by Akitio Investments from being 100 percent livestock centric to a sheep and beef breeding and forestry operation.

Akitio Investments currently owns two livestock farms located southeast of Dannevirke. The properties are run by Ed with a Farm Manager overseeing each property. Breeding sheep and finishing their lambs, Ed says the business also buys in lambs for finishing as well as having a clean-up mob of cows whose progeny are finished on-farm.

Huiarau Station, totalling 1,000 hectares (ha), was purchased in 2019. As Ed explains, the farm was originally sold by his great grandfather in 1911 coming full circle back into the family’s ownership. The 250 ha of fertile Takapau silt loam flat land provides the operation with the flexibility it needs to grow different crops to help meet production requirements.

Located along coastline, Akitio Station’s 3,600 ha consists of hill country and up to 60 ha of flat land. Being coastal, Ed says, the farm offers spectacular scenery though the downside is the wind and dry summer conditions.

Both farms are self-sufficient, growing enough feed for their livestock. “Our cropping programme is tailored to reduce weed pressure,” says Ed. “This year we planted Pallaton Raphno®, plantain, clover and brassica. Our chicory crop has yielded well with 300 plus grams weight gain per day and multiple grazings. We are constantly looking for the right combination for feeding our livestock.”

For assistance planning the cropping programme, Ed and his team call on the advice and support of PGG Wrightson Technical Field Representative, Mark Jones who is based at the PGG Wrightson Dannevirke store. “Mark recommends crop varieties he believes will help us achieve our production goals, factoring in the livestock mix we plan to have on-farm. Together with Mark we plan our rotation around having flexibility within our management system,” says Ed.

Having been a customer of PGG Wrightson for the past forty years, Ed says in the last four he has utilised Mark and the Dannevirke store team's expertise in cropping and regrassing. “Mark visits regularly and offers us advice and recommendations on what is happening on-farm. At times, he has brought on-farm PGG Wrightson specialists in agronomy, so there’s a lot of knowledge available.”

Looking to the future Ed says, “we’re always evolving and striving for a better result. We intend to keep farming as I believe we have a sustainable operation with a good mix of livestock and pines providing us with multiple revenue streams.”



TYPE: Sheep and beef breeding and forestry operation
SIZE: Akitio Station: 3,600 hectares (ha) with 1,200 ha effective. Huiarau Station: 1,000 ha with 800 ha effective
STOCK: 16,000 units
CROPS: Ryegrass, Pallaton Raphno®, chicory, plantain and clover
LOCATION: Northern Wairarapa