Taking the guesswork out of farm drainage design
Practical, simple and technical is how Farm Manager Andrew Law describes the farm mapping and drainage system planning process provided by PGG Wrightson (PGW) in association with P&F Global.
Based in Castlerock, Lumsden, Andrew is Farm Manager for North Range Partnership, an intensive sheep and beef breeding and finishing block. Andrew describes the farm as a mix of hill country and flat land with pasture varying from a mix of ryegrass and clover to native grasses and tussock. Around 100 ha is cropped.
In the 10 years that Andrew has been Farm Manager, he’s been a customer of PGW Lumsden. “I value the customer service we get from Olivia (Callaghan, Store Manager) and her team,” he says. “They are always happy to help and offer practical solutions.”
So, when he made a comment about needing some drainage advice, Olivia suggested PGW’s free farm mapping service.
“I wanted our drainage to work better,” explains Andrew. “There was an 18 ha area which was hilly and has a lot of spring activity which I wanted to use for cropping, but it was too wet.
“Following the conversation with Olivia, P&F Global arranged a site visit on-farm and mapped it with a drone. They showed me what they were mapping – area, catchment, water flow and elevation. The technology was good,” says Andrew.
From there, PGW and P&F Global provided a farm map and full report, along with a quote and drainage plan detailing the equipment needed.
“It was that easy,” says Andrew. “In the past, we’ve had all sorts of attempts at putting in drainage. Through this process, we had it all on paper, could see that it was an accurate reflection of the area and could understand why they recommended the various pieces of equipment. It was more technical than what we’d relied on previously.”
Andrew’s local contractor installed the system. “Having worked with these contractors for years, I went through the plan with them. They enjoyed having the easy-to-follow plan.”
It will take a couple of seasons to test out the new drainage system. Andrew is hoping for a better crop and less pugging this winter. Based on the success of the system, he plans to map more of the farm.
Andrew recommends the PGW drainage design service. “It’s free, so it makes good sense. You end up with a clear plan, detailing what you need to get and how to lay it. PGG Wrightson then gives you a cost. It’s easy, accurate, less hit and miss and it certainly makes budgeting easier.”
SPONSORED BY P&F GLOBAL
TYPE: Beef and sheep breeding and finishing
SIZE: 2,500 ha
STOCK: 20,000 units
CROPS: Kale, fodder beet and raphanobrassica