Your online orders cannot currently be placed through your PGW Customer Account Web login. Please contact our online support team for more information.

Technical advice brings sense of security for sharemilkers

Technical advice brings sense of security for sharemilkers

Technical advice brings sense of security for sharemilkers

Sharemilkers, Chris and Stacey Hatfield work on Ringmer Farm located in Maruia, on the border of Tasman and Buller. With significant rainfall in the area, the conditions present challenges so the Hatfields appreciate the support they receive from the Murchison PGG Wrightson store team and Technical Field Representative, Mark Prosser.

“We milk 575 cows year-round while rearing 100 youngstock. On the 90-hectare support block, we grow turnips, swede and kale. Our Clutha Gold swede crop produced 29 tonne last year and this year our kale crop reached 19 tonne. Both are great results.”

Purchasing seed from the Murchison store, Chris says the crops provide nutritional feed in conditions where preserving quality pasture is difficult. “During the first two weeks of June we received 370 mm of rainfall. If we had to keep the cows on-platform and feed pasture, we would have to build a feed pad so this all adds to the challenges of growing pasture.”

Now in their sixth season at Ringmer Farm, Chris says the operation milks once a day. “We have seen benefits in both animal health and husbandry, with less pressure on the animals as well as the staff as we milk half the herd in the morning and the other half in the afternoon.”

With variable conditions on-farm, Chris says the operation’s success comes down to careful management. To help him achieve his goals, Chris has been a customer of PGG Wrightson for the past four years and now calls the Murchison store team and Mark friends.

Chris relies on Mark to help him plan his cropping programme and to monitor the crops for insect pest and disease pressure. Chris says Mark is only a phone call away to discuss what’s happening on-farm and to provide a recommendation if one is needed.

“With such a fickle climate, if we see insect pest pressure in a crop and get a rain-free day, we need to act immediately. A couple of years ago cutworm was present in our crops at Christmas. I contacted Mark on Boxing Day looking for help organising product. He went to the store and got it ready for the spray contractor so it could be applied before the rain returned. This level of support has allowed us to return good yields from our crops.”

Chris praises the Murchison store team, managed by Jo Brooks. “Jo and her team go over and above to help us, so much so we wished we’d come on board sooner. I can ring Jo and ask for product and she’ll track it down and get it delivered promptly. That level of support gives us a sense of security. As we live in the middle of nowhere, knowing the team will deliver product removes any stress.”

Chris and his family love living in Maruia, enjoying the sense of community and recreational activities on offer. He aims to continue doing what he loves with farm ownership as part of the family’s future plans.