New announcement. Learn more


Out on the farm: Autumn 2024

Head of Sales and Marketing, Russell MacKay, has a fifth-generation family sheep and beef farm near Queenstown. Here's his farming update as we deal with a mixed autumn.

And just like that, autumn is here. As I look out my window in Southland, I see plenty of pasture and rain soaking into the ground. This summer, we’ve seen a regular pattern of rain, sun, pasture growth, brief dry spells, then rain again - rinse and repeat. The two previous summers were very dry for us, so this growing season has been well received in the south of the South.  

Over Easter, my wife and I went on a road trip up the West Coast, Lewis Pass, North Canterbury, Banks Peninsula, and down through the Mackenzie Country. Boy, what a different story it is there. My heart went out to farmers in those drought-stricken areas, however, I do take my cap off to them because all capital stock I saw appeared to be in good condition.  

The South Island is not the only area experiencing a tough summer; the Far North looked great before Christmas, but then Mother Nature turned the tap off. Now Northland, Horizons, Wellington, and Wairarapa have joined the drought club. I hope all affected farmers get some rain while the ground temperature is still warm. Whether you have the dreaded problem of not enough feed or the good problem of too much feed, acting early is your best friend. My poppa always said that in farming, it's better to make a mostly correct decision early than to make a 100% correct decision too late.  

With FARMAX, you can have a bit of both - making informed early decisions. Have you ever been leaning on a gate, looking at your stock and pasture, while pondering what you're going to do? Or perhaps you have an inkling of what to do but decide to wait another week or two because you're just not sure? FARMAX lets you compare all of your options so you can make the right decision earlier. Have a listen to Doug Avery's experience of using FARMAX where he talks about grasping opportunities on our Better Together podcast.

I think it's fair to say that with scarce feed, low prices for our products, high interest rates, and high farm working expenses, it’s a tough time on the land right now. You can only control what you can control. With tools like FARMAX, you can gain a bit more control.  

All the best for autumn and enjoy a safe duck shooting.