Kevin Hall of Hollyvale Farms in Waimahaka is the 2022 Regional Supreme Winner in the Southland Ballance Farm Environment Awards.
Run by the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust, the awards champion sustainable farming and growing. The Southland Ballance Farm Environment Awards 2022 were held at Invercargill’s Ascot Hotel on 9 June.
A dairy grazing and beef fattening business, Hollyvale Farms winters almost 1,000 cows, has 270 heifer grazers and fattens 80 beef cattle.
Significant improvements on the farm include the investment in tunnel houses for about 700 cows, complete with sawdust bedding and silage-feeding facilities. For the heifers being wintered on grass, baleage grazing is carefully managed so soil is protected and the cows enjoy pleasant conditions.
Paddocks across the 252ha farm have been re-grassed, and the water supply improved. Waterways have been fenced off, natives planted, and retainment bunds installed. In 1982, one of the country’s first QEII National Trust covenants was created across about 60ha of the property.
The judges selected Hollyvale Farms as Regional Supreme Winners due to it being an extremely well-rounded business, with decisions carefully considered and backed by science. They were impressed with the commitment to continual learning and business progression.
“Kevin Hall is a great ambassador within the sector. He has a commitment to learning and personal growth, and using these skills to enhance and fine-tune the business,” said the judges.
Kevin Hall also won the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award and Hill Laboratories Agri-Science Award.
A Field Day will be held at Hollyvale Farms on 5 July.
Inaugural New Zealand Landcare Trust Catchment Group Award
One of the longest-standing catchment groups in Southland – Pourakino Catchment Conservation Trust – has won the New Zealand Landcare Trust Catchment Group Award.
The Pourakino Trust was formed by a group of farmers who wanted to have a meaningful voice and address sediment issues at Riverton Estuary. They focus on minimising sediment runoff, improving waterway and nutrient management, and enhancing the profile of agriculture.
Thanks to encouragement from Pourakino Trust, about 85% of the catchment’s landowners have farm environment management plans, plus Pourakino Trust has organised popular field days on soil mapping and planting.
The judges praised Pourakino Trust for its broad and diverse partnerships, meaning their work touched on the entire catchment. With forward-thinking, collaborative leadership, they were helping to introduce a wide range of relevant and innovative technologies.
OTHER SOUTHLAND BALLANCE FARM ENVIRONMENT AWARD WINNERS 2022
- Bayleys People in Primary Sector Award: Liz & John Chittock, Jeff Farm
- Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Farm Award: Wendy & Leon Black, Blackdale Stud
- DairyNZ Sustainability and Stewardship Award: Stu & Brooke Cameron, Valley View
- Massey University Innovation Award: Wendy & Leon Black, Blackdale Stud
- Norwood Agri-Business Management Award: Matthew & Kate McLaren, Camp-Hill Farming
- WaterForce Wise with Water Award: Jaime McCrostie & Ben Worker, Eastbourne Dairy Farm
- Environment Southland Water Quality and Biodiversity Award: Chantal & Hamish McClean, Burwood Station