Kevin & Alison Hull and Johnny Hull of Awakare

17/07/2022

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2022 Finalist: Kevin & Alison Hull and Johnny Hull of Awakare – Dairy

For almost 100 years, the family behind this Carrington dairy farm has been continually developing its potential in terms of profitability and conservation.  

Kevin and Alison Hull have been running the farm since 1985, starting as 50:50 sharemilkers before purchasing it from Alison’s parents in 1999. However, Alison’s family connection to the 99ha property stretches back to 1927 when her grandfather started farming it.  

Today, Alison and Kevin peak milk between 180 and 200 Friesen cows on a milking platform of 85ha at Awakare. The farm operates a pasture-based system, bringing in silage and supplements as needed. Pasture management is key to the system, with a summer cropping programme that produces high-quality pasture and boosts milking though dry periods. This season, plantain is being added as a crop.   

For a long time, the Hulls have been focused on improving herd health and reproductive performance, and this work is paying off. Their production targets are 380 to 400kg of milk solids per cow, so long this can be achieved profitability. Once a day milking is used in summer and autumn months, allowing cows to achieve the correct condition score for calving.   

The Hulls have put significant time and effort into conserving the natural environment and protecting Awakare’s waterways. This has largely been done by planting native trees which enhance the property’s biodiversity and create habitats for native wildlife. Native birds now flourish on the property and the Hulls’ work to improve wetlands is protecting the native fish living there.   

The Hulls see farming Awakare as a healthy challenge that provides their family with a beautiful home and opportunities that can be enjoyed today and into the future.  

Kevin, Alison and Johnny are winners of Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award, DairyNZ Sustainability and Stewardship Award and Greater Wellington Regional Council Award.

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