When speaking with Richard Glenn, one half of the dynamic duo that makes up Glenview Orchard, it takes mere moments to realise this is an orchardist who not only lives and breathes what he does, but is also an incredible asset to the industry.
Richard and wife Robyn have dedicated their lives to orcharding. Their children Megan and Matthew – now grown up – flew the family nest to explore the world but are returning to carry on the legacy their parents have painstakingly created.
Glenview Orchard is a business that has thrived in spite of the tumultuous challenges created by PSA. When the disease arrived, the Glenn’s did a superb job of keeping it out for four years during which time they were able to mitigate the risk involved by upping their biosecurity. This included a trip to Italy to learn more about PSA management right through to fundamental control measures such as using their own tools and equipment and keeping a consistent team of contractors to reduce the likelihood of PSA infection from other blocks.
Today, their 17.5 canopy hectare in kiwifruit is on its way to increasing to 32ha with a goal to achieving 16-17,000 trays/ha. They have a nursery growing plants for the new kiwifruit block and maize and silage are grown in the pastoral area until it is planted.
True to their commitment to their environment, the Glenns have retired areas and completed significant native planting while exploring further development of a wetland similar to that seen at Lake Kakanui.
Significant effort goes into monitoring vine health including flowering and budburst. Insect pests are trapped and this information is used to achieve a cutback on spray usage.
Water efficiency is a key priority with a sprinkler system designed by Richard to apply it to a three meter diameter, and soil moisture probes have recently been installed. A weather station on farm assists in water use efficiency; it stores water in two dams over the winter and spring for summer and autumn use.
Richard says a desire for knowledge and encouragement from others inspired him and Robyn to enter the awards. “We were inspired to think about entering and to think about what story we had to tell. I don’t think you’re ever ‘ready’ but it’s important to reinvent yourself and not be afraid of change or the hard decisions that you need to make.”
Hill Laboratories Agri-Science Award
Waterforce Integrated Management Award
Enter the Ballance Farm Environment Awards