Regional Supreme Winner 2022: Kevin Hall of Hollyvale Farms – Dairy grazing, Beef fattening
Using off-paddock wintering facilities is generating huge benefits for this 250ha Waimahaka dairy grazing farm, in terms of animal health, land and water.
Hollyvale Farms winters almost 1,000 cows, plus has 270 heifer grazers and fattens 80 beef cattle. Since purchasing the farms in 2008, the Halls invested significant capital in tunnel houses for about 700 cows, complete with sawdust bedding and silage feeding facilities. This means cows stay in good condition regardless of the winter weather, plus all nutrients are stored for summer application – significantly reducing nitrogen loss.
For the heifers being wintered on grass, baleage grazing is carefully managed so soil is protected and the cows enjoy pleasant conditions.
To further capture the potential of the farm, the Halls have extensively re-grassed paddocks, improved the water supply, and invested in lanes and fencing. As part of the long-term sustainability strategy, 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. Seeing the now well-established native bush inspires Kevin to plant more natives across Holyvale.
Good management practices influenced by science are evident, including when it comes to effluent, which is collected and stored. Liquid effluent is analysed for nutrient content and used to replace nutrients removed by silage harvest. When ground conditions are suitable, effluent is applied meticulously to ensure soil retains the nutrients.
Kevin has a good understanding of their greenhouse gas emissions, using modelling to ensure they meet industry reporting targets now and into the future.
As Kevin continues striving to make Hollyvale a sustainable, stand-alone business, they’re embracing change by thinking long-term, making plans and being positive about farming ending up in a better place.
As well as receiving this year’s Regional Supreme Award, Kevin also received the:
Balance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award
Hill Laboratories Agri-Science Award
Enter the Ballance Farm Environment Awards