Judges praise Hororata farm operation

by Anonymous Author

During the 2014–15 season Paul Clement oversaw the transition of the original 145ha Delaborin Farm near Hororata to its current form of 355ha under irrigation, milking 1,200 cows. 

Mr Clement’s management of the transition and the current operation of the property was recognised at the recent Canterbury Ballance Farm Environment Awards, taking out the Waterforce Integrated Management Award. 

The 370ha Hororata property, on flat land south west of Darfield, is a System 3 dairy operation tracking for production of 460kg/MS/cow this year.

The farm is one of 13, milking approximately 13,000 cows on the Canterbury Plains, owned by Theland Purata Farm Group, formerly Synlait Farms.

The judges said they were impressed with Paul’s approach, noting that health and safety was ‘an intrinsic part of this farm’s culture.

‘Paul has not only embraced the systems in place at Purata, he lives and breathes them, leading by example.

‘He is heavily involved in the development of systems on the farm and within the wider Purata group where he has a leadership role.

‘His focus on people is one of the standout features of his approach to farming and the judges were struck by the evidence everywhere on farm of the priority he places on that’. The judges noted that throughout the Hororata operation there was recognition that water is a valuable resource and therefore monitoring and measuring systems were a major factor in ensuring the best use of the resource.

There are four Aquaflex soil moisture monitors installed on the farm and in addition Paul also manually checks the moisture of the soils regularly.

This information combined with extensive weather measuring such as rainfall and evapotranspiration, and forecasting, allows optimum irrigation scheduling.

Centre pivots cover 343ha and in the larger dryland corners there are solid set sprinklers covering 13ha. 

The irrigators are linked to cloudbased technology which enables remote operation via a Smartphone.