ACS Case Studies

Auckland/Waikato

Developing a controlled traffic system for potatoes and onions

A.S Wilcox & Sons grow carrots, potatoes, onions and maize in Pukekohe and the Waikato. They are developing their use of high accuracy RTK GPS in bed forming, aiming towards controlled traffic in potatoes and onions. The goal of a trial at Pukekawa is to establish whether controlled traffic will provide expected gains in operational costs and in reduced soil compaction on clay soils.

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Permanent beds to control compaction in leaf vegetable cropping

NZ Freshcuts grow leaf vegetables for supermarkets and are using RTK GPS to form permanent beds. Production Manager, Chris Butler’s aim is to reduce compaction, cultivation and inputs costs. Trials at Mangere and Rangiriri, will explore methodologies for bed forming. This is expected to improve profit, soil quality and improve utilization of land by minimising tractor operations and associated delays.

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Gisborne

Strategies for adopting advanced farming systems

Frank and David Briant are recent adopters of GPS in their cropping operations in Gisborne where they grow squash, maize, sweetcorn, tomatoes, asparagus and grapes. LandWISE will track and support the adoption process, with the intention of creating protocols and training methods to assist others.

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Refining a controlled traffic system for maize production

David Clark grows maize in a controlled traffic system, with all operations following matched wheel spacing and 9 m implement widths. The advanced farming project is supporting refinement to systems, agronomy and equipment towards more sustainable and profitable practices.

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Hawke’s Bay

Integrating field data with farm management systems

Hugh Ritchie grows wheat, barley, maize, peas and squash and some seed crops. High accuracy GPS is used for cultivation and planting. Next planned gains from advanced farming systems are in the integration of operational data between tractor and office, and in making maximum use of compatible GPS data from contractor operations.

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Permanent beds and precision mechanical weeding in organic fresh vegetables

Scott Lawson grows and packs the True Earth Organics brand at his Hastings farm. RTK GPS is used in growing domestic fresh and process vegetables, export blueberries and organic corn for Heinz Watties. Light soils and a chemical free farming approach provide a challenge for this sustainable farming operation. GPS will be used to guide weeding operations towards best practices for this site.

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Rangitikei

Precision recontouring of sand dune farmland

Hew and Roger Dalrymple grow squash, maize, wheat, barley for silage, brassica crops for stock feed and winter grass at Waitatapia Station. Hew is an advanced user of high accuracy GPS. They are initiating major work levelling rolling sand dune farmland using GPS guided implements, to improve irrigator travel and drainage characteristics. LandWISE will support the development of best practices for surface optimization and post operation soil rehabilitation, to return the sites to best productivity.

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Horowhenua

Capturing benefits of advanced farming systems for fresh vegetable production

John Clarke grows fresh market vegetables at Woodhaven gardens in the Horowhenua. High accuracy GPS is used for bed forming and planting, with next gains planned from chemical proof of placement, surface optimisation and data integration.

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Canterbury

Weed Management in an Advanced Farming System

Tim Macfarlane grows browntop, cabbage, clover, ryegrass and radish for seed, process peas and sweetcorn and pumpkin for the fresh market. Advanced use is made of GPS for minimum tillage cultivation, planting and spraying. GPS use is evolving with the use of sensing and mapping technology to create integrated weed management practices. GPS controlled boom switching is being refined along with integrated mapping tools. This will provide for targeted chemical application, to eliminate overlap and waste, and to provide proof of placement.

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Precision interplanting of clover under barley to aid establishment and avoid wind erosion

Bruce and Grant Perry are current users of GPS in their certified seed operation in Mid Canterbury. They are moving towards high accuracy RTK GPS and will trial inter row planting of clover under barley. The intention is to determine whether expected gains in clover yield and soil protection will result though a longer growing period, sheltered establishment conditions and improved agrichemical options.

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Assessing soil quality on a farm in transition

Randal Hanrahan grows maize, peas, oats, barley, wheat, grass seed and carrots. GPS is used for precision planting on the farm and in contract operations for other growers. Intensification has led to the installation of lateral and centre pivot irrigation and retirement of border dyke systems. EM38 electromagnetic scanning is to be applied to provide data on the variable and thin soils. This will allow for best management regimes to be designed for sustainable and profitable farming.

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Precision strip tillage and inter row weeding to improve soils in vegetable seed production

John Evans grows certified seed, being ryegrasses (Italian), red beet and radish, mustards, carrots, linseed, spinach, cabbage with some process peas and wheat. High accuracy RTK GPS is being used to trial strip tillage and inter row weeding to provide for better care of light wind prone soils, in carrot and beet seed production.

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