24 September 2008
LIC has stepped up its support of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards by offering a special prize for regional dairy farm winners. New Zealand Farm Environment Awards Trust general manager, David Natzke, says LIC will give a FarmKeeper package to each of the LIC Dairy Farm Award winners from each of the eight regions participating in the annual awards. FarmKeeper is a farm mapping software programme that enables farmers to ensure every metre of the farm is producing to its capacity.
LIC’s General Manager Farm Solutions, Rob Ford says winners will receive a copy of the FarmKeeper software with activation code and, to get them started, $200 for an aerial photograph of the farm. “The photograph is then loaded into FarmKeeper, giving farmers the ability to map every square metre of the farm. This enables the measurement of a number of features, including fertiliser and effluent application, fencing, water reticulation, pasture utilisation and even the ratio of crops or trees to pasture. “It’s a tool which, in these days of escalating land prices, gives farmers far more insight into how well their farms are utilised.” FarmKeeper comes with a six month support package.
David Natzke says he is delighted to see LIC committing additional support to the awards. “LIC is a highly valued sponsor of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards. Their support and that provided by other key sponsors is crucial to the ongoing success of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards programme.”
Entries for the Bay of Plenty Ballance Farm Environment Awards opened on August 6, with the Canterbury region opening on September 1 and Wellington on September 8. Entries for Waikato, Horizons, Southland and Otago open on October 1 and Northland entries open on October 27. Entry forms can be obtained from www.bfea.org.nz.
Other key sponsors of the awards include Ballance Agri-Nutrients, Silver Fern Farms, Gallagher Group, Hill Laboratories and PGG Wrightson.
They are also backed by Environment Waikato, Environment Bay of Plenty, the Greater Wellington Regional Council, Horizons Regional Council, Environment Canterbury, Otago Regional Council and the Northland Regional Council.