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Farming Fast Five: Ben Morrow

Farming Fast Five: Ben Morrow

The Farming fast five: where we ask a farmer five quick questions about farming, and what agriculture means to them. Today we talk to Mid Canterbury farmer and Mayfield A&P Show president, Ben Morrow

  1. What did your journey into farming look like?

I have grown up on the farm and used to have naps in my naps in the back of the tractor. My family have been here for 5 generations and my two boys are the sixth generation to grow up in Montalto. I have always wanted to be an arable farmer and have been drawn to machinery from a young age.

  1. Tell us a little bit about your farming operation.

Arable/dairy support farm, stony silt loam in the foothills. We grow mainly barley, wheat, oats, grass seed, kale, and fodder beet. With some dabbling in other crops every now and again.

  1. What challenges have you faced in your farming business, and how have you tackled those challenges?

Consistency of yield. One way we have tackled this challenge is to put some irrigation on. Rising costs and interest rates – we try to keep a close eye on our little costs and try to do everything ourselves such as spraying, cultivation, drilling, spreading and harvesting. Stone picking is a physical and mental challenge! We have developed some paddocks using a stone picker to a level to grow potatoes but a lot of rocks still need to be picked by hand each season before drilling.

  1. What has been a major highlight for you in your farming  journey?

It has been rewarding to do the development to put irrigation on. Designing a well laid out farm has been satisfying. Moving on to the family farm and being able to raise my family here. Being well supported by my parents and my wife.

  1. What advice would you have for the next generation of farmers?

Enjoy the good years and make the most of them. There will always be hard years but keep positive and I have found being part of the community really helps. Knowing that you are not on your own.

As told to Claire Inkson