Business Rural Winter 2020

46 | MEAT & WOOL » Broadridge Farms: Peter & Cath Bloxham Increased focus on soil quality • from page 45 PHOTOS: Broadridge Farms’ Jack, Cath, Sarah and Peter Bloxham. Fodder Beet (at right) direct drilled, over sown with Persian clover, kale and swedes. DAVIS SHEARING CONTRACTING Farmers - we have the crew to meet your needs - when you want it, how you want it - Covering Otago, Southland and further afield from our bases at Balclutha, Milton and Gore. Shearers and shedhands - we provide excellent accommodation and living conditions, clean sheep, great sheds and steady work. Ring Jason - 03 418 0824 24hr: 03 418 1280 proud to Support Broadridge Farms Call Andrew or Jordan for practical personal advice from a rural background. All work undertaken by our Dunedin based team. 03 477 7776 or Environmental challenges are the biggest focus for the business and the couple are determined to ensure they have minimal impact and their farming operation is sustainable. Some initiatives include moving away from ploughing with minimal tillage and an increased focus on soil quality. This season they have planted a mixed crop of Persian clover, swede and kale in with their fodder beet to provide a more diverse nutrient mix for their animals. Although Peter says he is just dipping his toes in the water of regenera- tive farming he sees positive potential to combine some of these methods with what he has tradition- ally been doing. Development work on the farm has included put- ting in fencing, laneways, shelter belts and riparian plantings. Pasture health is monitored, with cultivars chosen to match the soil, while regular soil tests help them know where to use fertiliser. Sediment traps have been put in the end of gullies and three wetlands have been created. “The wetlands were teeming with tadpoles this year. If the frogs are there it’s a pretty positive sign of how good the water is,” he says citing other wild- life in the area as including pukekos and ducks. The farm is run with Peter taking on the day to day running with the help of one casual staff. Phil still does some tractor work. Cath is a guidance counsellor at South Otago High School. They have two children Sarah, 14 and Jack, 12. “Our aim is to keep improving the property – subdividing paddocks, fencing off gullies with more forestry and riparian planting. Cath and I have also bought a holiday home as it’s important to have time off the farm as well.”