Owner, C & A Whiteside - CLINTON NZ
Craig Whiteside is a third generation farmer owning a 850 ha cropping farm in an area more accustomed to sheep and dairy in the cultivatable rolling hill country of South Otago. Craig has been nominated in the Productivity category for his ability to think outside the box and willingness to try new things to further his productivity gains on-farm.
Due to Craig’s property being isolated from the arable markets of Canterbury, limited opportunities and escalating costs have led him to search for other solutions. Part of this has been accomplished through diversifying his cropping operation, growing up to 10 different species for harvest each season including OSR, peas, wheat, grass seed, oats, mustard and linseed.
Being able to increase the yield of his crops is vital, however by diversifying Craig has also been able to reduce his risk from once having dairy customers as 75% of his business to now being 45%. Craig has always understood the risk of being reliant solely on dairy and as a result has built a wide network of customers with a range of different farming enterprises.
Craig places high value in R&D and each year attempts to grow a unique crop which is not the norm to determine whether there are further opportunities outside of his current system. He is a believer of inputs and the requirement to use these to ensure the crops are given the best chance to produce high yields. Craig is conscious of not over doing it, however, and will always test for base nutrients and account for what is removed by a harvested crop verses applied during the season to manage any possible nutrient run off.