Adviser, Agricultural Consulting & Extension Services, QUIRINDI NSW
As an agronomist, it’s expected that Peter McKenzie wants the best for his clients but he takes that to the next level, committing considerable time and thought to each grower’s farm.
Peter has always strived to provide his clients with quality agronomy advice but he also wants to look at their whole business to make sure that it is not only the crops that are doing well, but the finances too.
It was a desire to see growers be more profitable that encouraged Peter to experiment in growing cotton at Willow Tree, NSW, about four years ago. Peter was heavily involved in the early stages of the industry in the area and the trial plantation of about 20ha four years ago. Last season the area grew 15,000ha of cotton and Peter’s clients grew about a third of this.
That growth has not come without its challenges and its testament to Peter’s commitment and problem-solving skills that he worked hard on farms to nut out answers to the challenges that growing cotton in a cooler climate provided.
Peter has always been interested in research and new aspects of farming. That’s encouraged him to be part of the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s northern grower panel, which he has just been accepted into. This will involve a commitment of 30-35 days a year - not insubstantial given that Peter is the sole operator for his company Agricultural Consulting and Extension Services, but a reflection of his desire to learn more about crop research.
Peter is also happy to go the extra mile, like buying a SoilScan machine to be able to give his clients real time results on nitrogen levels in the paddock in just a few minutes.
He also develops close working relationships within the industry and calls on these to expand his knowledge and find good solutions for his growers. But he’s equally as happy in the paddock, leading groups of farmers through research trials or looking at their own crops.