The Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) is an applied research and information transfer organisation responsible primarily to New Zealand arable growers.
Former Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) CEO Nick Pyke was presented with the Federated Farmers Arable Biosecurity Farmer of the Year Award and North Canterbury farmer Syd Worsfold was named Federated Farmers Arable Farmer of the Year in recognition of his contribution over the last three decades to the arable industry and stakeholder groups, Federated Farmers, FAR and United Wheatgrowers.
Newly-elected Arable chairperson Karen Williams said Nick Pyke has always been a strong advocate for farmers and growers over biosecurity at three borders: national, regional and the farm gate.
"He has been involved in the Velvetleaf, pea weevil and Blackgrass responses, sitting on both the Governance Group and in a number of industry stakeholder groups. He’s also been actively involved in developing a strong and viable GIA framework for the cropping industry.
"Nick has a strong sense of what are the right management decisions to make for the overall industry, but also has a lot of empathy for growers and how decisions will affect them on the ground," Karen said.
Federated Farmers National Biosecurity spokesperson Guy Wigley said Nick was outstanding in each of the responses the arable industry was involved in over the last three years and the award acknowledged his efforts.
"Nick was able to provide credible scientific information to aid in the response decision-making and ensure the best outcomes for arable farmers were achieved," Guy said.
The Arable Farmer of the Year Award is about recognising excellence in the sector, acknowledging someone who balances production and profit drivers against environmental, sustainability and other compliance requirements. Syd Worsfold fits that bill.
Feds Arable Vice-Chair Brian Leadley said Syd has worked extensively "not only for the betterment of his own arable farming business but also his peers and future generations of arable farmers".
Syd, who today farms 400 hectares at Greendale in partnership with his son, has been involved with Federated Farmers as North Canterbury Arable Chairperson (1992 to 1994) and then on the Arable Council. He has been involved with United Wheatgrowers for the last 30 years, first as an Electoral College member and then a Director. Syd was also part of the first committee which looked at establishing the Foundation for ArableResearch (FAR), and a member of the Northern South Island Arable Research Group (ARG). He has also been a member of the Arable Industry Marketing Initiative Committee (AIMI) since its inception.
The Federated Farmers outgoing Arable Chairperson Guy Wigley described Syd as a quiet, unassuming and effective leader.
"This award is in recognition of his achievements, leadership and contribution to the arable industry, which despite contributing around $750 million to the nation’s GDP, typically flies under the radar in New Zealand".
FAR’s CROPS event will be held on Wednesday 5th December 2018. CROPS is more than just a field day. It is a full day event which allows farmers to view demonstration plots investigating everything from cultivars to cultivation, and to see and hear the latest research findings from New Zealand and international experts. The aim is to provide every grower with new information to take away and apply to their own farming operation.
FAR spokesperson Anna Heslop says there has been great support from industry for demonstration and exhibition sites, and that the programme of 12 talks highlighting issues and options for the cropping industry, is close to being confirmed.
“We’re pleased to confirm that herbicide resistance expert Dr Peter Boutsalis from the University of Adelaide will be giving a presentation. Peter provides herbicide resistance support and extension to growers, agronomists and the chemical industry and also manages Plant Science Consulting, an Adelaide based company specialising in Herbicide Resistance Testing.
CROPS is held at the FAR Chertsey Arable Site, a 13.5 ha mix of irrigated and non-irrigated land on SH1 just north of Chertsey. FAR has had demonstrations at the site for 15 years, providing a long-term show-case for a number of high profile research projects, funded by grower levies and external grants, on a number of crops.