We met with kiwifruit orchard owner and operator Mark Gardiner of Whitehall Fruitpackers to talk about how he got into the kiwifruit growing business, the challenges he came across and how he has adapted to new technology and changing industry practices.
Te Pare Organic Farm has used Revital products for over 15 years and we are very happy with the results achieved.
Revital have advised us on an annual basis and together we have decided what to put on and where.
This has resulted in great grass growth and quality. We achieved record production on the block during this time.
We recommend this great team of people and their great products.
Jeff is a pioneer in the kiwifruit industry, establishing his kiwifruit orchards in the 80’s, then converting to organic production in the ‘90’s. Jeff is in the top 5% of organic growers with production yields of around 11,000 trays per hectare – topping many conventional growers and earning a premium on his organic fruit.
Jeff is passionate about producing quality fruit, noting his annual application of Revital Compost is a key factor in his organic practice – keeping his soils healthy and delivering valuable nutrients at the roots of the vines.
Glenn Roberts – Trebilco Orchards
Revital Compost 50 delivers optimum soil conditions in the Trebilco Orchards
Katikati’s Trebilco Orchards comprises 36 canopy ha producing both Hayward and G3. Since 1997 Revital Fertilsers has been supplying Trebilco Orchards with around 300 tonnes of Revital Compost 50 a year.
Glenn Roberts, Trebilco’s Orchard Manager, says
“We have conventional and organic orchards. Timing of our applications is key and we require consistency of quality and spread when conditions are optimum. Phil and the Revital team accommodate our need to get the Revital product on our land as efficiently as possible.
With the general trend toward reducing chemical fertiliser use, compost is a great option. It’s full of macro and micro-nutrients, which are slow-release and it helps our sandy loam retain water and nutrients. A 5% increase in organic material quadruples our soil’s water holding capacity. It also buffers the soil, helping to get pH levels to optimum range for nutrient availability to our vines.
The success we have had with Revital Compost 50 means we will continue to use it in our orchard management programme. ”
I have been using Revital Fertilisers exclusively for 18 years. The farm holds on really well through summer dry spells, I have fantastic clover growth and my production per hectare is excellent. My earthworm populations are huge, and I have never seen the farm looking better.
In 2003 John and Donna McCarty consolidated their 128 ha dairy farm on Eltham Rd at Riverlea.
2003 Farm Facts:
Milking – 300 cows
Production – 86,000 kgs Milk Solids
Soil tests – Olsen P mainly mid 40s
Pasture – Rye and Clover. The root penetration was shallow, with approximately 15% clover producing very small leaves.
Soil Condition: Generally lifeless with very few earthworms.
Animal Health: Poor – eczema, milk fever and other metabolic problems.
When they ploughed for turnips John and Donna couldn’t help noticing a distinct lack of life and vitality in the soil. They made a conscious decision to use fertiliser products that would enhance soil life and increase nutrient availability.
John had heard about Revital Fertilisers and their help the farm began the road to sustainability.
Applying Revital Ultimate in spring and Revital 30 in autumn life has breathed back into the soil.
John says “While the difference in the pasture initially wasn’t huge, there soil began to change and over time earthworms increased substantially. It was then that the clover started to change, the plants became more vigorous and the leaves doubled in size”.
The McCarty’s noticed an increase to 30% clover in the sward, with darker and more friable soil. The rye grass soon started to benefit from the natural nitrogen fixation increase and became healthier and more vigorous.
The McCarty’s had found the key to healthy pasture growth – sustainable, health soil.
2015 Farm Facts:
Milking – 400 cows
Production – 157,000 kgs Milk Solids
Pasture – Large healthy clover comprising approx. 35% of the sward.
Soil Condition: Healthy soil life full of huge earthworm numbers; Deeper roots on the pasture – meaning more moisture deficit resistance.
Animal Health: Excellent at $40 per cow costs
The McCarty’s also grow their own maize (which the contractor says is the best crop he harvests every year)
John attributes the success in almost doubling production to the use of Revital Fertiliser.
Bounty Orchards – Henry & Deborah Blyth
‘Bounty’ lives up to its name: Henry and Deborah are getting top production from their 30-year-old kiwifruit and avocado orchard in the Bay of Plenty. They have been applying Revital Compost on the soil around the trees and vines, since the early 90’s and see it as part of the success in their fertiliser programme.