David Wordsworth’s father and uncle started out growing maize and barley for their pig farm near Te Kopuru on the Pouto Peninsula just south of Dargaville. To store the feed for the pigs they purchased the disused grain drying and storage facility in Dargaville. David remembers growing grain was “all the rage” back in the 1970s. However, farm systems changed and grain area decreased over the next few decades.
Maize grain is a new addition to Waikato farmers Donald and Craig Stobie's cropping and beef and lamb finishing operation. The brothers, along with their families and parents Duncan and Lorraine, farm 440 ha of peat country near Gordonton.
Diversifying their farming business has helped provide income stability for Northland farmers Shawn and Tracey Nichols. The couple run a 404 ha livestock and cropping property at Waihue 6 km north of Dargaville. Each season they contract winter graze around 300 dairy cows and 200 in-calf dairy heifers, as well as 300 of their own cross-bred steers.
Moving from the professional international rugby scene to developing land and growing maize in Northland has provided a new set of challenges for maize grain grower Vaughan Going.
Pioneer® brand maize for grain and silage provides an additional income stream for the Pouto Topu A Trust Farm, situated at Pouto on the North Kaipara Penninsula, 60 km south of Dargaville.
Maize growing has brought major lifestyle benefits for Northland farmers Grant and Pauline Taylor. The Taylors along with children Suzannah (18), Theo (17), Aidan (15) and Claudia (10) farm at Mititai just south of Dargaville.
Blue water ocean sailing is a long way from the land based business of growing maize, but because of the flexibility maize offers, South Head grower Neville Seward can follow another of his passions. Offshore yacht racing sees Neville tacking out across the South Pacific on his 60 foot racer "Light Speed" in a number of different events every year.
Large scale maize grower Colin MacKinnon has spread his cropping risk between two provinces, and in doing so has become one of New Zealand's largest grain growers.
In the risky world of market gardening Pukekawa onion growers Don and Shane Morrow have found maize grain is a crop that plays a stable and valuable economic role in crop rotation.
A quiet cropping revolution is taking place on the thin finger of South Kaipara Head, and farmers Nigel and Shirley Wood are glad to be part of it.
The satisfaction David Wordsworth gets from growing maize is heightened now he owns the next step in the processing chain.
A steady return with relatively low capital input makes maize grain growing integral to Ashley Thomas's land redevelopment programme. Maize grain has not only helped develop the land near Mercer, it provides a return that is steadier and less capital intensive than what his market gardening peers contend with up the road at Bombay.
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