Pukekauri farm – snapshots from a sustainability journey
Pukekauri Farm is a 295 ha mixed livestock hill country property in the western Bay of Plenty. Over the last 20+ years the owners have been on a development journey with a focus on the multiple dimensions of sustainability – economic, environmental, and social. This paper seeks to document that journey, with supporting resource, production, financial and environmental data to quantify progress. Some of the most useful tools have included high quality forage crops, deferred grazing, sheep genetics, accounting software and paddock-scale soil and water resource maps. Key lessons include the value of knowledge networks and modelling tools, the power of a farm plan for optimising land use and management, the importance of both profitability and grants to underwrite development investment, and the emergence of secondary benefits from decisions focused on system-wide improvement. Over 20 years, despite a
reduction in grazed area of 20%, meat production has increased by 16%, EBITR/ha has increased by 6%, modelled net greenhouse gas emissions have declined by 60% and modelled N leaching has declined by 29%. Overall, the farm is easier to manage and more pleasant to dwell in.
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