My profile on the voting papers will tell you that I am an older candidate. In the sixties I worked with a progressive farmer on a mixed sheep and cropping farm near Pleasant Point. It was intensive farming involving age old techniques of rotation and natural enrichment by stock and drilling some NPK fertilizer into the soil when sowing seed. Large yields of wheat were achieved without topdressing.
On 16 January 2009, I had an article featured in The Press calling for a strategy for farming to meet climate change and water pollution. My submission to government was rejected with David Carter replying that a strategy was not needed.
Living in Sumner during the earthquakes I was eventually forced to leave due to rock fall danger. My best option was to buy in Geraldine and with no suitable unit available I bought a larger property with a quarter acre garden.
Since being in Geraldine I witnessed the Opuha Dam emptied by irrigation threatening the Timaru water supply. I have had three articles in The Timaru Herald about farming and water.
Irrigation is a useful tool for farming if used wisely. It needs management that understands farming and protects against eutrophication of rivers, lakes and aquifers. I have that knowledge and I am standing to contribute to a better water management strategy.