Contractors conquer light soil country
WIND AND light soils – easily blown away – keep Kaweka Contracting Ltd on its mettle in Hawkes Bay.
The owners of Kaweka Contracting Ltd, formed in 1990, brought plenty of farming experience into the company. David Ward and Martin Jones and their wives Linda and Shona live at Waiwhare, 40km from Napier on the ‘Gentle Annie’ road to Taihape.
They service an area 340m above sea level, working up to 30km from their base.
“I had been working with a conventional baler for many years and there was a growing demand for round bales and after discussions with Martin and our respective spouses we formed Kaweka Contracting and it has been a successful partnership,” said Ward.
David and Linda own a 350ha (310ha eff) property and Martin and Shona lease a 271ha (200ha eff) property 2km away. Both run sheep and cattle and the land is rolling contour.
“Our clients are mostly sheep and beef farmers plus one dairy farm and several lifestyle blocks,” said Jones.
Their baling business is cutting, drying when necessary, and baling and wrapping all baleage. ‘We try to wrap the bales adjacent to where they will be stored which reduces the chance of damage to the wrapping when the bales are being carried,” said Ward.
They average 7500 bales a season; last year’s numbers were down because of the drought.
They have two Duncan drills, a Renovator for direct drilling swedes and kale planting 400ha annually and a Renovator Classic for under-sowing. They use a Willet roller drill for planting about 100ha annually of grass seed. All drilling is followed by a rubber tyred roller.
They do giant discing of brown-top ground and land following crops followed by a rotary hoe.
“This is light soil country around here so we can’t cultivate too fine or the soil will blow away,” said Ward.
Kaweka Contracting also does mole ploughing, has a reach mower and a Taupo Hand for clean-up work.
“We also have a post rammer but only place the posts.
“Either the farmer or a contractor places the wires,” said Jones.
They formerly had two Vicon balers but now have a McHale 660 baler and a McHale 991 hi-speed wrapper.
Their tractors have always been SAMEs. “We started with a SAME Silver 90 which is still operating and we now have a SAME Silver 110, a SAME Iron 120 and a SAME Iron 140.”
The SAME Iron 120 is fitted with dual wheels for drilling and rolling on the steeper country.
“We have bought our tractors from Stortford Machinery and our other machinery from Power Farming, Hastings and now Power Farming has taken over Stortford Machinery all our business will be with one firm,” said Ward.
Photo captions –
Kaweka Contracting clients are mostly sheep and beef farmers.