Business Rural Summer 2021

66 | Fertiliser application done the right way Erin Hyslop, 12, Nick Hyslop, Sam Hyslop, 10, and Rosalie Hyslop. Hugh de Lacy A s a sole operator for most of the last 10 years, Nick Hyslop didn’t appreciate the importance of the driver training and safety work he was doing as chairman of the Canterbury branch of Groundspread New Zealand until they gave him an award for it. Nick is the proprietor of the Oamaru-based fer- tiliser application company Hyslop Groundspread, and until recently he was committed to being a one-man operation. “But growth has been really good, and not as stressful as I had imagined,” Nick says. When it arrived, growth came organically. “ Covid 19 meant that my dad, Ray Hyslop, couldn’t go back to Australia where he was working as a spreader-driver, so we made him a full-time employee, and it turned out that there was enough work for two people.” Nick then took on another driver, Kerry Cardogan, who’s from a mining and farming background with no previous experience in groundspreading, and having two trucks and three drivers meant Nick could spend a lot of time in the truck training him. Being a bit of a self-admitted perfectionist and a sole-trader for so long, Nick knew his point- of-difference was his delivering a consistent and personal investment in his clients’ farms. “I needed to know that any staff we employed would care as much as I did.” Backed by Ray and Kerry’s commitment, Hyslop Groundspread this year won the Graymont Health and Safety Award at the Groundspread NZ annual conference at The Hermitage, Mt Cook. Nick was nominated for the award by James Stenton of Mainland Spreading, Oamaru, for initiat- ing driver training for branch members three years ago from his position as branch chairman. “I was pretty stoked with the award: the things that I do didn’t seem like that much of a big deal to me before,” Nick says. “There have been several fatalities in our indus- try and they all hit pretty close to home, so getting people home to their families at the end of the days is my biggest motivator.” The training course has now become an annual event with around 80 drivers from across the region covering everything from vehicle recovery and maintenance, to first aid, mental well-being and driving skills – all at no cost to association members. RURAL SERVICES » Hyslop Groundspread Nick is a devotee of the Spreadmark quality assurance programme founded by Groundspread NZ in 1994. It takes a three-pronged approach to quality by testing gear for accuracy, ensuring operators are properly trained to use the gear, and making sure that all processes and procedures are met. “The programme gives farmers an assurance that my trucks are spreading accurately on their farms, which not only benefits the environment but saves them money. “Because of this focus on the environment and efficiency, variable-rate spreading is on the increase,” Nick says. “It allows the farmer to apply the correct amount of nutrients on every paddock, rather than a whole-farm or blanket approach to fertiliser application.” While a sole operator Nick relied on a trusty old Parkside Quarries — Supplying lime to local farmers for 75 years LIME CONTACT US FOR: • Fine Lime - faster reaction time when compared to standard ag lime • Dried agricultural lime - for groundspread throughout the year and aerial application • Undried agricultural lime - groundspread use only • Track Lime - suitable for dairy lanes • Modern fertiliser mixing plant available for customised fertiliser blends • Rut Busta - rock for pivot tracks Getting your hands on Parkside Lime is super easy. To order or enquire call Wendy on 03 433 1134 or email the Parkside team on PROUD TO BE SUPPORTING HYSLOP GROUNDSPREAD Locally owned & operated Proudly supporting Hyslop Groundspread Ltd Ph 03 434 6801 - 24 Hours Advantage Tyres Oamaru - 72 Humber Street • On-Farm Service • Recamic Cold Retreads • Wheel Alignment • Michelin New Tyres • BF Goodrich 4x4 • Full Fleet Service Scania which is now getting past its use-by date and is about to be replaced. “I have a 2019 MAN 18 340, and another one that is being finished off by Travis Churchill in Amberley, and both of them have all the new electronics and GPS fitted,” Nick says, signalling his sole-operator status is, like the Scania, a thing of the past.