NZ Dairy Autumn 2022

82 | nzdairy Contracting remains a lifelong passion Richard Loader John Austin Contracting Ltd has covered a lot of ground in four decades. As the family business approaches its 40th anniversary, it makes sense to hit “pause” to get a true sense of the scale of John and Jackie Austin’s achievement. John Austin Contracting today services roughly 800 customers from its Te Awamutu base in the heart of the Waikato. Most of its work involves maize and grass, and it grows wheat, barley, and oil seed rape at Ohakune. It is one of New Zealand’s biggest agricultural contracting businesses, and employed up to 70 people (pre-Covid-19). It was an early adopter of precision farming, and it was at the forefront of adopting strip tillage and no-till technology more than two decades ago. The family was the first to buy a Soil Warrior in New Zealand (which uses variable rate technology to precisely place fertiliser within the growth zone and gently mix nutrients into the soil beneath the surface so they are less likely to wash away with the rain). Investing in technology, sustaining relationships with its global colleagues to keep abreast of advances, and sustaining repeat business has made John Austin Contracting a popular choice in his region. Contracting remains a lifelong passion for him, and he is proud to now be watching the second generation of his family filter into the business. Started in a different time John learned from the school of hard knocks. He was baling hay for local farmers when he was aged 12, thanks to one of his early mentors and local farmer Doug Short. “You wouldn’t get away with working machinery like I did when you’re a teenager now,” John says, DAIRY SERVICES » John Austin Ltd The harvest incorporates another skill-set for John Austin Contracting Ltd.. • to page 88 DIGGER - Ripper - Thumb - Laser Levelling - Race Upgrades - Vee Draining - Tilt Bucket TRACTORS - Ploughing & Discing - Loaderwagons x2 - Round and Square Bales - Undersowing - 3 Mtr Air Seed Double roll Roller Drill - Grader Blade TRUCKS - General Cartage - Silage / Hay Cartage - Lime delivered & Spread - 8 Tonne Spreader - K2 muck Speeder - Chicken & Duck Manure COMINS CONTRACTING LTD FOR ALL YOUR AG. REQUIREMENTS Phone: 07 872 2865 - Bryan 027 476 8215 - Ian 027 259 5033 Proudly supplying Fendt tractors to John Austin Ltd for over 20 years Hamilton & Otorohanga 07 843 7237 Waikato Tractors says you’re serious.