94 | nzdairy Disruptions to the supply chain have contributed to some hefty price increases, with baleage plastic and pit cover prices increasing by 35% since last season. RURAL SERVICES » Guthrie Ag Works Seamless silage and cropping for the farmer Kelly Deeks 06 323 0309 | firstname.lastname@example.org Logan 027 224 7679 | Aaron 027 224 7677 | Peter 027 224 7678 Southern Manawatu agricultural contractor Guthrie Ag Work aims to make the process of harvesting silage and cropping seamless for the farmer, delivering a high quality product in all situations. And this season, those situations have been many and varied. “Weather has been our biggest challenge,” says Guthrie Ag Work operations manager Chris Guthrie. “In a normal year, we do about 400ha to 500ha of grass silage during August and September. This year we did 40 to 50ha.” The very wet spring also pushed the majority of the maize harvest back to November, when Guthrie Ag Work brought in a couple of extra people to help, and put all available drivers into harvesters to spend a big couple of weeks catching up. All while continuing to plant the last of the maize and the summer crops. As uncharacteristically wet spring had been, by November, South Manawatu could have used a little more rain. “It’s gone from one extreme to the other,” Chris says. “All the sand country has started to dry off and the ground is hard. But we had managed to get a good start to our maize planting because we had so much rain. It usually takes about two months, and this season we’ll have it done in six weeks.” With the ability to bring in extra staff when required, and having the experienced hands of company founder Andrew Guthrie in the workshop and available to jump into a tractor when required, Guthrie Ag Work is one of the few New Zealand contracting companies in a good position with staffing. Chris says the firm has been lucky. “A couple of guys left this year, but we managed to get four people back and it’s worked out well.” Guthrie Ag Work is however mindful of the shipping delays facing the whole world and with some good collaboration and communication from suppliers, has been able to get its orders in for new gear well in advance of it being needed. Even the late maize harvest was a blessing in disguise when the delayed delivery of a new maize head saw it turn up exactly on time for the harvest. Disruptions to the supply chain have contributed to some hefty price increases, with baleage plastic and pit cover prices increasing by 35% since last season. Guthrie Ag Work has long been preparing to save in other areas, and has been refining its line up of machines in recent years to fuel efficient and cost effective machines. Even an extra vigilant service programme is assisting in savings with machines not breaking down. Guthrie Ag Work is a family owned and operated business, established in 2005 with a focus on cultivation then expanding into silage production in 2014. Today the firm runs a fleet of eight John Deere and Fendt tractors, two balers, two diggers, and a JCB loader, along with its John Deere forage harvester.