Most of us enjoy a change in season but possibly none more so than a grower when that change means it’s harvest time.
That’s the case for Mid-Canterbury growers Brian and Rachel Leadley who put their enjoyment in the operation down to the seasons. “There’s a lot of variability in our operation and lots of different types of work—it keeps you interested. I enjoy not doing the same thing day on day, season to season,” says Rachel.
For Brian, he enjoys the challenges of growing a crop—he even appreciates the weather challenges at times too. “But harvest is the time to measure the success and see the results of a year’s work,” says Brian.
The Leadleys operate a spray irrigated intensive grain and seed property. They grow milling wheat, feed barley, malting barley, various forage seeds, and contract grow peas and corn.
They’re also enjoying their lamb finishing operation. “The lambs are our secondary crop, which we bring on after harvest. It’s becoming more popular in Canterbury to have livestock within an arable operation,” says Brian. “We get our lambs from the Canterbury region but also Southland and as far north as Taupo.”
FMG has proudly supported the Leadleys for around 104 seasons (or 26 years). Brian says they joined FMG when they first brought their block. “We were looking for insurance that would give good cover and was affordable. We also liked the mutual model and how easy it would be to make a claim.
“One time there was an accident where a combine ran over some irrigation equipment that was left in field. We needed prompt support to get the combine operating quickly. We lodged the claim and the rest of it was worked out for us behind the scenes,” says Brian.
FMG’s specialised advice is also valued by the Leadleys. “We’ve really appreciated the advice, particularly around liability. Advice around who’s responsible and liable for insurance with harvested goods is really important. There’s also a lot of policy and regulations coming at farmers and it’s debatable if regulators understand it so knowing FMG can support us if we don’t understand it is good.”