Testimonals from farmers

What our Clients say:

Richard Brewer

Environmental benefits (taken with permission from DairyNZ) See https://www.dairynz.co.nz/news/latest-news/success-from-the-soil-up/ for the full article:

The Cross Slot No-Tillage System enables the Brewers to produce above-average yields while looking after the environment. Richard says with little soil disturbance from the drill, they get very high germination emergence and less soil degradation. They also maintain soil structure and organisms, get better weed control and reduce soil runoff and carbon emissions.

Residue also protects the seedlings from wind and soil moisture loss. Fertiliser use is better targeted and reduced, as it’s placed near the seed at the same time. Richard applies nitrogen when he sows the seed. Residue broken down by the bugs in the soil is then cycled through the system over eight weeks, before being re-released for the growing plants to use.

“So, there’s very little nitrogen losses in the system, which is good for the environment.”

Jenni and Richard Brewer. The Brewer family and their teams work together to keep their farms' cropping and pasture on track.

The Brewers’ no-till methods also sit well with New Zealand’s Good Farming Practice Action Plan for Water Quality (produced by a multi-partner governance group which included DairyNZ).

This Plan (see fedfarmers.org.nz) emphasises the importance of paddock selection, establishment and grazing in minimising sediment and nutrient loss from Critical Source Areas during cropping. It also recommends farmers keep soil exposure to a minimum between cropping and pasture rotations.

Aware that different approaches have different advantages, Richard’s equally keen to acknowledge that more traditional approaches also have their place.

Many hands make light (soil) work.

“You’ve got to hand it to the many companies and farmers who’ve had a system that’s been working for them with cultivation, getting a good crop.”

Nevertheless, he remains sold on no-till and his Cross Slot No-Tillage machine, adding that the $300,000 he invested in the drill and tractor set-up 10 years ago has been well worth it. It looks likely that the Brewers’ no-till methodology will remain at the heart of their cropping and pasture approach for another three decades.


"We have found there is one system that consistently has 70-80% crop residue left on the soil surface after seeding and that is the Cross Slot no-till system." (Hans Kok, Extension Agent, USA)

"We are saving an average of 40-60mm of water a year. We've gone from averaging 4-5 T/ha of feed grains to 11-12 T/ha." (David Ward, Farmer, NZ)

Andy and Rob Law, NZ

The first thing Andy and Rob Law had to do before they bought a Cross Slot drill was convince their (late) father the figures justified the investment. Now seven years
after that purchase their farms are in great shape and the figures are looking even better.

The Law brothers farm 400ha effective of easy-medium hills near Taihape, of which 300ha can be regrassed. They were in a 30-year rotation of regrassing, covering
10ha/year. Since purchasing the Cross Slot in 1998 they have cranked that up to a minimum of 30ha/year of new pasture.

“With the new system our input costs including fertiliser have risen a little, but the yield increase from having a far higher proprtion of new pastures and good crops
has given us a major boost in output”, says Andy. “The return is $3 for every $1 invested. That’s resulted in a significant jump in annual profit directly attributable to
our use of the CROSS SLOT, in addition to income from contracting.”

The new system is also more sustainable. To achieve the same amount of regrassing using traditional cultivation, they would have risked significant erosion.
“The reason we didn’t look at more cultivation is because a fair amount of our land is hill and a lot of our soil would’ve ended up in the gullies”, says Andy. “It’s just
how we put in our crops and pastures now.” In addition, the Laws are saving $100 - $150/ha on seed, by sowing at little more than half the average rates for regrassing.
“We sow all our permanent pastures at 8 – 10 kg/ha of ryegrass and 3 – 4 kg/ha of clover.

You can only do that with a Cross Slot.