Canterbury kid has soil in his veins

Russell Hamilton in a crop of broad beans

Helping farmers to get the most out of their soil is second nature for Ballance Agri-Nutrients’ Russell Hamilton.

August 1, 2016

Canterbury kid has soil in his veins

Helping farmers to get the most out of their soil is second nature for Ballance Agri-Nutrients’ Russell Hamilton.

The born and bred Cantabrian has worked in agricultural nutrients for close to two decades and is bringing that depth of experience to his new role as Horticulture and Arable Specialist for Ballance. Covering a territory that spreads from North Otago up and across Central Canterbury, Russell knows what it’s like to work on both sides of the fertiliser equation.

“Before joining Ballance as a Nutrient Specialist eight years ago, I was part of my family’s ground spread operation for over ten years,” says Mr Hamilton.

“The farm environment was what I grew up in and who we socialised with. We were always out in the country, interacting with farmers and learning about farm systems.”

His decision to leave ground spreading and join Ballance was driven by an interest to see “the other side of fence” and develop his knowledge of the science behind soil nutrient selection.

“The amount of research knowledge I’ve gained access to while working for Ballance is quite incredible,” notes Mr Hamilton. “That level of understanding allows us to drive innovation and help our farmers and growers make soil nutrient decisions that add the most value to their operations.”

Mr Hamilton says that innovation is most evident in products like YaraMila Actyva S, a new compound fertiliser that delivers a consistent balance of essential nutrients and trace elements with each granule.

“Actyva S is an ‘all-in-one’ package for arable farmers that has a true-compound formulation,” says Mr Hamilton. “That means it spreads further and with much greater nutrient consistency when compared to existing blended fertilisers, delivering both key nutrients and trace elements to every plant in the crop.”

Limited supply of Actyva S is available in late August, and pre-orders are currently being taken by Ballance.

In working with farmers and growers across the region Mr Hamilton has seen first-hand the benefits and value of what Ballance can offer in the way of soil information, nutrient budgeting and farm systems support. “Our farmers and growers do an impressive job of adjusting to the new challenges of each season and by working together we can assist them in controlling the factors they can to maximise yields.”

As a native son of the Canterbury region, Russell loves the area and the diversity of farming systems found here. The added complexity requires him to draw upon every bit of his experience and all of the innovative advantages of Ballance when advising farmers and growers.

“From soil testing for trace element deficiencies to finding the perfect fertiliser product for their soil type and system, we’re here to help our farmers and growers achieve their targets in whatever way we can.”

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