20th March 2018
Nigel Woodhead to put his ploughing skills to the test in Southland
One of the country’s most recognisable young farmers will put his ploughing skills to the test in Southland next month.
Nigel Woodhead has been invited to compete at the New Zealand Ploughing Championships in Thornbury on April 14th-15th.
The 30-year-old is a sheep and beef farmer at Milton and was named the FMG Young Farmer of the Year last July.
Woodhead said he’d done a bit of ploughing during his time in Canterbury.
“While I lived there I had a second job working nights and weekends for a contractor,” he said.
“I did it to try and pay off my mortgage. Fortunately, I had a good boss and good gear and I really enjoyed it.”
Woodhead would often be at the controls of a 300-horse power tractor pulling an eight-furrow reversible plough.
Next month he’ll compete on the latest machinery, but it won’t need to be as big.
“Agricentre South in Southland has been fantastic to me,” he said.
“It’s lent me a brand new New Holland T6020 tractor and set it up with a competition plough.”
Competitors will come from around the country to vie for the right to represent New Zealand at the World Ploughing
The Toko Young Farmers member said judging can be extremely technical.
“Judges look at the straightness of your furrow, how you bury the grass or crop stubble on top of the soil, your depth
and the width of the furrows,” he said.
Woodhead’s father-in-law, who’s from Zimbabwe, has qualified for the World Ploughing Championships five times.
“He lives in Australia and I’ve been talking to him quite a bit. He’s been giving me lots of tips,” laughed Woodhead.
“Unfortunately, he can’t make the event, otherwise he’d be my number one coach.”
Woodhead’s not the only young farmer intrigued by the art of ploughing.
“There are a few younger guys and girls coming through the ranks which is good to see,” he said.
“At the nationals there are going to be four or five young fellas giving it a go.”