I Couldn't Buy One

I Couldn't Buy One

Written by Ewan's father, Malcolm Campbell.
A story of observation and innovation.
This is a history of land development on, at the time, a relatively unknown land and soil type, where the only apparent favourable features were that the terrain was flat and not subject to widespread flooding. The other not so desirable feature was that the natural pH of the soil of 4, with some readings as low as 3.8, meant the soil was very acidic and not at all suitable for pasture. The soil surface had a very low bearing capacity, being unsuitable for traction of anything but the lightest of machines.

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In 1952, all the machinery available was relatively light in weight. However, lightweight machines have limited capacity to handle any type of substantial cultivation machinery. Furthermore, any disturbance of the surface exposed a very soft sub-soil with no carrying capacity for any type of machinery. Tentative trials with what was available established the limits of what was possible and what was impossible. Gradually, practical experience led to new ideas to overcome the many challenges.

And the challenges were overcome, as development was started in January 1952 and 50 years later, when the 200ha farm was sold, there were just under 500 milking cows, plus young stock. Four homes were on the property, with another smaller unit for a single or couple for extra employees. The farm had developed through grazing cattle only, to sheep and cattle, to full dairy.

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