Ashgrove is a 602 hectare sheep and beef property situated 55km west of Whangarei. The farm enjoys a long stream fed valley with 20 hectares of flats with some medium hill and the remaining 70% of the property is some of Northlands steepest hill country and receives on average 1800mm of rain per year.
The sheep studs are run alongside 900 commercial Coopworth ewes. Apart from mating and lambing, commercial ewes and the stud Coopworth and Suftex ewes are all run together. Consequently the stud sheep are not pampered, but farmed commercially and are well known for shifting anywhere. Over the last three years all Coopworth stud and commercial ewes averaged 203% scanning based on ewes to ram, at a 62kg tupping weight. Ashgrove also lambs and records hogget lambs.
With no breeding cows on the farm the ewe flock are put to work to clean up pasture on a 100 day rotation through winter. Typically close to 1 condition score will be taken off the ewes between tupping and 6 weeks pre-lamb. Complementing the sheep operation, 120 Friesian bulls and 100 steers are finished each year.
Innovation and environmental stewardship are important elements of the Ashgrove ethos. In partnership with Ballance Agri-Nutrients, Ashgrove was one of ten demonstration farms nationwide pioneering SpreadSmart variable fertiliser application via a plane. Ashgrove is also working with the Northland Regional Council to improve waterways as part of the businesses focus on environmental stewardship.