Crop Farmers/Managers Urgently Needed in New Zealand - 024jobs
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Crop Farmers/Manager

Crop Farmers/Managers Urgently Needed in New Zealand

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In the heart of New Zealand’s agricultural landscape, the role of crop farmers/managers takes center stage, orchestrating the growth and production of various crops on farms, vineyards, and hothouses. From the financial nuances to the day-to-day responsibilities. In this article, we will talk about the compensation, description, and how to work as crop farmers in New Zealand

Compensation of Crop Farmers/Managers in New Zealand

The compensation for crop farmers/managers in New Zealand is as diverse as the crops they cultivate, influenced by factors such as farm size, crop type, seasonal profitability, and market prices. Here’s a glimpse:

  • Crop farmers/managers with up to five years’ experience: Typically earn between $55,000 and $110,000 annually.
  • Those working for large organizations: Can command salaries ranging from $120,000 to $180,000.

(Sources: Horticulture NZ; Trade Me Jobs; Indeed, 2019)

Roles and Responsibilities

The role of a crop farmer/manager involves a spectrum of tasks aimed at ensuring optimal plant production. Key responsibilities include:

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  • Deciding what crops to grow and developing planting schedules
  • Cultivating land for optimal crop growth
  • Planting seeds and crops, monitoring their growth
  • Ensuring crops receive necessary care, including watering, fertilizing, and pruning
  • Managing irrigation and frost protection
  • Organizing the harvesting, grading, and packing of crops, and arranging for their sale and transport
  • Procuring seeds, fertilizers, machinery, and other farm materials
  • Maintaining equipment, training and supervising workers, and ensuring compliance with regulations
  • Keeping meticulous records of production and finances.
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Skills and Knowledge of a Crop Farmers/Managers

Crop farmers/managers require a diverse skill set and knowledge base, encompassing:

  • Understanding how to grow and harvest various types of crops
  • Knowledge of crop diseases, weeds, and pests, along with control methods
  • Awareness of climate and weather conditions and their impact on crops
  • Understanding soil and crop rotation, cultivation, and harvesting methods
  • Familiarity with food safety, market certification, and quality requirements
  • Knowledge of health, safety, and employment regulations
  • Skills in recruiting, training, and managing staff.

Working Conditions

The life of a crop farmer/manager is characterized by dedication and adaptability. They typically:

  • Work between eight and 10 hours a day, with longer hours during peak seasonal harvest and planting times, including weekends
  • Work outdoors, in glasshouses, nurseries, packhouses, or offices
  • Tackle various weather conditions, with exposure to machinery and chemicals
  • Travel locally between crop fields and markets or suppliers.
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Entry Requirements

While there are no specific entry requirements, gaining skills on the job is the norm. However, aspiring crop farmers/managers may find qualifications beneficial. A New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture Production (Level 4) or a diploma/degree in horticulture can provide a solid foundation. The Primary ITO’s Let’s Grow horticulture apprenticeship offers on-the-job training.

Education

A minimum of three years of secondary education is recommended, with subjects like accounting, agricultural and horticultural science, business studies, math, biology, and chemistry proving useful. Programs like trades academies, STAR, and Gateway offer valuable experience for Year 11 to 13 learners.

Personal Attributes

Successful crop farmers/managers embody certain personal attributes, including:

  • Strong administrative and business planning skills
  • Effective communication and management abilities
  • Teamwork proficiency
  • Capacity to work well under pressure.

Experience

Prior experience that can enhance success in this field includes:

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  • Farm or horticulture work
  • Use of specialist equipment or driving heavy vehicles
  • Mechanical work
  • Business management
  • Collaboration with harvesting contractors.

Physical Requirements

Reasonable fitness and health are essential for crop farmers/managers, as the role involves physical activities and outdoor work.

Job Opportunities

The demand for crop farmers/managers is on the rise, driven by several factors:

  • Increasing growth in the horticulture industry
  • A shortage of New Zealanders available for the work
  • Projections of the horticulture industry contributing over $5 billion in export revenue by 2023
  • Larger and more complex farms require advanced soil and crop management skills.
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The role of a crop production/agronomist manager is listed on Immigration New Zealand’s regional skills shortage list, actively encouraging skilled professionals from overseas to contribute to New Zealand’s thriving agricultural sector.

(According to the Census, 6,960 crop farmers/managers worked in New Zealand in 2018)

Types of Employers

Crop farmers/managers may find employment with:

  • Private farm owners
  • Businesses
  • Grower companies that own farms
  • Vineyards,
  • Nurseries.

Specializations

As professionals in the field, crop farmers/managers have various avenues for progression and specialization:

  • Field Crop Growing: Focusing on the cultivation and sale of grains, oilseeds, wheat, and pasture crops.
  • Flower Growing: Cultivating and selling seeds, seedlings, bulbs, buds, and flowers.
  • Grape Growing: Growing grapes for wine production.
  • Horticultural Contracting: Self-employment organizing work gangs for various crop-related tasks.
  • Mixed Crop Farming: Growing and selling a variety of crops.
  • Vegetable Growers: Specializing in the cultivation and sale of vegetables.

How to Apply

NOTE: If you do not have a work visa permit for New Zealand, start here and check the New Zealand Visa Application Process for more information

Be careful

Don’t provide your bank or credit card details when applying for jobs.
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