Green To Gold Contracting

Date: Thursday, 06 November 2014

After dairy farming in Northhope, Southland for 35 years, sheep, beef and grain farmer Ferg MacDonald and his wife Elle left Southland in 2004 for a quieter lifestyle in Wanaka. However his intentions didn’t last long with Ferg seeing that there was gap in the market for a contractor. Starting out as a one man band with his Drill, Ferg never planned to grow with such a pace but admits he is “always up for a challenge”.  

In 2008 Green to Gold Contracting was established and since then has grown rapidly becoming one of the most successful contractors in Central Otago, with now 8 full time staff and a fleet of 10 John Deere Tractors. 

When comparing the conditions between the two climates he describes Otago as being “a lot easier to get around the rain”. Because the conditions are so dry and the rain does not last as long, the soil is never as damp as it is in Southland so you can often keep working, meaning that Ferg and his team grab the small chances when it does rain to rest, ensuring they don’t burn out. 

A huge help in preventing fatigue has been the use of John Deere’s Ag Management Solutions (AMS) Equipment. Using this GPS driven equipment not only allows the farmer to be as accurate as possible when working the land but also allows the operator to drive hands-free resulting in less exhaustion. Ferg said “it’s not until you don’t have your AMS gear, you then realise how useful it is”. He finds his AMS equipment an essential tool for drilling at night or in dusty Central Otago conditions, enabling the operator to drive stress free not searching constantly for their lines, resulting in less fatigue and an accurate job completed.

Ferg’s first John Deere was a 4240 of which he purchased brand new in 1981 and still uses it to date. His fleet of machinery now consists of 10 more John Deere Large Ag Tractors- One 7530 and 6630 as well as two 8530’s, 7280R’s, 7930’s and two 7230 R’s. Ferg often takes on up to three additional tractors during the peak of his season through our hire company Tractor Hire South. These large ag tractors are built to put power to the ground and need to be able to withstand the tough conditions in Otago. 

With a lot of machinery on board regular maintenance is carried out to ensure they run in optimum working condition. First using Invercargill’s service department while farming in Southland, and then Mosgiel’s branch before Cromwell’s Service Department was established in 2009, Ferg said the service throughout the whole company is “unbelievable, they provide very good support and are only a phone call away”.

Ferg was one of our first clients to purchase the new John Deere 960 Rear Curtain Baler last season which he describes as an “amazing machine, absolutely stoaked with it”.  Ferg compared balers to find the one that would be able handle the conditions and said that ‘the John Deere baler outshone the rest by a mile. It is very quick to bale and because we are in a much dryer climate it can often be harder to make quality bales but this baler makes top bales and handles the dry conditions very well’. 

Southland and Otago Farm Machinery would like to thank Ferg for being a loyal client over the many years in which we have worked together and wish him all the very best for his up and coming season.

Invercargill Gore Mosgiel Cromwell
93 North Road
Phone: 03 215 9132
A/H: Alister: 027 686 8454
A/H: Pete S: 027 434 5209
A/H: Pete L: 027 433 1492
A/H: Brent: 021 723 360
12 Charlton Lane
Phone: 03 208 8203
A/H: Andy: 027 695 5451
A/H: Michael: 027 433 4123
A/H: Anthony: 027 209 7343
13 McGlashan Street
Phone: 03 489 0472
A/H: Scott: 027 588 3488
A/H: Barry: 027 486 6433
12 Elspeth Street
Phone: 03 445 1046
A/H: Bruce H: 027 241 0110
A/H: Connor: 027 807 4032