New Zealand's Canterbury Plains have a world reputation for excellent arable production. The temperate climate and good water supply create ideal conditions for a broad range of crop production and research. Canterbury straddles the 43 degree south latitude line, a location comparable with Northern Italy in Europe and the Oregon in the United States.
Ashburton is the hub of New Zealand's arable industry, located centrally on the Canterbury Plains. It is here that Midlands Seed has its base, servicing their growers as well as their domestic and international customers.
Ashburton is serviced both by rail and road with a choice of two deep water ports with container facilities located at Lyttelton - 90 kms to the North and Timaru - 77 kms to the South. From these ports Midlands Seed Ltd ships its products to over 60 destinations in 34 countries.
To the west, Ashburton is bounded by the spectacular grandeur of the world famous Southern Alps and to the east by the Pacific Ocean. Snow-fed rivers, which form the northern and southern boundaries, ensure an abundance of irrigation water, not only from direct access but also from underground sources.
Summer temperatures climb as high as 35 degrees Centigrade with an overall summer average of 25 degrees. Night temperatures fall to between 12 and 15 degrees Centigrade in summer. Summer/autumn planting is undertaken in February/March, with harvest in the following January to March period.
Winter, while colder, is not considered extreme with overnight temperatures falling to as low as -5°C with up to 12°C to 14°C during the day. The winter months are from May to August with spring planting undertaken in late August through to October for an anticipated February/March harvest.