Bill & Lynette Cashmore
Kiripaka Station 800-900Ha Beef and Sheep.
Like almost all hill country sheep and beef farmers, spare money has been non existent . On farm costs have had to be slashed in an attempt to retain a neutral cash flow.
With fertiliser costs going through the roof and even now as they have come back, they are still high by historical context. Spreading costs likewise have risen exponentially. We were looking for something that was cost effective and that worked.
The result was grinding DAP and lime, adding minerals and using Futurespread and their GPS system to accurately apply this product.
We applied this mix in mid spring to a mixture of country. Some strong finishing country and also a lot of medium fertility steep hill. Within three weeks there was a definite visual response . The normal growth was accentuated growth moved with it. Now almost five months on we still see results as compared to untreated country and our neighbours. The lambs sent for processing have been 1.6 kg heavier than historical averages and we got 30% more away. While prices are now lower, we are not selling and have the feed to do so although it has been dry.
By this time in past years we would have been forced to sell our local trade heifers because of feed budget constraints, and consequently have not maximised potential weight gain. This year all heifers are still here. We are close to ideal body weight and the prices have lifted off there lows by over $100 head.
The yearling Angus bulls are well ahead and are currently on hill country growing out. In past years this country has been ewes only over summer. The complimentary effect on the easier country has benefits that will last into the Autumn.
Another 400 hectares was treated with this mixture this year. Another 400 hectares is planned to be treated early Autumn and then the whole 800 Hectares in the late spring. A weed killer will also be added.
A disillusionment with traditional fertiliser programs lead to this trial. The results speak for themselves. The accuracy of the GPS system ensures no wastage. The slurry has no run off to waterways and a fast uptake by plants. The system is an excellent method to apply minerals from which a substantial response can be gained.
The results speak for themselves.
Dairying – North Waikato
Three or four years ago I was starting to wonder about the cost and effectiveness of the normal accepted practice of flying on superphosphate on our 600 Hectare runoff block at Waingaro.
After much discussion I decided to do a three year trial with lime based products by Futurespread. We are two years into a three year trial. We have trial plots in an attempt to monitor any change.
We are learning to maximise the product every year in terms of what we want added to the lime and when best to apply as to our requirements.
We are pleased so far and I’m comfortable with the plan for the next few years and look forward to the results.
We are still using solid fertilisers on our 40 Hectares of crops and 120 Hectares of silage and hay paddocks, as we spread that ourselves and at our convenience.
The Futurespread system is cost effective and suits our farming system and by monitoring we will keep an eye on any changes.