Autumn news

Autumn News 2022

Key point : All our pasture & crop clients have done better than average

Canterbury :
Our clients had a better-than-average season compared to most other people. Spring saw them growing more grass than many others who were using a lot more Urea. Some were down a little - 4% - on the previous season but saved a lot on supplementary feed. They also had low or improved conception rates. Tanners’ farm consultant said all his clients except John were down 7-10% for the season with grass quality plummeting in November. On far lighter soils (having used 100kg less nitrogen per hectare) Tanners were typically ahead of the Lincoln University Dairy Farm (LUDF) by 10 - 15kg of growth/day from February onwards. Tanners’ conception rates were the best among his farm consultant’s clients. Magni-Grow has been used in progressive sections of the farm for 3 years. Each area has changed by over 20kgDM/day after 2-3 months. The remaining 100ha of the 170ha milking platform was treated in January and it was after this that the farm’s overall growth began to be ahead of LUDF for the first time. As an indicator of the season, the LUDF was 10% down in production with 21% empties and they used 700kg of supplement per cow - twice as much as the previous season.

In North Canterbury it was a very dry Autumn and irrigation was occurring in early May. Consequently, dryland farms got very little Autumn growth.

Southland :

One of our Southland clients who is in his 80’s described the Autumn/Winter/Spring period last year as the worst he had experienced. Then a Summer/Autumn drought happened.

It's easy to get down emotionally with those sort of conditions. How do you assess growth performance in these conditions? Well Rudi from R & J Agrispray said a couple of clients had calculated 14.5 ton and 12 tons dry matter for the season. Magnify was part of Rudi’s recommendation. How does that compare with regional averages?

Dairy NZ studied average seasonal grass growth between 2007 and 2012. The range was around 11 - 14.5 tons for Seaward Downs, Telford, Tapanui, South Hill End & Woodlands using 0 - 132kgN/ha. The top yield was 14.5 tons in Wallacetown (using 176kgN/ha). So to us, producing 14.5 tons with as little as 80kgN/ha was a very good result given the season. What’s interesting is the grass growth hasn't changed much since this data was released.

The LUDF did 21.4 ton using over 300kgN/ha between 2008-2015 and last year they did about 16.5 tons using 160kgN/ha. AgResearch said a few years ago that plant breeding had only added about 6% to pasture growth over the last 20 years. So ‘well done’ our clients last year all of whom did better than average with less nitrogen inputs and less supplements.

Winter application - absorbing nitrogen at a critical time of year for leaching & gaining feed

Key point : Magnify boosted Winter growth 200-400kgDM/ha (16 June–4 Aug)

Story behind .... In Canterbury, farmers are prohibited from using nitrogen fertiliser from May to August. Over 50% of leaching occurs in June and July. Growing more grass through these months absorbs ready-to-leach nitrogen and reduces feed costs in Spring. We previously trialled our old products with GibbGrow (starting in early May to mid July) and got gains of 750-1000kgDM/ha. We measured gains of 1200kg last year in Oxford, but that was after 2 applications starting 8 months prior. No Gibb was included. This level of extra growth sucks up over 30kg of leachable nitrogen - probably half of what many dairy farms have at present.

Dave Taylor from Landcare NZ was confident Magni-Grow would give extra grass even if applied in early June. His client along the banks of the Rakaia River applied his first ever Magnify product in mid June. In spite of 3-4 times the average monthly rainfall (+ hardly any sunny days + older pastures + very late hard grazing) we actually got average growth increases over the first 47 days of 96, 150 and 390 kg/ha across the 3 measurable paddocks. The oldest and grassgrub-affected paddock that was grazed heavily in early June was the worst and the younger paddock the best. Statistically the average difference was +160kg (p>0.0073). That’s a bale of balage per hectare. We guestimate that was around 60-100% improvement. So even under really cloudy, rainy Winter conditions, Magni-Grow paid for itself in less than 47 days.

Based on past studies and the knowledge that Magni-Grow is more powerful than any product we have tested in the past, we are confident that Magni-Grow plus GibbGrow applied after the final grazing would give a minimum of 700 – 1000 kg/ha extra cover in the first round of the new season. That would be a 400% return on investment based on silage savings in early Spring plus a huge reduction in leaching. A win-win. This farm used 190kgN/ha last season as liquid with humates and fulvic acid.

Transforming a dryland North Canterbury property

Key point : From 600 bales to 1800 bales in just two years with Magnify

Story behind ... Steve and Andrea Reardon bought a 70ha dryland farm near Oxford. The fertility was low & droughts over the years had an impact on grass quality. A very typical dryland farm on light stoney soils in areas that go dry in Summer. He decided to target production, soil health and profit first - then address any remaining fertility issues. Decent balage cuts were essential for a profit target of $1000/ha to be achieved. He had made some gains in soil health and production using humates/fulvic acid plus 23kg liquid nitrogen, but still only made 600 bales balage.

There was still a loss financially. To achieve profit he had to double the balage cut from the same pastures & area. Dave Taylor from Landcare NZ introduced me to Steve and we started him on 2 applications of Magni-Grow per year and 1 to 2 (50-70kg) applications of Ammo 31 (15-21kg nitrogen). In the first Spring - using Magnify products and recommendations - he cut 1200 bales and last Spring he got the equivalent of 1800 bales off the same area. That was around 24 x 200kg bales/ha.

This is an example of the compounding effect of Magnify. Nitrogen was needed until the ground began to generate enough nitrogen to grow from. Well done Steve and Andrea for turning this property around! Doing the best for the water quality was a high priority as the Ashley River (which now suffers from toxic algae in Summer) was only a few paddocks away from their property.

Download Spring 2022 Newsletter

We’d love to hear from you if you’d like to chat over how our new products can add more value to your farm.

Scott Hobson, Managing Director, Magnify NZ Ltd
0800 66 88 100

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