Bruce and his son Jeffrey run Springdale, a 405ha sheep and beef property in Pahiatua. Bruce first saw the benefits of Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate® while he was working for a spreader operator back in the 1970s and noticed the farms that were applying the product always looked better and the stock healthier than the properties that didn’t.
“After the first application of Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate we immediately noticed our stock were a lot cleaner and we weren’t having to dag our sheep as often. Animal health improved and lamb weights also increased.”
Impressed by the initial results from the Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate, the pair began using it more extensively across the whole farm. “We wanted to kick-start our fertiliser programme so we did three applications at 400kg to the hectare of Hatuma’s ‘No. 8S’ (80% Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate and sulphur + 20% Hatuma Generate Lime) over the space of 18 months during autumn, spring, then autumn dressings,” says Bruce.
“As a result we increased our lamb weights straight away selling all our lambs at 17.5 to 19 kilos, which is still being maintained even after this year’s drought. Previously we had been struggling to reach those weights. The earthworm population and clover just snowballed. We never used to have an abundance of clover but now we have tonnes of it. One paddock that hasn’t been re-grassed for well over a hundred years is now producing a sea of clover.”
After the initial capital applications, Bruce and Jeffrey now apply ‘Hatuma No.8S’ annually at 400kg/ha, with extra ‘Hatuma Hayblend’ on certain paddocks.
Efficient stock management
Jeffrey recalls the time when his friend gave him a hand with dagging. “We weaned 2000 lambs and only had to dag 10 with a hand piece. My mate couldn’t believe it after coming from a station where they dagged every ewe and lamb before shearing.”
Bruce and Jeffrey are environmentally conscious and like the fact that Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate® is non-water soluble. “We need to protect our waterways and prevent run off. By using Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate we are one step ahead of the game environmentally. We aren’t dumping water-soluble fertiliser all over the place. So we are protecting our environment.”
“Previously we had a major issue with porina. Since using Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate we don’t have a problem anymore. Neighbouring farms spray for it with choppers but we don’t need to. It can cost thousands to spray, so this saving means we can afford to put more fertiliser on our farm,” says Bruce.
Improved grass quality
Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate® has improved grass quality and quantity across the farm. This has resulted in better results when it comes to making baleage.
“The number of baleage bales produced on our property always exceeds expectation. The contractor came in this year with a new press and a high horse-powered tractor. After pressing the paddocks he commented that they were some of the heaviest crops he’d pressed this season and was pleased he had the extra horse-power because the crop was so thick and full of clover,” says Jeffrey.
“There’s no doubt our grass is good quality and there’s plenty of it, and the stock obviously love it. We put these results down to using Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate®.”