Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate® was first used on the farm by Ted Pattison in the 1960s when it was then known as “reverted super”. In 2000 Rohan and his son Shayne came to the conclusion the farm only performed at its best when Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate® was being applied and they made the decision to make it the farm’s annual fertiliser.
The 627 hectare property is farmed in two blocks with Shayne running 450 hectares and Rohan the balance of 177 hectares carrying a total of 6000 stock units. Both say each year they’re impressed by the results Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate® produces.
“Soon after applying Hatuma Dicaicic Phosphate there was a noticeable colour change in the pasture. There’s a lot more clover and you can see the quality of the grass improve. As a result we have maintained above average stock weights,” says Shayne.
“It’s an outstanding fertiliser based on a simple concept … if you look after the soil, the soil will look after the grass and the grass will look after the animals. It’s been a winning formula for our property.”
Rohan says the farm has increased production significantly in the last decade.
In the 2012-13 season Shayne lambed over 150% on his block. Rohan averaged 21.8 kgs carcass weight for lambs all finished by the end of February. The home-bred two and a half year steers killed out at over 380 kgs average. “So we are getting some great results from Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate,” says Rohan.
Rohan participates in the annual Beef and Lamb New Zealand survey which highlights the Pattison’s outstanding farm production. “The survey showed meat production per hectare was 40 kilograms above the top quintile of North Island hill country farms.”
“Our stock are performing well so we know we are getting results from the fertiliser. Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate is a tried and proven product for us.”
Better quality pasture
Quality pasture is a priority for the Pattisons and they’re impressed with the good clover cover on their property.
“Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate certainly promotes the clover in the pasture. We’re now noticing how thick it grows on the dry northern faces, which is really good because these ridges are prone to drought.
“We can also see strong earthworm activity and the paddocks are being grazed evenly because the pasture is more palatable.”
“It is noticeable in times of drought that the pasture takes longer to dry out and is also quicker to green up again following rain. Over the years topdressing pilots have made the comment that the boundary of the property was obvious from the air because of the green colour of the farm.”
Improved animal health
Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate® has helped keep the Pattison’s animal health bill down because they don’t need to copper their cattle or drench their stock as frequently.
“Our region is classed as copper deficient but we don’t feel the need to use copper. Some years ago we did biopsies and discovered our stock weren’t copper deficient which confirmed our thoughts. We are still yet to see any evidence to make us think they are. The only difference we can put it down to is that we use Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate.”
Better for the environment
In the last decade Shayne and Rohan have become more environmentally conscious and enjoy using a fertiliser which is non-water soluble.
“We appreciate that it doesn’t leach. We don’t want to be putting product down the drain. It makes sense to use Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate because we are protecting our waterways and getting benefit on the farm as well. The Hatuma philosophy helps us to be as responsible as we can be.”
Cost effective and strong customer service
Rohan and Shayne like the fact Hatuma have different blends of Dicalcic Phosphate to fit the seasonal fertiliser requirements. Typically the farm receives an application of 250-350kg/ha of Hatuma No.8S (80% Hatuma DP sulphur / 20% Hatuma Generate Lime).
“On the odd year when things have been a bit tight we have shifted to 300kg/ha of Hatuma No.9S (60% Hatuma DP sulphur / 40% Hatuma Generate Lime), which uses less phosphate but is a cheaper option and stops us slipping backwards. It’s good to have the choice of different blends and prices.”
Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate® only requires one annual application which the Pattisons say is more cost effective than applying two separate applications of lime and super phosphate.
“Hatuma makes sense. If you do the basics right and do them well, it will work. Their customer service is top notch. We have always been treated very well and we have had good advice. They’re easy to deal with and we enjoy having a relationship with people we trust.”