He says using Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate® is the best farming decision he ever made and he saw results over a short period of time.
“The stock started grazing areas they had never been before, the earthworms increased, there were more fat lambs, better cattle weights and the animal health on our farm improved out of sight.” Ron owns Ridgemount Station and Rocky Range that together make up a 1,350ha sheep and beef farm at Tutira, north of Napier. “In the 30 years I have farmed in the area, the pasture is the best it has ever been so I couldn’t be happier with my fertiliser choice.”
“After applying Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate we noticed more clover. We used to have a lot of native rats-tail but the clover is showing signs of growing straight through it now. The clover is also prominent on the northern faces where it never grew before,” says Ron.
“The palatability of the grass improved almost immediately and the stock started cleaning out the paddocks better, including the rats-tail. It’s virtually all gone now.”
“The cattle now eat out the paddocks better and the ewes on rotation are coming back to grazed grass that doesn’t look like it has been touched. The pasture regrowth really is excellent.”
Ron says the soil is healthier and the earthworm population’s snowballed. “On a wet day I look at some places in the paddocks and I see hundreds of earthworms which is something I didn’t see before using Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate.”
About 300kg to the hectare of Hatuma’s ‘No. 8S’ (80% Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate and sulphur + 20% Hatuma Generate Lime) is spread on both Ridgemount Station and Rocky Range and Ron syas he finds it very cost effective.
“We are paying $30,000 less than what we used to and getting better results. This saving gives us extra money to spend on other things around the farm like fencing and maintenance.”
Increase Production and Improved Animal Health
When Blair Atkins started as stock manager on Ridgemount Station and Rocky Range three years ago he says he was impressed with the results he saw from Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate®.
Over 5,000 lambs are fattened and sent directly to the works on the hill country property each year. “We keep some replacements and fatten all the others. We get the first pick away at 20kgs and average 17.5kg for the rest of the season. In really dry summers our pasture has held up well and we’ve still been able to fatten all our lambs, even during the 2013 drought,” says Blair.
“The wool clip has increased significantly in the last few years and we are fattening 120 steers to 330kg which is good on our steep country.” Blair says the better quality grass has meant there is now less tail end in the sheep and cattle. “Our vet bills have decreased because we don’t have to dose tail end ewes anymore and our stock is in top condition.”
Kind on the Environment
Ron says he feels happier knowing that Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate® is non-water soluble and kinder on the environment.
“We farm steep hill country and get a lot of run off, so if we can do anything to protect our waterways we will. Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate stays on the ground and doesn’t run off into the rivers, which is a real positive for us.”
“Farming is definitely less stressful now with the extra growth we are getting. We have been able to fatten our stock through droughts so we can’t ask for much better than that.”
“It makes your life a lot easier knowing that you have quality pasture ahead of you despite below average rainfall periods.”