NovaChem > Industry News > 2015 > Help farmers get spring off to a flying start

Help farmers get spring off to a flying start

Published on 12/08/2015

For less than 16c per kg DM (including application costs), New Zealand’s first and most widely tested plant growth regulator for pasture packs a compelling financial argument this spring for those who haven’t already incorporated it into their systems.

That’s according to Nufarm marketing manager Nicola Smith, who says with grass firmly top of mind for many farmers as the most efficient source of feed, few inputs offer the same return as ProGibb SG in the current economic climate.

But it’s equally important customers realise not all gibberellic acid (GA) products are equal, either in response rate or solubility and mixing performance.

“We have a raft of scientific data to support ProGibb’s ability to produce 30-60 per cent more pasture DM within three weeks of application. And every year, we see more and more farmers turning to ProGibb as a need, not a want, for improved productivity,” Smith says.

An AgResearch trial comparing ProGibb with other GA products showed the benefits of a proprietary formulation resulted in an average gain of 270 kg DM per ha in just 16 days vs untreated pastures with nearly double the response rate of generic GA options.

This in turn resulted in farmers being able to shorten their rotation to a 20 day round earlier than normal.

Nicola Smith says for a modest outlay, that’s a significant amount of extra DM at a critical part of the dairying cycle.

“There’s a lot riding on spring – it’s not just the start of another season, it also sets the scene for the following year, particularly
when it comes to dairy reproduction. And this spring, with farmgate prices the way they are, customers will be looking for every way possible to contain costs without undermining their prospects for 2016/17 any more than they have to.”

For some farmers, she says, growing 30- 60 per cent more pasture DM at low cost in spring is an opportunity to put more milk in
the vat through feeding their cows better in early lactation.

For others, it’s a way of helping cows maintain body weight so they’re in better shape for mating – good condition scores at mating mean lower empty rates and higher six-week in-calf rates next spring.

“Over the years we’ve also seen farmers use the ProGibb surplus to free up paddocks for making spring silage or lessen the amount of expensive supplementary feed imported onto the farm. It is a very flexible tool at this time of the year.”

The key to optimal results is as always good planning and support and that’s where retailers can really help in the next few weeks.

"Check with those who used it last spring; find out how it worked and make sure they have their ducks in a row for this season. For new users, put some resources into making sure they know how to get maximum benefit from that extra growth.

"If they don't have a plan in advance, they will have a lot more DM in treated paddocks than they know what to do with. They need to be prepared to modify their grazing rotation if need be, and it's important they know what they're actually growing because every pasture is different.

"Adding a response of 30-60 per cent to a paddock which normally produces 50 kg DM per ha per day, at the very least I would expect to end up with 75 kg DM per ha per day and that's quite a large difference..."

ProGibb SG is easy to mix and apply to pastures. There is only one rate – 20 g per ha, plus 25 mL Contact Excel per 100 litre of water. The ideal water rate is 100 litres per ha.

For more detail contact your Nufarm territory manager.

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