NovaChem > Industry News > 2019 > Smart science helps solve spring feed deficit

Smart science helps solve spring feed deficit

Published on 09/09/2019

An unexpected feed deficit early in the season can have far reaching repercussions on cow body condition score (BCS), mating and subsequent six week in-calf rates.
However, early spring is also the time when low soil temperatures hold back pasture growth rates and demand for feed often
exceeds the amount available.
What are your customers’ options for managing this situation? One way to help resolve it is through strategic applications of
ProGibb SG plus Contact Xcel.
ProGibb SG is New Zealand’s first and most thoroughly tested plant growth regulator for pastures.

It increases grass growth by 30-60 per cent dry matter per ha within three weeks with no loss of feed quality.

In AgResearch trials, pastures sprayed with ProGibb grew, on average, an additional 270 kg DM per ha compared to untreated pasture in just 16 days, allowing farmers to shorten their rotation to a 20 day round earlier than normal.
Nufarm development specialist Cynthia Christie says, for a modest outlay, that’s a significant amount of extra DM per ha at a
critical part of the dairying cycle.
“Spring applications of ProGibb SG are a very economic way for your farmers to grow more grass at the time of the year they
usually need it most, namely during the first two grazing rounds after calving.”
There are several ways this extra growth can be utilised.
For some farmers, it’s a chance to put more milk in the vat through feeding cows better in early lactation.
Others use it as a way of helping cows maintain weight so they are in better condition for mating.
Cynthia Christie says other options are to use the ProGibb SG grass surplus to free up other paddocks for making spring silage, or reduce the amount of supplementary feed imported onto the farm in favour of feeding higher pasture allowances.
Her top tips to farmers for best results include:
1. Plan ahead, and be prepared to adjust the grazing rotation if necessary. Treated paddocks will grow significantly more DM
than normal and may need to be grazed out of order.
2. Spray ProGibb SG onto pastures within five days of grazing. One to three days after grazing is best.
3. Soil temperatures should be 7-13 deg C.
4. Always use Contact Xcel surfactant. There’s not much leaf area left straight after a pasture is grazed - Contact Xcel helps ProGibb SG stick to what herbage is present. Nufarm trials show there is a response difference of 10-15% between ProGibb applied on its own and with Contact Xcel.
ProGibb SG is easy to mix and apply to pastures. There is only one rate – 20 g per ha, plus 25 mL Contact Xcel per 100 litres of water.
For more detail contact your local Nufarm territory manager.

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