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Get one step ahead of low grass growth

Published on 02/08/2021

This is a possible outcome for farmers whose pastures were thinned out last season.
Several options can help them
restore some level of feed security and continuity. One in particular has the distinct advantage of being relatively fast-acting, efficient and cost-effective.
If your customers believe ap
plying ProGibb SG to their paddocks after the first grazing round is too complicated, this spring may be time to convince them otherwise.

Cynthia Christie, technical spe
cialist for Nufarm, says getting in early with the plant growth regulator has value as part of any plan to help customers farm their way out of a spring feed pinch.

One tactic is to apply ProGibb
SG plus Contact Xcel to all paddocks after the first round, then select paddocks with the best potential growth response for another application after the second round.

“You will get a response from
damaged pastures,” Christie says. “We’ve done trials on areas badly damaged by grass grub, and seen a 45 per cent increase in dry matter growth.

“It’s not a big volume when
you’re starting from very little, or when you’re comparing it to the response from dense, healthy pastures, but let’s face it, every bit counts.”

Historically, Christie says, there
has been a bit of pushback from farmers about putting ProGibb on after the first round. “They’re still calving, their mobs of cows are quite small, and the logistics of spraying after grazing do become more complicated.

“But when there’s not much of
a buffer in the system, ProGibb can give them extra grass at the start of lactation that simply otherwise won’t be there.”

And there is room for flexibility
in application timings. “We always advise getting it on 0-3 days after grazing. But if they can’t manage that turnaround, they can go out to five days. By then they should have enough area grazed to make it worth getting the sprayer in.”

Another factor in ProGibb’s fa
vour – particularly in light of the proposed synthetic nitrogen cap of 190 kg per ha in the Government’s Action for Fresh water package – is its ability to utilise existing available soil N to produce more DM per ha.

However, it is important that
any pasture being considered for a ProGibb application has sufficient nutrients to sustain extra production. If uncertain, farmers should conduct soil or foliage nutrient tests and plan nutrient application accordingly.

For more detail contact your
Nufarm territory manager.

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