Dave & Alison McKay – McKay Dairy

From Good Results To Great Results!

Product Range: NatraMin Cal-S

Region: Bowraville, NSW

Pastures respond to Trace Minerals

We know that many farmers are achieving results with their current products, but like all of us, are always looking for greater return on investment. We also know from experience that by incorporating NatraMin products into their program we can work with farmers to achieve more. Bowraville dairy farmers Dave and Alison McKay were such farmers. They weren’t unhappy with the way their pastures were performing but were always looking around for options. This led Dave and Alison to first experiment with stimulating soil microbes and adding trace minerals in 2007. The response was impressive, their search to understand this more led to AgSolutions and NatraMin.

We’d always used Super Phosphate, Potash and Urea as well as liming every 4 years. We didn’t use a lot of Urea so our clovers were quite good. I was satisfied with this program but we were also looking for a lower chemical approach to our fertiliser program and had seen the benefits of applying trace minerals.”

Since 2008 Dave’s program has included around 100 tonne of NatraMin Cal-S a year at an application rate of 300kg per hectare. Minerals and trace minerals form the basis of soil and animal health. The McKay milking herd has witnessed a decrease in milk fever despite an increase in production and clovers. “We leased some new paddocks but found our heifers were losing condition. Since mulching this country and applying NatraMin, the turnaround in 12 months has been amazing. Our pastures have a better colour and in general recover quicker after grazing. To lift production at this time of year with mostly stale cows in the herd highlights the nutrition and value in our pastures. It’s definitely a combination of our management and the seasons but I certainly acknowledge the increased production and herd health as being linked to NatraMin.”

Dave McKay concludes:

We’re witnessing an ongoing trend in our industry away from ‘old school’ conventional fertilisers. The results of NatraMin are in the paddock and this is reinforced by the number of farmers in the area using NatraMin as part of their program.”

NatraMin was first applied to McKay’s pastures in 2008, with the advantage of being less expensive to the applications of Lime, Super and Potassium and the added benefit of NatraMin being applied in one pass.

This has saved us both time and money. Our production has continued to increase since applying NatraMin across the entire farm. We have seen an increase in milk production by 75,000 litres year-to-date compared to last year.”