Kyle Ropa – Farmers Warehouse Agronomist

NSW Agronomist Insists On NatraMin Cal-S For Lucerne

Product Range: NatraMin Cal-S

Region: Singleton, NSW

In 2011 Farmers Warehouse Agronomist, Kyle Ropa, first experienced the results from applying NatraMin Cal-S with one of his dairy farming clients. A lucerne grower himself, Kyle went on to apply NatraMin under his own lucerne to fully gauge the soil improvement and crop benefits for his own technical satisfaction in order to understand where the product could maximise its potential for his clients.

According to Kyle,

To promote a soil amendment or fertiliser like NatraMin, as Agronomists, we first need to establish our own confidence in the product. In this region, our top-end lucerne clients are achieving 20-25 tonnes of Dry Matter (DM) per hectare per year, so nutrition, water, weed management and soil structure are all critical factors in determining yields.

To maximise tonnage of cut lucerne, first we have to establish good plant populations. Our lucerne growers plant with NatraMin Cal-S @ 400-500kg/ha underneath and where we miss applying it we see the difference in reduced plant populations. We’re applying a lighter rate of Cal-S as an annual top dress (200-250kg/ha) as part of the total nutrition and soil program. Soil structure and friability in the seed bed is what we’re targeting with better water infiltration and retention (now proven with Science in University of Qld NatraMin Cal-S trials). This is enhancing our germination and early establishment.

We’re that confident now in how NatraMin Cal-S works in these soils, it’s an expectation that our clients follow the program. We plant with phosphorus and focus on removal rates of potassium while also utilising nitrogen and sulphur to assist yields. All inputs must generate a return on investment, and we strive for an 8:1 production return on our inputs.”

2018 Kyle Ropa, Farmers Warehouse, Singleton, NSW, Yara