More meat with magnesium + improved quality and higher yielding lucerne
Tim Freeman, Denman NSW
The fattening and hay operation is fed weaners from two breeder properties located on the Liverpool Plains and New England region. Lucerne and forages are grown on 410 hectares of irrigation and there is a further 150 hectares of dryland winter crop, hence both soil and livestock nutrition are relevant.
Winter – Grazing Oats
“We knew we were wasting fresh grazed oats scouring straight through our steers and heifers. Our Agronomist, Kyle Ropa from Farmers Warehouse, introduced us to the MegaMin Extra Magnesium production supplement. Our daily weight gains went from 0.9kg/day to 1.5kg/day. Our cattle hit the Magnesium lick hard and we have to manage intake”.
Tim doesn’t mind if consumption is a bit high as daily gains on the oats peaked at 1.7kg/day generating a significant return on investment for around 15 cents/head/day.
Summer – Grazing Forage Sorghum
The next step was using MegaMin Extra Sulphur as a production lick for grazing summer forages. Tim estimates 0.2-0.3kg increased daily gains with cattle chasing the lick on the forage.
“Our Agronomist also introduced NatraMin into our farming program. Seeing is believing and we had the advantage to see where NatraMin Cal-S had been used for 5 years by the previous owner on part of our red clay cultivation. We had an obvious comparison side by side. This red clay at its best would produce ‘beer can’ size clods and now this ground has become our highest quality and yielding lucerne. NatraMin Cal-S is broadcast at 500kg/ha in our 5 year cycle across all of our clay irrigation country.
We need the soil conditioning with the irrigation and cattle running under pivots generating compaction. In the lucerne, the NatraMin generates good results with the additional source of calcium and sulphur on top of the soil structural benefits. Cal-S is applied prior to sowing lucerne.”