“Cost of Super led us to address Mineral Levels”
Region: Bald Blair Angus, Guyra, NSW
It is very pleasing to note that the soil pH has been maintained, while the levels of Organic Carbon, Boron, Zinc and Copper has shown a distinct improvement. Pasture response has been noticeable and we’ve been able to make hay, which has never happened before.”
Because of the record high prices for Super Phosphate in March 2009, well known Angus breeders, Sam & Kirsty White of ‘Bald Blair Angus’ Guyra were forced to look for alternatives and made the change to NatraMin Cal-S to fertilise their pastures. Although Phosphorous levels were adequate after an extensive Super history, soil tests taken at White’s adjoining ‘Gatwood’ property showed that trace minerals such as Copper and Boron were lacking. Phosphorous was not required so NatraMin Cal-S was recommended to provide broad spectrum trace minerals as well as additional Calcium and Sulphur.
When trialing new fertilisers it’s important to stick with them for several years. Two paddocks were selected so that the NatraMin results could be monitored in comparison to other programs. One paddock was a two-year-old and the other ten-year-old improved pasture with a fescue base running commercial females. Sam White recalls,
in the first year the response may not have been as quick but the pasture response and health has held on a lot longer than Single Super Phosphate. With the abundance of feed, we were able to cut hay from the paddock which had never happened before.”
These paddocks have now had three applications of NatraMin Cal-S since 2009. Pastures have persisted better, with good, even ground cover and grazing is less selective which has resulted in more even pasture growth compared to when fertilised with Super Phosphate.”
Despite not applying any Phosphorus to these pastures for over three years, follow-up soil test results showed the Phosphorus levels have been maintained. Trace minerals Boron and Zinc have increased while Copper levels have more than doubled. Soil pH has remained constant and Organic Carbon levels increased from 2.8% to 4% (3%+ is desired). Sam and Kirsty recognise the importance of minerals and trace minerals and also use AgSolutions’ MegaMin supplements for their stock.
We have used various MegaMin blends in our program and last Summer we were certainly satisfied with the performance of our cattle on the MegaMin Sulphur blocks.”