Lamb & Beef Production
This case study is written by Mark Mclean who has used Excel-Crop liquid fish fertiliser on his farm for several years.
His 80 hectare property is located at Dismal Swamp near Mt Gambier in South Australia.
Mark writes as follows:
Our soils vary from peat swamps to non - wetting sandy rises with an average annual rainfall of 700mm. We run a small cross breed beef herd and a Suffolk and White Suffolk sheep flock. My 2014 vealers topped the Mt Gambier market.
Our pastures are phlaris,fescue,rye grass and subclover. Pasture renovation is done by over sowing existing pastures in late autumn when required. The property fertilizer history was simply super applied each year with potash added every second year.
Since being informed by my Uncle about Excel-Crop a few years ago we have used the fish fertiliser every year on our pastures and liquid seaweed as a drench for our sheep and hand reared calves and lambs. He advocated its benefits and the fact that two jobs could be done at the same time ie weed control and fertilizing.
We apply the fish fertiliser at 5lts to 200lts water ratio per hectare in late Autumn and then again in early Spring. If the autumn application is missed we apply at 10lts per hectare in spring but prefer to apply twice per year to maximise pasture growth through the winter.
We have experienced many benefits that come from the regular use of Excel-Crop
The benefits we have experienced include
Increased soil health
- PH is 5.5 without adding lime
- fewer red legged earth mites and Lucerne fleas without using insecticides
- increased dung beetle activity
Increases in pasture quality
- Hay production has improved with more bales produced per hectare than when using super
- Hay is sold to race horse and equestrian horse clients with reports that the horses will eat all our hay but will only pick through other producers hay when my supply has been sold out.
- My cattle will eat all my own produced hay not leaving until it is finished but will pick through brought in hay taking a few days to clean it up when I have needed to buy in because my horse clients have exhausted my own supply.
- Stock will prefer to eat where the Excel-Crop fish has been applied in preference to where it hasn’t yet been sprayed-stock know what they need/ like.
- Weeds like capeweed become palatable after an application of Excel-Crop and the stock will readily eat them down
- Excel-Crop surpasses “super” as the super leaches down with the wet winters into the sub soil instead of being able to be utilised by the plant roots and leaves when needed in spring.
Increased animal growth and health
- Overall animal health has improved with cows and calves only being wormed at marking and then the calves are wormed once prior to sale as vealers. 2014 vealers topped the Mount Gambier market.
- Ewes and lambs are drenched with the liquid seaweed when yarded for crutching and lamb marking and once prior to lambing. Regular worm drench is still used but instead of 3-4 times a year it has been reduced to 1-3 times a year depending on the season.
- Lambing percentages are regularly 125% plus and some ewes raise triplets without any issues producing full supple udders of milk
- Our price on average per lamb equals other local producers older lambs weaned onto irrigated pastures
- Calving for the last three years has been in excess of 100%, we attribute the twins to good fertility through good nutrition provided by the increased health of our pastures
- Orphaned lambs are bottle reared on milk replacer with liquid seaweed added every 5-6 days with amazing results in health and growth. The ewe lambs are kept as replacement ewes and the whether lambs are sold alongside our paddock reared lambs with no difference in size or weight.
In summary Excel-Crop in our opinion is superior to other fertilizers and far more economical. Animals raised on Excel-Crop pastures are healthier and require less input by means of chemical drenches and less handling, further reducing stress on the animals and the farmer.
Mark is happy to talk to any farmers who would like to discuss his use of Excel-Crop Fish. Please call us and we will give you Marks contact details.