A LONG BUT WORTHWHILE WAIT
Scott Charmley waited nearly 10 years for the perfect size Tow and Fert to be developed for his farm.
Dannevirke, 215 Cows, 78 Hectares
Tow and Fert Multi 500 Owner
Growing more grass and producing an extra $11,000 in Milk Solids in less than three months of ownership.
Owning the Tow and Fert Multi 500 has resulted in more grass and more milk for Scott Charmley. But wait…. there’s more…. the application of animal health products in the Tow and Fert means “no dusting.”
Scott Charmley remembers attending a discussion group over 10 years ago and seeing the Tow and Fert in action. At the time he was sharemilking, and he remembers that nitrates and environmental issues were just beginning to come to the forefront of farmers minds.
What piqued his interest, however, was the possibility of halving the amount of fert he applied. It was obvious to him that this meant savings on the environmental front and on the business front.
Fast forward 10 years and now Scott and his family farm 215 cows on 78 hectares of pristine dairy land beneath the Ruahine ranges near Dannevirke.
Above: The Tow and Fert Multi 500.
Beneath the Ruahine Ranges in the Manawatu, Scott Charmley applies his fertiliser a few days after the cows have grazed the paddock allowing for maximum uptake of nutrients by the plant.
Scott Charmley had his eye on a Tow and Fert for over 10 years. It was only once the Multi 500 came along that he decided to take the plunge and give it a go.
Over the past 10 years Scott had kept an eagle eye on the Tow and Fert range development, waiting for a machine that he felt was suitable for his farm. Enter the Tow and Fert Multi 500, released at the beginning of 2021. For Scott, this seemed the perfect size. With an average paddock size of 2ha the 500-litre tank could do 2 paddocks in one round. It was the perfect size for his farm.
Scott was the first farmer to purchase the Tow and Fert Multi 500 and he immediately started putting on Urea and Gibberillic Acid in one pass.
Scott says, “I had a good idea of what the machine should be able to do so I started with Urea and Gib Acid following the cows once they moved off a paddock.”
“I started with 30kgs of Urea and 40mls of Gib Acid per hectare and it is working really well. We are getting a response that is equivalent to putting on 60kgs of solid urea.”
Scott says that the ease of use is one of the key benefits to the Tow and Fert.
“I can put on what I want when the grass needs it. I do two paddocks in one round using the P30 nozzle travelling at approx. 16kms an hour. Each paddock takes less than 10 minutes following the cows.”
Early on Scott decided to invest in the electronic actuation control upgrade which he says has been money well spent, “for me the electronic actuation upgrade just makes the machine that much easier to use.”
Results that speak for themselves.
Scott is now growing more grass and saving money applying less fert.
Asked about his results and Scott is enthusiastic,
“We have had the Multi 500 since March this year (2021). We kept our cows on for a week longer than our neighbours and grew 70kgs/ha of dry matter through May. We’ve produced an extra 1500kgs of milk solids this season and have almost paid off our investment in the Tow and Fert.”
He goes on to say that the farm is now producing more grass with only half the Urea, and he is well under the new environmental limitations.
“I love knowing that what we are putting on to our farm is something that is good for the environment, good for the cows, is good for the soil and it just makes me feel like I am doing my part to make the dairy industry less of the devil it is sometimes portrayed to be.”
During the late winter as Animal health became a priority Scott began to use his Multi 500 for applying Mag Oxide and Lime Flour. It was something he was looking forward to trying. Asked how it went, he says,
Scott’s text to Metalform Sales Manager Tim Henman after applying his animal health products with his Tow and Fert Multi 500.
Scott tells of the changes has been able to make on his farm and discusses the products he is now using. From Urea and Progib to Ammo 31, UAN and Potassium Chloride Scott is now applying multiple products in one pass saving time and money and giving the grass what it needs when it needs it.
“It has been brilliant. I applied Mag Oxide the other day. 7 days’ worth in 20 minutes and the best part is, no dust. And what we have noticed now is that our cows are healthier, and we have had less issues with down cows this spring.”
The Tow and Fert enables Scott to apply the Animal Health products directly to the leaf of the grass meaning that cows cannot avoid eating the products.
“Every animal is getting what they need now, there is no avoiding these products which are so critical to their health.”
And on the dust front, “Wow. Just brilliant. Dusting is something most farmers loathe so not having to worry about that is awesome.”
Above: Scott applies his farm’s fertiliser brew to one of his paddocks beneath the Ruahine Ranges in the Manawatu.
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The Tow and Fert Times is a publication full of information for dairy farmers. Designed to help you with your nutrient management and fertiliser decisions, it is packed full of helpful information, case studies and helpful tips and tricks for the farm.
Volume 6 (June 2021) Available now!