Marshall Walton and Angela Zyzalo
Waiotira

“Their germination seems to be really good. I’m getting really good establishment and good growth.”

Sheep and beef farmer Marshall Walton likes to think outside the box, and he values a company like Seed Force™ that appreciates this and helps him find innovative solutions on-farm.

Marshall and Angela farm at Waiotira, south west of Whangarei with a mixture of owned and leased land, varying from dead flat to hill country.

The couple farm Wagyu beef exclusively and are chasing good marbling, which heavily affects their schedule. A mixture of breeding and finishing, they take 150 of each age group, both heifers and steers, through to finishing as a three-year-old animal.

They also run 850 mixed age ewes, breeding their own replacements and mating hoggets. They are moving back to predominantly breeding with the sheep, trying to offload lambs pre-Christmas.

Thinking about how they might do things differently has led them to try a wide range of Seed Force™ products, including SF Brigadier™ fodder beet, a SF Finesse tall fescue and clover mix, SF Greenland forage rape, SF Indulgence™ italian ryegrass, and SF Stellar™ perennial ryegrass, SF Greenly II cocksfoot, SF Boston plantain and white and red clover mix.

Marshall has had good results with the SF Finesse tall fescue and Seed Force™ clover mix he tried in order to get a good summer growing pattern. “Wild fescue does well in Northland and we were having trouble with persistence of our ryegrass, so I was looking for more persistence and a better summer growth pattern.”

“I was trying to think outside the box and I’ve been fairly happy with it, it persisted fairly well and the clover has done better – I’ve probably got a better mix of sward.”

While it can be slow to establish, patience has paid off and now, in its second year, it’s really starting to perform. Marshall does have to manage the fescue mix carefully though, to keep it in check and stop it going rank.

SF Greenland forage rape was used for feeding Wagyu dairy calves through the summer and Marshall is really happy with the results.

“The one thing I would say about Seed Force™ products is their germination seems to be really good. I’m getting really good establishment and good growth.”

Last autumn they also tried a mix of SF Stellar™ perennial ryegrass, SF Greenly ll cocksfoot, SF Rossi™ red clover, SF Quest white clover and SF Boston plantain. “I planted 20 hectares of that, establishment was good and I was particularly impressed with the plantain, but time will tell with that mix.”

Marshall believes Seed Force™ add value to his business and are the best seed company in the Northland region.

“They are the best in the market in Northland. I’m a fairly heavy user of cropping products and Robyn (East) has been really, really good. The fact they have someone on the road who visits and looks at your crop and takes an interest is a big plus.

“The fact Robyn turns up, talks to me about my issues and finds out if he has products that may suit me is big. I figure if people want to associate with me they have to be an asset to my business, and Robyn is,” Marshall says.

“That’s got to be the best testimonial – they add value to my business.”

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