Craig and Don Martin-Davie
“IT’s finding solutions rather than just selling a product, and being prepared to work with us to find different cultivars and varieties.”
Seed Force™ is helping Waiotira farmers Craig and Don Davie-Martin solve problems and find solutions onfarm.
The Davie-Martins run a mixed dairy and pedigree beef operation, milking about 300 cows along with their Angus stud, Puketi.
They have a range of Seed Force™ products on the farm including SF Envy summer turnips, different seed mixes of cocksfoot and SF Stellar™ perennial ryegrass.
This year they are planting SF Punter™ chicory, SF Brigadier™ fodder beet and SF Force 4™ lucerne as well. The lucerne is destined almost exclusively for the dairy cows and is intended to provide ration balance or be used when the cows need more protein in their diet.
They also use a range of Seed Force™ italian ryegrasses, including SF Indulgence™ and SF Accelerate, which is drilled into kikuyu grass paddocks. “In the summer kikuyu grows like mad but it goes dormant in winter, so we drill Italian ryegrass in the autumn so we still get winter and spring growth,” Craig says.
“We’re trying to keep the cows, particularly the dairy cows, as fully fed as we can. Using all the different varieties means that at any given time we have three feeds going into the cows to balance their diet. It’s a case of using the products that fit for different times of the year.”
They have found the SF Envy turnips, taste wise, are nicer and a bit softer for the cows.
The permanent mixes of cocksfoot and perennial ryegrass have worked well for them and provide balance in terms of parts of the farm that are harder than others.
“Finding out what will suit the paddocks is where Seed Force™ has really helped us out. Seed Force™’s approach has been to find out what will be best long-term, rather than just choosing a single cultivar. They find out what species and cultivar are best for that specific part of the farm. That’s what I really like about Robyn (East), he’s helping us solve problems and find solutions on-farm.”
“It’s finding solutions rather than just selling a product, and being prepared to work with us to find different cultivars and varieties. Robyn is in regular contact, it’s not just a once-a-year visit. It’s definitely a much, much better follow-up compared to anyone else we’ve dealt with in the past,” Craig says.