“The cocksfoot in there is amazing, you can put any class of stock in that paddock and they graze it madly in preference to other things.”
Waipukurau farmer Di Murphy likes have a plan to move forward, so she’s excited to see the results of a Seed Force™ Matrix demo site and lucerne trial on her Central Hawke’s Bay farm.
Di is in the throes of farm succession and transitioning her two children on to farms, leaving her with a “nice little farm” to run at Hatuma, where she predominantly fattens bulls as well as running a Poll Dorset stud with 300 ewes. About 1,500 lambs are also bought in and finished annually.
“It’s very good country, but dry at the front, which is a challenge,” she says. She currently has one paddock planted in SF Force 4™ lucerne, but is very keen to put more in and plans to plant a further 9ha flat paddock in spring.
“We currently cut it for baleage, cut it for hay and graze a few lambs on it. It’s mighty stuff – it’s on the boniest hill and it’s amazing. I thought the lucerne could go very well here.
Di also has SF Sultan™ annual ryegrass and SF Greenland forage rape planted in two paddocks, totalling 14ha. After silage was cut off the paddocks they cross slotted in SF Greenland rape and SF Sultan™ in mid-March.
Despite a lack of moisture and the fact it was cross slotted into old pasture, the rape did exceptionally. “The SF Greenland rape is so dense, it’s absolutely amazing – for autumn sown and cross slotted into old pasture it’s very impressive. I did have to spray it for aphids and put some urea on it, but it looks magnificent.”
Di has some forward R2 Friesian bulls on a silage pit currently and the plan, once the silage is finished, is to break feed them on a small amount of the SF Sultan™ and the crop.
“They’re 440-450kg now and I hope to really smoke them. I think they will, especially if we are careful with the SF Sultan™, so they have good grass and good crop.”
A further 9ha of spring-sown SF Greenland rape had 180 weaner bulls grazed on it. “They were in there for 10 weeks and I took them out and put 100kg of urea on it and it’s looking fantastic, it’s a really good crop.”
Di likes having the demo sites on the farm as it gives a great indicator of what will do well in their conditions. “I think it’s a very good idea to do it where it’s not high rainfall or treated specially and see how it performs, which species will hold on in a drought and which don’t.
“The cocksfoot in there is amazing, you can put any class of stock in that paddock and they graze it madly in preference to other things.” Based on what she’s seen, Di is aiming to autumn sow 5ha of SF Greenly II new generation cocksfoot in February with SF Rosabrook subterranean clover mixed in.
She is pleased to have Seed Force™ Territory Manager, Paul Holden, on board to help her with the new paddocks. “I get on very well with Paul and find him very interesting – not pushy. I like to have a plan that you’re going forward,” Di says.