Gundy and Lisa Anderson
“SF Force 4™.
IT’S A PARTY ANIMAL
– IT ARRIVES EARLY AND LEAVES LATE, SO IT’S REALLY PUSHED THE SHOULDERS OF THE SEASON OUT FOR US.”
Gundy Anderson wanted to feed his ewes better – and he had an idea lucerne was the feed for the job.
Consequently, extensive planting of SF Force 4™ lucerne on his Omarama property has had outstanding results in terms of lifting ewe performance and lamb survival.
Gundy and his wife Lisa farm at Bog Roy Station, 2,700 hectares on the shores of Lake Benmore, running a predominantly merino ewe flock and Hereford beef cattle.
It all came about when Gundy decided they needed to look after the high country better and spell the hills.
After an exchange to South Africa, where he saw ewes performing well on grazing lucerne, as well as input from Lincoln University scientist Derrick Moot and farmer Doug Avery, the Andersons undertook an extensive lucerne planting programme – moving towards grazing lucerne rather than cutting and carrying it for silage each year.
“After the South Africa experience, I basically came back thinking we really needed to feed our ewes better – lucerne is the key to that,” Gundy says.
“We got the best ewe performance, lamb survival and lamb weights.”
Grazing the lucerne with ewes with lambs at foot rather than cutting hay really paid off for the Andersons – the lambing percentage in their mixed age ewes lifted from 115% to 130% last year and the 2th ewes lifted from 80% to 100%.
As well as the straight grazing lucerne the Andersons have planted lucerne and cocksfoot mixes and in the wetter areas they have used SF Finesse tall fescue and SF Rossi™ red clover mixes, which are going well.
“We’ve got better performing lucerne out of the SF Force 4™ variety. When I first met Liam (Donnelly) I felt the cold easterlies were limiting the production of the lucerne we had and Liam suggested trying SF Force 4™. It’s a party animal – it arrives early and leaves late, so it’s really pushed the shoulders of the season out for us.”
The Andersons send monthly cage cuts from grazing-excluded cages, to Lincoln to have the dry matter measured. This has shown the consistency and production performance of the SF Force 4™ lucerne.
“It gives us a real handle on how much we’re producing and where we’re producing it,” he says. “It’s a handy tool and takes the guess work out of it and allows us to really nail down some figures.”
“The cuts tell us it is (SF Force 4™) a high performer, plus it’s consistent.”
The Andersons work closely with Liam and find him excellent to deal with. “His background in spending time in Australia with dry land species is excellent. The support and follow up, that’s key.”
“Seed Force™ seem to be a proactive company, eager to not just sell the glossy brochure but to find out what you’re trying to achieve on farm. They ask you what you’re trying to achieve and then help you achieve it – they really get on board to help offer solutions.”