“We find it’s a really good persistent red clover and grow lots of it, to be used in early spring and summer for silage.”
Honest advice and integrity are what Richard Subtil is looking for from his seed company, and he appreciates the quality of advice he gets from Seed Force™ Territory Manager Liam Donnelly.
Richard and his wife Annabelle farm at Omarama Station, a large scale operation that takes in 12,000 hectares, 8,000 of that high country and 4,000 classed as flat high country.
They run 19,500 merino sheep and 1,200 beef cattle, fattening just over 10,000 merino lambs and about 800 beef cattle a year.
Over the last six years the Subtils have transformed the property from border dyke irrigation to pivot irrigation, intensifying the flats. They are now in the process of developing large areas of the dry land.
Under irrigation they have used straight stands of SF Rossi™ red clover, with success in building fertility, growing silage and finishing hoggets.
Richard says the SF Rossi™ is used for its feed quality and quantity.
“We find it’s a really good persistent red clover and grow lots of it, to be used in early spring and summer for silage and then going into autumn we break feed it to fatten the hoggets and ease entry into winter.”
Also under irrigation, the Subtils have used SF Finesse tall fescue mixed with herbs, red and white clover. Products used include SF Quest white clover, SF Rossi™ red clover, SF Punter™ chicory and SF Boston plantain.
“We use the fescue because in our high temperatures it grows when things get really hot here. It’s got more fibre and for our merinos it’s better than the high sugar ryegrasses.”
They are looking at dry land lucerne and lucerne-based pastures in some areas, particularly the use of landscape lucerne paddocks, where only the areas of the paddocks that are easy to access and will perform well will be taken out for lucerne.
“One thing I have found, I think their varieties of lucerne are much more tolerant of the freak frosts we can get here, that would easily turn up other varieties. They seem to fit quite well with our climate in that regard.”
What Richard values the most about working with Seed Force™ is the quality of the advice he receives.
“I need advice and advisers that will be honest with me, and I appreciate Liam’s expertise and the quality of his advice,” he says.
“Liam understands dry land and high country irrigation because of his experience in Australia and that’s what I value most in talking with him. I want somebody with good knowledge and a bit of integrity about them, and I think Liam’s got that.”