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May 12, 2007 Healthy soil is the key to high production in Porangahau

‘My father first applied dicalcic on this place after his spreader operator, Tom Fuller, began expressing the virtues of the product during the 1970s,’ recalls Barry. ‘He later followed up with
conversations with Joe Topp at Hatuma who spoke of the advantages to applying a non water-soluble phosphate, and the benefi ts to nurturing the soil.

Farm size 890ha
Years of dicalcic use 32
Application No 8S (0:3.6:0:8) @ 370kg/ha

The key to the farm’s productivity has been its soil and making sure it remains in a healthy condition is something I’ve always put a great deal of emphasis on. That’s why I’ve continued to use dicalcic, it complements the natural processes of the soil.

Barry Stoddart

Barry Stoddart

A few years back when we purchased a neighbouring block one of the first things we noticed was the contrast of soil conditions, something I’m sure was due to the dicalcic applications. The moisture retention has been the biggest difference. I can hop over the fence and dig a hole, and it’ll be dry and pale looking, whereas back on this side, only 20 metres away, it will be moist and black. Obviously something on the original place is right. In saying that, the new property is already showing signs of improvement with the initial applications of dicalcic and Cropfine, such as the thatch disappearing from the surface.

I’m conscious of making sure the rest of my management doesn’t compromise the potential of the soil. One of these is running a reasonable number of sheep so as not to damage it in the winter time. I find if I do experience any cases though, the soil repairs itself quickly thanks to the structure already being very good.

I’ve always been mindful of the benefits from a healthy soil transpiring through to the surface. This is reflected in the large content of clover that grows here and the good performance of the stock. The welfare of my animals are number one priority, and the dicalcic applications have meant there’s been nothing to think there’s anything different I could do to improve their health.

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