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When Change Grows Grass.

Carola Haket - A new fert program brings amazing results.

Jumping into a new fert program can be a difficult decision.

For Carola Haket the change in approach has provided some amazing results.

Carola Haket took over the family farm, sharemilking, in 2022 when her father decided it was time to sit back and enjoy life a bit more. With fert prices rising significantly at the time due to worldwide shortages and the pandemic still in play, Carola’s father was looking for alternatives to reduce their fert inputs and costs.

Having relied on Ravensdown recommendations for many years they had started to question the value of the inputs they had been recommended by their representative. Purely by chance, Rudi from RJ AgriSpray walked down their driveway to the shed one day. It was a quick meeting of the minds and cultures as both Rudi and the Hakets hail from Denmark. They formed a common thought direction and a decision was made to proceed with Rudi’s offering of applying his LMO fertiliser mix through his Tow and Fert machine with the addition of Fish IT to help stimulate and feed the soil biology.

Carola says,

“With fert prices rising we were searching for an alternative and by chance Rudi showed up at the cow shed. We started to chat and he managed to convince us so we gave it a try.”

Little More Often - a change of mindset.

RJ AgriSpray’s LMO mix (Little More Often) is a fertiliser program that is designed to respond directly to the needs of the soil and the plant on a nutrient basis. Taking baseline soil tests and herbage tests Rudi combines up to 16 different products to feed the plant and the soil to grow super healthy pasture for the animals. These are all combined into one mix that is then applied through a Tow and Fert little and often, hence the name, helping to reduce input levels, minimise leaching and losses, reduce costs, yet grow pasture that has all the minerals and nutrients it needs to grow and provide the animals with healthy food to eat.

Rudi then added to the tank up to 10L/ha of Fish IT Whole Salmon Fish Hydrolysate to feed the microbiology so that it can do its job of turning those applied nutrients and those already in the soil, into plant available nutrients.

Carola says “We add the Fish IT to the mix to help the soil and the bacteria in the ground because we are convinced that everything we are putting on needs to be used. If the ground is not working then we are convinced that it doesn’t do what it should do.”

Carola has transformed her farm nutrient program in a short period of time whilst also increasing production. Watch her video above.

“We add the Fish IT to the mix to help the soil and the bacteria in the ground because we are convinced that everything we are putting on needs to be used.”

In the paddocks the presence of mycorrhizal fungi, an important organism to convert and transport nutrients to the plants for uptake, is present and flourishing.

Walking through one of her paddocks Carola points out the rich look of the pasture and the presence of large clover “This paddock would be slightly over 3000 cover and it’s not yet ready to be grazed. We have nice lush grass, lots of clover coming up. The cows are going to love this.”

Down at ground level and looking closer to the soil Carola points out the presence of worm castings and fungi, both important signs of healthy, fertile soil.

“Now it will be interesting to dig a hole and see what’s in the soil.”

Healthy, fertile soil, lots of worms and strong root depth.

Digging a hole in the paddock Carola points out the large number of worms and the depth or length of the roots on the pasture. At around 15cm deep the roots of the plants have helped to build soil organic matter. Clover nodules, although small, are capturing and fixing nitrogen from the atmosphere and as she continues to reduce the amount of applied N, these nodules will increase in size, fixing more N naturally.

“We are looking at very healthy soil here. A lot of worms, nodules from the clover fixing N, so yes, I am very happy with this.”

Nutrient dense, tasty grass the cows just love.

When she first started using the LMO mix and Fish IT, applied through the Tow and Fert, Carola says she didn’t see much change, but now, heading into their second year of the system change the results are starting to really come through.

“We are now seeing really good grass growing, the clovers are coming through, there are less nitrogen spots in the paddock as you drive past, the covers that are growing back are more even. So yeah, we are very happy and the cows are eating the pasture way back. I don’t have to think about mowing because they are eating everything.”

Carola says that the cows just love the Fish IT. They can smell it when it is applied and the palatability of the grass is better and healthier which has led to happy, contented cows.

The cows line the fence as the paddock adjacent to the one they are grazing is sprayed with Fish IT.

Carola says that the cows just love the Fish IT. They can smell it when it is applied and the palatability of the grass is better and healthier which has led to happy, contented cows.

Happy cows produce more milk which, to Carola Haket, seen here in front of her herd, is what it is all about.

“They love it. They are less stressed. I am convinced that the less N you put on the less hard their bodies have to work and they are more calm. We have had some good pregnancy rates and whilst it is only one year in, it will be good to compare this coming season.”

And as for the results in the vat Carola says that their milk production has gone from 1.7 kgs of milk solids to 2.5 kg of milk solids, a telling improvement over a relatively short time frame.

“It’s just amazing if you see the grass standing here with so much clover and the quality. I think that the results are because of the amazing grass that we grow.”

“I think that the Fish IT and LMO are really doing their job here.”

Finally, Carola says, matter of factly,

“I love to see happy girls, because that is how I make money.”

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