Independent advice reaps rewards. 03 May 2022 06:09 AM
Despite a lifetime on the land, Leongatha South dairy farmer Andrew Lamers knows the value of good advice to maximise productivity.
Andrew worked on the family farm before a series of property purchases in 1999 led to the creation of his own farm, now measuring a little over 900 acres and milking 700 cows.
Around 18 months ago the farm’s former manager moved off the farm to manage his own dairy, and recognising a deficiency in his own abilities with pasture management, Andrew turned to Farm Source Paddock Specialist Darrel Rowe for advice.
“Pasture management isn’t my strong point, so I figured if I could get help it would just make things a lot easier,” says Andrew.
“With Darrel, we spend a lot of time planning, ensuring we’ve got our rotation right and have the correct fertiliser rates to match our production curve.
“That’s allowed me to be more proactive with my fertiliser program and grow more grass, which has helped increase milk production a fair bit since Darrel started working with us.”
Darrel says the project involved overhauling all pasture management procedures, starting with goal setting and a thorough inspection of the paddock plan.
“The farm has very high producing cows, and the Lamers were keen to achieve annual production of more than five million litres.
“We worked on a strategic fertiliser program that would benefit the farm, looking at variable rates and paddock renovation to maximise pasture growth.
“Another critical factor was implementing regular soil testing to provide the data needed to create a flexible plan that can cope with changing conditions,” says Darrel.
The involvement of Farm Source is already reaping the rewards, with milk production hitting 5.4 million litres last season – the first time the farm has surpassed the five million litre mark.
Previously, Andrew utilised about seven tonnes of pasture per hectare, although after planting species more suited to the area, he has lifted this to more than 10 tonnes.
With plans in place to maintain higher production levels and provide ongoing support, Andrew is happy with the service provided by Darrel and the Farm Source Professional team.
“If Farm Source weren’t available, I’d be relying on fertiliser and seed companies to help me with pasture management, and you would always wonder how independent that advice would be.
“I know the Farm Source advice is independent and helps ensure we’re on the right track,” says Andrew.
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