Read what some of our farming partners are saying about Seed Force Perennials.
Omarama Station is 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 1200 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, the Subtils have used SF Finesse tall fescue mixed with Seed Force herbs, red and white clover.
“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.”
Glen Echo Station comprises 2,831 hectares on the fringes of Fiordland, with an annual rainfall of 1,200mm, with some dry summers. The mixed operation runs 4200 deer, 470 beef cattle and 400 dairy heifers with all stock finished on the property.
Station manager Peter O'Brien has been using SF Stellar perennial ryegrass and SF Force 4 Lucerne.
“I certainly see the benefits of establishing cultivars that suit your property and its growing conditions. Seed Force products have certainly helped us provide quality pasture to our stock when it is needed.”
Colin Bird aims to grow as much of his own feed on his 192ha dairy farm as possible, and he’s looking to Seed Force to help provide that feed.
Colin has used SF Finesse tall fescue in those paddocks on his farm that have previously struggled to keep grass, like those with dry, pumice type soils and also wet areas.
“The cows seem to like the new grasses…the fescue really comes into its own in summer. The last few years the chicory and fescue have been the only green areas and everything else has browned off.”
Colin knows his Seed Force rep Ben Leong is only a phone call away. “Ben’s support is really good. I use him for seed but also ask him about things like chemicals for weed spraying – he’s got massive knowledge.”
Increasing net production per hectare of dry matter is important for Te Kauwhata farmer David Jefferis, and he’s found Seed Force Stellar perennial ryegrass to be the best performing product for his type of country. The Jefferis run a mixed operation, with dry stock and maize grown and sold on contract.
The majority of the Seed Force product used is the SF Stellar perennial ryegrass and SF Quest white clover.
“We’re trying to get a medium to long term establishment out of these grasses and clovers as well, to increase our net production per hectare of dry matter. I’ve found that, if established and managed properly in the first 18 months, they’ve been extremely resilient for our soil type and our location. The ongoing pay off by giving them some TLC in the first 18 months is huge. We’re fortunate that we can use sheep to help that process.”
David says they’ve been impressed by its horsepower and ability to keep growing.
Palatability is what dairy farmer Andrew Allen is looking for from his crops and pastures, and he’s found that in the Seed Force products planted on his Waiterimu farm.
The Allens, who milk 1100 cows over two properties totalling 360 hectares, have SF Finesse tall fescue and SF Quest white clover as well as SF Punter chicory and SF White Star turnips planted.
The SF Finesse tall fescue has been very successful for them and they aim to eventually have 80% of their farm in fescue. Andrew says it suits their system and is more resilient in the dry. “We can be summer dry and it seems to withstand the dry more, and still grows over winter. That’s why we’re converting our farm to that grass.”
Tom Richmond says the performance and dry matter production of the Seed Force products he uses on his Te Horo farm has been outstanding.
The Richmonds fatten all their own weaner deer as well as running 120 beef cows and a couple of hundred ewes, with all lambs fattened.
Tom was initially sceptical about using SF Greenly new generation cocksfoot but decided to give it a go and says it has been a lifesaver, especially in the drought last year. “It was basically the only green paddock on the farm, and it kept growing.”
The Richmonds have also used SF Stellar perennial ryegrass mixes, some of which have only been in for two years, but Tom says it is looking good and thickening up nicely.
Farming in a notoriously dry region means that Waipukurau farmer Andrew Alexander is keen on pastures that can hang on in a dry spell and summer crops for his lambs.
He and wife Gayleen run a 260 hectare sheep and bull beef operation, all finishing and trading stock, on what is predominantly limestone country. They run 1,000 breeding ewes and finish between 1,000 and 1,500 trading lambs. The bull beef operation comprises 200-250 yearling bulls and 50-80 R2 beef heifers.
“In the autumn I like to mix in, as part of a perennial mix, Stellar perennial ryegrass and Greenly new generation cocksfoot. We put in approximately 15ha of that a year.”
He is pleased with the results from the Seed Force Stellar/Greenly mix and says the cocksfoot in the mix persists well, hanging on better in the summer dry.
Seed Force Stellar perennial ryegrass has outperformed any product Gibert De Groot has trialled on his Paparoa dairy farm. Gilbert and his wife Carol milk 450 cows as well as running about 100 yearling and heifer replacements.
They first trialled SF Stellar about three years ago, planting it in four different paddocks along with a number of other products. “I have found Stellar has been the one that’s beaten everything hand over fist,” Gilbert says.
“To me, Stellar takes a bit longer to disappear in the summer, it hangs on a lot longer in the dry. Then when we get our first rain it’s the first one to get up and start boogying again.
“The cows love it too and do well on it. They eat it well and don’t leave a lot.”
South Waikato dairy farmer Adam Mathis has been particularly impressed with the Seed Force Finesse tall fescue sown on his property. He sowed SF Finesse tall fescue on converted forestry areas, which have drier, lighter soils and has been impressed with its performance.
“We tried several other things in there, chicory, ryegrasses and turnips, and finally settled on fescue. It seems to be working really well when everything else has failed. We’re getting good results for the type of land it is,” Adam says.
SF Stellar perennial ryegrass has been used on established farmland and, again, is working very well on more sandy, drier country.
“We have mixed some cocksfoot in with Stellar and it’s working really well. It hangs on a bit longer in the dry, is more palatable than the old cocksfoot and not so clumpy.”