Farm Feedback – John Heald

We Are Starting To See Improved Results

Location: Dannevirke, Tararuai
Farm Name: Pohuetai Farms
Operation: Sheep and beef, breeding and finishing.
Property Size: 2,000 effective ha

John Heald, of Pohuetai Farms near Dannevirke, is impressed with the results he is starting to see using the Outgro fertiliser programme.

The 2000 effective hectare sheep and beef farm is a mixture of easy rolling land and hill country, and carries considerable stock. “Last year we had about 9500 breeding ewes, wintered 2800 hoggets plus we had around 300 cows, 600 bulls and 2500 trading lambs.”

John says he had always believed in the biological approach, and after speaking with Jim McMillan, the CEO of Outgro, decided to go with it. “I said to him look there is a block of 150 hectares of easy rolling country plus 100 hectares of hill country.

I’ll try Outgro for five years and see what the results are.”

“The initial hill country block I started to use the Outgro fertiliser system on was one that we had taken over in 1998. It was very run out, had a pH of around 4.7 to 4.8 and we spent quite a bit of money trying to lift the fertility. We had re-fenced it, re-watered it and it still wasn’t performing to the same standard as the rest of the hill country.”

“After using Outgro on the block for 4 years I believe that block is now on par with our other hill country and that’s really encouraging.”

John has no hesitation recommending the Outgro fertiliser programme to other farmers. “I think Outgro has a very good product and for a quick response for crops, and maximising weight gains, it is second to none. For properties with a nutrient imbalance after the dry, and the more intensive farming operations, I think it’s got to be a winner.”

“We have been led by the fertiliser companies for years, saying right you need to do this to get the grass to grow this amount, but what they have sometimes forgotten is that it is what’s actually in the grass that stock requires to help them grow and perform to their full potential.”

After the drought that affected the region last year, John began losing some of his ewes to a Metabolic disorder. “We had started applying liquid fertiliser on certain parts of the farm and as a result of that I said right I want to understand it a bit more. Well Jim got some help in to diagnose the problem a little more accurately and as a consequence we put Outgro’s liquid fertiliser treatment over all of our breeding country. We had cottoned on that the deaths were due to milk fever, well Outgro’s customised fertiliser treatment certainly slowed that down.”

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