This Lucerne block is a great success story for our Farmer, Harry Pawsey, based out of Harwarden in North Canterbury. After a couple of tough years of drought like conditions this paddock was weed heavy with little growth, so the farmer blew it out and put in some Lucerne. The crop wasn't performing due to less than ideal climatic conditions coupled with nutrient deficiencies and a distinct lack of soil biological activity, it was in fact in danger of being a failure after it had sat idle for a year not producing.
The farmer took the step of calling a soil consultant from Soil Matters, a South Island based consultancy, as a last ditch effort to save the crop. The soil consultant took a soil test and dug a number of holes noticing the major lack of nodules on the plant roots and the signs of Mg deficiency. Following the soil test results a fertiliser brew was mixed together combining 2 Tonne of Lime with Magnesium (Serpentine), Salt, Fish meal and EM (our Dry, Fert Enhance product) to boost biology, balance the soil nutrients and boost production.
The result was a crop that took off following some decent Spring rain. Importantly the biological activity of the soil increased significantly with earthworms being prominent see the bottom picture. This combined with ripe and functioning nodules was a good sign that EM had made a significant impact in helping this crop reach its potential. The farmers comments were:
- The crop was 100% better with silage cut in early November and multiple grazings for fattening stock through December and January.
- The crop is very even and looks healthy which is a far cry from where it had been.
- This has been the top performing paddock on the farm and been crucial to his ability to get lambs and steers to the desired kill weight in good time.
The below photos show the Lucerne stand in all its glory and also a before and after picture showing improved and functioning root nodules: