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Farmer Stories

Allan Marx

New Zealand

Multi 4000

Allan Marx

“I can do so much more, so much more cheaply than I could in the past and that for me has been the real bonus.”

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Tow and Fert’s versatility has led to significantly increased milk production for Allan Marx.

Nestled below Mount Egmont in Taranaki Allan Marx’s dairy farm was running a conventional style, pasture based dairy system. Nutrients were applied in solid form through the use of a bulky up to 6 times a year. Application was always weather dependant and particularly Urea, was a waste of time without any rain.

Allan had seen the Tow and Fert machines at National Fieldays over the years and had often wondered about the concept of foliar applied fertiliser. It was only when chatting to a friend in the South Island who used a contractor to apply his fertiliser with a Tow and Fert that Allan decided to find out more. He phoned the contractor and, after a lengthy discussion about its versatility, usability and flexibility, Allan decided to head over to Dannevirke to Metalform to see the machine being built for himself.

Since taking on the Tow and Fert in September of 2018 Allan’s farming system has changed significantly. From a largely conventional nutrition system, Allan has moved into a system that focuses on the ecosystem of the farm, considering the soil, grass and the animal. In no way organic, Allans system includes Molasses which he applies with every load to feed the microbes in the soil.

Allan also includes Lime flour. Every kilogram of Urea is balanced with one kilogram of lime flour which is easily added in with the molasses.

“the other thing I have done is spread my small seeds, I’m talking about clover, chicory and plantain. They are all applied simultaneously with the fertiliser products, so I literally just chuck it in at two kilograms per hectare. The Multi 4000 will hold a six-tonne payload, so half of that is water, the other half is product. There is no extra labour, no extra machinery costs and the strike from the seed being broadcast through the Tow and Fert is absolutely unbelievable.”

And the results have been seen across the farm in a short space of time. With the summer of 2018/19 being hot and dry farms in Taranaki suffered. Allan’s Fonterra Milk production graph clearly shows the drop off in the district as the heat took hold. But at Allan’s farm, the grass held on a heck of lot better than surrounding farms meaning Allan did not have to reduce milking turnaround times to every 16 hours or once a day.

And, says Allan “when the rains did come in late March, early April, the farm responded very quickly.”

Heading into spring and summer of 2019/20 Allan is once again looking forward to seeing how the farm responds. He notes that the cover of grass on the farm is consistent and he and his team have coined the phrase “carpet grass” to describe the look of the paddocks under the Tow and Fert System.

With the warmer weather around the corner Allan is now looking forward to continuing his journey using the Tow and Fert.

“To be able to do small seeds, herbicides, insecticides and fertiliser all in one pass is a real bonus. There are things about this machine that no other machine on the market can equal.”