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Farmer Stories

Ricky Taylor – Tow and Fert Contractor

New Zealand

Multi 4000

Ricky Taylor – Tow and Fert Contractor

The Tow and Fert fits really well with the new policy because you can use less and apply it in little amounts more often. I can see the Tow and Fert being massively used in New Zealand with the change coming.”

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Ricky Taylor and his wife Rebecca wanted to get into contracting fertiliser application in the liquid fertiliser space – they could clearly see that change was coming and they wanted to be a part of that change leading the way on a contracting front.

Owning 50 hectares of semi-arable land in mid-Canterbury and managing a grazing operation, Ricky and Rebecca looked into the machinery market for the application of liquid fertiliser. They were clear with what they wanted, “we wanted a machine that could dilute or dissolve products properly and handle solid fine particle fertilisers by holding them in suspension.”

In Canterbury there is now liquid nitrogen available however, this is dissolved offsite and then the liquid N is transported to individual farms where it is applied through a traditional boom sprayer. This method of application is expensive. Ricky says,

This meant that clients of Fert Solutions were only paying the same rates for their dry product and with the reduction in fertiliser required, would end up making significant savings in their own businesses on a financial front as well as in reducing their fertiliser use.

During his search for a machine that could provide Fert Solutions with their required outcomes, Ricky had been talking with Rhys from Align Farms. They had talked about the potential for a partnership and so with a contract signed, Ricky was able to move forward with the Tow and Fert and begin work with Align Farms as a foundation client.

Align Farms came from a solely granular system, but the decision was made to go quite hard in the first year with the liquid foliar application. Ricky says “Align were applying phosphates, urea etc. in solid form. Then we came in and put everything on through the season using a Tow and Fert. They grew more grass and had more production. They were pretty happy at the end of the day.”

The uptake for Fert Solutions has been steady. The biggest hurdle has been in changing people’s mindsets on how to apply fertiliser and still get the results farmers expect. With granular fertiliser being the only option for decades, farmers have had it drummed into them that that was the only way to apply fertiliser. Ricky says, “changing people’s mindsets has been the hardest thing.”

On the positive side, Ricky says he is starting to see a change, “Farmers are getting there now as younger farmers come through and they know they have to change. The new freshwater policy has meant that many farmers are keen to give the Tow and Fert foliar system a crack.”

On their own farm Ricky and Rebecca have changed their own farming practices. “It’s a good thing. It has been a good learning curve and playing around with different fertilisers has shown us what we can do. We have been able to apply this with our clients as well. It’s been a fun 12 months.”

Ricky says, “You can pretty much put anything through it you want, as long as it will dilute, or you can keep it spinning around.” And on the machine itself, the Tow and Fert Multi 4000, Ricky has this to say, “the Tow and Fert is very well made. As a contractor the maintenance programme is good, as we go through a fair few parts with the nature of fertiliser. Getting parts out of Tow and Fert is very easy. The service from Tow and Fert has been exceptional.”

For people wanting to get into foliar application and the Tow and Fert system Ricky says, “surround yourself with good people, fertiliser reps, and agronomists who understand it and want to change. I think you will be pleased once you buy one and get into it. You’ll grow a lot of feed.”

“Or even better, find a contractor who can do it for you.” Ricky says, with a smile.

Contact Ricky @ Fert Solutions on 027 648 6856.