Bruce Donald - Hawkes Bay
"Sheep were dying and cattle were not conceiving … we applied the [Qlabs] recommendations and… within 8 months we saw great results, no dead lambs, heifers and cows actually cycling, wow!" …
Neil Jackson, Sheep and Beef farmer - Otaria
"Since starting to use [Qlabs]recommendations, overall animal health has improved dramatically, over the last three years. Average lamb weights have increased by at least 1 kg each of the last two years."
Penny Frew - Dairy farmer - Royal Bush
Colour of pasture a richer and darker green. Cows are well fed and producing very well. Only using half the amount of N as two years ago. Empty rate in cows dropped from 12% previous season to just 4% this last season. The only change in practice was the application of Qlabs recommended blends.
Bill Wright - Cannington
"Everyday we work for the best outcomes for our family and business including the environment and land we farm. Frustrated with stock performance on 'high quality feed' (high ME), I looked for answers and it starts with the soil!
A high protein diet driven by P&N fertilisers was limiting growth rates in our livestock, I needed to understand what I was feeding my stock. Qlabs offered sound forthright advice ; from soil and herbage analysis to the recommendations and advice for fertiliser applications that work on farm and provide practical solutions for a balanced diet for stock on a variety of crops.
Qlabs knowledge of soil and herbage gives me confidence of a sustainable agricultural industry with a low environmental impact."
Bruce and Jenni - Dairy farm - Waikato.
In the 2008/2009 season, the Cotmans had a severe outbreak of eczema in their herd, which resulted in them having to dry off half the herd. After a meeting with the team from Qlabs strategies were put in place to prevent further cases of eczema and to place affected cows on a course of recovery.Bruce's comment at the time was "nothing else is working; we have to do something so let's give it a go".Several strategies were implemented under Qlabs advice and to the Cotman's initial surprise, no more cows broke out with eczema and all but a couple of affected cows recovered. It took only a few days to stop eczema in its tracks. This marked the beginning of the working relationship between Bruce, Jenni and Qlabs .In 2009 the Cotmans embarked on the road to Low to No nitrogen use.At the time they were using over 120 Units of artificial N. Over the first two years Bruce and Jenni used 25 Units of N, in the form of CAN, and they are now in their fifth year of farming without the use of artificial N. Many key performance indicators on the Cotman's farm are outstanding based on healthy livestock and a pro-active approach. Their animal husbandry is to be commended. Once again a great result has been achieved this season with a 3.7% MT rate.Bruce and Jenni focus on managing the cost of production on their farm. Their farming system has the ability to generate profit and this is the key to their success."We are happy, the accountants and bank manager are happy – it doesn't get much better than that".
David and Shelwyn Gardner - Manawahe
Life's good now that we are back in the driver's seat and animal health is an absolute breeze. To date we have very few cows with mastitis and no metabolic problems whatsoever. The other big plus with Qlabs recommendations is we have very few weeds, neither ragwort or thistles. The first year on the farm we had to turn a blind eye to weeds. Environment Bay of Plenty helped by supplying cinnabar caterpillars for the ragwort. We did have an extremely high density of ragwort on a couple of hillsides until we applied around one tonne per hectare of the recommended fertilizer and to date those hillsides are clean of any undesirable weeds. As the farms owners we endeavoured to keep our farm as clean as possible; we had three workers with one employee always saddled up to a knapsack using around $8000 per year of chemical and an extra crew of four for a week. Now the farm of 330 hectares and 530 dairy cows is run with just 2 people (farm owner and 1 employee). Qlabs really has put enjoyment back into farming; both with peace of mind and financially.We are impressed, thanks.
Malcolm & Sue Nowill - Olive Growers - Featherston
We planted our olive trees (1000) in 2001.
At this time the industry was still getting started in the Wairarapa and we joined a local growers' group to help us get every bit of advice and help we could. We also sought advice from consulting firms 'in-the-know' about olive production.
Whilst the advice and information we obtained provided adequate results initially, by 2010 we felt we were getting nowhere and began looking elsewhere for help.
Through word of mouth we heard about Qlabs soil testing and growing programs and in 2011, after meeting with them at Mystery Creek Field Days, we moved to them for a soil testing / fertiliser regime.
Since then the growth of the trees and the increase in crop yield has been quite dramatic and to achieve that, we only apply the custom blended ground fertiliser as recommended by Qlabs annually. We no longer do leaf tests or apply foliar fertilisers. A huge saving in time and money!
I feel the team at Qlabs give us good, honest and candid advice and they are always interested in how we are doing.
So – a big 'thank you' to Ray and the team.
Sue and Malcolm Nowill
Olive Growers, Wairarapa
Tim & Mary Stokes - Sheep & Beef - King Country
We get good advice from Ray. Following Qlabs recommendations we have noticed a lot more worms in our soil and less moss.
Stock health has improved also. The lambs are a more even line with a very small tail end sold as store stock and we are selling them earlier as well because they are finishing quicker.
Last season we had a record harvest of hay that was full of clover as a result of using Qlabs mixes.
Tim & Mary Stokes
King Country Farmers
Keith Shadbolt - Beef Finishing Farmer - Canterbury
Ray is an expert on pasture and animal nutrition.He fully understands about how all these elements of farming come together to affect animal health, the soil and production targets.
Qlabs have given us a terrific run on animal health issues. Ray's got his finger on the pulse and our animals don't get sick and don't die anymore!
Ray has our farm systems in balance and we have the results to back this up.
Owen Adams - Thames
In all we've been farming now for 21 years. About 10 years ago I read an article on how good the Qlabs fertiliser system was so I decided to try it. Our farm in 300 acres in all – one third flats and two thirds rolling land – all next to the sea.
Using the Qlabs soil testing and fertiliser program has made a great improvement to our pasture, particularly so on the flat land. Whilst clover growth has improved on the entire farm, there's been huge benefits to the clover growth on the flats. An added benefit is that we now don't need to under-sow (with further money savings) as the clover growth is so strong.
I would thoroughly recommend the Qlabs programme and would be happy for other farmers to visit me to see our results.
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