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‘Puriri Station’, Peter Jex-Blake

Location: Whangara, near Gisborne.

Farm size: 1,100 ha

Topography: Easy-medium to very steep hills.

Rainfall: n/a.

Climate: Warm coastal climate. Sometimes summer dry, with relatively mild winters.

Soil type: Predominantly mudstone soils with medium to high levels of natural fertility.

Fertiliser regime: High amounts of solid fertiliser. Phosphate levels are relatively high, in the mid-20–30s. Peter has recently started using liquid fertiliser in an attempt to overcome some of the animal health problems they are now encountering.

Soil fertility
Plot pH Ca P K S(SO4) OS Mg Na
(a) 10-yr ryegrass/coxfoot mix 5.7 5 16 4 10 7 14 11
(b) 10-yr ryegrass/coxfoot mix 5.6 4 30 7 13 7 13 7

Stock numbers: 1,230 cattle (700 bulls, 1,170 steers, 360 cows) and 5,200 sheep. Also finish 400 weaner deer.

Carrying capacity: n/a.

Plot descriptions: Both 10-yr ryegrass/coxfoot mix.

Detailed description: One has had solid fertiliser applications, while the other has had liquid fertilisers.

Farmer's comments: "I've been monitoring pasture growth for the past five years. Being part of this nationwide project will make the process more scientific, and produce information on the pasture's quality and nutritional value. It will make us more aware of those factors driving our production and performance levels. It will also help us quantify the potential production levels we can aim for. In our case, it will also allow us to objectively evaluate particular fertiliser policies, rather than relying on what are sometimes hugely varying soil tests." (Peter Jex-Blake)

Results published: Gisborne Herald.

Local Meat & Wool Innovation contact: Lew Willoughby, tel 06-835 1888, cell 025-434 417, lew.willoughby@mwi.co.nz


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