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Farmers turn to grass to cut costs

Farmers turn to grass to cut costs

Rocketing input costs have brought a renewed focus on New Zealand farming's most important resource this spring.

High quality pasture has always been our key to success. But with current prices for supplementary feed, fuel, labour and other necessities, growing good grass - and plenty of it - really does mean money in the bank.

So it's no surprise to find demand for new-generation, high performance pastures like Alto Plus AR1 ryegrass is already running strong in the South Island this season.

"The phones started ringing early this year, that's for sure. Farmers are keen to get their new grass organised after a difficult season last year, and they're really focussed on making the most of their re-grassing dollar," says Glen McPhail, lower South Island area manager for Agriseeds.

"They're looking at all their farm costs, and realising once again that the right pasture varieties can be extremely profitable when compared to the cost of other types of feed."

Alto Plus AR1 is a new late-flowering variety which combines very good persistence with high year-round DM yield, good quality and AR1 endophyte for staggers-free livestock. (Alto is also available Without endophyte for summer moist regions.)

Developed by the Agriseeds plant breeding team as a replacement for Impact, this new variety has been dubbed the 'star all-rounder' for its ability to perform under a wide range of farm systems and conditions.

"Alto has our highest rating for persistence, and considering we evaluate sixty potential new varieties every year, that's saying something."

Annual yields have reached up to 21 tonnes DM/ha in Agriseeds Advanced Yield Trials (AYT) while ME levels average 12.4 in well-managed Alto pastures.

"At a time when profit margins are under pressure, this combination of persistence, yield and quality is exactly what farmers need to maximise their investment in land and stock."


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