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TAS Country : February 10th 2011
Friday, February 11, 2011 Tasmanian Country 25 Tilage and planting Special feature IMC LPA 1146 TC Accuracy and precision delivery with control. Soft ballistics delivering hard profits AMAZONE's soft ballistic system (SBS) is the gentle science of delivering valuable granular fertilisers, using world-class twin disc spreader technology. Combining this with site specific application maximises profits. The AMAZONE centrifugal spreader range starts with tractor-mounted units offering hopper capacities from 900 -- 3600 litres and working widths from 10 -- 48 metres. The range features your choice of standard and optional spread rate controllers, weigh cells, hopper covers and at the top end an Ultra Hydro Spreading kit for the ZG-B trailed machine with 8200 litre hopper capacity. This is legendary German engineering designed to deliver accuracy and reliability over a long working life. Contact your regional AMAZONE dealer today. 1800 425 227 www.claasharvestcentre.com.au Rolling in clover at high demand GROWING INDUSTRY: Serve-Ag agronomist Tom Graesser and seeds officer Heather Cosgriff. TASMANIA'S white clo- ver seed industry is grow- ing as demand from across the world increases. Good quality soils and the ideal climate is helping Tasmania become a prime region for producing white clover seed. Serve-Ag agronomist Tom Graesser and seeds officer Heather Cosgriff are overseeing about 300ha of white clover being grown by the company this season. Mr Graesser said white clover was the ideal break crop because it not only provided reasonable re- turns, but its ability to increase nitrogen in the soil and improve soil health also increased yields in any crops follow- ing it. ''It works in well with poppy rotations and it's also very good for the soil,'' he said. ''It can give growers an- other option for a break crop and the really good thing about it is that for the next one or two crops that you grow after it, the yields normally improve, which is not something that hap- pens with a lot of the other break crops.'' With demand from ex- port regions such as North America and Europe start- ing to recover after the global financial crisis, Mrs Cosgriff said they would be looking to grow 1000ha of white clover crops in the state this year. White clover seed crops are normally sown be- tween February and March. Once established the clo- ver can also be used for grazing up until about mid- spring when stock should be removed to allow the crop to bulk up. Controlled moisture stress is used to produce increased flowering in the crops and ultimately more seed. Mr Graesser said crops normally started flowering in early December. Most of the company's white clo- ver seed crops are being grown between Westbury and Longford. Mrs Cosgriff said they were also looking to ex- pand the growing area to the northern Midlands. Ideally the crops should be grown under irri- gation, which ensures the clover gets adequate moisture when needed to produce the most flowers possible. Because the crops lay quite flat, paddocks with- out too many rocks were preferred to prevent prob- lems at harvest time, Mr Graesser said. About half of the crops are cut and windrowed for harvest and the rest are direct headed. Harvesting of this season's crops is due to get under way in late January. Mr Graesser said the cold and wet conditions during early summer had pushed back the harvest season by about a week this year. Most of the Serve-Ag seed is cleaned by the Heazlewood family from Heazlewood Seeds, who have been growing white clover for a number of years. The seed is grown for South Australian-based company Seed Genetics Australia, which markets it all over the world. Serve-Ag is growing two main white clover varieties, but there are also new varieties in the pipe- line. Another benefit of the crop is the post-harvest grazing, which can be used to fatten lambs. Once harvest is com- pleted the crops can be irrigated to provide a good late summer and autumn fodder source for finishing stock. Mr Graesser said they had recorded lamb live weight gains of 1200kg a hectare off some crops af- ter harvesting. Most white clover crops are harvested for one to two years although, with correct management, Mr Graesser said they had some crops which had been harvested four times. With cutbacks in many vegetable cropping con- tracts, Mr Graesser said white clover could be an alternative for farmers.
February 3rd 2011
February 17th 2011