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Flexibility valued in dairy testing

February 4, 2019

Dairy cows are notorious for creating big variations in soil fertility across and between paddocks on each farm. According to Fleurieu Peninsula agronomist Greg Mitchell, this variation means soil testing can provide significant cost savings for dairy farmers.

“Fertiliser is one of the single highest expenses for dairy businesses and doing blanket applications can sometimes waste a lot of money,” he says.

“For the small cost of testing a few soil samples, we are much better equipped to target where fertilisers are required, and the right fertiliser type to use for best effect.

“This knowledge can often save the farmer on unnecessary inputs, or at other times, improve the growth response they get from the fertilisers used.”
Greg Mitchell

Agronomist at FP-AG

Dairy, livestock, cropping, viticulture and horticulture

Mount Compass, South Australia

Greg and FP-AG have worked with APAL since 2014, performing soil and tissue tests for cropping, livestock, viticulture and horticulture clients.

FP-AG’s team of six agronomists have also made use of APAL’s soil texture assessments for farmers who are planning to improve their soils through clay spreading, and water quality testing to help assess the suitability of water sources for irrigation.

“We really appreciate APAL’s flexibility and ability to customise services to meet individual farmer needs,” Greg says.

“We’ve really appreciated the ability to run custom suites of tests, get the reports in a specific format we request, and pick and choose how much interpretation we get for each sample.”

For example, FP-AG’s team perform all their own interpretation of crop and pasture analyses, but when it comes to horticulture they often make use of APAL’s Premium Report.

“With APAL we aren’t limited by a fixed set of tests or reports, it is a completely open relationship,” he says.

“We can always correspond directly with Ryan or with the senior chemist if we have any queries or unexpected results, and that’s one of the reasons we intend to continue working with APAL.”