Grant Archer - Dairy farmer, Cressy Tasmania

Grant Archer, dairy farmer at Cressy, some 30 km south of Launceston, is no stranger to cold Tasmanian winters, always quite a few degrees lower than in the northern states. With his wife Kim, he share-farms a 150-hectare 450-cow dairy with the landowners Rob and Jo Bradley.Grant is the current Australian Dairy Business of the Year. He uses Sumitomo ProGibb to bring up winter pasture levels, saying, "The winter soil temperatures get pretty low here, especially as we go down to five degrees at night and around ten to twelve during the day."

"That really keeps the grass down, so we apply ProGibb to help it along. Our soil moisture content is pretty good here as we irrigate during the summer and also get good winter rain."

"The nutrient levels are okay but the problem is that the soil gets so cold we get a limited response out of the nitrogen in it. So we look to ProGibb as a way of bumping up the growth rate so we can get some extra feed."

"When we apply it, we don’t need to add nutrients like urea. But we might sometimes add a herbicide for broadleaf weed control. It’s a lot more cost-effective to get a couple of jobs done at the same time."

Asked about results, Grant says " We haven’t really done any trials here or taken exact measurements. But I’ve based my use of ProGibb on some trial work that was done by Basil Doonan (Macquarie Franklin) and others. They got pretty good results and I was impressed enough to go with ProGibb.