WHY CHANGE FROM UREA TO CM3
There are a number of reasons for replacing nitrogen with CM3. Most of them are straight forward sound business reasons – production, cost and managing our future risk exposure to fertiliser prices.
- Better economic return – most of the time we don’t just match 80kgUrea for cents/kg but we beat it by over 100% in the first 4 weeks i.e. nearly twice as much dry matter at half the cost. After 3 months of reasonable spring or autumn growth the cost/returns are usually below 5c/KgDM.
- Better cow health and performance – cows need higher energy grasses to maximise production and cow health. Previous Bio-Help products have shown themselves to be quite superior to urea in producing grass with higher energy content. CM3 is based on this proven technology. It’s not just about growing grass it's about quality and production first and foremost.
- More balanced feed. Given time Bio-Help products tend to balance the availability of soil cations optimising the quality of feed. This encourages better cow health, conception rates, less feet problems etc. i.e. less cost and more production.
- Although there will be up and downs in fertiliser prices, it is predicted that due to increased demand from international countries like India and China coupled with incentives for more food grown for biofuel it is likely to continue to go up in price over time. There may be some small ups and downs, but overall it will be up. It’s simple demand and supply at work. At the moment we aren’t too worried because milk prices have more than covered these costs, but prices aren’t predicted to remain where they are. It makes good economic sense to set up a system which isn’t reliant on fertiliser to maintain grass production. The only way to do that is to get your soils working more efficiently. Soil can produce enough nitrogen given the correct stimulation and we can etch nutrients out of the huge volumes in soil reserves. It can’t be done overnight. Thus waiting until fertiliser prices begin to hurt will be more costly than planning for them now. It doesn’t cost anymore to develop a soil system which will prepare you for a time when you may not be able to apply the volumes of granular fertiliser we currently do. China and India are not going to be silenced or convinced to stop growing. They aren’t growing enough food to meet their people’s requirements and they will keep increasing their demand for the products that will help i.e. phosphorus and nitrogen based fertilisers – products we have relied upon to be low cost
- More pressure is going to be placed on the use of urea by the government. They have already placed fertiliser restrictions around areas of the North Islands lakes –Taupo. Many farmers don’t know how they will maintain or increase their production and are worried for their futures. We have the answers to this problem, if they will only listen. You can either spend more money trying to reduce leaching by up to 50% with small gains in grass growth or spend the same amount of money to reduce leaching 80-100% and get even more production gains for free. It’s better economics.
- With CM3 and other Bio-Help products we are able to increase the length of the growing season by lifting soil temperatures in winter and early spring but cooling them as the weather dries and gets hot. We aim for 1 degree per year for the first 3 years.
- Part of the aim of CM3 is to get better responses from the traditional fertilisers when they are subsequently applied. The aim is not complete replacement of fertiliser, but to make what you do apply more economic for you.
- Environmentally we are vastly superior to any alternative on the market. Simply put, reducing urea usage by 70% reduces leaching and nitrous oxide emissions by probably 90-100%.
- The system we are introducing can achieve these targets and the reward is a more secure and financially lucrative future.
- Introduce CM3 slowly, do a soil test for available nitrogen levels and make your decision from there.