Graeme Hewlett, Dairy Farmer—Mata, South Whangarei
Graeme Hewlett with his XC1 Smart Control compatible C-DIT 1300
Graeme milks 450 cows south of Whangarei and has been using C-Dax products for some years. Like most farmers, Graeme is keen to keep pushing the goal-posts out in order to maximise efficiencies and profitability.
Over the years Graeme has had a few C-Dax products and recently he’s invested in XC1 Smart Control to partner his modern farming approach.
C-DIT 1300 + 400
Graeme’s decision to purchase a C-DIT 1300 3PL spreader with XC1 Smart Control capability wasn’t a difficult one. He compared various spreaders on the market and found that C-Dax’s C-DIT 1300 stood out from the rest. “Being able to get control and automation for the same price as other manual spreaders is impressive” says Graeme.
XC1 Smart Control has been a real bonus to the Hewletts farming operation. The spreader itself requires no calibration when using the pre-programmed applications and the XC1 console totally controls the flow rate. “It’s simple—the menu is easy to follow and all you have to do is select the product you’re wanting to spread and the rate you require, then you’re away.” Graeme finds that one of the best features of XC1 Smart Control is the abiity to make driving very easy. “Being able to change up a gear in the New Holland tractor when the going is good is a real feature, Smart Control automatically adjusts the spreader to maintain the correct rate of appllication.”
Graeme has also been impressed by the accuracy of the spreader and the outstanding width of the spread pattern. Being confident that the spreader is doing the job in the most efficient way possible.
Another bonus of Smart Control technology that Graeme appreciates is its ability to future-proof his applications. Having the software for proof of placement records means applications are fully traceable should you be required to submit this information at any future date.
Graeme has also purchased a C-DIT 400 to utilise when the weather conditions become too much for heavy machinery. The C-DIT 400 is fitted with floatation style tyres as standard to ensure your pasture is protected as much as possible and works from the same console as his C-DIT 1300.
Graeme’s Herd Manager, Brendon Davison, uses their Pasture Meter weekly. The information from the measuring runs are used to quickly and accurately create feed wedges which dictate their cows’ rotation schedules—a job that used to take considerable time. They’re also able to utilise XC1’s cross platform capabilities and use the console from their C-DIT spreaders on the bike with their Pasture Meter.
The Pasture Meter technology also enables them to quickly identify surpluses or deficits early on. Graeme says “Being able to see these surpluses in good time and be able to take full advantage of them has been critical to the increase we’ve had in production.” When they’ve seen a pending surplus they’ve been able to shut up the paddocks and take off a crop of silage while still maintaining regular production. “By handling the surplus at the right time we’ve also managed to get high quality feed, which also keeps our production higher.”
Graeme purchased his C-DIT spreaders and Pasture Meter through C B Norwoods Whangarei because he knows that they’re geared up to be able to service the machines when they come to need it. During the initial set up Graeme and Brendon were able to easily have their questions answered and the after sales back up from C-Dax met all their expectations.
“Using information on when each paddock was grazed, how many cows grazed it and for how long, in graph form tallied over a season clearly showed the poorer producing areas. ‘From there we asked why those paddocks weren’t performing,’ Corrigan said. ‘Was it the soils, fertility, age of pastures, weeds, irrigation—what?” Despite around 70 percent of the farm being regrassed or oversown with modern cultivars in the past six years, they found old pasture species had invaded many of the poorer paddocks because of previous inconsistent grazing residuals. The data also caused them to question their irrigation system, so they had their pumps checked along with the volumes and pressures through the K-Line system, and the uniformity of application….”
“‘Data girl, gadget boy’ get results”
NZ Dairy Exporter, Written by Anne Lee
“This is our first year sharemilking and of course we are looking at keeping costs low, so one of the decisions we made was to purchase a pasture measurement system.
After unsuccessful trials with alternative pasture measurement systems it was then that we decided to go with a C-Dax Pasture Meter which I had used at my last job. It was easy and fast to setup and within days of ordering we were out on the farm doing pasture rides and getting fast, consistent and accurate results.”
“I have clients that are feeding their cows on 22KgDm/day and they are pumping out 440kg/MS (all grass).Which is right up there and that is because of the C-Dax Pasture Meter and the way they use the data.”
Donald Martin, GrassCo, Wyndham
The C-Dax Pasture Meter is the best buy I have made on farm. It has saved me time and more importantly grass, by knowing exactly what is in the paddock and what is left, I am easily able to identify exactly what the cows are eating and therefore not underfeeding them or wasting grass.
Without a doubt, the C-Dax Pasture meter is the most accurate way to measure grass out there, it’s the quickest and most reliable aid, it is easy on the body and built to last and the best thing is anyone can use it by just pushing a few buttons! I would no doubt recommend it to any farmer out there who wants to utilise their grass.”
Torren Walker, Reporoa
In an independent cost/benefit analysis Neville and Carlton found that they saved over $5,000 in urea fertiliser application costs through careful pasture and grazing management. That outstanding result was achieved by accurately identifying feed supply and animal demand and withholding Urea application as all of the pasture cover data collected by the C-Dax Pasture Meter showed that the farm was producing enough feed and, with careful grazing management, the additional growth cause by a urea application would not be needed.
“Other things we have benefitted from is buying in grass silage, we were able to tow the pasture meter through paddocks we were purchasing grass from and get an accurate assessment of how much was there.”
Neville Porteous and Carlton Smythe, Northland
“The C-Dax Pasture Meter is awesome. It would have paid for itself within three months, and this was when I was on 25% milking 230 cows in the Waikato.
The C-Dax Pasture Meter saves so much time and energy and means that farm pasture cover actually gets done weekly and residuals can be monitored as the cows come out of the paddock. Plate metering the farm used to easily take an extra hour to do, and in Spring you just dont have that extra time. The C-Dax Pasture Meter always gives accurate results. You can drive down the same run over and over again and it will be the same, with a plate meter you could walk the run several times and get quite different results.
The C-Dax Pasture Meter is great tool and has helped me utilise pasture much better and in the first season of owning it helped me achieve just over 400ms/cow on an all pasture based system drying off the 3rd of May, the district top 10% was 350ms/cow.
I’m still reaping the rewards of the pasture meter today, and with minimal maintenance and running costs I wouldnt hesitate to recommend one to any farmer wanting to utilise their cheapest source of feed much better.”
Bevan Brown, Tapanui