Ramblings of the GM - June 2013

Firstly, thank you for your continuing support over the past year. ABLime has worked really hard to provide you with good advice, service and quality products when you have needed them. I sincerely hope that you have been satisfied with the results.

The following words are my comments and points to note for you to consider this year.

“Get the Basics Right” with ABLime
I am very alarmed about the increasing level of activity within the fertiliser industry. There appears to be an ever increasing number of small companies selling fertiliser products, and trying to tap into the big cost item in any farming enterprise.

I am not alarmed because of any kind of sales pressure they might put on ABLime, but by the outrageous claims that these companies make about the efficacy of their products.
There does not appear to be any kind of control about the claims that you are able to make about how effective a fertiliser product is!

Here at ABLime we like to see scientific evidence proving any claims products make before recommending anything, and some of the companies approaching us about selling their products have been somewhat silent after us requesting to see this evidence. You should request the same. You need to be very careful about what you are buying as some of these new fertiliser products will not live up to your expectations, and are quite frankly a waste of your money. Know what you are buying, and know what is in it! I don’t know how many times we have asked farmers about their purchase of some of these products and what is in it, and we get the answer “Ohh, I don’t really know”. We know of some farmers this year that spent in-excess of $50,000 on fertiliser that they don’t know what it is. These farmers are showing a lot of trust but the purchase, to me, defies any kind of reason.

What we encourage you to do is to: 

Call us on 0800 227 559;

  • We will then come to your place and take soil tests;
  • We will send them away to an independent laboratory for analysis;
  • We will review these test results and recommend a customised fertiliser and lime blend for you in conjunction with your land-use and soil type;
  • You decide what you want to do.
  • Just think of the benefits of this approach: 
  • You have accurate information about your farm’s soil nutrient levels;
  • You have a free fertiliser recommendation from us;
  • You have power over “sales reps” trying to sell you products your soil doesn’t need;
  • You have choice.

I know you have heard this all from me before, but I am going to keep relaying this message. We really just want you to get the basic soil fertility of your farm right.

Our “Understand Your Soils” Booklet
Further to my comments above, you will find a booklet included with this letter titled “Understand Your Soils”. We have commissioned Lincoln University to write us a simple soils booklet to assist you with understanding your soil. What we are trying to achieve by producing this booklet is a tool that can help you understand your soil better. There are many very good textbooks available about known soil science; however, many of these are very complex and can be a chore to read! This booklet tries to make it all simple.

This booklet is not trying to sell you anything, and Lincoln University did not wish to endorse any product. We just whole-heartedly believe that the more you know about your soil and how to manage it, the better fertiliser decisions you will be able to make.

The authors of the booklet are three very well respected gentlemen who are a selection of university professors, doctors and lecturers. The booklet is well worth a read.

Lime Price and Related Matters
In the last couple of months I have been pondering over the current lime price. Our financial year starts on 1 July each year and we normally review the lime price at that time.

I think that we have all had a difficult time financially this year, and given the very good year we had last year it hurt a bit. Hopefully next year brings better things for us all.

This year most of the ABLime suppliers have increased the price of their products by about 2-3%. However bucking this trend, I have decided to hold the lime price where it is. I am looking to efficiency and cost improvements here at ABLime this year to make up for this. I have included our new price list for you with this letter.

Waimumu Field Days
We have again secured our plot for early next year at the Waimumu Field Days. We really enjoy these days and will again be putting on some food and a few drinks. Please drop in and see us if you are at the field days. We will be sending out invitations later on in the year.

That’s about all from me but all the best with the coming year, and if there is anything we can help you with please do not hesitate to give us a call, or visit our website at www.ablime.co.nz.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Smith
ABLime - General Manager

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