“We’ve increased production by 25% in two years.” Graeme Hewlett, Dairy Farmer Mata, South Whangarei
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.
XC1 PASTURE METER
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.
XC1 C-DIT 1300 + 400 SPREADERS
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 application.”
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 Hewlett, Dairy Farmer Mata, South Whangarei
Donald Martin, GrassCo, RD 1, Wyndham
I would like to thank you for your help in getting my Pasture Meter up
and running at the start of this season. My small business has grown to
the point that we can cover up to 700ha per day with the grass measuring
and travel over 160km per day. I am not sure if the sledge was ever designed
to do such work. At this stage it is holding up very well.
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
The data that the meter is putting out is spot on and with GPS things
are going very well.
I would like to be kept in the loop for new developments because not
that long ago plate meters were the only way to go and now they are yesterday’s
technology, and I am sure there is more work being done to improve the
the Basics Right 2010”, a Rural News Group publication, reveals
another success story for Pasture Meter and FarmKeeper
“After seeing a display at the National Fieldays in Mystery Creek,
Sam, Linda, and Tony saw the potential benefits of investing in the C-Dax
pasture meter. The drawcard was the large amount of accurate information
about pasture that can be collected in a short space of time.
The product combined well with FarmKeeper mapping technology, Tony says,
which served to amplify the potential benefits of the information: “There’s
a huge variety of farm management reports that are available within the
software,” he says. “For me, the biggest plus is the greater
accuracy about what’s going on with the grass, and it just saves
so much time.”
Ellis says the system is easy to set-up, attach, and use: “It’s
just a case of riding the bike. Some spots are hilly but the contours
don’t affect sensor readings…It’s useful because I can
easily identify where the surplus is. FarmKeeper produces an excellent
feed wedge (graph) — it shows my longest grass to all the way down
to my shortest, with precise numbers all the way along it…”
Tony expects C-Dax and FarmKeeper to play an increasingly important role
in farm management over the next year or so…“
here to get the full article »
Farm manager Tony Fischer (left) and farm worker Ellis Evans
with their C-Dax Pasture Meter
“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.”
Jonathan Breach with his Pasture Meter
Exporter; July 2009
“‘Data girl, gadget boy’ get results”
Written by Anne Lee
“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....”
here to get the full article »
“We farm at Oeo on two adjourning properties. Total effective
area of 560 hectares. The cows are run in five herds. 400 heifers are
milked through a 36 bail rotary. The other four herds of mature cows are
milked through a 60 bail rotary. The heifer herd is replaced by a winter
milking herd that comprises of autumn calving cows and some empties. All
of the cows are calved on the main property with heifers then sent to
their milking block each week once they’ve been broken in.
The main farm has been put together by amalgamating a number of neighboring
farms over recent years. The result of these amalgamations means that
we have a water and track network that was set up for a number of smaller
farms. This leaves us with over 300 paddocks. Walking the farm means covering
a distance of 30km. The large number of paddocks means quite a bit of
extra data entry work but even with fewer paddocks the total distance
would have to be covered. This distance to be covered on foot and all
of the associated data entry meant that pasture assessment was a very
laborious task. We needed to simplify the task.
I made a number of enquires as to the suitability of the C-Dax Pasture
Meter. After speaking to a number of farmers who had purchased one I was
satisfied that any teething problems were well and truly ironed out so
made the decision at the start of the 08/09 season to purchase one.
I’m more than happy with this decision. The task has been simplified
in that the work is done by riding a quad and not on foot. A very big
attraction to the staff. It now means that we can return to the farm office,
download the information by the Bluetooth connection then generate a feed
wedge from the associated programme.
The biggest advantage though is that any member of the staff with very
minimal training can go out and complete this task. To send them out to
do a visual assessment or even with a rising plate meter would have them
returning with a wide range of results. We need accurate information and
the Pasture Meter is certainly providing it.
We have the added advantage in that we do a diagonal pattern across
the paddocks. This allows us to see the top and bottom of each paddock
and allows us to keep a check on farm maintenance. Walking the farm generally
means cutting through the middle of all of the paddocks. The diagonal
pattern also means that on our flat property that the operators travel
over the same route each time meaning we have even more consistency in
our pasture assessment.
The farm has been covered all this season on a 7-10 day basis. This
has allowed the sharemilker to maintain excellent pasture residuals. It
will be a very important tool this autumn and drying off will not be a
‘hit and miss” experience as even with the best intentions
over the last couple of seasons we’ve never had the accurate information
needed to make the timely decisions.
It is very difficult to quantify the advantages at this stage but I
am more than confident that they are there from the database of information
that we are building up on the farm (individual paddock growth rates)
to allowing us to make decisions around purchased feed and urea usage
etc and keeping grass ME levels at their optimum.
The back-up and support from the C-Dax team has been excellent and they
are more than happy to address any early ‘learning’ problems.”
and John Lynskey (right) with their Pasture Meter
Porteous and Carlton Smythe, Northland
Northland business partners Neville Porteous and Carlton Smythe have
a keen eye for increasing their farms efficiency and profitability.
They purchased a C-Dax pasture meter in August of 2008 with the intention
of harnessing even more of their farms potential pasture output. Since
then, 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. C-Dax were made aware of this
result through Kelvin Platt of Kaiwaka Suzuki, Kelvin is an advocate for
tools, such as the Pasture Meter, that allow farmers to make informed
Neville and Carlton achieved that outstanding result 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.
This required a leap of faith in the Pasture Meter but that single decision
made by Neville and Carton has meant that the pasture meter device has
paid for itself already.
Neville also points out future advantages of the Pasture Meter, saying
“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. Also,
my herd managers are becoming dependent on the information from the meter
to calculate feed requirements for their herds, they are always looking
forward to getting the next report.”
The team at C-Dax congratulate Neville and Carlton on their outstanding
“The C-Dax Pasture Meter is awesome. I bought it September 2006
and it would have paid for itself by November 2006, 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. It also used to leave me in agony after measuring the farm with
a joint problem I had at the time, and then the cows still needed milking!
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
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
from Tapanui, winner of the $1000 C-Dax voucher draw being congratulated
by David Kirk from Advance Agriculture, Gore
“I purchased my C-Dax Pasture Meter in October 2008, and found
it an instant success. There are so many benefits to owning it, that I
would say it would easily pay for itself within a year.
Some may say that it’s not viable to purchase it when only managing,
but I believe that I have made an investment that will not only benefit
my employees but also myself. I believe that it is a tool that every farmer
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.
With the Bluetooth option it is easy to upload the data into spreadsheets
to do pasture budgets rather than writing it down and then entering into
the computer - to be able to know when the deficit is coming or when you
are heading into a surplus and therefore be able to act accordingly. I
am also looking at ways to transfer the data straight to my Windows Mobile
Phone to get a live update of the average pasture cover and what’s
available in each paddock.
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