Customised nutrient management is the way of the future for farmers wanting to achieve maximum production with minimal environmental impact, says Willie Thomson, General Manager of Altum.
Altum replaces the Summit Quinphos brand from 30 May and Mr Thomson says the new name reflects a new era aligned to the increasingly high nutrient management demands placed on farmers, which require farm-specific advice.
“Nutrient management is the single most important opportunity for farmers today. With good product returns out there in the market, everyone is looking for maximum production and the only way to achieve that is with good soil, plant and animal health. At the same time, the agricultural sector is under pressure to lift its environmental game as much as it lifts production.
“Increasingly farmers are looking for ways to achieve nutrient efficiencies and what we’re offering is customised, whole-of-farm nutrient management plans. Supporting these, Altum now offers a full range of fertiliser products including phased-release products that minimise the risk of run off and animal nutrition products that enable rumens to better digest forage.”
The Ballance Group’s recently announced acquisition of nation-wide compound feed manufacturer and distributor, Seales Winslow, further enhances the company’s complete nutrient offering.
Mr Thomson says Altum’s approach to service is one whereby field consultants work to understand each customer’s nutrient requirements and the characteristics of the property and type of production before developing recommendations customised to suit the farm and the farmer’s production goals.
“We’re working across the whole farm – soil, plants and animal and take into account effluent as both a source of nutrients and a potential environmental risk.”
David Graham, Chairman of the Ballance Group, which fully owns subsidiary company Altum, says that the level of sophistication in nutrient management has increased markedly, primarily in response to increasing expectations that farmers looking to boost production should also achieve this with minimal environmental impacts.
“Increasingly, we are seeing regional councils looking to impose nitrate loss limits. At the same time, groups such as the Primary Sector Water Partnership have the goal of seeing 80 percent of nutrients applied to land managed through quality assured nutrient budgets. Currently, that stands at around 38 percent, so we see Altum playing an important role in enabling farmers to hit these targets using our tailored nutrient management programmes.
“Nutrient budgets, nutrient management plans and whole farm management plans will be important tools in increasing productivity while decreasing environmental impacts,” says Mr Graham.
Altum may be the new name in complete nutrient management, but Willie Thomson says that behind the brand is a highly knowledgeable team dedicated to making a positive difference for its farmer customers and New Zealand.
“While the name and enhanced offering has changed, the people and the knowledge behind it haven’t, and farmers can expect a high level of service that is customised to suit their individual needs,” says Mr Thomson.