Area Sales Manager Alastair Taylor (right) spreads fertiliser on the grounds owned by farmer Neil Symonds (left)
While the Rugby World Cup is over, excitement is beginning to build in Mangatainoka as it prepares for the Super 15 season.
The rural Manawatu community might have been overlooked for hosting rights by RWC officials, but Super 15 organisers have turned their attention to the old Mangatainoka Rugby Grounds for the third year running to host a pre-season clash.
Ahead of the game, the farm nutrition expertise of Altum Area Sales Manager Alastair Taylor was tapped to ensure that this year’s match was played on a superior, well-maintained pitch, owned by farmer Neil Symonds.
In 2010 the Hurricanes faced the Blues in a pre-season match on the Mangatainoka grounds, then in 2011 the Hurricanes and Chiefs took to the field for their warm-up matches. On 12 February 2012, the Hurricanes will be back, this time to face the Crusaders ahead of the official start of the Super 15 season.
Mr Taylor said to ensure both the Hurricanes and Crusaders camps were satisfied with the state of the pitch a thorough investigation of the pasture was completed in 2011.
“In 2010 there were problems with the pasture thinning out on the pitch and with the dry spell prior to Christmas that year it was only waste water from the Tui brewery next door that kept the grass growing,” he said.
“I’m as much a fan of this match as anyone here and I wanted to ensure that we had a lush green field for the players on game day.”
To achieve this, Altum conducted a comprehensive soil test to identify which nutrients were missing and created a high analysis blend of fertiliser that was then applied to address the specific needs of the pitch.
A key element of the mix was PhaSed N, which combines the benefits of Sustain Green, pure fine elemental sulphur and lime in one granule.
“This is about ensuring that Mangatainoka turns it on for this match on the day, so we’re focused on maximising pasture growth steadily over time towards the game.”
Mr Taylor said trial results of PhaSed N and farmer experience over the last two years show the phased release of nutrients combined with a urease inhibitor to prevent ammonia volatilisation helps to avoid the “boom and bust” which occurs with some products.
Altum is a match day sponsor of the game, which is expected to pull in a sell-out crowd of 10,000 at Mangatainoka on the day.
23 January 2012