Pod Holding (ph) Medics.
Our modelling and field data confirm that medics with Pristine’s
exclusive ph trait (shown above in cultivar Jaguar) can unlock huge hidden potential and
build profits right across your rotation.
1.What does the medic pod holding genetic trait do?
The medic ph gene stops the maturing medic pod from dropping off the plant, so that it can be harvested from the fully mature plant with an ordinary header pretty much like any ordinary crop (see pictures below left). In all normal (non-ph) medics, pods drop off the plant as they approach maturity, so that the only feasible way of harvesting them to get seed is by vacuuming up the pods off the ground. This is an incredibly expensive, time consuming and difficult process that requires both specialist equipment and a lot of fuel.
2. Do ph varieties have any other advantages?
Pristine ph medic (L), vs an
older non-ph medic (R).
The answer is a very resounding yes. Seed of ph medics are larger and more fully formed so that the resultant plants are a lot more productive, vigorous and competitive than ordinary (non-ph) medics. Further, the ph gene also stops leaf drop from the mature plant (ordinary medics drop their leaves at maturity as well as their pods) so that the quality and feeding value of the mature ph medic stand is far higher. The impact of leaf and pod drop in reducing normal medics to near nothing at maturity is never truly apparent until you have seen ph medics. The major usefulness of normal medics is finished at the end of the growing season, but ph medics keep on in a big way. These features of ph medics (better production and vigour, higher competitiveness with weeds and mature leaf retention and quality) can be seen in the picture at the right.
3. How is it valuable and useful for me?
Modelling for a typical farm shows that over time, good legume pastures can roughly double animal carrying capacities, add 20-30% to crop yield and cut crop nitrogen costs by tens of thousands of dollars annually (see Pristine Views for details). For a traditional pasture legume, that would necessitate up front spending of more than $50,000 on seed in order to get these benefits flowing through the system, plus about $5,000 more annually after that to keep these pastures topped up with seed. However with a licensed Pristine ph medic grown for seed on farm, these costs can be cut by 80-90%, saving more than $40,000 up front, and thousands of dollars more annually, plus provide you with a more productive variety to boot. This maximises the ease with which whole system productivity improvements can be both gained as rapidly as possible to begin with and then protected and increased in the future. That should please most farmers for at least 364 days of the year, with the 365th being the day the tax man takes his cut!
4. Why be bothered with legumes at all? Why not just use N fertiliser on crops?
Fertiliser has been the principal source of crop N supply for roughly 20 years, and it is about 20 years since we had any advance in our wheat yields, as the graphs in Pristine Views show. What we have proved over that time is that despite all the best technologies we can bring to bear, the most sustainable, lowest risk and cheapest way to supply nitrogen into our cropping systems in our harsh and unpredictable climate is via natural, biologically based means such as legumes. N fertiliser works OK in Europe and North America, but that is because they have higher yields, more rain, better and deeper soils with higher organic matter levels, and subsidies to guarantee good farmer returns. In our often brutal environment, until we can get an economical “slow release” N fertiliser that somehow mirrors N supply from natural biological sources, we need legumes in our farming systems so that we can have a sufficient profit margin to keep up with our competitors, despite all their manifest advantages.
5. How do I get a ph medic and a production license?
You can find out what is the best Pristine variety for you by visiting the Plant Varieties page. Then order the ph medic variety that suits your farm conditions through your local seed retailer or directly through Keith Seeds. Make sure that they issue you with a license application so that you can sign and return it prior to taking delivery of your seed. Once you are signed up and approved, you will be fully authorised to grow the variety and produce as much seed as you want for your own needs. You will also be issued with a username and password that will give you access to our exclusive members only web site. Here you will find all sorts of helpful hints so that you can get the best from your Pristine variety, and stay in contact with Pristine and other variety users. To view a template license - click here
Contact us directly for more information, or phone (08) 8177 0558 during business hours.
*Protected under Plant Breeders Rights by Pristine Forage Technologies.
© Pristine Forage Technologies 2009.