Calculating a successful outcome for brassicas
27 October 2006
Calculating a successful outcome for your brassica crop
New Brassica calculators based on computer programmes designed to accurately forecast fertiliser needs – are helping farmers take a scientific approach to increasing brassica crop yields, generating a better return on fertiliser expenditure.
For the past six years Ballance Agri-Nutrients and PGG Wrightson have been funding trial research looking at the efficiencies of these computer programmes and the benefits they can offer farmers when making decisions around fertiliser investment.
Ballance Agri-Nutrients Technical Advisor Aaron Stafford says the trials show the pasja and kale crop calculators are a valuable tool to farmers wanting to optimise crop yields and fertiliser inputs.
“The value lies in the calculator’s accuracy which means farmers can determine what the crops actual fertiliser requirements are. The programme allows farmers to input a wide range of variables such as expected seasonal weather conditions, sowing and grazing dates, soil fertility and fertiliser.
“The calculators are able to forecast potential yield, as well as providing farmers with the ability to ask "what if" questions, to look at the effects of changing management on crop yield potential.
“Trial results for the kale and pasja calculators are showing increased yields, in some cases up to 80 percent. It is evidence that the calculators are now a valuable tool for assisting farmers who wish to increase their returns from these crops.
“The use of the calculators is also excellent for ensuring fertiliser wastage and environmental impacts are minimised. It should be recognised that every paddock is different; using the calculators enables farmers to tailor fertiliser requirements according to paddock specific requirements, therefore better matching nutrient supply to crop needs.”
Farmers interested in utilising either the pasja or kale calculators should contact their local Ballance TSR or PGG Wrightson retail representative. Farmers will be advised to undertake specialised soil tests, ideally one month before planting time, which will then provide the relevant information needed for the brassica calculator programme.