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Dry Hill Country Fertiliser Use Under Spotlight

Media Release
21 October 2004

Dry Hill Country Fertiliser Use Under The Spotlight
At Conference

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertiliser use on hill country is a topic of considerable interest throughout the sheep and beef industry, and recent research has demonstrated some exciting future directions for this use. Guest speaker Allan Gillingham, from AgResearch Grasslands, will be discussing this research at today’s New Zealand Grassland Association Annual Conference during the Fert Research sponsored session.

The research comprised two trials covering a seven year period where the effects of fertilisers on four controlled sheep and cattle farmlets on dry, steep hill country near Waipawa, Hawkes Bay were studied.

Each trial delivered different applications of phosphorus and nitrogen fertilisers to the farmlets, comparing the economic returns for both.

Fert Research Technical Director, Dr Hilton Furness, says the results produced valuable findings concerning future fertiliser use.

“Firstly, the results concluded that there is no such thing as a normal climate on the east coast of the North Island, and as a result it is incredibly important to maximise pasture growth during the reliably wet winter period and this is best achieved with nitrogen fertiliser.”

“Secondly, the trials also confirmed that differential nitrogen and phosphorus fertiliser application and associated intensive management will bring increased economic returns, but the best combination will vary from farm to farm and paddock to paddock,” says Dr Furness.

Today’s presentation will discuss these and other results of the trial.

The New Zealand Grassland Association 66th Annual Conference runs over three days at Hotel Ashburton, Racecourse Road, Ashburton and is organised by the New Zealand Grassland Association in conjunction with Fert Research and the Agronomy Society of New Zealand.

ENDS

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