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Good agricultural practise gets results

Good agricultural practise gets results

A mix of livestock management and good old weather watching will ensure farmers get the best dry matter response and achieve the best in animal performance results from their fertiliser application.

Warwick Catto, Science Strategy Manager at Ballance Agri-Nutrients said it was important to maintain good agricultural practices when using fertiliser.

“While fertiliser programmes, and the nutrients that are applied, vary throughout the year, it is worth considering the influence of increased livestock feed demand and their metabolic stresses in spring.”

“During calving and lambing we advise farmers to adhere to best agricultural practice when applying fertiliser. During spring, livestock maternal instinct means that rather than normally avoiding pasture with fertiliser residue, they may consume this pasture which puts these animals at risk, particularly from fluorosis. It is good common sense to either spell stock from recently fertilised pasture or fertilise just before rainfall.

“Spelling after nitrogen and phosphate fertiliser has been applied ensures the plants can produce the biggest response, and that less nutrient is transferred to dung or urine patches.”

The following five-point plan will ensure farmers get the best grass growth and animal performance following fertiliser application:
· Rotate livestock to fit with fertiliser application

· Spell nitrogen fertilised pasture for seven to 14 days or until no residues are present

· Spell phosphate fertilised pasture for 21 days or until 25 ml of rainfall has occurred, or until no residues are present

· Apply dustier fertilisers late in the morning, once dew has dried off the grass, to avoid fertiliser sticking to the plant leaf

· Watch the weather and apply fertiliser just before irrigation or light rainfall.

Mr Catto said now was the right time to soil and herbage test and develop a targeted fertiliser programme, including assessing the need for trace elements such as selenium, cobalt and copper.


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