Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Nitrogen best option to boost feed for lambing

28 August 2012

Nitrogen best option to boost feed for lambing

With bumper lamb numbers due this spring, having the best feed available will be a priority for farmers wanting to achieve optimum live-weight growth, especially with subdued market prices.

Sheep scanning results are showing improvement over last season with 2012 lamb numbers expected to be about 4% up on last year which means an extra 1 million mouths to feed this spring.

Ballance Agri-Nutrients Research and Development Manager Warwick Catto says with lambing rates up, the quality and quantity of nutrition will play an important role in determining growth of stock, and nitrogen has a big role to play.

“Feed quality has a major influence on the level of production achieved by ewes and lambs,” says Mr Catto.

“With the current lamb pricing schedule averaging less than $100 a lamb this season, capitalising on lamb numbers by ensuring strong growth rates is all important and will be the best way to strengthen the balance sheet this season.”

Mr Catto says nitrogen is the best grass growth accelerator heading in to spring.

“After lambing, the feed needs for the flock increase by about half in just the first week and that’s with an average number of lambs. If lambing rates are higher, more feed will be needed.”

Mr Catto says nitrogen applied before lambing will provide the best response, providing ground temperatures are high enough.

“It doesn’t really matter what form of nitrogen is used, it just needs to be applied early enough to give that boost the pasture needs prior to lambing. A lighter application over a large area is best and farmers will get the best response from their investment in nitrogen if they programme in a spelling period before gazing.”

Mr Catto recommends a spelling period of two weeks for maximum benefit.

“A nitrogen boost at the right time will mean pasture will grow about 30% faster. This extra growth could be the difference between pasture covers dropping to levels where stock is not fully fed and maintaining pasture covers that allow for good production levels.”


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


SEA: Another First For Solar Energy In New Zealand

The Sustainable Energy Association NZ (SEANZ) congratulates Sunergise on the commissioning of the Sunergise Kapuni Solar Power Plant, the largest in the country... More>>

Accenture: More Boomers Than Zoomers Want To Work From Home

While often associated with tech savvy Gen Z or Zoomers, new global research from Accenture shows that the push for more flexible working environments is being led by Gen Xers and Baby Boomers... More>>

Maritime Union: Deepening Supply Chain Crisis Requires Action

Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Craig Harrison says the global COVID-19 pandemic exposed pre-existing weaknesses in our logistics sector, and created enormous problems... More>>

Banking: Westpac New Zealand To Remain Part Of Westpac Group

Westpac New Zealand Limited (WNZL) remains part of Westpac Group following a decision for the two businesses not to demerge. Westpac Group Chief Executive Officer, Peter King, said: “After a detailed review, we believe a demerger of the WNZL business would not be in the best interests of shareholders... More>>

Mercury: Enters Into Binding Agreements To Acquire Trustpower’s Retail Business

Mercury NZ Limited (Mercury) has announced that it has entered into binding agreements with Trustpower Limited (Trustpower, NZX:TPW) to acquire Trustpower’s retail business for NZ$441 million... More>>


ASB: New Zealanders Missing Out On Hundreds Of Millions In KiwiSaver Government Contributions

New Zealanders have just over a week to ensure they’re eligible for the maximum annual government KiwiSaver contribution... More>>