The value of knowing your nutrients

The value of knowing your nutrients

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

2015 Summer Meeting principal sponsors, Yara offered each host farmer free soil and manure analyses as a technical theme for the event.

The value of manure and soil analysis in enabling more precise fertiliser/nutrient planning was a key message, as under- or over-application of nutrients is costly, resulting in lower yields and quality, wasted nutrients, or high nitrate impacting on silage fermentation quality.

Soil pH ranged from 5.4 to 7.6; there was some evidence of higher pH being influenced by sand-based bedding material.

Organic matter appeared high (5.6–13.6%), which can be achieved on livestock farms where manures are frequently returned or influenced by sampling technique (if close to surface).

Organic matter is important for nutrient holding, water retention and percolation and machinability of the soil, and is often overlooked in arable scenarios.

P, K and Mg results were, on average, above target across the farms. However, P and K results of index 1 were present. Some fields also had P and Mg indices of 4 and 5, above targets for grassland.

Targets: pH 6 although 6.5 may be better for grass/clover, OM ≥5, P 2, K 2-, Mg 2, with availability impacts on availability possible between K & Mg. 

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