Farmer: James Stafford, Pickwick Lodge Farm, Corsham, Wiltshire
Crops Grown: Barley
N-Min: First year of trials
Yield Gain: 0.95t/ha
Margin Gain: £122/ha
Soil Type: Cotswolds Brash, Silty Clay Loam
Fertiliser Used: Heartland Sulphur
Fertiliser Saving: None
CF N-Min and Barley - Making the most of new rotations
N-Min has helped Wiltshire barley grower James Stafford improve his fertiliser practice and increase the efficiency of his Nitrogen utilisation by over 10%.
In trials last year, standard farm practice of 225kg N/ha for his KWS Cassia barley delivered a yield of 8.85t/ha whilst the N-Min approach was improved by using it in combination with Heartland Sulphur pushing yields to 9.8t/ha without increasing Nitrogen input.
The effect of this was to increase margins from £841/ha for the farm practice crop to £962/ha for the N-Min approach – worth an extra £122/ha all told. With the baseline Nitrogen requirement established by N-Min for both treatments, the performance improvement from the CF N-Min treatment came from additional elements of P, K and S in Heartland Sulphur driving better Nitrogen utilisation. The trials point the way to a rethink of his fertilising system which is delivering a significant increase in yield.
"In my opinion, N-Min testing is critical, because unless you measure Nitrogen you cannot manage it, and so we have our soils sampled every year in February. Using N-Min as part of the Heartland system has given us healthier plants, higher yields and an additional financial margin of over £120/ha.”