Latest farm trials with CF’s N-programme including the patented N-Min® soil test and N-Calc are revealing impressive yield and margin gains.

The importance of understanding soil Nitrogen reserves and making an accurate assessment of crop fertiliser requirement in maximising crop production efficiency and outputs has once again been highlighted in a series of farm trials in 2017.

“With properly applied Nitrogen fertiliser delivering a return on investment of 5:1 – the highest of any crop input – it’s essential growers make the right decision on its application,” says CF Fertilisers’ arable agronomist Allison Grundy.

“Too little and the crop will never reach its full economic potential and too much and the plant might simply not be able to use it which as well as being a waste of money, could result in environmental issues.”

The starting point for making the most cost-effective use of N inputs is to know what you’re starting with, she says.

“It is essential to know precisely what N you have available in the soil, what will become available to the plant and how much has already been taken up by the crop. “Without this it is impossible to make an accurate assessment of how much N will be needed to maximise crop potential.”

Unlike less sophisticated soil tests, CF’s patented N-Min test measures not only the Soil Mineral Nitrogen (SMN) but also Additionally Available Nitrogen (AAN) – the amount of Nitrogen that will be mineralised in the soil between sampling and harvest, Allison Grundy points out.

“By combining SMN and AAN we are able to get a much better insight into the overall soil N supply so we can build up a true picture of crop fertiliser need.

“Using the N-Min results we can then use our N-Calc system to identify the application rate that will provide the highest economic return based on a grower’s individual circumstances including target yield, soil type and rotation.”