It used to be simply a case of applying 20:10:10 to your grassland. It was, after all, the traditional standard method of fertiliser application that’s been around for more than 50 years.
But today it’s more a case of carrying out a soil test first to find out exactly what’s in the ground before purchasing any product at all… and then about finding the best way to utilise Nitrogen to maximise that much needed spring flush of grass.
Farm Adviser with CF Fertiliser, Hefin Llwyd, believes that 20:10:10 is quite often too rich a product to apply - saying its wasteful of the Phosphate and Potash elements if they aren’t needed. And with all the flooding around this year, there’s a real possibility of soil Nitrogen leaching, with even more valuable product lost.
“Fertiliser application is more about matching up the requirements of different soils, and helping to maximise yield and quality of the resultant grass crops by giving each field what is needs,”
says Hefin, who explains that farmers are gearing up much better to utilise their own slurry and manure as part of an overall fertiliser policy on the farm.
“This is the place where you can get really cost-effective with your inputs,” he says.
Cut and Graze (22.6.8) is a true granular compound fertiliser that’s outperforming blends and is ideal for low input grassland farms. It's proving to be a highly popular choice with beef and sheep farmers in particular.
Hefin Llwyd, CF Farm Advisor.
Not surprisingly, this is a one product solution - used for both grazing and cutting - with a granular compound containing 96 percent water soluble Phosphate, a nutrient which does not travel far in the soil from where it’s applied. This means it has 10 times more Phosphate landing sites than a blended 20.10.10 and can mobilise immediately in the soil, getting active quickly and efficiently.
It also contains water soluble potash which, again, is ideal in ensuring the most efficient use of Nitrogen. Infact, on-farm trials have demonstrated that a CF true granular compound increases grass yields over equivalent blends (typically by 15%) when applied at the same Nitrogen rate.
EarlyBite® 25:10:0 is another similar product used for spring grazing that again provides water soluble Phosphate to boost early growth. Even on soils at P index 2 or 3, EarlyBite supplied at 125 kg/ha (one 50kg bag/acre) can boost spring grass growth to get more grass for grazing or silage cutting.