5 Targets for soil fertility on your farm

  • Soil test the whole farm to know soil fertility levels.
  • Apply lime to acidic soils to increase the pH.
  • Use the soil Index in each field to guide fertiliser P and K and slurry application.
  • Apply slurry in spring to fields with high P and K requirements (low soil test P and K and/or cut for silage) to maximise its nutrient value.
  • Use bagged fertilisers that are correctly balanced in N, P, K, S and other nutrients for the needs of each field.

Introduction

Productive soils are the foundation of any successful farm. The demand on intensive farms for high grass growth rates over an extended grazing season represents an increasing demand on soil fertility levels. The ability of soils to maintain a supply of nutrients in the appropriate quantities for grass growth is a key factor in determining how productive a field or farm can be. Fertiliser costs account for approximately 20 % of the total variable costs on farms, but can provide good value for money when used correctly. However, fertiliser application rates that are either too low, too high, or not in balance with other soil fertility factors will give lower responses. With soil phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) levels declining on many farms in recent years, the importance of soil fertility management has increased.

Soil fertility Management – 5 steps to follow

  1. Soil test
  2. Apply Lime
  3. Target Index 3 for P and K
  4. Slurry
  5. Fertiliser products that give a balanced nutrient supply

For further explanation of the above, please download here