Crop Nutrition

The aim is to make sure your crops have access to sufficient quantities of all nutrients at the time they need them.

  • Regular soil sampling is essential
  • Healthy soils improve nutrient uptake through a better root network
  • Consider the impact of nutrient removal from large preceding crops, especially energy crops
  • Be aware of relevant legislation and its impact on crop nutrition
  • Careful planning will help optimise nitrogen applications for both yield and quality.

To maximise crop performance, growers must provide each crop with sufficient levels of nutrients based on crop requirement. To achieve this, we need to understand what the crops need, what the soils can provide and where we must apply nutrients to fill the gap.

Sampling soils every three to five years will prevent guesswork. We recommend precision mapping to allow the variable application of nutrients, specifically targeting the right areas of each field. At the same time, you should take the opportunity to assess the health of the soil, looking at organic matter, pH and compaction levels. In a well structured, healthy soil, roots will proliferate, improving the efficiency of nutrient and water uptake.

Phosphate, potash and magnesium are essential nutrients and required in large quantities, so it is important to make sure soils contain enough to meet the peak spring demand. This is particularly important following big removals from previous crops, where straw is baled and with maize and rye grown for energy.

Focus is rightly placed on optimising nitrogen applications and high yielding milling wheat crops pose a particular challenge, with careful management needed to reach the required quality. Using satellite maps of crop growth to vary the amount of nitrogen applied to both cereal and oilseed rape crops can help even up the canopy to optimise crop performance.

Nutrition

Whilst the area of crops receiving sulphur fertiliser is increasing, we still believe it is smaller than it should be. Micro nutrients are also important for growth and targeted applications to deficient areas will help maximise yield.

There is an array of nutrition products available, both solid and liquid, giving real scope to deliver an optimal crop nutrition programme for the whole farm. Make sure you understand the legislation which impacts on crop nutrition to stay compliant.

Finally, it is vital that fertilisers are applied correctly. Poor application can undo all your hard work and planning.

A combination of well maintained and calibrated machines and quality fertiliser products will achieve the most consistent spreading patterns. Liquid fertiliser gives the most accuracy, especially with wider tramlines

Take a Precise Approach 

NuSoyltrient mapping across the whole farm will give you a baseline nutrient status to work from. Further analysis can be achieved using the Frontier Soil Life service, which establishes a vitality index for your soils and provides recommendations for improvement. Variable rate nitrogen application will improve canopy evenness, increasing yields by at least 3%.

SOYL, a division of Frontier Agriculture, is the leading precision crop production service provider in the UK.  To find out more about how they can help, please click here.

 

 

3D Thinking in Action

A key role for our 3D thinking programme is to discover new crop nutrition products and techniques, such as late foliar N for oilseed rape, develop them through our trials, and demonstrate their effectiveness to growers on our demonstration sites across the country.

Please click here to find out more about 3D Thinking in Action.

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