With funding available for soil sampling under the National Test Programme you may have been hearing more about the requirement to have a Nutrient Management Plan or from companies trying to offer this service. These are a valuable tool for any business and can help growers to be more efficient and more environmentally sustainable. Below is a quick guide on Nutrient Management Plans.
Why You Should Complete A Nutrient Management Plan
- Fertiliser is expensive - it can help save you money.
- Contribute towards improving crop yields.
- It will help you make better use of organic manures.
- It can help reduce the negative impact fertiliser and manure applications have on the environment.
What You Need
- Up to date soil samples (support available through the National Test Programme)
- Cropping plans and where possible historic yield information
- Information on organic manures available (and ideally an up-to-date analysis)
What To Expect
- A comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan will identify any high or low indices and make a recommendation to address this ensuring there is sufficient nutrition available for that crop on a field-by-field basis.
- The plan should also factor in any applications of organic manures and the N, P and K which is supplied and then balance the crop and soil requirement with an inorganic fertiliser recommendation.
- Your Nutrient Management Plan should also factor in your soil types as this will dictate rates, timing, and frequency of applications.
- Your plan is a living document and will vary annually according to crops grown, differences in organic manure nutrient content, weather, and crop yields. Keep this in mind when selecting which software and company you go with to keep consistency in the advice you are receiving.
- FACTS qualified advisors complete annual CPD and assessments to ensure they are keeping up to date with the latest legislation and advice on nutrient applications.
The Farm Advisory service will be running Nutrient Management Planning workshops in the Autumn so if you are interested in learning more please contact the Farm Advisory Service on 0300 323 0161.
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