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Nutrient Management

Farm profitability relies on efficient nutrient use for crop growth.  A tanker load of slurry can contain an NPK value that equates to ~£46 of purchased artificial fertiliser.

Factors such as soil pH, matching nutrient applications to crop growth requirements, and working to an accurate farm nutrient budget all help ensure nutrient use efficiency, reducing purchase nutrient costs and minimising nutrient loss.

Regular soil tests for pH and nutrient values provide important details for the farm nutrient budget, as does taking into account previous cropping rotations.  Equally important is nutrient testing to know the NPK value of home-produced slurry and farmyard manures, or of imported organic fertilisers e.g. digestates or composts.  Whilst applying nutrients to match crop requirements helps to improve uptake, optimising application can reduce ammonia losses; moving from a splash plate to trailing shoe or dribble bar could reduce ammonia losses equating to 3 units of N per 1,000 gallons of slurry.

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