Grass breeding programmes have developed significantly in recent years, with major improvements in yield and quality.
However, if the soil nutrition and pH are not right then these improvements won’t be recognised.
Optimum pH levels of between 6-6.5 for grass ensures that nutrient availability is maximised.
Getting the basics right is fundamental to efficient production. Regular soil sampling on a three-four yearly basis will not only ensure a good understanding of soil nutrient status but also cost of production.
To gain a full understanding of nutrient availability, we recommend a broad-spectrum soil analysis. We can also provide analysis of forage to help understand any nutritional imbalances.
Agrii Grassland Nutrition
The Role of Nutrients
Nitrogen is the major nutrient required in the greatest quantity and the driver of yield. As a rule of thumb, grass will typically utilise 2.5kg N/ha/day to optimise yield and quality.
Phosphorus is important in the development of roots and for plant tiller survival, and if short will result in plants being susceptible to drought, with stunted growth resulting in later maturing crops.
A shortage of phosphate will impact the uptake of nitrogen and also due to its immobility, a deficiency cannot be rectified quickly.
As a rule, spring applications of phosphate when crop demand is greatest will give the best results.
Researched backed Solutions
Products such as P-Reserve and Release are especially useful when trying to improve P availability.
P-Reserve can be applied to phosphate fertilisers to protect phosphate from lock up, Release can be applied to the soil to free up phosphate bonded in soils. Release also suits soils that are naturally high in P.
Potassium is probably the most important element when it comes to producing quality forage, it’s involved in a number of functions within the plant, including protein production and the transport of nutrients, and if deficient will result in the plant being more susceptible to stress.
In grazing systems where most of the potash ingested is returned to the soil, the demand is low, however in cutting systems with high levels of offtake, the demand is higher dependent on the intensity of the system.
Optimum pH for availability of nutrients.
Graph showing the optimum pH for availability of various nutrients.
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