Fertiliser for Grassland - think before you spread!
Some farms haven’t been able to apply fertiliser to grassland yet. With fields slowly drying up, fertiliser applications are all going to be late – therefore rates need recalculating.
A lot of leys and new reseeds will take some time to dry out enough to drive on without rutting them. In some areas there is already a good grass cover of 5-6” and the crop looks green – if this is the case for you then you need to consider if your fertilise it at all. The fertiliser needs to hit the soil and where the grass is long much of it will lodge in the grass and scorch it unless washed off quickly. The wheeling’s will damage the grass and any rutting will increase the risk of picking up soil when the grass is cut which will upset the fermentation. Where there is already good grass cover just aim to cut in mid-April to clear the ground so you can spread slurry and fertilise for the second cut to take at the end of May.
Where you have swards that are not too far forward (grazed by sheep or permanent pasture) then you do need to get fertiliser on as soon as ground conditions permit. As the spreading date could be 2-3 weeks later than usual you do need to revise your normal application rate. The guideline that has always worked well is no more than 2 units per acre per day (2.5 kg/ha/day) from spreading date to expected cutting date on the low growth potential swards or 2.5 units per acre per day (3kg/ha/day) on productive swards.
Please call us if you want to discuss the situation for your farm.
The Kelly Farm Consulting Team!
Sam Kelly 07777 696080
Charlie Davies 07904 601104
Pete Kelly 07970 9429668
Office 01454 614624