Having a nutrient management plan for your production system can be highly beneficial and may be required by some regional councils and parties with invested interest in the land.
When developing a nutrient management plan to fit your needs, consider the following to help get you started.
Firstly, an operator needs to consider if the management system meets the industrial and legal requirements of a geographical area. What are the objectives of the manager or owner’s business and how they fit in with the goals for production? How will the nutrient management plan help achieve the desired changes in nutrient levels and production to support higher stock capacity or greater crop yields?
Seasonal considerations are important too. In late autumn to early spring low soil and air temperatures usually restrict clover growth resulting in less nitrogen available within a pasture-based production system. By applying nitrogen through autumn and early spring, this will help maintain feed quality, and a rapid production response can be expected as temperatures rise, producing conditions that are more favourable for growth.
If your pasture is experiencing dry conditions, such as in summer time, consider using a coated nitrogen product to help prevent nitrogen losses.
By regularly soil testing and using nutrient mapping to understand the nutrient requirements of your pasture, any guess work will be eliminated and will allow for the most cost-effective programme to be implemented.
To activate a nutrient management plan you’ll need a quality granular fertiliser spreader or liquid sprayer to ensure the correct application rate and an even spread pattern is achieved.
To discuss purchasing a granular fertiliser spreader from Rata Equipment, visit your local PGG WrightsonRural Supplies store.