Just three weeks into the mineral nitrogen testing season and
Kemira GrowHow is reporting a surge in demand for its N-Min service.
“We’ve already analysed more samples than
we did in the whole of the 2006 season,” says company Agronomist
Allison Grundy. “Testing can continue up to the end of March
provided the fields have not received any top dressing when they
are sampled,” she adds.
Ms Grundy believes there are two reasons for the dramatic increase.
First of all she suggests that farmers and growers are really getting
to grips with their environmental responsibilities. “They
are also looking to use fertiliser more strategically than they
have in the past. They are looking to get more out of their crops
by applying optimum rates and in many cases are finding that can
mean a saving on fertiliser.” she explains.
The commercial results now coming through confirm the findings
from GrowHow’s own comprehensive deep core sampling programme
completed in early February. That showed that soil residual Nitrogen
levels are around 45% lower than in 2006. The Nitrogen has either
been taken up by the crop and so needs to be accounted for when
fertiliser application rates are being calculated or it has been
lost following heavy winter rainfall.
“We are also finding some significant differences between
what accepted wisdom suggests will be present and what actually
is. This is particularly marked in fields after set-aside where
the RB209 standard SNS index is suggesting much higher levels of
residual N will be available than we are in fact measuring.”
As an example after set-aside on medium soils (SNS 3, moderate
rainfall) RB209 states that 121kg/N/ha will be available. On one
site near York, now down to a 1st wheat after set-aside, N-Min
measured just 21kg/N/ha available. At another ‘after set-aside’ site
near Morpeth; this time with a deep clay soil which would be expected
to hold onto its Nitrogen, N-Min measured 43kg/N/ha. “These
are significant differences which are likely to impact on both
yield and quality,” she warns.
Kemira GrowHow UK is part of
Kemira GrowHow Oyj, one of the leading companies in the European
fertiliser and feed phosphate industry. Kemira GrowHow develops
and markets high quality fertilisers, animal feed supplements and
chemicals required in various industries. Kemira GrowHow has some
2,700 employees worldwide and in 2005 the company's net sales were
EUR 1.3 billion. Kemira GrowHow Oyj is listed on the Helsinki Stock
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