YEN Nutrition

YEN Nutrition brings together those wanting to achieve more precise crop nutrition.  High fertiliser prices now make this vital.  Assuming that 'crops know best' engagement in YEN Nutrition starts by benchmarking grain nutrients to show those that were limiting (or excessive) for each crop.

YEN Nutrition reports confirm opportunities for fertiliser savings and better-balanced nutrition. Benchmarking Reports compare crops across fields and farms so, together with YEN Nutrition group discussions or Crop Nutrition Clubs, they build confidence in how profitability can be maximised, environmental impacts minimised, and potentially, the healthiness of food products can be enhanced. 

The YEN Nutrition service provides Grain Analyses with Benchmarking for accurate nutrient management across the farm.

  • Identify fertiliser overuse
  • Show potential savings
  • Diagnose deficiencies

Benchmarking compares across farms, fields, crops, and years to improve future decision-making for every nutrient in all grain crops.

Farm YEN Nutrition Reports cost £250 +VAT for six fields. Each additional field (or sample) costs £40 + VAT.

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Yield Enhancement Networks (YENs) were launched in 2012 to support and energise on-farm learning-by-sharing and thus to enhance farming progress.

Plants need around 12 essential mineral nutrients to grow: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), Potassium (K), Magnesium (Mg), Sulphur (S), Calcium (Ca), Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn), Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu), Boron (B) and Molybdenum (Mo). Crop requirements differ hugely between elements, from 100s kg/ha of N & K, 10s kg/ha P, S, & Ca, 100s g/ha Fe, Mn, Zn & Cu, to 1s g/ha B & Mo.  Crops also differ inherently in these requirements due both to their genetics and their growing conditions.  Crops need these nutrients primarily to form and operate the photosynthetic tissues that convert solar energy and water into edible (or otherwise useful) energy.  Subsequently crops redistribute some nutrients from their leaves and stems to their generative organs, according to the nutritional requirements of crop re-establishment e.g. the nutrient needs of seedlings.  Depending on which crop components are harvested and removed, crop nutrients are either exported and used in feeds or foods, or are returned to the soil to form soil organic matter.   

Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient for both plants and animals, playing a key role in energy transfer as a major component of ATP. It is also vital in DNA. For full capture & conversion of solar energy, crop canopies need 30-40 kg/ha P. Crop species redistribute most of this P (~85%; more than for any other nutrient) to their seeds during canopy senescence, where it is stored as phytate. Plants appear to do this because, until their roots proliferate, plant seedlings are highly sensitive to P shortages.

Farmers, advisors and researchers working together to understand and improve crop nutrition on-farm

Analysing grain for all 12 nutrients can be an effective tool to improve nutrient management

The ideas behind Farm-PEP came together in ~2018, drawing from the developments of Agronomics, the YENs, AHDB's Monitor Farm programme and the idea of a 'What Works' Centre for Agriculture. 

Nitrogen is required annually by most crops (except pulses) to achieve yield and quality. Judging how much N to apply is a key part of nutrient management.

AICC Advisors and farmers testing appropriate nitrogen rates and strategies for reduction in light of current high prices.  Brought together by the FarmPEP FIP project

Share your ideas and experience of how to improve nutrient efficiency and reduce dependence on artificial fertilisers

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Anonymised example Benchmarking report from YEN Nutrition

Managing nutrients effectively is crucial for our soils, crops, livestock and environment. There are many resources and initiatives available to help. 

Are you interested in Crop Monitoring?  Join this club to share ideas and experiences with the tools that are out there, and perhaps develop proposals and projects.

NRM

Potassium is an important macro-nutrient for plant growth

YEN Nutrition's Grain analysis & Benchmarking service

Farmers Weekly article from 2020: Grain growers could gain £500/field if they get crop