tractor fertilising

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.

National recommendations for N fertiliser use are given in the Nutrient Management Guide RB209, managed and updated by AHDB.

 

The current high price of N fertiliser has caused re-evaluation of appropriate N rates to apply - as the price of N increases the return on investment reduces and economic optimum reduces.

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The economics and typical N response curve suggests that N rates should be reduced by 50kg N/ha in 2022 - Will you be reducing yours?

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see this - https://twitter.com/TWBFarms/status/1504392237563756546  

or here - https://farmpep.net/node/232 

and another great twitter thread by Mike Neaverson here - https://twitter.com/MikeNeaverson/status/1506396924022509569

Another interesting twitter thread by David Butler - https://twitter.com/DavidButler34/status/1512901332721709064

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Connected Content

Foliar sprays can be more efficient than feeding crops via the soil: they can be more targeted, cheaper, and less environmentally damaging than soil-mediated crop nutrition.    But this is not always so: can foliar nutrition be made reliable ... to support sustainable crop nutrition?

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.   

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, providing information on crop nutrient status and nutrient offtakes.  It can indicate whether your crops are getting hold of the nutrients they need, or whether you can save on future fertiliser use.

Review conducted by ADAS and funded by AHDB into how farmers should respond to the high fertiliser (& grain) prices experienced in 2022.

Some symbiotic or free-living microorganisms can fix inert di-nitrogen (N) from the air into reactive organic nitrogenous compounds.  Most biological N fixation (BNF) in farming systems occurs in the root nodules of legumes where rhizobium bacteria take photosynthates from the plant in exchange for fixing atmospheric N and returning ammonium or amides which the plant uses to form amino acids, proteins, etc.   Plants need more N than any other nutrient and N commonly limits plant growth in many ecosystems. 

  The flour milling industry plays a vital role in feeding and nourishing the nation – flour is an ingredient in 30% of supermarket foods. UK Flour Millers is proud of the part it plays in ensuring the industry continues to operate efficiently and reliably so that everyone can enjoy their daily bread. 

NRM’s GrainCheck service was launched in 2020 following several years of work with ADAS on the Yield Enhancement Network (YEN) project and to coincide with the RB209 recommendation for routine grain analysis. The test is suitable for cereals, oilseeds and pulses and should be interpreted alongside soil and tissue test results to give a full understanding of the effectiveness of crop nutrition programmes.

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.

A range of products is available; these claim to enable more efficient nutrient uptake, so allow less nutrient to be used.

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

Soil N Supply is the nitrogen available to the crop from soil during the season. It is the most important component of estimating a crop's nitrogen requirement.

Nitrogen Use Efficiency is a widely used term increasingly discussed across industry and with farmers. However it can mean different things to different people.

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Fertilisers, especially nitrogen, give some of the biggest environmental impacts of any inputs, from both their manufacture and their application.  A range of innovative approaches are being developed to reduce the energy costs, greenhouse gas emmissions and waste associated with the production of fertilisers.

Many projects across the world are looking to radically reduce the GHG costs of producing ammonia by using renewable electricity for hydrolysis, rather than the energy & natural gas intensive Haber-Bosch process.  This could reduce the GHG costs of N fertiliser, but the real drivers come from using ammonia in the energy chain.

Twitter Thread & poll on what to do about N rates with current prices -

AHDB Research Review 97 This is Part One of a two-part study to help cereal and oilseed

Land of Plenty is WWF's blueprint for how the agriculture and land use sectors in the UK can help fight climate change and bring nature back to life.

Recording from session at Groundswell 2022 with summary below from Agricology

Links to the AHDB reviews which informed the 2016 major review of RB209 nutrient management guida

Anonymised example Benchmarking report from YEN Nutrition

Our experience at Morley shows there isn't much of a relationship between measured SMN and measur

Article exploring nitrogen fertiliser costs using Farmbench results.  

The fate of much of the nitrogen applied to crops or grass as fertiliser around the world is ulti

Presentation from Daniel Kindred at CropTec 2021 on how to deal with higher nitrogen fertiliser p

Paper published in Journal of Agricultural Science 2017, vol 155, p261-281 SUM

Flyer produced as result of Innovate UK project with ADAS, Senova, RAGT, Saaten Union, Ensus &

Defra Sustainable Arable LINK project from 2010 to 2015 that aimed to produce an automated system using precision farming technologies for N management of cereals, but ended up changing the whole way we think about nitrogen, yields, experimentation, research, variation & knowledge.

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

AHDB project from 2014-2018 working with farmers to monitor and optimise their nitrogen fertiliser rates on-farm.  

Cover crops are grown primarily to ‘protect or improve’ soils between periods of regular crop production. They can be effective at improving soil functions by increasing soil nutrient and water retention, improving soil structure/quality, reducing the risk of soil erosion, surface run-off and diffuse pollution by providing soil cover and by managing weeds or soil-borne pests.  

To facilitate discussion at ACI European Mineral Fertiliser Summit

PLANET and MANNER-NPK are nutrient management software tools that are freely available for use by farmers and their advisers.  

Oats nitrogen and sulphur recommendations

AHDB has developed a spreadsheet tool to help you calculate the impact of changing fertiliser and grain prices.

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Interest is growing in using legumes like lucerne or clover as a permanent understory to cereal crops to provide nitrogen through the season.

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Grain protein content and quality is one of the most important determinants of functionality of cereals, defining whether wheat grain is suitable for milling for bread making or biscuit making.

Really insightful piece from Andrew McGuire of Washington State University:

Estimating soil nitrogen supply (SNS) is an important step in nitrogen (N) decision-making for

Article from Agronomist & Arable Farmer 3/3/22: The uptake of NRM’s Soil Mineral Ni

The Nutrient Management Guide (RB209) helps you make the most of organic materials and balance the b

Guide produced by Roger Sylvester-Bradley for AHDB in 2009, setting out the best practice approac

HGCA Topic Sheet following the SNS Best Practice project 2012

https://twitter.com/sarahkendall10/status/1488976013824512012

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