Crop Nutrient Management
Justus von Liebig, generally credited as the “father of the fertilizer industry”, formulated the law of the minimum: if one crop nutrient is missing or deficient, plant growth will be poor, even if the other elements are abundant.
Some farmers use a lot of fertiliser whilst others use hardly any. Discovering which of the essential nutrients is in short supply is a vital step in ensuring that a crop’s achieves its potential. Discovering the right cost:benefit ratio is a key to maximising crop margins.
Farmers, whether you are organic or conventional, low or high input we can guide you through the maze of options open to you in increasing the fertility of your land without harming the wider environment.
In certain parts of the UK we may be able to help you obtain a substantial grant towards the costs of producing a Nutrient Management Report.
Hutton Soils provide the following soil analysis:
1 or 2 samples for: pH & Mg, K, and P for £35 including P+P and VAT Add £10/sample for organic matter.
Three samples or more for: pH & Mg, K, and P for £27.50 including P+P and VAT. Add £10/sample for organic matter.
If you are interested, please complete this form and specify that you are interested in learning more about the fertility of your soils and their potential.
Case study: Mr Price
Here’s how one farmer was able to improve productivity through better nutrient management.
Mr Price of Hay-on-Wye has a dairy herd of 200 cows and was using magnesium limestone to correct the pH in his naturally acidic sandstone soil. However he found his grass yields and the fertility of his herd well below what he expected.
Optima Excel had his soil analysed and found that despite the farmer applying lots of potassium fertilisers the potassium levels were low and magnesium levels excessively high. The result was an antagonism between the potassium and magnesium which prevented his grass taking up sufficient potassium at key times of the growing season like in early spring and immediately after taking silage cuts.
Optima Excel recommended that Mr Price stop using magnesium limestone and change to ground limestone (which is cheaper) and within two years he noticed an improvement in grass yields and cow fertility. The improvement has continued over the next eight years as the levels of soil magnesium have declined.
This resulted in a cost saving of £10 per acre every time he applied lime and an increase in grass yields worth over £75 per acre every year. The improvement in cow fertility, although difficult to quantify, is almost certainly worth over £50 per cow per year equivalent to £10,000 per year.