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Soil Fertility - Planning for Spring 2018

Over the past few months, many producers have had to make plans and take action to save much needed forage. But in spite of this, many silos are empty and now there needs to be a strong focus on growing maximum yields of quality forage to replenish these stocks over the spring and summer months. The condition and fertility of soil has a huge impact on the quantity and quality of grass and silage that producers can grow. Recent soil analysis survey work carried out by Thompsons, showed that only 3% of soils in Northern Ireland would provide the optimum growing conditions for grass i.e. a pH of > 6.0, a K index of 2-, and a P index of 2-.  In other words 9.7 out of every 10 acres of land have sub-optimal fertility. As producers strive to fill silos and replenish stocks it has never been more crucial to ensure grass swards are fed and managed to grow to their maximum potential. Recent research carried out by AFBI and made public last year, shows that while many grasses have the potential to grow 12-15tDM/ha, on average, Northern Ireland’s producers are harvesting a disappointing 7.5 tDM/ha with the beef and sheep sector achieving an average just over 4tDM/ha. This shortfall amounts to a significant tonnage of forage per farm and as an industry as a whole.This spring Thompsons have re-launched the Soil Fertility Programme to help producers integrate soil science and grassland production with animal nutrition and performance. The core aim of this package is to give producers the tools to ensure that optimal animal performance is reached on cost effective, forage based diets. As an integral part of the Soil Fertility Programme, Thompsons have designed a range of fertilisers to balance the existing soil deficiencies and excesses that exist within Northern Ireland. The new range has drawn on the latest local soil fertility research to ensure maximum yields of high quality grass.

Thompsons Fertiliser Grades are as follows;

Grazing Sward 24-4-4 (+ Avail + 3% Na +4% S) 


Silage Sward 23-3-8 (+ Avail + 6% S)


Zero P 22-0-7 (+3% Na + 4% S)

Posted 08,03,18 by allison.

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