Soil Sampling and Nutrient Management - August
Now is the ideal time to take fresh soil samples and plan lime and fertiliser application for winter crops. Well-taken soil samples will provide the basis for tailoring lime, phosphorus(P) and potassium( K) applications to ensure that crops are well established over the winter period.
Over the coming weeks aim to:
1. identify fields that require fresh soil samples.
2. request solo analysis for both major and minor nutrients.
3. Aim to complete fertiliser records for 2018.
4. prepare a lime and fertiliser plan for the 2019 cropping season.
Having soil test results in advance of planting crops will allow the opportunity to correct any major nutrient deficiencies, for example, lime. We know from previous soil test results that only 12% of tillage soils have the correct P and K (Index 3) levels and soil pH 6.5 or greater for crop production.
Organic manures are a valuable source of organic matter and nutrients. Manures such as cattle slurry, farmyard manure(FYM) and mushroom compost are idea for winter crops, as they contain low levels o P and K. Manures are ideal for replenishing and building soil P and K levels, plus adding valuable soil organic soil matter. For example, 1,000 gallons of cattle slurry contains 6 units of N, 5 units of P and 32 units of K.