Time to stock fer­tiliser

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

FARM­ERS are be­ing urged to stock up on urea fer­tiliser in an­tic­i­pa­tion of a rush to buy when sig­nif­i­cant rain ar­rives.

Bal­lance Agri-Nu­tri­ents Mata­mata team ser­vice leader Ge­off Bar­clay said prepa­ra­tion for push­ing pas­ture growth was cru­cial to re­cov­ery plans af­ter drought. He is sug­gest­ing farm­ers buy even if they leave it in the shed be­cause they are not sure when they will need it.

Mr Bar­clay said he was pre­dict­ing a rush on urea in half-tonne and one-tonne bags when sig­nif­i­cant rain­fall ar­rives, which would cre­ate a de­mand bot­tle­neck and a short­age.

Set­ting up pas­ture with urea was crit­i­cal in ac­cel­er­at­ing dry mat­ter pro­duc­tion and pre­par­ing farms for next sea­son.

Urea did not in­duce pas­ture growth but ac­cel­er­ated it, and with rain fall­ing spo­rad­i­cally, Mr Bar­clay said the best course of ac­tion was to stock­pile ready for when the land was primed with enough rain­fall.

‘‘The im­por­tant point is this: Ap­pli­ca­tion when you see some growth oc­cur­ring, not throw­ing it on willynilly. It would be a pru­dent move to get half-tonne or full tonne bags now to have the flex­i­bil­ity of when to put it on,’’ he said.

‘‘We won’t run out of urea but we could run out of those half-tonne and tonne bags.’’

But hav­ing a sup­ply would not mean much if more rain did not fall soon, Mr Bar­clay said.

‘‘The rain we had re­cently was good, it was nice and slow, but to be ef­fec­tive we need 50 to 60 millil­itres.’’ Ravens­down chief sci­en­tific of­fi­cer Ants Roberts said that although it was bet­ter to wait for some pas­ture re­growth be­fore putting fer­tiliser down, in drought con­di­tions it was un­likely. He said it was more prac­ti­cal to ap­ply it as soon as pos­si­ble af­ter sig­nif­i­cant rain­fall.

‘‘Some­thing will be much bet­ter than noth­ing. There’s enough rain there to mois­ten the ground.’’

The quick op­tion to start the pas­ture sup­ply re­cov­ery process was to ap­ply ni­tro­gen fer­tiliser af­ter 15mm to 20mm of rain and hope more rain would fol­low.

‘‘The size of the re­sponse will de­pend on suf­fi­cient ini­tial rain and sub­se­quent fol­low­ing rain to en­sure pas­tures keep grow­ing,’’ he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.