Worms un­de­terred by urea

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY -

Dairynz is set­ting the record straight – sol­u­ble fer­tilis­ers do not de­stroy worm life in soil.

Dairynz strat­egy and in­vest­ment leader for pro­duc­tiv­ity Dr Bruce Thor­rold said there was a mis­taken be­lief among many that sol­u­ble fer­tilis­ers, such as urea and su­per­phos­phate, killed earth­worms.

‘‘In fact, sol­u­ble fer­tilis­ers will of­ten in­crease earth­worm numbers,’’ Dr Thor­rold said.

‘‘To sus­tain a healthy earth­worm pop­u­la­tion, which is so im­por­tant for good soil, farm­ers should limit soil dam­age in win­ter.’’

In the De­cem­ber edi­tion of Dairynz’s In­side Dairy mag­a­zine, Agre­search prin­ci­pal sci­en­tist Alec Mackay lends his ex­pert opinion to help dis­pel the myth of fer­tiliser use.

‘‘Ap­ply­ing sol­u­ble fer­tilis­ers to main­tain soil fer­til­ity will not de­stroy soil life. Fer­til­is­ing en­sures a con­tin­ual food sup­ply for earth­worms,’’ Mr Mackay said.

‘‘I see an em­pha­sis on man­age­ment prac­tices that limit soil dam­age in win­ter as be­ing far more im­por­tant in main­tain­ing a healthy earth­worm pop­u­la­tion.

‘‘Earth­worms are pri­mary de­com­posers feed­ing on or­ganic mat­ter, such as dead plant ma­te­rial and cow dung – their numbers grow as the quan­tity and qual­ity of or­ganic mat­ter in­creases,’’ he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.