Dairy farmers have been warned against making knee-jerk reactions in response to rocketing fertiliser prices.

More than 40% of grassland farmers had considered reducing fertiliser usage next year, research by fertiliser manufacturer GrowHow UK found.

However, unveiling the results at the RABDF Dairy and Livestock Event 2008, GrowHow said farmers needed to think carefully before their reduced their fertiliser use.

“Many farmers, especially in the dairy sector, have scope to make savings on their fetiliser use,” Ken Bowler, GrowHow marketing manager said.

“This can often be achieved by making better use of their organic nutrients and more attention to soil analysis.

“However, any reduction has to be thought through as a sound management decision, not just a knee-jerk reaction.”

Mr Bowler said the research showed many farmers were thinking carefully about their fertiliser use, with 43% of those planning to cut their usage doing so on the basis of soil or plant analysis.

“This confirms our belief that there is scope to optimise fertiliser use as part of an overall nutrient plan,” he added.