26 January 1996

An early bite essential

With winter stocks of forage at an all-time low on many farms after last summers drought, the arrival of T-sum will be a chance to turn out as early as possible and ensure maximum benefit from an early bite.

As a reminder, T-sum identifies the first time in spring when fertiliser for grass will be used efficiently. Apply it too early and nutrients are wasted by leaching, too late and valuable grazing days are lost. So when is right?

Over 15 years of research and experience have shown that T-sum 200 is a useful guide for identifying this all important period. T-sum is calculated by the Met Office by adding together all positive mean daily air temperatures from Jan 1 until 200C is reached. From that day onwards, in that particular locality, farmers can spread fertiliser on grass with confidence, providing of course that ground conditions allow.

The farmers weekly/Kemira forecast shows the expected arrival of T-sum in any 50km square locality. The map will be updated week-by-week until an accurate picture is obtained for all the UK. In the meantime, all the squares shown ORANGE are expected to be at T-sum 200 by next weeks issue.

Remember, for up-to-date information on your local T Sum, call the farmers weekly/Kemira hotline on 0151-3575631.