7 September 2001
Liquid fertiliser best – Hydro

By FARMERS WEEKLY staff

A FIFTH of the UK potato crop now has liquid fertiliser placed at planting time, says Hydro, with a claimed 9% yield advantage and environmental benefits.

“Broadcasting over-treats by 3-7% because it includes unplanted areas,” says the companys Miles Harriman.

Leaching from excess nutrient poses an environmental risk, particularly where irrigation is used, because there is no crop to hold the moisture.

Placement also avoids double-overlaps and ensures nutrients are applied evenly to the entire crop.

“Modelling shows placement gives 5% variation in nutrient spread, but broadcasting can give 10%, or up to 30% with a poor product spread badly.”

That becomes even more critical with blends, where product separation can lead to one nutrient being applied much less evenly than another.

In Hydro testing, the phosphate spread pattern from a blend proved particularly variable.

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