11 February 2000

Time to apply N on grassland

Kemira T-sum 200 has arrived for south-west England and most coastal regions.

By the end of the week, the whole of southern England, Midlands, northern England, central and coastal Scotland and Northern Ireland will be at T-sum 200. This means that where ground conditions allow, the time has come to apply nitrogen fertilisers to grassland in order to get the most efficient use of nitrogen for grass growth.

Ground conditions will play a major part this year in the ability of grassland farmers to apply nitrogen fertilisers at, or close to, T-sum 200. T-sum 200 has been reached one to two weeks early compared with the 11-year average in all areas except southern England, where it has arrived on schedule.

Mild and wet conditions that have produced this early year for most regions have also inhibited firming of ground conditions to allow fertiliser application. Be careful and only go on to fields when ground conditions allow. There is normally a two- to three-week period of grace after the arrival of T-sum 200, when fertiliser nitrogen applications will attain more than 90% efficiency of use compared with applications at T-sum 200 itself.

The progress of T-sum 200 can be monitored on farmers weekly interactive under the weather section (www.fwi.co.uk).