28 February 1997

Warmer air hastens spreading

Rain and winds have delayed spreading but brought much warmer temperatures and most of the T-sum map is now green indicating that T-sum 200 has either arrived or is forecast to arrive by today.

The message is, therefore, to spread fertiliser on grass without delay in the green areas, as soon as ground conditions permit. For those who do not need early grass, perhaps because of poaching problems or planned later cuts, the arrival of T-sum brings the confidence that fertiliser whenever applied from now on will be used efficiently.

T-sum has been late this year, as much as three weeks later than average in the traditionally early areas.

But with the recent warmer weather later areas have caught up a little and some are only a few days late.

Despite the lateness there is still enough time for grass to use nitrogen for first cut silage taken in early May, so reductions from the standard rate of 120kg/ha (100 units/acre) will not be necessary for timing reasons. But dont forget to take account of nitrogen supplied by slurry or previous crops.

For up to date information on your local T-sum, as usual call the FARMERS WEEKLY/Kemira hotline on 0151-3575631, which will be available throughout the spring.