15 May 1998

Watch out for deficiencies

A FALL in grass growth after an initial increase when weather improves may be due to nutrient leaching this spring.

"This is classic sulphur leaching weather," says BGS grazing adviser Paul Bird. He warns that sulphur, nitrogen or potash deficiencies can cause a slump in grass growth. When there is little response to nitrogen fertiliser, lack of sulphur may be the cause.

Phosphate applications, even at soil indexes of two, may also be worthwhile to increase grass growth from September to December, so helping to extend the grazing season.

Nitrogen fertiliser use should relate to stocking rate to grow the grass needed. Grazing grass should have as much nitrogen as that for silage, but its use can be more strategic to manipulate grass supply. &#42