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How CF N-Min can improve your crop profitability and carbon footprint

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With significant investment in fertiliser R&D, CF Fertilisers is a company focused on delivering the highest levels of cost-effectiveness and performance on-farm whilst meeting the increasingly demanding environmental needs of growers.

The company’s latest Nitrogen fertiliser Use Efficiency (NfUE) trials are a great example of this thinking in action.

* 50 UK growers representing 20,000ha trialled

* Fertiliser savings up to £180/ha seen

* Average carbon footprint reductions of nearly 70kg/ha CO2

New trials have shown growers using CF Fertiliser’s patented soil Nitrogen testing service N-Min saving up to £180/ha on their fertiliser costs and reducing their carbon footprint by nearly 70kg/ha CO2.

Out of 50 farm businesses in the trials, nearly three quarters were able to improve their farm profitability using CF N-Min with significant environmental advantages seen too, says CF Fertilisers’ head of agronomy Dr. Sajjad Awan.

“Using the precise amount of N required to achieve your yield ambitions without putting on any more than you need is good for your crops, the economics of your production and the carbon footprint of your farming enterprise.

“It’s one of the most important decisions you can make in transitioning your business to more sustainable production.

“Working out exactly how much Nitrogen to apply requires accurate assessment of what your soil can provide through the growing season and CF’s patented soil Nitrogen testing service N-Min is unequivocally the best way to do this.

“What makes the CF N-Min test so different is that it accurately measures both Soil Mineral Nitrogen (SMN) and Additional Available Nitrogen (AAN) – no other test does that – and this gives the best indication of total N available to your crop throughout the season.”

Spreading fertiliser on field

© CF Fertilisers

N-Min has significantly higher levels of accuracy than other tests

The latest trials, carried out in partnership with Frontier and Agrii representing more than 20,000ha of UK arable land, showed N-Min accurately predicted precise soil N reserves in nearly 80% of cases, Sajjad Awan explains.

“This compared to 45% with SMN alone and just 33% when the RB209 Field Assessment method was used.

“N-Min was 100% accurate nearly 80% of the time and significantly more precise than either SMN or RB209 estimates in all cases.

“Bearing in mind N-Min is a field-based test with many variables in play, this is an astonishing level of accuracy and one growers can have real confidence in.”

Comparison of N soil test accuracy

  CF N-Min SMN RB209 Assessment
Test accuracy 80% 45% 33%
Source: CF, Agrii and Frontier field trials 2021

Crops grown with N-Min as the base and using CF N-Calc to establish N fertiliser applications required, also went on to produce higher margins, he explains.

“The average margin gain was £40/ha but in some cases growers were seeing gains of £150 – £200/ha and this was in addition to an average reduction in carbon footprint of 68kg/ha C02.

Optimum Nitrogen use is not only good for the environment but saves money as well:

Nitrogen use graph

“These results are consistent with five years of field trials where improvements in margin over purchased fertiliser (MOPF) have reached as high as £300/ha.”

Further information on N-Min including how to book tests can be obtained from: