Nutrient plans offer opportunity

NEW LEGISLATION related to crop nutrition practices should be seen as a potential profitability benefit and not just more red tape, according to Masstock‘s David Langton.

Mr Langton highlighted some of the regulations already facing farmers, including:

  • The Code of Good Agricultural Practice (Water)

  • Farm Assurance Schemes

  • Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) – cropping and nutrient application records required

  • Cross Compliance – growers must use sewage sludge in relation to nutrient needs

  • Entry Level Scheme – points may be available for having Nutrient and Manure Management Plans.

“All of these pieces of legislation point to the need to prepare a whole farm Nutrient Management Plan and Farm Fertiliser Plan,” he said.

The Farm Fertiliser Plan takes into account soil type, nutrient status, cropping history and yield expectation, Mr Langton explained.

It can then be used to improve efficiency, achieve optimum yield and save money on fertiliser application, he said.

“The Farm Fertiliser Plan is part of the Nutrient Management Plan, completion of which is likely to earn points under the Entry Level Scheme.

“Completing the plan‘s 30 questions will require some work, but the points to be gained are easy points.”

Farmers should start working on their nutrient plans now, rather than leaving it all to the last minute, he added.