Variable results for precision N system

WHEAT GROWERS could save an average of £21/ha on gross margins by using variable rate nitrogen applications, according to the first year’s results of SOYL’s SOYLsense fertiliser service.

While some users said there was no gross margin benefit, others reported savings of up to £36/ha, the firm claimed.

“The main benefit has come from yield,” said SOYL’s technical manager, Simon Griffin. “It seems that reducing canopy over development on high growth areas has resulted in lower biomass and higher yields.”

Last year, 3,000ha were covered by the service and the company hopes to expand this to 15,000ha for 2006.

It has launched a new website which allows users to view and download satellite images, nitrogen application maps and spreading files.

Comparison maps are another new feature, adds Mr Griffin. “This allows a field to be compared with the average Leaf Area Index of all other fields of the same variety and seeding date within a 50km radius.”

Mr Griffin acknowledges that cloud cover still poses problems and can prevent satellite images being taken. But out of 9,000ha of images last season, 90% were delivered, he said.

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