THE LACKLUSTRE fertiliser season is plodding on with only sporadic activity in the grassland sector.
Farmers continue to buy as and when needed and consequently the sales pattern is strongly dependent upon the weather.
The use of alternative sources of nutrients has also increased this season, with many trying organic and industrial wastes on grassland.
Perceived as cheaper, the effect of these is almost certainly in proportion to the advice given and understanding of their use.
Some undoubtedly have a positive effect in terms of nutrients supplied and soil conditioning, but others currently cause concern, particularly when the N:S ratio of the product is low.
Sulphur is most definitely a needed nutrient, but not in over-large doses!
“Scrubber liquors can be cost effective fertilisers when used sparingly,” says independent north-western agronomist Paul Sweeney, “but caution is the watchword.”
The current market pattern has lead to wide variations in pricing of bagged fertiliser at the farm gate.
Today‘s mainline retail price is unchanged, but when some products are supplied from merchants‘ stock and others ex-works, variations are bound to occur.
Small loads also mean double handling with fertiliser moving in and out of store.
Logistics account for a major component of price and split loads can easily add £10 or even more to the price.
Just-in–time pressures have already led to late deliveries of smaller loads , with grassland farmers annoyed at missing their intended fertilising window in catchy weather.
CURRENT PRICES (£/t)
Domestic N (34.5%N) SP5
Imported AN Lithuanian
£140 where available
Muriate of Potash(60%K2O)
20.10.10 / 27.5.5
|Copper, zinc, selenium,|
cobalt Iodine and sodium
|£200 (existing stocks only)||€270-280|
(dependant on source and quality)
†Note in the Republic of Ireland nutrients are expressed as elements not oxides. Analyses will not be directly comparable with those used in the UK.
*Known as 24.2½.10 blend in the Republic of Ireland
**Known as 27.2½.5 in ROI
Note All illustrated prices are based upon 24 tonne loads for immediate payment. Prices for smaller loads and those with credit terms will vary considerably.