No need to add early nitrogen

31 January 1997

No need to add early nitrogen

FERTILISER spreaders should remain where they are – in the shed. Soil nitrogen supplies are at their highest since ADAS records began in 1989, so there is no need for early nitrogen dressings, says the advisory service.

Last autumns figure of 91kg/ha after cereals means March will be a suitable start date for top dressing this years cereals, says ADASs Brian Chambers. About 40kg/ha (32 units/acre) should be sufficient. For oilseed rape, a third to a half of the total planned N should be applied in late February.

Soil N levels after oilseed rape and pulses are about 20kg/ha higher than for cereals. Later N applications should be trimmed by that amount, but early ones should remain as for after cereals, says Dr Chambers.

Even on the lighter loams and sands, where soil N is about 80kg/ha lower, there is no pressing need to feed crops, despite some yellowing.

Further samples will be taken in mid-February. But figures are expected to remain high. &#42

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