Plan now for good grass growth in 98

17 October 1997

Plan now for good grass growth in 98

NOW is the time to test soil phosphate and potash and plan fertiliser and slurry applications to secure optimum grass growth next year.

Providing no phosphate or potash has been applied in the past three months, now is a good time to sample soils, says ADAS Gleadthorpe soil scientist Brian Chambers. Then sort out the best phosphate and potash policy based on the results. Low indexes are most likely on cut swards, he adds.

When phosphate is 0 or 1 it can be applied in spring, but for low index potash soils apply some in autumn/winter and more in spring. Maximum application for one dressing is 100kg/ha (80 units/acre). At index 0, Dr Chambers recommends applying 100kg/ha (80 units/acre) in winter and 40kg/ha (32 units/acre) in spring, to minimise luxury uptake.

"Above index two only maintenance dressings are needed and these can be applied any time between now and spring," he says.

"Slurry can provide enough potash for first-cut silage. Analyse a slurry sample before spreading to work out the fertiliser value, then spread from now until spring."

But avoid smothering the crop with it or causing run-off." Mr Chambers also suggests that for best use of the nitrogen in slurry it should be applied as close to spring as possible.

See more