26 May 2015 | Online since 2003



26 February 2013|Arable,Cereal,Crops,News

Bad weather prompts nitrogen soil fears


High levels of rainfall and the continued bad weather in the first months of 2013 have left many farmers concerned about the level of nitrogen losses that may have occurred.

Some advisers are recommending that more nitrogen be applied, as a matter of course, but with ammonium nitrate at around £300/t the cost of applying extra nitrogen cannot be ignored.

Targeting additional nitrogen applications to those fields which actually need it makes good economic sense.

Nitrogen losses will mainly come from leaching but where soils have been waterlogged or even underwater for long periods denitrification may also occur.

According to Sean Stevenson from analytical services specialists, NRM, "The exact extent of nitrogen losses through leaching and/or denitrification following heavy or sustained rainfall can be hard to quantify."

"It is the nitrate form of nitrogen that is susceptible to loss though leaching and denitrification so the extent of any loss is governed by the amount of the crop nitrogen supply that was in the nitrate form when the rainfall occurred."

Other factors also influence the extent of nitrate losses, application timing, soil characteristics the type of nitrogen fertiliser and so on.

In general leaching losses are more likely on sandy soils and denitrification more apparent on medium and fine textured soils that have poor drainage.

However the only way to be sure of how much nitrogen is in the soil is to conduct a soil mineral nitrogen test.

Stevenson explains further: "Soil Mineral Nitrogen is the nitrate-N plus ammonium-N content of the soil within the potential rooting depth of the crop."

"When estimating the total amount of N that will come from the soil – that's the Soil Nitrogen Supply (SNS) – you also need to include an estimate of the N already in the crop and an estimate of the mineralisable soil N. A test is also available from NRM to determine this mineralisable value.

"Once you have your SNS index you can use The Fertiliser Manual (RB209) to determine the correct fertiliser nitrogen recommendation."

Download




Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


7 May 2015
Steel Erector
Our Client is one of the leading wind farm civil engineering contractors in England & Ireland. Prestige Recruitment Speci...

13 May 2015
Bonativo - Warehouse Packer
Bonativo creates an online farmers' market experience, serving Londoners with local and organic products, such as fruits &amp...

6 May 2015
Co-op Worker (Deliveries)
This position mainly involves the distribution of our amazing produce (both collection from the farms and delivery to restaur...

11 May 2015
County Adviser - East Anglia Region
To make that member connection, you will have an in-depth knowledge of current farming issues and a real passion for agricult...

12 May 2015
Agriculture Associate NQ+
The main focus of the role will be on rural estates, involving agriculture, commercial and residential property work....



Top stories you may have missed
15 May 2015 | Arable

Scotland’s Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead is calling on the Europ...


15 May 2015 | Finance

As the country settles down following the turmoil of the general election, ...


14 May 2015 | Animal Health

New research from the Universities of Bristol and Cambridge has found that ...


13 May 2015 | Animal Health

A new publication to help farmers prevent sheep lameness and offer advice o...


12 May 2015 | Agri Safety

The Farmers’ Union of Wales is putting the spotlight on Liver fluke at next...


5 May 2015 | News

The UK is now third in the global rankings for utility-scale solar energy a...


29 April 2015 | Agri Safety

A recent Rural Watch demonstration and information event gave Farmers’ Unio...


24 April 2015 | Meat Processing

Retailers should confirm their commitments to sourcing UK lamb this season,...


15 April 2015 | Meat Processing

A leading retailer has apologised after selling imported lamb in a Borders ...


9 April 2015 | Finance

The time has come for landlords to expect to see reductions in farm rents, ...