How do I make more of my fertiliser?- Part 4 - Future Ideas

With fertiliser prices continuing to rise daily, it has begun to sharpen the mind of many as how to make the best use of the fertiliser available to you.

The suggestions below are some ideas and products that you could be considering to save Nitrogen use in the future to benefit your pocket as well as the environment.

Sow Diverse Swards
The benefits of herbal leys or diverse swards include:

  • Being deeper rooted, so more drought tolerant, break soil compaction.
  • 7-10 different seeds in mix with the diversity ensuring similar DM yields to grass only swards with little N.
  • Fix carbon in soil resulting in more efficient Nutrient use. These swards contain quite a bit of red and white clover and thus fixes N in the soil.
  • May get Stewardship payments on these swards in certain situations.

Fix the Nitrogen in your slurry/FYM:
We’ve all heard about these products and do, or don’t they work?  The story I always heard is if you add your parlour washings to your slurry pit they don’t!  After some research I’ve found one that will work with parlour washings, will work at low temperatures and I have been offered some free samples for a couple of farms to try.  So, watch this space I’ll hopefully be telling you more about this in future.

Develop a reduced/nitrogen free grass growing programme:
Some initial work at developing a reduced nitrogen grass growing programme is showing positive results. It requires supplementing with other nutrients to make the nitrogen use more efficient, and then next step using legumes is to make this artificial nitrogen free!

I have been approached to find some farms willing to be involved in a continuation/expansion of this trial. If you are interested in this then please let me.

If you operate as a limited company you may be eligible for tax credits when trialling or investigating new management practices, systems or products. Speak to your accountant.

For more information to look at reducing N use without reducing output, then please call FAR registered Dairy Nutritionist & CowSignals® Master Andrew Jones on 07717 44288 or email