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How to reduce your fertiliser costs in 2021

If you want to reduce fertiliser bills on your farm, listen to this week’s Beef Edge podcast with Teagasc specialist Mark Plunkett joining Catherine Egan for top tips and advice.

Mark advises that the starting point on every farm is to have up to date soil sample results. In 2019 , there were 7,863 samples taken on drystock farms. These results show that 18% of these soils are optimum for lime, phosphorus (P) and potassium (K).

Once samples are taken a nutrient management plan can be developed for the farm to ensure that fertiliser is applied efficiently. Certain paddocks on the farm can be targeted with lime , slurry and fertiliser as needed. Initially the pH status should be corrected to ensure that nutrients applied are utilised efficiently.

Slurry is a valuable source of P and particularly K. 1,000 gallons of slurry is equivalent to a bag of 9-5-32. Mark advises that it should be targeted to silage ground which will help build P & K as cheaply as possible and reduce fertiliser costs for the silage crop.

Based on soil samples fertiliser can be sourced by pricing around for the best value and using the correct rate and amount particularly for compound fertilisers e.g 18-6-12.

For further information: https://www.teagasc.ie/crops/soil--soil-fertility/soil-analysis/

For more episodes and information covered on the Beef Edge, visit the show page at: www.teagasc.ie/thebeefedge