We did not need this research to give us confidence in the principles we advocate for in terms of nitrogen fertiliser management on dairy pastures. But it is encouraging to see other research which confirms what we have been observing.
The main culprit, of nitrous oxide emissions, in agriculture is the excessive use of synthetic nitrogen fertilisers. Fortunately, that is something farmers can do something about.
How low have farmers been able to come with nitrogen fertiliser rates, while still maintaining optimal pasture growth?
I hope this case study encourages farmers who are in the process of adapting their management in order to achieve greater nitrogen fertiliser efficiency.
Nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the soil provide an opportunity for farmers to tap into the huge amounts of nitrogen which are just sitting in the atmosphere, waiting to be unlocked.
Graham’s keynote presentation, Managing N and C to maximise farm performance, truly resonated with the audience. Many of the farmers in attendance are already in transition towards sustainable farming while others are not quite there yet.
Nitrogen is the growth element. Plants need it, no doubt about that. In the first half of a plant’s growth cycle, it takes in about 80% of the total nitrogen it needs for the entire cycle.
Nitrogen is a nutrient that is crucial for the optimal growth of plants. Its role in plant health may very well be unparalleled, but what happens when it becomes excessive in the soil? Is it “the more the better”, or rather a case of “too much of a good thing”?