September 2018

Using Combo-N this Spring

Spring is well under way and the grass in many areas is growing well, but the focus now will be on keeping the pasture growing with the greatest amount of nutrients. Regardless of your farming type (sheep/beef/dairy), the facts remain that your animals have just given birth and they are under pressure, while at the same time they need to produce quality milk to feed their offspring or put milk in the vat.

The added factor is that for dairy cows in a few weeks they will be required to get back in calf.  This will require the BEST feed possible. So, which is most important – quality or quantity?  The focus in the past has been quantity with quality lagging behind in second place.

Nitrogen alone will not necessarily produce quality but, in many cases, it will produce quantity. Nitrogen will make the pasture grow, but it also lifts the protein levels in the herbage, which will already be elevated as Spring pasture is always higher than summer pasture. There are also the environmental issues to face. The big question is how to keep pasture growing at optimum levels while at the same time filling every blade of grass with all the nutrients the animal needs. This cannot be achieved by just feeding the plant with one element. A full range of nutrients is required. But how can small amounts of some elements be applied accurately and without wastage or leaching?

The second round of grazing for dairy cows is critical. But it also depends on what has happened in the first round. Was it grazed too heavily or too light, and was it pugged due to adverse weather conditions?             

To us it makes sense to apply all nutrients during the usual high rainfall period as a foliar application. By using this method all nutrients are introduced to the plant where it is needed – in the leaf and into the plant. Foliar feeding Nitrogen also takes away a lot of the Spring leaching problems saving on the cost of fertilisers, while demonstrating to the wider community that care is being taken about how applications are being made.

Fertilizer New Zealand has a COMBO-N product that has two forms of Nitrogen in a concentrated form to which we add the product of your choice; either ACTAVIZE, VERTESEA, or HUMATES.   

Our point of difference is that by applying a range of essential nutrients immediately into the plant, the stock will have a daily supply of the essential nutrients as they graze the pasture. Quality pasture will provide a balance of nutrients into the diet of the stock grazing it. This brings us back to the point we made at the beginning. Farmers need both quality and quantity pasture.

Quality is what gets you to peak milk.  If you don’t have quality pasture, the opportunity is missed.

Quality is what gets you heavier lambs faster. If you don’t have quality pasture, the opportunity is missed.

Why not be proactive and get the quality grass growth you need for the second round and avoid the pinch if the weather turns against you.

While mating is also fast approaching, having the added nutrients (Actavize/VerteSea) is beneficial to aid with fertility and cycling cows.

From the Team at Fertilizer New Zealand