There has been a lot of discussion and debate around the coronavirus recently. While it is important to have these discussions, it is also important to remember that we also need to eat; it matters not if you are dining out or eating at home. Regardless of your preferred diet, everyone needs our farmers to keep on producing good healthy food so we can eat three times a day. We expect food to be available for breakfast, lunch and dinner despite droughts, floods or COVID-19. It is thanks to the men and women on the land that food is always in plentiful supply.
A key ingredient needed by farmers to produce healthy stock and crops is Phosphate. Traditionally this has been provided by Superphosphate. There is no doubt that this product has lifted production over the last 100 years but now the time has come to consider other options. Many people believe a change is long overdue.
Imagine if there was a product that had a liming effect on the soil as well as providing phosphate, and the product would not be soluble in water and be free of acid. Imagine the benefits to our farmers if we could test for not just the Olsen P (that’s the available P) in the soil, but also the reserves that remain available. The question would then be a far more relevant one which is, “how much total phosphate is present in the soil”? And just as importantly, can this reserve of phosphate be used and how is the soils biological phosphate cycle going? These are all very important questions that very few people have been asking these last hundred years.
Fertilizer New Zealand has examined these questions and as a result, they have available a phosphate product that will aid the phosphate cycle or, put another way, will recycle the phosphate in the soil. We would advise farmers to switch to our eco-friendly phosphate product P365 which provides our farmers with a wide range of benefits including a neutral pH of 7. It is not water-soluble and it is a timed-release phosphate which means it is not all available at once. Plants do not need all the applied phosphate and nutrients on the first day. They need to be fed continuously over their lifespan or, in the case of pasture, through one season.
An essential part of this process is to know what is in your soil and how much phosphate is already present. To do this we should have a thorough stocktake by means of scientific testing which we do for our customers, but this has not been common practice in the industry. Having done this, we can then look at how the soil can recycle the available phosphate by using P365.
To find out more about our P365 product and how the phosphate cycle can work for your benefit, phone one of our Company representatives and arrange a visit.
– John Barnes, Managing Director