14 Aug 2015

Baking bread and growing grass

Ever tried to make bread?  To end up with a golden crust and chewy not doughy insides takes some skill.  But it also takes the right amount of the key ingredients – fresh yeast, warm temperature, sugar and good quality flour.  Believe it or not, it is the same principles needed to get a good response from nitrogen.  The right amounts of the key ingredients – for nitrogen this is soil moisture and soil temperature.

With technology today it is straight forward to have available on your phone in real time the data about these key ingredients from your farm.  Having good information will lead to a better decision – right?  Seems logical.  However right now all over New Zealand nitrogen is being applied to pasture in the hope of growing more grass – but should it be just hope driving the decisions?  It should be based on data.  Not just one bit of data – soil temperature.  Soil moisture is important too.

If it is too wet the grass won’t be growing – if the grass isn’t growing anyway nitrogen isn’t going to change that.  And that nitrogen will quickly be leached when the soil is too wet – which equals wasted money.

Don’t make decisions based on what you want to happen - put in place the ingredients and the practice to be sure it will happen.  That means actually knowing your soil moisture and temperature then acting.

Want to know more?  Check out our infographic on nitrogen response. http://www.nzregen.co.nz/products/regen-n-infographic/

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