Planning field fertilising is incredibly important to nutrient managing. After all, it is essential to making sure you get a good yield and high quality crop. At the same time, however, fertilising means exposing the land to various chemicals, which means you have to abide by a range of rules. Not all farms are organic, but if you do decide to avoid organic fertiliser, you have to make sure you know what you are doing and what the effects of that fertiliser actually are.
Commonly Used Fertiliser Products
There are a range of organic manures that can be used in organic farming. However, in order for the manure to be 100%, it has to be created by animals that were on a 100% organic diet. More often than not, fertilisers have to contain a range of nutrients to assist in the growth of the plants. Most of these nutrients can be found organically, but it is cheaper to opt for manufactured products.
The nutrients include:
These are usually found in lime, but they also contain some other trace elements.
Managing Your Fertiliser
There are a range of government endorsed documents out there that can help you with your fertiliser needs. The most comprehensive one is the RB209 (Defra Fertiliser Manual). This will show you how to: • Find out which fertiliser is best for your crop (type and expected yield);
• How to organise your financial returns in terms of what you grow and how that is fertilised;
• How to make sure you understand which nutrients you need and which ones are provided, so you don’t accidentally spend unnecessary money on nutrients that you have already used;
• How to make sure you comply with all environmental regulations. You also have to really get to know your plants, because different plants get their nutrients from different sources. Hence, you have to make sure you manage the nutrients for each individual crop. Some things to remember:
• Organic matter tends to provide all nutrients;
• The atmosphere deposits tend to provide sulphur and nitrogen;
• Legumes have a nitrogen fixation;
• Organic manures, including those that do not come from livestock, provide all nutrients;
• Manufactured fertilisers tend to provide all nutrients, but you have to check at which levels;
• Various materials that you add to your own land, for instance soil conditioners, can also add certain nutrients.
You have to make sure at all times that you keep track of the individual nutrients, so they never exceed the amount actually needed.