Tactical use of nitrogen

Nitrogen management

Nitrogen can be applied at many different times of the year with varying results, but it is important to understand the impact you are having on pasture growth to ensure that your response will be sufficient for the requirements of your livestock.

Response rates are affected by:

  1. Soil temperature
  2. Soil moisture
  3. Plant growth – the faster the growth, the greater the response
  4. Amount of available soil N – the more soil N, the lesser the response
  5. Application rate – diminishing responses at higher application rates

Our Nutrient Specialists are available to help you understand these factors on your farm – along with ensuring that you are getting the optimum response from your next nitrogen application.

The table provided shows the different responses to applied nitrogen, comparing pasture growth rates (slow, moderate, fast, and rapid), pasture growth (kg DM/ha/day), response rates (kg DM/kg N) and response duration (weeks).

Impact of pasture growth rate on response rates to N fertiliser (N applied at optimum rates)

Pasture growth rate table


Economics of nitrogen on hill country

Nitrogen is a cost effective way of producing high quality feed on hill country for livestock. Used wisely, it can be applied tactically to achieve significant pasture and stock growth rates at targeted times of the year.

To help you understand these economic benefits, please refer to our Nitrogen on Hill Country factsheet. As a general rule of thumb, Nitrogen will give you a 15:1 response rate on hill country during autumn and spring. Applied at 30kg N/ha, this will give you up to 315kg DM/ha at 70% utilisation of feed – which can be significant when looking at feed conversion efficiencies of your stock (see below).

Our Nutrient Specialists can help you understand these response rates and requirements for your livestock, give them a call to discuss.

Pasture growth rate table