In November 2018, plant nutrition consultant Rob Norton presented growers and advisors with yet another insightful review of the 2018 cropping season, and how it may impact crop nutrition in 2019.
Rob’s webinar focussed on the more strategic nutrient management decisions. These are longer-term objectives (3-5 years), planned at the start of the season with little opportunity for deviation.
Crop nutrition decisions for 2019 need to be made on a paddock by paddock basis, with soil tests an essential first step. Rob stressed the importance of taking representative samples (not just in the rows) and sampling to the correct depth.
Rob’s webinar discussion also included:
– dry sowing and fertiliser damage;
– N timing and placement to minimise losses;
– likely N status for 2019 for various hay/crop yields and scenarios;
– nutrient removal for various crops by hay/grain;
– the tools available to get nutrient budgets as accurate as possible, and
– considerations for P – how much is really needed?
Rob also gave advice to help navigate the maze of ‘emerging fertilisers’ coming onto the market. He reiterated the need to seek scientific evidence of a product’s worth, based on standardised trials.
Some of the take-home messages from Rob’s webinar were:
– Soil tests are essential, especially for N and P, using good sampling methods.
– N is likely to be variable – use N ‘fudgets’ as a starting point.
– Fixed N from failed legume crops may be a bonus.
– It may be possible to reduce P, especially after failed/ poor crops.
– For best response, apply P at sowing, banded near the seed row.
The full webinar can be viewed at Rob Norton’s 2018 review webinar