Grassland Management

Balanced nutrition is the key to high quality grass


Grass needs nitrogen to maximise grass growth

Nitrogen cannot grow quality grass on its own


Balanced nutrition is key to high yielding, nutritious grass

Grass needs more than nitrogen


Increases sugar content = higher palatability

Increases digestibility = higher intake

Improves mineral balances = reduced risk of staggers

Maintaining a balance between K and Na off-sets the impact of high K levels and improves the K:Mg ratio

Aim for K:Na ratio of <10:1


Key driver of growth and DM yield

Essential for aiding nutrient uptake, plant health and photosynthesis

Required in large amounts for silage (90-140kg/ha)

Excess K can reduce magnesium absorption from the rumen and affect palatability


Increases the uptake and use efficiency of N

Sulphur and nitrogen work in synergy to optimise DM yield and protein content

Optimum grass quality requires N and S in a ratio of 12:1 or less


Key driver of growth and DM yield

Key in protein formation

Required in large amounts for silage grass (80-100kg/ha)

The effect of sodium fertiliser on grazing behaviour

Independent trial data by Bangor University showed that cattle grazed for 110 minutes longer when sodium was added to the fertiliser.
Their distance walked and the amount of time spent drinking were also considerably increased.

Benefit of sulphur on grass quality and production

The benefits of sulphur on grass quantity and quality arising from the synergies between N and S are long established and well understood. Yet the British Survey of Fertiliser Practice shows that sulphur is only applied to 15% of the total grassland area.

Sodium improves mineral balances in grass

K:Na ratio ideally <10:1

Potassium to sodium ratio should be <20:1 and ideally <10:1 to minimize the risk of staggers and mineral imbalances.

Current grass samples are highlighting the K:Na ratio is >40:1, probably due to very low soil sodium levels after the winter and grass taking up potassium in response to the cold, dry weather.

An application of sodium will rapidly off-set this imbalance and restore the K:Na ratio of <20:1.

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