High quantity and quality pastures with increased phosphorus

The Hamilton Long Term Phosphate Experiment demonstrates the importance of soil fertility. Applying more phosphorus (P) fertiliser and running more stock per hectare could dramatically increase profitability by growing more grass (Table 1), utilising more grass and maintaining better pasture composition (Figure 1) of a higher nutritive value for longer.

Table 1. Different levels of P application and the impact on Olsen P and winter and annual pasture production. Adapted from Saul and Dark 1999

Soil test and pasture production Fertiliser application rate (kg P/ha/yr)

1

4

8

15

23

33

Olsen P- 2002 (mg/kg)

5

7

8

13

18

39

Winter pasture production (t/ha)

1.6

1.5

2.1

2.8

3.0

3.1

Annual pasture production (t/ha)

6.0

6.7

9.2

12.4

12.7

12.6

Figure 1. Different levels of phosphorus application (kg P/ha) and the impact on pasture composition. Adapted from Saul and Dark 1999.
Figure 1. Different levels of phosphorus application (kg P/ha) and the impact on pasture composition. Adapted from Saul and Dark 1999.

 

 

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