Fertiliser is important for your farm and your crops in order for them to thrive but fertiliser poses threats to our wildlife and waterways. Leaching occurs when there has been too much fertiliser or the spread of fertiliser has not been actioned properly. This leaching of nutrients can result in a multitude of harm to public health and to our environment. There are many ways to ensure your farm equipment, controls the leaching of nutrients; from assessing what your crops and grass need to using slurry tankers to spread the fertiliser evenly.
Why Do You Need to Fertilise?
Fertilising is important to ensure your crop is gaining all the right nutrients. Some soils in Australia lack nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, boron, iron and sulphur. These nutrients are needed for your crop to grow and also for it to absorb said nutrients for the consumer.
What Concerns Do Fertilisers Pose?
Fertilisers can leak into the waterways and cause nutrient enrichment or eutrophication. This high level of nutrients affects sensitive water resources, which may pose threats to the environment and to public health. These threats can also include toxic algal blooms and algal decay causing low oxygen levels that harm wildlife and marine creatures. Soil acidity increases, foul odours and discolouration can also occur.
How Do We Manage Fertilising?
- Assess and select the correct fertiliser for your grass or crops. Inspecting colour, density and the growth of plants can assist with this. You can even do an analysis of the plant tissue or soil for an exact assessment. Choosing the correct fertiliser after your assessment is easily done through an agronomist or expert of a similar field. Also check the pH, phosphorus retention index and moisture of the soil.
- To ensure your crops are getting what they need, assess each stage of their growth and root development. Limit the fertiliser when there aren’t vegetation growth periods and when it isn’t necessary, ensuring your plants stay healthy and so do the waterways.
- Using animal waste and manure are preferred as these minimise leaching. The use of highly soluble, chemical fertilisers can cause slow release from the root zone of your crops and leak into the waterways easier. farm machinery sales and slurry is great for this.
- Overcome hydrophobic conditions in your soil by using wetting agents. This can improve infiltration into the soil and reduces the surface tension.
- If you know your farm is going to experience heavy rainfall, avoid using fertiliser as the nutrients are likely to leach.
- A sprinkler or trickle irrigation system such as a slurry tanker is ideal for matching your plant nutrient demand and evenly distributing your fertiliser on the crop or grass surface.
For all your fertiliser needs, Farmgard have you covered with a wide range of farm machinery including spreaders, feed mixer, Abbey parts and folding rotary hoes for sale. Contact us today to see how we can benefit you with fertilising machinery to ensure your crops stay healthy and threats to the environment stay at a minimum.