Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Nutrient guide can ‘unlock full potential’ of farmland

December 23, 2019 by  
Filed under Crops

Farmers and growers can now unlock the full potential of their land by applying the exact nutrients required with the help of farm management software.

It comes after researchers converted recommendations from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board’s RB209 Nutrient Management Guide into data that can be analysed by computer for the first time.

This means a bespoke plan can be created for each field, potentially increasing yields from a large number of arable, potato and horticultural crops. The aim is to help farmers and growers decide whether to save or apply fertiliser, manures or slurry to
maximise growth.

The development could save farmers a significant amount of money – as well as benefiting the environment by ensuring optimum amounts of nutrient are applied, explained AHDB resource management senior scientist James Holmes.

Productivity

“As the population continues to grow, the need to increase the productivity of our land while protecting the environment becomes ever greater,” he said. “This tool will help support our farmers and growers to do that.”

“We’ve spent years developing our nutrient management guide, but there was a gap in the market which this new technology has helped us to fill. Growers and agronomists can now access impartial digital guidance to improve their land field-by-field and get the most from their crops.”

The development has been possible following a partnership with farm management software company Farmplan. It is now using the data in its Gatekeeper software to help farmers and growers manage cropping activities.

Peace of mind

The RB209 guide helps farmers make the most of organic materials and balance the benefits of fertiliser use against the costs – both economic and environmental. It explains the value of nutrients – and why good nutrient management is about more than purchased fertilisers.

For more details about the RB209 guide, visit www.ahdb.org.uk/RB209.

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