With the possibility of maize drilling being delayed this year due to the cooler weather still present across much of the country, liquid phosphate placement fertilisers will be a crucial part of nutrition programmes to get crops off to a good start, says Agro-vital technical manager Carl Gibbard.
“Over the past few weeks, conditions have been less than ideal for maize drilling as soils have been incredibly dry and the nights have been cold so growers will be considering how they can give their crops a boost after a tricky start,” he says.
Carl explains setting up the seedbed with a sufficient supply of phosphate that is applied directly to the seed at drilling will help get plants away quickly for healthy plant development.
“Phosphate is a crucial nutrient, supplying energy for root development and a significant shortage of phosphate early on can negatively impact the uptake of other vital nutrients such as nitrogen.
“The application of a liquid fertilisers, such as P-Focus, at drilling, will deliver a boost of phosphate to maize crops early on, helping the crops to become robust.
“In addition, liquid fertilisers tend to be more environmentally friendly than granular phosphate fertilisers as they are not prone to run-off as a result of soil erosion and are used in only a fraction of the amount of immobile, granular phosphate.” he adds.
It has been seen in trials that farmers can use one fifth of the amount of granular phosphate used to treat a hectare of maize if they use a liquid placement fertiliser. Such products therefore present positive opportunities to those farmers seeking ways to reduce inputs.
“This season, liquid placement fertilisers will help maize crops to establish and get away well which will be incredibly important to achieve desired yields if weather conditions continue to challenge both growers and crops,” he concludes.