Future Ready Dairy Systems

Dairy Australia


Getting Fertiliser Management Right

Objectives of the Event

Getting Fertiliser Management RightGetting the right balance between input costs, production returns and environmental outcomes is a balancing act.  Case study of how John and Wendy Wilson “Beaufield” have approached their fertiliser management, plus discussion on:

  • Determining maintenance fertiliser applications based on production and feed inputs  (Basil Doonan, Macquarie Franklin)
  • Soil fertility targets and capital applications (Bill Cotching, Senior Research Fellow, TIA)
  • The strategic use of nitrogen to achieve economic responses and the efficacy of new N fertilisers (Richard Rawnsley, Acting Dairy Centre Leader, TIA)

Key Messages

Soil testing and nutrient budgeting can save thousands of dollars in fertiliser costs.  There is now good information on soil fertility and guidelines for dairy pastures.  Budgeting nutrient inputs can save money, reduce environmental impacts on water quality and soil health, help manage animal health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Reflections on the Event

This FRDS field day was an excellent ‘heads up’ on one of the big upcoming issues in dairy NRM – sustainable nutrient management is becoming a very important issue in all farming systems, particularly relatively high input systems like dairying.

Quotes and Feedback from Attendees

What action will you take as a result of information you’ve learned today?  Some of the practical tips that farmers picked up on the day included:              

“Fert program reassessment”

“Grazing rotations = available dry matter & when to fertilise”

“Nutrimatch budget”

“Cut back N”