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PDA News

The PDA publishes both technical News items and shorter Blog items. PDA News provides the latest up to date information on macronutrients and their use, while blog items are shorter and timelier.

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Impact of price on nutrition decisions

In such uncertain times placing greater scrutiny on all inputs is understandable. However, farmers must be careful not to reduce inputs which are crucial but, like potash, whose benefits are not visual or directly obvious.

July 2022

Sulphur and nitrogen use efficiency

It is well understood that sulphur is an important nutrient for plant growth and development. Due to the central role of both sulphur and nitrogen in the synthesis of proteins, the supplies of these nutrients in plants are highly inter-related. A shortage in the availability of sulphur will reduce the efficiency of nitrogen use.

June 2022

Price implications for P&K applications

Cost and price rises are a frequent focus in the world right now, but especially within agriculture due to the circumstances in Ukraine and the sanctions imposed on Russia as a result. Although within arable farming, 2022 should produce reasonable returns, livestock farmers may not be so fortunate, whilst there is much greater uncertainty beyond this for all.

May 2022

Potash and sugar beet

During the last four decades, yields of clean beet and sugar in the UK have been increasing linearly, at an average annual rate of 0.8 t/ha of clean beet. In this article, we consider if the currently recommended potash application rates are adequate to support this.

March 2022

Potassium and nitrogen interactions in crops

Nitrogen has hit the headlines in the last few months, not just within agriculture, but across the mainstream media on the back of factory closures. Within agriculture the focus has clearly been on the steep price rises and the resulting impact on the economic optimum rates. These calculations are wholly justified, but as is often the case, are very singular focussed.

December 2021

The release of nutrient reserves in soil

Maintaining the fertility of agricultural soils is of paramount importance, not only for the present but also for the future. Soil analysis, and its interpretation, is an important management tool in assessing the need to apply nutrients to maintain soil fertility.

October 2021

Crop establishment

Establishment is the most critical period in any annual crops life-cycle, as it is the time when the yield potential is set. All challenges the crop faces during the season serves to reduce the final yield from this potential. Therefore, conversely, any management decisions taken from this point onwards only helps limit the reduction in this yield potential.

September 2021

Farming rules for water

More than three years after their introduction, the Farming Rules for Water hit the spotlight due to increasing concerns surrounding the interpretation of the rules by the Environment Agency. Although manures are a good source of nutrients for crops, there is increasing scrutiny on their usage as farmers are encouraged to fully account for the nutrients they supply and closer match the timing of application to the soil or crop need.

September 2021

Potash for oilseed rape

With oilseed rape prices reaching well over £500/t before bonuses, the market appears to be telling growers to plant more of the crop. But with OSR’s very high demand for potash, especially in the spring, serious consideration should be given to the major inputs for this crop.

August 2021

The situation regarding P&K balances

When looking at P&K balances in detail over the last five years, including fields where no applications were made, the overall balances are dramatically negative. Maintaining soils at the target index is the safest way to ensure these crops are able to access the required quantities at the appropriate times to optimise growth, yield and therefore financial returns.

June 2021

Maize nutrition

To produce a good crop, maize plants need to grow very rapidly once they have germinated. To achieve this, a good soil structure, adequate soil moisture and warm soil temperatures (8-12°C) are essential. Maize can easily produce 50 t/ha in a period of four months and therefore has a large demand for nutrients. Any shortage […]

April 2021

Sugar beet nutrition

Sugar beet has a large requirement for potassium, with the majority taken up during the early months of growth. For maximum sugar yield it is essential to optimise the interception of solar radiation (sunlight) to provide the energy for the conversion of carbon dioxide to sugars. This requires a rapidly expanding leaf canopy. Nitrogen drives the rapid […]

April 2021

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