Growers struggling to source nitrogen for the season ahead are being reminded about viable alternatives to traditional products when it comes to later season foliar applications.
The current availability issues and sky-rocketing prices have meant increased demand for other sources of nitrogen, such as Fielder’s Stretchur N, which has a phased release over a six-week period. This may appeal to those growers wanting to reduce reliance and expenditure on bagged and liquid nitrogen, along with the added environmental benefits that are offered by using a slow-release fertiliser.
It is used as a late season boost for cereal and oilseed rape crops before harvest, and Fielder’s Barrie Hawkin says growers should be thinking about adding Stretchur N to their crop nutrition programmes to reduce the need to buy in extra nitrogen next year.
“There’s a genuine worry with the growers I have spoken to about nitrogen this year,” says Mr Hawkin. “Several factors including product price rises, availability and the ongoing transport situation haven’t helped, and we have seen an increased demand already.”
“Stretchur N is designed to help growers reduce their nitrogen use by around 30kg per tonne, with its mix of nitrogen polymers of varying chain lengths that breakdown in a phased way.”
This arrangement makes nitrogen available to the plant for longer and means it is utilised more efficiently. There is also a potential yield boost due to the plant having a readily available source when it needs it and lowering the crop’s overall use.
As the plant can take it up over a longer timeframe, Stretchur N can bring additional environmental benefits, too. Nitrogen leaching into the soil or loss through atmospheric evaporation are both reduced, and the product’s Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE) is 90%.
Stretchur N can be applied to oilseed rape crops in early June and cereal crops at T3 application stage – both at the tail end of the growing season. Additional crops that could be targeted with a mid-season application are potatoes, fodder beet and sugar beet, while maize is slightly earlier at seven to eight leaf stage.
For more information on Stretchur N, Fielder will be exhibiting at Croptec on the 24 – 25 November 2021.