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First cut silage fertiliser

First cut silage fertiliser

We need to consider the compounds we are using on our silage grounds.

Overall Soil chemical health is poor, with only 20% of our soil’s optimum for pH, P and K.

These soils waste 30% more of the apply chemical N than soils in good health.

We need a fertiliser strategy (chemical fertiliser + slurry) that meets the requirements of the crop.

Every kg DM of silage removes 3.5kgs of P and 25kgs of K.

If this is not returned within the fertiliser (chemical fertiliser + slurry) then soil indexes fall.

The average 1st cut yield as recorded through the greengrow soil health program is 6kg DM/ha.

The average 1st cut needs 21kg/ha of P and 150kg/ha of K or 17 units of P and 120 units of K.

(K applications should be limited to a maximum of 90 kg K/ha or 70units per acre, luxury amounts of K may be taken up by grass where more than that are applied.

Where more than 90 kg/ha is advised, it should be applied in the autumn/winter months ie every field of silage that doesn’t get slurry needs to get MOP at the backend of the year.)


Silage Yield P requirements K requirements
kg DM kg Fresh kg/ha units/ac kg/ha units/ac
5 20 18 14 125 100
6 24 21 17 150 120
7 28 25 20 175 140


The fertiliser product we use needs to supply N, P, K and S in balance.

Where no slurry is spread to date or will not be spread we need to move away from using 4 bags of products like 21-2.2-10.

This will meet the N needs of the crop but falls very far short of the P and K needs, supplying only 9 and 40 units.

Our newly formulated Protected Urea based Target Max 18-4-14+S at 5 bags to the acre will meet the N, P and S requirements of the crop while maximising the safe level of K to apply.

This product qualifies for the grassroots bonus.

These levels account for crop off take and do not account for index build ups where indexes are low.


Consult your Dairygold Area Sales Manager today for more information.