By restoring soil nutrients in the correct ratio, the soil becomes biologically active and pasture growth is improved. This enables nutrient to be transferred to give better animal health and growth.
Nutrient Transfer focuses on gaining quality improvements in production. By restoring soil nutrients in their correct ratios the soil gains biological activity. Pasture growth and its nutrient value become improved transferring to better animal growth performances.
Benefits of Nutrient Transfer
- Better Pasture Utilisation – pasture remains palatable longer
- More Palatable Pasture – pasture produces a higher source of nutrition
- Thicker and Healthier Sward – pasture has stronger, deeper root systems
- Longer Growing Seasons – pasture is better able to cope with adverse climatic changes
- Soil Moisture Increased – soil has improved capillary action
Suspension Fertiliser allows the application of each needed nutrient no matter how small the quantity, to cover each square metre of the farm, fast and evenly.
Suspensions are used to add varied ratios of essential nutrients to ignite the biological chain.
Improved UPTAKE, Even Spread
The secret of the Suspensions is that they allow the application of essential nutrients with specific ratios, and quality coverage. The ultra fine particle size of the nutrients in suspension penetrate into the soil profile. The nutrients are readily available and now easily transfer to the plant and to animals. The improved efficiency of fertiliser particles over the farm is dramatic.
Easier adjusting of nutrient requirements
The ratios of nutrients in the suspensions are varied according to a 4 step process aimed at restoring and maintaining the nutrient transfer within soil.
The process begins with an ‘On Farm’ consultation and can continue with a comprehensive series of soil, herbage, and animal tests, and expands into a complete land management programme of targeted applications and frequent follow-up of results.
Which fertiliser nutrient?
No fertiliser product is complete. A nutrient transfer programme analyses each farm’s requirements and slots the appropriate nutrient product into the sustainable plan.The key questions that should always be asked before any type of fertiliser is applied is “What is really required?”.
UPTAKE Suspensions are used to add varied ratios of essential nutrients to ignite the biological chain.
Step 1: Complete ‘On Farm’ Consultation
An UPTAKE consultation focuses on soil related issues, fertiliser history, farm production and farm management practices.
The main factors influencing a soil are:
- Mineral (soil nutrient levels and relativity)
- Physical (soil structure, the proportion of working sites)
- Biological (soil microbe populations)
Step 2: Comprehensive soil, herbage, and animal testing
UPTAKE uses a series of comprehensive tests, designed by Eurofins Scientific of Hamilton, to identify the sustainability issues that effect production on the farm.
The results form the basis for the recommendations in the UPTAKE Nutrient Transfer programme.
Step 3: Complete land management programme
The UPTAKE Nutrient Transfer programme is developed with each farmer focusing on his production goals and the nutrient ratio requirements identified in the Eurofins Scientific soil tests.
The UPTAKE Nutrient Transfer programme places special attention on the following seven sustainability Laws.
An UPTAKE representative can explain the relevance of laws in clear detail during the recommendation process.
- Law of the Ratio
- First Law of Restitution – elements removed
- Second Law of Restitution – elements that are caused to disappear
- Law of the Minimum
- Law of the Maximum
- Law of the Priority of pasture biological quality
- Law of Systemic actions
Each nutrient product chosen and applied has a specific purpose as part of the overall sustainable management plan – determined by what the farmer wants to achieve and how the programme matches the budget capabilities of the farm.
Within the UPTAKE programme suspensions are an important and powerful tool. They are varied according to the precise nutrient requirements that have been identified.
Step 4: Follow Up
The UPTAKE representative and the farmer can meet regularly to discuss the management of the programme, it’s results and advise on any adjustments that may be required.
UPTAKE use 7 Laws as a guide to the balance of soil management.
- Law of the Ratio – Ensure the proper relations between all soil nutrients – good farming practice is about guaranteeing that each soil nutrient is kept in proper relation to every other soil nutrient so that the soil remains ‘complete’.
- First Law of Restitution – (Liebig’s Law). Always restore the nutrients removed by the farming process so as not to exhaust their soil fertility.
- Second Law of Restitution – (Voison’s Law). Always restore the nutrients that are made to ‘disappear’ through the over-application of the four most common fertiliser nutrients. (Nitrogen (N), Phosphate (P), Potassium (K), Calcium (Ca)).
Applications of too much of any one nutrient will promote the leeching of other nutrients both directly and/or indirectly. For example, consider the antagonistic effect of: Calcium (Ca), Manganese (Mn), or Potassium (K) on Boron (B), Phosphate (P) on Zinc (Zn), Nitrogen (N) on Copper (Cu).
- Law of the Minimum – (Liebig’s Law). Farm yields are proportional to the minimum amount of any single fertiliser element present, relative to pasture need.
- Law of the Maximum – (Mitscherlich’s Law). An excess of available nutrients reduces the effectiveness of other nutrients making them unavailable, which in turn lowers farm yields.
- Law of the Priority of pasture biological quality – (Voison’s Law). Fertiliser application must always strive to improve pasture biological quality, and never impair it. This rule must take priority over grass yield so as to gain the best commercial value from each and every stock unit/kg of product produced. Stock units lost through poor nutrient sufficiency must be calculated into the overall commercial value of the farm operation.
- Law of Systemic actions – Treat the farm system as a whole. A sustainable land management plan takes into account the overall systemic effects of any change so as to not upset the eco-balance.
New approach of Nutrient Transfer
Farmers who work with the seven laws of Land Management discover the benefits of how correcting imbalances in the ratio of soil nutrients can dramatically improve animal production, break through frustrating constraints, reverse spiraling input costs, and reduce nutrient run off problems.
Every farmer knows they must replace nutrients in the soil. UPTAKE helps the farmer identify issues relating to poor soil balance including hidden hunger and other soil nutrient deficiencies.
Poor Soil fertility increases pressure on the farm system and the overall farm environment. Every farmer knows that they must replace nutrients in the soil that are taken away by the farming process, or the farm system will become pressured.
UPTAKE shows the farmer how to replace nutrients in the correct ratios so as to avoid production problems that could intensify over time.
Animal production problems that begin with poor stock performance and stock condition can quickly transfer into increasing stock losses, mushrooming veterinary costs, spiralling input costs, and generally working harder to achieve the same production levels.
As the farm system is pressured, frustration can often set in, ‘Baffling’ roadblocks and loss of farm direction can result. The fundamental cause of the pressure on the farm system is often the transgressing of one or more of the seven interlocking laws of land management.
Hidden Hunger : Pressure on the farm system is often hidden.
On many New Zealand farms, animal symptoms do not point to any sign of obvious trouble. Nutrient levels are tolerable but the transfer of nutrients are not in the proportions that will ensure optimum production yields.
This is called the zone of hidden hunger.
The above diagram shows the undetectable production loss caused by nutrient imbalance, known as hidden hunger. Detecting hidden hunger is increasingly important as animal production goals rise and higher profits are sought.
In the hidden hunger zone, comprehensive testing is used to gauge nutrient needs more accurately as animal deficiency symptoms are less of a guide.Uptake’s Land Management programmes use a comprehensive series of tests to ensure that the optimum physiological needs of the animal can be met. Improving levels of animal nutrient sufficiency in this way gives stock the best possible chance to convert grass into condition. Over time this will result in an improvement to the Effective Farm Surplus (EFS / ha).
Identifying Signs of Hidden Hunger
Animals can show the following deficiency symptoms that point to possible deficiencies and imbalances in the levels of soil nutrients present.
In other cases (known as hidden hunger) animal symptoms are more often harder to see, yet the soil’s nutrient levels are still not sufficient to obtain the top profitable yield.
Visual animal health signs of soil nutrient deficiency (indicative)
- Ill thrift – Phosphate (P) Potassium (K) Copper (Cu) Cobalt (Co) Zinc (Zn) Selenium (Se) Iron (Fe)
- Parasitic infection – Copper (Cu) Cobalt (Co) Iron (Fe)
- Difficult Birth – Zinc (Zn)
- High number of miscarriages – Copper (Cu)
- Conception problems – Copper (Cu) Zinc (Zn) Selenium(Se) Iron (Fe)
- Weak on front knuckles – Manganese (Mn)
- Soft bones – Boron (B)
- Poor horn or hoof development – Copper (Cu)
- Scouring – Copper (Cu) Selenium (Se)
- Skin lesions, limping feet, eczema – Zinc (Zn)
- Watery eyes, listlessness – Cobalt (Co)
- Sudden death, skittery animals, glazed eyes – Magnesium (Mg)
- Bloat, cracked teats, mastitis – Potassium/Sodium (K)/(NA) ratio
- Grass staggers (spring) – Magnesium (Mg) Boron (B)
- Unpalatable grass – Phosphate (P)
- Large percent plantain & dandelion – Phosphate (P)
Milk Fever Calcium (Ca)
- Low milk production – Sodium (Na) Potash (K)
- Ewes eat lambs tails – Sodium (Na)
- Diarrhoea, lamb swayback – Copper (Cu)
- High percent lambs born dead – Copper (Cu)
- Pregnant Ewes collapsing – Calcium (Ca) Phosphate (P)
- Loss of wool – Selenium (Se) Sulphur (S)