At this stage the whole farm has been covered with slurry, anything from 1,500-2,500 gallons per acre, and it has performed well.

You can definitely see any bits that were missed anyway. I eventually figured out how much phosphorus (P) I’m allowed to apply, I think, and have a rough fertiliser plan in my head.

I’ve started off with spreading the entire farm, except the red clover fields, with 40% protected urea plus sulphur. As the weather has been so bad, I’ve decided to proceed with caution, so the first application was only half a bag or 20 units per acre on the grazing ground and a bag or 40 units on the silage ground.

The intention being to go back with the same as soon as I think the weather makes sense, which hopefully judging by the forecast will be sometime this week. It’ll be the first time I’ve ever grown a crop of silage with only urea and slurry, so I’m a little nervous about depleting my P and potassium (K). But I will be allowed to apply some 18.6.12 which I intend to do after first cut.

Clover swards

I’ve also decided to apply some 10.10.20 to my red clover swards, there is a nice cover of grass on both fields and they appear to be performing well.

I hope to be able to cut them sometime in the first half of May. I’m still not sure if I should be applying chemical nitrogen or not, or should I just let the clover do its thing and see what it’s capable of on its own.

I did apply two bags of 10.10.20 per acre to last year’s first cut as well, but the second and third cut received no chemical nitrogen whatsoever.

The first red clover field was sown in 2022, the clover really took off last year, unfortunately to the slight detriment of the grass. The clover smothered the grass in places and left it a little patchy. So, applying nitrogen on this field should knock the clover back a little and push on the grass.

The second field was sown last August and to date has been only grazed by lambs and never been cut. It received slurry early on and is performing very well. But the opposite appears to be true in this situation.

You have to go looking for the clover. It is definitely there, but not in huge abundance at the minute, which is normal enough. So, I was worried that when the driving force of the slurry ran out, that there wouldn’t be enough clover present to maintain a decent growth rate, so again I decided to apply some 10.10.20. Clover likes good phosphorus and potassium indices, which is a really import thing to consider when working out the allowance for the farm.