On the family farm in Gracehill, Ballymena, Stephen Crawford milks just over 200 Holstein Friesian cows on a 250 acre site.
Soil samples are taken annually from both silage and grazing ground to ascertain what nutrients are required to get the best performance from the crops.
With calving ongoing from July to December Stephen says he likes to get his soil analysis done early in the new-year, ready for the lifting of the slurry ban.
“I would always take soil samples on an annual basis to obtain knowledge of the soil fertility on my farm.
“The Thompsons’ fertiliser programme allows me to utilise slurry while keeping within the nitrate regulations.
“By only using the fertiliser that I need, I can make the most efficient use of my ground, cost effectively,” says Stephen.
Averaging 9,500 litres with a milk composition of 4.04 Butterfat and 3.22 Protein, Stephen ensures he gets the best from his forage, aiming to get his silage in before the end of May.
With 50 acres of Wholecrop wheat also grown, every acre needs to earn its money on the Crawford farm and Stephen says this has been aided by using a more structured and informed approach to fertilising ground.
“The programme has had good results in terms of yield showing that the ground is getting all the nutrients it requires for maximum growth.
“This service is very beneficial financially and from a results viewpoint, so I would definitely use it again,” concludes Stephen.
For further information on how Thompsons’ Fertiliser Programme can help you achieve the best performance from your silage and grazing ground, contact your local Thompsons’ representative or sales on: 028 9035 1321.