Spring nitrogen (N) application is essential to boost grass growth on all paddocks, Teagasc recommends.

It advises that 2,500 gallons of slurry per acre should be applied to the 20% of paddocks with the lowest herbage mass (<600kg DM/ha), immediately after the closed period for fertiliser and slurry application.

The first 10% of land area grazed in spring should also receive the same amount of slurry/acre.

Some 23 units of urea per acre should be put on the remainder of the land area and Teagasc has reminded farmers that urea remains 30% cheaper than alternatives/kg N.

Looking to early March, it recommends that a further 30% of the land area should receive 2,500 gallons of slurry per acre while the remainder of the land area should get 40 units of urea per acre.

Teagasc also advises that farmers should pay close attention to weather forecasts for fertiliser spreading.

The application of slurry or chemical N should be avoided within 48 hours of expected heavy rainfall to minimise losses and maximise benefits.

Meanwhile, if you do not have time to spread chemical N and slurry Teagasc says you should assign the task to a contractor.

Teagasc also has the following five tips when it comes to fertiliser spreading:

1.Soil testing

Know your soil fertility so you can plan your fertiliser. The cost of sampling is low relative to the cost of fertiliser.

2.Soil pH and lime

Low pH reduces fertiliser efficiency. For grassland the target pH is 6.3 and for tillage that target is 6.5.

3.Target Index 3 for P and K

Additional fertiliser should be applied to low fertility soils (those of Index 1 and 2). High fertility soils (Index 4) are a resource and can save you money.

4.Slurry and manures

Where to spread? Apply to fields with a P and K requirement.

When to spread? Apply during spring – cool and moist weather.

5.Nutrient Balance

Choose a fertiliser compound that has the correct balance of N, P, K and S.