Sodium has been really useful as an integral element of all grassland (grazing and silage) fertiliser programmes.
The advantages of the nutrient in bettering palatability and mineral balances are related always of the season.
In keeping with Origin Fertilisers, the inclusion of sodium is especially related during times of sizzling, dry climate.
It needs to be included as a part of a tailor-made nutrient administration plan to alleviate warmth stress on grass and livestock.
Driving this strategy is the truth that grass with entry to good ranges of sodium can face up to prolonged intervals with out rainfall.
Use of sodium
Grass makes use of salts comparable to potassium and sodium to manage the motion of water and sugars.
The supply and stability of those salts is especially vital in dry situations. If the ratio of potassium to sodium is excessive, there may be an elevated threat of hypomagnesaemia (grass staggers).
Nevertheless, making use of sodium in grassland fertiliser helps optimise the important thing potassium to sodium ratio.
In flip, this reduces the danger of staggers. Peter Scott, technical director at Origin Fertilisers, says sodium is a crucial nutrient to stop crops changing into pressured.
“A higher proportion of sodium taken up by the crop will enhance digestibility and enhance sugar content material, making grass extra palatable to livestock, even because it begins to turn into fibrous,” he stated.
“Sodium encourages a higher proportion of stay herbage, which is able to assist livestock enhance dry matter consumption and get extra from grass.”
As well as, the place grass is being supplemented with concentrated feed, sodium can
assist scale back the danger of acidosis by serving to to buffer the pH within the rumen.
It additionally reduces the danger of pica which has been highlighted as a typical signal of sodium deficiency.
Fertiliser purposes of sodium can proceed even in drought situations. Peter Scott recommends farmers ought to get the recommendation they want when utilizing sodium.
This can be certain that nutrient efficiency is maximised from the applying charges that farmers are utilizing.
“Even in soils with a moisture deficit, a heavy in a single day dew can deposit as much as 0.5mm moisture,” he defined.
“This has been confirmed to be adequate to start out dissolving fertiliser. The place grass is visibly inexperienced, and there have been indicators of progress, it’s also doable to use small quantities of fertiliser and see a response.”
As a information, sodium needs to be utilized at 5-6kg/ha to assist alleviate stress in each grass and livestock.
So may sodium turn into the brand new sulphur? 20 years in the past, sulphur was deemed to not be required as a element – in any respect – inside grassland fertiliser programmes.
Now the nutrient is extensively thought to be a key contributor of progress and forage high quality, significantly inside silage eventualities.