Trace elements/snake oil/biologics/N Inhibitors etc etc

Secret Agronomist

Member
Arable Farmer
It's that time of year again, soon be time to start splashing about miniscule amounts of trace elements in the hope of hitting top yields.
Over the last few years I've moved to using Combitop (Mn,S,Mg,Zn) on all the cereals, usually using 5kg/Ha in each pass which costs about £10-£13/ha depending on how many passes I'm doing. I also apply Cu as required but the levels of that are starting to rise a bit after doing it for a few years.
Traditionally I would have done 2 doses of DF manganese and left it at that (approx £4/ha) so am I gaining anything from the extra £6 or so?
This is on light soils that are usually moisture deficient after 2 dry weeks, we grow a lot of potatoes and carrots so are still plough based but we use as much cover crop as we can to try and boost OM matter.
Is there any evidence of muck and mystery products helping rooting? I use seaweed on the root crops as a standard but haven't tried any on cereals as it is expensive, I really need to do a split field trial on this I think.
I also used a good amount of Didin last year and applied a lot of the N in one dose but the results are bit inconclusive on that, it certainly got a lot of work out of the way early but in one or two situations it may have cost yield. I'm also thinking of trying some strips with one or two other products this year to see how they go.
So what else are people using?
 

ajd132

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Suffolk
I use mn and mg to try and balance our nutrition, allow better N use efficiently, we are also upping our sulphur. This is all to reduce the total N we use.
I think there is a huge amount in micro nutrition but it is fairly pointless if just on top of slugging huge amounts of N on. Need to think about it differently.
I have also been playing with a product called crop rooter plus which has been very handy in some independent trials. It’s also ludicrously cheap compared to the other biostims available. The whole program will cost me about £8/ha.
i think some of these things may have a use but I’m not convinced agronomic Mindsets have caught up.
 

teslacoils

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
Must be doing something right to get 9t of wheat off light droughty land from 180kg. What variety and protein as 20kgN per ton is excellent nitrogen efficiency unless the roots are leaving a huge residue.

I've seen some good data for rooting and phosphite, but as usual the "best" data re margin often comes from those selling it.
 

Secret Agronomist

Member
Arable Farmer
That is the goal, in reality in a dry year yields can vary from 7.5 to 11, up to now I've been anywhere from 190 to 200kg N and the ratio is anywhere from 18 to 28, protein 10.4%. Rye you can do it on 17kgN/t which gives 8% Protein.
The fields that give the lowest yields are obvious but if you get the rain fall may/june/july they can yield pretty well as well. I need to be more truthful with myself and spend for a reasonable yield in that field which might mean tweaking things by 10 to 20kg/ha. There is also a lot of carrot straw in the ground and we spread as much chicken litter as we can get so we are trying to start building a bit of base fertility. We did manage to average 9.33t in 2010 but there was a lot of the wheat after peas, drilled early with 5t/ha chicken litter on it and it was a perfect growing season.
We mostly grow Istabraq and Skyscraper.
Edit, most importantly we didn't have any potatoes in 2009 season so all wheat was after peas. rape or oats. Had 250 of ex potato ground ever year since then!
 
Last edited:
Is there any evidence of muck and mystery products helping rooting? I use seaweed on the root crops as a standard but haven't tried any on cereals as it is expensive, I really need to do a split field trial on this I think.

Did you notice a measurable difference on your root crop yields when you moved to seaweed? What were you using before?

I work with a seaweed farm that is primarily growing as a consumable food right now, but we're looking to trial fertiliser or soil enrichment for upcoming harvests.
 

Secret Agronomist

Member
Arable Farmer
Did you notice a measurable difference on your root crop yields when you moved to seaweed? What were you using before?

I work with a seaweed farm that is primarily growing as a consumable food right now, but we're looking to trial fertiliser or soil enrichment for upcoming harvests.
Hard to say as there are a number of changes we've made. All I can say is growing the same variety of carrots as before but getting more yield! But we have tweaked a few other things as I said.
 

Flat 10

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Fen Edge
It's that time of year again, soon be time to start splashing about miniscule amounts of trace elements in the hope of hitting top yields.
Over the last few years I've moved to using Combitop (Mn,S,Mg,Zn) on all the cereals, usually using 5kg/Ha in each pass which costs about £10-£13/ha depending on how many passes I'm doing. I also apply Cu as required but the levels of that are starting to rise a bit after doing it for a few years.
Traditionally I would have done 2 doses of DF manganese and left it at that (approx £4/ha) so am I gaining anything from the extra £6 or so?
This is on light soils that are usually moisture deficient after 2 dry weeks, we grow a lot of potatoes and carrots so are still plough based but we use as much cover crop as we can to try and boost OM matter.
Is there any evidence of muck and mystery products helping rooting? I use seaweed on the root crops as a standard but haven't tried any on cereals as it is expensive, I really need to do a split field trial on this I think.
I also used a good amount of Didin last year and applied a lot of the N in one dose but the results are bit inconclusive on that, it certainly got a lot of work out of the way early but in one or two situations it may have cost yield. I'm also thinking of trying some strips with one or two other products this year to see how they go.
So what else are people using?
I haven’t worked it out but would your combi top supply enough Mn? I use liquid Mn in spring but switch to epsotop at t2/3, which I feel helps as our soils are very calcerous. I have started using a little copper in the spring on all cereals. Very wary of any muck and mystery products following on farm unscientific trials, Niab tag data and discussions on here. Interestingly we too grow istabraq and skyscraper and target similar yields from similar N applications.
 

robbie

Member
BASIS
5 kg combi top only delivers about the same MN as 1.6 lt of liquid which for me wouldn't be anywhere near enough.

I'd be 2.5 Lt of 15% MN minimum every pass up to T1, this year I've gone with 5kg of 32%powder and 3lt 15% liquid in with the autumn herb and I must say it's really held the crops very well over winter.

I use copper and zinc because of tissue analysis but I am now seeing higher cu levels so for this year I've given everything 0.25lt in the autumn and I'll leave it at that but will get some samples analysed to be sure, I also used 0.25 Lt of zn in the autumn and will add the same again at t0 and T1 as I feel that's the last missing link. Everything will get 5kg of epsotop with T1,2,3 mg index is 1 and 2.

All sulphur is supplied by polysulphate, I've increased to 60 kg so3 and have seen improvement. The polysulphate also suppliers usefull amounts of mg, a bit of Ca and some k2o which I feel can help young plants, my k2o index is 2/2+ but the fresh applied potash near the plant just gives it kick.
P index is sky high which is partly the cause for needing a lot of foliar nutrition but I also have ph from 7.5- 8.8.

Keep all the elements straights and mix your self is a relatively cheap excersise but ready formulated products and it will very soon get expensive.
 

Flat 10

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Fen Edge
5 kg combi top only delivers about the same MN as 1.6 lt of liquid which for me wouldn't be anywhere near enough.

I'd be 2.5 Lt of 15% MN minimum every pass up to T1, this year I've gone with 5kg of 32%powder and 3lt 15% liquid in with the autumn herb and I must say it's really held the crops very well over winter.

I use copper and zinc because of tissue analysis but I am now seeing higher cu levels so for this year I've given everything 0.25lt in the autumn and I'll leave it at that but will get some samples analysed to be sure, I also used 0.25 Lt of zn in the autumn and will add the same again at t0 and T1 as I feel that's the last missing link. Everything will get 5kg of epsotop with T1,2,3 mg index is 1 and 2.

All sulphur is supplied by polysulphate, I've increased to 60 kg so3 and have seen improvement. The polysulphate also suppliers usefull amounts of mg, a bit of Ca and some k2o which I feel can help young plants, my k2o index is 2/2+ but the fresh applied potash near the plant just gives it kick.
P index is sky high which is partly the cause for needing a lot of foliar nutrition but I also have ph from 7.5- 8.8.

Keep all the elements straights and mix your self is a relatively cheap excersise but ready formulated products and it will very soon get expensive.
I like that you get on well with polysulphate, always wanted to try it but got put off it by someone in the fert trade (who did sell it)....
 

robbie

Member
BASIS
I've used it now since about the first year it was marketed, a fert expert suggested it because of the slow steady release of so3 and the extra bits and bobs.

I use muck so don't need applications of mop but as mentioned it give a little fresh K to the young plants.

The Ca helps build strong growth as well despite being high Ca soils I'm not sure how available it is.

Ps another good point is price £142 ton👍👍👍👍but it needs to be on in good time.
Polys plus straight urea and the jobs a good'un
 

Secret Agronomist

Member
Arable Farmer
5 kg combi top only delivers about the same MN as 1.6 lt of liquid which for me wouldn't be anywhere near enough.

I'd be 2.5 Lt of 15% MN
minimum every pass up to T1, this year I've gone with 5kg of 32%powder and 3lt 15% liquid in with the autumn herb and I must say it's really held the crops very well over winter.

I use copper and zinc because of tissue analysis but I am now seeing higher cu levels so for this year I've given everything 0.25lt in the autumn and I'll leave it at that but will get some samples analysed to be sure, I also used 0.25 Lt of zn in the autumn and will add the same again at t0 and T1 as I feel that's the last missing link. Everything will get 5kg of epsotop with T1,2,3 mg index is 1 and 2.

All sulphur is supplied by polysulphate, I've increased to 60 kg so3 and have seen improvement. The polysulphate also suppliers usefull amounts of mg, a bit of Ca and some k2o which I feel can help young plants, my k2o index is 2/2+ but the fresh applied potash near the plant just gives it kick.
P index is sky high which is partly the cause for needing a lot of foliar nutrition but I also have ph from 7.5- 8.8.

Keep all the elements straights and mix your self is a relatively cheap excersise but ready formulated products and it will very soon get expensive.
I would tend to use 1.5kg of a DF Mn, not sure how that would mix with bittersalz though. That would give me 1500g of Mn against 450 from the liquid. Does the liquid work better?
I go for 60 to 70 of SO3 but as liquid fert. Mop applied as required but no fresh p apart from on root crops or where we spread chicken litter. Getting copper mixed in the big tank mixes in the spring is the problem.
What zinc and cu products do you use?
 

robbie

Member
BASIS
Liquid is supposed to work quicker and powder(cheapo stuff I use) I'd supposed to last longer or atleast that's what I've been told and have seen.

I've never had any problems with mixing cu or zn. I mainly use Yara coptrel or the headland equivalent and zintrax or omex liquid zn.
 

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