Generally excess feed in mid-winter is rare.  That said maximising pasture utilization should be a constant aim and consideration.  In ryegrasses pasture quality starts to drop after the third leaf and in phalaris it’s the fourth leaf.  Check that the older leaves are not breaking down before utilization and if they are and the class of stock grazing allow, apply a bit more grazing pressure.

If pastures are growing well at 25 to 30 kgDM/ha/day, a response of 15 kg DM per Kg of actual nitrogen applied is possible.  On average 10 kg per kg of N is often achieved.

In the first example over a 20 day period at 25 kg DM per ha per day it would be expected to grow 500 kg DM.  With an application of 30 kg actual N and a 15 kg DM response an additional 450 kg DM would be produced.

On the other hand, often some of the applied nitrogen can be still available after the first grazing.

Nitrogen can be applied a second time to the pasture but usually the soil temperature is too low and better results can be achieved from the application of gibberallic acid.  But that’s another topic for another day.

Article by Peter Flavel, Agronomy Advisor Meridian Agriculture

M: 0427 755 507 E:

Article Series – Nitrogen on Pastures Check List

This is the third article in a series of three with a focus on Nitrogen on Pastures. See below for  links to the other two articles in the series: