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Given the environmental obligations facing Irish farmers between now and 2030, adapting to reduced derogation and Nitrogen levels now represents a daily reality.

As part of that future, the Terra Range of fertilisers – a collaboration between Target Fertilisers and Brandon Bioscience – has been developed as a proven, reliable alternative to untreated, inorganic nitrogen fertiliser.

In our previous blogs, we discussed the development of the Terra Range, which features PSI®362 Precision Technology, a seaweed-based biostimulant which optimises Nitrogen (N) uptake and utilisation within the plant.

Delivering multi-level activity in the plant through absorption, transportation and utilisation, PSI®362 Precision is expertly coated onto fertiliser granules and provides farmers with the solution to apply up to 25% less N on farm while maintaining yields.

A natural product with no harmful residues, PSI®362 increases the assimilation of additional protein and yield in the crop, which was successfully demonstrated through grazing trials conducted by Target Fertilisers.

This trial, which involved the use of two Target products on five farms – the PSI®362-treated TerraN + S and the untreated SuperCAN CCF, revealed a 24.5% reduction in Nitrogen application while using TerraN + S.

With similar growth rates achieved via both products, the trial indicated that by using TerraN + S, Nitrogen applications can be reduced by up to 25% without compromising yield.

During two years of Grass Silage Trials on all five farms (during 2020 and 2021), fertiliser application averaged 3.2 bags per acre with the grass DM yield on each year proving similar despite the lower application of N when using the PSI 362-treated Terra + S product.

In its analysis, Target Fertilisers commented: “Using both straight Nitrogen and high Nitrogen compounds our results with the Terra Range have shown similar yields of grass when reducing Nitrogen with the Terra Range by 20%. This presents a wonderful opportunity to meet climate targets in lowering Nitrogen application using the Terra Range, thus benefiting from improved Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE) and the additional environmental benefits.”

Dairy farmer John Campbell, based in Rosemount, County Westmeath, has successfully incorporated the Terra Range into his silage and grazing fertiliser management strategy.

“I’ve been working with Aisling Claffey of Target Fertilisers since the spring of 2021,” said John, who is milking 123 cows, and whose current stocking rate is 3.25.

“Taking derogation into account, we had a chat about soil samples on the farm in terms of what was appropriate and this coincided with the roll-out of the Terra Range. Aisling was looking for farmers to trial it and we were happy to give it a go and see how the Terra Range performed.”

John continued: “The Terra Range has worked very effectively for us. It has reduced Nitrogen usage by 20 per cent and it has also reduced costs, so it’s really been a win-win for us.

“Due to derogation, both the liming of the farm and the soil fertility has to work efficiently.  By introducing more clover into the sward and helping to establish it, the Terra Range has reduced my Nitrogen levels by the required 10 per cent, which in turn helps to bridge the gap for when the clover really takes hold in the sward over the next few years.”

According to Aisling Claffey: “The Terra Range of fertiliser is ideally tailored for farmers in derogation. Under the current Nitrate Action Plan, farmers have to reduce their Nitrogen usage by 10 per cent – and this is set to be further reduced to 20 per cent (by 2030) following the interim review.

“On top of other measures including liming, improving soil fertility, increasing NUE and incorporating clover on farm, all of these steps take time to develop on farm before the long-term rewards become evident.

“Over the coming years, the Terra Range from Target Fertilisers is ideally placed to embed itself into farmers’ regular activities and help them to achieve immediate reductions in Nitrogen usage without affecting their current routine and farming practices so that they can maintain grassland productivity and performance on farm.”

For more, visit Terra Range | Sustainable Fertiliser | Target Fertilisers