For Wexford based racehorse trainer, Paul Nolan, using Target Fertilisers has increased his farm’s efficiency and yield dramatically, while also increasing the quality. Paul accredits this to identifying an applicable fertiliser programme.
Paul works closely with his local Target Fertilisers supplier, to help identify and rectify aspects of his grassland management that is not working to its full potential.
“In my business, producing consistent yield and quality haylage each year is essential, and that’s my target,” stated Paul, whose training facilities are based just outside Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, where he currently has over 70 horses in training.
Paul grows and cuts his own haylage over 35 acres, aiming to achieve two to three cuts of consistent, high quality haylage, which accounts for an essential part in the diet of his high performing racehorses.
The fertiliser plan put in place for Paul to achieve high quality, high yielding haylage for his team of horses was developed using a special blend of 15-3-20 from Target Fertilisers, with increased Potash and 3% Sulphur (S). Target Fertilisers have always highlighted that S is essential in the formation of amino acids and is therefore critical for grass growth and performance.
Advice given Paul highlighted that although there may be adequate amounts of Nitrogen (N) P (Potassium) & K (Phosphorus) in a grass crop, S deficiency can lead to a decrease in the quantity and quality of the grass crop produced. As a result, the inclusion of S in grass blends is vital.
The increased Potash in the fertiliser blend utilised by Paul, assists in the increase in grass yield, while also ensuring the crop is more resistant to drought. The higher Potash blend also reduces the risk of moulding on the haylage; a critical factor for horses, as mouldy haylage can lead to respiratory problems.
Through the development of the special blend, the dry matter (DM) of the haylage increased and has allowed Paul to make haylage in a much shorter window of time. Because of the lower rate of N applied on the land, the grass requires less wilting time and as a result, this has reduced the time pressure on Paul and his team.
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