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The Country Enterprise Handbook
Analysing your assets|Land use|Vegetables|Soft fruit|Flower & herb growing|Orchard & vineyard|Woodlands Sheep|Beef|Pigs|Rabbits|Hens|Ducks|Geese|Dairying|Kitchen|Bees|Wool|Water|Home|Contact us

Land Use

..Permanent Pasture

...New Leys
...Hay
...Silage
>..Fertilisation of Grassland
...Farmyard Manure
...Cultivation
...Ploughs
...Tractor
...Make or Buy?
...Crop Rotation
...Why Rotate?

Grassland has been limed for centuries even if you aim to produce organically, its use is approved. If the grass in your fields requires lime then it will not produce a worthwhile crop without it.

What else you do to your fields is up to your judgement and beliefs. If your aim is to produce every single blade of grass that your land can possibly yield than you must use nitrogen. Some fields can consume vast quantities of it. You must also add phosphorus and potassium, bearing in mind that too much potassium can limit magnesium uptake (if you graze sheep and cows this can lead to an attack of staggers).

It is certainly worth having your soil analysed and then working out very carefully what to add, unless, of course, you start to feel that the whole exercise is creating too much 'chemistry lesson' type of involvement. In that case, 'go organic' although you must still fertilise the grass, that is keep on with the lime and apply farm yard manure with a generous hand.

There is growing concern that the overuse of chemicals exhausts the land. It certainly reduces the number of earthworms, those wriggly friends that do an effective job of deep ploughing for you. For these reasons, some farmers only use organically based fertilisers on their land. Although the chemical content of the fertiliser varies at times, great claims are made for its effectiveness.

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