Nitrogen fertilizers may be replaced with a natural product
Teagasc Agriculture and Food Development Authority researched dairy farming in Ireland and revealed some trends in its development.
The expansion of existing dairy farms and the creation of new ones in the country have led not only to an increase in the areas of pastures but also to an increase in the concentration of nitrogen introduced with mineral fertilizers and, accordingly, the yield of forage grasses.
According to the estimates of Teagasc experts, a decrease in the level of nitrogen application to soils from 250 to 200 kg per hectare with two cows per hectare has led to a reduction in grass yields, which in turn may cause a shortage of forage.
It was also found out that a decrease in nitrogen application by 25 and 50 kg per hectare at a rate of 250 kg of nitrogen per hectare reduces the profitability of a dairy farm (with a pasture area of 40 hectares) by 5% and 10%, respectively. Similar results were obtained for meat and sheep farms.
Growing white clover as a forage grass reduces the use of mineral fertilizers.