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Fertiliser calculator on show at BP2013

21 November 2013

Use AHDB Potatoes’s new online fertiliser calculator to produce fertiliser recommendations for your potato crops.

The new calculator has been developed to compliment AHDB Potatoes’s Crop Nutrition for Potatoes guide, which has just been updated, and goes beyond what can be achieved easily in print. The calculator not only covers England and Wales using RB209, but also the SRUC technical notes for Scotland. Another step forward is the inclusion of a greater choice of organic materials and previous crop, which now includes grassland. 
 
The calculator is very easy to use and follows simple step-by-step questions under the headers of farm details, soil analysis, cropping, manures, results and advice. From details such as field location using a postcode – which will be included in PLANET in the near future – average rainfall information is displayed. Once you input your soil type and details of the previous crop, the soil nitrogen supply (SNS) can be calculated. As this analysis method is the most common way to calculate SNS, it is the method used in the guide; however the calculator allows for a manual entry based on the Soil Mineral Nitrogen (SMN) measurement method.
 
Once information is entered for the previous crop and the potato crop to be grown, clicking on the results tab will show crop requirements for NPK and Mg in kg/ha.  Including information on the sources of any organic material used will show the crop-available nutrients that replace bagged fertiliser, with an indication of the monetary value of the available nutrients.
 
A report is produced online at the click of a button and can be printed or saved for future reference. 
 
AHDB Potatoes’s Gary Collins has developed the new calculator in conjunction with ADAS and says “This simple tool is based on the engines developed by ADAS for PLANET and MANNER-NPK so we know they are well tested. The final tab on the calculator covers advice. This will be an exciting area for development, as we pull together a better understanding of nutrient use and availability for potatoes. I’m looking forward to talking to growers and advisors at BP2013 about this and to get feed-back on its future development.”
 
The fertiliser calculator also has lots of useful links to other nutrient management information, such as NVZ advice, AHDB Potatoes’s crop nutrition guide, SRUC Technical Notes on fertilisers, nutrient management plans and much more.
 
Gary will be on hand at BP2013 to demonstrate all the features of the fertiliser calculator, so please make sure you visit the AHDB Potatoes stand to see how this helpful tool can help your fertiliser management planning .
 
You can find the online fertiliser calculator at www.potato.org.uk/fertiliser and much more information on all AHDB Potatoes activities, seminars, panel sessions, trade stands and ‘all things BP2013’ at www.bp2013.co.uk
 
Gary Collins can be contacted on 07879 676 932 and gary.collins@ahdb.org.uk
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