GRAIN-CHECK adds Grain analysis to the arable analysis toolbox
Analysing grain at harvest to assess the performance of your crop nutrition policy is a vital source of data to evaluate fertility. Agricultural laboratory market leader NRM is seeing increased demand for this service as growers strive to understand crop performance. The latest version of the industry’s crop nutrition guide RB209 also recommends routine grain analysis.
“We have been analysing grain for nutrient content for over a decade, but sample numbers have grown dramatically in the last 2 years. Many growers see grain analysis as an opportunity to review the season’s crop nutrition policy, and fine tune the coming season”, explains Rory Geldard, NRM’s Business Development Manager.
NRM has been working with ADAS on their YEN project providing grain analysis since 2016. YEN data suggests nearly 3 out of 4 grain samples are deficient in at least one nutrient. Roger Sylvester-Bradley, ADAS’s Head of Crop Performance, states “There’s still lots to learn, but 10 years of research on phosphorus, plus growers’ experience with benchmarking their results in the YEN, show clearly how grain analysis can immediately help to guide farms towards better crop nutrient management”.
With crop nutrition proving to be a more and more important aspect of growing the very best crop, grain analysis gives a different insight which is not only useful for fine tuning nutrient policies, but also great for checking grain suitability to use for home saved seed.
How does grain analysis work?
• After harvest take a grain sample and submit this along with the relevant paperwork
• Analyse it for nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, iron, boron and molybdenum.
• The results are presented showing the grain content of each nutrient alongside the target grain content.
• Growers and their advisors can then compare actuals against the targets to identify shortfalls.
The test is suitable for cereals, oilseeds and pulses.
“A shortfall doesn’t necessarily mean a soil fertility problem, it could be poor soil structure, shallow rooting or another nutrient deficiency which is impacting nutrient availability” explains Mr Geldard. “Interpretation alongside soil samples and plant tissue analysis by a FACTS qualified advisor is vital”.
Advisors and Growers can request a grain sampling kit from NRM by calling Rory Geldard on 07917 064591 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org