~ The True Cost of Nitrogen and Phosphorus ~
I often hear growers say “I would like to use some organic fertiliser, but it is just so expensive”. This is of course a reference to a tonne of urea (46% N) being $800, and DAP (18% N, 20% P) being $1000 (At time of writing), and Katek Super booster (3.5% N, 1.5% P) being $350.
On paper it`s no contest but there is a little more to the story than simple maths. That’s because there is this thing called fertiliser efficiency value. FEV is the number given to different fertilisers based on how much Nitrogen and Phosphorus actually makes it into the plant.
I would like stress at this point that while everyone`s individual soil will be different and that the statements made here a general in nature, they are formed from a large number of studies and reports from all over the globe.
It seems that for every kilo of nitrogen you apply in a water soluble form; 450 to 500 grams of it will be lost to the environment. Up to half never reaches the plant! For water soluble phosphorus it is even worse, the numbers range from 70 to 85% being locked away never to be seen again.
So what is going on here to cause this. If you search back through our newsletters you will find diagrams showing the nitrogen, and phosphorus cycles. In each of these you will see the loss pathways, Volatilisation, denitrification, and leaching for N, and lockup for P. It is important to understand that these phenomenon are not just some theory, they are happening in your paddocks right now!
If we get the calculator out again now and ask how much we spend on N and P that actually gets into the plant it looks a bit like this, urea, $800 for 25% N, and DAP $1000 for 10% N, and 6% P. Still cheaper but not by anywhere near as much. If you add in the value of the carbon and biology that Super Booster brings with it, it starts to get even closer still.
If we take this one step further and look at emerging results showing productivity gains from adding relatively small rates of Super Booster into a crop like sugar that is highly reliant on synthetic fertilisers and suddenly you are making money, and not just saving it.
Growing more, with less, perhaps it`s time for a rethink?
Katek specialises in creating fertilizer blends tailored to suit particular soil and crop needs.
Customising an agricultural blend to exactly suit your needs is something we are passionate about. Many blend options are available, including synthetic, organic and mineral inputs in both physical and compound blends.
Customised organic/synthetic blends give you a high performance fertilizer that has all the benefits of an organic base. This combination of microbes, organic matter and plant available minerals is the ideal blend for improving overall soil and plant health.
To give you an idea of what products we have available take a look at our comprehensive PRODUCT GUIDE of organic and organic based fertilisers.
We have a number of stockists throughout Australia. Visit our WHERE TO BUY page to find a store near you. If there is currently not a stockist listed for your area give us a call.
For more information or to chat about product options, give Andrew a call on 0427 223 307.
Citrus and Fruit Fertilizer Pellets
For an Abundance of Delicious, Healthy Fruit!
N-Phoska + Trace Elements
A complete enriching formula based on composted poultry manure and boosted with potash and more, for an abundance of large, healthy fruit with loads of flavour!
We have improved on the popular product used by many gardeners by adding Potassium and some slow release Phosphorus to carry the crop right through to harvest. Added trace elements such as Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, Boron, Manganese and Iron make our Citrus & Fruit fertilizer the best choice for your fruit crop!
For use on vegetables, flowering plants, citrus and fruit trees.
Available in 3kg buckets, 18kg bags, bulka bags and loose bulk.