NSW Nitrogen Use Efficiency Trials

The NSW Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE) Trial Project is a partnership between Dairy Australia, Hunter Local Land Services and South East Local Land Services.

The objective of the project is to improve strategic use of nitrogen to increase pasture production and farm profitability, primarily concentrating on the feed gap experienced by NSW coastal pasture systems. The project was instigated by Manning Valley dairy farmer, James Neal. He believed that the right use of nitrogen in Autumn was being hampered by an inability to predict nitrogen requirements for Annual Ryegrass sown into Kikuyu, the pasture system managed by many NSW coastal dairy farmers.

So how does Kikuyu effect Annual Ryegrass nitrogen requirement? When should NSW coastal dairy farms apply nitrogen, and how much, to increase efficiency and therefore profitable use of nitrogen? What are the ideal grazing regimes to optimise production and offer pasture within the ideal Crude Protein (CP) range?

Based upon critical input from leading Australian nitrogen use experts who have come together as a technical reference group for the project, and the outcomes of a literature review- Fertiliser use efficiency in high input dairy pastures – Nitrogen mineralisation and availability under kikuyu dairy pastures on the mid-north coast of NSW, two trial plots have been established on separate sites located on the Mid North Coast and South East Coast to investigate the key questions in the field.

Literature review Nitrogen mineralisation and availability under kikuyu

Trial Site OnePeter Beale, Support Group

Location: Oxley Island, Dryland farm of James Neal.

Established: December 2014

Trial Duration: 3 Kikuyu growing seasons

Support Group membership: Commercial nutrient advisors and farmers of the Mid-Coast Dairy Advancement Group.

Project Manager: Peter Beale, Senior Land Services Officer- Pasture, Hunter Local Land Services.

Milestone Cut Report1

Milestone Cut Report2

Milestone Cut Report 3

Milestone Cut Report 4

Milestone Cut Report 5

Milestone Cut Report 6

 Trial Site Two

Location: Bemboka, Irrigated farm of Susan Johnston.

Established: December 2015

Supported Group membership: Farm Consultants, Bega field representatives, SELLS irrigation and pasture technical specialists and farmers of the Far South Dairy Development Group.

Project Manager: Hayden Kingston, Land Services Officer, South East Local Land Services

Bega Nitrogen Use Efficiency Trial Cut Report 1

Bega-Nitrogen-Use-Efficiency-Cut-Report-2-October-31-2016

 Trial Plot Design

  • Overall Site Area: Width 50m x Length 30m (0.15 Ha)
  • 15 treatments per row, replicated 4 times, randomised plot design (rates of 0, 50, 150 and 300 kg/ha of N)
  • 60 plots in total
  • Plot size: 2.5 m x 5 m (1.05 m central treatment strip harvested )
  • Randomised replication

Figure 1 Layout and treatment of trial sites

Treatment Kikuyu

Season

Total

3 weeks

Post Sowing

Veg Rye

Per cut

Rye Season Total Year total
  Kg N/ha Kg N/ha Kg N/ha Kg N/ha Kg N/ha
1 0 0 60 300 300
2 0 40 60 300 340
3 0 80 60 300 380
4 0 40 30 150 190
5 0 80 30 150 230
6 150 0 60 300 450
7 150 40 60 300 490
8 150 80 60 300 530
9 150 40 30 150 340
10 150 80 30 150 380
11 300 0 60 300 600
12 300 40 60 300 640
13 300 80 60 300 680
14 300 40 30 150 490
15 300 80 30 150 530

 

For Further Information on the NSW NUE Trial Project, please contact Project Manager, Marguerite White on 0447 500 415 or mwhite@icdprojectservices.com.au