Guideline Index

Chapter 2: Limits to Plant Growth

2.3 Nutrients

We must properly feed the pasture before the pasture can feed the dairy cows that graze it. Of all the elements occurring in the soil, only some will be required for plant growth, while others are essential for the animal’s growth (e.g. cobalt).

Plants require varying quantities of nutrients at various stage of growth and if any essential nutrient is not plant available when it is required plant growth can become limited. There are optimum levels of nutrient availability that should be met in the soil and plant for maximum pasture production. Understanding and managing plant nutrients for dairy production is the key focus of this manual.