1. Situation Analysis

What is this?

1-situation-analysisFertiliser planning requires a good understanding of the farm business, the current farming system, resources (water, soils, nutrient sources, pastures and crop), [no explanation]infrastructure[/no explanation] and management. This step focuses on collecting this information.

How do you do this?

For best results, farmers work with their advisor to; discuss production information, inspect the paddocks, note the condition of soils and pastures, and to carry out soil sampling in each farm management zone.
More

What is needed, or is useful?

  • Field data collection [no explanation]sheet[/no explanation]
  • Farm map
  • Soil type map
  • Soil sampling equipment
  • Spade
  • Camera

 

2. Identify Potential & Limitations

What is this?

2-identify-potentialThe purpose of this step is to consider the farm business and to determine if the production goals are realistic. This step also identifies opportunities to improve knowledge and skills beneficial to soils and fertiliser management.

 

How do you do this?

Use production records and other information to check farm production goals. Compare current management practices with those in [no explanation]DairySAT[/no explanation].  Short list the options.

More

What is needed, or is useful?

  • Production records
  • Local or regional focus farm data
  • Research data
  • Case studies
  • [no explanation]DairySAT[/no explanation]

3. Identify soil & nutrient related issues

What is this?

3-identify-soilBefore considering the plant nutrient requirements, it is important to identify if there are other soil and nutrient related issues. There could also be opportunities to use nutrients more strategically across the farm.

 

How do you do this?

Limiting soil factors are identified from field observations and [no explanation]soil tests[/no explanation]. Pastures condition is also checked. Opportunities for strategic use of nutrients, including dairy effluent, are identified.
More

What is needed, or is usefule?

  • Notes and photos from field observations.
  • [no explanation]Soil test[/no explanation] results
  • Farm [no explanation]nutrient budget[/no explanation]
  • [no explanation]DairySAT[/no explanation]

4. Interpret data & prepare draft nutrient plan

What is this?

4-interpret-dataThe purpose of a documented plan is to guide soil and [no explanation]fertiliser[/no explanation] management decisions across the farm throughout the coming season or year.

How do you do this?

Include the following components:

  • [no explanation]4Rs[/no explanation] [no explanation]fertiliser[/no explanation] program
  • Key farm recommendations
  • [no explanation]Farm management zone[/no explanation] map
  • Soil fertility status and trends
  • Farm [no explanation]nutrient budget[/no explanation]
  • Risk management plans

More

What is needed, or is useful?

  • Soil and fertiliser management plan template and example
  • [no explanation]Soil test[/no explanation] results
  • Information from previous steps
  • [no explanation]DairySAT[/no explanation]

5. Finalise nutrient plan

What is this?

5-finalise-planThis step checks that recommendations are feasible, practical and affordable before finalising the plan.

How do you do this?

The farmer and advisor discuss; soil test results, [no explanation]soil fertility trends[/no explanation], maintenance and capital [no explanation]fertiliser[/no explanation] requirements, [no explanation]fertiliser[/no explanation] program and affordability, monitoring and record keeping.
More

What is needed, or is useful?

  • Draft nutrient management plan
  • [no explanation]Soil test[/no explanation] results

6. Implement the nutrient plan

What is this?

6-implement-planThis step involves following the fertiliser program and other recommendations outlined in the nutrient management plan.

 

How do you do this?

Follow the nutrient management plan where this is practical and affordable. Record details of [no explanation]fertiliser[/no explanation] applications including; product types, rates, placement, and timing.
More

What is needed, or is usefule?

  • The nutrient management plan
  • Record keeping
  • [no explanation]DairySAT[/no explanation]

7. Monitoring & review

What is this?

7-monitor-reviewThis step involves monitoring soils, pastures, crops and livestock performance, and then discussing any issues with an advisor.

 

How do you do this?

The [no explanation]fertiliser[/no explanation] program is reviewed in 2-6 months for fine-tuning, and then on an annual basis. Every 3 years soil testing is carried out across the farm to check soil fertility levels and trends.
More

What is needed, or is useful?

  • Record keeping
  • Camera
  • Plant tissue testing (if necessary).