Smarter Phosphate Fertiliser
Better phosphate fertiliser products in the NZ market
New Zealand farmers have been long accustomed to applying superphosphate as the main source of fertiliser to their farms.
It’s time to question if this is still best practice?
Through our regional councils and the media, we are all very much aware of water quality and environmental issues. Because superphosphate is a water soluble phosphate product, it has likely contributed to these environmental issues over the years.
The farming community has options. Using a non-water soluble phosphate has many benefits and is economically comparable. The phosphate product Mainland Minerals uses is Di Calcium Phosphate (18% P 25% Ca). It can be supplied in either granular form or in a fine particle mix.
Di Calcium Phosphate is fully non-water soluble, rather than water soluble, which means it doesn’t break down in rain like superphosphate (which when wet is effectively a liquid form of P).
Instead the nutrient sits in the root zone and soil pantry, providing sustained release as the plant needs it. No risk of wash through and hugely reduced risk of leaching & P lock-up like you get with superphosphate. Another key benefit of Di-Calcium Phosphate is that around 90% of the phosphate is plant available quickly, unlike RPR type products where phosphate can be very slowly available if at all, through ‘lock up’ with other soil minerals.
Di-Calcium Phosphate is also non-acidic. Superphosphate makes the soil acidic around the fertiliser granule, which can reduce the plant availability of the applied phosphate, and so reduces its performance. It’s also not good for worms and other soil biology!
Di-Calcium Phosphate has significantly less Cadmium and Fluoride compared to Superphosphate … in a nutshell, a much better product for your pasture, stock, the environment, and ultimately for those consuming your end product.
It is time to look at all the options and be sure you are making the right fertiliser choices.