Nitrogen is essential to New Zealand farm systems as it sustains growth and productivity.
There are three ways N is added to our soils:
While N is essential for farming, the problem is that surplus N is lost to groundwater by leaching. This means it is not only an environmental challenge, but an economic one too, as this important nutrient so easily drains away.
One of the most important issues we face as farmers? Nitrogen leaching from farmland…
And while a lot of work has been put into mitigating N’s effects in various ways, the urine patch is the biggest problem.
It’s responsible for up to 90% of N leaching – yet until now there’s been no adequate way to control it.
Where N fertiliser and applied effluent are well managed, losses are minimal.
Which means the urine patch is the greatest source of leached N.
Because a cow grazes from a large area (140m2) and deposits all the N grazed from that area in a urine patch (about 3m2), the surrounding soil and plants cannot take up all the N, so it can be leached if water drains through the soil profile.
The reality is, of N leached from livestock systems, up to 90% originates from the urine patch.
The animal is often seen as the problem in N leaching, and rule changes at regional council level may necessitate a cap on herd numbers in certain catchments. This, as we know, may be uneconomic.
The problem is that urine contains surplus N unable to be utilised by plants, so it is lost through leaching – and up to 90% of the N reaching groundwater originates from the urine patch.
Now, thanks to a unique marriage of science and nature, there’s a solution that revolutionises N management, benefitting both the environment and your production.
Reduce nitrate leaching with 4 unique functions.