Cambridgeshire arable farmer Jandy Kooreman of H Prins Ltd says that economic and environmental pressures on current farming systems, means his business has had to move with the times to remain profitable.
One of the key elements of the day to day management strategy to change in recent years has been to switch from using granular fertiliser to a delivered and contractor applied liquid and solution system.
“Potatoes are our main focus,” says Jandy. “It’s a crop that has the potential to make the most profit as well as the biggest losses, so we put as much resource as needed to produce the highest marketable yield that we can.
“Our decision to switch to OMEX suspension and solution fertilisers made a lot of sense because it has freed up valuable management time, labour and machines, as well as improved application accuracy and therefore our environmental footprint.”
The Kooreman’s grow potatoes on rented land as well as their own so an important benefit of switching to suspension fertiliser is that tanker loads can be delivered directly to each field. Previously granular fertiliser bags would be delivered to the main farm and stored in the sheds, before being transported out to the fields as part of a two or three man operation.
“Not all our soils have the same nutritional value so we carry out independent soil tests in the autumn on all our fields and then instruct OMEX to provide bespoke fertiliser mixes to rectify any deficiencies,” he says. “This is particularly important on rented or
owned land because we only want to apply the exact nutrients needed for the crop.”
Local contractor Richard Redhead applies all the suspension fertiliser across the business. “Liquid fertilisers can be spread accurately to 36m, which is a distance we could never hope to achieve using blends or granular prills,” he explains. “Prills can only be applied accurately up to 18m and even then it depends on the product quality. This takes longer to apply, costs more in diesel and requires more man power.