GETTING THE NUMBERS RIGHT FOR NZ SOILS

Formulated especially for New Zealand farm soils.

New Zealand soils are unique – they are naturally slightly acidic with low P-levels.

New Zealand soils are unique – they are naturally slightly acidic with low P-levels. A good soil set-up isn’t the end of the story. While it’s important, you won’t obtain good results unless all the necessary nutrients are also present in the soil and in the right amounts. We call this a balanced soil system – and that’s what TerraCare fertilisers are formulated to provide.

The table below shows the ideal soil test levels for the main soil groups in New Zealand (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2

The numbers in Fig. 2 indicate the optimal element range for peak plant growth. Once soil levels are in the target range, maintenance fertilisation will support continued plant growth and encourage maximum production.

Soil grouppHOlsen P+Resin P*QT KSO4-STotal SMg (growth)Mg (plant mg)
Sedimentary6.2 – 6.5LP 17 – 23

HP 21 – 29

LP 35 – 50

HP 47 – 64

4 – 78 – 12600 – 10004 – 820+
Volcanic6.2 – 6.5LP 17 – 23

HP 25 – 33

LP 41 – 56

HP 55 – 75

6 – 88 – 12600 – 10004 – 820+
Pumice6.2 – 6.5LP 32 – 44

HP 90 – 120

LP 70 – 95

HP 90 – 120

6 – 88 – 12600 – 10004 – 820+
Organic6.2 – 6.5LP 32 – 44

HP 42 – 56

LP 70 – 95

HP 90 -120

6 – 88 – 12600 – 10004 – 820+

(Test levels are in Quicktest Units, and are for a 0 – 75mm sample depth.)
* Olsen P: HP: range needed for high production targets – intensively farmed land such as dairying
LP: range needed for less intensive production targets – typically hill country sheep and beef

Testing your soil with TerraCare’s help

Your TerraCare consultant will carry out a soil and/or herbage test to determine the nutrients your soil needs, including trace elements and pH, to get the best results. We’ll then make a special blend of nutrients for your exact needs.

TerraCare consultants are trained to do Visual Soil Assessments (VSA), which helps to get a better understanding of the state of your farm and track how your nutrient application is progressing.

For more help with calculating your farm’s everyday nutrient needs, try TerraFert, our nutrient calculation tool.

Farm phosphate cycle

Production areas constantly lose phosphates. Fig. 4 illustrates the processes by which this happens. Your farm management plan will guide you on any necessary – or desired – maintenance or capital investment fertilisation.