Results from recent winter trials of NitroStop® show nitrate leaching reductions of greater than 40%. Pastoral Robotics has two lysimeter facilities, each with 40 lysimeters, one in Canterbury and the other in the Manawatu but loaded with Central North Island soils. Lysimeters are tubes filled with undisturbed soil and pasture from which all leachate is collected for analysis, (see news Feb 19th 2019, http://www.pastoralrobotics.co.nz/news, for more information. (Note that dairy sourced nitrate leaching comes from the very high levels of nitrogen in cow urine patches.)
Over winter the objective of our NitroStop® treatment is to keep the urine nitrogen locked in the soil so that when the ground starts to warm it can be used by pasture to increase growth, (this is a win for the farmer and a win for the environment). Geoff Bates, MD of Pastoral Robotics, commented The current winter has been particularly wet with plenty of opportunity for leaching, we have measured plenty of exciting results. In one situation measuring a 100% reduction in nitrate leaching.
The graphs below compare the leaching reductions with two different NitroStop® treatment formulations that act on completely different microbes - it is reasonable to expect that the two treatments can be applied together and the total reduction in leaching could be additive.
The results to date are game changing but we are not stopping here - we have lots of ideas to test in the coming months to make nitrate leaching from Urine patches a thing of the past! Lachlan McKenzie (Chairman Pastoral Robotics) is jubilant saying we have the machine to detect urine patches post grazing and now we have the treatments in NitroStop® to revolutionise our thinking on controlling leaching from urine patches.
Spikey® reduces nitrogen losses by growing more grass and is available now for commercial sales.