Let's Talk About Fertiliser
Working to allow farmers to use urea efficiently, Pastoral Robotics have developed a new and precise way to give the pasture the nutrients it needs. The design of our targeted liquid fertiliser system gives farmers the ability to treat the urine and inter-urine patches independently.
With 36 nozzles spread over 8m of length, the coefficient of variation becomes insignificant. This results in an unprecedented evenness on how fertiliser is applied to pasture, ensuring the right amount is sprayed all the time.
The urine patches make up around 8% of the paddock, which results in around an average of 8% of liquid nitrogen fertiliser being saved per paddock. In a global shortage of fertiliser, skyrocketing prices and nitrogen caps being recently introduced, Spikey® provides a solution that can achieve a much higher nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) than conventional spreaders. As a result, this represents value to the farm.
The Spikey® treatment costs $60/ha/pass. On average a paddock has 6-8 passes per year, making an annual cost of $360-$480/yr/ha. A pasture yield increase has been found to be 2.2-2.6 tonnes/ha. Conservatively the extra yield on an average dairy farm is equivalent to 160 kg milk solids/ha. The table below shows the annual the net marginal return for a farm using Spikey® at different yields and different payouts. NOTE: the cost of Spikey® treatment at $480/ha has been deducted.
Spikey® allows for a change in the way you apply fertiliser, moving from infrequent high application rate, (maintenance), application to frequent precision application of small quantities. Spikey® is designed to treat paddocks within 48 hours of the cows grazing. Frequent application of small quantities reduces the excess fertiliser available to run off and leach, and ensures that your pasture gets the optimum treatment, this means the plant gets the same amount of fertiliser (or more) and less is lost from the farm - better for the farmer, better for the environment.