Episode 7 – Reducing fertiliser is a balancing act

In Podcasts3 Minutes

When you are looking at putting the axe through on-farm costs, one of the biggest items that is under scrutiny is fertiliser. To balance your decision making, take a listen to how a farmer, soil scientist and independent advisor explain how to reduce your spend on fertiliser without sacrificing soil fertility. 

Guests include:

  1. David Bielski, Farm Manager, Craigmore Station
  2. Dr. Ants Roberts, Chief Scientific Officer Ravensdown


  1. Rebecca Greaves, Editor, Country-Wide
  2. Sarah Perriam-Lampp, Managing Director, CountryWide Media

The episode kicks off with Craigmore Station farm manager, David Bielski, explaining how they have halved costs and doubled revenue by focusing on soil health. He insists it’s about balancing improving the biology of poor performing paddocks through direct drilling, diverse pastures along with the appropriate fertiliser use. David is part of a five-year study with Lincoln University to monitor the results. 

Read more about Craigmore Station in the article “For the Love of Soil” (Country-Wide Autumn 2024) (Subscriber Only)

Dr. Ant’s Roberts from Ravensdown explains that while the economic optimum of fertiliser spend for sheep & beef farmers is always lower than the biological optimum to produce the most amount of quality feed and how to weigh this up to not erode your soil fertility in tough times with a right nutrient, right place, right time strategy. 

Read Dr. Ant’s Roberts latest column “Smart tactics help make every nutrient count” (Country-Wide Autumn 2024) 

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A word from our sponsor

Spotted spreaders out and about? That’s because the window to get maintenance fertiliser on prior to winter is closing. Now’s the time to get it done!

The team at Ravensdown are experts when it comes to matching your phosphate and sulphur inputs to your farm productivity goals, and have the right product for whatever your farm needs to help keep it at peak performance. They can help you maintain or grow your nutrient levels to ensure essential pasture production for your farm.

We all know production and output remove nutrients from your farm system, and deferring maintenance for too long can make it much harder to get back to optimum nutrient levels. So it’s important to maintain your nutrient levels to match production.

No two farms are the same, which is why Ravensdown will tailor your spread to precisely meet what your pasture and livestock require – combining other fertilisers and smart products into the mix. 

Protect your investments by locking in your Autumn application today. Visit ravensdown.co.nz or give them a call on 0800 100 123.