Agronomy Advice
January 19, 2024

Spring Grassland Fertiliser Update

How are your plans looking for the grass season ahead? The focus in January should be on planning for spring grazing and 1st cut silage.

Cows in a field with hills in the background
Cows in a field with hills in the background

How are your plans looking for the grass season ahead? The focus in January should be on planning for spring grazing and 1st cut silage. Grass is your cheapest feed (especially grazed grass) and maximising early season growth will be important, particularly against a background of increasingly unpredictable weather patterns.

Main Headlines

  • Above average Autumn rainfall – Met Office rainfall data for 
    September, October and November 2023 was 134%, 126% and 
    109% of the 1991-2020 average for England, Wales and Scotland 
  • Expect below average soil Nitrogen and Sulphur reserves this spring
  • Robust rates of NPKS will be needed for grazing and 1st cuts 
  • Prepare a Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) for your farm – 
    or ask a FACTS qualified advisor (FQA)
  • Use up-to-date soil test results and test organic manures to 
    maximise this very valuable nutrient resource. Contact Lancrop for more information
  • Apply lime if required as nutrient availability is significantly diminished at sub optimal pH levels, as this table shows.
  pH 5.0  pH 5.5  pH 6.0 pH 6.5
N 43% 77% 89% 100%
P 31% 48% 52% 100%
K 52% 77% 100% 100%


Choosing the correct Yara product 

  • Yara have the grades to suit all grass crops with or without organic manures 
  • Pick the fertiliser grade that matches the field nutrient requirements 
  • Grass needs the right balance of nitrogen, phosphate, potash and sulphur to support high yields and good feed quality. 


Fertiliser Timing and Rates this Spring

Only apply Nitrogen fertiliser when soil temperatures are +5OC, when there is a good short and medium term weather forecast and only when field conditions allow.


  • Slurry application in February if weather and field conditions allow at a rate of 22 - 33 m3/ha (2000 - 3000 gallons/acre) to kick start growth
  • Spring slurry applicatons retain more of the nitrogen content of the slurry compared to autumn and winter applications
  • Fertiliser can then follow mid-March assuming a mowing date in early May


  • Depending on your target turn out date, applications little and often from late February are appropriate
  • YaraMila EXTRAGRASS (27-5-5+6SO3) is a popular grazing grade and supplies a balanced ratio of NPKS for grazed grass
  • Spring nitrogen applications do not impact clover performance 

                                                                              Kg/ha NPK 

Example 1st Cut Silage Recommendation  N P
First Cut Requirement  120 40 90
22m3/ha of cattle slurry 22 26 55
Fertiliser Requirement 98 14 35
Fertiliser Option 1  YaraMila ExtraGrass 350kg/ha (3cwt/acre)    
Fertiliser Option 2  YaraMila 52S 425kg/ha (3.5cwt/acre)    

Balance any NPK surplus/deficit for 2nd/3rd cut



Example: Spring NPKS Grazing Recommendation

YaraMila ExtraGrass

Stocking rate / Month

Feb kg/ha

Feb cwt/acre

Mar kg/ha 

Mar cwt/acre

Apr kg/ha

Apr cwt/acre

High 75 0.5 110 1 150 1.25
Medium 0 0 75 0.5 110 1
Low 0 0 0 0 110 1


They will help you acheive an even spread pattern and can be bought with the confidence "what is on the bag, is in the bag!"

  • Order now to allow time for delivery and ensure you're reasy to go 
  • Apply the right grade at the right time at the right rate
  • Follow the 3 R's and you will be on the road to success