The new AHDB Nutrient Management Guide (RB209) is now available to download as app and interactive digital versions.
The guide, launched at the Grassland & Muck event, offers best practice guidance on the application of mineral fertilisers, manures and slurries to crops and grassland.
It is the culmination of a £98,000 project, supported by £200,000-worth of in-kind funding by industry, to review the former Fertiliser Manual (RB209), which was last updated in 2010.
Its revision was overseen by the AHDB-led UK Partnership for Crop Nutrient Management and delivered by an ADAS-led consortium of experts from across the UK research community.
Dr Susannah Bolton, AHDB Knowledge Exchange Director, said: “This project underpins AHDB activity across a number of sector strategies, demonstrating the pivotal role we play in providing farmers and growers with key tools and information to improve their productivity.”
The updated edition is split into seven colour-coded sections, so users can cherry-pick relevant information and individual sections can be updated more easily to reflect the latest research.
- Principles of nutrient management and fertiliser use
- Organic materials
- Grass and forage crops
- Arable crops
- Vegetables and bulbs
- Fruits, vines and hops
George Lawrie, Kinross cereals grower and Chair of the partnership’s steering group, said: “Crop nutrition is one of the key elements to optimising production in the field and growers need to use all the tools available to ensure that they manage resources, in terms of soil, applications and plant health.
“This new version of RB209 is one such tool. Its recommendations are based on the most up-to-date science and so offer clear guidance to growers on a whole range of crops from cereals to grass to ornamental bulbs.”
Benefits of using the digital version over the printed copies include automatic updates and alerts, the ability to save notes, easier navigation and integrated multimedia content.
With quick and easy access to videos, information and recommendations from the guide, it is practical for use in the field and will always be the latest version available – plus it’s lighter to carry and doesn’t need an internet connection once downloaded.
Available on iOS and android, the app can be found by searching for RB209: Nutrient Management on the App Store or Google Play. The guide can also be downloaded as an iBook from the AHDB website, www.ahdb.org.uk/RB209.
What it means for horticulture
New recommendations for baby leaf lettuce, wild rocket, coriander and mint have been added, with sweetcorn and leek recommendations revised. In fruit, guidance on timing of nitrogen applications to blackcurrants and raspberries have been revised.
Stephen Francis Director of Fen Peas, said: “With such a diversity of crops within the horticulture remit it was always going to be a challenge to bring all the wide-ranging consensuses together but I believe we have achieved this aim.
“The whole process of stripping back RB209 has also led to many within the horticulture sector to re-examine what the crop requirements are and to align them to todays’ environmental needs.
“It will be vital that the whole RB209 project is continually reviewed so as to capture the on-going research that is paramount to ensure that we continue to produce crops within a sustainable framework, which has a considered respect for the health of our soils, water and air. These components are, after all, the life blood of the world we grow in.”