Explanation grassland

Each crop requires nutrients. The essential nutrients that a crop needs most are nitrogen (N), sulphur (S), phosphate (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg). The other essential nutrients are the micro nutrients iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo) and chloride (Cl). A crop require relatively low concentrations of these micro nutrients, however a deficit can cause loss of yield and/or quality in every crop.

A number of other nutrients (sodium, silicon, cobalt, selenium) can also be important to - amongst other factors - the yield, quality, resilience, sturdiness, fertility, palatability and (animal) health.
Elements can also compete with each other. For example, if the Mg status is “good” but the K status is “high”, then an Mg deficiency can still occur. Therefore, the recommended dosages take these interactions into consideration.

In the first year after you have created your field the condition of the soil will change substantially. We advise you to submit a new sample for analysis, to obtain correct fertilisation recommendations for after the first year.

Analyzing the grass clippings is a good tool to assess whether the N and P content in the grass is sufficient and thereby if the fertilization is in order. You can request a CropCheck to check this.


The clover will disappear when annual N-fertilization exceeds 250kg.

During prolonged wet and cold periods, the N-supply of the soil can be lower than normal. By way of compensation, the recommendations can be increased with 10-15 kg/ha.


Sulfur is essential for the formation of proteins and it is also important for sufficient grass growth.

Sulphur (S) is released by the degradation (mineralisation) of organic matter or manure. This mineralisation is performed by soil organisms. Soil organisms are not very active under colder conditions, which means not much S is released from the soil early in the spring. Later in the year sufficient amounts of sulphur are becoming available.

An excess of sulphur can cause problems. Too much S in grass can result in poor utilisation of trace elements (including copper) by cattle.


Grass and clover compete -mainly during springtime- over phosphate. The competitiveness of grass is improved in gifts which are (too) high at the expense of clover. The recommendations for phosphate are therefore lower in grass/clover mixtures than for pure grasslands.

Gifts which are too low will also present problems. It interferes in stooling of both grass and clover. Phosphate shortages in clover can be recognized by dwarfism and dark green colouring of the leafs with a blue shine.


Magnesium (Mg) is important for the yield of grass, but the Mg supply must also be correct in order to avoid the risk of grass tetany.


A high copper concentration can be harmful to sheep, particularly Texelaars.


In a mixture with white clover, it is important to keep the acidity higher than 5,5. The acidity for red clover may be lower, but should remain higher than 5,0.


The lime gift is calculated for a depth of 10 cm. When the lime is worked in deeper, the gift has to be increased accordingly.

On permanent pasture the gift must be spread over multiple years. During autumn, do not spread more than 2000 kg CCE and during springtime not more than 1000 kg CCE.

If too low soil lime concentrations are accompanied with a poor quality sod, resowing is the most effective method to quickly improve the situation.

High soil lime concentrations can have a negative impact on the uptake of trace-elements. The use of alkaline fertilizers (such as poultry manure) are not recommended under these circumstances.