From there to where? Past, present and future soil fertility management on hill country farms


  • A.H.C. Roberts
  • M.D. White


This review paper discusses aspects of hill country science-based soil fertility management advice given to farmers in the past on the use of fertiliser, principally superphosphate, on hill country farms. This shows that both pasture quantity and quality are improved with the application of the nutrients phosphorus (P) and sulphur (S) in superphosphate and that an unseen benefit of this is the increased food supply to soil biological organisms which also flourish under this management. The large potential for nitrogen (N) fertiliser application is explored and demonstrated. New thinking and technologies are allowing farmers to differentially apply variable rates and types of fertiliser nutrients by air to better match the growth potentials of contrasting hill country zones and so ensure that the investment in fertiliser will give the best financial returns possible. Keywords: soil fertility, hill country, differential application, variable rate






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