Super Phos is Western Australia’s leading pasture fertiliser product.

It supplies 9.1% phosphorous (P), 10.5% sulfur (S) and 20.0% calcium (Ca) - all essential nutrients.

• Super Phos is also the most effective pasture topdressing fertiliser:
• Super Phos provides superior nutrient distribution, and
• Super Phos supplies S in the plant available form – sulphate S.

Nutrient distribution

The effectiveness of immobile nutrients such as phosphorous (P), copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) depends upon particle distribution and root interception. Super Phos provides better particle distribution than more concentrated or granulated P sources. At a 100 kg/ha (9.1 kg P/ha) application Super Phos provides approximately 8920 active sites/m² compared to 50kg/ha Double Phos which only has 271 active sites/ m². (Fig. 1). 

Figure 1.

 100 kg ha super phos v 50 kg ha super phos

Figure 1. Granular distribution from Super Phos (left) applied at 100 kg/ha compared to a more concentrated source applied at 50 kg/ha (9 kg P/ha).

12 CSBP trials were assessed between 1977 - 1980  which showed that when 14 units of P was supplied either with 150kg of Super Phos (median granule size <1mm) or 80kg of Double Super (median granule size >2mm), Super Phos produced higher 1st cut growth responses (Fig. 2) as well as higher total dry matter production (Fig. 3) .

Figure 2.

Figure 2. Average pasture growth at 1st measurement (kg DM/ha) from 12 CSBP pasture trials 1977-1980

Figure 3.



A pasture trial at Williams in 2003 showed  that Super CZM is a more effective Cu fertiliser than alternative high P analysis products that supply comparative rates of nutrients at a lower application rate.

This is most likely due to a big discrepancy between active sites/ m² (Fig. 4). This highlights that trace element efficiency is not only about rate applied but the amount of active sites that can be intercepted by plant roots.

 

Figure 4.

Figure 4. Copper (Cu) concentrations in pasture fertilised with Pasture CZM and Super CZM at Williams, 2003.

Sulfur (S)

Applying Super Phos to pastures can help reduce the incidence of sulfur deficiency. Super Phos supplies a good 1:1 ratio of phosphorus and sulfur as well as another important nutrient, calcium.

Sulfur is important for rumen function and wool production.
• Is a constituent of B-Vitamins (Biotin and Thiamin)
• Helps in protein metabolism
• Is essential in the production of Cysteine which is the major building block for wool

Sulfur is only available to plants in the sulphate form. Concentrated elemental S sources are unavailable until it is converted to sulphate S, but the reaction is too slow to meet the demands of West Australian pastures.

Pasture trials at Mogumber and Tambellup showed that Super Phos is more effective than elemental S sources (Figures 5 – 7).

Figure 5

Figure 5. Sulphur concentrations in pasture fertilised with Superboost and Super Phos at Mogumber, 2003.

Figure 6.

Figure 6. Dry matter production from pasture fertilised with Superboost and Super Phos at Mogumber, 2003.

The trial at Tambellup also showed that Super Phos was a more effective S source than gypsum. Gypsum is more prone to leaching losses due to its high surface area.

Figure 7.

Figure 7. Sulphur concentrations in pasture fertilised with Superboost, Pasture, TSP + gypsum and Super Phos at Tambellup, 2005.

Figure 8.

Figure 8. Dry matter production from pasture fertilised with Superboost, Pasture, TSP + gypsum and Super Phos at Tambellup, 2005.

Early Quality Feed Production

It is more cost-effective to produce extra pasture with Super Phos than to pay additional handfeeding costs and lose production. This is even more so when we have decile 9 & 10 grain and fodder pricing. 

At a pasture trial in Manypeaks in 2003, 200kg/ha of Super Phos not only increased the amount of feed that was produced but also improved the quality of what was produced. (Fig. 9)

Figure 9.

Figure 9 Super phosphorus

By applying Super Phos prior to the autumn break we were able to grow an additional 3890 ME/ha. It takes around 45 ME to produce an extra kg of lamb (liveweight). This meant we had the potential to produce an additional 86kg of lamb/ha.

Assuming liveweight lamb prices of $2.75/kg and we could utilise the additional feed that was grown, there is a potential to make an additional profit of $166/ha in only 6 weeks. 

Summary

• Applying Super Phos or Super Potash prior to the autumn break maximises feed quality and quantity especially early in the season

• Trace Element applications are important for pastures, especially for livestock performance. Using CSBP’s manufactured pasture range - Super Phos Extra, SR Extra or Super CZM is an efficient and cost-effective way to supply requirements compared to higher P analysis products and/or blends.

• Sulfur is critical to maximise pasture production and livestock performance. Super Phos provides balanced S inputs in a source that is plant available and less prone to leaching compared to other sulfur sources such as gypsum

• Nitrogen may be an option to grow additional feed in certain situations. If all other nutrients (P, K and S) are in balance then 25-50 kg N/ha should be applied to actively growing pastures.

Pastures can be very profitable and should be given the same respect as cropping programs. Soil and plant testing are recommended to make sure correct and profitable fertiliser recommendations are given.

 

 

 

Scott Nelson
By Scott Nelson
- Agronomy Lead

Scott was raised in Narrogin on a farm at Nomans Lake. 

After a stint on the family farm, Scott also worked for several local rural and merchandise businesses and his own retail sporting business before joining CSBP in 2010, as an Esperance Area Manager.

Scott’s knowledge and passion for crop nutrition saw him move into the role of Agronomist for the Esperance and Eastern regions, and then to his current role as CSBP Agronomy Lead in 2018. 

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