A long period of drought is often followed by a nitrogen peak, giving rise to the risk of silage gases. Because of the dry weather, the corn harvest has started earlier than normally, and corn ensiling has already begun. In a few places in the Netherlands, hazardous silage gases have been released. This problem not only occurs in the Netherlands but also in Germany, agricultural agencies have been warning against this phenomenon for some time. Hazardous gases in corn and grass silage The silage gases consist of nitrogen oxides, also called nitrous gases. The reason why this phenomenon is occurring this year is the combination of a long, dry period, which severely damaged the corn crop, followed by precipitation. The unused nitrogen from the soil and the manure and fertilizer from the past dry period suddenly become available. As a result the nitrate concentration in the soil moisture rises and the crop gasping for water absorbs both water and nitrate. This means the nitrate content of the corn also rises considerably, and the plants turn green to dark green. However, the crop is badly equipped to process the absorbed nitrate because of the stress caused by the past dry period and the reduced green leaf structure. The latter is the consequence of leaves getting burnt due to inadequate cooling. Because of the high nitrogen level the cobs take longer to ripen than expected. The temptation is then to chop this corn and to manure it before the end of the month. After silaging such corn, brown-red nitrous gases can often occur after as little as one day. The gas production will increase for another four to five days, after which it will gradually decrease; it will disappear after 10 to 14 days. Nitrous gases are extremely dangerous, and when they come into contact with the skin they can cause a blister as a consequence of the formation of nitric acid, which is a strongly corrosive acid. When they come into contact with the eyes the cornea can be damaged, and inhalation can cause irritation of the respiratory system and even a life-threatening pulmonary oedema! Nitrous gases are heavier than air and linger above the silage as a yellow (low concentration) or red-brown (high and extremely hazardous concentration) cloud.
Since last year N-XT soil Services has been officially consultant to the Kinsey-Albrecht soil analyses. This unique analysis is the basis of 40 years of worldwide experience to bring grounds to a higher fertility level. In particular, the combination with fertilizers and products, which are ' soil and plant friendly ', have now given new insights and experiences in North Eastern Europe.
A few years ago, dairy farmer Jan Out (right on photo) heard about the N-xt Fertilizers vision on fertilization. The idea of making much better use of the soil's natural strength by bringing the soil into balance appealed to him. He decided to experiment with this. He can now see great results. Not just on the land, but in particular in the cowshed. Jan Out: “This fertilizing method has greatly improved the protein absorption in grass, and my cows are much healthier.” Click her for complete interview
“Manure analyses showed that my cows’ manure contained mould. That’s why I switched to using N-xt Fertilizers – and with success. My cows are doing fine now."
Pieter Koonstra in Vinkenbuurt
“I can now give different potato varieties precisely the mineral doses they need. I have things better under control.” For Van Liere the great benefit of N-xt Fertilizers liquid fertilizers is that they enable him to adjust fertilizer doses easily".
Potato grower Jacco van Liere in Dronten
“As an extensive farmer I use a lot of roughage. Since I started using N-xt Fertilizers the quality of my roughage has improved: it contains more crude fibre."
Siebe Brandsma in It Heidenskip
“I have been using N-xt Fertilizers for six years now because I only want to fertilize my grass twice, and that’s possible with N-xt Fertilizers. N-xt Fertilizers improve the structure of your grass."
Ido van Wijk in Kockengen
What appealed to Koen about N-xt Fertilizers is that in essence they focus on remediating the soil rather than fertilising the crop. "If the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil are right, that also guarantees that the crops contain sufficient nutrients", says Koen Bolscher.
“Since I started using N-xt Fertilizers my grass is lighter in colour and of a different composition: spikier. It dries faster after it has been mown and I have the impression I no longer need to use any preservatives."
Johan van Casteren in Schaijk
“I have the impression that our cattle have been more relaxed since we started using N-xt Fertilizers. Their manure has a less pungent odour. And the silage is more fibrous."
Jan van Middelaar in Hoevelaken
Grass with a good structure, healthy cattle and high-quality milk – according to cattle expert Bernard Simons in Lemelerveld those are the benefits that dairy farmers will achieve if they start using N-xt Fertilizers. “The trick is to ensure the right balance in your cattle. And ‘N-xt-gras’ will help you realise that.”
Bernard Simons, cattle expert at AgriVAK Adviesburo in Lemelerveld
“Having used N-xt Fertilizers for three years I now clearly see that my grass is developing a better root system, enabling it to take up nitrogen more efficiently."
Frans van de Sande in Nieuwerkerk
“The minerals contained in N-xt Fertilizers are better and can be taken up over a longer period, so I see the quality of my crops improve. And I have been able to greatly reduce my nitrogen and phosphate doses.” On average, Van Woerkom uses 43 kilos of nitrogen and 35 kilos of phosphate less per hectare of his potato crops."
Arnold van Woerkom, arable farmer in Bant.