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
Dairy farms need to know more about soil fertility. That is the firm conviction of Koen Bolscher. "After all, soil is our most expensive means of production." The dairy farmer from Bornerbroek in the Dutch province of Overijssel first found out about the fertilisation vision of N-xt Fertilizers via a fellow-farmer some years ago. He started basing his approach on it four years ago. The result speaks for itself: improved grass cover, a higher crop yield, better roughage quality and healthy cows that efficiently produce milk. "I can't say whether all of this is down to those liquid fertilisers", laughs Koen. "Either way, everything's going well."
'More and more demand for precision fertiliser' Van de Reijt Meststoffen is taking over Veghel-based N-xt Fertilizers as of 1 December. 'The takeover of N-xt Fertilizers allows us to expand our product range,' says Leendert van de Reijt, CEO of fertiliser wholesalers Van de Reijt Meststoffen.