This year, early ratoon growth in many cane growing districts has been slow due to a combination of dry conditions and cool overnight temperatures, even in the north. This has put fertiliser programs behind schedule. The dry weather has also meant that growers and their advisers have not been thinking about the risk of nitrogen losses from leaching, denitrification or runoff. This is a case of “out of sight, out of mind”. But actually, ENTEC has a good record of success when applied in the dry. That’s because it doesn’t stay dry forever.

Incitec Pivot Fertilisers is introducing a powerful addition to DAP that will help growers keep the nitrogen where it’s needed for longer, drive phosphorus uptake and potentially improve crop yields and quality. Our new product, eNpower 18:20, is DAP coated with a patented new formulation ammonium stabiliser, DMPG.

ENTEC® was introduced to cane growers and advisers in 2014. It’s now widely used to protect against nitrogen losses and give cane crops greater potential for higher yields when the season allows.

Practical guidance on improving nitrogen uptake in cane and reducing losses have been the focus of Incitec Pivot Fertilisers’ agronomy meetings for cane growers this season.

Improving the efficiency of nitrogen fertiliser in sugar cane is a challenging task. Growers must fertilise today to ensure maximum crop yields 12 months later, knowing little about what the weather will do to help or hinder the uptake of the fertiliser.

Leaching is the movement of nitrate nitrogen with water beyond the plant root zone. This dreaded drain can happen any time the amount of rainfall or irrigation on the block is more than the soil can hold internally.

Choosing the right nitrogen fertiliser for the right situation can make a big difference in cane yields. A particularly challenging situation for growers is when ratoon fertilisers are to be surface applied on to green cane trash blankets.

Matching nitrogen supply with demand is seen by some as the holy grail of enhanced efficiency fertilisers, but I tend to disagree.

ENTEC® is used by many cane growers to help minimise one of the most significant nitrogen loss pathways in cane – denitrification.

One of the great things about ENTEC® is that it helps improve nitrogen fertiliser efficiency both for your crops and the world around us.

All cane growers are being encouraged to use best practices and record them under the new Smartcane Best Management Practices (BMP).