Managing grazing pastures

If you want to keep livestock happy and healthy, you need to be very good at managing grazing pastures. Whether you have animals in them or grow grass to make hay, effective management can go a very long way. You need to be particularly good at using fertiliser correctly. This includes applying it at the right times.

Some farmers will be out at the start of the year to spread manure and give fields a boost of nutrients. However, this may not be the best time to start applying fertilisers. Some, particularly nitrogen and phosphorous, only give you a relatively small window for when they are usable. Within around 60 days the elements can have dispersed. So, if you apply too early in winter you can miss the start of the growing season.


The best thing to do first is to test your soil. This will give you an idea of the nutrient profile. It will tell you which are low or missing. You can then see exactly what you need to add to the pasture to make the grass grow.


This is one of the key elements for plant growth. If your soil is low on it, it’s a good idea to spread a fertiliser. However, as we said above, don’t rush into it at the start of the year. Instead, wait until early in spring. This can ensure you are giving the field the boost of nutrients as the growing season is beginning. They can last for the first couple of months.

You may then need a second application late in summer. This can give the grass another boost to keep it growing happily for the rest of the season.

There is a vital thing to watch out for here though. If you apply too much nitrogen you can make the pasture acidic. That is harmful because it actually decreases the availability of nutrients and can harm grass production. You can tackle any issues by applying lime; it will reduce the acidity. You can spread lime whenever you need to.

Potassium and phosphorous

Not all fertilisers have a limited window. Typically you can add potassium and phosphorous fertiliser to a pasture at any time of the year to give the soil a boost. However, it can be a good idea to do it early in spring. This can be best to ensure there are enough nutrients at the start of the growing season. However, if your tests say levels are fine, you can wait until later in the year.

Applying them

There are a number of different options for spreading fertilisers on fields. Typically the easiest is to use a spreader or sprayer attachment on a tractor. This is the common choice, especially for large fields. Smaller ones you may be able to spread it by hand, but you need to take care.

Do you need to order fertiliser?

JS Hubbuck Ltd is a reliable specialist if you need fertilisers and other farming products. We have a broad stock, including wellies, animal health supplies, and more. You can buy what you need for great prices. We can also offer recommendations if you want to take advantage of our experience and product knowledge.

So, whenever you need fertiliser, think of us. You can get in touch to learn about the products we offer and for pricing.