Download the new RB209 today

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

The latest AHDB Nutrient Management Guide (RB209) is now available to download as an app on Google Play and coming soon to the App Store. Digital versions are also available to download from AHDB’s website.

The guide offers best practice guidance in England, Wales and Northern Ireland on application of fertilisers and organic materials to crops and grassland.

New recommendations for cereal crops and phosphate published in this revision are the outcome of 10 years of research work which culminated in 2019.

The revision of the Nutrient Management Guide (RB209) was carried out by ADAS, AHDB, Bangor University, Frontier Agriculture, Lancaster University, NIAB TAG, Rothamsted Research, SOYL, SRUC and University of Southampton.

The Nutrient Management Guide (RB209) is split into seven colour-coded sections, so users can pick the information relevant to them. Section 1 and 4 have been updated to reflect changes to phosphate management for cereal crops. Section 6 has been updated with more detailed information for courgettes and pumpkins.

The sections are:

  1. Principles of nutrient management and fertiliser use
  2. Organic materials
  3. Grass and forage crops
  4. Arable crops
  5. Potatoes
  6. Vegetables and bulbs
  7. Fruits, vines and hops

James Price, Oxfordshire cereals grower and Chair of the RB209 partnership steering group, said: “Crop nutrition is one of the key elements to optimising production in the field and growers need to use all the tools available to ensure that they manage resources, in terms of soil, applications and plant health.

“RB209 recommendations are based on the most up-to-date science and so offer clear guidance to growers on a whole range of crops from cereals to grass to ornamental bulbs.”

Benefits of using the digital version over the printed copies include automatic updates and alerts, the ability to save notes, easier navigation and integrated multimedia content.

With quick and easy access to videos, information and recommendations from the guide, it is practical for use in the field and will always be the latest version available – plus it’s lighter to carry and doesn’t need an internet connection once downloaded.

What it means for horticulture

Information for courgettes and pumpkins has been improved

What it means for cereals

The focal point of the 2020 revision was to update phosphorus recommendations in RB209. This is the first significant revision on phosphorus management for nearly 40 years and the key changes in RB209 Sections 1 and 4 include;

  • Soil sampling and analysis guidance has been updated
  • Leaf, now crop, analysis information has been updated to include sampling of grain
  • Examples are also included to demonstrate the calculation of grain-P offtakes (kg P2O5) from laboratory grain-P analysis reports
  • Information on target soil indices has been updated
  • Information on phosphate fertilisers has been updated

The standard yield for cereal crops has been made consistent across N, P and K recommendations:

  • Winter Wheat - 8 t/ha
  • Spring Wheat 6 t/ha
  • Winter Barley 6.5 t/ha
  • Spring Barley 5.5 t/ha
  • Winter Tritocale 8 t/ha
  • Spring Triticale 6 t/ha
  • Winter and Spring Rye 6 t/ha
  • Winter and Spring Oats 6 t/ha
  • Grain-P offtakes for winter wheat have been reduced from 7.8kg/t of fresh weight to 6.5kg/t of fresh weight
  • Grain P and K offtake values are rounded to the nearest 0.5
  • Grain P and K recommendations have been updated