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Fertilizer on bermuda grass


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#1 Hayking

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 10:18 PM

We have fertilized with 46-0-0, 28-0-0, 34-0-0, and chicken litter. the chicke litter does the best but it has gotten high because of the trucking costs. but the other three we like to use 34-0-0 but its hard to get because of the hazardous issues. 28-0-0 does a good job but 46-0-0 seems like it voltizes more than anything i was wondering if any of you have had any expeiance with these and what you found that works best we try to put on 100 lb of actuall N on our grass.

#2 vhaby

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 11:00 PM

Sorry that I didn't see your question earlier. Some years ago we in the soils research group at Texas AgriLife Research conducted studies of N sources on Coastal bermudagrass.

Basically, when you apply 100 lb of N per cutting, there is little difference among N sources because the soil/forage system is swamped with adequate to excessive N, even if a small amount is lost to volatilization. To see differences as shown in the table below, rates of N that are deficient for the forage crop must be used, and who wants to apply inadequate N when higher yields are desired. (Ammonium nitrate is the standard against the other N sources were compared)

BTW, I will use ammonium nitrate as long as I can keep buying it because it is still better than using urea or UAN treated with chemicals to slow/delay urease activity and to prevent volatilization losses of N. I saw the benefits of using ammonium nitrate again this season when I applied AN in my blend in anticipation of a good chance for rain that didn't happen for more than a month. Morning dew on the grass was a common occurrence. When the 6+ inches of rain came 7-8 days ago, the grass had a growth spurt and greened up nicely. Ready to cut next week.

I'm so sorry, but I cannot make the table columns retain their integrity between typing and posting the reply...perhaps the WebMaster can correct this, or tell me how to do a table that maintains its column integrity. The columns in order should be N source, 40 lb N, % diff, 80 lb N, % diff, 120 lb N, % diff. The numbers following the N source listing are yield in t/ac, % diff express as a -/+ number for each N rate.

Coastal bermudagrass yield response to N sources and rates on a Gallime fine sandy loam soil (3-yr average)
Nitrogen rate, lb/ac per cutting (1,2)
40 Diff. 80 Diff 120 Diff
N source t/ac % t/ac % t/ac %

UAN 32-0-0 5.62 -20 7.29 -9 8.18 -2
Urea 46-0-0 6.04 -14 7.51 -6 7.94 -5
Amm. Nitr 34-0-0 7.01 7.97 8.36
Amm. Sulf 21-0-0 6.82 -3 8.22 +3 7.44 -11

LSD (0.05) = 0.67 t/ac; Coefficient of Variation = 6.9%

1 N rates applied for each growth of bermudagrass (3 applications in 1984, 4 in 1985, and 5 in 1986)
2 Yield without added N was 2.66 t/ac

Edited by vhaby, 18 June 2010 - 11:15 PM.
Table columns didn't retain number alignment between typing and posting the reply

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#3 vhaby

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 08:03 AM

Interpretation of the table in the previous post:

Bermudagrass yields using ammonium nitrate were the test standard. Yields from UAN, Urea, and ammonium sulfate were compared to yields from fertilizing with ammonium nitrate:

UAN: At the 40 lb N rate/acre/cutting, UAN produced 20% less yield than AN; at 80 lb N/ac/cutting, UAN produced 9% less yield than AN; and at the 120 lb N/ac/cutting rate, UAN produced essentially equal yields compared to AN.

Urea: At the 40 lb N rate/acre/cutting, Urea produced 14% less yield than AN; at 80 lb and 120 lb N/ac/cutting, Urea produced 6% and 5% lower yields, respectively, than AN but, statistically, these lower yields were not different than those produced by AN at the same rates of N.

Ammonium sulfate produced similar yields as AN at the 40 lb and 80 lb N/ac/cutting rates. However, the three year average yields show that ammonium sulfate, at the 120 lb N/ac/cutting rate, produced 11% lower yields than AN at the same rate.

Interpretation: Use a sufficiently high N rate and there are little differences in yield comparing N sources. Use to little N for optimum biological grass growth, for example when cutting back on the N rate to save money bc of high fertilizer costs, or when applying N at lower rates for grazing, will show differences among N sources.

Edited by vhaby, 19 June 2010 - 08:08 AM.
Adding to post

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#4 geiselbreth

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 04:45 PM

my fertilize program is 300 lbs 0060 in spring 100lbs 18460 (dap) 400lbs amonia nitrate 2 weeks before cut with 50 lbs 98% sulfur cut 23 acres last week did 1900 55lb squares this was 30 day after first cut built nsol rig going to knife in 18 gallon of nsol will loose very little to air probly in week or 10 days hope for third cut last of june or first of july
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#5 hay wilson in TX

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 04:28 PM

Our friend vhaby is a deep well of accurate information.
He has put me on the right track numerous times, for both alfalfa and bermudagrass.

If your soil and climate is similar to that in the North East Texas Sandy Lands you ca go to the bank with his data.
If your climate and soil comes close to that enjoyed in East Bell County, TX you may want to modify your methods to better match your local conditions.
One difference is There the nitrogen plays out in about 6 weeks. A good compromise is to cut for hay and fertilize roughly every 4 weeks. Managed grazing will be a little different. I have heard grazing dairy farmers in East Texas say that they can detect a lose in milk production if not fertilized every 3 weeks.

Here with our heavy clay soils, nitrogen fertilizer will persist for years and years. There is a small percentage of losses to leaching, denitrification and other slippages, but not much. That is not to say that there are not some penalties for over fertilizing with nitrogen, Here, but we can apply all the nitrogen needed for our expected yield in the winter, when our world is as cold as it ever becomes here. Seldom will our soils freeze and if they do the shallow frost last only for a few days to a week.
What this says is top dressing Urea is reasonable during January or February. This is true if the ground surface is dry at the time. IF this is your option, remember you will have a real flush of weed growth early in the spring. Roundup and 2,4-D usually cleans up that little problem in early March.

Here the soil test will report Very High levels of potassium. For numerous reasons the soil test for the Bell County Black land will over report the level presence of crop Available P & K. For this reason plant analysis is a better tool to estimate the nutrient levels, Here. East Texas does not have this problem.

In East Texas the soil can use lime to enhance yield. Here we have free floating calcium carbonate in the soil and we must work around that little truth. Go 50 miles north of our Here and the soil is neutral and 160 ppm K is a really good soil test. With our Here 320 ppm K will have crops that are deficient for potassium.

One last bit. There is a fellow in Louisianan who applies 10 or more pounds of sulfur for every ton of bermudagrass hay harvested. That is roughly double what the crop uses, plus they are down wind from Sulfur City, LA and all the refineries. Ask him why so much sulfur, and the answer will be very honest. That is how much experience has shown them to require.

The Texas Extension likes to promote soil testing.
I like to promote hay testing.
Test every cutting from every field.
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#6 Hayking

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 05:58 PM

Thanks guys thats alot of helpful information.

#7 johndeerefarmer

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 09:07 AM

Our friend vhaby is a deep well of accurate information.
He has put me on the right track numerous times, for both alfalfa and bermudagrass.

If your soil and climate is similar to that in the North East Texas Sandy Lands you ca go to the bank with his data.
If your climate and soil comes close to that enjoyed in East Bell County, TX you may want to modify your methods to better match your local conditions.
One difference is There the nitrogen plays out in about 6 weeks. A good compromise is to cut for hay and fertilize roughly every 4 weeks. Managed grazing will be a little different. I have heard grazing dairy farmers in East Texas say that they can detect a lose in milk production if not fertilized every 3 weeks.

Here with our heavy clay soils, nitrogen fertilizer will persist for years and years. There is a small percentage of losses to leaching, denitrification and other slippages, but not much. That is not to say that there are not some penalties for over fertilizing with nitrogen, Here, but we can apply all the nitrogen needed for our expected yield in the winter, when our world is as cold as it ever becomes here. Seldom will our soils freeze and if they do the shallow frost last only for a few days to a week.
What this says is top dressing Urea is reasonable during January or February. This is true if the ground surface is dry at the time. IF this is your option, remember you will have a real flush of weed growth early in the spring. Roundup and 2,4-D usually cleans up that little problem in early March.

Here the soil test will report Very High levels of potassium. For numerous reasons the soil test for the Bell County Black land will over report the level presence of crop Available P & K. For this reason plant analysis is a better tool to estimate the nutrient levels, Here. East Texas does not have this problem.

In East Texas the soil can use lime to enhance yield. Here we have free floating calcium carbonate in the soil and we must work around that little truth. Go 50 miles north of our Here and the soil is neutral and 160 ppm K is a really good soil test. With our Here 320 ppm K will have crops that are deficient for potassium.

One last bit. There is a fellow in Louisianan who applies 10 or more pounds of sulfur for every ton of bermudagrass hay harvested. That is roughly double what the crop uses, plus they are down wind from Sulfur City, LA and all the refineries. Ask him why so much sulfur, and the answer will be very honest. That is how much experience has shown them to require.

The Texas Extension likes to promote soil testing.
I like to promote hay testing.
Test every cutting from every field.


About 10 years ago my fertilizer dealer starting telling me how much I needed sulphur and how much sulphur would increase my yield. Basically they had found a source of cheap ammonium sulfate and were pushing that hard. I don't know if the sulphur helped with tonnage or not but it did make the soil more acidic. I realize that ammonium nitrate and urea can also change the ph but not as much (I think )

#8 hay wilson in TX

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 02:06 PM

>>Basically they had found a source of cheap ammonium sulfate and were pushing that hard. I don't know if the sulphur helped with tonnage or not but it did make the soil more acidic. I realize that ammonium nitrate and urea can also change the ph but not as much (I think)<<

The local soil type will effect how much nitrogen will effect a pH.

Yes any form of nitrogen can lower the pH to some degree. There are reference as to how much but I never worried about pH with our 8 pH & literally tons of lime per acre. This is true in our section of the Texas Blacklands but not universally true for the Blacklands.

One thing about sulfur for hay, sulfur is required with nitrogen to produce a protein. They tell me we need the plant to test between a N/S ratio between 10/1 & 18/1 to produce protein.
So the fertilizer sales type may have been telling the truth, but possibly not the whole truth.
If your soil has an 8 pH and runs in the range of 10% free lime, then it matters little how far the application of 21-0-0 is applies, in a few months the pH will be right back in the 8 pH range.
The local research center tried 9,000 lbs/A of raw sulfur to lower the pH and by season's end was right back in the 8 pH range.
Just for grins I put 1,500 lbs on an acre and that also dropped the pH like a rock. By September the pH was right back where it started.
One thing about applying anything with a whole lot of ammonia. Ammonia is really another cation and it will mess up the uptake of potassium, big time!

#9 johndeerefarmer

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 03:18 PM

I remember that the Sulphur Institute was who was really pushing using ammonium sulfate. I don't find a lot of references to how important it really is or how much it actually increases nitrogen efficiency. I wonder if it increases nitrogen efficiency enough to make up for the extra lime that I have to buy to counteract it? Most soil tests don't even test for sulphur as part of the standard test. Interestingly enough, the place that tested for sulphur was the one selling the sulphate. Used to be, if you were their customer they tested your soil for free (actually they send to sample to A&L Plains Lab but they paid for it.)
I have never heard of the pH going down and up so fast as you describe- very interesting.

Somewhere over on the Texas Forages site their was a chart that showed how much pH declined over three years use of ammonium sulfate v.s. nitrate. They stated that most soil scientists believe that sulfate has three times the acidifying effect of other types of fertilizer.
My other problem with sulfate is that the amount of actual N per lb of product is so low that I have to put out 500 lbs/A to get the 100 lbs of actual N that I apply before my first two cuttings. The spreaders won't hold enough fertilizer to do my fields with just one load and its 40 miles one way to the co-op

BTW pH on my hay meadows (black gumbo) is about 5.2 to 5.4. Some of my coastal pastures (same soil )are 6.0 due to the fact that I haven't fertilized them as much over the years. Also the hay meadows had lime applied the last time in 1994. I soil test my meadows and fields every year and so far no lime has been recommended. I am a cooperator with the Noble Foundation and they write the recommendations. I believe that A&M doesn't want pH to get that low before applying lime but Noble Foundations doesn't agree.

Thanks for the information.

#10 vhaby

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 07:49 AM

JohnDeereFarmer,

Your black soil may be a Wilson silt loam or a Burleson clay. For what my two cents might be worth, Coastal bermudagrass needs soil pH to remain above 5.6 in order for this grass to contain sufficient calcium for milk production in nursing cows and for high rate of gain stocker-type cattle. Tifton 85 bermudagrass needs a pH above 6.5 and even higher for optimum production. The Noble Foundation may be correct that Coastal bermudagrass may not respond to liming to raise pH to 5.6 or above from pH 5.2- 5.4, but the calcium needs of the forage consuming animals must also be considered. Also, if your grazing pastures will be seeded to cool-season annual forages such as ryegrass, wheat, or clovers for winter-spring grazing, the soil pH needs to be about 6.0 to 6.2.

Equally important, the fertilizer that you apply for grass production will be less efficient at the lower pH levels. This is especially true for applied phosphorus. As pH declines to 5.5 and lower, aluminum that is part of the clay minerals increases in solubility to raise the level of elemental aluminum (Al 3+). This form of aluminum will form insoluble compounds with soil and applied phosphorus, making the phosphorus unavailable for plant uptake. Additionally, sufficiently high concentrations of elemental aluminum will be toxic to the root tips of susceptible plants, preventing root growth that will limit production.

Edited by vhaby, 30 August 2010 - 07:52 AM.

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#11 hay wilson in TX

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 08:03 AM

The pH information for T-85 is something that I did not realize.
For the soils around Temple Texas it will not matter but around Waco that is information that needs to be considered.

#12 hay wilson in TX

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 09:26 AM

>>I don't find a lot of references to how important it really is or how much it actually increases nitrogen efficiency. I wonder if it increases nitrogen efficiency enough to make up for the extra lime that I have to buy to counteract it? <<The sulfur does not improve nitrogen use efficiency so much as it supplies an essential element for protein building. In diagramming a protein molecule one of the anions sticking out is a sulfur anion. To dramatically improve nitrogen use efficiency calls for potassium.

>>Most soil tests don't even test for sulphur as part of the standard test. Interestingly enough, the place that tested for sulphur was the one selling the sulphate. Used to be, if you were their customer they tested your soil for free (actually they send to sample to A&L Plains Lab but they paid for it.)<<
Not so sure about the Most Soil Test not looking at sulfur, but I do know the reliability of the sulfur analysis in a soil test is not reliable. If you are interested in sulfur then plant analysis is recommended.

>>I have never heard of the pH going down and up so fast as you describe- very interesting.<<
You are not alone. The first I heard of it was from an Ex Researcher of the Blackland Research Station at Temple TX. He was in on applying the 9,000 lbs of raw sulfur in an attempt to cure Cotton Root Rot. It did drop the pH down into the 6.x ranges but did nothing to cure Cotton Root Rot.
In the 1980's it was all the rage that anhydrous ammonia would kill the soil. So I tried to kill a acre with 1,500 lbs of Anhydrous. It lowered the ph down to the mid 6 pH range. What interested me was all that nitrogen did not give a gargantuan boost to the bermudagrass yield, (That Year). It did drop the potassium levels in the hay analysis drastically and this probably was an adverse effect on yield. Yield went up every year until the seventh year. That is when I again started to apply nitrogen on an annual basis.

In the 1970's 21-0-0 was all the rage for pasture fertilization. (It was cheap) Neighbor was spreading AMS and the spinner drive stopped. He put an 24" wide swath the length of the pasture rather than the usual 30 foot wide swath. That 24 inches of bermudagrass died. The next year the bermudagrass filled back in and grew 6" taller than the rest of the pasture and was a strikingly darker green color. Something to his embarrassment could be seen from the road. TWENTY Years later you could still see where that stripe had been, if you looked. To my knowledge no lessons were learned on that side of the fence.
Four years ago the local Little League was using way too much water on their fields. I spread 6,000 lbs of 21-0-0 (AMS) over two fields and you can still see the positive response.
For some reason the local American Plant Food does not want to sell pure urea fertilizer. They want to sell a mixture with AMS to have a 34% N product. P assume it is because their location is down close to Houston and their soil & climate is considerably different to that in Bell and Williamson Counties.



>>Somewhere over on the Texas Forages site their was a chart that showed how much pH declined over three years use of ammonium sulfate v.s. nitrate. They stated that most soil scientists believe that sulfate has three times the acidifying effect of other types of fertilizer.<<
I have seen that information also, but it was immaterial to my soils.

>>My other problem with sulfate is that the amount of actual N per lb of product is so low that I have to put out 500 lbs/A to get the 100 lbs of actual N that I apply before my first two cuttings. The spreaders won't hold enough fertilizer to do my fields with just one load and its 40 miles one way to the co-op<<

See if that Coop will deliver your fertilizer in a large capacity dispenser. That or look for an alternative source for your fertilizers. I am less than impressed with Coop's desire to serve their customers.
I use between 500 lbs and 300 lbs of 82-0-0 (400 to 240 lbs N/A) based on my records.


>>BTW pH on my hay meadows (black gumbo) is about 5.2 to 5.4. Some of my coastal pastures (same soil )are 6.0 due to the fact that I haven't fertilized them as much over the years. Also the hay meadows had lime applied the last time in 1994<<
Which shows to go you not all Texas Blacklands are calcareous.

>>I soil test my meadows and fields every year and so far no lime has been recommended. I am a cooperator with the Noble Foundation and they write the recommendations.

I believe that A&M doesn't want pH to get that low before applying lime but Noble Foundations doesn't agree.<<

It is well documented that recommendations are not really all that great, unless they have done application and yield trials on you general soil type in your climate. TAMU recommendations for the soil HERE is notoriously inaccurate for P & K and works on the an erroneous assumption for nitrogen. They consistently say these soils need little if any P and that our K levels are excessive when the farmers see a positive crop response to P & K. Their model is a low CEC soil, in the 10 Meq.100g range. For that soil fertilizing after each cutting is advisable. With our 40 CEC clay soils we can fertilize in the late fall or deep winter and still see a positive crop response in September.
The Noble Foundation has some truly fine researchers, and publish some excellent information.
I would think you could find better information at East Texas State College, aka TX A & M at Commerce.

For bermudagrass I get a lot of my information from the Overton Research Center, and vhaby has his name on a lot of great data. The information that I value is their yield and mineral analysis data. I have numerous references all highly underlined, highlighted, with many notes and local observations in the margins.

I recommend you utilize hay analysis to monitor your fertility. I do not pay for a "Hay Test" but I do pay for a plant analysis. You can determine the Crude Protein by N% X 6.25 = CP. I will grant you this does not provide TDN or other feed values, but my hay customers are not interested in that, and I am interested in the mineral analysis. Plus the plant analysis has Sulfur & Boron results and the hay analysis does not.

#13 johndeerefarmer

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 10:19 AM

JohnDeereFarmer,

Your black soil may be a Wilson silt loam or a Burleson clay. For what my two cents might be worth, Coastal bermudagrass needs soil pH to remain above 5.6 in order for this grass to contain sufficient calcium for milk production in nursing cows and for high rate of gain stocker-type cattle. Tifton 85 bermudagrass needs a pH above 6.5 and even higher for optimum production. The Noble Foundation may be correct that Coastal bermudagrass may not respond to liming to raise pH to 5.6 or above from pH 5.2- 5.4, but the calcium needs of the forage consuming animals must also be considered. Also, if your grazing pastures will be seeded to cool-season annual forages such as ryegrass, wheat, or clovers for winter-spring grazing, the soil pH needs to be about 6.0 to 6.2.

Equally important, the fertilizer that you apply for grass production will be less efficient at the lower pH levels. This is especially true for applied phosphorus. As pH declines to 5.5 and lower, aluminum that is part of the clay minerals increases in solubility to raise the level of elemental aluminum (Al 3+). This form of aluminum will form insoluble compounds with soil and applied phosphorus, making the phosphorus unavailable for plant uptake. Additionally, sufficiently high concentrations of elemental aluminum will be toxic to the root tips of susceptible plants, preventing root growth that will limit production.


The soil in my hay meadows are primarily Normangee clay loam. One pasture that I sometimes cut for hay is Crockett loam and Crosstell fine sandy loam.

I have saw many sources that show how much of my fertilizer isn't being utilized due to incorrect pH. I guess I figured that the economists at Noble Foundation have calculated cost of the loss of N,P and K (due to not being able to utilize due to low pH) it v.s. cost of bringing pH back up. As the cost of fertililzer has risen the past few years it makes me wonder if I can afford to NOT have pH being higher.
You might can answer this- I know that N leaches and P might but does the P &K that aren't utilized remain in the soil for future use once pH rises or are they lost forever?

I will have to check into calcium as I haven't considered its importance before. I seem to always get conflicting data whether it be going to a doctor or relating to agriculture. About all that I can do is research data from Texas A&M, OSU, Noble and sometimes Kansas, Missouri and Tennesee. Compare that data and make a decision, try it and see what happens.

For my winter pastures I have learned that if I lightly disk and overseed my hay meadows it hurts the stand of coastal not only from the ryegrass choking out early coastal production but mainly from the disking itself. So I now only overseed ryegrass onto my common bermuda pastures. Since these pasture haven't been fertilized as heavily over the years, pH is higher and ryegrass grows well.

Thanks for the information.

#14 vhaby

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 10:59 PM

"You might can answer this- I know that N leaches and P might but does the P &K that aren't utilized remain in the soil for future use once pH rises or are they lost forever?"

Nitrogen in the nitrate form will leach while the ammonium source of N moves very little in the soil, but in a well limed soil, ammonium converts rather quickly to the nitrate form. We used to say that P doesn't leach and that is still true for the inorganic fertilizer P. However, the organic P in manures such as poultry litter, has been found to leach in soils.

As soil pH rises following lime application, unused residual soil P becomes more available for plant use. The efficiency of residual potassium improves also, so the answer is "No," residual soil P and K are not lost forever but slowly become available over time.

Edited by vhaby, 30 August 2010 - 11:02 PM.


#15 hay wilson in TX

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 05:10 PM

But
With this calcareous, High CEC, Vertisal, clay if any fertility elements actually leach out, it probably is in an upward direction, when inundated with water.

Nitrogen just has no place to go even in the nitrate form, The ammonia being another cation becomes attached to the clay particles and becomes a slow release fertilizer.

The Blackland Research Center mentioned it requires 5 years to get all the accumulated nitrogen.

I do know that well fertilized bermudagrass can yield for three full years with no annual nitrogen application, with no discernable loss in yield or quality. On my field that received this treatment it was not until the fourth year that there was any loss in yield or appearance.

The one acre that received 1,500 lbs of Anhydrous (1230 lbs N ) went 7 years before I noticed a drop in yield. To be fair, I believe if I had applied 500 lbs / Murate of Potash & 1,500 lbs / KMag the annual yields would have been considerably higher and the nitrogen would have played out sooner.

Then there is the neighbor who laid a strip of AMS down rather than a possibly 300 lbs/A thirty foot wide swath. That stripe was visible for 20 years.

Potash I have one field that had alfalfa planted off & on for 50 years before there was any sign of potassium deficiency. Then the soil test was down to 330 ppm K and the plant analysis was down close to 1.00% K.

Now I fertilize to maintain >400 ppm K soil test, and starting this year I am applying a booster fertilization of 200 lbs/A 0-0-60 after the first cutting. My object is to encourage luxury uptake going into our usual summer drought.

Both plant analysis and hay analysis show my alfalfa has better phosphate levels than my fertilizer program would justify. In the 1950's the Government would pay two thirds of the cost of phosphate fertilizer if applied to a legume. Alfalfa being a legume we availed our selves of the service. They paid two thirds of the cost of 300 lbs/A of Super Phosphate (0-20-0), Later they paid two thirds on just 200 lbs of fertilizer but it was ok to use Triple Super Phosphate (0-45-0), At that time our yields were 2 to 3 tons/A/year. Three tons using 14 lbs/T of P2O5 would be 42 lbs, and we were applying first 60 lbs & then 90 lbs P2O5/A.

True this is mostly have anecdotal information,

#16 johndeerefarmer

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 07:43 AM

Thanks

Interestingly enough I also applied 200 lbs/A of 0-0-60. My soil test only called for 60 lbs. For me it is 160 miles to the co-op for a complete trip so I put out enough to last a few years. I understand that nitrogen is the most likely to leach but have also experienced what you said about having a strip of dark green for years. We broke a belt on the spreader and didn't see it for awhile. Had darks stripes across the field for several years.

Makes me wonder sometime if instead of putting out 100 lbs of actual N before each cutting to go ahead and put it all out at once. If ammonium nitrate was still easy to get I would do it but urea is kind of tricky. On a side note I just fertilized 30 acres of coastal last Friday with 50lbs of urea and got a 1/4" on Monday and it's pouring raining right now. I just might have enough have after all. :)

Yeah, back in the fifties dad got a lot of help from the AAA, as it was called back then. He got enough lespedeza to cover the entire farm and some of it is still here 60+ years later. His fertilizer spreader back then was a 55 gallon drum made into a spreader.

#17 hay wilson in TX

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 11:55 AM

Here is a link, I just found, to the a Noble Foundation article.
http://www.noble.org...ass/CDIndex.pdf

Some of the data also comes from NW Louisiana and it will require some interpolation for your soil. This bulletin gives the idea that you will not see a yield response to adding lime just to increase the pH.

You also have to use some judgement on the reaction to nitrogen fertilizers. They do not also increase the P & K to reflect the added Nitrogen, nor do they lengthen the harvest interval to allow the grass to grow enough to decrease the CP. Remember that is research and you are in production. There is a difference.

If you are shooting for 12% CP then you should see a ton of hay for each 40 lbs of actual nitrogen.

Potash on Bermudagrass, I fertilize with potash every three years. Actually I fertilize a third of my ground every year. I apply 500 maybe 600 lbs of 0-0-60 plus 500, or 1000 or 1500 lbs of KMag/A. I really want the hay test to show close to 2.50% K but am happy with 2.00% K.

Look around and maybe you can find someone with a anhydrous tool bar that has cutting coulters ahead of the knives and can also put 10-34-0 down in the AA slot. The major disadvantage of this is weeds will come up in each slot, the applicator needs to run in the same pattern you use to mow, (or you will have a rough ride mowing and raking.)

I should be at the annual BIG conference in Waco come late February, early March, we can visit there. Or you can write me at jfbw (at) aol (dot) com.

The best CNC /CNR data I have found is from Overton Texas

#18 hay wilson in TX

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 01:19 PM

Here is a link, I just found, to the a Noble Foundation article.
http://www.noble.org....ss/CDIndex.pdf


I do not think the folks at Nobel Foundation fully expect anyone to put a pencil to their data.
The Doctors still have me not being able to pick up more than 5 lbs so I have time to burn.

Looking at the Homer, LA data (they have a true put and take sandy soil) I found some interesting data.

Table 4 effect of Nitrogen.
Zero 0 #/A N yielded 1.04 T/A with 8.6% CP = 1.29% N or 26 lbs N/T
200 lbs/A N yielded 4.62 T/A with 10.8% CP = 1.73% N or 34.6 lbs N/T
400 lbs/A N yielded 6.78 T/A with 12.7% CP = 2.03% N or 40.6 lbs N/T

4.62 T used 160 lbs of N with 40 lbs not accounted for.
6.78 T used 275 lbs of N with 125 lbs not accounted for.

My spin:
I assume the 26 lbs of nitrogen was deposited on the soil by rain storms.
What happened to the 40 + 26 & the 125 + 26 at Homer I suspect leached from the root zone.
This is the reason it is recommended to apply nitrogen after every cutting or every 4 to 6 weeks.

I suggest that this unused nitrogen in the TX Blackland Clay Soils becomes tied to the Cation Exchange sites and is not lost but becomes a residual nitrogen, available to future crop.

Table 5 I find very interesting, with AMS (21-0-0) out yielding both UAN (32-0-0) and Urea, in Oklahoma.

Table 9 is interesting the amount of potash .

At 200 lbs/A K2O more potassium was removed than applied.
At 400 lbs/A K2O more potassium was applied than removed
This suggest to me that at the rate of nitrogen applied more nitrogen might prove productive.


Now a little explanation.
These Research Centers, harvest with a research harvesting machine. It has a precise width of cut and they cut for a precise distance, collecting the clippings in a container. They weigh the material in the container, and this gives the weight per acre information, which is corrected to a dry matter weight. They also take their sample to be analyzed from this collection container. The result is zero percentage for harvest losses.
We on the other hand have a percentage of harvesting losses, which effects both yield and quality.

If we do our part with minimum losses we should see at least 80% of their yield and quality results.
Besides the losses from leaf shattering, if the hay has not dried enough to not have overnight respiration, over night, the hay will loose yield as well as feed quality.


#19 johndeerefarmer

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 02:18 PM

Thanks for the information.

I typically fertilize my hay meadows with 100 lbs of actual N before each cutting. If I need P or K I typically apply a blend such as 36-16-0. Then the potash is applied separately.

With 4 1/2 to 5 weeks cutting interval, my forage analysis tests come back with protien as high as 19.2% with a TDN of 62.2. Usually in the 17-19% range.

Hay cut at 5 weeks has given me 14- 15%
6 weeks is usually 13.5 to 14.2%
7 weeks old is around 10.7% with TDN of 60

Some years I have enough hay by the second cutting so I don't put any more fertilizer on it. Then when I make a fall cutting (just to get if off the field) I get 4% protien and TDN of 53-56.

My hay analysis test results show that any of my hay above 11% will satisfy the needs of a 1200lb mature cow in early lactation and average milk production. For this hay, Noble says i should feed 29 lbs of hay with no supplementation. When I have 17% to 19% hay, about 24lbs of hay are needed to met the cow's needs.

So now I shoot for hay that is 5 to 6 weeks old to feed to my cows.

It usually frosts here in North Texas around November 15, so I like to get the last cutting about 3 weeks before that to give the grass a chance to grow back some so as to be an insulator in the winter.

I did put out 50lbs of N on 30 acres last week (because I am short of hay). We got a 1/4" or rain two days later and then 3" after that so I should be able to make another cutting around the first week in October.

#20 hay wilson in TX

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 07:12 PM

I would say you have a couple of options, one would be to put up less hay, or sell your hay that is more than your needs.
As for the last cutting of the seaso, I like to put my baler deep in the barn all cleaned and serviced for the following year on or before October 10. My reasoning is when there are more hours of dark than light the major growth goes into the roots. I like to have 6 - 8 inches of growth going into the first frost, 22 Nov here. This shades the ground and discourages weed germination.
If the table comes through you will notice that two thirds or better of bermudagrass hay is leaves. It appears you are doing a superior job of conserving your leaves.

For your own satidfaction try, on a small strip, applying all the nitrogen you think you will need for the year and compare it to your present system. It works here, I can not say for sure it will work there.
=======================================================

Selectively copied and extracted from E-179 4-03
Forage Bermudagrass:
Selection, Establishment and Management
Charles Stichler and David Bade, Extension Agronomists
The Texas A&M University System

Whether the grass is grazed by livestock or harvested mechanically, the stage or level of maturity of the plant tissue will also determine its quality.
Without proper harvest timing, high-quality forage will rapidly turn into “cardboard.” Research conducted
in Georgia on Coastal bermudagrass produced the results shown in Table 5.

Although the yield was higher for an individual cutting at 6 weeks, the amount of protein produced per acre was almost the same as the amount of protein produced after 3 weeks. In these tests, cutting twice at 3-week intervals would produce twice as much protein and almost twice as much forage per acre as cutting at 6-week intervals.

Table 5
Cutting Yield CP Leaf % Stem % Fiber %
interval T/A
3 ----- 7.9 ---18.5 --- 83---- 17 --- 27
4----- 8.4----16.4 --- 79---- 21--- 29.1
5------ 9.2 ----15.4 --- 70--- 30 --- 30.6
6 -----10.3 ----13.3 --- 62---- 38 --- 31.6
8 ----10.2 ---10.7 ----58 ---- 44 --- 32.9
12----10.4 ---- 9.0 -----51---- 49 --- 33.4

What is not said is the harvest cost will also be double with the 3 week harvest intervals.
They are also referring to Georgia Climatic conditions, which are considerably different than that found in the Central Texas Blacklands.

They are also harvesting test plots with a forage test plot harvester, which has a very precise cutter bar width and with a precise mowing distance collects very accurately measured and weighed grass clippings. This is then translated to yield per acre.
If we the growers do our job we can expect to loose maybe 20% of the yield to leaf shattering. This will reduce yield but the percentage of leaves will absorb most if not all of this loss. This means the CP will go down at as disproportional rate while the percentage of stems and fiber will actually increase.
My favorite harvest interval is 6 weeks or 42 days and I expect 12% CP and 6 to 7 tons/A/Yr of hay or a ton/hay / 5 inches of useable rainfall. My goal is for a ton of hay for 3.5" of useable rain.

https://agrilifebook...2128502f3a7c6d5

This is added to my bermudagrass fertility notes.

Edited by hay wilson in TX, 05 September 2010 - 07:19 PM.





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