Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 18, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Nutrient uptake by forages is known to be limited by the nutrient balances in the soil. Specifically the nitrogen shortage in contrast to the concentration of phosphorus. The uptake is also limited by moisture stress in the southeast U.S. and some of the assays of the assays of Irrigation was applied with sprinklers on a weekly basis at the modest rate of 3 cm/week when rain in the past seven days did not exceed 3 cm. The irrigation was expected to sustain some fall growth of the Alicia bermudagrass on these plots which were on a field in southern Mississippi on which poultry litter had been applied for the past 40+ years. The irrigation had a multitude of effects besides increasing yields during the dry periods. It also changed the plant density and the plant morphology. This is important because concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus are not the same for the stems and the leaves and not the same for dormant stems as it is for the growing stems. With irrigation, the forage bermudagrass maintained a large leaf mass and the stems were many and small. The impact was to greatly improve the feed value of the harvested hay while providing a substantially greater biomass at the soil surface protecting it from surface erosion and the obvious transfer of phosphorus to surface water runoff. The impacts of moderate levels of irrigation in contrast to no irrigation were to significantly increase the yield or biomass, to increase the level of soil protection, and to alter the concentrations of nutrients in the hay and its feed value.