Submitted to: North American Alfalfa Improvement Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 19, 2004
Publication Date: July 19, 2004
Citation: Lamb, J.F., Russelle, M.P., Schmitt, M.A. 2004. Alfalfa response to manure applied during the growing season [abstract]. North American Alfalfa Improvement Conference, July 19-21, 2004, Ste. Foy, Quebec, Canada. Available: http://www.naaic.org/Meetings/National/2004NAAIC&TC/2004abstracts/jfslamb.pdf. Technical Abstract: Livestock manure can be a source of N and other plant nutrients for crop production and is usually applied to fields cropped to corn or other annual crops. However, frequently farmers have more manure than what can be appropriately applied to annual crop fields. A perennial forage such as alfalfa which is cut several times during the growing season could provide an alternative land base and time management strategy for manure applications. We evaluated 15 alfalfa entries for tolerance to summer manure applications at two locations in Minnesota. Eight to ten days after cutting, we applied the following five manure treatments: the control treatment had the manure application equipment driven over the plots but no manure was applied; the second treatment was hog manure; the last three treatments were hog manure amended with sodium chloride, hog manure amended with ammonium applied as ammonium sulfate, and hog manure amended with both sodium chloride and ammonium. Forage yield was recorded and stand scores were taken in spring and fall of each year. Environmental effects such as soil type and drought impacted our results, therefore results are discussed separately for each location. There was a manure treatment by entry interaction at one location but not the other. At the first location forage yield and stand score response to the manure treatments, ranked high to low, were: control, unamended manure, manure with ammonium, manure with sodium, and then manure with both ammonium and sodium. At the second location, the greatest yield and plant stands were in the manure treatment amended with both ammonium and sodium, followed by manure amended with ammonium, unamended manure, manure amended with sodium, and then the control. Because of these manure treatment response differences, forage yield and final stand score of the alfalfa entries ranked differently at the two locations.