Submitted to: Journal of Plant Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/28/2004
Publication Date: 5/1/2005
Citation: Brink, G.E., Pederson, G.A., Sistani, K.R. 2005. Nutrient uptake of swine effluent-fertilized bermudagrass during primary spring and summer growth. Journal of Plant Nutrition. 28:1337-1346. Interpretive Summary: Bermudagrass is a perennial grass grown in the southeastern United States that is commonly fertilized with animal manure and harvested to produce hay for animal consumption or to remove nutrients applied in the manure. However, management for these two goals may not be the same. We conducted this study to determine how bermudagrass maturity is related to nutrient concentration and uptake. Two different types of bermudagrass were fertilized with liquid swine manure and harvested every seven days for 63 days. We found that the both grasses attained greater maximum yield in the spring than in the summer. Concentration of nitrogen and phosphorus, nutrients implicated in ground and surface water impairment, in the grass declined throughout the spring and summer. Removal of nitrogen and phosphorus was greatest in the spring, suggesting that producers who routinely apply manure should permit bermudagrass to grow longer in the spring for maximum nutrient removal.
Technical Abstract: Production of bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] hay to manage manure nutrients may differ from production of hay intended for livestock consumption. Our objective was to determine relationships between maturity and yield, nutrient concentration, and nutrient uptake in bermudagrass fertilized with swine effluent. Primary spring and summer growth of 'Coastal' hybrid and common bermudagrass was harvested every 7 d to 63 d maturity. Effluent applied to the Brooksville silty clay loam (fine, smectitic, thermic Aquic Hapludert) during each harvest period contained 140 kg N, 240 kg K, and 25 kg P ha-1 (mean of 2 yr). Coastal and common bermudagrass had similar trends for yield, nutrient concentration, and nutrient uptake. Dry matter production followed a linear trend in the spring (maximum of 1.11 kg m-2 after 63 d) and a quadratic trend in the summer (maximum of 0.96 kg m-2 after 56 d). Herbage N concentration declined from 33 to 17 g kg-1 during the spring and summer harvest period, while P concentration declined from 3.8 to 2.4 g kg-1. Maximum K concentration (26 g kg-1) occurred at 28 d of growth. Nitrogen, P, and K uptake exhibited a quadratic response to increasing maturity during the spring and summer harvest periods, but maximum uptake was greater in the spring compared to the summer. These results suggest that the spring harvest period is the best time to maximize nutrient uptake by delaying bermudagrass harvest to more mature stages.