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Title: EFFECT OF SOURCE AND RATE OF NITROGEN AND SULFUR FERTILIZER ON YIELD, QUALITY, AND MINERAL COMPOSITION OF STOCKPILED TALL FESCUE

Author
item Singer, Jeremy
item MOORE, K
item HINTZ, R
item PATRICK, P
item SUMMER, P

Submitted to: Crop Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/4/2007
Publication Date: 5/7/2007
Citation: Singer, J.W., Moore, K.J., Hintz, R.L., Patrick, P.K., Summer, P. 2007. Effect of source and rate of nitrogen and sulfur fertilizer on yield, quality, and mineral composition of stockpiled tall fescue. Available: Crop Management doi:10.1094/CM-2007-0507-01-RS, www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/sub/cm/research/2007/fertilizer/.

Interpretive Summary: Field research was conducted for 2 yr to determine the effect of nitrogen and sulfur source and rate effects on stockpiled tall fescue forage yield, quality, and mineral content at different harvest dates. Alternative nitrogen sources that contain sulfur may improve stockpiled tall fescue forage quality and lower production costs. High lysine fertilizer, which contains approximately 6% total nitrogen and sulfate, produced similar dry matter yields to ammonium nitrate when combining the fall stockpiled yield with a residual harvest the following spring. However, ammonium nitrate produced more stockpiled forage than the high lysine fertilizer treatment in one of 2 yr. Adding nitrogen increased forage quality, regardless of the nitrogen source. Adding sulfur did not improve forage quality or dry matter yield. Growers deciding between nitrogen sources should base their decisions on forage supply and cost because cumulative performance of tall fescue using both nitrogen sources was equal.

Technical Abstract: Field research was conducted for 2 yr to determine the effect of nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S) source and rate effects on stockpiled tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) forage yield, quality, and mineral content at different harvest dates. High lysine fertilizer (HLF), which contains approximately 6% total N and SO4, produced similar dry matter (DM) yields to NH4NO3 when combining the fall stockpiled yield with a residual harvest the following spring. However, NH4NO3 produced more stockpiled forage than HLF in one of 2 yr. Combining fall and spring harvests, each lb of fertilizer N resulted in a yield increase of between 24.8 and 27.5 lb DM during the two year study period. Adding N increased forage quality, regardless of the N source. But adding S did not improve forage quality or DM yield. Tall fescue harvested late had greater DM yield in one of 2 yr (9%) and higher crude protein and in vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD) both years. Growers deciding between N sources should base their decisions on forage supply and cost because cumulative performance of tall fescue using both N sources was equal.