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ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #303461

Research Project: MANAGEMENT AND CONSERVATION PRACTICES TO IMPROVE WATER QUALITY IN AGROECOSYSTEMS OF THE NORTHEASTERN US

Location: Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research

Title: Foliar fertilization–induced injury and recovery of a creeping bentgrass putting green

Author
item Zhu, Qing - Nanjing Agricultural University
item Schlossberg, Maxim - Pennsylvania State University
item Bryant, Ray

Submitted to: Journal of Plant Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2014
Publication Date: 5/9/2016
Citation: Zhu, Q., Schlossberg, M., Bryant, R.B. 2016. Foliar fertilization–induced injury and recovery of a creeping bentgrass putting green. Journal of Plant Nutrition. doi:10.1080/01904167.2016.1161778.

Interpretive Summary: Foliar applications of fertilizers can cause “salt burn,” browning of the leaves and stunted growth. The purpose of this study was to evaluate early-response of putting green canopy quality parameters and rates of growth and nutrient use to rate and/or type of foliarly-applied nitrogen (N) fertilizer. Two independent fertility trials were conducted on a sand-based creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) putting green. Nitrogen treatments were prepared using a soluble ‘Amine’ fertilizer or an ammonium nitrate “salt” fertilizer containing 15% nitrogen, 0% phosphorus, and 5.8% potassium (15N–0P–5.8K). These liquid fertilizers were applied at 0, 24.5, 37, or 49 kg ha–1. Clipping yields were collected weekly and digested for N content. Canopy reflectance, measured every 4 +/- 1 days, was used to calculate normalized differential vegetative (NDVI) and dark green color (DGCI) indices. Nitrogen rate directly influenced mean clipping yield and N offtake rate, while fertilizer type influenced all measured variables. Relative to the Salt fertilizer, the Amine supported a 6.9 or 7.9% greater mean growth or N offtake rate, and a 1.8 or 2.7% higher mean NDVI or DGCI level. Two and five days after treatment, plots treated with the Salt fertilizer showed significantly lesser NDVI and DGCI levels relative to Amine. The magnitude of these differences increased with N rate, and was likely due to greater solute concentration of the Salt fertilizer. Eight to 21 days after treatment, fewer differences were observed by fertilizer type and/or rate. To prevent desiccation injury while satisfying putting green nutrient requirements, the authors recommend foliar N fertilization by soluble fertilizer be limited to rates less than 13 kg ha–1.

Technical Abstract: The experimental objective was to evaluate early-response of putting green (PG) canopy quality parameters and rates of growth and nutrient use to rate and/or type of foliarly-applied nitrogen (N) fertilizer. In 2010, two independent fertility trials were conducted on a sand-based creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) PG. Nitrogen treatments were prepared using a soluble ‘Amine’ or ‘Salt’ 15N–0P–5.8K liquid fertilizer and applied at 0, 24.5, 37, or 49 kg ha–1. Clipping yields were collected weekly and digested for N content. Canopy reflectance, measured every 4 +/- 1 days, was used to calculate normalized differential vegetative (NDVI) and dark green color (DGCI) indices. Nitrogen rate directly influenced mean clipping yield and N offtake rate, while fertilizer type influenced all measured variables. Relative to the Salt fertilizer, the Amine supported a 6.9 or 7.9% greater mean growth or N offtake rate, and a 1.8 or 2.7% higher mean NDVI or DGCI level. Two and five days after treatment (DAT), plots treated with the Salt fertilizer showed significantly lesser NDVI and DGCI levels relative to Amine. The magnitude of these differences increased with N rate, and was likely due to greater solute concentration of the Salt fertilizer. Eight to 21 DAT, fewer differences were observed by fertilizer type and/or rate. To prevent desiccation injury while satisfying PG nutrient requirements, the authors recommend foliar N fertilization by soluble fertilizer be limited to rates less than 13 kg ha–1.