Submitted to: Animal Production Systems and the Environment
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/19/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The nitrogen and phosphorus contained in animal manure are the two primary nutrients contributing to pollution of ground and surface waters. Using forage crops to remove nitrogen and phosphorus from the soil after manure application reduces the potential of these nutrients becoming pollutants. In the Southeast, bermudagrass has the greatest capacity to remove nutrients because of its yield potential. We conducted this study to determine which bermudagrass cultivar maximizes nutrient uptake. In the first year after establishment, annual uptake of nitrogen and phosphorus by common bermudagrass was similar to or greater than uptake by all the hybrids despite the fact that common bermudagrass yielded 12% less dry forage than Coastal bermudagrass, the most productive hybrid. Because yield is influenced by soil type, the study must be conducted on a range of soils before claiming the results have widespread application. Due to the low cost and success of common bermudagrass establishment compared to hybrid bermudagrass establishment, these results will be important to livestock producers applying animal manure to forages.
Technical Abstract: Enhanced nutrient uptake is contingent upon selection of appropriate species and cultivars. Among forage crops typically grown in the southeastern USA, bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.) has the greatest capacity to remove nutrients because of its pronounced yield response to applied N. Our objective was to determine yield and nutrient uptake differences among diverse bermudagrasses receiving swine effluent. Six hybrid cultivars (`Alicia', `Brazos', `Coastal',`Russell', `Tifton 44', `Tifton 85') and common bermudagrass were established on a Brooksville silty clay (fine, montmorillonitic, thermic Aquic Chromudert) and were irrigated in 1997 with 98 mm swine effluent ha-1 to provide 403 kg N ha-1 and 75 kg P ha-1. In the first year after establishment, annual uptake of N and P by common bermudagrass (406 kg N and 51 kg P ha-1, respectively) was similar to or greater than that of all the hybrids despite the fact that common yielded 12% less dry matter (DM) than Coastal (26.4 Mg DM ha-1), the most productive hybrid.