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Agricultural News


Fertilization as a Tool for Post-Drought Pasture Recovery

Wed, 15 Feb 2012 13:59:32 CST

Fertilization as a Tool for Post-Drought Pasture Recovery Plant fertility needs should be given special consideration in drought-damaged pastures says Daren D. Redfearn, of OSU's Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. Since many of these pastures were grazed repeatedly, it is likely that root growth will be restricted to the top few inches of soil. It is important that these pastures have a strong root system to speed the recovery of drought-damaged pastures.

Bermudagrass pastures
Since drought-damaged stands should be managed as a new stand, plant P needs should be the primary consideration. Standard P fertility recommendations are adequate for stands with slight to moderate damage, but stands with severe damage require additional P, even when soil test results indicate adequate available P levels (Table 1). Click here to access the full article and Tables 1 & 2.

Since bermudagrass pastures respond quickly to supplemental fertility, the addition of 50 lbs nitrogen (N) per acre will increase the recovery once the stolons have reached 6 to 10 inches in length. Nitrogen should only be applied if soil moisture is present. Once bermudagrass pastures begin to show signs of recovery, additional N can be applied to increase production if soil moisture is present. During drought or immediately following a drought, it is important that only enough N be applied for a 30-day production period based on the presence of adequate soil moisture. For example, this would be no more than 75 lbs N per acre per month.


Old World bluestem and weeping lovegrass pastures
Neither Old World bluestem nor weeping lovegrass respond as quickly to fertilization as
bermudagrass. However, each still have requirements for supplemental fertility. Similar to the recommendations for severely drought-damaged stands in bermudagrass, it is important to provide additional P when soil test results indicate adequate available P levels (Table 2). Click here to access the full article and Tables 1 & 2.

Additional N fertilization during the “new” establishment period for Old World bluestem and weeping lovegrass is not recommended since a small amount of N is present in many of the fertilizers used for P fertilization. During drought or immediately following a drought, it is important that additional N be applied only if adequate soil moisture is available. For example, this would be from 60 to no more than 75 lbs N per acre for the growing season.


   

 

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