Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium Fertilization for Newly Established Tall Fescue

Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station Research Reports, Apr 2017

Tall fescue production was studied during a third year at two locations. In 2015, Site 1 was affected by an interaction between nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilization rates; while in 2016, Site 2 mainly received production differences by N fertilization rates. Potassium (K) fertilization caused little effect at both sites. Third-year production of tall fescue was affected by an interaction between nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilization rates at Site 1 in 2015, but mainly by N fertilization rates at Site 2 in 2016, with little effect from potassium (K) fertilization at either site.

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Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium Fertilization for Newly Established Tall Fescue

Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium Fertilization for Newly Established Tall Fescue D. W. Sweeney 0 1 J. L. Moyer 0 1 J. K . Farney 0 1 0 Kansas State University , USA 1 Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service , USA Follow this and additional works at: http://newprairiepress.org/kaesrr Part of the Agronomy and Crop Sciences Commons Recommended Citation - This report is brought to you for free and open access by New Prairie Press. It has been accepted for inclusion in Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station Research Reports by an authorized administrator of New Prairie Press. Copyright January 2017 Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service. Contents of this publication may be freely reproduced for educational purposes. All other rights reserved. Brand names appearing in this publication are for product identification purposes only. K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium Fertilization for Newly Established Tall Fescue Third-year production of tall fescue was affected by an interaction between nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilization rates at Site 1 in 2015, but mainly by N fertilization rates at Site 2 in 2016, with little effect from potassium (K) fertilization at either site. Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. This Soil and Water Management article is available in Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station Research Reports: http://newprairiepress.org/kaesrr/vol3/iss2/9 2017 SEARC Agricultural Research Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium Fertilization for Newly Established Tall Fescue Summary Tall fescue production was studied during a third year at two locations. In 2015, Site 1 was affected by an interaction between nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilization rates; while in 2016, Site 2 mainly received production differences by N fertilization rates. Potassium (K) fertilization caused little effect at both sites. Third-year production of tall fescue was affected by an interaction between nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilization rates at Site 1 in 2015, but mainly by N fertilization rates at Site 2 in 2016, with little effect from potassium (K) fertilization at either site. Introduction Tall fescue is the major cool-season grass in southeastern Kansas. Perennial grass crops, as with annual row crops, rely on proper fertilization for optimum production; however, meadows and pastures are often under-fertilized and produce low quantities of lowquality forage. This is often true even when new stands are established. The objective of this study was to determine whether nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) fertilization improves yields during the early years of a stand. Experimental Procedures The experiment was established on two adjacent sites in fall 2012 (Site 1) and fall 2013 (Site 2) at the Parsons Unit of the Kansas State University Southeast Agricultural Research Center. The soil at both sites was a Parsons silt loam soil with initial soil test values of 5.9 pH, 2.8% organic matter, 4.2 ppm P, 70 ppm K, 3.9 ppm NH4-N, and 37.9 ppm NO3-N in the top 6 inches at Site 1; and 6.5 pH, 2.2% organic matter, 6.7 ppm P, 58 ppm K, 6.8 ppm NH4-N, and 12.3 ppm NO3-N in the top 6 inches at Site 2. The experimental design was a split-plot arrangement of a randomized complete block. The six whole plots were combinations of P2O5 and K O fertilizer levels allowing 2 for two separate analyses: 1) applying four levels of P2O5 consisting of 0, 25, and 50 lb/a each year and a fourth treatment of 100 lb/a only applied at the beginning of the study; and 2) conducted a 2 × 2 factorial combination of two levels of P2O5 (0, 50 lb/a) and two levels of K O (0, 40 lb/a). Subplots were four levels of N fertilization consisting 2 of 0, 50, 100, and 150 lb/a. Phosphorus and K fertilizers were broadcast applied in the fall as 0-46-0 (triple superphosphate) and 0-0-60 (potassium chloride). Nitrogen was broadcast applied in late winter as 46-0-0 (urea) solid. Second-year samplings and harvests from each site were as follows. Early growth yield as an estimate of grazing potential in early spring was taken at E2 (jointing) growth stage on April 23, 2015, at Site 1 and on April 22, 2016, at Site 2 from a subarea of each plot not used for later spring and fall harvests. Spring yield was measured at R4 (half bloom) on May 19, 2015, at Site 1 and on May 13, 2016, at Site 2. Fall harvest was taken on September 29, 2015, at Site 1 and on September 21, 2016, at Site 2. Results and Discussion Third-year production of tall fescue (Site 1 in 2015 and Site 2 in 2016) was affected by an interaction between N and P fertilization at Site 1, but predominantly by N fertilization at Site 2, with little response to K at either site. At site 1 in 2015, early yield at the E2 (jointing) growth stage, to estimate forage available if grazed early, was increased with 50 lb N/acre without P fertilization, but higher N rates did not increase E2 yield (Table 1). However, with P fertilization, early yield at E2 increased with N rates up to 150 lb/a. At R4 hay harvest in 2015, yield was increased by N additions up to 100 lb/a with no P, but with 25 lb P O /acre yield was increased to more than 3 ton/acre with 2 5 150 lb N. Fall harvest yield was increased by N rates up to 150 lb/a with no P. However, fall yields that were obtained with higher N rates and P fertilization were lower than with no P and high N rates and the response to N was less. This potentially may be because of residual unused N due to lower R4 yields without P fertilization. Total yield ranged up to nearly 4 ton/a with P fertilization and higher N rates. For the second year of production at Site 2 (2016), yield was mainly affected by N rate. Sampling at E2 and R4 and fall harvest yields were not affected by P fertilization and response to K fertilization was marginal. Increasing N rates tended to increase yield at the E2 sampling and R4 hay harvest, but response was less defined at the fall harvest (Table 2). Total yield averaged less than 3 ton/a, even at the 150 lb/a N rate. LSD (0.05) †The 100 lb P2O5/a rate was only applied at the beginning of the study (Fall 2012). E2 R4 (jointing) (half-bloom) Fall harvest (R4 + Fall) ----------------------------- ton/a, 12% moisture -------------------------0.26 1.09 0.84 1.94 0.23 1.02 0.79 1.81 0.23 1.08 0.82 1.89 0.27 0.99 0.89 1.88 NS NS NS NS 0.06 0.16 0.13 0.74 0.34 1.41 0.46 1.87 LSD (0.05) 0.20 0.09 †The 100 lb P2O5/a rate was only applied at the beginning of the study (Fall 2013). 0.84 0.63 0.81 1.06 0.13


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D. W. Sweeney, J. L. Moyer, J. K. Farney. Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium Fertilization for Newly Established Tall Fescue, Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station Research Reports, 2017,