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Fertilizing Pastures. Gene Pirelli Oregon State University. Mixed Species grazing in New Zealand Disadvantages: (1) Increased facility costs (2) Size of scale (3) Potential labor conflicts (4) Management/skill requirements. Pasture is the Most Economical Feed Source.

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fertilizing pastures

Fertilizing Pastures

Gene Pirelli

Oregon State University

slide2

Mixed Species grazing in New Zealand

Disadvantages:

(1) Increased facility

costs

(2) Size of scale

(3) Potential labor

conflicts

(4) Management/skill

requirements

Pasture is the Most Economical Feed Source

management and fertility
Management and Fertility
  • The two “Keys” to increasing the available feed from a pasture
  • Pasture forage is significantly cheaper than purchased feed
important nutrients in soil fertility
Important Nutrients in Soil Fertility
  • Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium
  • Sulfur, Boron, Molybdenum
  • Calcium, Magnesium
major soil nutrients
Major Soil Nutrients
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sulfur
slide7

Nitrogen

Is a Key Nutrient for Pasture Production

slide8

Nitrogen

Apply to Match Feed Needs and to Supplement the System

grazing animals can remove a significant amount of nitrogen

Grazing Animals Can Remove a Significant Amount of Nitrogen

Fertilizer, in many cases, supplies only part of the total N consumed as plant protein

nitrogen is a component of protein
Nitrogen is a Component of Protein
  • Crude protein of forages are measured by Nitrogen x 6.25
  • Vegetative grasses and legumes contain high amounts of crude protein
  • The nitrogen that is removed from the soil as plant protein must be replaced
nitrogen
Nitrogen
  • Application Rate Depends on Use
  • For Grazing, Apply Fall, Late Winter and Spring
  • Base Late Winter Application on T-Sum 200 dates
  • Example: 40 lbs N/A Fall, 40-60 Lbs N/A in Late Winter and 40-60 Lbs N/A in Early April
phosphorus
Phosphorus
  • Apply in Fall
  • Stable, Does Not Move
  • Soil Test to Determine if Soil Levels are Rising
potassium
Potassium
  • Depletes Rapidly with Haying and/or Intensive Grazing
  • Apply in Fall
  • Low Levels Reduce Grass and Clover Vigor
other nutrients to consider
Other Nutrients to Consider
  • Lime
  • Boron
  • Molybdenum
osu s fg 63
OSU’S FG 63
  • Includes recommendations for major nutrients
  • Helps to interpret soil test results
  • Provides guidelines for pounds of nutrients to apply
fertilizer nutrients
Fertilizer Nutrients
  • Are calculated as “pounds of the nutrient per acre”
  • For example: 60 pounds of N/Acre means 60 pounds of actual nitrogen, not 60 pounds of total fertilizer
  • It does not matter if we are applying commercial or organic fertilizer
fertilizer mixes
Fertilizer Mixes
  • Listed as N - P - K
  • Numbers are %
  • Example:
    • Fifty pound bag of 16-16-16contains how much nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium?
organic material
Organic Material
  • Can be manures or natural fertilizer sources
  • You need to have an idea of the concentration of nutrients
  • Book values can be helpful
  • Lab Testing (if the material is consistent) is the best method
availability
Availability
  • Remember that organic materials take time to break down and become available
  • Commercial fertilizers are rapidly available but the duration of response is less
application times
Application Times
  • Manure or commercial fertilizer should not be applied when there is a risk of surface water moving the material
  • Manure is a greater risk since it takes time to break down
nitrogen fertilizer
Nitrogen Fertilizer
  • Can be used as a tool to increase early spring forage.
  • Split the usual amount applied into an early and mid-season application.
  • Nitrogen is available when plant growth initiates.
t sum 200

T-Sum 200

A method of calculating the appropriate time for the first N application

t sum 20025

T-Sum 200

A method of calculating the appropriate time for the first N application

t sum 20026
T-Sum 200
  • A method of tracking heat units starting on January 1
  • Apply N when heat units reach 200
  • System was developed in Scotland, used in the United Kingdom and Western Canada
heat units

Heat Units

Average of the maximum and minimum temperature of the day in degrees centigrade

t sum example

DATE

MAX C

MIN C

HEAT UNITS

TOTAL

Jan 1

8.3

2.8

5.6

5.6

Jan 2

7.8

0

3.9

9.5

Jan 3

7.2

2.2

4.7

14.2

Jan 4

5.2

1.0

3.1

17.3

T-Sum Example
this information was brought to you by

This Information was Brought to you by…..

Oregon State University Extension

gene.pirelli@orst.edu