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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Nitrate Accumulations in Forage Crops1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 59 No. 2, p. 171-174
    Received: July 20, 1966

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  1. L. S. Murphy and
  2. G. E. Smith2



The effects of N and P fertilization rates and stage of plant maturity on the nitrate-N content of nine forage species were studied over a 2-year period. Species included in the investigations were orchardgrass, tall fescue, bromegrass, bluegrass, timothy, sudangrass, wheat, alfalfa, and ladino clover. Nitrate-N was determined on hot water extracts of dried plant material by the phenoldisulfonic acid method.

Of the species under study, sudangrass accumulated nitrate-N to the greatest extent. It was closely followed by orchardgrass and fescue. Bromegrass, timothy, and ladino clover accumulated intermediate amounts of nitrate-N. Alfalfa and wheat accumulated little of this form of nitrogen.

Increased N fertilization had a direct effect on nitrate-N accumulation. Phosphorus fertilization had little if any effect upon the nitrate-N contents of the various species.

Advancing plant maturity was associated with a decline in the nitrate-N content of most species.

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