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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Seasonal Production, Perloline Content, and Quality of Fescue After N Fertilization1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 70 No. 5, p. 741-745
    Received: Jan 6, 1978

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  1. Henry A. Fribourg and
  2. Richard W. Loveland2



The already great importance of tall rescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) as a forage grass could be enhanced if its yield and quality during summer, fall, and winter could be increased. The effects of several rates (from 50 to 700 kg/ha) and times (March, May, July, September, October, November—singly or in different combinations) of N fertilizer application on tall rescue seasonality of production and quality were evaluated over a 3-year period. Herbage was removed at a 5-cm stubble whenever growth reached 8 to 10 cm. Variables measured included dry matter production in vitro digestible dry matter (IVDDM), and contents of perloline, and total and nitrate N. Nitrogen fertilizer increased yield and total N, NO3-N and perloline in harvested forage. Season affected IVDDM more than N fertilization, although the higher or more frequent N rates increased IVDDM indirectly. Increases in total N, NO3-N and perloline were evident in individual harvests soon after N applications, but yield increases were not observed until precipitation occurred. Summer N fertilization to increase yield is therefore questionable unless soil moisture is present, and it may result in higher NO3-N and perloline contents than are desirable for quality forage. Applying more than 50 kg N/ha in September did not increase appreciably quality and quantity of fall forage. Late fall N fertilization did not increase measurable winter forage production, but it did increase earliness and yield the following spring.

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