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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 77 No. 1, p. 41-46
    Received: Feb 2, 1984

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Effect of N, P, and S Fertilizers on Alfalfa Grown on Three Soil Types in Northeastern Saskatchewan. I. Yield and Soil Tests1

  1. W. F. Nuttall2



Experiments were conducted on three soil types to determine the effect of N, P, and S fertilizers on herbage yield of alfalfa (Medicago media Pers.) and on nutrients in soils over extended periods of time. Rates of 10,45, and 67 kg N ha−1 were applied in combination with 0,22, and 45 kg S ha−1 in the spring of each year. Twenty kilograms of P ha−1 was applied with these treatments. A control with no fertilizer yielded an average of 2.15 Mg ha−1 per cut Waitville loam (Wv 1, Typic Cryoboralf). An additional treatment (22 N, 0 P, and 26 S kg ha−1) yielded 3.01 Mg ha−1 per cut (avg. 10 cuts) which was the most economical treatment on Wv 1. Response to S fertilizer was significant on Wv 1, but only significant in 1 year on Whitefox fine sandy loam (Wf fsl, Typic Cryoboralf) which was Initially slightly lower in 0.01 M CaCl2 soluble-S [18.4 vs. 16.5 S mg (4 kg)−1 soil]. Contrary to expectation, yield responses to S as much as 0.76 Mg ha−1 of herbage were obtained in 2 years on Melfort silty clay (M sic, Typic Cryoboroll), a soil initially containing a very high amount of So4-S 146 mg (4 kg)−1 soil]. Results indicated that soils need to be tested every 4 to 5 years to provide a basis for adjusting S fertilizer rates. Regression analyses revealed that N significantly increased yield per cut on Wv 1 and Wf fsl soils and that S increased yield on Wv 1, averaged over 5 years. Becanse an expected response to S was not obtained on one site, tissue analyses should be investigated further as a method for determining availability of S.

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