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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 97 No. 3, p. 661-667
     
    Received: Jan 8, 2004


    * Corresponding author(s): ivezenwa@ifas.ufl.edu
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doi:10.2134/agronj2004.0006

Sulfur Fertilization of Bahiagrass with Varying Levels of Nitrogen Fertilization on a Florida Spodosol

  1. R. S. Kalmbachera,
  2. I. V. Ezenwa *b,
  3. J. D. Arthingtona and
  4. F. G. Martinc
  1. a Univ. of Florida, Range Cattle Res. and Educ. Cent., 3401 Experiment Rd., Ona, FL 33865-9706
    b Univ. of Florida, Southwest Res. and Educ. Cent., 2686 SR 29 N, Immokalee, FL 34142-9515
    c Univ. of Florida, Dep. of Stat., P.O. Box 110339, Gainesville, FL 32611-0339

Abstract

Low levels of available S in soils may limit bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flugge) growth in Florida. To characterize the response of bahiagrass to S fertilizer, we annually applied a factorial combination of four N (N0–N255 = 0, 85, 170, and 255 kg ha−1, respectively) and S (S0–S285 = 0, 95, 190, and 285 kg ha−1, respectively) levels to a >40-yr-old pasture and measured forage yield, N and S concentrations, and N and S uptake at 35, 70, and 105 d after fertilization (DAF) over 3 yr. There were highly significant N × S fertilizer interactions for yield, concentration of N, and N uptake. In the absence of N, each of these responses increased with increasing rates of S, but as level of N increased, these three responses to S diminished. For example, with N0, yield ranged from 1140 to 2640 kg dry matter (DM) ha−1 over S0 to S285, but with N255, yield did not vary (mean 3210 kg DM ha−1). Up to 80 kg N ha−1 yr−1 came from apparent mineralization of soil organic matter (OM) as a result of addition of S to plots that received no N. At 35 DAF, concentrations of S in forage ranged from 2.6 to 3.8 g kg−1 with S0 to S285 Maximum annual uptake was 28 kg S ha−1 with recovery at 136 g S kg−1 of applied S. With 56 to 67 kg N ha−1 yr−1, as is common on Florida ranches, fertilization with S may not be necessary on older pasture.

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