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Agronomy Journal Abstract - Phosphorus Management

Yield and Economic Responses to Phosphorus Fertilizer Placement in Dual-Use and Grain-Only Wheat Production Systems


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 99 No. 3, p. 773-778
    Received: Apr 12, 2006

    * Corresponding author(s): jsij@ag.tamu.edu
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  1. J. W. Sij *a,
  2. W. E. Pinchaka,
  3. D. P. Malinowskia,
  4. D. L. Robinsona,
  5. S. J. Beversb,
  6. T. A. Baughmanb and
  7. R. J. Gillc
  1. a Texas Agric. Exp. Stn., TAMU Agric. Res. & Ext. Ctr., P.O. Box 1658, Vernon, TX 76385
    b Texas Coop. Ext., TAMU Agric. Res. & Ext. Ctr., P.O. Box 2159, Vernon, TX 76385
    c Texas Coop. Ext., 1229 N. US Hwy 281, Stephenville, TX 76401


Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) production in the southern Great Plains is a unique enterprise that provides both high-quality forage and a grain crop within the same growing season. However, information on fertility management programs to maximize forage and beef production in a dual-use wheat production system is lacking. A 3-yr, field-scale production study was initiated on a Tillman clay loam near Vernon, TX, in 1999 to (i) determine the influence of P fertilizer and P fertilizer placement on forage, beef, and grain production from dual-use wheat, and (ii) compare economic costs and returns of dual-use and grain-only wheat production systems. Varying numbers of stocker cattle (Bos spp.) were placed in each pasture based on forage availability. Beef-to-forage allowance among pastures was kept relatively constant by adjusting cattle numbers monthly. Applying 20 kg P ha−1 yr−1 increased soil test P in the upper 15 cm two- to threefold, forage production 18 to 54%, and animal gains ha−1 27 to 29% compared with no P. With respect to forage and subsequent beef production, surface-applied P was generally equal to or better than injected P. Average return between the graze-plus-grain and graze-out systems was significant (P < 0.0001) but not among fertilizer treatments (P = 0.26), although surface-applied P resulted in numerically higher returns each year. There was no significant system × fertilizer treatment interaction. However, during the study period, the graze-plus-grain system was clearly superior to the graze-out system in generating higher net returns ($94 vs. $29 ha−1).

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