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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Effects of Knifed Vs. Broadcast Fertilizer Placement on Yield and Nutrient Uptake by Tall Fescue1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 47 No. 1, p. 145-149
    Received: Apr 29, 1982
    Accepted: Sept 9, 1982

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  1. R. E. Lamond and
  2. J. L. Moyer2



Field studies were conducted from 1979 to 1981 to evaluate two fertilizer application techniques for established tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.). Fertilizer solutions were formulated from urea-ammonium nitrate solution (UAN, 28-0-0) and potassium tripolyphosphate (0-11-21) or ammonium polyphosphate (10-15-0) and potassium chloride (0-0-50) to supply various rates of N, P, and K. These fertilizer solutions were either surface-broadcast through flat fan-spray nozzles or injected (knifed) 15 to 20 cm deep behind shanks on 38-cm spacings. The knifed method could be called a subsurface band application that places the fertilizer directly in the root zone.

In Experiment I, N was applied at 56, 112, and 168 kg per ha with or without 20 kg of P/ha and 37 kg K/ha. In Experiment II, rates were 13, 112, and 168 kg N/ha; 0 and 20 kg P/ha; and 0 and 37 kg K/ha. All experiments were conducted on Parsons silt loam soils (Mollic Albaqualf, fine, mixed, thermic) that tested low to medium in available P and K. Total yields and N concentrations of forage generally increased with N rates up to 168 kg N/ha. Phosphorus fertilization increased forage yields, P concentrations, and P uptake. Forage yields were not significantly increased by K fertilization, but on low-K soil, adding K tended to increase yields when N and P were supplied. Fertilization with K increased forage K concentrations, but had little influence on other forage constituents. Knifed fertilization was superior to broadcast applications of fertilizer and significantly increased forage yields, N content, N uptake, K uptake, and sometimes K concentrations and P uptake. The superiority of the knifed application was due mainly to better N utilization.

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