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Fertility Central: Best Cost Options and Recommendations for Different Forages Brian Clark Prince Georges County Extension Agent Ben Beale St. Mary’s County.

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Presentation on theme: "Fertility Central: Best Cost Options and Recommendations for Different Forages Brian Clark Prince Georges County Extension Agent Ben Beale St. Mary’s County."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fertility Central: Best Cost Options and Recommendations for Different Forages Brian Clark Prince Georges County Extension Agent Ben Beale St. Mary’s County Extension Agent Charts and Nutrient Recommendation supplied by Adam Lyon, Nutrient Management Advisor, St. Mary’s Co. Some slides and pictures adapted from: Dave Myers Anne Arundel Extension Agent Dave Myers Ben Beale

2 Why worry about fertility?

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4 Horses need roughage to maintain digestive tract function. Roughage comes from hay and pasture. Quality pasture depends on good management and fertility

5 Presentation Objectives Review basic fertility needs of forage crops –Basis for recommendations –Differences in legume v/s grass, yields, etc Review the commonly available nutrient sources –Understand the advantages and disadvantages of each –Understand the cost per acre using these nutrients

6 In order to grow to their fullest potential, plants need a total of 16 nutrients. A deficiency of any one of these nutrients will result in reduced plant performance.

7 Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium Recommendations Based on pre-plant soil tests and yield goal The lower the soil test value, the higher the nutrient recommendation Nitrogen Recommendations Nitrogen recommendations are based on crop and yield goals.

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9 Nitrogen Required to Achieve Average Yield

10 Optimum (51-100) Excessive (>100) Low (0-25) Medium (26-50)

11 Optimum (51-100) Excessive (>100) Low (0-25) Medium (26-50)

12 Good recommendations depend on good soil samples UMD-AGNR Photo Archive;

13 Soil Sampling Procedures for Nutrient Management 1.Define the Management Areas.  A management area is an area that can and will be managed separately from any other.  Areas with differing soil types, past cropping histories, differing manure histories, or production potentials should be managed separately.

14 EXAMPLE: Corn Field 4.0 tons of Poultry Litter/Acre applied Same crop, but didn’t have enough litter! Now we have 2 different fields that should to be sampled differently!

15 Soil Sampling Procedures for Nutrient Management 2. Sample the management areas.  Collect 15 to 20 samples (cores) with a soil probe and place in a clean plastic bucket.  Take samples from throughout the entire management area.  Avoid sampling unusual areas such as windbreaks, fence lines, wet areas, or near roads. (These areas could misrepresent nutrient values.)  Scrape away any surface residues. (Grass, rocks, crop residue)  Take samples at the proper depth of 8 inches for crop and pasture land.

16 Soil Sampling Procedures for Nutrient Management 3.Mix the sample. Thorough mixing is essential. If the sample is hard or strongly aggregated, break it up. Transfer the soil to a bucket and mix it at least 50 times. Spread the soil out, take 5 different scoops, totaling about 1 pint. Place into soil sample bag, unless you need to………. 4.Dry the sample. Spread the sample out in a warm place overnight to air dry it. Newspaper or paper plate is fine. Do not heat the soil. This will alter results!

17 Soil Sampling Procedures for Nutrient Management 5.Label the sample bag and fill it with the soil. 6.Fill out the information sheet  There are numerous labs that test soil for nutrients. (See our list of different labs and pricing.)  University of Maryland no longer has a soil testing lab.  Labs are capable of testing for Macro and Micronutrients.  A Basic Test will give you pH, O.M., P, K, Mg, Ca  There is no reliable test for Nitrate (or Nitrogen).

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19 Maryland Fertility Index Value Scale Soil Test Fertility Index Value (FIV) Soil Test CategoryLikelihood of Yield Response 0 – 25LowLikely 26 – 50MediumPossible 51 – 100OptimumUnlikely >100ExcessiveVery Unlikely

20 Fertilizer Options? Fertility Inputs for Forages Manure Bio-Solids Commercial Fertilizer Legumes

21 Commercial Fertilizer Advantages: –Readily available –Easy to spread –Can apply exactly the amount needed for crop growth –Nutrients typically available immediately

22 Commercial Fertilizer Disadvantages –Can be Expensive –Nutrients typically available immediately- leaching –Doesn’t come with any organic matter

23 Commercial Fertilizer Best Management Practices –Soil Test on a regular basis. –Split apply Nitrogen according to crop growth needs –Be aware of N loss pathways Urea-volatilizes quickly. Losses can exceed 50% Apply shortly before a soaking rain to an established sod, if possible. –Calibrate spreader and tractor driver

24 Commercial Fertilizer: Types and Costs for Bulk Blends Components:

25 Comparing Nutrient Prices within Types of Fertilizers

26 Ag-Gro-Pro lbs. This bag contains: 5% nitrogen--10% phosphate--15% potash or 2.5 lbs. nitrogen 5 lbs. phosphate 7.5 lbs. potash What does a fertilizer guarantee mean?

27 Using fixed analysis bagged fertilizer Example of $ per Ton $8.75 per bag To meet 150 lb. Nitrogen recommendation will need: 1500 lbs of fertilizer, for a total cost of $ Also get 150 lbs of P and 150 of K.

28 Optimum (51-100) Excessive (>100) Low (0-25) Medium (26-50)

29 Optimum (51-100) Excessive (>100) Low (0-25) Medium (26-50)

30 Using fixed analysis bagged fertilizer: Total cost of per acre Typically you will over apply the amount of P and K you really need. For example: –If soil test reveals you only need 50 lbs of P and 75 lbs of K, you over apply 100 lb of P and 75 lbs of K –This will cost you around $55.00 extra.

31 Poultry Litter UMD-AGNR Photo Archive;

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33 Average Poultry Litter Not incorporated, applied in three split applications. Cost-share program not currently available. However, poultry litter does seem to be more available than last year.

34 Average Poultry Litter The availability of Nitrogen from Poultry Litter is dependent upon: –Mineralization rate Year 1: 50% Year 2: 15% Year 3: 8% –Temperature Average analysis for Perdue Poultry Litter: –3.0% N (0.3% Ammonium) –2.5% P –2.5% K

35 Average Poultry Litter Poultry Litter will be available over a long period of time- at least 3 years. 1 ton of poultry litter in first year (No incorporation) will give: – 31 lbs N – 50 lbs P – 50 lbs K Per 1.0 ton of Poultry Litter, N mineralized: –First Year: 31 lbs –Second Year: 10 lbs –Third Year: 5 lbs

36 Poultry Litter Cost Average Rate, including transportation from the shore is $35.00 per ton. If using Poultry Litter to only supply Nitrogen, it is a relatively expensive. 1 ton, broadcast and not incorporated supplies 31 pounds of Nitrogen. Thus, 1 lb of N from PL costs about $1.10 This approach discounts the value any other nutrients (P and K) supplied.

37 Poultry Litter Cost If using Poultry Litter to only supply Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potash on deficient soils, it becomes more of a value. 1 ton, broadcast and not incorporated supplies 31 pounds of N, 50 lbs P and 50 lbs K. Thus, the cost to replace the entire nutrient value of poultry litter with fertilizer is: $51.26

38 Applying Poultry Litter to meet N needs will oversupply P Blue bar indicates the Phosphorus needed per acre to achieve a 3.0 ton/acre yield goal for Orchardgrass given a Fertility level (FIV-P) of Optimum (51).

39 Strategies for Poultry Litter Strategy One: –Use poultry litter as the first split application to meet any P and K needs. –As need for P and K diminishes, turn to commercial fertilizer to fill the rest of the yearly nitrogen needs. Strategy Two: –Use poultry litter every other year on soils testing optimal or above. –Monitor P soil levels with regular soil test

40 Orchardgrass Fertilization Budget Poultry Litter Scenario: Soil test results: K-medium, P-medium; Yield Goal -3 tons Unit lbs/Acre Total $/Acre Broiler Litter /ton (No MDA cost share) Nitrogen160 (150 * ) (amount negligible) 0.00 Phosphorus 250 (20 * ) 0.00 Potassium250 (100 * ) 0.00 Manure & Fertilizer Costs Manure/Fertilizer Application Costs: Manure spreading 5 ton/acre Stock pile Maintenance Manure Application Costs Manure Fertilization Grand Total $ Acre (*) Amount required to supply N

41 Beef/Dairy/Swine Manure UMD-AGNR Photo Archive;

42 Distribution of Available Nitrogen from Organic & Ammonium Nitrogen Components in a Typical Dairy Manure (assumes incorporation the same day as application) 2.4 lb 3 lb 6 lb 0.6 lb

43 Average Manure Analysis AvailableStockpile Lagoon Nutrient lbs/ton lbs/1000gal N P K Ca Mg S Mn Zn Cu USNAD, Gambrills MD: No-Tillage System

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45 Tall Fescue Fertilization Budget Dairy/Beef Manure Scenario: Soil test results: K-medium, P-medium; Yield Goal -5 tons Unit lbs/Acre Total $/Acre Manure (on-farm) 15 tons/acre 0.00 Nitrogen 45 (150) Phosphorus 105 (40) 0.00 Potassium240 (100) 0.00 Manure & Fertilizer Costs Manure/Fertilizer Application Costs: Manure cleanout 1.00/ton Manure spreading15 ton/acre Fertilizer spreading Manure Application Costs Manure Fertilization Grand Total $ 97.30/Acre (*) Amount required

46 Alfalfa Fertilization Budget Dairy/Beef Manure Scenario: Soil test results: K-medium, P-medium; Yield Goal -6 tons Unit lbs/Acre Total $/Acre Manure (on-farm) 15 tons/acre 0.00 Nitrogen 45 (0) 0.00 Phosphorus 105 (80) 0.00 Potassium240 (250) 0.00 Manure & Fertilizer Costs 0.00 Manure/Fertilizer Application Costs: Manure cleanout 1.00/ton Manure spreading15 ton/acre Fertilizer spreading 0 Manure Application Costs Manure Fertilization Grand Total $ Acre (*) Amount required

47 Granulite Use is similar to fertilizer. Dehydrated bio- solid product. Analysis of –Mineralization rate of 50% Contact: Cullin’s Lime for more info in St. Mary’s Advantages –In-expensive, easy to spread, readily available in Baltimore.

48 Granulite Advantages –In-expensive, easy to spread, readily available in Baltimore or from local suppliers Dis-advanatages: –Organic material which must mineralize- nutrients may not be available immediately –Slight odor, though not bad –Bio-solid type product may be an issue with some landowners

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50 Total Amount of Nutrients Supplied at Different Rates of Granulite (5-3-0)

51 Granulite 5-3-0

52 Liming Cost

53 Rule 1: Lime cost less than fertilizer. –Keep field pH in desirable ranges, especially for alfalfa. Cool Season Grasses: Most Legumes: Alfalfa: Annuals:

54 Domino’s Lime May offer a good value compared to conventional lime. By product of Domino Sugar refinement process located in Baltimore, MD Domino Lime may be obtained directly by contacting Tom Reilly, Eastern Materials Inc. at or Rates Delivery MilesCharge/Ton Delivered 0-50$ $ $ $ $ $13.80 >150$15.42 and up Genstar Aglime Domino Lime Moisture 5.0% -- CaO (calcium oxide) 51.0% 47.24% MgO (magnesium oxide) 1.0% 0.70% CaCO3 Equivalent (CCE) 93.0% 80.09% Pass 20 Mesh98.0% % Pass 60 Mesh80.0% 99.72% Pass 100 Mesh 56.0% 99.66%

55 Spreading Equipment Broadcast Applications of Fertilizer, Pelletized Lime & Seed Drop spreaders for application of pulverized lime and fertilizer Even Distribution of Crop Inputs Width of Spread Via: Visual Reference and capability of spreader

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57 Evenly Spread Lime Application

58 In Summary: UMD-AGNR Photo Archive;

59 In Summary: General Recommendations Take soil test on a regular basis. Always split apply N regardless of source Balance specific field fertility needs with the crop and nutrient source Try to avoid nutrient loss from leaching, volatilization, etc. Add legumes to grass stands to supply some or all of N needs.

60 In Summary: Stop by and see your Nutrient Management Advisor!!!!!!

61 In Summary: 1) Important to get things in the right place

62 In Summary: 2) Take good soil test. Operate with good information. Do not apply nutrients you do not need.

63 In Summary: 3) Explore you Options. Manure, bio-solids, poultry litter, dehydrated sludge and fertilizer may or may not be a good fit depending upon your operation.

64 Ben Beale Brian Clark “Any Questions?”


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