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Hay Yields From New Fertilizer Trial

In this trial, four grasses, Nordan crested wheatgrass, Lincoln Brome, Intermediate wheatgrass, and Russian Wildrye are grown alone, mixed with Ladak Alfalfa, and in plots fertilized with 33 pounds of nitrogen per acre, 67 pounds of nitrogen, and 100 pounds of nitrogen per acre. Fertilizer applications were made in the fall of 1957 and 1958, and in the spring of 1960. The 1961 application will be made in the spring. The trial was seeded in 1956.

The hay yields for each of the treatments for the years 1958, 1959, and 1960 are given in Table 13 and the 3-year average yields for the treatments are given in Table 14. In the 1960 season increased hay yields were obtained with alfalfa mixtures over the straight grass seedings , although the increased yield for Russian wildrye was relatively small as compared to the others. In the case of Nordan crested, Lincoln brome, and Russian wildrye yields increases with fertilizer were greater than the increases obtained with alfalfa.

The largest proportionate increases in yield were obtained with the first 33 pounds of nitrogen, and the applications over 33 pounds per acre would be uneconomical on the basis of increased returns. In the 1960 season, the 33 pound rate would have been profitable with all the grasses. Intermediate wheatgrass has shown some deterioration of stands and somewhat erratic results were obtained with this variety.

Table 13. Hay yields from grasses in pure stands, in mixture with alfalfa, and in pure stands fertilized at three different rates, 1958-1960.

Dry weight yield-Lbs./Acre

Grass Variety Year Grass Alone With Alfalfa 33# N 67# N 100# N
Nordan Crested 1958 1809 1647 1832 2491 2724
Intermediate Whtgr. 1958 1729 1706 1992 2466 2714
Lincoln Brome 1958 1461 1818 2205 2459 2342
Russian Wildrye 1958 941 1111 1224 1613 1984
 
Nordan Crested 1959 1416 1827 2120 1737 2011
Intermediate Whtgr. 1959 1033 1372 1244 1468 1325
Lincoln Brome 1959 936 1465 1630 1421 1279
Russian Wildrye 1959 778 841 975 971 1086
 
Nordan Crested 1960 2134 2485 2910 2713 2714
Intermediate Whtgr. 1960 1395 1980 1877 2259 1998
Lincoln Brome 1960 1265 1610 2151 2283 2203
Russian Wildrye 1960 1287 1312 1710 1823 1997

 

Table 14. Three-year (1958-60) average hay yields from grasses in pure stands, in mixture with alfalfa, and in pure stands fertilized with nitrogen at three different rates.
Dry weight yield-Lbs./Acre
Grass Variety Grass Alone With Alfalfa 33# N 67# N 100# N
Nordan Crested 1786 1986 2287 2314 2483
Intermediate Wheatgrass 1386 1686 1704 2064 2012
Lincoln Brome 1221 1631 1995 2054 1941
Russian Wildrye 1002 1088 1303 1469 1689

The data of Table 14, giving the 3-year average yields, shows that appreciable increases in yield have been obtained with alfalfa in the mixture except in the case of Russian wildrye. Substantially better increases have been obtained with the use of 33 pounds of nitrogen per acre. The use of 67 pounds or 100 pounds rates of nitrogen per acre has not given enough additional increase to justify the use of these rates of application.

It is interesting to note that Russian wildrye has given a significant increase in yield with each increment of nitrogen, but taken as the average for the years of the trial, the increase in yield would not have been economical at any of the three rates of application.


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