Grasses' response to treatments tested

28 May, 2003 10:00 PM
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TRIALS last year involving CSBP and the Evergreen group set out to shed some light on responses of subtropical perennial grasses to various fertiliser treatments.

According to local Agriculture Department development officer Tim Wiley, the Bibby Downs property has a strong fertiliser history with regards to super, but potash was a limiting factor and the reason why clover has dropped out of local pastures over the years.

Urea and Flexi-N treatments have confirmed Rhodes grass conversion efficiencies, with one kilogram of N producing 20kg of dry matter.

The Flexi-N trial looked at various rates from zero to 400L/ha, applied prior to rainfall events.

"Maximum production was achieved at 250L/ha Flexi-N.

"Selective grazing by cattle demonstrated improved palatability of pastures at higher rates of Flexi-N and a greater tolerance to moisture stress in the following summer," Mr Wiley said.

CSBP agronomist Erin Cahill said there were various benefits associated with the application of Flexi-N.

"There is a degree of foliar uptake ‹ the plant response rate following application is about five to eight days," he said.

"Half of the nitrogen is delivered in the nitrate form and Flexi-N is half as prone to volatilisation as urea.

"In areas where the leaching of nutrients is high risk, split applications are more appropriate, in effect drip feeding the pasture."

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