Quantifying pasture dry matter responses to applications of potassium fertiliser for an intensively grazed, rain-fed dairy pasture in south-western Australia with or without adequate nitrogen fertiliser

Michael Bolland, I.F. Guthridge

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Rain-fed dairy pastures on sandy soils common in the high rainfall (>800 mm annual average) Mediterranean-type climate of south-western Australia comprise the annual species subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum L.) and annual and Italian ryegrass (Lolium rigidum Gaud. and L. multiflorum Lam.). In wet years, clover becomes potassium (K) deficient and shows large dry matter (DM) responses to applied fertiliser K due to leaching of K in soil by rainfall. In contrast, ryegrass rarely shows DM responses to applied K. Many dairy pastures in the region are now intensively grazed to maximise pasture use for milk production, and nitrogen (N) fertiliser is applied after each grazing. It is not known if frequent applications of fertiliser N to these pastures changes pasture DM responses to applied K. Therefore, a long-term (2002–07) field experiment was undertaken on an intensively grazed dairy pasture in the region to quantify pasture DM responses to applied fertiliser K with or without applications of adequate fertiliser N (141–200 kg N/ha per year). Soil samples (top 10 cm of soil) were collected from each plot of the experiment each February to measure soil test K by the standard Colwell sodium bicarbonate procedure used for both K and phosphorus soil testing in the region.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)121-130
    JournalAnimal Production Science
    Volume49
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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