eCite Digital Repository

Low rates of phosphorus fertiliser applied strategically throughout the growing season under rain-fed conditions did not affect dry matter production of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)

Citation

Burkitt, LL and Donaghy, DJ and Smethurst, PJ, Low rates of phosphorus fertiliser applied strategically throughout the growing season under rain-fed conditions did not affect dry matter production of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), Crop and Pasture Science, 61, (5) pp. 353-362. ISSN 1836-0947 (2010) [Refereed Article]


Preview
PDF
Not available
431Kb
  

Copyright Statement

© CSIRO 2010

DOI: doi:10.1071/CP09259

Abstract

Pasture is the cheapest source of feed for dairy cows, therefore, dairy pastures in Australia are intensively managed to maximise milk production and profits. Although soil testing commonly suggests that soils used for dairy pasture production have adequate supplies of phosphorus (P), many Australian dairy farmers still apply fertiliser P, often by applying smaller rates more frequently throughout the year. This study was designed to test the hypotheses that more frequent, but lower rates of P fertiliser applied strategically throughout the growing season have no effect on dry matter production and P concentration in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), when soil extractable P concentrations are above the critical value reported in the literature. Three field sites were established on rain-fed dairy pasture soils ranging in P sorption capacity and with adequate soil P concentrations for maximising pasture production. Results showed that applied P fertiliser had no effect on pasture production across the 3 sites (P > 0.05), regardless of rate or the season in which the P was applied, confirming that no P fertiliser is required when soil extractable P concentrations are adequate. This finding challenges the viability of the current industry practice. In addition, applying P fertiliser as a single annual application in summer did not compromise pasture production at any of the 3 sites (P > 0.05), which supports the current environmental recommendations of applying P during drier conditions, when the risk of surface P runoff is generally lower. The current results also demonstrate that the short-term cessation of P fertiliser application may be a viable management option, as a minimal reduction in pasture production was measured over the experimental period.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Australia, dairy, pasture, Tasmania, timing.
Research Division:Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
Research Group:Crop and Pasture Production
Research Field:Agronomy
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Pasture, Browse and Fodder Crops
Objective Field:Sown Pastures (excl. Lucerne)
Author:Burkitt, LL (Dr Lucy Burkitt)
Author:Donaghy, DJ (Associate Professor Danny Donaghy)
Author:Smethurst, PJ (Dr Philip Smethurst)
ID Code:58272
Year Published:2010
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (LP0455221)
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:Agricultural Science
Deposited On:2009-09-23
Last Modified:2011-04-14
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page