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Crop Science
Vol. 45, No. , 2005, Pages:

Alfalfa and Reed Canarygrass Response to Midsummer Manure Application

JoAnn F. S. Lamb,* Michael P. Russelle, and Michael A. Schmitt


Perennial forages like alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) or various perennial grasses, which are cut several times during the growing season, could provide an alternative land base and time management strategy for manure applications. Our objectives were to evaluate the response of two forage species to increasing rates of swine manure slurry applied in midsummer and to compare commercially available alfalfa cultivars for tolerance to swine manure applied during the growing season. The first experiment, hereafter referred to as the rate experiment, included four entries, two N2–fixing (UMN 3097 and ‘Agate’) and one non-N2–fixing (Ineffective Agate) alfalfa and reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea L.), grown at two locations in Minnesota. Liquid swine manure was applied at five rates (0, 23.4, 32.7, 42.1, and 93.6 kL ha-1) within 4 d after the second forage harvest in July 1998 and 1999. In the second experiment, hereafter referred to as the cultivar study, six alfalfa cultivars, Magnagraze, 5312, Rushmore, Wintergreen, Winterstar, and WL 325 HQ, were evaluated for response to manures applied at three rates (0, 37.4, and 93.6 kL ha-1) as described above. Manure slurry containing less than about 3300 kg ha-1 organic solids applied 4 d after cutting in July improved reed canarygrass yields and had no effect or slightly improved yields of normalN2–fixing alfalfa. Ineffective Agate yields improved with increasing manure rates, but insufficient N was applied to keep this entry productive. Alfalfa cultivars did not differ in yield response to manure applications. Organic solids in the manure slurries at one of the locations compromised forage yields and stand scores at the highest application rate by completely coating and smothering the plants. Results emphasized the importance of manure testing to reduce adverse effects on alfalfa and reed canarygrass yields.

Keywords:Medicago sativa L., Phalaris arundinacea L., Alfalfa,Reed Canarygrass,Organis farming.

Corresponding author: Phone:xxxxxxxxxxx Fax: xxxxxxxxxxx.

E-mail: lambx002@umn.edu.


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