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Fluid Journal : Fluid Journal 1999-2001
1 Fluid Journal Fall 1999 Summary: Wheat forage for beef production represents a significant part of crop value in west Texas, Oklahoma, and western Kansas. Adequate P is a key to forage production in these wheat grazing/ grain production systems. Deep banding of N and P can enhance nutrient availability under both dryland and irrigated conditions. Positional availability of N and P is enhanced with deep handing but added advantages may also result from reduced P fixation by high calcium soils of the region. Most of the wheat crop in western Texas is grazed by lightweight stocker cattle. In most years, 40 percent of the Texas wheat crop is grazed out, with no grain harvested. That extrapolates into about 4.5 million acres of wheat grazed in a given year with at least 2.4 million acres entirely used as forage. In marginal (dry) crop production years, wheat producers can generate more income from grazing than from grain production. Grain yield response to P fertility in low to medium P soils is widely documented. In west Texas, P use has not been widely accepted by wheat farmers largely due to sporadic grain yield responses associated with prolonged periods of dry fall weather. Root development and activity are limited in the P-enriched zones close to by Drs. Travis Miller and Brent Bean P Fertility And Placement Enhance Wheat Forage Yields Texas scientists emphasize the importance of adequate P in a wheat/beef grazing system. the soil surface associated with conventional P placement technology. Several site years of P placement studies in west and west-central Texas emphasize that deep-banding P results in superior forage yields in winter wheat, particularly when moisture stress limits root activity near the soil surface. Superior forage response to deep- banded P in these studies did not universally equate to a proportionally greater grain yield response when compared to conventional P incorporation. In 50 percent of the trials, wheat fertilized with deep- banded P yielded significantly more grain than surface-incorporated P or unfertilized check. In wet years, little advantage was attributed to deep- banded P over conventional incorporation technology. Other research in the Great Plains has shown advantages of deep banding for wheat grain yields. Forage response Dryland. Weather during the early growing season can be crucial relative to wheat forage response to P placement. Of five dryland wheat trials (Figure 1), three (Runnels, Baylor-Year Figure 1. Response of dryland forage to P fertilizer application and placement, Miller, et al., Texas A & M University. 1,000 Runnels Baylor Year 1 Baylor Year 2 Wichita Abilene 1,500 2,000 2,500 3,000 3,500 4,000 4,500 5,000 Yield - lbs DM/A Deep Band Surface Incorporate Check
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