Sign up for email alerts of new Fluid Journal issues!
Fluid Journal : Spring 2014
13 The Fluid Journal Spring 2014 Summary: Our 2013 study indicated a positive response to the in-season NPK fluid applications. Yield improvements were positive for both the 3-18-18 and 6-24-6 treatments. However, applications applied through center pivots tended to be higher. The 6-24-6 fluid treatment provided over a 3-ton (65% moisture) improvement over the GSP 20.5 tons. Alfalfa production in the inter- mountain west of Idaho, Utah, Montana, and Nevada continues to be an important crop for these growing areas. Acre numbers, while not at historical highs, are still high enough to be either the number one or two largest cropping areas in each of these states. Forages, including alfalfa, are enjoying some of the greatest economic returns that have been observed for many years. A lot of this is related to changes in population in these areas, diets of international customers, and markets. There continues to be a growth in dairy markets, with larger and larger dairy operations looking for both high quality feed for milk production, as well as feed for livestock at feed yards. All of these contributing factors have pushed the price of alfalfa well beyond The Fluid Journal • Official Journal of the Fluid Fertilizer Foundation • Spring 2014 • Vol. 22, No. 2, Issue #84 Drs. Terry Tindall and Galen Mooso Yields were impressive, with over a 3-ton (65% moisture ) improvement over GSP averages. expectations from just a few years ago. These changes are bound to get the attention of producers, generating a flow of questions regarding strategies to increase alfalfa production. Nutrition primary Yield of all crops, including alfalfa, will always be dependent on the amount and quality of irrigation water in the desert area of this particular geography. However, proper nutrition related to available fertility becomes of primary importance. This is especially true for P fertilizer use as growers push for higher yields. “Phosphorus (P) is the most common fertilizer input for alfalfa across the western U.S . It is essential for optimum alfalfa production,” says Dr. Rich Koenig, former faculty member at Utah State University. Potassium is also a nutrient that is heavily used by rapid-growing alfalfa, and in many growing conditions needs to be managed similarly to P fertilizer. If P and K are both limiting, the grower will need to first apply phosphorus and resolve that as a limiting nutrient and, secondly, apply potassium. In many growing environments, although P and K nutrition may test adequately, there may very well be factors that limit the ability to access these primary nutrients in a timely manner to maximize yield as well as influence alfalfa quality. Purpose of study This study explores the potential of addressing in-season applications of NPK delivered to alfalfa within a growing season. Many times growers and researchers focus only on dosage or rate of nutrients applied when other parts of nutrient management criteria Low Salt NPK Fluids Improve Alfalfa Yields ▼ DOWNLOAD