another soil fertility question

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cowboy43

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If the soil is poor in a pasture used for grazing only and you add the required fertilizer recommended by a soil test and each year the recommended fertilizer is added , does it get to a point where little fertilizer is required or is the fertilizer used up the first year and each year the same amount as the first year is required? Hope this question makes sence.
 

Caustic Burno

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cowboy43":3ehshpjo said:
If the soil is poor in a pasture used for grazing only and you add the required fertilizer recommended by a soil test and each year the recommended fertilizer is added , does it get to a point where little fertilizer is required or is the fertilizer used up the first year and each year the same amount as the first year is required? Hope this question makes sence.

Now IMO you have to put back you can't continue to take and expect to maintain maximum production.
As a cattlemen you are a grass farmer first, good grass is the cheapest feed there is for cattle.
Good grass means good teeth maximizing produtive years out of your cow.
The most important aspect of fertilize is ph to maximize grass uptake of the fertilize, lime and soil test are the most cost saving resource you have. A pH of 6.5 is the point where nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium (N-P-K) and trace minerals are most easily available to grass and other plants.
 

JRGidaho`

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When it comes to minerals, over 90% of what goes in the front end of a cow comes out the back end. For some minerals it is nearly 99% comes out the back. It doesn't matter whether the mineral is coming from the grass, supplemental feed, or a mineral block. Most of it goes back out on the ground. Now, here's where it gets tricky. In continuoulsy grazed pastures, half to two thirds ofthe manure is usually deposited within a couple hundred feet of water and shade. That means even though the sh-- is all coming back on the pasture, it isn't being put where it will do you any good.

Short grazing periods with high stock density usually result in much more uniform manure distribution and can cut way down on fertilizer needs just by making the natural nutrient cycle turn more efficiently. One of the key factors is getting the cattle closer to water (which is what you usually get if you install a MiG grazing cell). This is especially true in hot, humid areas. Even without subdivision fence just making more water points on the landscape helps pasture utilization and manure distribution.

Bottom line is if the field is used only for pasture and only grazed effectively, the fertility will get to an acceptable level and little if any fertilizer is needed after that.
 

Caustic Burno

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JRGidaho`":1tkb60c4 said:
When it comes to minerals, over 90% of what goes in the front end of a cow comes out the back end. For some minerals it is nearly 99% comes out the back. It doesn't matter whether the mineral is coming from the grass, supplemental feed, or a mineral block. Most of it goes back out on the ground. Now, here's where it gets tricky. In continuoulsy grazed pastures, half to two thirds ofthe manure is usually deposited within a couple hundred feet of water and shade. That means even though the sh-- is all coming back on the pasture, it isn't being put where it will do you any good.

Short grazing periods with high stock density usually result in much more uniform manure distribution and can cut way down on fertilizer needs just by making the natural nutrient cycle turn more efficiently. One of the key factors is getting the cattle closer to water (which is what you usually get if you install a MiG grazing cell). This is especially true in hot, humid areas. Even without subdivision fence just making more water points on the landscape helps pasture utilization and manure distribution.

Bottom line is if the field is used only for pasture and only grazed effectively, the fertility will get to an acceptable level and little if any fertilizer is needed after that.


I have never been able to teach mine to crap evenly across a pasture. Thats why the grass is knee deep around the hay ring in the spring when your stocking goes to 40 to 50 cows per acre in the winter. All the nutrients out of your fertilizer and hay are in a few acres.
 
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cowboy43

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I know a soil test would have to be done each year to determine what is needed. This is what I am trying to understand. One pasture soil tested on Klein grass for grazing needs 550 lbs of 18-12-0 to the acre. If this was applied would the requirements go down each year until all was needed was what was removed from grazing, or would the 550 lbs of 18-12-0 be required each year.
 

Caustic Burno

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cowboy43":3sxyca3u said:
I know a soil test would have to be done each year to determine what is needed. This is what I am trying to understand. One pasture soil tested on Klein grass for grazing needs 550 lbs of 18-12-0 to the acre. If this was applied would the requirements go down each year until all was needed was what was removed from grazing, or would the 550 lbs of 18-12-0 be required each year.

From my experience over the years pasture's always require to supplement, due to excessive rain, drought grazing practices. One of my biggest battles has always been ph due to rainfall amounts we have here tends to drive the ph acidic.
 

SRBeef

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In addition to the above comments, another issue is the "form" of the fertilizer. When you apply chemical P & K it is not all available to the grass/crop in the next season. Only about 1/3 of it is in many soils. And this "availability" is also affected by the soil acidity or pH.

An important thing about fertilizer to remember is that N (nitrogen) is very mobile in the soil. In wet years it can leach down below where the roots can reach it.

P & K (phosphorus and potassium) on the other hand are NOT very mobile in the soil. Applied on the surface as usually done in a pasture it may stay mostly on or near the surface and move down only very slowly over a period of years.

In my area of WI there is also a natural shortage of B (boron) and S (sulphur). These are only needed in small amounts but can make a big difference in the productivity of a pasture. It is important to request "micronutrient" analysis in your soil tests every so often to check the need for micros.

In many soils lime needs to be applied regularly to keep the pH up. With the pH up in the 6.5 range the P & K is much more available. With a low pH soil there can be a lot of P & K out there with almost none of it useable by the plants.

So in the end you need to figure on adding Lime every couple years, nitrogen almost every year (unless you have a good stand of legumes) and P & K & micros in small amounts but regularly.

The CEC of the soil (cation exchange capability) of the soil will also have an effect on the need for fertilizers. Low CEC (5-10) soils tend to be like sand and don't hold much of anything. Higher CEC (15-20) soils tend to have better organic activity and can store and convert a lot of manure etc into useable fertilizers. So there is no one simple answer to your original question. Keep soil testing but also get some help interpreting it. It can show a lot of fertilizer there but you can still have a dificiency. I hope this helps. Jim
 

JRGidaho`

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Caustic Burno":2an47zs1 said:
JRGidaho`":2an47zs1 said:
When it comes to minerals, over 90% of what goes in the front end of a cow comes out the back end. For some minerals it is nearly 99% comes out the back. It doesn't matter whether the mineral is coming from the grass, supplemental feed, or a mineral block. Most of it goes back out on the ground. Now, here's where it gets tricky. In continuoulsy grazed pastures, half to two thirds ofthe manure is usually deposited within a couple hundred feet of water and shade. That means even though the sh-- is all coming back on the pasture, it isn't being put where it will do you any good.

Short grazing periods with high stock density usually result in much more uniform manure distribution and can cut way down on fertilizer needs just by making the natural nutrient cycle turn more efficiently. One of the key factors is getting the cattle closer to water (which is what you usually get if you install a MiG grazing cell). This is especially true in hot, humid areas. Even without subdivision fence just making more water points on the landscape helps pasture utilization and manure distribution.

Bottom line is if the field is used only for pasture and only grazed effectively, the fertility will get to an acceptable level and little if any fertilizer is needed after that.

I have never been able to teach mine to crap evenly across a pasture. Thats why the grass is knee deep around the hay ring in the spring when your stocking goes to 40 to 50 cows per acre in the winter. All the nutrients out of your fertilizer and hay are in a few acres.

Yeah, CB, it's a pretty good trick to get them to do that, but we've got them to that point. When we strip graze stockpile in the winter, we usually run about 100 hd/acre/day. You can just about walk across the field stepping on cow pies all the way. In the summer we run about four cycles a year at 50 to 70 pairs/acre/day and at the end of the season it's pretty uniformly covered. In 28 years of fairly intensive management there have only been five occasions we used any N fertilizer. In MO we eventually limed everything, but here in Idaho the pH is naturally in the 7-8 range so no lime is needed. We put on a couple hundred lbs of P to the acre, but that should keep us in good shape for a number of years now. We don't make any hay anymore so we're not mining the pastures.
 

dun

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On our pastures that are grazed and not hayed we still doa soil sample every few years. After 7 years one of them needs a little N but that's all. It's the pasutre I drilled Marchall rye grass in and fertilezed and I think that wrote done to the clover. But the marchall got froze out so the whle adventrure was a double (maybe triple) waste of money
 

novatech

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SRBeef":2upmr33g said:
In addition to the above comments, another issue is the "form" of the fertilizer. When you apply chemical P & K it is not all available to the grass/crop in the next season. Only about 1/3 of it is in many soils. And this "availability" is also affected by the soil acidity or pH.

An important thing about fertilizer to remember is that N (nitrogen) is very mobile in the soil. In wet years it can leach down below where the roots can reach it.

P & K (phosphorus and potassium) on the other hand are NOT very mobile in the soil. Applied on the surface as usually done in a pasture it may stay mostly on or near the surface and move down only very slowly over a period of years.

In my area of WI there is also a natural shortage of B (boron) and S (sulphur). These are only needed in small amounts but can make a big difference in the productivity of a pasture. It is important to request "micronutrient" analysis in your soil tests every so often to check the need for micros.

In many soils lime needs to be applied regularly to keep the pH up. With the pH up in the 6.5 range the P & K is much more available. With a low pH soil there can be a lot of P & K out there with almost none of it useable by the plants.

So in the end you need to figure on adding Lime every couple years, nitrogen almost every year (unless you have a good stand of legumes) and P & K & micros in small amounts but regularly.

The CEC of the soil (cation exchange capability) of the soil will also have an effect on the need for fertilizers. Low CEC (5-10) soils tend to be like sand and don't hold much of anything. Higher CEC (15-20) soils tend to have better organic activity and can store and convert a lot of manure etc into useable fertilizers. So there is no one simple answer to your original question. Keep soil testing but also get some help interpreting it. It can show a lot of fertilizer there but you can still have a dificiency. I hope this helps. Jim
I have to agree with most everything except for the lime. My soil has a ph of 7.8 and has never been limed. There is something I do not understant. With a high ph why would the clover grow better along the edges of the parts of my road that are limestone?
 

1982vett

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novatech":1dfflf8d said:
SRBeef":1dfflf8d said:
In addition to the above comments, another issue is the "form" of the fertilizer. When you apply chemical P & K it is not all available to the grass/crop in the next season. Only about 1/3 of it is in many soils. And this "availability" is also affected by the soil acidity or pH.

An important thing about fertilizer to remember is that N (nitrogen) is very mobile in the soil. In wet years it can leach down below where the roots can reach it.

P & K (phosphorus and potassium) on the other hand are NOT very mobile in the soil. Applied on the surface as usually done in a pasture it may stay mostly on or near the surface and move down only very slowly over a period of years.

In my area of WI there is also a natural shortage of B (boron) and S (sulphur). These are only needed in small amounts but can make a big difference in the productivity of a pasture. It is important to request "micronutrient" analysis in your soil tests every so often to check the need for micros.

In many soils lime needs to be applied regularly to keep the pH up. With the pH up in the 6.5 range the P & K is much more available. With a low pH soil there can be a lot of P & K out there with almost none of it useable by the plants.

So in the end you need to figure on adding Lime every couple years, nitrogen almost every year (unless you have a good stand of legumes) and P & K & micros in small amounts but regularly.

The CEC of the soil (cation exchange capability) of the soil will also have an effect on the need for fertilizers. Low CEC (5-10) soils tend to be like sand and don't hold much of anything. Higher CEC (15-20) soils tend to have better organic activity and can store and convert a lot of manure etc into useable fertilizers. So there is no one simple answer to your original question. Keep soil testing but also get some help interpreting it. It can show a lot of fertilizer there but you can still have a dificiency. I hope this helps. Jim
I have to agree with most everything except for the lime. My soil has a ph of 7.8 and has never been limed. There is something I do not understant. With a high ph why would the clover grow better along the edges of the parts of my road that are limestone?
I would suspect anything will grow better next to the road........more rainwater runnoff.
 

cmf1

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Could be that there's more of that "deadly" global warming Carbon Dioxide next to the road as well.

As I understand it Carbon Dioxide must be present for photosynthesis to occur.
Any road traveled will be exposed to more Carbon Dioxide then a pasture.
More Carbon Dioxide more photosynthesis.
More photosynthesis more growth.
Maybe a case of the more the merrier?

Yes, I will accept all dunce caps given to me with pride.
 

novatech

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1982vett":3o3nlhxr said:
I would suspect anything will grow better next to the road........more rainwater runnoff.
Normally I would agree. But this year everyting has been wet all growing season. But maybe this year the road is the only place that did not turn into mud..
 

Caustic Burno

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novatech":1if1uipo said:
SRBeef":1if1uipo said:
In addition to the above comments, another issue is the "form" of the fertilizer. When you apply chemical P & K it is not all available to the grass/crop in the next season. Only about 1/3 of it is in many soils. And this "availability" is also affected by the soil acidity or pH.

An important thing about fertilizer to remember is that N (nitrogen) is very mobile in the soil. In wet years it can leach down below where the roots can reach it.

P & K (phosphorus and potassium) on the other hand are NOT very mobile in the soil. Applied on the surface as usually done in a pasture it may stay mostly on or near the surface and move down only very slowly over a period of years.

In my area of WI there is also a natural shortage of B (boron) and S (sulphur). These are only needed in small amounts but can make a big difference in the productivity of a pasture. It is important to request "micronutrient" analysis in your soil tests every so often to check the need for micros.

In many soils lime needs to be applied regularly to keep the pH up. With the pH up in the 6.5 range the P & K is much more available. With a low pH soil there can be a lot of P & K out there with almost none of it useable by the plants.

So in the end you need to figure on adding Lime every couple years, nitrogen almost every year (unless you have a good stand of legumes) and P & K & micros in small amounts but regularly.

The CEC of the soil (cation exchange capability) of the soil will also have an effect on the need for fertilizers. Low CEC (5-10) soils tend to be like sand and don't hold much of anything. Higher CEC (15-20) soils tend to have better organic activity and can store and convert a lot of manure etc into useable fertilizers. So there is no one simple answer to your original question. Keep soil testing but also get some help interpreting it. It can show a lot of fertilizer there but you can still have a dificiency. I hope this helps. Jim
I have to agree with most everything except for the lime. My soil has a ph of 7.8 and has never been limed. There is something I do not understant. With a high ph why would the clover grow better along the edges of the parts of my road that are limestone?


Areas of higher rainfall or higher runoff rates are going to have a lower ph. I bet if you checked it is most likely in the 6.5 to 7 range.
 

SRBeef

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Caustic Burno":b3a0n995 said:
novatech":b3a0n995 said:
SRBeef":b3a0n995 said:
In addition to the above comments, another issue is the "form" of the fertilizer. When you apply chemical P & K it is not all available to the grass/crop in the next season. Only about 1/3 of it is in many soils. And this "availability" is also affected by the soil acidity or pH.

An important thing about fertilizer to remember is that N (nitrogen) is very mobile in the soil. In wet years it can leach down below where the roots can reach it.

P & K (phosphorus and potassium) on the other hand are NOT very mobile in the soil. Applied on the surface as usually done in a pasture it may stay mostly on or near the surface and move down only very slowly over a period of years.

In my area of WI there is also a natural shortage of B (boron) and S (sulphur). These are only needed in small amounts but can make a big difference in the productivity of a pasture. It is important to request "micronutrient" analysis in your soil tests every so often to check the need for micros.

In many soils lime needs to be applied regularly to keep the pH up. With the pH up in the 6.5 range the P & K is much more available. With a low pH soil there can be a lot of P & K out there with almost none of it useable by the plants.

So in the end you need to figure on adding Lime every couple years, nitrogen almost every year (unless you have a good stand of legumes) and P & K & micros in small amounts but regularly.

The CEC of the soil (cation exchange capability) of the soil will also have an effect on the need for fertilizers. Low CEC (5-10) soils tend to be like sand and don't hold much of anything. Higher CEC (15-20) soils tend to have better organic activity and can store and convert a lot of manure etc into useable fertilizers. So there is no one simple answer to your original question. Keep soil testing but also get some help interpreting it. It can show a lot of fertilizer there but you can still have a dificiency. I hope this helps. Jim
I have to agree with most everything except for the lime. My soil has a ph of 7.8 and has never been limed. There is something I do not understant. With a high ph why would the clover grow better along the edges of the parts of my road that are limestone?


Areas of higher rainfall or higher runoff rates are going to have a lower ph. I bet if you checked it is most likely in the 6.5 to 7 range.

Alkaline soils with a normal pH over 7 and especially if it is close to 8, often in Texas, are very different animals. You should check with the local extension service for advice on those soils. The high pH changes a lot of conventional wisdom. It also makes a lot of your applied fertilizer useless to the plant.

Jim
 

1982vett

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novatech":37lal4el said:
1982vett":37lal4el said:
I would suspect anything will grow better next to the road........more rainwater runnoff.
Normally I would agree. But this year everyting has been wet all growing season. But maybe this year the road is the only place that did not turn into mud..
I heard that. :D
 

novatech

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Caustic Burno":1keukl16 said:
novatech":1keukl16 said:
SRBeef":1keukl16 said:
In addition to the above comments, another issue is the "form" of the fertilizer. When you apply chemical P & K it is not all available to the grass/crop in the next season. Only about 1/3 of it is in many soils. And this "availability" is also affected by the soil acidity or pH.

An important thing about fertilizer to remember is that N (nitrogen) is very mobile in the soil. In wet years it can leach down below where the roots can reach it.

P & K (phosphorus and potassium) on the other hand are NOT very mobile in the soil. Applied on the surface as usually done in a pasture it may stay mostly on or near the surface and move down only very slowly over a period of years.

In my area of WI there is also a natural shortage of B (boron) and S (sulphur). These are only needed in small amounts but can make a big difference in the productivity of a pasture. It is important to request "micronutrient" analysis in your soil tests every so often to check the need for micros.

In many soils lime needs to be applied regularly to keep the pH up. With the pH up in the 6.5 range the P & K is much more available. With a low pH soil there can be a lot of P & K out there with almost none of it useable by the plants.

So in the end you need to figure on adding Lime every couple years, nitrogen almost every year (unless you have a good stand of legumes) and P & K & micros in small amounts but regularly.

The CEC of the soil (cation exchange capability) of the soil will also have an effect on the need for fertilizers. Low CEC (5-10) soils tend to be like sand and don't hold much of anything. Higher CEC (15-20) soils tend to have better organic activity and can store and convert a lot of manure etc into useable fertilizers. So there is no one simple answer to your original question. Keep soil testing but also get some help interpreting it. It can show a lot of fertilizer there but you can still have a dificiency. I hope this helps. Jim
I have to agree with most everything except for the lime. My soil has a ph of 7.8 and has never been limed. There is something I do not understant. With a high ph why would the clover grow better along the edges of the parts of my road that are limestone?


Areas of higher rainfall or higher runoff rates are going to have a lower ph. I bet if you checked it is most likely in the 6.5 to 7 range.
Just received my soil sample results back yesterday. 7.7 in the hay field, recommend 85 lb N and 85 lb P, sandy loam. The pasture is 7.8 PH, recommend 15 lb N and 40 LB P,calcareous clay and silt.
 

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