Fertilizer Question

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gulfso

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Just pulled some soil test. Results called for 1 1/2 ton of lime, 100# N and 60# Phosphorus and 0 potash on Gulf rye grass. Due to fertilizer cost, lime cost and poor cattle prices what would be best?

I am thinking that the fertilizer will not due much good because of the lime shortage. It will take a few months for the lime to do any good and the nitrogen I put out now will be gone by then? I am thinking about putting just the lime for now? Any ideas?
 

Stocker Steve

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1982vett":1n6p5f04 said:
Go ahead and lime it now. Put the fertilizer out late February early March.

Good advice.
Lime cost is mostly in the trucking. I would ask for a fine grind and weather the rates have come down before I ordered.
Fertilizer should be a little cheaper by spring. It is hard to justify fertilizing grass if it needs more than N.
 
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gulfso

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Actually lime isn't that cheap here, except in comparison to fertilizer. Lime spread is anywhere from $47-50 per ton. I don't think it has went down a penny. Fertilizer is drifting down. I got two quotes on fertilizer (60-60-0) and there was almost a $200 difference between the two quotes......doesn't that sound fishy :?:
 

1982vett

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gulfso":5hvmzbbs said:
Actually lime isn't that cheap here, except in comparison to fertilizer. Lime spread is anywhere from $47-50 per ton. I don't think it has went down a penny. Fertilizer is drifting down. I got two quotes on fertilizer (60-60-0) and there was almost a $200 difference between the two quotes......doesn't that sound fishy :?:

Fishy? Maybe not, depending on "new fertilizer" and "old fertilizer". One might have gotten caught with more than they could sell and won't drop the price to meet the price of newly purchased fertilizer. Your lime price does seem high compared to prices here. Trucking is the major cost of lime. If possible, try to do at least half of the recommended amount of lime out.

:secret: Year before last I tested a 21 acre plot that called for 2 tons. I limed only 12 acres because at the time I had knee high haygrazer growing on 9 acres of it. I haven't gotten around to finishing the job but I did take a new sample this year from each side for comparison. The one side still called for 2 tons of lime. Fertilizer recommendation was the same for both. Now the kicker is, visually you can't tell the difference in the forage growth, color, or vigor with adequate rain (last year) and inadequate rain (this year). But I haven't had the forage tested to see if their might be a difference their. I have hay fields I haven't limed that rock back and forth between needing a ton and not needing any. FWIW, my personal conclusion is the tests are accurate plus or minus a ton. Believe this at your own risk. :) I do think it is good practice to follow the test recommendations, but not so sure they aren't flawless.
 

gertman

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I'd spread the lime and a fertilizer mix of 60#N, 60#P. If you need more grazing or hay to cut I'd put another 60#N in late winter. You didn't say what the pH was but if you go to www.modernforage.com they have a chart that shows how much fertilizer you waste if the pH is out of whack.
 

bird dog

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I agree with the others. My soil test read very similar to yours. I could not afford the lime and the fertilizer so I applied one ton per acre early this year and then sprayed with grazon in late spring. I had by far better grazing this year with probably half of the moisture than the year before. I paid $35 a ton for the lime and applying it but I am probaly closer to the pit.
 

SRBeef

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I will offer a bit of a variation from the others.

As you are in AL aand probably not frozen and white as we are up north, I would definitely put the lime on now, asap, in as fine a grind as you can find. This will free up some of the P & K already in your soil for spring.

100 lb of N/a is a LOT of N if applied on the surface. You must have a real deficiency if this is for pasture and not hay.

I would NOT apply 100 lb of N nor the 60 lb of P at this time of year even in Alabama. The P will most likely be in the form of DAP which also contains some N. So total N of 100 lb/a of N as urea + maybe 6-10 lb/a of N in the DAP acre this time of year will either be partially lost to volatization or leaching, or be in your well. What is left may give you way to fast growth of the normally fast growing first flush of early spring grass. N is expensive and applied this time of year by spreading on the pasture surface and not incorporated or knifed in, you will lose much of it.

You may want to consider applying all of the soil test recommended fertilizer in May or early June (not sure of exact time for Alabama) and preferably just ahead of a rain after the first grass is declining to give you a boost on the later summer grazing. jmho based on northern experience.

Get a fine lime on now though if you can.
 

Farmgirl

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My question is very similar to Gulfso's. We put out lime in March of this year (5.9ph in Sept), then overseeded with crimson clover and ryegrass about a month ago. It is coming up and looks like a good stand. We are beginning to get some much needed moisture. Soil test shows we need over 100 pounds of K and 40 pounds of P. I have been watching fertilizer prices hoping it would come down. When should we fertilize?

Thanks,
Farmgirl
 

SRBeef

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Farmgirl":3nui506d said:
My question is very similar to Gulfso's. We put out lime in March of this year (5.9ph in Sept), then overseeded with crimson clover and ryegrass about a month ago. It is coming up and looks like a good stand. We are beginning to get some much needed moisture. Soil test shows we need over 100 pounds of K and 40 pounds of P. I have been watching fertilizer prices hoping it would come down. When should we fertilize?

Thanks,
Farmgirl

P & K can go on about any time the pasture is fit to drive on but not frozen. It is large amounts of N that should be applied AFTER the first flush of spring growth is over and preferably just ahead of a rain. Depending how much lime you put on you shuld see your soil test pH continue to rise. Clover needs in the 6's to persist.

Good luck.
 

1982vett

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SRBeef":15ly7gtn said:
Farmgirl":15ly7gtn said:
My question is very similar to Gulfso's. We put out lime in March of this year (5.9ph in Sept), then overseeded with crimson clover and ryegrass about a month ago. It is coming up and looks like a good stand. We are beginning to get some much needed moisture. Soil test shows we need over 100 pounds of K and 40 pounds of P. I have been watching fertilizer prices hoping it would come down. When should we fertilize?

Thanks,
Farmgirl

P & K can go on about any time the pasture is fit to drive on but not frozen. It is large amounts of N that should be applied AFTER the first flush of spring growth is over and preferably just ahead of a rain. Depending how much lime you put on you shuld see your soil test pH continue to rise. Clover needs in the 6's to persist.

Good luck.

For flush of spring growth for grazing, fertilize in late February and early March when temperatures begin to warm.

SR, down here ryegrass and clover is used for early spring grazing before the warm season grasses get started. Applications of fertilizer in the fall would to get the ryegrass growing until the cold weather slows growth. A little late to do that for now, next would be late February to March depending on how early the ground begins to warm. This is how near year round grazing is achieved. I kind of watch the cow pattie spots, when you see those spots starting to grow it is a good sign fertilizer would be put to use. Oats, covers and ryegrass are usually cooked by southern temperatures by mid-May.

Other problems of heavy fertilized ryegrass. If you don't keep it grazed down it will damage, choke out and delay warm season grasses. To avoid this SR's method would be better but you won't get the grazing potential you would if you fertilized earlier. So it really depends on what your goal is as to how to go about achieving it.

SR's method is good, timetable can be adjusted for different climate.

A mix of ryegrass, clover, and bermuda makes excellent hay.
 
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gulfso

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Thanks for the input. I think I am going to do just the lime on that part of it (the ph was 5.0) and wait a bit for it to start to kick in some. Our growing season here is pretty much always. If I can get some N on some of the rest of it I will be able to graze it in 2-3 weeks.

A good portion doesn't need lime and I am going to do a 60-60- 0 for now and maybe come back in the spring and hit with just a little Urea. Maybe by them we will get our bailout money from the Govt.
 

BeefmasterB

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Stocker Steve":34lyq548 said:
1982vett":34lyq548 said:
Go ahead and lime it now. Put the fertilizer out late February early March.

Good advice.
Lime cost is mostly in the trucking. I would ask for a fine grind and weather the rates have come down before I ordered.
Fertilizer should be a little cheaper by spring. It is hard to justify fertilizing grass if it needs more than N.

Excellent advice!! As implied in the above reply, you might want to pencil out the numbers to see if the cost pays off in your overall plan. If you plan to sell hay then you'll get a pretty good idea of how much to sell it for and, likewise, if it's fed out, then you have a good idea of how much $ you have into your cattle feed costs. If you do go ahead with the fertilization recommendations from the soil sample test then understand that application times and application methods are critical to success or failure. Get it all in the soil the right way, and at the right times and you will be rewarded with having to do just a little maintenance in the years to follow.
 

ga. prime

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gulfso, about that 100lb of N your soil test calls for, if you read the fine print I'm guessing it says to put out in two applications. That's what it should say anyway. I think you're right in putting the 60-60-0 now and coming back in the Spring with more N.
 
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gulfso

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That is correct on 60 now and the rest later. Just hoping the fertilizer cost will come down some by then.
 

alabama

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If the PH ain't right you are waisting money on fertelizer. As others have said "PUT OUT LIME NOW" you may even have to lime again next fall and then try to spend money on fertelizer the following year.
 

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