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Good fertilizer study

jedstivers

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Evaluation of Nontraditional Fertilizers for Bermudagrass Forage Yield
Dr. John Jennings, Professor, Kenny Simon, Program Associate, Dr. John Boyd, Professor, Dr. Leo Espinoza, Assistant Professor, and Dr. Shane Gadberry, Assistant Professor

High fertilizer prices have caused many producers to look for alternatives to reduce costs. Nontraditional fertilizers are being marketed with low recommended application rates making cost per acre appealing to producers. These products are often marketed based on testimonials with little or no research data for forage production. In the summer of 2008, we conducted a trial to compare three nontraditional fertilizers with urea, ammonium nitrate and liquid urea for effect on bermudagrass dry matter yield.

Methods: Fertilizer treatments were applied to 10' x 25' plots in a common bermudagrass hay meadow in Faulkner County, Arkansas. Treatments were applied on 6/27/08, and plots were harvested on 7/28/08 to simulate hay production and on 8/7/08 with subsequent harvest on 10/17/08 to simulate stockpiled bermudagrass pasture production. Rainfall occurred within 24 hours of fertilizer application for both dates. Plots were sprayed with 2,4-D on 6/27/08 for broadleaf weed control. Fertilizer treatments were ammonium nitrate, urea, liquid urea, Monty's Plant Food (analysis 8-16-8), Fish Emulsion (analysis 5-1-1) and Sea 90 Mineral (analysis at http://www.seaagri.com/). Application rates were ammonium nitrate, urea and liquid urea - 75 lb/acre of N; Fish Emulsion - 4 gallons/acre; Sea 90 Mineral - 2 lb/acre; and Monty's Plant Food - 1.5 pints/acre. The nontraditional products were foliar applied alone at labeled recommended rates and also in combination with urea at 75 lb/acre N. Nitrogen content and total nitrogen applied per acre for each product are shown in Table 1. All treatments and combinations were replicated four times. All plots received P and K fertilizer on 6/26/08 according to soil test recommendations for bermudagrass hay at a 4 ton/acre yield goal (x-92-240 per acre). Dry matter yield results are presented in Table 2.

Table 1. Nitrogen content and total nitrogen applied
for the fertilizer products used in this trial

Treatment
% N
lb N/unit
lb N applied/acre

Ammonium Nitrate 34% 680 lb/ton 75 lb/ton
Urea 46% 920 lb/ton 75
Liquid Urea 23% 2.5 lb/gal 75
Monty's Plant Food 8% 0.9 lb/gal 0.2
Fish Emulsion 5% 0.6 lb/gal 2.4
Sea 90 Mineral 0% 0 lb/ton 0

Table 2. Evaluation of nontraditional fertilizers
for bermudagrass yield

Treatment
July*
October
Total Yield

Dry Matter Yield (lb/acre)**

Ammonium Nitrate 3229 A 4244 A 7474 A
Urea 2872 AB 3722 AB 6595 AB
Liquid Urea (23% N) 2877 AB 3546 B 6423 AB
Urea + Monty's Plant Food 2919 AB 3412 B 6332 B
Urea + Fish Emulsion 2619 B 3670 AB 6289 B
Urea + Sea 90 Mineral 2913 AB 3300 B 6212 B
Monty's Plant Food 928 C 1526 C 2455 C
Fish Emulsion 965 C 1307 C 2273 C
Sea 90 Mineral 847 C 1178 C 2025 C
Untreated Check 745 C 1127 C 1873 C

* July: treatments applied 6/27/08 and harvested 7/28/08; October: treatments applied 8/7/08 and harvested 10/17/08.
** Treatments followed by the same letter are not significantly different at the 0.05 level.

Results: Bermudagrass dry matter yield for both harvests was significantly increased by application of N as ammonium nitrate, urea and liquid urea compared to the untreated check treatment (Table 2). Urea and liquid urea were not statistically different than ammonium nitrate but produced 10% to 16% less dry matter. Dry matter yield for Monty's Plant Food, Sea 90 Mineral or Fish Emulsion applied alone was not different than the untreated check treatment for either harvest. Addition of 75 lb/acre urea with these products did not increase dry matter yield over urea alone. The urea/fish emulsion combination yielded statistically less (19%) on the July harvest than ammonium nitrate, but the reason for this difference is not known. Results show that the nontraditional fertilizers (Monty's Plant Food, Sea 90 Mineral and Fish Emulsion) did not improve bermudagrass dry matter yield when applied alone or in combination with urea. Liquid urea and urea were effective for improving dry matter yield but produced 10% to 16% less bermudagrass dry matter than ammonium nitrate.


http://www.aragriculture.org/News/anima ... rmudagrass
The chart wouldn't show on here so this is the link.
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1982vett

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Now what would be useful would be a cost analysis comparison. Guess one has to do that themselves.

If the cost of urea is 10-16% cheaper than ammonium nitrate, then what? What are the long-term effects of using urea and the cost associated with mitigating them?

I believe it is well known that ammonium nitrate has better fertilization enhancement properties. Trade off is cost, availability and handling regulations.
 

jedstivers

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1982vett":mnphp4wz said:
Now what would be useful would be a cost analysis comparison. Guess one has to do that themselves.

If the cost of urea is 10-16% cheaper than ammonium nitrate, then what? What are the long-term effects of using urea and the cost associated with mitigating them?

I believe it is well known that ammonium nitrate has better fertilization enhancement properties. Trade off is cost, availability and handling regulations.
We can't even get Ammonium Nitrate any more, no one wants to handle it. It is a great product, another great one that we can't get is Bulldog soda. We use lots of Urea and Ammonium Sulfate on corn and cotton.
 

john250

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1982vett":33y2m64v said:
If the cost of urea is 10-16% cheaper than ammonium nitrate, then what? What are the long-term effects of using urea and the cost associated with mitigating them?

I believe it is well known that ammonium nitrate has better fertilization enhancement properties. Trade off is cost, availability and handling regulations.

Ammonia nitrate hasn't been available to me for years, except in 50 lb bags for gardeners. I don't know why, but my suppliers handle only urea. It is cheaper and I haven't seen any probems. You want to time application ahead of a rain or put it under with a disc. Warm windy weather will volatize a lot of Urea on the surface.
 

Jogeephus

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john250":1yne1yrg said:
1982vett":1yne1yrg said:
If the cost of urea is 10-16% cheaper than ammonium nitrate, then what? What are the long-term effects of using urea and the cost associated with mitigating them?

I believe it is well known that ammonium nitrate has better fertilization enhancement properties. Trade off is cost, availability and handling regulations.

Ammonia nitrate hasn't been available to me for years, except in 50 lb bags for gardeners. I don't know why, but my suppliers handle only urea. It is cheaper and I haven't seen any probems. You want to time application ahead of a rain or put it under with a disc. Warm windy weather will volatize a lot of Urea on the surface.

The reason is homeland security regulations. This affects everything from trucking to having to have a six foot tall fence around the fertilizer facility AND keep a time log of when, where and how the ammonium nitrate was applied. It is illegal for the driver of the spreader truck to stop anywhere between point A and B. This only affects the larger fertilizer companies who excede a certain size. Thankfully, we still have some small guys who are not subject to these rules and will still spread it but they do have to use certain truckers to haul it thus driving up the cost. I guess this is to protect us as it must be impossible to buy enough bags of ammonium nitrate to actually blow something up. :roll:
 

john250

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My memory is vague, but I think Ammonia Nitrate was dissappearing here even before the OK City bombing. Aren't they supposed to add some sulfur or something to ammonia nitrate to make it non-explosive? I'm no chemist but I thought some additive or other eliminated the problem of one insane man using fertilizer to kill innocent people.
 

Jogeephus

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john250":1u7y3ewt said:
My memory is vague, but I think Ammonia Nitrate was dissappearing here even before the OK City bombing. Aren't they supposed to add some sulfur or something to ammonia nitrate to make it non-explosive? I'm no chemist but I thought some additive or other eliminated the problem of one insane man using fertilizer to kill innocent people.

Something can be added to it to make it non-explosive but they either don't do it for whatever reason or the regulation doesn't treat the treated ammonium nitrate any differently. I talked to the guys at Southern States just last week about why they don't handle it when three other vendors in my area did and this is what they told me. Basically, its not worth their trouble to comply with the regulations.

Two years ago I bought some cheap ammonium nitrate from Russia. It was much cheaper than homegrown stuff. It was incapsulated in lime and its makeup was 27-0-0-12. I liked it a lot. It wouldn't melt until it rained and it was considerably cheaper than all my alternatives. But couldn't find this again. :???:
 

john250

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I think the 12 in 27-0-0-12 is sulfur, but I'm not sure.
There may be some record keeping requirements that discourage folks from carrying the stuff.
 

Jogeephus

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I was told the 27-0-0-12 was lime. Was told they encapsulated it to keep it from melting on a ship. I put out 28-0-0-12 last week and the 12 was sulfur. Not arguing, just telling you what I was told.
 

jedstivers

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Even before Homeland Security it was a hassle to get Amn. Ni. or bulldog soda. We had to have drivers with Haz-Mat license and the only ports that had it were Memphis, which is only 60 miles but a hassle to deal with or Lake Providence LA which is a long way away.
 

LaneFarms

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I put out 9 tons of Ammonium Nitrate last week but it was 33-0-0. Southern States in our area only carries urea or Ammonium Sulfate.
 

DustyH

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Has anyone tried Grasshopper fertilizer? I notice it is being advertised in the local papers and the Louisiana Farmers market bulletin. I looked it up online and it seems to be good stuff and alot cheaper than traditional fertilizer. Any one got any experiences with it?
 

Jogeephus

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DustyH":2aqc3eeg said:
Has anyone tried Grasshopper fertilizer? I notice it is being advertised in the local papers and the Louisiana Farmers market bulletin. I looked it up online and it seems to be good stuff and alot cheaper than traditional fertilizer. Any one got any experiences with it?

From what I've read it is just a foliar feed just like Monty's. All foliar feeds work to some degree but not in the manner that many claim they do. Foliar fertilizers are not a replacement for fertilizer just an added ammendment. It is chemically impossible for some of these products to do what they claim them to do. Foliar applications are used here a lot on high dollar crops to enhance he color and market price of the crop or to help set the fruit. What you have to be careful with is the fact that you can mine and deplete your soil reserves. It is very costly if you do this - don't ask me how I know this. :oops: ;-) :lol2:

If you are wanting to try this you might look around and find some other foliar feeds. They are cheap. Another thing you might want to try that is dirt cheap is liquid iron. This sells for about $20 for a 5 gallon jug. Apply a quart per acre which will make your cost $1 per acre. It will green it up by enhancing the photosynthesis and in turn the sugar production. To add another level to this experiment, apply a foliar feed to the other half of the field and see which one gives the most bang for your buck. Cut hay on it twice then take a soil test and compare this to your original soil test and I think you will arrive at the same conclusion as I have which is in keeping with this thread.
 

ga. prime

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Jogeephus":fnernmuq said:
DustyH":fnernmuq said:
Has anyone tried Grasshopper fertilizer? I notice it is being advertised in the local papers and the Louisiana Farmers market bulletin. I looked it up online and it seems to be good stuff and alot cheaper than traditional fertilizer. Any one got any experiences with it?

If you are wanting to try this you might look around and find some other foliar feeds. They are cheap. Another thing you might want to try that is dirt cheap is liquid iron. This sells for about $20 for a 5 gallon jug. Apply a quart per acre which will make your cost $1 per acre. It will green it up by enhancing the photosynthesis and in turn the sugar production. To add another level to this experiment, apply a foliar feed to the other half of the field and see which one gives the most bang for your buck. Cut hay on it twice then take a soil test and compare this to your original soil test and I think you will arrive at the same conclusion as I have which is in keeping with this thread.

On a third half of the field, apply nothing and you will find that all three halves yield the same quantity of hay. You will have conducted the same experiment the forage specialists did.
 

ffamom

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We put out ammonium nitrate on Friday. Cost was $335 per ton for 34-0-0. When you buy it you have additional paper work to fill out. In the Texas heat, urea has up a 40% volatilization rate if you can't get it into the soil quickly. Urea is great in the winter, but not so good in the summer.
 

jedstivers

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Jogeephus":1eo74nav said:
DustyH":1eo74nav said:
Has anyone tried Grasshopper fertilizer? I notice it is being advertised in the local papers and the Louisiana Farmers market bulletin. I looked it up online and it seems to be good stuff and alot cheaper than traditional fertilizer. Any one got any experiences with it?

From what I've read it is just a foliar feed just like Monty's. All foliar feeds work to some degree but not in the manner that many claim they do. Foliar fertilizers are not a replacement for fertilizer just an added ammendment. It is chemically impossible for some of these products to do what they claim them to do. Foliar applications are used here a lot on high dollar crops to enhance he color and market price of the crop or to help set the fruit. What you have to be careful with is the fact that you can mine and deplete your soil reserves. It is very costly if you do this - don't ask me how I know this. :oops: ;-) :lol2:

If you are wanting to try this you might look around and find some other foliar feeds. They are cheap. Another thing you might want to try that is dirt cheap is liquid iron. This sells for about $20 for a 5 gallon jug. Apply a quart per acre which will make your cost $1 per acre. It will green it up by enhancing the photosynthesis and in turn the sugar production. To add another level to this experiment, apply a foliar feed to the other half of the field and see which one gives the most bang for your buck. Cut hay on it twice then take a soil test and compare this to your original soil test and I think you will arrive at the same conclusion as I have which is in keeping with this thread.
That was one of the reasons I posted the study, to show what some of these things do and don't do.
 

Jogeephus

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ffamom":1qb97sy5 said:
We put out ammonium nitrate on Friday. Cost was $335 per ton for 34-0-0. When you buy it you have additional paper work to fill out. In the Texas heat, urea has up a 40% volatilization rate if you can't get it into the soil quickly. Urea is great in the winter, but not so good in the summer.

I prefer ammonium nitrate (and I still have a little bulldog soda) but sometimes its not readily available or affordable. if you find yourself in this situation there is a product called Nutri-sphere that you can treat the urea with to limit the volatization during the summer months. I started using it on occassion last year and it seems to work pretty good.
 

Jogeephus

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jedstivers":7ny2ju8f said:
That was one of the reasons I posted the study, to show what some of these things do and don't do.

Jed, you should hear my neighbor give his sales pitch. Maybe we could get him to give his spill at the CT reunion. I'm pretty sure he could counter this whole expeiment with some explanation of why his product is so good. Maybe he can explain how his product can get 60# of N in 1/2 pound of material. I'm pretty sure his product will cure scours in calves, take warts off and grow record breaking watermellons with just a few drops. If he happens to speak, I don't know how but I'm pretty sure he will follow each of us home and not leave until you buy a jug of the miracle fertilizer that defies science through its secret patented chemistry. ;-) Its just amazing what his product can do. :lol2:
 

jedstivers

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Jogeephus":2n6qcqea said:
ffamom":2n6qcqea said:
We put out ammonium nitrate on Friday. Cost was $335 per ton for 34-0-0. When you buy it you have additional paper work to fill out. In the Texas heat, urea has up a 40% volatilization rate if you can't get it into the soil quickly. Urea is great in the winter, but not so good in the summer.

I prefer ammonium nitrate (and I still have a little bulldog soda) but sometimes its not readily available or affordable. if you find yourself in this situation there is a product called Nutri-sphere that you can treat the urea with to limit the volatization during the summer months. I started using it on occassion last year and it seems to work pretty good.
We use a product called Agritain (sp) or one called Extend to do the same thing. Depending on the time of year or crop stage we treat 1/2 to all of the Urea with it. As for your neighbor he must have a house in AR. also.
 

cypressfarms

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ffamom":18svmagi said:
urea has up a 40% volatilization rate if you can't get it into the soil quickly. Urea is great in the winter, but not so good in the summer.

Extremely good point!

If temps are above 80 degrees, urea can lose 20% or more of the nitrogen if you don't get rain within 48 hours. I only use it on ryegrass in late fall or late winter depending on how the ryegrass is growing, and then I hold it and put it out by buggy immediately before rain. (Down here we have pretty predictable fronts that come through in the winter - I 'll broadcast it just before the rain - I've even put it out during a rain before)
 

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