Triple 17

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Nov 27, 2015
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At a recent morning coffee table, the topic of fertilizers was introduced. To get to the point, it was mentioned that triple 17 is only good for 3 months after it's spread. Never heard this but didn't argue as did the others that were attending. Your thoughts please.
Like most fertilizer, the nitrogen is used or leaches fairly fast. The phosphorus does not move much in the soil (that is the reason some of the guys that have been using broiler litter for years are starting to see their P levels elevate). Potassium wil move down in soil profile but not very quickly. It is interesting too look at soil fertility recommendations today as compared to when I was a young man. On bermuda, the old recommendation for hay cuttings was to put out a complete fertilizer early spring and top dress with Nitrogen for additional cuttings. We have learned that we get more bang for our buck by splitting the Potassium (K) applications. It seems bermuda is a luxury consumer of potassium. If you put it all out at one time, the bermuda plant will take most of it up into the plant for the first cutting, leaving little for subsequent cuttings.
OK - so after three months, should nitrogen be applied the crop to help boost the growth? Or, also, should another blend be used that would provide more bang for your buck and last longer?
The components of the fertilizer work the same no matter the blend. The numbers indicate the amount of each component.
kilroy60":3vikx0lq said:
OK - so after three months, should nitrogen be applied the crop to help boost the growth? Or, also, should another blend be used that would provide more bang for your buck and last longer?

Yes applying some N to a pasture will encourage growth. On a field hay add N and K after each cutting. For general pasture it's hard to beat a 20-10-15 mix at about 200 lbs to the acre twice a year, 300 lbs is even better just harder on the wallet.
Addressed to the respondees:

Back in the '60's Texas was suffering from Cotton Fever. Blackland had been cottoned out. A bunch of PhDs got together at Renner, Tx. (now incorporated into the city limits of Plano, N. of Dallas) and with donations from farmers and others did and still do ag. research in an attempt to put Texas back in the ag. green.

I have used their experiments, bound into a hard copy book as my guide for the past 35+ years.

On the advice given here, where did you guys come up with your advice? With the cost of commercial fertilizer these days and the haying competition around here, being correct matters.

TAMU (Texas A&M University) and their ag. extension dept. do a good job of helping us out and will do soil samples if sent in with 10 bucks helping us to plan our needs when we submit our soil and our aspirations for the coming year's crop.

Problem I have personally, is that if I want to custom tailor my fertilizer needs to the results of the soil testing and plans, I have to go to the bulk plant to get it custom mixed. Well that's not always an option and the choices you get in the bag, like triple this or triple that, or the other options, don't suit my needs and I am just puking money.

Also I have a coastal patch and an annual patch. The coastal patch doesn't offer the convenience of putting the "food" where it will get used. Only option I see is to put down your P and K in the fall and work it in and in the spring after the field has rebounded and the weeds are mature, top dress your Bermuda and then after every cutting top dress it again.......if you get the yield to support that kind of money invested in food.

On the annual patch, I planted Gotcha Plus Sudan-Sorghum again this year but half the field got Austrian Winter Peas panted last fall with no fert. and worked in this spring before planting. I may post pictures of the difference later on but the difference is amazing even with me adding a couple hundred # of triple 13 and 33-0-0, worked in B4 planting and top dressed on the non pea part. Next year the whole patch is going in peas for food and I might just take a year off and put the Bermuda patch in peas and hope for the best for next year's crop of that. Since Bermuda loves to be cultivated (mine does anyway) it just might be the thing to do.

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