Clover-grass mixtures are in style as a result of they don’t must be fertilized as a lot as pure grass crops. Certainly, legumes reminiscent of white and crimson clover are self-sufficient in nitrogen. They will merely repair nitrogen from the ambiance and repair a part of the nitrogen within the soil. On this method, they will really additionally present vitamins for the grasses that additionally kind a part of the sector’s plant group.
“As a result of legumes are nitrogen-fixing, fertilizing your clover grass optimally could be complicated. That is true for each natural and standard farmers, as a result of the extra fertilizer you apply the much less clover there might be, the grass merely out-grow the clover. In in style phrases, you are fertilizing the clover away,” explains postdoc Henrik Thers from the Division of Agroecology at Aarhus College.
That is problematic as a result of the much less clover, the much less nitrogen is mounted.
Natural experiments with cattle manure
Researchers from Aarhus College have performed natural fertilization trials of clover grass fields to seek out the optimum fertilization in relation to subject yield, proportion of clover, protein focus and, not least, nitrogen fixation. Due to this fact, the chosen fertilizer has been cattle slurry.
“In complete, we had 4 fertilization ranges on this trial. Now we have fertilized with 0, 100, 200 and 300 kg complete N per ha in cattle slurry. In case you have a look at the dry matter yield, there’s a vital enhance in yield as much as 200 kg N. There’s additionally a small enhance at 300 kg N, however it’s not vital. Due to this fact, we conclude that 200 kg N is probably the most optimum by way of yield,” says Henrik Thers.
So, except you are a cattle farmer with limitless manure, it is best to give the 200 kg N to clover grass and save the remainder for different fields.
“Now we have additionally studied the standard of the yield and we will see that you do not really get a greater high quality while you fertilize, then again you do not get a considerably worse one both, so that you should not be afraid to fertilize your clover grass,” says Henrik Thers.
Autumn tattle about spring
Clover grass is fertilized a number of instances a yr, and infrequently the fertilizer might be adjusted to the proportion of clover. So, it’s problematic that the primary fertilization of the yr is utilized so early that the farmer cannot assess the proportion of clover in his subject. Researchers now have an answer to this drawback.
“In fact, it could be most optimum should you might measure the proportion utilizing specifically made cameras, however this isn’t doable at the start of the season as a result of the clover crops are just too small. We have discovered that you should use the pictures from the autumn to inform you one thing about how a lot clover there might be subsequent spring,” says Henrik Thers.
The analysis reveals that when you have a clover proportion within the autumn that’s between 33-75%, then there’s a dependable correlation to the clover proportion the next spring. Nevertheless, the proportion might be some proportion factors decrease. On this method, what the clover proportion might be even earlier than the clover proportion could be measured, and this lets you alter fertilization.
Sufficient information for a fertilization mannequin
Like earlier research, the outcomes of the brand new trials additionally set up that on the excessive fertilization ranges, a decrease proportion of clover might be discovered than on the decrease fertilization ranges.
“So, it is true that you could fertilize the clover away. That is why it could be a good suggestion to create a mannequin for optimum fertilization of natural clover grass. If you’ll do such a mannequin, it’s worthwhile to know what occurs while you fertilize clover grass with completely different quantities of slurry. We now have this information,” says Henrik Thers, who hopes that the examine will contribute to extra optimum fertilization of clover grass.
The findings are revealed within the journal Area Crops Analysis.
Henrik Thers et al, Grass-clover response to cattle slurry N-rates: Yield, clover proportion, protein focus and estimated N2-fixation, Area Crops Analysis (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.fcr.2022.108675
One step nearer to optimum fertilization of clover grass (2023, January 26)
retrieved 26 January 2023
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