By Bob Hendershot, State Grassland Conservationist, USDA-NRCS-Ohio
Forages can help in managing nutrients from manure applications.
Harvested forages can be used effectively to remove excess nutrients from crop fields and reduce water pollution potential. Harvested forages are very marketable, and should be considered as a way to transfer nutrients off of farms with excess nutrient levels. Forages also are excellent in improving soil conditions, reducing soil erosion and runoff that contributes to water quality concerns.
Forages can be used to draw down soil test phosphorus levels in fields with excessive soil test levels. Typically,
forages will remove 13 to 15 pounds of P2O5 per ton of harvested forage. Plants harvested earlier in their growth stage will have a higher concentration of phosphorus, but a lower yield per acre. Different forages remove different
amounts of phosphorus. Oklahoma research shows orchardgrass removing 50% more P2O5 than the same yield of
alfalfa, ryegrass or tall fescue; twice as much as red clover and three times more than sorghum-sudangrass or pearl millet.… Continue readingRead More »