Farmers are encouraged to find out what nutrients are available in their forage stands when planning on rejuvenating them.

Dr. Jeff Schoenau, with the University of Saskatchewan's Department of Soil Science, says getting a soil test is a good start. He says they've found that it often doesn't take much nitrogen to improve a grass stand.

"Maybe only 30 or 50 pounds of nitrogen per acre will cause significant improvement in its productivity, in its biomass yield and also in quality, in terms of protein," he says.

When comparing annual crop land with land that has been used for forage for 5-to-10 years, Schoenau says they find significantly higher amounts of soil organic carbon in the forage stand, especially in stands that contain a legume such as alfalfa.

He adds forage land that has been hayed will become nutrient deficient over time, unless those nutrients are replaced with fertilizer or manure.

~ Monday, January 10, 2011 ~