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Fertilizing grass pastures


By Jerrold Tesmer

Mon, Feb 13th, 2012
Posted in All Agriculture

Are you looking for ways to get more out of your pasture? Have you ever soil tested your pasture? Do you treat your pasture like a valuable crop?

As with other crops, adequate fertilizer is needed for optimal economic production. This could mean being able to increase the number of animals grazing a particular pasture or having pastures last longer into the summer or fall. Soil testing is particularly valuable for determining phosphate and potash needs.

Nitrogen is usually the first nutrient we think of for grass and grass mixtures; grasses grown for pasture are a perennial crop. Nitrogen fertilizer guidelines are based on expected yield. The expected yield will vary with such factors as intended use, management intensity, and soil texture.

Expected yields of four or more tons of dry matter per acre are reasonable for situations where soils have good water holding capacity and intensive management practices such as rotational grazing are used.

The time for nitrogen fertilizer application should match the growth pattern of forage grasses. The majority of grasses found in Southeast Minnesota are cool season grasses. With cool season grasses, the majority of growth takes place in late spring and early summer. Therefore, early spring application is suggested for these grasses.

Split application of nitrogen fertilizer is an option for intensive management situations when expected yields are greater than four ton per acre. If split application is an option, ¾ of the nitrogen should be applied in early spring and ¼ in late August.

The listed rates for phosphate and potash can be taken from the results of your soil test. The needed fertilizer should be broadcast to established pastures in early spring for cool season grasses.

In some field crops, other nutrients have been found to be of value. Research trials in Minnesota have shown that forage grasses and grass mixtures have not responded to application to other nutrients in a fertilizer program. Therefore, none are suggested.

For more information on fertilizer recommendations in Minnesota consult “Fertilizer Guidelines for Agronomic Crops in Minnesota” BU-06240-S Revised 2011, Daniel E. Kaiser, Extension Soil Scientist; John A. Lamb, Extension Soil Scientist; and Roger Elieason, Director, University of Minnesota Soil Testing Laboratory. For more information, visit online: [Read the Rest]

Farm family recognition nominations

Fri, Jan 27th, 2012
Posted in Agriculture

The Fillmore County Extension Committee is asking your help in identifying potential farm families for recognition by the University of Minnesota. The Farm Family Recognition Program has existed for over two decades and honors farm families from thr ..... 
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Cow/Calf Days

Fri, Jan 27th, 2012
Posted in Agriculture

The 2012 Minnesota Beef Cow/Calf Day will be held Thursday, February 9 at America's Best Value Inn in Rochester from 5:30 to 9:30 pm. The topics for the evening's agenda are as follows.

"Pasture and Forage Management for Optimal Production." ..... 
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Regional Forage Workshop

Fri, Jan 20th, 2012
Posted in Agriculture

"Making Great Silage" and "Silage Additive - When Should You Use Them" will be topics of featured speaker Richard Muck, USDA Dairy Forage Research Center, Madison Wisconsin at the 2012 Tour de Forage to be held Monday, February 6, in Rochester at th ..... 
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AgStar's Fund for Rural America seeks scholarship applications

Fri, Jan 6th, 2012
Posted in Agriculture

Mankato, Minn., (Dec. 13, 2011) - The AgStar Fund for Rural America, a corporate giving program of AgStar Financial Services, is offering $20,000 in scholarships to help students in rural areas continue their education. High school seniors throughou ..... 
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Private pesticide certification workshops

Fri, Jan 6th, 2012
Posted in Agriculture

Six Private Pesticide Applicator Certification Workshops have been scheduled for Fillmore, Houston, and Winona Counties. If you are one of the 207 in Fillmore County, one of the 70 in Houston County, or one of the 101 in Winona County due for recert ..... 
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Winter grazing update

Thu, Jan 5th, 2012
Posted in Agriculture

Have you started making plans to improve your grazing in 2012? There will be a Winter Grazing Update on Saturday, January 21 at the Good Times Restaurant in Caledonia. A full day is planned, with registration at 9:30 am and the program beginning at ..... 
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Is the land rent bubble starting to boil?

Thu, Dec 22nd, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

Last year, I started out by asking if we were looking at a land rent bubble. A couple of weeks ago I completed the Houston County Land Rent Survey, and now have results from the Fillmore County Land Rent Survey. In those two surveys, not one landlor ..... 
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Winter Crops Day returns to Caledonia

Fri, Dec 16th, 2011
Posted in Agriculture

Ag Producers in southern Minnesota just finished a season that included a wet spring, a hot summer, and a dry fall. No one knows what is in store for the 2012 season, but crop management decisions are underway now, and that will be the focus of the ..... 
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