Improving Forage Production and Longevity of Alfalfa Stands with Balanced Fertilization

To determine the influence of balanced fertilization on forage production, longevity of alfalfa stands, weed population and disease severity.


15 Mar 2001


    The field experiment was established in spring, 2000 on 3-year old alfalfa stands near Star City in northeastern Saskatchewan. The site was located on a S-deficient soil. Fertilizer treatments included no fertilizer, P + K, P + K + 10 kg S/ha, P + K + 20 kg S/ha, P + K + 30 kg S/ha, P + K + 40 kg S/ha, K + S, P + S and P + K + S + B. Fertilizers were surface-broadcast in mid to late April (early spring). The P, S, K and B fertilizers were applied at 20 kg P/ha, 20 kg S/ha, 40 kg K/ha, and 2 kg B/ha. Fertilizer sources were P as triple superphosate, S as calcium sulphate (Limeco Product), K as potassium chloride (muriate of potash) and B as Borax. Experimental design was a randomized complete block with 4 replications. Plots were 10' x 20' in size. Alfalfa was harvested in June and August for hay yield. Visual assessments of alfalfa establishment, weed populations and disease levels were taken in July. Alfalfa at maturity was harvested for seed yield in October. Data are collected on soil characteristics, forage yield, seed yield, seed purity and quality, and nutrients concentration in forage and seed, weed populations and biomass, and disease levels.