Agronomy and Horticulture, Department of


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The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc.


Copyright 2012 by Mohua Haque, Jon T. Biermacher, Maru K. Kering, and John A. Guretzky.


There is limited information available explaining the agronomic and economic relationships between yield and nitrogen and phosphorus applications to growing switchgrass produced in phosphorus-deficient soils. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers on feedstock yield and measures of expected total cost, gross revenue, net return, and breakeven price of feedstock produced in phosphorus-deficient soils in the southern Great Plains. Data were collected from a three-year, two-location agronomic field study conducted in south-central Oklahoma. Two discrete nitrogen treatments (0 and 134 kg ha-1) and four discrete phosphorus treatments (0, 30, 60 and 90 kg ha-1) were randomly assigned to small plots arranged in a randomized complete block designed (RCBD) study. Random effects mixed ANOVA models were used to estimate the effects of nitrogen, phosphorus and nitrogen by phosphorus interactions on feedstock yield and the economic variables specified. Results showed that, on average over site-years, switchgrass yield increases from 10.5 to 12.3 Mg ha-1 with the highest (101-kg ha-1) treatment; however, we found no statistical difference in net profitability between phosphorus treatments. Yield and net return did respond significantly to 135 kg-1 of N ha-1. Our results suggest that phosphorus-deficient soils do not seem to have the same impact on switchgrass yield and profitability as they do for the yields and profitability of other crops traditionally grown in this region.