Date of this Version
Larsen, S. A. 2019. Impacts of Nitrogen Fertilizer Rate and Timing on Production of Perennial Cool-Season Grasses. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Forage production in the northern Great Plains is of particular interest in light of continued loss of native warm season grasslands due to cropland expansion. Pastures in the area are often dominated by introduced cool-season grasses such as smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss) and Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) which provide good quality forage in the spring, but biomass production declines in the summer. As a result, crop residues are often depended upon to provide a forage resource during the dormant season. However, due to the low nutrient content of many plant residues, these plant species often do not provide sufficient levels of vitamins and minerals for livestock. In order to provide a more nutrient rich diet for livestock, improvements in cool-season pastureland production need to be made. Demands for new information by forage producers and the cattle industry are ever present, and as such, need to be met. Identification of new methods to increase forage production are of particular importance. Further, establishment of new strategies for nitrogen fertilizer rate and timing are needed. Currently, however, there is limited available data about appropriate application timing as it applies to forage production in cool-season grass pastures. Therefore, the objective of the study is to investigate various treatment rates and timings and produce data with which better-informed decisions can be made as to when cool season grasses benefit most from nitrogen fertilizer.