|Abstract or Summary
- Grass seed production in Oregon's Willamette Valley traditionally relied on
open field burning for straw residue disposal and nutrient recycling. Changes in
residue management from open field burning to methods that remove straw coincided
with rapidly declining K soil test values. A survey of grass seed fields showed that
many fields had low soil pH. In contrast, P and K fertilization continued in spite of
soil test values 3 times critical levels. These findings raised questions about
fertilization and nutrition of grass grown for seed. In an effort to answer questions
about plant nutrient demand, soil nutrient supply and liming for grass seed
production, three field studies were implemented.
The first study measured nutrient and dry matter accumulation by 5 grass
species. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium were taken up in advance of dry matter
production in perennial ryegrasses and orchard grass. In contrast nutrient
accumulation by Kentucky bluegrass, tall and fine fescues coincided with dry matter
The second study examined K nutrition of grass grown for seed. Fertilizer K
or K soil test level did not influence seed yield. High K soil test levels produced high
straw K concentration. Tall fescue accumulated a maximum of 300 kg K ha⁻¹ where as perennial ryegrass accumulated only 125 kg K ha⁻¹. The difference in K uptake of
these grasses was a function of both dry matter and K concentration.
The third study investigated P and lime applications to grass grown for seed.
P applications had no effect on seed yield or tissue P, hut increased inorganic P in
soil solution and conventional soil tests. Cool season grasses took up between 17 and
34 kg P ha. Lime increased soil pH but did not increase seed yield. Lime increased
soil solution pH and bases while decreasing metallic cation concentration. This study
did not provide a justification for P fertilization when soil test P is above 25 mg kg
P. Lime had little effect on Pi and conventional soil tests.
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