Date of Award
Master of Science
Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences
John H. Reynolds
Two one-year experiments were conducted to determine the effects of fertilization and season on the chemical composition of Kentucky 31 tall fescue. Samples were taken monthly for determination of K, Ca, Mg, P, crude protein and yield. Freeze-dried samples were used in determining malic acid, citric acid, and total ash alkalinity concentration. Nitro-gen fertilization rates were 0 and 112 kg N/ha for the first experiment and 56, 112, and 168 kg N/ha for the second experiment. Potassium fertilization levels were employed only in the second experiment; the rates were 0 and 168 kg K/ha. The soil was Etowah silt loam. Nitrogen fertilization generally increased the concentration of K. Increases in the concentration of Ca and Mg due to N fertilization were noted in some months. Nitrogen fertilization had little affect on the P concentration. Crude protein and dry matter yield were increased with N fertilization. Malic acid and total ash alkalinity concentrations were increased with N fertilization, while citric acid concentration was decreased. Potassium fertilization increased the K concentration on all harvest dates. Decreases in Ca and Mg were associated with K fertilization. The P concentration was not affected by K fertilization. Crude protein values were increased in some months due to K fertilization. Dry matter yields were slightly increased in some months due to K fertilization. Malic acid and total ash alkalinity concentrations were decreased by K fertilization, while citric acid concentration was increased. Seasonal variation resulted in highest concentrations of K and organic acids in the cooler months, while highest Ca, Mg, and P concen-trations were observed in the warmer months. Little forage material was produced during January and February, but production was possible the remainder of the year with split applications of N fertilization. It is suggested that K fertilization be applied after the spring growth period.
Hannaway, D. B., "Chemical composition and yield of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) as influenced by nitrogen and potassium fertilization. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 1975.