By: Dan Peterson, Regional Agronomist
How do we grow healthy, resilient forages which will maximize milk production or rate of gain, while maintaining the soil? AgroLiquid has studied these challenges and we have solutions to address not only the macronutrient needs of alfalfa, but also provide the essential secondary and micronutrients to bolster plant strength, reduce time between cuttings, and improve feed digestibility. This, in turn, has been shown to increase alfalfa tonnage, improve feed nutritional quality, and improve milk production as well as rate of gain. Potassium and Forage Quality Potassium (K) plays a large role in the yield and quality of forage crops. Potassium plays a key role in the photosynthesis, respiration, translocation and many enzyme systems in plants, and also increases disease resistance. For alfalfa, K strongly influences yield, and improves the level of carbohydrates stored in alfalfa roots which results in greater stand persistence.
The most common source of potassium fertilizer is potassium chloride, a pure salt. It’s well known that high rates of potassium chloride often create a chloride toxicity, particularly where significant soil chloride levels are already present, which is often the case where manure is spread. Excess chloride can also reduce plants’ uptake of other vital nutrients like nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus, boron and others, which often takes a heavy toll on yields and forage quality. The very high salt of potassium chloride can also lead to reduced soil microbiological activity and poor germination of new seeding.
Liquid Fertilizer for Alfalfa, Tonnage and Feed Quality Study
AgroLiquid’s alfalfa fertilizer program yielded:
- 40% more milk per acre
- 37% more yield per cutting
- 6% lower lignin
- 5% more protein
- 4 days quicker to maturity