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Agrociencia Uruguay

On-line version ISSN 2730-5066


FEDRIGO, J. K. et al. Spring deferment and N-P fertilization in natural grasslands vulnerable to summer water deficit. Agrocienc. Urug. [online]. 2021, vol.25, n.2, e354.  Epub Dec 01, 2021. ISSN 2730-5066.

In Campos grasslands, the production of forage and its variability are driven by the amount of rainfall. In this context, stockpiling forage from spring to summer is a useful tool to maintain the feed supply for livestock, but so far it has not been developed due to the lack of information for farmers decision-making. In this paper we evaluated the response of pasture production to spring grazing deferment in a shallow basaltic grassland in 12 combinations of lime (0 and 1500 kg ha-1 of CaMg(CO3)2), phosphorus (0 and 90 kg ha-1 of P2O5) and nitrogen (0, 75, 150, and 300 kg ha-1 of N, except in the upper two N levels that were evaluated only with lime) addition. Forage accumulation, sward height and nitrogen nutrition index (NNI) were evaluated every 15 days during 75 days. Both sward height and available forage mass increased linearly with the deferment time. The lime application did not affect the forage accumulation rate, while the single nitrogen and phosphorus addition only showed a slight positive effect, however the combined addition of N-P fertilization tripled the forage production. Nitrogen fertilization improved the NNI and was further enhanced by the combined application of N and P. Our results suggest that the capacity of shallow basaltic grasslands to accumulate deferred forage is co-limited by N and P availability.

Keywords : forage production; liming; nitrogen; phosphorus.

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