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 Table of Contents
 Management of different age cotton...
 Growth regulators on cotton
 Late planted corn
 Municipal sludge as a pasture...
 Summer annuals for hay?
 Poisonous plants
 Producing high quality grass...


FLAG IFAS PALMM UF



Agronomy notes
ALL VOLUMES CITATION SEARCH THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00066352/00077
 Material Information
Title: Agronomy notes
Uniform Title: Agronomy notes (Gainesville, Fl.)
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Publisher: Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Creation Date: June 2000
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Crops and soils -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Crop yields -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Agriculture -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Agronomy -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: Florida Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
General Note: Description based on: January 1971; title from caption.
Funding: Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life
 Record Information
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000956365
notis - AER9014
System ID: UF00066352:00077

Table of Contents
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
    Management of different age cotton strands
        Page 2
    Growth regulators on cotton
        Page 2
    Late planted corn
        Page 2
    Municipal sludge as a pasture fertilizer
        Page 2
    Summer annuals for hay?
        Page 3
    Poisonous plants
        Page 3
    Producing high quality grass hay
        Page 4
Full Text





AGRONOMY

UNIVERSITY OF
.. FLORIDA

l... Lj..A.-. A,.,-.... N OT......- June 2000


DATES TO REMEMBER

August 24 Peanut Field Day Marianna


IN THIS ISSUE PAGE

COTTON
M management of Different Age Cotton Stands ....................... ....................... ...................... 2
G row th R regulators on C otton ..................................... ........................................................ 2

CORN
L ate P wanted C orn .............................................................. ........................................... ..... 2

FORAGE
M municipal Sludge as a Pasture Fertilizer ....................... ...... ...................................... 2
Sum m er A nnuals for H ay? .......................................... ......................................................... 3
P oisonou s P plants ................. ....................................... ............................ .......... ............... 3
Producing High Quality Grass Hay ........................ ..... ............................................. 4


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer authorized to provide research, educational information and other
services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. For information on obtaining other
extension publications, contact your county Cooperative Extension Service office. Florida Cooperative Extension Service / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
/ University of Florida / Christine Taylor Waddill, Director.








MANAGEMENT OF DIFFERENT AGE COTTON
STANDS

Drought conditions over much of the state in April, May and
early June resulted in poor cotton stands. In many cases, fields
with cotton 10-15 inches tall may have cotton emerging in late
June. This cotton still has a chance for making good yields
with adequate rain and fertility. Generally, cotton planted in
late June will make good yields and is seldom influenced by
frosts. Cotton planted in the first week of July fruits up well,
but seldom opens properly. Insect and fertility management
should be geared toward the majority of cotton in the field,
whether it is late or early. Usually late planted cotton needs
less total N than early planted cotton, so that the plant will shut
down growth in a timely manner in the fall and get to the re-
productive stage quickly. Cotton will grow and develop much
more quickly from a late June emergence than from April
plantings and can make afast crop as compared to early planted
cotton. Since cotton is made more quickly from late emer-
gence, an intense period of management is needed to insure
fruit set and protection of the fruit.

DLW

GROWTH REGULATORS ON COTTON

The most commonly used growth regulator on cotton is
mepiquat chloride (MC). This material is used to keep intem-
ode length of plants short so that there will be less shading of
lower plant parts, maybe less boll rot, ease of harvest, and
earlier fruiting or boll formation. MC is not metabolized in
the cotton plant but is diluted as the plant continues to grow.
When the MC level falls below a certain critical level, it no
longer has an effect on intemode length. MC actually blocks
gibberellic acid (GA) formation which is responsible for cell
division and stem elongation resulting in shorter plants. Ex-
cessive rates of MC do not continue to reduce intemode length
and may actually decrease yield. Therefore, there is a fine line
between too much and too little MC in an application to get
the desired growth suppression. Either too much or too little
material in each application is not effective and can be expen-
sive. Moisture deficits and excesses have more influence on
plant height than MC and should be considered as a factor
when determining rates.

DLW

LATE PLANTED CORN

There is plenty of growing season to plant corn in July, but
insects and disease make it impractical in most years to do so.
Corn silage is a high quality feed for dairies and is desired as
the major roughage. Many years of data show that tropical
corn hybrids and cultivars can be successful for late planting if
insect numbers are not very high. However, in many years,
fall armyworm and corn ear worm destroy June and July
plantings. Bt corn does have some resistance to these in-


sects, but every hybrid that has been evaluated will not stand
up to the disease pressure that occurs during this time of the
year of high temperature and humidity. We have encour-
aged corn companies to develop tropical hybrids with Bt
incorporated into them for late plantings, but none are cur-
rently on the market. We hope that this is a high priority for
companies with breeding stations in the deep south, which
could make a big impact on the dairy and livestock indus-
try.

DLW

MUNICIPAL SLUDGE AS A PASTURE FERTILIZER

The use of sewage sludge or biosolids for pasture fertiliza-
tion in Florida makes economic and environmental sense
for several reasons: 1) The Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) estimates that in 1990 the U.S. generated
8.5 million tons of sludge. This is projected to increase to
12 million tons by the year 2000 and Florida's population
growth is among the top in the nation; 2) Diminishing
landfill space, skyrocketing landfill costs and concern over
air pollution from incineration of waste have generated a
strong interest in finding alternative disposal solutions; 3)
Bahiagrass pasture production in Florida relies heavily on
inputs of nitrogen; 4) Sewage sludge is an organic slow
release fertilizer with approximately 40 to 70% of the ni-
trogen made available to plants in the first year and the rest
released in subsequent years as compared with inorganic
fertilizers that leach readily in our sandy soils; and 5) Sludge
applied as a soil amendment may increase organic matter
content and thereby improve soil physical properties such
as water and plant nutrient retention, infiltration rate and
stability of soil aggregates. However, there are some con-
cerns with the use of sewage sludge. These include: 1)
Odor to the neighborhood that may reduce property value;
2) There is a potential for the spread of pathogens; 3)
Heavy metal accumulation on agricultural land is an ex-
pressed concern but this was primarily caused by input from
industrial waste and old metal conduits containing high lev-
els of trace metal contamination; and 4) Excessive loading
of other plant nutrients may pose a potential for non-point
source of pollution.

Over the past 30 years, the EPA has developed guide-
lines for the application and use of sludge on Agricul-
tural lands in answer to these concerns and to improve
environmental safety. Pathogen and odor reduction tech-
niques consist of lime and heat stabilization processes
or fermentation in retention ponds. Recent use of PVC
pipes as conduits and separation of domestic waste from
industrial have reduced the problem of trace metal con-
tamination. Specific nutrient and heavy metal limits are
set for land-applied sludges by EPA (40 CFR Part 503)
which must be met before use. By law, the concentra-
tion of nutrients and heavy metals in sludge should be
provided to the end user by sludge haulers at delivery.








MANAGEMENT OF DIFFERENT AGE COTTON
STANDS

Drought conditions over much of the state in April, May and
early June resulted in poor cotton stands. In many cases, fields
with cotton 10-15 inches tall may have cotton emerging in late
June. This cotton still has a chance for making good yields
with adequate rain and fertility. Generally, cotton planted in
late June will make good yields and is seldom influenced by
frosts. Cotton planted in the first week of July fruits up well,
but seldom opens properly. Insect and fertility management
should be geared toward the majority of cotton in the field,
whether it is late or early. Usually late planted cotton needs
less total N than early planted cotton, so that the plant will shut
down growth in a timely manner in the fall and get to the re-
productive stage quickly. Cotton will grow and develop much
more quickly from a late June emergence than from April
plantings and can make afast crop as compared to early planted
cotton. Since cotton is made more quickly from late emer-
gence, an intense period of management is needed to insure
fruit set and protection of the fruit.

DLW

GROWTH REGULATORS ON COTTON

The most commonly used growth regulator on cotton is
mepiquat chloride (MC). This material is used to keep intem-
ode length of plants short so that there will be less shading of
lower plant parts, maybe less boll rot, ease of harvest, and
earlier fruiting or boll formation. MC is not metabolized in
the cotton plant but is diluted as the plant continues to grow.
When the MC level falls below a certain critical level, it no
longer has an effect on intemode length. MC actually blocks
gibberellic acid (GA) formation which is responsible for cell
division and stem elongation resulting in shorter plants. Ex-
cessive rates of MC do not continue to reduce intemode length
and may actually decrease yield. Therefore, there is a fine line
between too much and too little MC in an application to get
the desired growth suppression. Either too much or too little
material in each application is not effective and can be expen-
sive. Moisture deficits and excesses have more influence on
plant height than MC and should be considered as a factor
when determining rates.

DLW

LATE PLANTED CORN

There is plenty of growing season to plant corn in July, but
insects and disease make it impractical in most years to do so.
Corn silage is a high quality feed for dairies and is desired as
the major roughage. Many years of data show that tropical
corn hybrids and cultivars can be successful for late planting if
insect numbers are not very high. However, in many years,
fall armyworm and corn ear worm destroy June and July
plantings. Bt corn does have some resistance to these in-


sects, but every hybrid that has been evaluated will not stand
up to the disease pressure that occurs during this time of the
year of high temperature and humidity. We have encour-
aged corn companies to develop tropical hybrids with Bt
incorporated into them for late plantings, but none are cur-
rently on the market. We hope that this is a high priority for
companies with breeding stations in the deep south, which
could make a big impact on the dairy and livestock indus-
try.

DLW

MUNICIPAL SLUDGE AS A PASTURE FERTILIZER

The use of sewage sludge or biosolids for pasture fertiliza-
tion in Florida makes economic and environmental sense
for several reasons: 1) The Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) estimates that in 1990 the U.S. generated
8.5 million tons of sludge. This is projected to increase to
12 million tons by the year 2000 and Florida's population
growth is among the top in the nation; 2) Diminishing
landfill space, skyrocketing landfill costs and concern over
air pollution from incineration of waste have generated a
strong interest in finding alternative disposal solutions; 3)
Bahiagrass pasture production in Florida relies heavily on
inputs of nitrogen; 4) Sewage sludge is an organic slow
release fertilizer with approximately 40 to 70% of the ni-
trogen made available to plants in the first year and the rest
released in subsequent years as compared with inorganic
fertilizers that leach readily in our sandy soils; and 5) Sludge
applied as a soil amendment may increase organic matter
content and thereby improve soil physical properties such
as water and plant nutrient retention, infiltration rate and
stability of soil aggregates. However, there are some con-
cerns with the use of sewage sludge. These include: 1)
Odor to the neighborhood that may reduce property value;
2) There is a potential for the spread of pathogens; 3)
Heavy metal accumulation on agricultural land is an ex-
pressed concern but this was primarily caused by input from
industrial waste and old metal conduits containing high lev-
els of trace metal contamination; and 4) Excessive loading
of other plant nutrients may pose a potential for non-point
source of pollution.

Over the past 30 years, the EPA has developed guide-
lines for the application and use of sludge on Agricul-
tural lands in answer to these concerns and to improve
environmental safety. Pathogen and odor reduction tech-
niques consist of lime and heat stabilization processes
or fermentation in retention ponds. Recent use of PVC
pipes as conduits and separation of domestic waste from
industrial have reduced the problem of trace metal con-
tamination. Specific nutrient and heavy metal limits are
set for land-applied sludges by EPA (40 CFR Part 503)
which must be met before use. By law, the concentra-
tion of nutrients and heavy metals in sludge should be
provided to the end user by sludge haulers at delivery.








MANAGEMENT OF DIFFERENT AGE COTTON
STANDS

Drought conditions over much of the state in April, May and
early June resulted in poor cotton stands. In many cases, fields
with cotton 10-15 inches tall may have cotton emerging in late
June. This cotton still has a chance for making good yields
with adequate rain and fertility. Generally, cotton planted in
late June will make good yields and is seldom influenced by
frosts. Cotton planted in the first week of July fruits up well,
but seldom opens properly. Insect and fertility management
should be geared toward the majority of cotton in the field,
whether it is late or early. Usually late planted cotton needs
less total N than early planted cotton, so that the plant will shut
down growth in a timely manner in the fall and get to the re-
productive stage quickly. Cotton will grow and develop much
more quickly from a late June emergence than from April
plantings and can make afast crop as compared to early planted
cotton. Since cotton is made more quickly from late emer-
gence, an intense period of management is needed to insure
fruit set and protection of the fruit.

DLW

GROWTH REGULATORS ON COTTON

The most commonly used growth regulator on cotton is
mepiquat chloride (MC). This material is used to keep intem-
ode length of plants short so that there will be less shading of
lower plant parts, maybe less boll rot, ease of harvest, and
earlier fruiting or boll formation. MC is not metabolized in
the cotton plant but is diluted as the plant continues to grow.
When the MC level falls below a certain critical level, it no
longer has an effect on intemode length. MC actually blocks
gibberellic acid (GA) formation which is responsible for cell
division and stem elongation resulting in shorter plants. Ex-
cessive rates of MC do not continue to reduce intemode length
and may actually decrease yield. Therefore, there is a fine line
between too much and too little MC in an application to get
the desired growth suppression. Either too much or too little
material in each application is not effective and can be expen-
sive. Moisture deficits and excesses have more influence on
plant height than MC and should be considered as a factor
when determining rates.

DLW

LATE PLANTED CORN

There is plenty of growing season to plant corn in July, but
insects and disease make it impractical in most years to do so.
Corn silage is a high quality feed for dairies and is desired as
the major roughage. Many years of data show that tropical
corn hybrids and cultivars can be successful for late planting if
insect numbers are not very high. However, in many years,
fall armyworm and corn ear worm destroy June and July
plantings. Bt corn does have some resistance to these in-


sects, but every hybrid that has been evaluated will not stand
up to the disease pressure that occurs during this time of the
year of high temperature and humidity. We have encour-
aged corn companies to develop tropical hybrids with Bt
incorporated into them for late plantings, but none are cur-
rently on the market. We hope that this is a high priority for
companies with breeding stations in the deep south, which
could make a big impact on the dairy and livestock indus-
try.

DLW

MUNICIPAL SLUDGE AS A PASTURE FERTILIZER

The use of sewage sludge or biosolids for pasture fertiliza-
tion in Florida makes economic and environmental sense
for several reasons: 1) The Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) estimates that in 1990 the U.S. generated
8.5 million tons of sludge. This is projected to increase to
12 million tons by the year 2000 and Florida's population
growth is among the top in the nation; 2) Diminishing
landfill space, skyrocketing landfill costs and concern over
air pollution from incineration of waste have generated a
strong interest in finding alternative disposal solutions; 3)
Bahiagrass pasture production in Florida relies heavily on
inputs of nitrogen; 4) Sewage sludge is an organic slow
release fertilizer with approximately 40 to 70% of the ni-
trogen made available to plants in the first year and the rest
released in subsequent years as compared with inorganic
fertilizers that leach readily in our sandy soils; and 5) Sludge
applied as a soil amendment may increase organic matter
content and thereby improve soil physical properties such
as water and plant nutrient retention, infiltration rate and
stability of soil aggregates. However, there are some con-
cerns with the use of sewage sludge. These include: 1)
Odor to the neighborhood that may reduce property value;
2) There is a potential for the spread of pathogens; 3)
Heavy metal accumulation on agricultural land is an ex-
pressed concern but this was primarily caused by input from
industrial waste and old metal conduits containing high lev-
els of trace metal contamination; and 4) Excessive loading
of other plant nutrients may pose a potential for non-point
source of pollution.

Over the past 30 years, the EPA has developed guide-
lines for the application and use of sludge on Agricul-
tural lands in answer to these concerns and to improve
environmental safety. Pathogen and odor reduction tech-
niques consist of lime and heat stabilization processes
or fermentation in retention ponds. Recent use of PVC
pipes as conduits and separation of domestic waste from
industrial have reduced the problem of trace metal con-
tamination. Specific nutrient and heavy metal limits are
set for land-applied sludges by EPA (40 CFR Part 503)
which must be met before use. By law, the concentra-
tion of nutrients and heavy metals in sludge should be
provided to the end user by sludge haulers at delivery.








MANAGEMENT OF DIFFERENT AGE COTTON
STANDS

Drought conditions over much of the state in April, May and
early June resulted in poor cotton stands. In many cases, fields
with cotton 10-15 inches tall may have cotton emerging in late
June. This cotton still has a chance for making good yields
with adequate rain and fertility. Generally, cotton planted in
late June will make good yields and is seldom influenced by
frosts. Cotton planted in the first week of July fruits up well,
but seldom opens properly. Insect and fertility management
should be geared toward the majority of cotton in the field,
whether it is late or early. Usually late planted cotton needs
less total N than early planted cotton, so that the plant will shut
down growth in a timely manner in the fall and get to the re-
productive stage quickly. Cotton will grow and develop much
more quickly from a late June emergence than from April
plantings and can make afast crop as compared to early planted
cotton. Since cotton is made more quickly from late emer-
gence, an intense period of management is needed to insure
fruit set and protection of the fruit.

DLW

GROWTH REGULATORS ON COTTON

The most commonly used growth regulator on cotton is
mepiquat chloride (MC). This material is used to keep intem-
ode length of plants short so that there will be less shading of
lower plant parts, maybe less boll rot, ease of harvest, and
earlier fruiting or boll formation. MC is not metabolized in
the cotton plant but is diluted as the plant continues to grow.
When the MC level falls below a certain critical level, it no
longer has an effect on intemode length. MC actually blocks
gibberellic acid (GA) formation which is responsible for cell
division and stem elongation resulting in shorter plants. Ex-
cessive rates of MC do not continue to reduce intemode length
and may actually decrease yield. Therefore, there is a fine line
between too much and too little MC in an application to get
the desired growth suppression. Either too much or too little
material in each application is not effective and can be expen-
sive. Moisture deficits and excesses have more influence on
plant height than MC and should be considered as a factor
when determining rates.

DLW

LATE PLANTED CORN

There is plenty of growing season to plant corn in July, but
insects and disease make it impractical in most years to do so.
Corn silage is a high quality feed for dairies and is desired as
the major roughage. Many years of data show that tropical
corn hybrids and cultivars can be successful for late planting if
insect numbers are not very high. However, in many years,
fall armyworm and corn ear worm destroy June and July
plantings. Bt corn does have some resistance to these in-


sects, but every hybrid that has been evaluated will not stand
up to the disease pressure that occurs during this time of the
year of high temperature and humidity. We have encour-
aged corn companies to develop tropical hybrids with Bt
incorporated into them for late plantings, but none are cur-
rently on the market. We hope that this is a high priority for
companies with breeding stations in the deep south, which
could make a big impact on the dairy and livestock indus-
try.

DLW

MUNICIPAL SLUDGE AS A PASTURE FERTILIZER

The use of sewage sludge or biosolids for pasture fertiliza-
tion in Florida makes economic and environmental sense
for several reasons: 1) The Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) estimates that in 1990 the U.S. generated
8.5 million tons of sludge. This is projected to increase to
12 million tons by the year 2000 and Florida's population
growth is among the top in the nation; 2) Diminishing
landfill space, skyrocketing landfill costs and concern over
air pollution from incineration of waste have generated a
strong interest in finding alternative disposal solutions; 3)
Bahiagrass pasture production in Florida relies heavily on
inputs of nitrogen; 4) Sewage sludge is an organic slow
release fertilizer with approximately 40 to 70% of the ni-
trogen made available to plants in the first year and the rest
released in subsequent years as compared with inorganic
fertilizers that leach readily in our sandy soils; and 5) Sludge
applied as a soil amendment may increase organic matter
content and thereby improve soil physical properties such
as water and plant nutrient retention, infiltration rate and
stability of soil aggregates. However, there are some con-
cerns with the use of sewage sludge. These include: 1)
Odor to the neighborhood that may reduce property value;
2) There is a potential for the spread of pathogens; 3)
Heavy metal accumulation on agricultural land is an ex-
pressed concern but this was primarily caused by input from
industrial waste and old metal conduits containing high lev-
els of trace metal contamination; and 4) Excessive loading
of other plant nutrients may pose a potential for non-point
source of pollution.

Over the past 30 years, the EPA has developed guide-
lines for the application and use of sludge on Agricul-
tural lands in answer to these concerns and to improve
environmental safety. Pathogen and odor reduction tech-
niques consist of lime and heat stabilization processes
or fermentation in retention ponds. Recent use of PVC
pipes as conduits and separation of domestic waste from
industrial have reduced the problem of trace metal con-
tamination. Specific nutrient and heavy metal limits are
set for land-applied sludges by EPA (40 CFR Part 503)
which must be met before use. By law, the concentra-
tion of nutrients and heavy metals in sludge should be
provided to the end user by sludge haulers at delivery.








For the past three years, research conducted at the Range
Cattle Research and Education Center has compared nine
fertilizer treatments: 1) Ammonium nitrate applied at
80 kg N/ha (AM-80); 2) Ammonium nitrate applied at
160 kg N/ha (AM-160); 3) Liquid sludge of pH 7 ap-
plied at 80 kg N/ha (LS7-80); 4) Liquid sludge of pH 7
applied at 160 kg N/ha (LS7-160); 5) Liquid sludge of
pH 11 applied at 80 kg N/ha (LS 11-80); 6) Liquid sludge
of pH 11 applied at 160 kg N/ha (LS11-160); 7) Lime-
stabilized sludge cake applied at 80 kg N/ha (CB-80);
8) Lime-stabilized sludge cake applied at 160 kg N/ha
(CB-160); and 9) control or no fertilizer on bahiagrass
forage yield, quality and surface groundwater quality.

The ammonium nitrate fertilizer gave an early jump start
to bahiagrass regrowth; but, by the end of the season, for-
age yield was similar for the liquid sludges and ammonium
nitrate at comparable rates of N application in both 1998
and 1999. However, seasonal forage yield from the cake
biosolid was only 65 to 70% the yield from the other
sources. Since nitrogen is the most limiting nutrient for
grass growth, the non-fertilized control was always the low-
est yielding. The control yielded only 50% of the AM-80
treatment each year. Also, as a result of rapid N release,
the ammonium nitrate fertilizer provided the highest for-
age crude protein (15% vs. 12%) only during the first har-
vest. Forage crude protein content (10%) for the rest of
the 1998 season and forage digestibility throughout the 1998
season were the same for all fertilizer treatments. By con-
trast, plant tissue minerals, especially P, K Fe and Zn,
tended to be higher with sludge and biosolid treatments
than regular fertilizer.

The AM-80, AM-160, LS7-80 and the CB-160 treatments
created a greater barium (Ba) concentration in the 4 ft wells
than the non-fertilized control. Additionally, in the 2 ft
wells, Ba concentration of groundwater under AM-80, AM-
160 and LS7-160 exceeded the level for the non-fertilized
control. The average (over 2 ft and 4 ft wells) groundwa-
ter Ni concentration for the AM treatments was greater than
all other treatments, but the groundwater lead concentra-
tion was greatest for the LS11-80 treatment. Therefore,
the potential for trace metal contamination of groundwater
was equally as great or greater from inorganic as from or-
ganic fertilizer sources.

For groundwater plant nutrients, the P concentrations av-
eraged 3.4 ppm in the 2 ft well and 0.33 in the 4 ft, irre-
spective of fertilizer treatment suggesting a screening ef-
fect of the organic hardpan. Therefore, the P level of 3.4
ppm in the 2 ft well for the non-fertilized control may pro-
vide a baseline data to regulatory agents. Groundwater Fe
tended to be higher in the 4 ft than the 2 ft wells and was
greatest for the AM-80 fertilizer treatment.

The only period when nitrate-N concentration in groundwa-
ter exceeded the 10 ppm EPA limit was during the early sum-


mer rains following ammonium nitrate application. This occurred
in the 2 ft wells but not in the 4 ft wells, suggesting a rapid N
release for crop uptake but not for leaching.

The data reported here indicate that yield, protein, digestibil-
ity and minerals of bahiagrass forage were significantly in-
creased with the addition of liquid sludges and biosolids equal
to what we expect from ammonium nitrate. The results, al-
though preliminary, also suggest that sludge may in fact be-
come the best management practice for pasture fertiliza-
tion over their expensive inorganic counterparts because of
their long-term nutrient release property, their liming capac-
ity, their organic matter amendment potential and their mini-
mal impact on surface groundwater heavy metals and plant
nutrients.

MBA


SUMMER ANNUALS FOR HAY?

Producers occasionally ask about choices for a summer hay
crop that canbe grown on cultivated land. Various crops could
be used such as pearl millet or sorghum x sudangrass, japanese
or brown top millet, crabgrass, and perhaps rhodesgrass, cow-
peas and alyceclover. Those attempting to grow pearl millet
or sorghum x sudangrass for hay should be aware that their
large stems make drying difficult. A hay conditioner that
crushes or breaks the stems will be needed. Alyceclover may
be the best choice. Following a highly fertilized crop, such as
watermelons or other vegetables on well-drained soils,
alyceclover produces excellent quality forage that may be
grazed or harvested as hay. This summer annual legume should
be planted betweenApril 15 and June 30 at the rate of 12 to 15
pounds of seed per acre. Seed are usually broadcast and cov-
ered with a cultipacker or planted with a grain drill that has a
small seed box and covered to a depth of 1/4 to 1/2 inch.
Fertilize and lime according to soil test recommendations. If
alyceclover is planted immediately following a highly fertil-
ized crop, it may notbe necessary to add lime or fertilizer. Do
not plant alyceclover on land known to be infested with
rootknot nematodes, since alyceclover is susceptible to this
pest. Do not plant alyceclover (intended for hay harvest) on
land infested with coffeeweed. Coffeeweed is toxic to live-
stock. Herbicides are not available that will remove
coffeeweed from alyceclover. If the coffeeweed were to grow
taller than the alyceclover (which is not likely), it might be
possible to remove it with a weed wiper and Roundup.

CGC

POISONOUS PLANTS

Due to the April/May drought, many pastures are no longer
providing grazing. Animals are hungry and may tend to eat
plants that they would not normally eat. In low wet areas
around the edges and within somewhat open woodlands, the








For the past three years, research conducted at the Range
Cattle Research and Education Center has compared nine
fertilizer treatments: 1) Ammonium nitrate applied at
80 kg N/ha (AM-80); 2) Ammonium nitrate applied at
160 kg N/ha (AM-160); 3) Liquid sludge of pH 7 ap-
plied at 80 kg N/ha (LS7-80); 4) Liquid sludge of pH 7
applied at 160 kg N/ha (LS7-160); 5) Liquid sludge of
pH 11 applied at 80 kg N/ha (LS 11-80); 6) Liquid sludge
of pH 11 applied at 160 kg N/ha (LS11-160); 7) Lime-
stabilized sludge cake applied at 80 kg N/ha (CB-80);
8) Lime-stabilized sludge cake applied at 160 kg N/ha
(CB-160); and 9) control or no fertilizer on bahiagrass
forage yield, quality and surface groundwater quality.

The ammonium nitrate fertilizer gave an early jump start
to bahiagrass regrowth; but, by the end of the season, for-
age yield was similar for the liquid sludges and ammonium
nitrate at comparable rates of N application in both 1998
and 1999. However, seasonal forage yield from the cake
biosolid was only 65 to 70% the yield from the other
sources. Since nitrogen is the most limiting nutrient for
grass growth, the non-fertilized control was always the low-
est yielding. The control yielded only 50% of the AM-80
treatment each year. Also, as a result of rapid N release,
the ammonium nitrate fertilizer provided the highest for-
age crude protein (15% vs. 12%) only during the first har-
vest. Forage crude protein content (10%) for the rest of
the 1998 season and forage digestibility throughout the 1998
season were the same for all fertilizer treatments. By con-
trast, plant tissue minerals, especially P, K Fe and Zn,
tended to be higher with sludge and biosolid treatments
than regular fertilizer.

The AM-80, AM-160, LS7-80 and the CB-160 treatments
created a greater barium (Ba) concentration in the 4 ft wells
than the non-fertilized control. Additionally, in the 2 ft
wells, Ba concentration of groundwater under AM-80, AM-
160 and LS7-160 exceeded the level for the non-fertilized
control. The average (over 2 ft and 4 ft wells) groundwa-
ter Ni concentration for the AM treatments was greater than
all other treatments, but the groundwater lead concentra-
tion was greatest for the LS11-80 treatment. Therefore,
the potential for trace metal contamination of groundwater
was equally as great or greater from inorganic as from or-
ganic fertilizer sources.

For groundwater plant nutrients, the P concentrations av-
eraged 3.4 ppm in the 2 ft well and 0.33 in the 4 ft, irre-
spective of fertilizer treatment suggesting a screening ef-
fect of the organic hardpan. Therefore, the P level of 3.4
ppm in the 2 ft well for the non-fertilized control may pro-
vide a baseline data to regulatory agents. Groundwater Fe
tended to be higher in the 4 ft than the 2 ft wells and was
greatest for the AM-80 fertilizer treatment.

The only period when nitrate-N concentration in groundwa-
ter exceeded the 10 ppm EPA limit was during the early sum-


mer rains following ammonium nitrate application. This occurred
in the 2 ft wells but not in the 4 ft wells, suggesting a rapid N
release for crop uptake but not for leaching.

The data reported here indicate that yield, protein, digestibil-
ity and minerals of bahiagrass forage were significantly in-
creased with the addition of liquid sludges and biosolids equal
to what we expect from ammonium nitrate. The results, al-
though preliminary, also suggest that sludge may in fact be-
come the best management practice for pasture fertiliza-
tion over their expensive inorganic counterparts because of
their long-term nutrient release property, their liming capac-
ity, their organic matter amendment potential and their mini-
mal impact on surface groundwater heavy metals and plant
nutrients.

MBA


SUMMER ANNUALS FOR HAY?

Producers occasionally ask about choices for a summer hay
crop that canbe grown on cultivated land. Various crops could
be used such as pearl millet or sorghum x sudangrass, japanese
or brown top millet, crabgrass, and perhaps rhodesgrass, cow-
peas and alyceclover. Those attempting to grow pearl millet
or sorghum x sudangrass for hay should be aware that their
large stems make drying difficult. A hay conditioner that
crushes or breaks the stems will be needed. Alyceclover may
be the best choice. Following a highly fertilized crop, such as
watermelons or other vegetables on well-drained soils,
alyceclover produces excellent quality forage that may be
grazed or harvested as hay. This summer annual legume should
be planted betweenApril 15 and June 30 at the rate of 12 to 15
pounds of seed per acre. Seed are usually broadcast and cov-
ered with a cultipacker or planted with a grain drill that has a
small seed box and covered to a depth of 1/4 to 1/2 inch.
Fertilize and lime according to soil test recommendations. If
alyceclover is planted immediately following a highly fertil-
ized crop, it may notbe necessary to add lime or fertilizer. Do
not plant alyceclover on land known to be infested with
rootknot nematodes, since alyceclover is susceptible to this
pest. Do not plant alyceclover (intended for hay harvest) on
land infested with coffeeweed. Coffeeweed is toxic to live-
stock. Herbicides are not available that will remove
coffeeweed from alyceclover. If the coffeeweed were to grow
taller than the alyceclover (which is not likely), it might be
possible to remove it with a weed wiper and Roundup.

CGC

POISONOUS PLANTS

Due to the April/May drought, many pastures are no longer
providing grazing. Animals are hungry and may tend to eat
plants that they would not normally eat. In low wet areas
around the edges and within somewhat open woodlands, the









plant "bracken fern" can often be found growing. This
plant is poisonous to cattle. Producers should be especially
careful if they are moving cattle into new areas, such as into
the woods. These areas should be checked for bracken fern
and other poisonous plants. If bracken fern is found, do
not put animals into those areas or at least observe the graz-
ing habits of the cattle to see if they are eating the fern. A
couple of other poisonous plants to watch for are lantana
and wild cherry. When the summer rain pattern starts, af-
ternoon thundershowers with accompanying wind gusts may
blow down wild cherry trees that are growing in the fence
rows. Cattle will tend to eat the leaves which are poison-
ous.

CGC

PRODUCING HIGH QUALITY GRASS HAY

Crude protein and total digestible energy (TDN) are the two
most important criteria used in determining hay quality.
Stage of maturity at harvest is the most important factor
influencing hay quality. As plants increase in age, crude
protein and digestible energy concentration decrease. The
improved hybrid bermudagrasses and stargrasses should be
harvested at 15 18 inches for the first cutting and then cut
every 4 to 5 weeks. During mid summer, some producers
are harvesting stargrass for silage every three weeks to pro-
duce feed that has a protein concentration of 15 percent or
greater and a relatively high TDN.

All hay equipment should be serviced and repaired before
the hay season begins. Abreakdown during harvest almost
guarantees rain damage to the hay. Rain leaches soluble
nutrients from the grass. It prevents the grass from drying
quickly and thus, increases respiration loss and the possi-
bility of mold. Respiration is the breakdown of sugars, etc.,
in the plant. This process occurs in all living plants, and it
continues after the plants are cut. Respiration stops when
the moisture content drops below 40%. In Florida's cli-
mate, rain damage is difficult to avoid. Frequent thunder
showers in the summer will usually hit one or more hay
harvests. During the summer, if a suitable period of weather
occurs for harvesting hay, and if the grass is long enough
(15 inches), it may be wise to start harvesting even though
the regrowth has not reached a 4 or 5 week schedule.

CGC






The use of tradenames does not constitute a guarantee or warrant of products named and does not signify approval to the exclusion of similar
products.
Prepared by: J. M. Bennett, Chairman; E.B. Whitty, Extension Agronomist; C. G. Chambliss, Extension Agronomist; M. B. Adjei, Extension
Agronomist, Range Cattle Research and Education Center; and D. L. Wright, Extension Agronomist, North Florida Research and Education
Center.