Journal article

Managing the nitrogen status of subtropical dairy pastures for production, efficiency and profit

AP Smith, P Beale, BJ Fulkerson, RJ Eckard

Agricultural Systems | Elsevier Masson | Published : 2019


© 2019 Elsevier Ltd Pastures that contain winter-active annual ryegrass (ARG) in association with summer-active kikuyu are valuable for dairy production in subtropical regions. The two pasture phases have different challenges to increase production and profitability – for the kikuyu phase the management of soil fertility is challenging as it requires synchronization with soil, plant and animal demands for energy and protein. Unsure how best to manage the soil nitrogen (N) during the kikuyu phase and deterred by the risk of a poor pasture dry matter response to N fertilizer; farmers tend to under-fertilize the kikuyu phase which was hypothesized to limit the potential productivity of not only..

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Funding Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Dr. James Neal (dairy farmer at Oxley Island, Australia) for generous provision of time, data and advice which were essential to complete this study. The `More Profit from Nitrogen: enhancing the nutrient use efficiency of intensive cropping and pasture systems' project was supported by funding from Dairy Australia and the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as part of its Rural R&D for Profit program.