Title

Utilizing Various Fertilizer Application Rates and Bio-Stimulant to Improve Biomass Yield and Nutrient Composition in Oat Hay

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Ag Science and Natural Resources

Date of Award

Spring 2015

Abstract

Forage is an important aspect of livestock production. Producing sufficient quality forage and hay has become difficult due to high fertilizer prices. This experiment compares the use of composted organic materials as a commercial fertilizer replacement, reduced commercial fertilizer rates, and the use of a bio-stimulant for hay production of TAMO 606 oats in two separate locations, the Texas A&M University – Commerce Farm (TAMUC), Hunt County and a private farm in Tom Bean, Tex. (TB), Grayson County. Treatments were no fertilizer (Control), recommended rate determined by a soil analysis, recommended N rate, reduced NPK rate to monetarily equal that of N rate, chicken litter (CL), horse bedding (HB), bio-solids (BS), ½ CL and ½ N, ½ HB and ½ N. Experimental design was a randomized complete block with a 2x9 factorial arrangement of treatments and four blocks per site. Each treatment appeared once in each block, with each plot 1.524 m x 7.62 m. The total area used at each location was 2743 m2. Treatment effects were analyzed using Proc GLM (SAS Institute, Cary, NC, Ver. 9.3). Means were separated using Tukey’s HSD test. All treatment groups were tried with and without a bio-stimulant (Agrispon, Agricultural Sciences, Inc., Dallas, Tex.). Treatments in boot stage of maturity receiving the bio-stimulant Agrispon when compared with timing of harvest were of more quality in terms of IVDMD 75.9, lower NDF 51.2, higher levels of K 20321 ppm, lower ADF 37.8, and containing more P 1888 ppm (P < 0.05). IVDMD was higher (P < 0.05) in treatments receiving Agrispon 75.9 than treatments not receiving Agrispon 72.6. However because forage quality is effected by maturity we cannot be sure if the effect is caused by Agrispon or if by maturity. When combined in a three way interaction forages treated with Agrispon averaged less potassium 12% (16,161 ppm) than forages not receiving Agrispon (16,355ppm). Not enough evidence supports the use of Agrispon as a bio-stimulant to improve growth of oats as forage.

Advisor

Curtis A. Jones

Subject Categories

Agriculture | Life Sciences

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