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Fall ESN Increases Missouri Tall Fescue Forage Yields

Cool-season forage grasses are very responsive to nitrogen (N) fertilizer and top grass yields and persistent stands require adequate N fertilization. Cool-season grasses feed heavily in fall as they store energy reserves and N in the grass roots and crowns for growth the following spring. Proper fall N fertilization can prepare your forage grass for best growth and healthy grass stands the following growing season.

The Missouri tall fescue study results shown below illustrate how ESN applied in October can increase forage grass yields the following growing season. In this study, ESN’s controlled feeding produced greater tall fescue yields. ESN protects fertilizer N from loss by volatilization, leaching, and denitrification.

  • Fall ESN application increased yields by almost one-half ton over urea applied at the same time.
  • ESN applied in early October produced over 700 lbs/acre more forage than urea applied in mid-March by supplying N at the right time for forage needs while protecting N from loss.
  • Greatest yields from fall application were produced by using 100% ESN.
  • Although spring rains greatly limited April forage yields, ESN significantly increased fescue yields through the remainder of the summer with the largest harvests in June, July, and August.
Fall ESN Increases Missouri Tall Fescue Forage Yields
Study conducted in Northern Missouri. Nitrogen treatments applied early October at a total of 75 lbs N/acre as urea, ESN, or blends of ESN and urea. Fescue was harvested on 28 Apr, 6 Jun, 15 Jul, 23 Aug, 10 Oct, and 16 Nov. Source: Dr. R. Kallenbach, Univ of Missouri.

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