Managing Nitrogen Inputs and Outputs on a Dairy Farm

Figure 1. Nitrogen flows of a dairy forage system. Credit: R. HellmuthIn dairy production systems, nitrogen flows through both the forage crops and the dairy cows. Forage crops use nitrogen mineralized from manure for plant growth. Harvested crops are then fed to dairy cows that, in turn, use the nitrogen for their growth and milk production. When the cows excrete a portion of the consumed nitrogen as manure the cycle is renewed. This 5-page fact sheet focuses on the forage production aspect of the nitrogen cycle at a dairy farm. Written by Rebecca Hellmuth and George Hochmuth, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, March 2015. (Image credit: R. Hellmuth)

Soil and Plant Tissue Testing

Soil Sampling.  Soil testing is the best tool for monitoring soil fertility levels and providing baseline information for cost-effective fertilization programs. But a major limitation is that it typically accounts for the plant-available nutrient pool present in the surface soil layer. Because of the extensive root system in some plants, plant analysis is a complement to the soil test to better assess the overall nutrient status of a perennial forage system, while revealing imbalances among nutrients that may affect crop production. This 4-page fact sheet was written by Maria L. Silveira, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, June 2014.

SL292/SS505 Soil pH and Liming Issues Affecting Bahiagrass Pasture

Revised! SL-292 (formerly SS-AGR-29), a 5-page fact sheet by M. Silveira, J. Vendramini, J. E. Rechcigl and M. B. Adjei, presents results of research conducted to evaluate the long-term effect of liming and N fertilization on dry matter yields, nutritive value, and ground cover of bahiagrass pastures. Includes liming and fertilization recommendations for grazing conditions in south-central Florida flatwoods. Published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, September 2009.

SL259/SS483 Dealing With High Fertilizer Costs in Forage Production Systems

SL-259, a 4-page fact sheet by M.L. Silveira, J.M. Vendramini, P.J. Hogue and J.F. Selph, addresses important issues relative to fertilizer efficiency and suggests alternatives for reducing fertilizer use and reducing production costs for forage production. Published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, June 2008.

SL249/SS469 Getting the Most out of Bahiagrass Fertilization

SL-249, a 6-page fact sheet by C.L. Mackowiak, A.R. Blount, E.A. Hanlon, M.L. Silveira, M.B. Adjei, and R.O. Myer, summarizes analysis practices and recommendations for bahiagrass fertilization for hay, sod or pasture systems. Includes references. Published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Sciences, April 2008.