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Applied Research

Adam Speir
County Extension Coordinator
University of Georgia


Nitrogen fertilizers are a critically needed input for hay producers.  Producers have several choices, including granular; liquid, ground-applied; as well as liquids promoted as “foliar fertilizers”.  On-farm comparison trials were established in Madison, Banks and Elbert Counties, Georgia using 16 ft2 plots in bermudagrass hayfields of different varieties.  Treatments included a control with no N fertilizer (Cont.), calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN; 27% N), urea-ammonium nitrate (UAN; 32% N), urea (U; 46% N), urea treated with Agrotain® urease inhibitor (AgT; 46% N), foliar fertilizer applied at product-labeled rate (Fol-L; 42%), and foliar fertilizer applied at an N-rate based on University of Georgia recommendations (Fol-U; 42%). Fol-L was applied at 5.25 lbs. N/acre (total 21 lbs. N/Ac) while other treatments were applied at 75 lbs. N/acre on four fertilizer applications (total 300 lbs. N/Ac). Fertilizers were applied and forage harvested at 4-wk intervals.  A randomized complete block design was used with four treatment replications.  Yields were significantly lower in Fol-L and Cont. treatments compared to others while yields from Fol-L and Cont. treatments were not significantly different from each other. Though Fol-U treatment yields were not different from conventional fertilizers, the expense of applying foliar 42-0-0 fertilizer at sufficient N rates is 5-8 times more expensive (Cost/Lb. Forage) than conventional N fertilizer. We conclude that the use of the foliar fertilizer at the labeled rate will not provide comparable yields to conventional N fertilizer at recommended rates and using this foliar fertilizer at recommended rates of N is not cost-effective or practical.


Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.

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Authors: R.A. Speir, R.C. Waldorf, C.S. Talton, D.W. Hancock
  1. Speir, R. County Extension Agent, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, Madison County, Georgia, 30633
  2. Waldorf, R. County Extension Agent, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, Banks County, Georgia, 30547
  3. Talton, C. County Extension Agent, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, Elbert County, Georgia, 30635
  4. Hancock, D. Extension Forage Specialist, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Georgia, 30602