Tifton 85 Bermudagrass Response to Soil Acidity and Poultry Litter.
Allen T. Leonard1, Vincent Haby2, Gerald Evers2, and Sam Feagley3. (1) Texas Agricultural and Experiment Station, Texas A&M Univ. System, P.O. Box 200, Overton, TX 75684, (2) Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, P.O. Box 200, Overton, TX 75684, (3) Soil & Crop Sciences Dept. - Texas A&M Univ., 2474 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-2474
Tifton 85, an improved hybrid bermudagrass developed for Coastal Plain soils in the southern USA, is increasingly being sprigged by producers. Data on the soil fertility requirements of this bermudagrass are limited. To overcome this limitation, we initiated research to evaluate the response of Tifton 85 bermudagrass to soil acidity (SA) and poultry litter (PL). Limed plots on Darco soil (Grossarenic Paleudult), earlier used to evaluate forage response to SA, were re-treated with previous limestone rates to widen the pH range from strongly acidic to near neutral. The following spring, three sets of four plots each were assigned to low, medium, and high pH range categories in each of the three replications. Plots in each pH range were randomly assigned to receive PL at rates of 0, 4.5, 9, and 18 Mg ha-1. Poultry litter for each replication was homogenized and applied in early May to the surface of the Darco soil established to Tifton 85 bermudagrass. The experimental site was fertilized with 112 kg K ha-1 and with 135 kg N ha-1 as ammonium sulfate so that P was the major limiting primary nutrient. Ammonium sulfate at a rate of 112 kg N ha-1 was uniformly applied after the first two harvests and additional K at 112 kg ha-1 was applied after the second harvest. Additional N as ammonium nitrate was uniformly applied at a rate of 180 kg N ha-1 after the third and fourth harvests. Yield data were collected using a Swift Machine forage plot harvester. Tifton 85 bermudagrass dry matter yield was significantly improved by the interaction of decreasing SA and increasing PL rates. The effect of SA and PL on soil and plant nutrient content will be discussed.