Nitrogen Use Efficiency of Cool-Season Perennial Forage Grasses Planted With and Without Alfalfa Under Irrigation for Hay Production

2009 Annual Report for FW08-307

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2008: $14,999.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: Western
State: Wyoming
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Blaine Horn
University of Wyoming

Nitrogen Use Efficiency of Cool-Season Perennial Forage Grasses Planted With and Without Alfalfa Under Irrigation for Hay Production



An additional year has been requested to complete this project.

As stated in the interim report submitted in February 2009 the grasses and alfalfa were not seeded in May 2008 but on 29 August 2008. It appeared most of the grasses and alfalfa did germinate in the fall but by early May 2009 only a few of the grasses had established. It was speculated that grass and alfalfa seedlings in the non-established plots had winter killed. In hindsight it would have been wiser to have done a dormant seeding in November.

Because of this lack of establishment it was decided to till a portion of the original plot area and reseed. The entire area was not tilled and reseeded due to the Truax drill (8’ wide) used in August no longer being available but a Dew Drop drill was (3’ wide). Thus plots were made 4’ wide instead of 8’.

The grasses and alfalfa were seeded on 18 May 2009 and by late June it appeared they had germinated but not yet established. However, by mid-August it appeared the seeding was possibly a failure and a follow-up inspection in mid-October did not change this assessment. However, it is possible that the grasses and alfalfa will establish next spring (2010) but whether to the degree necessary to be able to conduct the fertilizer rate study is suspect. Thus, besides a request for an extension of time to complete the project it is requested for a change in location if deemed needed.

In April 2008 replicated plots of eight grasses were seeded into a field owned by a Gerry Miller of Buffalo, WY. The seeding was a success and hay yield data from all plots was collected in June 2009. Except for the lack of an alfalfa/grass treatment, four or five nitrogen fertilizer treatments could be applied to these grasses at this site.

With the granting of the extension, soil samples from each grass by fertilizer treatment at either the Wyoming Girls School of Gerry Miller sites will be obtained in April 2010 for nitrate-nitrogen analysis followed by application of nitrogen fertilizer. Forage yield data and soil samples for residual nitrate-nitrogen will be collected in late June 2010. A report on the results would be submitted by the end of January 2011.


Gerry Miller

524 French Creek Road
Buffalo, WY 82834
Office Phone: 3076847997
Elmer Detavernier

[email protected]
Producer Cooperator
6718 Big Horn Ave.
Sheridan, WY 82801
Office Phone: 3076723858