Topics : Species and Forage Variety Trials : Species Fact Sheets : Chicory
Additional chicory information via the Forage Information System (FIS)
Forage Chicory Fertility
Fertility needs at seeding should be determined by soil test. Chicory will remain productive at soil pH levels of 4.5, however, it is recommended that soil pH be above 5.5 at seeding to optimize plant establishment. Phosphorus and potassium levels should be in the moderate to optimum range at seeding. Apply nitrogen fertilizer at 35 lb per acre at seeding to stimulate chicory establishment. In the absence of a soil test, assuming a medium-fertility soil, plow down 0-45- 135 lb. per acre and apply 50-20-20 lb. per acre at seeding. If chicory is seeded with a legume, reduce the nitrogen application at seeding.
Chicory requires a high level of fertility for maximum production. It is also very responsive to N fertilization. If chicory is grown without a legume, apply 100 to 150 lb N per acre in split applications of 50 lb per acre in early spring when the chicory becomes green and 50 lb per acre in early summer and in early fall. Yield responses to N fertilizer have been reported up to 200 lb N per acre. However, as N rate increases so does stem growth. Therefore, the yield increase from N fertilization must be weighed against the ability to keep chicory grazed so that stems do not bolt. If chicory is planted with alfalfa or another legume, restrict annual N applications to limit the effect N has on reducing nitrogen fixation of the legume.