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Topics : Species and Forage Variety Trials : Species Fact Sheets : Reed Canarygrass

Species: Reed Canarygrass

Additional reed canarygrass information via the Forage Information System (FIS)

Reed Canarygrass Fertility

Fertilization is important to take advantage of the high yielding characteristics of reed canarygrass. Determine the lime and fertilizer needs by soil testing before seeding. If pH is below 6.0, apply lime. In the absence of a soil test, assuming medium fertility soil, plow down 0-45-135 lb per acre and apply 20-20-20 lb per acre at seeding. When seeding with a legume, apply none or less than 20 lb per acre of nitrogen at seeding. Nitrogen application in excess of 20 lb per acre will stimulate reed canarygrass development and inhibit legume establishment.

A soil test is the best guide for proper fertilization of established reed canarygrass. In pure reed canarygrass stands, apply nitrogen annually. Reed canarygrass responds more to nitrogen fertilization than the other cool-season grasses. Annual rates of N application may range from 80 to 240 lb per acre depending on soil condition and type and consequently yield potential. Generally, about 40 lbs of nitrogen is required per ton of forage produced. Nitrogen rates in excess of 120 lb per acre should be applied in split applications. Fertilization systems which apply at least 1/2 of the annual N in August can be utilized to take advantage of the high-yielding characteristics of reed canarygrass in the fall.

A productive stand of reed canarygrass will require about 30 lb of phosphorus per acre annual for stand maintenance. Potassium fertilization of reed canarygrass for maintenance is more variable than phosphorus. Depending on the soil type and cropping history, rates may range from none to 160 lb potassium per acre per year. On higher organic matter soils, higher rates would be necessary.

Additional and more detailed information on forage fertilization is also available.