Oklahoma Forage and Pasture Fertility Guide
The forage and hay produced on Oklahoma farm and pastureland plays a huge role in the maintenance and production of the 5 million head of cattle and calves, which makes Oklahoma the fifth largest cattle producing state in the nation (Oklahoma ranks third in cow-calf production). In addition, hay sold off the farm accounts for approximately $500 million of income to hay producers in the state every year. Appropriate fertilization is almost always the key to proper livestock nutrition, economic stocking rates, yields, weed control, stand viability, length of grazing/production season and sustainability of the plant-animal system. Unfortunately, varying soils, climate, plant materials, grazing/haying objectives, pests and prices can complicate the fertilization decisions. One decision sometimes made is to “let mother nature provide” - after all, grass of some sort has been growing out there for years. Economically savvy producers in Oklahoma will not choose this as a base plan.
The authors of the Oklahoma Forage and Pasture Fertilization Guide realize that for each producer to make the right decision for his or her operation, a guide providing research-based information is a necessity. This circular is just such a guide. It is designed to help producers with the complex fertilization questions they face. The Oklahoma Forage and Pasture Fertilization Guide is unique in that it covers simple management practices in addition to a range of complex interactions related to forage and pasture fertility. It offers practical situations that can be used by producers. No other publications match the breadth of the Oklahoma Forage and Pasture Fertilization Guide. This publication is designed to support forage and livestock producers, Extension educators and Certified Crop Advisers in effective, profitable and environmentally sound management decisions regarding forage and pasture fertility practices. It is not a replacement for good management; rather, it is the road map to help good managers get even better.