A substantial proportion of farmed grassland soils in Northern Ireland (NI) are overly enriched with P and pose a risk to water quality. To address this problem, manure could be exported rather than recycled to P‐enriched land and the latter intensively cropped with grass silage to deplete soil P. To assess the efficacy of such a strategy, a P‐ and K‐enriched grassland site was intensively cropped over a 6‐yr period with fertilizer N alone supplied to support silage growth. By year 6, soil P had declined from index 5 to index 3, and it was estimated that two more years of this management may bring it into the target index 2 range. Soil K, however, declined rapidly from index 4 to index 1 in just 4 yr, with the result that grass production became limited by K deficiency. It was concluded that nonrecycling of manure to P‐enriched grassland under silage management is probably the most effective strategy for lowering soil P status, but care must be taken to prevent K deficiency occurring.
Soil Use and Management – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 2015
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