Fertility for Annual Stands

 Knowledge Nuggets | Fact Sheets

.Knowledge Nuggets

  • Annual forage crops include crops such as: wheat, barley, oats, millet, corn, rye, triticale, Italian ryegrass, canola, peas and lentils. Since there are a variety of annual crops that can be used for forages, fertility recommendations will be crop specific.
  • Water and nutrients are the two most important factors controlling the growth of an annual forage crop.
  • There are 20 elements that are needed for plant growth and a deficiency in any of these nutrients can limit productivity. There are eight commonly deficient nutrients. The major nutrients include: nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P, in the form of phosphate P2O5) and potassium (K, in the form of potash K2O). The secondary nutrients include: sulphur (S), magnesium (Mg) and calcium (Ca). The minor nutrients include: zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu).
  • Soil test to determine availability of plant nutrients and to identify the soil nutrients that are inadequate.
  • Nitrogen is the most limiting nutrient for annual forages. Base your nitrogen source choice on the cost per unit nitrogen, on availability and access to application equipment.
  • Fertilizer recommendations should be based on averages from field and laboratory tests, and what works best under normal conditions. Under special circumstances, a crop or forage specialist can make more specific fertilizer recommendations.
  • Yield goals should be considered and be based on farm historical rainfall information. Adjusting fertilizer rates based on realistic yield goals is essential to maintain environmental quality and to optimize economic returns.
  • The best time to apply fertilizer is in the early spring when the plants begin to grow, taking care to apply the proper type of fertilizer mix.
  • If conditions are dry at the time of seeding, provide appropriate amounts of fertilizer. If more precipitation is received and the potential for a larger crop is evident, consider top-dressing or broadcasting additional fertilizer after the crop has emerged.

Fact Sheets

Agronomic and Fertilizer Management of Barley in Alberta

Alberta Farm Fertilizer Information and Recommendation Manager

Alberta Fertilizer Guide

Annual Forage Crops for Manitoba

Barley Production in Alberta: Fertilizing

Copper Deficiency: Diagnosis and Correction

Crop Nutrition and Fertilizer Requirements

Guidelines for Safe Rates of Fertilizer Placed with Seed

Fall Fertilization - FAQ's

Fertilizing Spring-seeded Small Grains

Fertilizer Requirements of Cereals

Fertilizing Irrigated Grain and Oilseed Crops

Micronutrient Requirements of Crops

Nutrient Management Planning Guide

Pea Nutrient Requirements in Alberta

Phosphorous Fertilizer Application in Crop Production

Potassium Fertilizer Application in Crop Production

FAQ's and 4 R's of Nutrient Stewardship - Fertilizer Canada

Sulphur Fertilizer Application in Crop Production

Soil Sampling and Crop Nutrient Requirements - AB
  For more information about the content of this document, contact Grant Lastiwka.
This document is maintained by Linda Hunt.
This information published to the web on October 27, 2003.
Last Reviewed/Revised on March 14, 2016.

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