How Long After Spreading Fertilizer Can I Graze?(Explained)

how long after spreading fertilizer can i graze
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When applying nitrogen, the correct timing is essential. Many farmers apply fertilizer in August and then remove the livestock as soon as possible. This strategy reduces the amount of feed stored and ensures a more productive crop. The timing of fertilizer application must be well-tested in the soil to ensure that it is the correct balance for maximizing the growth and production of the crop. To prevent nitrogen volatilization, the application must be made at least two months before the expected harvest of the grass.

Legume plants do not need the same amount of nitrogen as grass plants

Unlike grass plants, legumes do not need the same amount of nitrogen as most crops. Their natural ability to fix nitrogen helps to minimize the amount of nitrogen fertilizer needed. However, there are some restrictions when growing legumes in your garden. They require specific soil conditions, a certain bacterial population, and the presence of sufficient nitrogen in the soil. To achieve this, your legumes should be grown in soil with a neutral pH.


How long after spreading fertilizer can i graze? – Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh

Application of N less frequently

The impact of reduced nitrogen fertilizer application rates on greenhouse gas emissions in cropland is uncertain. However, there are some promising results from recent studies. The application of N less often after spreading fertilizer can decrease the release of N2O in the atmosphere by about 50%. Furthermore, the reduction in N2O emissions may also reduce the amount of reactive N other than N2O in runoff and erosion. Nonetheless, caution should be taken before modifying fertilizer application rates. Despite the potential reductions, these methods cannot replace the use of N2O-based pesticides or soil amendments.

Grazing legumes to supply nitrogen to grasses in the pasture

Applying nitrogen fertilizer to pastures in the early spring is not recommended. It may lead to a pasture that is overly saturated with water. In such cases, nitrogen applications should be delayed until the soil water table has dropped and there is no standing water. This also allows for safe fertilizer application equipment to work. Grazing legumes to supply nitrogen to pasture grasses after spreading fertilizer is not as detrimental as applying the fertilizer too late.

Grazing legumes to provide Mg

It is important to maintain adequate levels of magnesium in forages to support growth and maintenance. The magnesium in the soil is needed to support photosynthesis, and legumes have a higher demand for it. Grazing animals also need high levels of calcium, which can reduce the amount of magnesium available for plant growth. Grazing legumes can help mitigate this problem by providing more magnesium than non-legumes.

Grazing legumes to supply Mg to grasses in the pasture

The purpose of adding legumes to your pasture after spreading fertilizer is to improve the Mg content of the soil. Grasses contain large amounts of magnesium, but legumes are better accumulators. Furthermore, legumes reduce the risk of grass tetany in your cattle. However, legumes are not suitable for large herds.