Nitrogen Management on Pasture

Sid Bosworth, Extension Associate Professor, Department of Plant and Soil Science, University of Vermont

Grasses have a high demand for nitrogen (N).  Grass hay trials have shown that some grasses will respond in yield up to 300 and even 400 lbs of actual N per acre per year.   The economic “break even” application rate of N depends on the cost of N fertilizer and the value of the hay crop.  For hay, this is generally between 100 and 200 lbs N/acre split two to four times per year, depending on the particular grass specie, soil type and weather conditions.  For pasture, the decision to apply N becomes more complicated.  Here are a few points to consider when making N fertilizer decisions.

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