Explore the benefits of potassium fertilization of warm-season grasses used for forage in Florida.

Fertilization is an important part of forage production, which benefits a beef operation’s bottom line.  Nitrogen is the foremost nutrient applied to forage pastures, but a South Florida Beef-Forage Program article maintains that potassium fertilization is important as well. See all the benefits of potassium below.

The Importance of Potassium Fertilization

The article maintains that “potassium deficiency can be an important factor responsible for poor performance and decline of pastures and hayfields in Florida,” due to the inability of Florida’s sandy soils to retain nutrients and the low use of potassium fertilizers.

It shares a study of fertilization with both nitrogen and potassium, whereby “the results indicated that the additional nitrogen fertilization in late summer showed no increase in forage production. However, potassium fertilization resulted in a 20% increase in forage production in one location…” The thought is that potassium “may promote root/rhizome mass and, consequently; improve the persistence of warm-season grass pastures.”

Another study showed that potassium and nitrogen used together showed that  “production and root and rhizome mass increased by 100% as the potassium levels increased from 0 to 40 lb K2O/acre,” in bahiagrass, and that “production and root and rhizome mass increased by as much as 300% as potassium levels increased from 0 to 80 lb K2O/acre,” in Jiggs bermudagrass. That study also showed that “Jiggs bermudagrass production decreased when tissues potassium levels were below 1.7% (critical level).”

While potassium does not seem to have a direct impact on production, it does seem to “promote root and rhizome mass, which are important reserve organs responsible for pasture persistence,” according to the article.

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.