28 May 1999

Trials examine slurry response

GRASS species and varieties have a differing response to slurry application, with some being more tolerant or better able to use nutrients in slurry than others.

SAC grassland specialist John Weddell said the pilot trial was important. "Producers have more slurry to dispose of, and we wanted to see which varieties or species would survive best."

The trial involved plots of Italian ryegrass, perennial ryegrass, hybrid ryegrass and Timothy. Plots were split in half, with one half receiving cattle slurry applied at 50cu m/ha (4500gal/acre) and the other half receiving the same N as bagged fertiliser. Two applications were made, and two cuts taken, said Dr Weddell.

"Yield responses varied between species and varieties. Perennial ryegrasses were generally poorer than other species, and tetraploids were usually better than diploids. But there was a great variation within species, too."