Don't waste money fertilizing drought, poorly drained, poorly irrigated, or weedy fields. **Application of nitrogen may or may not increase protein levels in hay. Some studies indicate a protein increase is possible when high rates of nitrogen are used. Consider potential benefits against cost.
Fertilizer Rate and Protein Content
N Rate/Acre Fall Spring
0 7.2 7.2
50 8.8 8.8
100 9.1 9.0
150 9.0 11.0
Early spring application, no later than May 15th, is usually more effective than fall, except in stands predominantly composed of Smooth Brome. Smooth Brome and Blue Grass develop more reproductive heads when fall fertilized. This results in an increased yield. Meadows with high populations of brome and bluegrass should be fertilized in the fall.
Early spring application, prior to May 15th, is preferred for meadows composed of Timothy, Orchard, Meadow Foxtail, and Wheat grass. Early spring fertilization triggers these varieties to develop seed heads, which will increase production.