Effects of Levels of Sulfur Fertilizer on Growth of Digitaria eriantha Grass

Auraiwan Isuwan, Jeerasak Saelim, Somsak Paothong


This study was aimed to determine and evaluate the effects of sulfur fertilizer application on the quantity and chemical composition of Digitaria eriantha grass. The experiment was conducted at Petchaburi Animal Nutrition Research and Development Center, Petchaburi, Thailand, during August to October, 2006. Treatments consisted of 0, 12 and 24 kgS/rai applications in the form of ammonium sulfate and were arranged in randomized complete block with 4 field blocks as replication. Grass was sampled at 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks of regrowth to determine biomass accumulation over maturation period between and within treatments. The samples of 6-week old grass were subjected to chemical composition evaluation.
The results showed that there was a significant linear correlation between levels of S fertilizer application and biomass accumulation of 2-week old grass. Biomass accumulation was significantly increased with the increasing rates of S fertilizer applications (120.56, 176.48 and 200.62 kgDM/rai at 0, 12 and 24 kgS/rai, respectively). Sulfur (0.09, 0.17 and 0.18 %DM) and crude protein (6.10, 8.22 and 10.25 %DM) concentrations and crude protein yield (40.48, 61.35 and 76.00 kg/rai) had increased linearly with the increasing levels of sulfur fertilizer application of 0, 12 and 24 kgS/rai, respectively. The result of this study showed that quality of grass can be improved through S fertilizer application. There is a need for further study on the effect of S application on ruminant performance to improve pasture management. This information can be used to make sensible recommendation for sustainable pasture management for animal production.

Key Words: Digitaria eriantha; Sulfur fertilizer

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