Biostimulant effects on the herbage yield and nutritive composition of a mixed ryegrass–clover pasture

Research Article

Biostimulant effects on the herbage yield and nutritive composition of a mixed ryegrass–clover pasture

DOI: 10.2989/10220119.2023.2208612
Author(s): J de Beer Stellenbosch University, South Africa , PA Swanepoel Stellenbosch University, South Africa , JHC van Zyl Stellenbosch University, South Africa , L Steyn Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Abstract

Dairy producers are continuously searching for environmentally friendly and economically sustainable alternatives to increase pasture herbage yield and reduce reliance on chemical fertilisers. A possible means to reduce fertiliser reliance is the use of biostimulants. Biostimulants such as fulvic acid and bioflavonoids help to increase N uptake efficiency, thereby increasing herbage quantity and quality. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of a soil application of a carbohydrate-derived fulvic acid and bioflavonoid biostimulant on herbage yield and nutritive composition of a mixed perennial ryegrass–clover pasture. Biostimulant treatment resulted in a lower ryegrass component of the mixed sward, in both winter and summer grazing cycles. However, the nutritive composition and total herbage yield of the pasture were not significantly affected by biostimulant treatment. The treatment did show a tendency to affect total herbage yield within a season. This suggests that total herbage yield could be increased if additional N fertiliser is applied together with a biostimulant soil treatment, although further investigation is needed to confirm this postulation. Biostimulant treatments have the potential to lead to reduced fertiliser inputs on perennial ryegrass–clover pastures as they may increase nutrient uptake efficiency.

Get new issue alerts for African Journal of Range & Forage Science