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Before planting a grass seed crop, test soil for pH, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and lime requirement. Add and incorporate material before planting.
Nitrogen is needed by all grass seed crops. A small amount, of fall nitrogen is recommended for tall fescue. For perennial ryegrass, fall nitrogen is not required. A small mount of fall nitrogen, 30 to 40 lb/a, and can be applied and used to reduce spring nitrogen rate.
Most of the N is supplied in the spring from mid-February to mid-April in two to three applications or “splits”. Nitrogen application rate varies for grass species. Fine fescue requires the lowest rate, 30 to 70 lb/a and perennial ryegrass the highest, 120 to 160 lb/a. Refer to fertilizer and nutrient management guides for each grass species for specific nitrogen rate information.
Straw removal by baling removes a substantial amount of potassium. Monitor soil test potassium where straw is baled. More information on nutrient amounts and value in grass straw.
Applying Lime to Raise Soil pH for Crop Production (Western Oregon), EM 9057
Soil Acidity in Oregon: Understanding and Using Concepts for Crop Production, EM 9061
Postharvest Residue Management for Grass Seed Production in Western Oregon
Nutrient Management for Annual Ryegrass Grown for Seed
Fertilizer Guide: Tall Fescue Grown for Seed
Fertilizer Guide: Orchardgrass Grown for Seed
Fertilizer Guide: Fine Fescue Grown for Seed
Perennial Ryegrass Grown for Seed (Western Oregon)
Soil Test Interpretation Guide
Monitoring Soil Nutrients Using a Management Unit Approach