Polysulphate application enhanced the quality of the alfalfa, increasing the protein content by 9.1% and the Relative Feed Value (RFV) by 9.6%.
To evaluate the effect of Polysulphate on the yield and quality of alfalfa in Northern Italy.
The trial consisted of strip plots with 4 replicates. The 3 treatments were a control; Polysulphate applied at 150 kg/ha; and Polysulphate applied at 300 kg/ha. As per the farmer’s usual practice, the alfalfa was grown in rotation with wheat.
- Polysulphate application generally increased the protein percentage and the Relative Feed Value (RFV). Protein content was significantly higher in the first cut with the application of 300 kg/ha of Polysulphate, and similar trends appeared in the other cuts, though not significant.
- Considering the mean value of the four cuts, Polysulphate application at 300 kg/ha enhanced the quality parameters of the alfalfa. The protein percentage was increased by 9.1% and the RFV increased by 9.6% as compared to the control.
- Drought in spring-summer limited the productivity of dry matter (16.2 tons/ha over the 4 cuts, on average). Dry matter production was similar across treatments, with no significant differences on the individual cuts nor in the cumulative production.
Higher letters indicate significant differences at P < 0.05.