Effect of Nitrogen Fertilization on Oxalate Content in Rhodesgrass, Guineagrass and Sudangrass

  • Rahman, M.M. (The United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences (University of Miyazaki), Kagoshima University) ;
  • Yamamoto, M. (Boston Scientific Japan K.K., Miyazaki Techno Research Park) ;
  • Niimi, M. (Faculty of Agriculture, University of Miyazaki) ;
  • Kawamura, O. (Faculty of Agriculture, University of Miyazaki)
  • Received : 2007.06.22
  • Accepted : 2007.09.14
  • Published : 2008.02.01


An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of nitrogen (N) level on the dry matter (DM) yield, N concentration and oxalate content of some tropical grasses, namely Rhodesgrass (Chloris gayana), Guineagrass (Panicum maximum) and Sudangrass (Sorghum vulgare). Three levels of N as urea were applied (Standard- 260, $Standard{\times}2$- 540 and$Standard{\times}4$- 1,060 kg N/ha for Rhodesgrass; Standard- 380, $Standard{\times}2$- 770 and $Standard{\times}4$- 1,570 kg N/ha for Guineagrass and Sudangrass) in a completely randomized design and grasses were harvested twice at approximately two-month intervals. Dry matter yield tended to be higher with increased rate of N fertilizer in all species, while further additional N ($Standard{\times}2$ or $Standard{\times}4$) did not significantly (p>0.05) further increase DM yield, when compared with the Standard level of N fertilizer application. There was also a trend towards higher N concentration in plants as N fertilization increased in all species and it was increased significantly in Rhodesgrass and Sudangrass (p<0.05 or p<0.01, respectively). Further additional N ($Standard{\times}2$ or $Standard{\times}4$) application showed no significant (p>0.05) differences on oxalate content in plant tissue within species, when compared with the Standard level of N. The Rhodesgrass contained 0.11, 0.13 and 0.15% soluble oxalate and 0.23, 0.25 and 0.27% total oxalate with Standard, $Standard{\times}2$ and $Standard{\times}4$ level of N application, respectively. The Guineagrass contained 0.54, 0.50 and 0.42% soluble oxalate and 1.60, 1.56 and 1.45% total oxalate with Standard, $Standard{\times}2$ and $Standard{\times}4$ level of N application, respectively. The Sudangrass contained 0.06, 0.15 and 0.12% soluble oxalate and 0.22, 0.22 and 0.21% total oxalate with Standard, $Standard{\times}2$ and $Standard{\times}4$ level of N application, respectively The results from this study suggest that these grasses do not use further addition of N fertilizer ($Standard{\times}2$ or $Standard{\times}4$) to form high content of oxalate salts, when compared with the Standard level of N. In addition, the levels of oxalate present with these grasses are quite low as far as toxicity to animals is concerned.


Nitrogen Fertilization;Oxalate Content;Dry Matter Yield;Nitrogen Concentration


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