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Effect of SO4-S Fertilization on Se Concentration of Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)

Westermann, D.T. and Robbins, C.W. (1974) Effect of SO4-S Fertilization on Se Concentration of Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). Agronomy Journal. 66(2):207-208.

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Selenium is not required for plant growth, but is necessary
for the prevention of white muscle disease and other
low-Se related animal disorders. Areas in the Pacific
Northwest that produce forages low in Se are nearly
identical to those known to be S deficient. While SO₄-S
has been shown to inhibit SeO₄-Se uptake by plants, the
effect of S fertilization on Se uptake by plants growing
on low-Se soils where other forms of Se may exist has not
been evaluated. This was examined on eight alfalfa
(Medicago sativa L.) experimental sites where S fertilization
was a variable in southern Idaho. Yields were measured,
and plant samples were taken from the first harvest
of alfalfa (0.1 bloom) and analyzed for total Se and S, and
Se uptake.

Sulfur fertilization significantly reduced forage Se concentrations
at four of the eight experimental sites. Forages
at seven sites contained less than 0.1 ppm Se before
S fertilization, which was further reduced by the S fertilization.
The decrease in Se concentration mainly reflected
a dilution effect caused by a growth response
to the S fertilization. No direct relationship was apparent
between forage Se and S levels. This study showed that
S fertilization of S-deficient, low-Se soils to increase forage
production may increase the incidence of Se deficiency
in animals. Thus ranchers, cattlemen, and agronomists
should became aware of this potential problem and provide
protective measures against Se deficiency in their

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 0274
Subjects: Irrigated crops > Alfalfa
Mass Import - autoclassified (may be erroneous)
Depositing User: Dan Stieneke
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:51
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2017 21:54
Item ID: 251