Beware of Nitrates in Summer Grasses

Beware of Nitrates in Summer Grasses

Dr. Gary Bates

University of Tennessee

Most of the hay produced for beef cows in Tennessee comes from tall fescue fields.  There are, however, a significant number of producers that use summer grasses such as bermudagrass or sorghum x sudangrass hybrids for hay.  These plants can be used successfully for hay production.  But there is the potential for a buildup of nitrates in these plants, especially during a drought. It is important for producers to understand what nitrate toxicity is and how to prevent it.

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