Effects of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers on nutritive value of safflower forage and silage

Document Type : Research Paper


1 M. Sc. Student, Department of Animal Science, Birjand University

2 Associate Professor, Department of Animal Science, Birjand University

3 Associate Professor, Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Birjand University


The aim of this study was to determine the effects of ensiling and using of fertilizers nitrogen and phosphorus on chemical composition and ruminal DM degradability of safflower plant (Carthamustinctorius L.). The safflower plant was cultivated at December 2009, and harvested at June 2010 in flowering stage, chopped to 3-5 cm particles and then ensiled in the laboratory silos for 60 days. The experimental treatments were: unfertilized forage (control), phosphorus fertilized forage (100 kg per ha), nitrogen fertilized forage (300 kg per ha), nitrogen and phosphorus fertilized forage (300 kg N and 100 kg P per ha), silage produced from unfertilized forage, silage produced from phosphorus fertilized forage (100 kg per ha), silage produced from nitrogen fertilized forage (300 kg per ha), silage produced from nitrogen and phosphorus fertilized forage (300 kg N and 100 kg P per ha). Chemical composition, DM degradability and digestibility were determined using standard methods. Nitrogen and P fertilizers reduced the NDF and ADF and increased the ash, Ca and P contents of plant (P<0.05). The N fertilizer increased the CP, NPN and buffer soluble protein and decreased the ADIN content of plant (P<0.05). The N and P fertilizers and ensiling increased a and c fractions and ruminal effective degradability of DM (P<0.05). Applying the N and P fertilizers and ensiling also increased the gas production parameters including b and c fractions and ME and OMD content of plant. Based on resultys of this research, using of safflower silage produced from nitrogen and phosphorus fertilized forage compard to unfertilized forage is recommended.


  1. Ahrari, A., Fathi, M.H., Yousefelahi, M., Riasi, A. (2013). The effect of N fertilizer and polyethylene glycol on chemical composition and digestibility of safflower forage and silage. Research Journal of Animal Sciences, 23, 73-90. (In Farsi).
  2. AFRC (1993). Energy and Protein Requirement of Ruminants. CAB International, Wallingford, UK.
  3. AOAC (2002). Association of Official Analytical Chemists. Official Method of Analysis. 17th Edn. AOAC International, Arington, Virginina, USA
  4. Ashbell, G., Weinberg, Z.G., Azrieli, A., Hen, Y. & Horev, B. (1990). A simple system to study the aerobic deterioraion of silages. Canadian Agricultural Engineering, 33, 391-394.
  5. Ayed, H.M., Gonzalez, J., Caballero, R. & Alvir, M.R. (2001). Effects of maturity nutritive value of fieldcured hays from common vetch and hairy vetch. Animal Research Development, 50, 31-42.
  6. Cechin, I., & Fumis, T.F. (2004). Effect of nitrogen supply on growth and photosynthesis of sunflower plants grown in the greenhouse. Journal of Plant Seience, 166, 1379-1385.
  7. Colombini. S., L. Rapetti, D. Colombo, G. Galassi, and G.M. Crovetto. (2010). Brown midrib forage sorghum silage for the dairy cow: nutritive value and comparison with corn silage in the diet. Italian Journal Animal seience, 9, 273-277.
  8. Dahnke, W.C., Fanning, C., & Cattamach, A. (1990). Fertilizing safflower. AGR-8-1, NDSU Extension Service/North Dakota State University, Forgo, ND, pp, 20-66.
  9. Datt, J.W. & Singh, G.P. (1995). Effect of protein supplementation on in vitro digestibility and gas production of wheat straw. Indian Journal Dairy Science, 48, 357-361.
  10. Dubios, M., Giles, K.A., Hamilton, J.K., Ronerts, P.A. & Smith, F. (1956). Colorimetric method for determination of sugars and related substance. Journal of Analysis and Chemistry, 28, 350-356.
  11. Filya, I. (2003). The effect of lactobacillus buchneri and lactobacillus plantarum on the fermentation, Aerobic stability, and ruminal degradability of low dry matter corn and sorghum silages. Journal of Dairy Science, 86, 3575-3581.
  12. Filya, I. (2004). Nutritive value and aerobic stability of whole crop maize silage harvested at four stages of maturity. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 116,141-150.
  13. Givens, D.I., Owen, E., Axford, R.F.E., Omed, H.M. (2000). Forage evaluation in ruminant nutrition. CABI Publishing
  14. Hedayati pour, A., Khorvash, M., Ghorbani, G.H., Almodares, A., Ebadi, M.R. (2012). The chemical composition and digestibility of forage specificities sorghum and corn silage by use of nylon bag. Iranian Journal of Animal Science Research, 4, 224-232. (In Farsi)
  15. Henderson, D.W. (1981). Developing water management recommendations for irrigated safflower on its introduction into California. In: Knowles, P.F(Ed), Proceedings of the Frist International Safflower Conference. Davis, CA, July 12-16, pp.7-8.
  16. Kamal, K.F. (1973). The effect of different levels of N, P, K fertilizers on the physical and biochemical properties of safflower oil. Egypt Journal of Botany, 6, 43-48.
  17. Kamalak, A., Canbolat, O., Erol, A., Kilinc, C., Kizilsmsek, M., Ozkan, C.O. & Ozkose, E. (2005). Effect of variety on chemical composition, in vitro gas production, metabolizable energy and organic matter digestibility of alfalfa hays. Livestock Research for Rural Development. 17(7), 1707-1712.
  18. Khoshgoftar-Manesh, A.H. (2003). Plant Nutrition. 1st Reprint. Esfahan University Publishing. (In Farsi)
  19. Licitra, G., Hernandez, T.M., & Van Soest, P.J. (1996). Standadization of procedures for nitrogen fractionation of ruminant feed. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 57, 347-358.
  20. Makkar, H.P.S., Blummel, M. & Becker, K. (1995). Formation of complexes between polyvinyle pyrrolidones or polyethylene glycols and tannins, and their implication in gas production and true digestibility in in vitro techniques. British Journal of Nutrition, 73, 897-913.
  21. Makkar, H.P.S., Blümmel, M., and Becker, K. 1995. In vitro effects of and interactions between tannins and saponins and fate of tannins in the rumen.Journal Sciences Food Agricultural, 69, 481-493.
  22. Mansuri, H., Nikkhah, A., Rezaeian, M., Moradi Shahrbabak, M. & Mirhadi, M. (2003). Determination of roughages degradability through in vitro gas production and nylon bag techniques. Iranian Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 34(2), 495-507. (In Farsi)
  23. Mayne, C.S. (1993). The effect of formic acid, sulphuric acid and a bacterial inoculant on silage fermentation and the food intake and milk production of lactating dairy cows. Journal of Animal Production, 56, 29-42.
  24. McDonald, P., Edwards, R.A., Greenhalgh, J.F.D. & Morgan, C.A. (1995). Animal Nutrition. Longman Scientific and Technical, New York, USA.
  25. McDonald, P., Henderson, A.R., & Herson, S.J.E. (2004). The Biochemistry of silage. 2nd Ed., Marlow, Chalcombe Publication. UK.
  26. Menke, K.H. & Stingass, Y.H. (1988). Estimation of the energetic feed value obtained from chemical analysis and in vitro gas production using rumen fluid. Animal Research andDevelopments, 28, 7-55.
  27. Mike, W.M. (2011). Silage Production and Fertilization. Plant Nutrition Today, No. 7. Available online at the IPNI website: www.ipni.net/pnt.
    1. Naseri, F. (2007). Oil seeds. 1st Reprint. Ferdowsi University Press. (In Farsi).
    2. Nasr, H.G., Katkhuda, N. & Tanner, L. (1978). Effect of N fertilization and population on safflower yield and other characteristics. Agronomy Journal, 69, 275-278.
    3. Najarnejad-Mashhadi, V. (2007). Calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and metabolic diseases. Parto Publishing. (In Farsi)
    4. NRC. (2001). Nutrient reqirements for dairy cattle. Academy Press, Washington, D.C.
    5. NRC. (1978). Nutrient reqirements for dairy cattle.National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.
    6. Ørskov, E. R. & McDonald, I. (1979). The estimation of protein degradability in the rumen from incubation measurements weighed according to rate of passage. Journal of Agricultural Science, 92, 499-503.
    7. Playne, M.J. & Mcdonald, P. (1966). The buffering constituents of herbage and of silage. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 17, 264-268.
    8. Robb, D.A. & Pierpont, V.S. (Eds.). (1983). Metals and Micronutrients. Uptake and utilization by plants. Academic Press, New York.
    9. SAS. (2001). SAS Statistical Analysis Systems User’s Guide. SAS Institute Inc. Version 9.1. Cary, NC, USA.
    10. Taylor, K.A. (1996). A simple colorimetric assay for muramic acid and lactic acid. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology. 56, 49-58.
    11. Van Soest, P.J., Robertson, J.B. & Lewis, B.A. (1991). Method for dietary fiber, neutral detergent fiber, and nonstarch polysaccharides in relation to animal nutrition. Journal of Dairy Science, 74, 3583-3597.
    12. Weinberg, Z.G., Ashbell, G., Hen, Y., Leshem, Y., Landau, Y.S. & Brukental, I. (2002). A note on ensiling safflower forage. Grass and Forage Science, 57, 184-187.
      1. Weinberg, Z.G., Bar-Tal, A., Chen, Y., Gamburg, M., Brener, S., Dvash. L. Markovitz, T. & Landau, S. (2007). The effects of irrigation and nitrogen fertilization on the ensiling of safflower (Carthamus tinctorius). Animal Feed Science and Technology, 134, 152-161.
      2. Wilkinson, M. (1990). Silage UK. 6th Edn. Chalcombe Publications. Marlow, UK.
      3. Yan, T. & Agnew, R.E. (2001). Prediction of nutritive values in grass silages: II. Degradability of nitrogen and dry matter using digestibility, chemical composition, and fermention data. Journal of Animal Science, 82,1381-1391.
        1. Zeynali, A. (1999). Safflower. 1st Reprint. Gorgan Agriculture University. (In Farsi).