Forage Fact Sheet: Impacts of Nitrate on fodder crops

Forage Fact Sheet: Impacts of Nitrate on fodder crops

November 1, 2021

Although its incidence is low, nitrate poisoning can occur in a wide range of fodder crops including forage crop and pastures. Plants absorb nitrogen from soil in the form of nitrate, which is quickly converted into amino acids. This conversion process requires energy from sunlight, water and favourable weather conditions, particularly temperature. When plants are stressed, this conversion process is interrupted and nitrate will begin to accumulate in the plant. In general, the highest levels of nitrate will be in the lower one third of the stem.

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