Third harvest samples from a pot experiment were analysed to study the effects of sodium (Na) (0, 200 and 400 mg dm-3 of soil in a single application as Na2SO4 . 10H2O) and potassium (K) application (0, 100 and 200 mg dm-3 applied at each harvest as KCl) on the nutritive value of timothy grown on three different soil types (clay, loam and organogenic soil). The effects of fertilization on concentrations of crude protein, neutral detergent fibre (NDF) and non-structural carbohydrates, although statistically significant, were relatively minor in absolute terms. Na applications increased and K applications decreased sulphur and phosphorus concentrations, the magnitude of which was dependent on soil type. The increase in sulphur concentration can be attributed to sulphate in Na-fertilizer. The effects of fertilizers on in vitro organic matter digestibility and the potential extent of dry matter (DM) and NDF digestibility were small. Digestion kinetic parameters estimated from fermentative gas production measured using a fully automated system were used in a rumen simulation model to estimate digestibility. Total gas volume and the rate of gas production from the rapidly digestible fraction were negatively correlated with timothy S and N concentrations. Na application had no effect, but K application increased true rumen DM digestibility, the effect being most profound on organogenic soil. The results suggest that Na application does not elicit substantial positive effects on the nutritive value of timothy which has often been reported for perennial ryegrass, but K application can improve the nutritive value of timothy grown on K deficient soil.;
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