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Agronomy Journal Abstract - FORAGES

Defoliation Management of Bahiagrass Germplasm Affects Dry Matter Yield and Herbage Nutritive Value


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 101 No. 4, p. 989-995
    Received: Dec 21, 2008

    * Corresponding author(s): lesollen@ufl.edu
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  1. S. M. Interrantea,
  2. L. E. Sollenberger *b,
  3. A. R. Blountc,
  4. U. R. Whited,
  5. K. Liub and
  6. S. W. Colemane
  1. a The Noble Foundation, 2510 Sam Noble Pkwy., Ardmore, OK 73401
    b Agronomy Dep., Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0500
    c North Florida Research and Education Center, Marianna, FL 32446
    d Natural Resource Conservation Service, Wauchula, FL 33873
    e USDA-ARS Subtropical Agricultural Research Station, Brooksville, FL 34601-4672


Bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flügge) cultivars are daylength sensitive and have minimal cool-season production. A new bahiagrass breeding line is less daylength sensitive and more cold tolerant, but its dry matter (DM) yield and nutritive value responses to defoliation treatments are unknown. A 3-yr field experiment studied effects of two stubble heights (4 and 8 cm) and two harvest frequencies (7 and 21 d) on diploids ‘Pensacola’, ‘Tifton 9’, and the less photoperiod-sensitive, cold-adapted (PCA) Cycle 4 bahiagrass; and the tetraploids ‘Argentine’ and Tifton 7. Stubble height had minimal effect on responses measured. When harvested every 7 d, Cycle 4 had the lowest and Argentine the greatest yield (8.4 vs. 11.8 Mg DM ha−1). When harvested every 21 d, Cycle 4 yield was similar to the other diploids (10.6 Mg DM ha−1) and less than the tetraploids (12.6 Mg DM ha−1). Cycle 4 yield distribution was similar to other diploids and generally greater in spring but less in summer than the tetraploids. Across defoliation treatments, Cycle 4 in vitro digestible organic matter (IVDOM) averaged 546 to 562 g kg−1 and was greater than all entries in 2006 and all but Tifton 9 in 2005. These data indicate that Cycle 4 was less productive than other bahiagrasses when harvested every 7 d during the warm season, as productive as other diploids at 21-d harvest intervals, and slightly more digestible than other currently used bahiagrasses. Inferior yield under frequent harvest may imply less defoliation tolerance, thus persistence of PCA Cycle 4 should be studied further.

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