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Agronomy Journal Abstract - Agronomic Application of Genetic Resources

Growth and Nutritive Value of Grass Pea in Oklahoma


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 103 No. 6, p. 1692-1696
    Received: June 9, 2011

    * Corresponding author(s): srinivas.rao@ars.usda.gov
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  1. Srinivas C. Rao * and
  2. Brian K. Northup
  1. USDA-ARS, Grazinglands Research Laboratory, 7207 W. Cheyenne St., El Reno, OK 73036


The cool-season pulse grass pea (GP, Lathyrus sativus L.) has the potential to provide late-spring forage in the southern Great Plains (SGP), but genetic materials for development of new cultivars is limited. Our objective was to evaluate seasonal forage production and grain yield of 10 new Mediterranean-origin GP lines, in central Oklahoma. Replicate (n = 3) plots (3 by 10 m) were disked, fertilized (60 kg ha−1 P2O5), and sown (60 kg seed ha−1) in 60 cm rows with GP lines 190, 288, 289, 290, 299, 387, 390, 736, B22, B111, and AC-Greenfix (control) that were treated with inoculum (Rhizobium leguminosarum) during early March in 2007, 2008, and 2009. Whole plant samples were collected 59, 73, 94, and 115 d after planting. Biomass collected on Day 115 was separated into seed and nonseed biomass. Biomass accumulation, N concentration and nongrain digestibility showed significant (P ≤ 0.05) line, year, and sampling date effects. Grain biomass, N concentration and digestibility also showed significant line and year effects. AC-Greenfix produced the most nongrain biomass each year [2499 kg ha−1 for AC-Greenfix vs. an average of 1899 (±145) kg ha−1 for the other 10 lines] and sampling date. Line × year interactions for grain biomass was statistically significant, with 2008 being the most productive year for all lines. Additional development is needed for these new Mediterranean GP lines to perform with the same consistency as AC-Greenfix in the SGP.

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