Forage Production on Bermudagrass Sods Overseeded with Tall Fescue and Winter Annual Grasses1
- Henry A. Fribourg and
- Joseph R. Overton2
Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), widespread in Tennessee, furnishes forage from April to October and is dormant during the remainder of the year. This study was conducted to determine whether the season of forage production from such dormant sods could be extended by overseeding annual and perennial cool-season grasses, and to determine their effects on warm-season grass production. Established sods of common and ‘Midland’ bermudagrasses growing on Loring, Grenada, and Falaya soils were overseeded in 50-cm rows in October 1965, 1966, and 1967, after bermudagrass growth had stopped, with ‘Monon’ wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), ‘Blount’ oats, (Avena sativa L.), ‘Balbo’ rye (Secale cereale L.) and Italian ryegrass (Lolium spp.). ‘Kentucky 31’ tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) was seeded in 50-cm rows in October 1965 and 1966 and in 25-cm rows in 1967. Summer production of bermudagrass grown alone, which ranged between 6 and 10 t/ha of dry matter, was depressed by annuals seeded the previous autumn. Overseeded small grains clipped during winter produced 1.4 to 3.0 t/ha dry matter and wheat harvested at late boot furnished 3.5 to 4.4 t/ha. Ryegrass yielded 3.5 to 5.0 t/ha during late winter and spring. Overseeding of the annual species resulted in higher total yields per unit area each year and extended the length of time forage was growing and available. Excellent stands of tall fescue were obtained and maintained through 1972. Fescue decreased Midland bermudagrass production by about 30%, and that of common by about 40%. However, fescue production in spring, summer, and fall compensated for the decreased bermudagrass production, increased total yearly forage production by about 2 t/ha, and extended the potential grazing season from 5 to 8 to 9 months.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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