Yield Components and Quality of Siratro-Kleingrass Association1
- Lotar Siewerdt and
- Ethan C. Holt2
An examination of the potential of a tropical legume to contribute improved forage production and quality as well as nitrogen (N) to a grass-legume association was undertaken. ‘Siratro’ (Phaseolus atropurpureus D.C.) and ‘Kleingrass 75’ (Panicum coloratum L.) were chosen for study based on their reported performance. Siratro, introduced from Australia, was grown in association with Kleingrass 75, cut at different frequencies, and the contribution to dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP) content and in vitro digestible dry matter (IVDDM) was determined. Yield increased with less frequent cutting the first year, but no residual effects of cutting frequency were evident in the second year when all plots were cut uniformly. The mixture exceeded either the grass or the legume alone in yield. Siratro and Kleingrass 75 contributed equally to the association at the 3 and 5-week cutting frequencies but Siratro made up 58% of the sward at the 7-week frequency. Siratro was consistently high in CP whereas the grass alone and grass components declined with age. Siratro and Kleingrass were equal in % IVDDM at the youngest age, but the IVDDM of the legume remained constant with age whereas IVDDM declined with age in grass. Thus, the forage mixture was higher in crude protein and digestibility than the grass alone.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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