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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Digestibility of Four Digitgrass Cultivars under Different Harvest Frequencies1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 68 No. 6, p. 993-995
    Received: Feb 25, 1976

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  1. D. A. Sleper and
  2. G. O. Mott2



Lack of good forage quality is one of the factors limiting animal production on digitgrass pastures. The purpose of this investigation was to examine quality differences in digitgrass. Three digitgrass cultivars and an interspecific hybrid were used to determine cultivar differences and duration of regrowth period that would provide maximum in vitro digestibility for the summer. Forage was harvested at 14, 28, and 42-day intervals. Forage harvested every 14 days had significantly higher digestibility than that harvested at 28 and 42-day intervals. Cultivars also differed significantly in digestibility. ‘Transvala’ (Digitaria decumbens Stent.) had the highest in vitro digestibility when harvested at 14-day intervals (70%) whereas an experimental interspecific hybrid X50-1 (parents were Digitaria milanjiana Strent, and Digitaria Pentzii Stent.) had the highest digestibility of all cultivars at the 28 and 42-day regrowth intervals (68 and 61%, respectively). Within the 14-day harvest frequency, ‘Pangola’ (Digitaria decumbens Stent.) decreased in digestibility the most and ‘Slenderstem’ (Digitaria pentzii Stent.) the least as the season progressed. Management systems and breeding objectives that allow for improved quality in digitgrass should be utilized.

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