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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Influence of Temperature on Tall Fescue Forage Quality and Culm Base Carbohydrates1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 69 No. 5, p. 745-747
    Received: Feb 10, 1976

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  1. A. E. Smith2



Information concerning the influence of temperature on rescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) forage production and quality is limited. Most of the reported research has been accomplished in swards and in controlled environment chambers for short time periods or for extended time periods with infrequent clipping. This study was designed to determine the long-term influence of two controlled temperature regimes on: a) fescue forage production and quality and b) culm base carbohydrate concentration while being frequently harvested. Plants grown in the cool environment (20/10 C day/night temperature) produced 20% more herbage with a 7% higher average in vitro dry matter digestibility than plants maintained in the warm environment (30/20 C). Crude protein and foliage moisture percentage were not influenced by these temperatures. Foliage tissue from plants grown in the cool temperature contained twice as much sucrose and 88% more fructosans than plants grown in the warm environment. Culm base material from plants grown in the cool environment contained 37% higher total water soluble carbohydrates than the plants from the warm environment. This difference was primarily due to differences in the longer chain fructosans indicating that storage carbohydrate production occurs under temperatures favorable to increased forage production.

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