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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Thatch and Tiller Size as Influenced by Residue Management in Kentucky Bluegrass Seed Production1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 71 No. 2, p. 289-291
    Received: May 30, 1978

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  1. C. L. Canode and
  2. A. G. Law2



Kentucky bluegrass (Poa patensis L.) seed production is significantly greater when in situ post-harvest residue burning is compared with mechanical removal of straw and stubble. The objectives of this research were to determine the amount of thatch accumulated for various methods of post-harvest residue removed and to determine the influence of thatch on tiller size and panicle production.

Core samples from four cultivars of Kentucky bluegrass where residue had been open-burned, machineburned, or removed were used for measurement of thatch and tiller size. Tillers were separated into three sizes according to base diameter, induced under field conditions, and grown in a glasshouse to force panicle production.

Mechanical removal of straw and stubble left 6.5 metric tons/ha of thatch after one seed crop and 10.1 and 15.2 metric tons/ha of thatch after three and four seed crops. Open burning and machine burning at high ternperatures reduced thatch accumulation about 50%. The total number of primary tillers and the number of large tillers was significantly greater following these treatments. Large tillers (2.0 mm) produced a high percentage of panicles, medium tillers (1.5 mm) produced few panicles, and small tillers (1.0 mm) produced essentially no panicles.

It was concluded that thatch reduction and the resulting production of a greater number of large tillers in the autumn was the primary response to post-harvest residue burning that increased seed yield.

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