Effects of Grazing Management on Establishment and Productivity of Aeschynomene Overseeded in Limpograss Pastures1
- L. E. Sollenberger,
- K. H. Quesenberry and
- J. E. Moore2
Low protein concentration in limpograss [Hemarthria altissima (Poir.) Stapf et C.E. Hubb.] herbage is thought to limit the performance of grazing animals. In 1983 and 1984 an experiment was conducted on a sandy, siliceous, hyperthermic Ultic Haplaquod soil to evaluate effects of grazing management on establishment and productivity of the legume aeschynomene (Aeschynornene americana L.) seeded in limpograss. Existing limpograss pastures were grazed in the spring to 75- or 150-mm stubble heights. After broadcast seeding aeschynomene, stubble heights were maintained by grazing until (i) legume cotyledons were exserted, (ii) two true leaves were present, or (iii) 2 weeks after the two-leaf stage. Summer grazing was initiated when aeschynomene plants were 0.20, 0.40, or 0.80 m tall in 1983 and 0.20, 0.40, or 0.60 m tall in 1984. After initiation of grazing, pastures were grazed every 5 weeks. Limpograss stubble height during legume establishment did not affect legume productivity, but there was a trend favoring the 75-mm level. Extending the period of early season grazing of limpograss until aeschynomene seedlings reached at least the two-leaf stage controlled grass competition and maximized legume performance. Legume dry matter (DM) accumulation was greatest if initiation of summer grazing was delayed until aeschynomene was 0.80 (1983) or 0.60 (1984) m tall. Initiation of grazing when aeschynomene was 0.20 to 0.40 m tall resulted in more uniform distribution of total and legume DM, higher efficiency of grazing, more vigorous legume regrowth, and a trend toward greater total herbage consumption. These data indicate that aeschynomene can be established into limpograss sods under grazing, and that this association has potential on the large expanses of poorly drained soils in Florida.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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