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Agronomy Journal Abstract - FORAGES

Summer Accumulation of Tall Fescue at Low Elevations in the Piedmont: I. Fall Yield and Nutritive Value


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 92 No. 2, p. 211-216
    Received: Feb 22, 1999

    * Corresponding author(s): jburns@cropserv1.cropsci.ncsu.edu
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  1. Joseph C. Burns *a and
  2. Douglas S. Chambleeb
  1. a USDA-ARS and Dep. Crop Science, North Carolina State Univ., Box 7620, Raleigh, NC 27695 USA
    b Prof. Emeritus, Dep. Crop Science, North Carolina State Univ., Box 7620, Raleigh, NC 27695 USA


Summer accumulation of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) for fall and winter use in the Piedmont, a region of the USA of moderate fall and winter temperatures and open winters of frequent rainfall, has not been well documented. We determined in this 5-yr study the yield and nutritive value in mid-November of tall fescue accumulated monthly from 1 June to 1 September. A fifth treatment included an additional 67 kg N ha−1 applied at the 1 July accumulation date. The site was a Cecil clay loam (fine, kaolinitic, thermic Typic Kanhapludults) soil and the treatments were arranged in a randomized complete block design with four replicates. Summer accumulations yielded from 3280 to 4130 kg ha−1 with a mean linear (P ≤ 0.05) reduction in dry matter of 195 kg ha−1 for each week's delay in accumulation from 1 June until 1 September. In two of the three years, highest (P ≤ 0.05) dry matter yields (DMY) resulted from the 1 June date (4070 to 5440 kg ha−1) and lowest (P ≤ 0.05) from the 1 September date (1010 and 860 g kg−1). Repeated summer accumulations did not alter DMY (P < 0.01) in subsequent falls or in the following spring. At mid-November in vitro dry matter disappearance (IVDMD) had increased 30 g kg−1 for each 30-d delay in accumulation from 1 June to 1 September, but no change occurred in crude protein (CP) (mean = 120 g kg−1). Summer accumulation of tall fescue for fall grazing can be practiced in the lower Piedmont with accumulation beginning as early as 1 June.

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