Summer Accumulation of Tall Fescue at Low Elevations in the Humid Piedmont: II. Fall and Winter Changes in Nutritive Value
- Joseph C. Burns *a and
- Douglas S. Chambleeb
The mild but variable temperatures and predominant rainfall during the winter could reduce the nutritive value in the winter of summer-accumulated tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.). The objective of our 3-yr study was to determine the nutritive value of tall fescue accumulated from 1 June, 1 July, 1 July + N (67 kg N ha−1), 1 August, and 1 September and sampled from October to March. The treatments were arranged in a randomized complete block design with four replicates. Delaying accumulation from 1 June to 1 September increased in vitro dry matter disappearance (IVDMD) linearly (P ≤ 0.05) at each monthly sampling from October to March. Highest IVDMD (717 g kg−1) was obtained from the 1 September accumulation sampled in October and declined to 623 g kg−1 in March. Forage accumulated from 1 June and 1 July was lowest in IVDMD and averaged 590 g kg−1 in October and declined to 539 g kg−1 in March. Crude protein (CP) concentrations showed little change from November to March (mean = 121 g kg−1). Green tissue in accumulated forage retained high IVDMD (mean = 714 g kg−1) throughout the winter, but the proportion shifted from about 73% green in November to 36% in January. Dead tissue, consistently low in IVDMD (mean = 393 g kg−1), reduced canopy IVDMD from 26 to 55 g kg−1 for each 10 percentage unit increase. Tall fescue can be accumulated during the summer in the Piedmont and can provide forage of high nutritive value until January or until dead tissue dominates in the forage.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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