Selection Criteria for Yield and Quality in Big Bluestem Grass1
- J. G. Ross,
- R. T. Thaden and
- W. L. Tucker2
Agronomic characters (e.g., vigor, leafiness, height, seed set, proportions of plant parts, and in vitro dry matter digestion, IVDMD, of plant parts) were studied in a breeding nursery of big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii Vitman), a native warm season grass. Significant differences were found among 23 families for all characters studied except seed weight from five aggregates of racemes and leaf IVDMD. Seedling height was not highly correlated with plant weight at the end of the second and third growing season. Since seed set was not correlated with vigor or leafiness, selection for seed set should not affect forage yield potential.
Lack of significant differences among families for leaf IVDMD indicated that selection for IVDMD would have questionable value, because summer grazing would be the only use for a cultivar from this species. High production of seed should be a realizable objective of a breeding program in this species.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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