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Crop Science Abstract -

Effects of Fall Mowing on Winter Survival of Lovegrass Strains1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 15 No. 4, p. 574-577
    Received: Dec 6, 1974

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  1. P. W. Voigt2



Evaluating winterhardiness of perennial forages is difficult because of the irregularity of severe winters adequate for testing relatively hardy materials. The objective of this experiment was to examine fall mowing as a tool to increase differential winter injury among lovegrass (Eragrostis sp.) strains. Seventeen lovegrasses were mowed in early October, late October, and mid-November, during each of 4 years at Woodward, Okla. Control treatments, late winter mowed or unmowed, were included. After mild to moderately severe winters, fall mowing increased winter survival discrimination among lovegrass strains. After one severe winter, discrimination was decreased.

Most correlations between survival of strains in the control treatment after a severe winter and survival after fall-mowing treatments during milder winters were relatively high. After mild winters, strain survival was strongly correlated with limited late fall regrowth. After the severe winter, survival was closely associated with the presence of live, green leaves in late fall. Late fall regrowth and leaf color accounted for 84% of the variation in control survival after that winter. Survival after fall-mowing stress, and the associated late fall regrowth and leaf color scores, appear to be important predictors of winter survival ability in Eragrostis.

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