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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 27 No. 6, p. 1285-1290
    Received: July 31, 1986

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Relative Winter Forage Quality of Selected Bermudagrass Cultivars1

  1. C. M. Taliaferro,
  2. S. W. Coleman and
  3. P. L. Claypool2



Bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] forage is often stockpiled or accumulated in situ for use during winter. Very little information is available on the quality of such forage as affected by cultivar or age. This study reports results of two experiments conducted to: (i) determine relative quality of stockpiled forage of selected bermudagrass cultivars as indicated by in vitro dry matter disappearance (IVDMD) and crude protein (CP) concentrations, and (ii) monitor dormant season patterns of change in IVDMD and CP. Three cultivars (Alicia, Hardie, and Midland), two locations, and four sampling dates in the winter of 1975–1976 were included in Experiment 1. In Experiment 2, three cultivars (Hardie, Midland, and Tifton 44) were evaluated at six locations on four sampling dates in the winter of 1981–1982. Sampling in each experiment began in mid November and continued at 30-day intervals through mid-February. Hardie usually had higher IVDMD than the other cultivars throughout the sampling period in both experiments. There was no difference among cultivars in CP concentration in either experiment. The trend in change of both the IVDMD and CP concentrations through the winter was a decrease, but the changes were not linear, generally being best described by cubic equations. No consistent differences among cultivars in rate of change in either IVDMD or CP were found. None of the cultivars maintained high enough IVDMD levels through winter to supply minimum energy requirements for dry pregnant mature cows. Except at Mangum in Experiment 1, all cultivars maintained high enough CP levels to meet the minimum requirements of dry pregnant beef cows.

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