Maturity Effect on Yield and Quality of Spring Harvested Orchardgrass Forage
- Clyde C. Berg and
- R. R. Hill
Orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) forage quality declines rapidly as plants mature. First harvest forage of 48 clones from ‘Pennlate’ orchardgrass was evaluated for yield and forage quality parameters. The objective of the experiment was to determine variability for rates of change in these parameters as the forage matured. Forage harvested un four dates (25 May, 1, 7, and 14 June) for 3 was analyzed for crude protein (CP), in vitro dry matter disappearance (IVDMD), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), and lignin using infrared reflectance analysis techniques. Forage yield and maturity at harvest time were recorded. Significant date ✕ clone interactions were observed for all traits, but mean squares for clones were generally 10 or more times larger than for interactions. Clones that made large contributions to the date ✕ clone interaction typically had low yields and smaller than average declines in quality, or greater than average yields with greater than average declines in quality as the season progressed. No clone exhibited the desired interaction of high forage yield and a slower than average decline in forage quality, and genetic analysis suggested that development of such populations would be extremely difficult.
Copyright © 1989.