Effect of Autumn Sod Treatments on Overseeded Annual Ryegrass Production and Coastal Bermudagrass Recovery
Overseeding warm-season perennial grasses with annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) is a common practice throughout the southeastern United States to extend the grazing season with high quality forage. ‘Coastal’ bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] competition to overseeded annual ryegrass was determined by light reaching the soil surface, ryegrass seedling density, and ryegrass herbage production. Treatments were 0, 56, and 112 kg ha−1 N 6 to 8 wk before planting ryegrass and sod management practices (SMPs) of a shallow disking (2.5 to 5.0 cm), applying a desiccant, and a control before planting in combination with mowing to a 2.5 or 10.0-cm sod height (SH) for 3 yr. Applying N 6 to 8 wk before planting did not influence any of the plant parameters measured. The shallow disking SMP and 2.5-cm SH allowed the most light to reach the soil surface and had the greatest ryegrass seedling density. At the 10-cm SH the shallow disking SMP had a greater seedling density than the desiccant and control SMP. None of the SMP–SH combinations consistently improved first harvest or annual herbage mass yields over the control at the 2.5-cm SH. Significant differences may have occurred if the first harvest was taken earlier. Spring bermudagrass recovery was reduced by the shallow disking SMP and 2.5-cm SH. At a bermudagrass SH of 10 cm or less there was little advantage to disking or using a desiccant to enhance ryegrass production.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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