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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 52 No. 6, p. 2839-2851
     
    Received: Feb 13, 2012
    Published: October 10, 2012


    * Corresponding author(s): patrick.conaghan@teagasc.ie
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doi:10.2135/cropsci2012.02.0100

Yield and Quality Response of Perennial Ryegrass Selected for High Concentration of Water-Soluble Carbohydrate to Nitrogen Application Rate

  1. Patrick Conaghan *a,
  2. Pádraig O’Kielyb,
  3. Magnus A. Hallingc,
  4. Frank P. O’Marad and
  5. Lars Nesheime
  1. a Teagasc, Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Grange, Dunsany, Co. Meath, Ireland and UCD School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine, Univ. College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
    b Teagasc, Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Grange, Dunsany, Co. Meath, Ireland
    c Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7043, SE-050 07, Uppsala, Sweden
    d UCD School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine, Univ. College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
    e Bioforsk, Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, Kvithamar, N-7500 Stjørdal, Norway

Abstract

The expression of elevated water-soluble carbohydrate (WSC) concentrations in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) cultivars selected for high forage WSC concentration can be highly variable across environments. Our aim was to determine whether N application rate influences the expression of the high WSC phenotype. Cultivars AberDart (selected for high WSC concentration) and Fennema (control) were evaluated across four fertilizer N application rates (0, 40, 80, and 120 kg ha−1 per harvest) over four replicates and 2 yr at Grange, Ireland, and Særheim, Norway. Plots were managed for silage production with four cuts per year in Ireland and three cuts per year in Norway. Nine forage traits were measured: WSC, dry matter digestibility, crude protein, buffering capacity, dry matter, ash, dry matter yield, N use efficiency, and apparent N recovery. The response of AberDart and Fennema to N application rate was predominantly similar within and over years and locations for all traits. Differences between cultivars in WSC concentration were largely consistent across N application rates, years, and locations. AberDart had mean WSC concentrations 8 to 12% higher than Fennema depending on harvest. Present results suggest that the evaluation and selection of perennial ryegrass for high concentrations of WSC in cool-temperate maritime climates may be conducted across a wide range of N application rates and, by extension, soil N supply rates.

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Copyright © 2012. Copyright © by the Crop Science Society of America, Inc.