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Crop Science Abstract -

Chemical Composition of Two Warm-Season Prairie Grasses in Three Environment1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 8 No. 3, p. 325-329
    Received: Sept 23, 1967

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  1. L. C. Newell2



Chemical analyses and yields of forage were used to evaluate domestic collections of two warm-season prairie grasses for revegetation and forage production and as breeding stock for variety improvement. Ten strains each of switchgrass, Panicum virgatum L., and of the big bluestem complex, Andropogon gerardi Vitman and A. hallii Hack., were compared at three locations. Chemical composition of the forage varied with the source of grass strain and the location of test. Best quality forage, as judged by crude protein, was indicated for the early and midsummer season. In both grasses crude protein was highest from frequent clipping and lowest from once-harvested mature growth. Average crude fat content was higher in the forage of these grasses from the sites of two sandy soils than from a silty clay loam. Crude fat content was also higher in grass strains originating on sandy soils than in strains originating on fine-textured soils. Variation among strains suggests opportunities for variety improvement in forage quality as well as yield.

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