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Forage & Grazinglands Abstract - Forage and Grazinglands Research

Forage Yield and Nutritive Value of Selected Quackgrass


This article in FG

  1. Vol. 2 No. 1
    Accepted: Feb 6, 2004

    * Corresponding author(s): sheaf001@umn.edu
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  1. Craig C. Sheaffer *,
  2. Nancy J. Ehlke,
  3. Donald L. Wyse,
  4. Donne J. Vellekson,
  5. Douglas R. Swanson,
  6. J. L. Halgersona and
  7. R. D. Mathisonb
  1. a Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota, St. Paul 55108
    b North Central Research and Outreach Center, Grand Rapids, MN 55744


Quackgrass (Elytrigia repens (L.) Desv. ex Nevski) is a widely distributed perennial that colonizes pastures and hayfields in the northern USA and is often considered a weed. Recently, the first quackgrass cultivar,Everett, was released for use in soil conservation. Our objective was to compare the forage yield and nutritive value of Everett quackgrass, common quackgrass, and a leafy quackgrass selection with orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) and reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinaceae L.) when each was grown in pure stands and mixture with alfalfa (Medicago sativaL.). Nitrogen fertilized grass and grass-alfalfa mixtures were harvested three times per year for 3 year at St. Paul and Grand Rapids, MN. Yields of quackgrass entries were similar and averaged 5.0 and 2.2 tons/acre at St. Paul and Grand Rapids, respectively, while reed canarygrass yielded 5.4 and 2.8 tons/acre at these same locations. Forage yield of quackgrass-alfalfa mixtures was similar to or exceeded yield of reed canarygrass- or orchardgrass-alfalfa mixtures each year. Quackgrass entries had similar yields in mixtures and contributed an average of 42 and 33% to mixture yield at St. Paul and Grand Rapids, respectively. Nutritive value of quackgrass was similar to reed canarygrass and was sometimes higher than that of orchardgrass. Quackgrass is a valuable forage crop and the availability of seed of Everett quackgrass will allow promotion of its use for soil conservation and forage.

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