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Group Title: Bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Title: Factors affecting composition of Everglades grasses and legumes
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 Material Information
Title: Factors affecting composition of Everglades grasses and legumes with special reference to proteins and minerals
Alternate Title: Bulletin 403 ; University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Physical Description: 19 p. : ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Neller, J. R ( Joseph Robert ), 1891-
Publisher: University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 1944
Copyright Date: 1944
 Subjects
Subject: Grasses -- Composition   ( lcsh )
Legumes -- Composition   ( lcsh )
Grasses -- Florida -- Everglades   ( lcsh )
Legumes -- Florida -- Everglades   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by J.R. Neller.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 19).
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: "Contribution from Everglades Experiment Station."
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Bibliographic ID: UF00026886
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltuf - AEN5858
oclc - 18235532
alephbibnum - 000925211

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    Table 1: Protein, fat, fiber, ash and nitrogen-free extract of grasses grown on sawgrass peat lands of Eveglades experiment station farm
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Full Text


Bulletin 403 October, 1944



UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
HAROLD MOWRY, Director
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA

Contribution from Everglades Experiment Station







FACTORS AFFECTING COMPOSITION

OF EVERGLADES GRASSES

AND LEGUMES


WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO PROTEINS
AND MINERALS

By J. R. NELLER













Single copies free to Florida residents upon request to
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA










BOARD OF CONTROL ECONOMICS, HOME

H. P. Adair, Chairman, Jacksonville Ouida D. Abbott, Ph.D., Home Econ.1
N. B. Jordan, Quincy Ruth O. Townsend, R.N., Assistant
T. T. Scott, Live Oak R. B. French, Ph.D., Biochemist
Thos. W. Bryant, Lakeland
M. L. Mershon, Miami
J. T. Diamond. Secretary, Tallahassee ENTOMOLOGY

EXECUTIVE STAFF J. R. Watson, A.M., Entomologist'
A. N. Tissot, Ph.D., Associate5
John J. Tigert, M.A., LL.D., President of the H.. Bratley, M.S.A., Assistant
University5
H. Harold Hume, D.Sc., Provost for Agricul-
ture
Harold Mowry, M.S.A., Director HORTICULTURE
L. 0. Gratz, Ph.D., Asst. Dir., Research
W. M. Fifield. M.S., Asst. Dir., Admin.' G. H. Blackmon, M.S.A., Horticulturist'
J. Francis Cooper, M.S.A., Editors A. L. Stahl, Ph.D., Asso. Horticulturist
Clyde Beale, A.B.J., Assistant Editors F. S. Jamison, Ph.D., Truck Hort.
Jefferson Thomas, Assistant Editors R. J. Wilmot, M.S.A., Asst. Hort.
Ida Keeling Cresap, Librarian R. D. Dickey, M.S.A., Asst. Hort.'
Ruby Newhall, Administrative Managers J. Carlton Cain, B.S.A., Asst. Hort.'
K. H. Graham, LL.D., Business Managers Victor F. Nettles, M.S.A., Asst. Hort.'
Claranelle Alderman, Accountant8 Byron E. Janes, Ph.D., Asst. Hort.
F. S. Lagasse, Ph.D., Asso. Hort.2
MAIN STATION. GAINESVILLE H. M. Sell, Ph.D., Asso. Horticulturist'
AGRONOMY
W. E. Stokes, M.S., Agronomist' PLANT PATHOLOGY
Fred H. Hull, Ph.D., Agronomist
G. E. Ritchey, M.S., Agronomist2 W. B. Tisdale, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist'
W. A. A. Carver, Ph.D., Associate Phares Decker, Ph.D., Asso. Plant Path.
Roy E. Blaser, M.S., Associate
G. B. Killinger, Ph.D., Agronomist Erdman West, M.S., Mycologist
H. C. Harris, Ph.D., Associate Lillian E. Arnold, M.S., Asst. Botanist
R. W. Bledsoe, Ph.D., Assistant
Fred A. Clark, B.S., Assistant
SOILS
ANIMAL INDUSTRY
A. L. Shealy, D.V.M., An. Industrialist' 3 F. B. Smith, Ph.D., Chemist' s
R. B. Becker, Ph.D., Dairy Husbandmana Gaylord M. Volk, M.S., Chemist
E. L. Fouts, Ph.D., Dairy Technologist8 L. E. Ensminger, Ph.D., Soils Chemist
D. A. Sanders, D.V.M., Veterinarian J. R. Henderson, M.S.A., Soil Technologist
M. W. Emmel. D.V.M., Veterinarians J. R. Neller, Ph.D., Soils Chemist
L. E. Swanson, D.V.M., Parasitologist' C. E. Bell, Ph.D., Associate Chemist
N. R. Mehrhof, M.Agr., Poultry Husb.8 L. H. Rogers, Ph.D., Associate Biochemist*
T. R. Freeman, Ph.D., Asso. in Dairy Mfg. R. A. Carrigan, B.S., Asso. Biochemist8
R. S. Glasscock, Ph.D., An. Husbandman G. T. Sims, M.S.A., Associate Chemist
D. J. Smith, B.S.A., Asst. An. Husb.' Er Ass t h t
P. T. Dix Arnold, M.S.A., Asst. Dairy Husb.8 T Erwi stat Chmi
G. K. Davis, Ph.D., Animal Nutritionist H. W. Winsor, B.S.A., Assistant Chemist
C. L. Comar, Ph.D., Asso. Biochemist Geo. D. Thornton, M.S., Asst. Microbiologist
L. E. Mull, M.S., Asst. in Dairy Tech.' R. E. Caldwell, M.S.A., Asst. Soil Surveyor'
O. K. Moore, M.S., Asst. Poultry Husb.3 Olaf C. Olson, B.S., Asst. Soil Surveyor
J. E. Pace, B.S., Asst. An. Husbandman'
S. P. Marshall, M.S., Asst. in An. Nutrition

ECONOMICS, AGRICULTURAL 1 Head of Department.
2 In cooperation with U. S.
C. V. Noble, Ph.D., Agr. Economist' 8 3 Cooperative, other divisions, U. of F.
Zach Savage, M.S.A., Associates
A. H. Spurlock, M.S.A., AssociateIn M tay erv
Max E. Brunk, M.S., Assistant 5 On leave.















BRANCH STATIONS W. CENT. FLA. STA., BROOKSVILLE
NORTH FLORIDA STATION, QUINCY Clement D. Gordon, Ph.D., Asso. Poultry

J. D. Warner, M.S., Vice-Director in Charge Geneticist in Charge'
R. R. Kincaid, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist RANGE CATTLE STA., ONA
V. E. Whitehurst, Jr., B.S.A., Asst. An. Hush.'
W. C. McCormick, B.S.A., Asst. An. Husb. G. Kirk, Ph.D., Vice-Director in Charge
Jesse Reeves, Asst. Agron., Tobacco
Jesse Reeves, Asst. Agron., Tobacco E. M. Hodges, Ph.D., Asso. Agron., Wauchula
W. H. Chapman, M.S., Asst. Agron.o Gilbert A. Tucker, B.S.A., Asst. An. Hush.'
R. C. Bond, M.S.A., Asst. Agronomist

Mobile Unit, Monticello
FIELD STATIONS
R. W. Wallace, B.S., Associate Agronomist

Mobile Unit, Milton Leesburg
Ralph L. Smith, M.S., Associate Agronomist M. N. Walker, Ph.D., Plant Path. in Charges

Mobile Unit, Marianna Plant City
R. W. Lipscomh, M.S., Associate Agronomist A. N. Brooks, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist


CITRUS STATION, LAKE ALFRED Hastings
A. H. Eddins, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
A. F. Camp, Ph.D., Vice-Director in Charge E.N. McCubbin. Ph.D., Truck Horticulturist
V. C. Jamison, Ph.D., Soils Chemist
B. R. Fudge, Ph.D., Associate Chemist Monticello
W. L. Thompson, B.S., Entomologist
W. W. Lawless, B.S., Asst. Horticulturist' S. 0. Hill, B.S., Asst. Entomologist2
C. R. Stearns, Jr., B.S.A., Asso. Chemist A. M. Phillips, B.S., Asst. Entomologists
H. O. Sterling, B.S., Asst. Horticulturist
T. W. Young, Ph.D., Asso. Horticulturist Bradenton
J. W. Sites, M.S.A., Asso. Horticulturist
J. R. Beckenbach, Ph.D., Horticulturist in
Charge
EVERGLADES STA., BELLE GLADE E. G. Kelsheimer, Ph.D., Entomologist
D. B. Creager, Ph.D., Plant Path., Gladiolus
R. V. Allison, Ph.DI., Vice-Director in Charge A.. Harrio, Ph.D., Plant Path.ologis
A. L. Harrison, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
J. W. Wilson, Sc.D., Entomologist David G. Kelbert, Asst. Plant Pathologist
F. D. Stevens, B.S., Sugarcane Agron. E.L. Spencer, Ph.D., Soils Chemist
Thomas Bregger, Ph.D., Sugarcane
Physiologist afford
G. R. Townsend, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
R. W. Kidder, M.S., Asst. An. Husb. R. W. Ruprecht, Ph.D., Chemist in Charge
W. T. Forsee, Jr., Ph.D., Asso. Chemist J. C. Russell, M.S., Asst. Entomologists
B. S. Clayton, B.S.C.E., Drainage Eng.s
F. S. Andrews, Ph.D., Asso. Truck Hort.' Lakeland
R. A. Bair, Ph.D., Asst. Agronomist
E. C. Minnum, M.S., Asst. Truck Hort. E. S. Ellison, Meteorologist2 "
N. C. Hayslip, B.S.A., Asst. Entomologist Warren O. Johnson, Meteorologist2


SUB-TROPICAL STA., HOMESTEAD 1 Head of Department.
2 In cooperation with U. S.
Geo. D. Ruehle, Ph.D., Vice-Director in
Ruehe, Ph.D., Vice-Director in Cooperative, other divisions, U. of F.
Charge
P. J. Westgate, Ph.D., Asso. Horticulturist In Military Service.
H. I. Borders, M.S., Asso. Plant Path. 5 On leave.










FACTORS AFFECTING COMPOSITION OF
EVERGLADES GRASSES AND LEGUMES
WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO
PROTEINS AND MINERALS
By J. R. NELLER 1

CONTENTS
Page Page
Water Control and Plant Influence of Stage of Cutting ............... 10
Introductions .................. .................... 5 Effect of Several Cuttings ..................... 15
Plant Species Tested .................................. 6 Summary and Conclusions ........................ 17
Analyses of Plants ............... ...................... 6 Literature Cited .................---....................... 19

The Everglades peat area is unique in that practically all of
its plants of economic and cultural value have been introduced
and tested comparatively recently as to their adaptability and
suitability in a new environment. Except for a narrow fringe
of custard apple trees around the southern rim of Lake Okee-
chobee the area was formerly covered with a dense growth of the
tall reed-like plant known as sawgrass, Mariscus jamaicensis
(Crantz) Britt.

WATER CONTROL AND PLANT INTRODUCTIONS
Water control on these lands changed the environment pro-
foundly and opened up the possibility of growing a wide range
of cultivated plants. Thus the Everglades Agricultural Experi-
ment Station, which is located on an area typical of this expanse
of Everglades peat, has within its brief existence of 21 years
introduced hundreds of different kinds of plants such as vege-
tables, grasses, legumes, forage, fiber and rubber plants, herbs,
shrubs and trees. Because of the sub-tropical nature of the re-
gion the range of plant growth possibilities is wider than usual
and material is being obtained for testing from both tropical and
temperate zones. By means of controlled crossing and selection
new varieties of sugarcane, corn, vegetables and grasses have
been and are being produced which are better adapted to Ever-
glades peat that has been placed under water control.
The earlier experiments with grasses and legumes were for the
purpose of testing the growth characteristics of a selected list
of varieties in this comparatively new environment. A descrip-

SThe late Dr. A. Daane selected and planted the grasses and legumes
that were used in these experiments. Mr. John Newhouse assisted with
the harvesting and sampling and Messrs. John Colvert, P. W. McIntire and
L. S. Jones with the analytical work.







6 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

tion of the Everglades peat area is given in a previous publication
(6)2 with special reference to climatic factors in their relation
to growth of grasses. A number of varieties are proving them-
selves excellent for grazing on peat lands where the water table
is controlled by means of pumps. Considerable experimentation
is being continued with these pasture grasses from which results
will be published later. Some references to them are contained
in the report by Kidder and Kirk (2) on cattle feeding.
In these early tests various grasses and legumes were grown
in small test plots which were fertilized with an 0-6-12 mixture
at the rate of 500 pounds per acre. An application of copper
sulfate at the rate of 50 pounds per acre was mixed with the
fertilizer.
PLANT SPECIES TESTED
The plants tested and referred to in this bulletin are listed as
follows: Dallis grass, Paspalum dilatatum Poir.; carpet grass,
Axonopus compressus (Swartz) Beauv.; centipede grass, Ere-
mochloa ophiuroides (Munro) Hack.; Para grass, Panicum pur-
purascens Raddi; Napier grass, Pennisetum purpureum Schum.;
Bahia grass, Paspalum notatum Fliigge; St. Augustine grass,
Stenotaphrum secundatum (Walt.) Kuntze; Carib grass, Erioch-
loa polystachya H. B. K.; Sudan grass, Sorghum vulgare sudan-
ese (Piper) Hitchc.; Andropogon sp.; Saccharum sp.; maiden
cane, Panicum hemitomon Schultz; woolly-finger grass, Digitaria
eriantha Steud.; molasses grass, Melinis minutiflora Beauv.;
Guatemala grass, Tripsacum laxum Nash; Reed canary grass,
Phalaris arundinacea L.; redtop, Agrostis alba L.; Guinea grass,
Panicum Maximum Jacq.; Vasey grass, Paspalum urvillei Steud.;
alfalfa, Medicago sativa L.; white clover, Trifolium repens L.;
red clover, Trifolium pratense L.; alsike clover, Trifolium
hybridum L.; hairy vetch, Vicia villosa Roth.; common vetch,
Vicia sativa L.; Lespedeza sp.; bur clover, Medicago arabica
(L.) All.; sweet clover, Melilotus alba Des.; soybean, Soja max
L.; cowpea, Vigna sinensis L. Endl.; and Tangier pea, Lathyrus
tingitanus L.

ANALYSIS OF PLANTS
Table 1 records the organic analyses of the grasses that estab-
lished themselves readily and that grow vigorously. Some of
2 Italic figures in parenthesis refer to Literature Cited in the back of
this bulletin.







Factors Affecting Grasses and Legumes 7

these varieties will probably prove to be more valuable than
others from the standpoint of frost resistance, palatability, carry-
ing capacity, etc. When the same variety of grass (or legume,
Table 3) was grown in different years the composition varied
considerably. Besides analytical errors, this was due to un-
avoidable variations in stage of maturity at time of cutting from
year to year and probably also to other factors such as that of
season and condition of plant growth. All analytical and yield
data are recorded on the oven-dry basis.
The outstanding characteristic of these grasses is their high
protein content, even when cut at the early bloom or hay stage.
No nitrogen was used in the fertilizer for these grass plots, as
the peat itself contains about 3 percent of nitrogen on the dry
basis and is of a type in which nitrification is active (3, 5).
The protein is even higher in cuttings made at an earlier pre-
bloom or grazing stage when leaves comprised a greater and
stems a lesser part of the growth. Thus Dallis grass averaged
about 13 percent protein at the bloom stage and over 20 percent
at the pre-bloom and less stemmy stage. Para grass tends to
become stemmy and its protein content in the hay stage was
about half that of grass in the early growth stage. There was
a still larger relative decrease in the protein of Napier grass,
which is in line with its tendency to produce long stems. In a
grass of the prostrate type such as St. Augustine there was less
variation in protein with increase in age of growth.
The percentages of crude fat, fiber and ash (Table 1) were
in the normal ranges for grasses with the well known tendency
for the content of fat and ash to be higher and that of the fiber

TABLE 2.-MINERAL COMPOSITION OF GRASSES GROWN ON SAWGRASS PEAT
LAND AND CUT AT HAY STAGE.

S____ Percent on Oven-dry Basis
Material Mag- Phos-
SAsh Silicon Calcium nesium Iron phorus
Dallis grass ........... 8.16 0.86 0.80 0.74 0.012 0.32
Centipede grass .... 5.11 0.36 0.56 0.59 0.012 0.25
Sudan grass .-.....-- 6.32 1.13 0.91 0.77 0.016 0.27
Para grass, young-. 6.84 0.81 0.83 0.53 0.015 0.19
Maiden cane .......--... 5.33 0.24 0.27 0.55 0.011 0.23
Bahia grass ........ 6.00 0.77 0.39 0.78 0.006 0.22
St. Augustine grass 1 9.12 0.53 0.56 0.38 0.020 0.29
Woolly-finger grass 5.44 0.44 0.37 0.62 0.007 0.27
Guatemala grass .... 5.68 0.56 0.89 0.81 0.012 0.40
Saccharum species 6.60 0.68 1.01 0.62 0.008 0.37








8 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

TABLE 3.-PROTEIN, FAT, FIBER, ASH AND NITROGEN-FREE EXTRACT OF
LEGUMES GROWN ON SAWGRASS PEAT LAND AND CUT AT HAY STAGE.


Percent on Oven-dry Basis Date of
Material Crude Cutting
_Protein Fat Fiber Ash N.F.E.

Grimm alfalfa 26.83 1.61 32.54 8.24 30.78 4-12-32
23.07 3.37 26.67 7.97 38.92 5- 1-34
18.06 1.25 34.16 8.95 37.58 8-18-34
Peruvian 22.43 2.30 27.60 9.21 38.46 3-20-34
alfalfa 19.47 2.88 26.06 8.08 43.51 5- 1-34
Kansas alfalfa 22.88 2.69 28.81 8.73 36.89 3-20-34
25.31 3.82 29.16 7.40 34.31 5- 1-34

White Dutch 32.38 2.48 17.58 9.81 37.75 4-12-32
clover 24.75 2.23 18.00 12.09 42.93 8-18-34

Red clover 26.39 2.90 24.21 8.60 37.90 6- 6-32
21.25 2.18 26.45 9.90 40.22 8-18-24

Alsike clover 27.44 2.50 19.28 8.14 42.64 6- 6-32
20.44 2.08 23.06 10.41 44.01 10-15-34

Bur clover 17.76 1.97 33.15 6.34 40.78 4-12-32
13.19 3.36 32.84 7.35 43.26 3-20-34
Sweet clover 21.77 3.59 24.06 7.98 42.60 5- 1-34
Lespedeza, 24.80 3.42 26.45 7.48 37.85 4-12-32
Tenn. 76
Lespedeza 15.00 2.03 33.90 6.58 42.49 9-10-34
sericea
Hairy vetch 31.33 2.46 26.28 7.99 31.94 4-12-32
Common vetch 19.88 2.41 32.16 10.03 35.52 5- 1-34
Tangier pea 29.22 4.09 26.74 9.95 30.00 5- 1-34
Soybean, 24.00 1.37 19.77 12.63 42.23 5- 5-34
Mammoth
Yellow
Soybean, 19.00 1.04 34.61 9.24 36.11 5- 5-34
Otootan
Cowpea, Iron 22.12 1.36 32.10 10.61 33.81 5-25-34
Cowpea, 24.44 1.49 28.42 11.10 34.55 5-25-34
Brabham


lower in young leafy cuttings. In general, as recorded in Ex-
periment Station Bulletin 338 (6), the percentages of protein
and fat are lower and those of the fiber higher for these grasses








Factors Affecting Grasses and Legumes 9

cut at the hay stage than for the same types of grasses plucked
from pastures.
Table 2 gives partial mineral analyses of 10 of the grasses
cut at the early bloom or hay stage. These were made prin-
cipally to ascertain the calcium, iron and phosphorus contents
of the grasses. Amounts of calcium and iron appear to be about
normal, phosphorus rather high. Of these elements phosphorus
was the only one added in the fertilizer except the calcium con-
tained in the superphosphate (18 percent P205) that was used.
In addition to the grasses, various legumes were tested in
these early trials. All of those recorded in Table 3 grow well
when planted in the fall but during the summer the perennial
types die out to a large extent, except White Dutch clover. This
survives satisfactorily because self-seeding results in new plants
appearing the following fall. As in the case of the grasses
(Table 1), the outstanding feature of these legumes is their
high content of protein (Table 3). The seeds were inoculated
when planted and there were some nodules on the roots of prac-
tically all varieties.
Comparison of the protein contents of these grasses and
legumes with those reported for mineral soils (4) shows that
on Everglades peat grasses averaged 80 and legumes 42 percent
higher. No nitrogen was included in the fertilizer nor is any
needed for vigorous growth (6) on Everglades peat. It is a
matter of considerable economic importance that so high a
content of the valuable protein of these grasses is attained with-
out the necessity of using any of the comparatively expensive
carriers of nitrogen in the fertilizer mixture. Since the protein

TABLE 4.-MINERAL COMPOSITION OF LEGUMES GROWN ON SAWGRASS PEAT
LAND WHEN CUT AT EARLY BLOOM STAGE.

S Percent on Oven-dry Basis
Material Mag- I Phos-
Ash Silicon Calcium nesium Iron I phorus
Grimm alfalfa .. 7.97 0.043 1.73 0.37 0.028 0.43
Peruvian alfalfa 9.21 0.084 2.34 0.36 0.077 0.41
Kansas alfalfa 8.73 0.056 1.99 0.39 0.048 0.43
Burr clover ...... 6.85 0.075 1.56 0.31 0.063 0.31
White clover ... 9.81 0.12 2.45 0.57 0.069 0.45
Red clover ...-... 8.60 0.065 2.02 0.63 0.065 0.48
Alsike clover .... 8.14 0.098 2.07 0.51 0.090 | 0.48
Hairy vetch ...... 8.21 0.089 1.59 0.51 0.045 0.46
Common vetch -_ 10.03 0.079 1.54 0.38 0.035 0.44
Lespedeza ......... 7.48 0.35 2.48 0.60 0.061 0.39








10 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

content of Everglades grasses is almost as high as that of
leguminous forage grown in mineral soils the inability of legumes
to survive as perennials in the Everglades is no great detriment.
Mineral analyses were made on a number of these legumes
and, as may be seen in Table 4, they were higher than the
grasses (Table 2) in calcium, iron and phosphorus. The grasses
contained a higher percentage of silicon and magnesium.

TABLE 5.-ORGANIC COMPOSITION OF FORAGE FEEDS AND OF SUGARCANE
MOLASSES PRODUCED IN THE EVERGLADES.

Percent Oven-dry Basis Date of
Material Crude Cutting
_Protein Fat Fiber Ash N.F.E.__
Green corn, 17.31 2.17 26.61 7.08 46.83 1-18-34
stalks and ears
Corn for silage 11.78 2.06 26.99 7.39 51.78 6- 7-35
hard dough stage
Sugarcane silage 6.91 1.15 34.51 5.10 52.33 1-21-36
Mangel beets 7.23 0.49 6.30 7.56 78.42 2- 7-33
Sugarcane
molasses* 9.01 0.00 0.00 7.20 63.99 .......
or blackstrap

On the basis of 80.2 percent dry matter.

Table 5 gives the organic composition of Everglades-grown
corn and sugarcane forage feeds as well as mangel beets. As
in the case of the legumes and grasses, the proteins of these are
outstandingly high. The protein of blackstrap or sugarcane
molasses from sugarcane grown on Everglades organic soils is
also high, making the molasses that much more valuable for feed.

INFLUENCE OF STAGE OF CUTTING

During the fall of 1934 and the winter of 1935 a number of
grasses that appeared to be most promising for pastures were
established in replicated plots each 1/400 acre in size. There
were 6 plots of each grass divided into 3 pairs. The grass was
cut on 1 pair of plots when in the young grass or pre-bloom
stage; on a second pair when in the early hay or early bloom
stage; and on the third when in the late hay or early seed stage.
The second and third stages were used to determine the change
in composition that results when pastures are not grazed suf-
ficiently to keep the grass in the younger and more vegetative
stage. Such a condition is liable to occur in Everglades pastures











TABLE 6.-ORGANIC COMPOSITION OF VARIOUS GRASSES WHEN CUT AT GREEN GRASS (1st), EARLY HAY (2nd) AND
LATE HAY (3rd) STAGES OF GROWTH.

Given on Percent Oven-dry Basis
Variety C Fie
Variety Crude Protein Crude Fat Crude Fiber Ash N. Free Extract
1st 2nd 3rd 1st I 2nd I 3rd ) 1st 2nd 3rd 1st 2nd 3rd 1st | 2nd 3rd

Digitaria sp..... 13.37 13.62 12.56 2.26 1.76 1.54 26.77 32.48 33.78 9.05 9.78 8.26 48.55 43.36 43.86
Reed Canary ...... 18.50 13.06 4.30 2.75 ..... 23.13 29.61 ....... 9.71 8.61 ... 44.36 45.97 ...
Andropogon sp... 13.50 8.31 6.94 2.39 1.44 1.24 26.95 34.73 37.24 9.87 8.45 7.84 47.29 47.07 46.74
Red Top ............. 19.25 17.19 5.59 3.19 ...... 22.91 26.47 .. .. 9.20 8.93 ...... 43.05 44.22 .......
Guinea .--- 14.50 9.50 7.19 2.74 1.64 1.19 25.21 37.74 39.69 9.41 7.24 6.39 48.14 43.88 45.54
Carpet .------- 15.81 14.00 11.25 2.12 1.63 1.96 24.42 26.20 31.99 6.80 7.11 7.02 50.85 51.06 47.78
Woolly-Finger ... 16.19 10.94 10.81 2.43 1.76 2.10 30.07 J 35.91 38.63 5.96 6.42 5.85 45.35 44.97 42.61 %
Molasses .............. 19.19 7.88 9.19 2.67 1.98 2.04 26.57 37.70 38.64 6.79 4.89 5.06 44.78 47.55 45.07
Bahia ................. 18.81 8.19 11.31 2.33 1.80 1.33 23.77 41.53 33.83 7.26 6.63 7.28 47.83 41.87 46.25
Vasey .........----. 13.00 12.00 8.06 3.20 1.53 1.73 29.03 30.49 35.31 7.55 6.87 6.40 47.22 49.11 48.50
Centipede .--... 14.63 10.38 9.69 3.12 1.84 2.19 26.82 32.13 33.89 6.55 5.90 5.87 48.88 49.75 48.36 .
Dallis ......-------. 20.81 12.13 10.13 3.21 2.04 1.70 25.26 35.41 38.79 8.70 6.87 6.49 42.02 43.55 42.89
St. Augustine 16.94 11.38 10.75 2.40 1.65 1.59 24.42 30.58 31.78 9.54 8.05 8.20 46.70 48.34 47.68 %
Carib ................... 15.50 8.44 7.00 2.39 1.17 1.18 25.09 33.89 37.24 8.82 6.88 6.38 48.20 49.62 48.20


Averages .......... 16.43 11.22 9.57 2.94 1.87 1.65 25.74 33.21 35.90 8.23 7.33 6.75 46.66 46.45 46.12




1-







12 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

during the summer months because growth is much more rapid
than during the winter period. The plots were fertilized once
a year with superphosphate and sulfate of potash equivalent to
an 0-6-18 mixture at the rate of 400 pounds to the acre.
As soon as these 14 grasses had sodded well they were all
mowed, after which cuttings at the young grass stage were
made on duplicate plots on April 26, 1935. Second or early hay
stage cuttings were obtained from a second set of duplicate
plots during the period May 2 to June 11, while the third stage
or late hay cuttings were obtained May 16 to June 27. Com-
posited samples of each grass were prepared from each cutting
and were analyzed for protein, fat, fiber and ash.
For purposes of comparison the analyses of each of these cut-
tings are grouped in Table 6. An inspection of the protein con-
tent shows that though high at the young grass or first stage of
growth it varied considerably for the different species, and
ranged from 13.00 percent for Vasey to 20.81 percent for Dallis,
with an average for all 14 grasses of 16.43 percent. Proteins
tended to be markedly lower at the early hay or second stage,
averaging 11.22 percent. The protein content of the late hay
or third stage was somewhat lower than that of the second and
averaged 9.57 percent. There was a delay in cutting the second
stage samples of the molasses and Bahia grasses and this is
reflected in the low protein and high crude fiber contents of these
samples. Since some of these grasses become more stemmy than
others at the more mature or second and third growth stages,
the protein at these stages varied in a corresponding manner.
Thus there was a decided decrease in the protein content of the
stemmy types such as Andropogon species, Guinea, Vasey and
Dallis and a smaller decrease in the prostrate growing types
such as Digitaria species, carpet, centipede and St. Augustine.
The crude fat content of the grasses averaged 2.94 percent
for the young grass stage (Table 6) with a very considerable drop
to 1.87 percent for early hay stage and a lesser decrease to 1.65
percent for the late hay stage. Reed canary grass and red top
seem unusually high in crude fat but the second cutting was
equally high. There was less increase in crude fiber of the third
stage over the second than for the second over the first. The
ash contents of the grasses decreased considerably at the older
stages of growth. Since these ash analyses are of the first
cuttings for all 3 of the stages of growth they furnish a com-
parison not complicated by the decreasing ash content of the








TABLE 7.-INFLUENCE OF FREQUENCY OF CUTTING UPON THE ORGANIC COMPOSITION OF DALLIS, CARIB, BAHIA AND
CARPET GRASSES.


Growth Stage* Percent Oven-dry Basis No. of Intervals in 1935
Protein | Crude Fat Crude Fiber Ash N.F.E. Cuttings
Dallis Grass

Grass ...................... 18.33 2.55 27.95 7.37 43.80 12 April 26 to Dec. 4
Early hay ............ 16.00 2.01 32.39 6.80 42.80 6 May 16 to Oct. 30
Late hay .................. 13.64 2.17 34.74 6.50 42.95 3 May 23 to Sept. 13

Carib Grass

Grass ............... 15.39 1.74 25.52 7.43 49.92 11 April 26 to Dec. 4
Early hay ............ 9.80 1.73 33.91 5.68 48.88 3 June 11 to Oct. 17
Late hay ..-.........-... 9.54 1.30 35.03 5.52 48.61 3 June 27 to Nov. 8

Bahia Grass

Grass ..................... 15.54 1.84 29.07 6.84 46.71 12 April 26 to Dec. 4
Early hay .............. 12.53 1.53 33.70 6.63 45.61 6 May 29 to Oct. 30
Late hay ................ 11.00 1.33 34.63 6.27 46.77 3 June 7 to Sept. 30

Carpet Grass

Grass .................. i 14.42 1.94 27.41 6.41 49.82 11 April 26 to Dec. 4
Early hay ............. 13.58 1.76 29.50 6.37 48.79 5 May 16 to Oct. 17
Late hay .................. 12.48 1.31 30.38 6.28 49.55 4 June 29 to Nov. 8

See page 10 for description of these.
MO







14 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

successive cuttings of a grass, such as may occur for growth
on Everglades peat. It is a matter of interest that the decrease
in protein, fat and ash in the older stages of growth was offset
by the increase in crude fiber to the extent that the average
nitrogen-free extract was about the same for all 3 stages of
growth.
Four of the grasses were selected for a more extended analyti-
cal study of the effect of stage or age of growth when cut. These
results are summarized in Table 7, where it may be observed
that the analyses of each of 12 cuttings of Dallis grass in the
grass stage averaged 18.33 percent protein, 27.95 percent fiber,
2.55 percent crude fat, 7.37 percent ash and 43.80 percent nitro-
gen-free extract. These cuttings of the 4 grasses, which varied
in number from 12 for the grass stage to 3 for the late hay
stage, were made during a period extending from April to Decem-
ber; and in the main the same trends in change of composition
occurred as discussed above (Table 6) for the first cutting only
of each of the 3 stages of growth.
A study of these analyses and of other characteristics of the
grasses is helpful in setting up a grazing program. Thus carpet
grass retained to a large extent its composition favorable for
grazing, even though cut off only 4 times instead of 11, whereas
Dallis, Bahia and especially Carib were less nutritious at the
older stages of growth. In Everglades peat soil pastures, how-
ever, carpet grass cannot maintain itself in competition with
foreign grasses and weeds.
TABLE 8.-YIELDS OF DALLIS, CARIB, BAHIA AND CARPET GRASSES AT
THREE GROWTH STAGES FOR WHICH COMPOSITION AND CUTTING DATES
ARE GIVEN IN TABLE 7.

Growth Stage Tons per Acre on Oven-dry Basis
Dallis Carib I Bahia Carpet
Grass .............. 5.711 7.462 7.894 6.164
Early hay ...... 8.500 11.965 11.550 7.930
Late hay ........ 7.450 13.565 10.840 8.105

The total growth of all cuttings referred to in Table 7 is given
in Table 8. It may be observed that the most growth was pro-
duced by Dallis and Bahia cut in the early hay and by carpet
and Carib in the late hay stages. The tonnages obtained even
in the grass or pre-bloom stage indicate the high carrying ca-
pacity of these grasses as grown on Everglades peat when sup-
plied with moderate amounts of phosphate and potash fertilizer.







Factors Affecting Grasses and Legumes 15

EFFECT OF SEVERAL CUTTINGS

Station Bulletin 338 (6) shows how necessary it is to fertilize
Everglades grasses with phosphate and potash to maintain their
yielding capacity on Everglades peat soil. This study was ex-
tended to determine the composition of successive cuttings of
grass fertilized preceding the first cutting but not thereafter.
From June 1931 to May 1932 Dallis grass was cut at the early
hay stage on a series of plots in triplicate. These were fertilized
in February 1931 with the mixtures listed in Table 9 at the rate
of 500 pounds per acre, using superphosphate containing 16
percent of P205 and sulfate of potash. It may be noted that
the calcium content of the seventh cutting was but slightly lower
than that of the first cutting. Everglades peat is high in cal-
cium but low in phosphorus. This low reserve of native phos-
phorus is the explanation for the marked reduction in the phos-
phorus content of the seventh cutting of Dallis grass. The
phosphorus was reduced to between 1/3 and 1/2 the amount
present in the grass of the first cutting and there was a marked
but somewhat smaller reduction in ash. These results em-
phasize the importance of making sure that adequate supplies
of phosphorus and calcium are present in Florida grasses as
pointed out by Becker, Neal and Shealy (1).

TABLE 9.-CALCIUM, PHOSPHORUS AND ASH CONTENTS OF 1ST AND 7TH
CUTTINGS OF DALLIS GRASS, JUNE 1, 1931, TO MAY 20, 1932.

Percent Oven-dry Basis
Treatment* Calcium Phosphorus Ash
1st 7th 1st 7th 1st 7th
cutting cutting cutting cutting cutting cutting
None ................... 1.29 0.87 0.40 0.23 9.06 5.64
0-6-0 .................... 1.13 0.90 0.42 0.16 9.29 5.92
0-0-12 ...............- 1.02 0.87 0.39 0.16 9.47 5.62
0-6-12 .............. 1.04 0.87 0.43 0.18 9.67 5.68
0-12-24 ........ 1.01 0.86 0.44 0.20 10.15 5.44

Fertilizer applications were made once only (Feb. 18, 1931) at the rate of 500 pounds
per acre.

It is evident that in contrast to the effect on phosphorus and
ash a succession of cuttings had no appreciable effect on the
protein content of the grass (Table 10). This was true even
when the fertilizer carried appreciable amounts of ammonium
sulfate nitrogen. Moreover, the protein content of the first








16 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

cutting after the fertilizer application was no higher in grass
from plots for which nitrogen was included in the fertilizer mix-
ture. A corresponding non effect of nitrogen on yield has already
been reported (6).

TABLE 10.-ORGANIC COMPOSITION OF SUCCESSIVE CUTTINGS OF DALLIS
GRASS HAY FERTILIZED IN DIFFERENT WAYS.

Percent Oven-dry Basis for the Various Treatments
Ingredients 0-0-01 0-6-01 0-0-121 0-6-121 0-12-241 3-6-121 0-6-12*) 3-6-12*
1st cutting June 1, 1931

Protein ........ 16.88 19.06 19.13 17.25 17.88 14.13 14.13 16.16
Crude fat .... 2.41 3.60 2.90 2.38 2.35 2.40 2.43 2.52
Crude fiber.. 29.12 29.65 29.86 30.39 31.97 31.27 31.45 30.19
Ash ........... 9.06 9.29 9.47 9.67 10.15 10.29 8.67 9.05
Nitrogen-
free ext... 42.53 38.40 38.64 40.31 37.65 41.91 43.32 42.08

3rd cutting, July 24, 1931

Protein ........ 13.25 14.69 14.25 13.25 13.63 14.31 11.38 13.13
Crude fat .... 1.92 2.96 2.22 1.84 1.62 1.52 2.88 1.55
Crude fiber.. 33.45 31.91 32.69 32.06 34.01 33.26 34.40 34.37
Ash .............. 7.84 7.78 8.13 7.92 8.16 8.25 7.74 7.38
Nitrogen-
free ext..... 43.54 42.66 42.71 44.93 42.58 42.66 43.60 43.57

5th cutting, August 14, 1931

Protein ........ 15.69 13.37 15.88 15.13 14.63 12.94 15.31 14.50
Crude fat .... 2.84 2.82 3.42 2.34 2.60 2.09 1.28 2.34
Crude fiber.... 26.99 29.47 28.98 27.34 27.79 29.84 28.08 28.98
Ash ............. 6.68 6.30 6.52 6.27 6.61 6.65 6.17 6.24
Nitrogen-
free ext..... 47.80 48.04 45.20 48.92 48.37 48.48 48.16 47.94

7th cutting, May 23, 1932

Protein ....... 14.88 16.13 14.19 14.63 14.44 13.31 14.50 15.06
Crude fat .... 2.26 3.01 2.88 2.74 2.51 2.85 2.51 3.14
Crude fiber.... 28.57 28.23 29.94 28.40 30.78 30.10 28.36 29.72
Ash ........... 5.64 5.92 5.62 5.68 5.44 5.58 5.62 5.97
Nitrogen-
free ext.... 48.65 46.71 47.37 48.55 46.83 48.16 49.01 46.11

Manganese sulfate was added at the rate of 50 pounds per acre per year on these
2 treatments and copper sulfate was used at the rate of 40 pounds per acre on all treat-
ments, including the check (0-0-0).

The data of Table 10 indicate that neither the crude fat nor
fiber contents of the grass were influenced by successive cuttings.
The percentage amounts of these ingredients held at about the
same levels irrespective of the presence or absence of fertilizer








Factors Affecting Grasses and Legumes 17

applications. There was, however, a progressive decrease in the
percentage of ash, as shown by those for the first, third, fifth
and seventh cuttings.

TABLE 11.-YIELDS OF FIRST 7 CUTTINGS OF DALLIS GRASS HAY FOR
WHICH ANALYSES ARE GIVEN IN TABLE 10.

Cutting Pounds per Acre on Oven-dry Basis Cutting Date
_0-0-0 0-6-0 0-0-12 0-6-12 0-12-24_
1 3,600 4,233 4,600 4,883 6,233 June 1, 1931
2 4,067 3,933 4,183 3,317 3,200 June 23
3 3,950 4,317 3,800 3,450 2,850 July 24
4 3,240 3,808 3,417 3,933 3,692 Sept. 9
5 877 927 1,060 1,000 1,277 Oct. 14
6 2,967 3,617 3,077 2,967 3,043 Dec. 30
7 1,853 1,977 1,893 1,810 2,677 May 20, 1932
Totals 20,554 22,812 22,030 21,360 22,972


Table 11 records the amounts of Dallis grass hay in the 7
cuttings removed from these plots. A study of these data in
conjunction with those of composition as given in Tables 9 and
10 provide a more complete picture of the effects of successive
cuttings following a given fertilizer treatment. Thus, although
the organic composition (Table 10) of the hay was about the
same for all cuttings of each treatment, there was a much heavier
growth of grass in the first cutting from the plots that received
phosphate and potash. Decrease in weights of the cuttings made
later in the summer was caused in part by the tendency of the
grass to go to seed during that period before making much
growth. However, lack of growth in the seventh cutting, May
20, was due to lack of fertilizer. As indicated by the progres-
sively decreasing ash content and by the analyses recorded in
Table 9 the feeding quality as well as the yield of the hay fell
off to a marked extent. These data as well as those previously
reported (6) show how essential it is that these peaty soils should
be fertilized frequently but moderately in order to utilize a
sufficient amount of their productive capacities.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

From among the grasses and legumes that were tested as to
their adaptability to Everglades peat under water control a
number of those that grow vigorously were analyzed for nu-







18 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

trients at different stages of growth. The analyses are re-
corded on the oven-dry basis.
The outstanding characteristic of the grasses is their high
content of protein which for the 16 varieties analyzed averaged
about 13 percent when cut at the early bloom stage. This is
about 4/5 more than the protein content of grasses reported
for mineral soils. No nitrogen was used in the fertilizer applied
to these grass plots nor does the addition of nitrogen increase
either yield or protein content.
The protein content of the several types of legumes was also
high, averaging about 42 percent higher than the general aver-
age of legumes grown on mineral soils. Growth was good dur-
ing the winter months but the perennial types tended to die
off during the summer.
Fourteen selected pasture grasses cut at different growth
stages averaged 16.43 percent protein for the grass or pre-bloom
stage, 11.22 percent for the early bloom stage and 9.57 percent
for the early seed stage. The crude fat content decreased and
the crude fiber increased with increasing age of grass, particu-
larly in passing from the pre-bloom to the early bloom or more
stemmy stages.
Dallis, Carib, Bahia and carpet grasses were cut at the pre-
scribed stages for an entire season. Proteins in the young or
pre-bloom stage averaged 18.33, 15.39, 15.54 and 14.42 percent,
respectively. At the older stages of growth carpet grass re-
tained its nutritive properties better than the others, especially
Carib. In Everglades peat soil pastures, however, carpet grass
cannot maintain a good stand in competition with weeds and
other grasses.
The calcium, magnesium and iron contents of the grasses and
legumes were normal, as was also the phosphorus content when
the peat was fertilized moderately with a phosphate fertilizer.
The seventh cutting of Dallis grass hay following an application
of an 0-6-12 mixture at 500 pounds per acre contained about 1/3
the amount of phosphorus of the first cutting. All cuttings con-
tained about the same percentages of protein, fat and fiber but
the yields of hay were much reduced in cuttings following the
first. These 7 successive cuttings of Dallis grass were removed
within a period of 1 year. Grazing instead of cutting and re-
moving the grass during that period would not have resulted
in so marked a decrease in mineral content. However, an annual
application of an 0-6-12 mixture at 500 pounds per acre or its








Factors Affecting Grasses and Legumes 19

equivalent is necessary (6) to maintain optimum growth and
mineral content of a well grazed grass growing in Everglades
peat.

LITERATURE CITED
1. BECKER, R. B., W. M. NEAL and A. L. SHEALY. Stiffs or sweeny (phos-
phorus deficiency) in cattle. Fla. Agri. Exp. Sta. Bul. 264: 6-9. 1933.
2. KIDDER, R. W., and W. G. KIRK. Cattle feeding in Southern Florida.
Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 360: 13-15. 1941.
3. Florida Agr. Exp. Sta. Ann. Rpts. p. 127, 1935, and p. 125, 1936.
4. MORRISON, F. B. Feeds and Feeding, 20th Edit. The Morrison Pub.
Co. 1936.
5. NELLER, J. R. Influence of cropping, rainfall and water table upon
nitrates in Everglades peat. Soil Sci. 57: 275-280. 1944.
6. NELLER, J. R., and A. DAANE. Yield and composition of Everglades
grass crops in relation to fertilizer treatment. Fla. Agri. Exp. Sta.
Bul. 338: 6-27. 1939.













TABLE 1.-PROTEIN, FAT, FIBER, ASH AND NITROGEN-FREE EXTRACT OF
GRASSES GROWN ON SAWGRASS PEAT LANDS OF EVEGLADES EXPERIMENT
STATION FARM.

Percent on Oven-dry Basis Date of
Material* Crude I Cutting
Protein Fat Fiber Ash N.F.E.**__

Dallis grass 13.63 1.62 34.01 8.16 42.58 7-24-31
12.00 2.14 36.51 7.30 42.05 6-29-34
12.89 2.00 31.70 6.65 46.76 10- 3-34

Dallis grass 23.18 2.68 30.08 10.51 33.55 2-17-33
young 20.81 3.21 25.26 8.70 42.02 4-26-35

Carpet grass 11.31 1.82 33.11 5.44 48.32 9- 5-31
11.00 1.71 32.53 5.60 49.16 8- 5-34

Centipede 9.98 1.75 34.70 5.11 48.46 7-29-31
grass 12.63 3.69 28.45 5.97 49.26 7-26-34

Para grass 7.62 1.50 34.13 4.19 52.56 10-15-34

Para grass, 14.56 1.76 28.71 6.84 48.13 4-15-32
young

Napier grass 8.56 1.79 38.91 3.60 47.14 10-15-34

Napier grass, 18.31 2.24 33.06 6.79 39.60 6- 4-32
young

Bahia grass 9.68 1.44 34.53 6.00 48.35 8-17-32

St. Augustine 14.07 2.53 29.28 9.12 45.00 8-17-32
grass 12.56 1.95 30.95 6.00 48.54 10-15-34
Sudan grass 15.27 1.69 30.54 6.32 46.18 10-15-34

Maiden cane 19.76 1.41 33.38 5.33 40.12 6-20-32

Woolly-finger 9.28 2.04 39.28 5.44 43.96 8-17-34
grass

Mollasses grass 22.31 2.21 29.49 8.78 37.21 1-18-34

Guatemala 15.69 2.24 30.05 5.68 46.34 6-27-33
grass

Saccharum 7.63 2.43 30.70 6.60 52.64 6-27-33
species 7.75 2.13 29.69 7.05 53.38 1-18-34

Cut at hay stage unless otherwise indicated.
** Nitrogen-free extract.





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