Group Title: Fort Pierce ARC mimeo report
Title: Perennial grass variety tests at the Agricultural Research Center, Fort Pierce
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 Material Information
Title: Perennial grass variety tests at the Agricultural Research Center, Fort Pierce
Series Title: Fort Pierce ARC mimeo report
Physical Description: 9 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Kretschmer, Albert E ( Albert Emil ), 1925-
University of Florida -- Agricultural Research Center
Publisher: University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural Research Center
Place of Publication: Fort Pierce Fla
Publication Date: [1972]
 Subjects
Subject: Grasses -- Field experiments -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: Albert E. Kretschmer, Jr.
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: "March, 1972."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00055998
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 69174464

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HISTORIC NOTE


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida







Fort Pierce ARC Mimeo Report RL-1972-1 March, 1972

-.) HUME LIBRARY
SRENNIAL GRASS VARIETY TESTS AT
JN THE A RICULTURAL RESEARCH CENTER, FORT PIERCE
JUN 5 1972
Albert E. Kretschmer, Jr.

.F.A.S. Univ. of Florida
.....-- --- .- INTRODUCTION

Replicated yield trials comparing various grasses have been in progress
continuously at the A.R.C., Ft. Pierce since 1956. The purpose has been
to assess the productivity of various domestic and foreign types on the
sandy soils of south Florida.

PREVIOUS RESULTS

Among those grasses tested in the past were: pangola, Pensacola and
Argentine bahias, fescue, carpet, and Coastal and Suwannee bermudas.
Generally, the most productive and weed free grass was pangola. The
Bermudas produced more forage during the winter period than pangola, but
were invaded by weeds. The bahiagrasses produced less per year, were
weed-free, and were practically non-productive during the winter and early
spring. These trends are shown in Table 1.
The next phase of testing revealed two introduced Digitaria species and
a Rhodesgrass (Chloris guyana) introduction which appeared to perform better
than pangola during the colder periods. About 75 percent of the annual
yield of the commercial and introduced grasses was produced in 5 to 6
months from late spring through early fall.
Crude protein contents of Coastal and Suwannee bermudagrasses and
the bahiagrass were usually higher than those for pangola. Protein levels
rose during the winter (periods of reduced growth rate) and fell in the
summer; but there was an increase, during the summer, in the percent
recovery of the nitrogen applied.


Professor of Agronomy, I.F.A.S., University of Florida, Agricultural
Center, Fort Pierce, Florida.








More recently emphasis has centered on winter production because the

critical feed shortage in south Florida is during a six month period

including the winter, and there are good commercial summer-growing species

available but no adequate perennial winter-growing types.

The following is a report of five years results of a replicated

experiment in which 14 grasses were clipped during each of the winter

periods. Additional data are presented for several grasses harvested

during a 2-year period.

GRASS YIELDS FROM SEPTEMBER 1966 TO JUNE, 1971

Procedure

Grasses listed in Table 3 were established in the summer proceeding

the initial November 1966 harvest. There were four, 10 by 15 foot

replicated plots of each grass. Plots were "staged'on September 9

of each year, by cutting and removing the cuttings. Harvesting occurred

on or within a few days of November 4, February 1, May 1 and June 11. There

were 20 harvests of grasses included in Tables 3 and 4, but less for those

in Table 5. Yields were based on grass dried at 70-75C in a forced-draft

oven. Values are 5-year averages (November 1966 to June 1971) per harvest

date and the total or average yield per September 9 through June 11. A

10-10-10 fertilizer that provided a rate of 75 pounds of nitrogen per acre

was applied after each except the June harvest. Grasses were permitted

to grow undisturbed during the June 11 to September 9 period or were cut

once during this period.

Results

The differences in yields of a given grass varied markedly depending on

years. A typical example of this variation is shown in Table 2 for pangola
and Coastcross bermuda grasses, where large variations occurred in yields,

particularly for the February and May harvests. This type of variation

would undoubtedly be reflected in animal performance if stocking rates were

not markedly varied and, or supplementary feed was not used. Some insight








into grass variety production difference can also be observed in Table 2.

Pangola and Coastcross grass production is almost equal during the Septem-

ber 9-November 4 and May 1-June 11 growth periods; but Coastcross was

superior during the November 4 to May 1 growth period, generally character-

ized by cooler temperatures than those occurring during the summer.

In Table 3 the combined 5-year average yields are reported for 14
grasses at each of the 4 harvest dates. Intervals of grass growth between

cuttings are listed to show the relative growth rates during each period.

Yield differences between two grasses greater than those values listed

below the harvest date averages indicate significant differences at a 1

percent level of confidence. Pangola always produced -significantly less

forage than the highest yielding grass at any given harvest.

In Table 4 are reported daily dry matter yields. These were determined
by dividing values in Table 3 by the number of days between cuttings, and give

an indication of effect of season on production. Also in Table 4 are listed

the relative production rankings of the grasses for each harvest. The

smaller numbers indicate grasses with higher production.

Data in Tables 3 and 4 show that from September 9 to November 4 and
from May 1 to June 11 pangola rated as fourth and fifth best grass respectively,

while from the November 4 to February 1 and from February 1 to May 1 periods

it ranked last or next to last. Previous experiments indicated that during

summer periods pangola production was equal or better than many of the

commercial and introduced grasses. Coastcross bermudagrass out-yielded

pangola during the November 4 to May 1 period and could be classed as a

higher producing grass during this time of year.

The two Digitaria species, #133 and #134, that yielded well in a previous
test yielded exceptionally well except for the November 4-February 1 growth

period. Bermudagrass #7 and the two highest yielding Rhodesgrasses, #161

and #165, could be considered in the higher yielding grass group particularly

during the November 4-February 1 period. Stamford Rhodesgrass, #159 and








Nandi setaria, #174, (both Australian commercial grasses) could be placed

in the lower producing grass category.

Pounds of dry matter produced per day varied from extremes of 7 to

81; and averages of all grasses varied from a February low of 17 to

a June high of 61.

Several newer grass accessions were established in the replicated

experiment in time to be "staged" on September 9, 1969. Two seasons

data (november 4, February 1, May 1 and June 11) were averaged for Table 5.

Yield data of pangola, Coastcross bermuda and the highest yielding Digitaria

were also included for comparison. Total yields varied from 5360 for pangola

and 8380 pounds per acre for Digitaria #133. Coastcross bermuda and

Hemarthria #263 were high yielding and the remainder were in the low to

moderate producing category.

Discussion

Results show there are several grasses with the potential to out-produce

pangola during the colder periods of the year. Pangola produced an

average of about 75 percent as much forage during the September to June

period as the two or three highest yielding grasses., For the November 4

to February 1 growth period, however, production was less than half of

the highest producing grasses. The difference during February 1 to May 1

was about 55 percent.

It is not known whether the clipping data is strictly applicable to

grazing conditions; or whether similar differences would occur if less

nitrogen had been applied after each harvest. The potential has been shown

and the higher-producing commercial grasses should be tried under grazing.

Quality of most of the grasses included in the experiment has not

been determined, and data on animal intake is not available. It is doubtful

that too much importance should be placed on these factors if the grass is

selected because of its rapid winter growing ability. Lower intake and

digestibility could probably be tolerated if, for example, a new grass









produced 30 to 50 percent more during the winter than a standard grass

with higher quality. During summer periods higher intakes and digesti-

bility would result in more complete utilization of a grass, while

during the winter periods most grasses would probably be utilized

prior to the following summer because of the general lack of dry matter

available.

In this and other experiments there has been considerable infestations

of the yellow sugarcane aphid on pangola and other Digitaria species. Te

effect of aphid damage on pangola yields has been well-documented. It is

believed that this problem is largely responsible for the relatively

poor growth of pangola during the colder months, although aphid counts

on pangola and on the other Digitaria species were not made in this

experiment.

SUMMARY

Five-year yields of 14 grasses were compared during the period of

approximately September 9 and June 1. There were large yield variations

between the harvest dates of approximately November 4, February 1, May 1

and June 11. Production was least from November 4 to February 1 and most

between May 1 and June 11. There were also large variations in yields

among species and years.

In this experiment pangola was considered among the lowest producing

group of grasses during the September 9-June 11 period.








TABLE 1. Oven Dry Weight Yields of Various Grasses
Growing in Different Periods of the Year


Total
per
Year/


Grass


- Ibs./acre
Between
about
Mar. 23
&
May 52/


Between
about
July 29
&
Oct. 201/


25 Pangola 15,720 1,320 1,240 4,110

28 Coastal bermuda 14,790 1,200 2,180 3,390

29 Pensacola bahia 13,180 540 1,930 3,630

30 Argentine bahia 13,580 160 600 5,120


1/ Four replications; 3 years data for average yield per year; a rate
of 16-8-8 fertilizer was applied after each harvest to provide 50 pounds
nitrogen per acre. Harvested on about February 24, March 23, May 5, June
16, July 29, September 9, October 20 and December 1.

2/ Including harvests of February 24 and March 23.

3/ Including only the May 5 harvests.

4/ Including harvests of September 9 and October 20.






TABLE 2. Year to Year Variation and Average Oven
Dry Weight Yields of Pangola and Coastcross Bermuda
Grasses for Different Harvest Dates


IRFL
No.


Grass


November 4
range Avg.

25 Pangola 93-368 216

153 Coastcross#l 122-348 227


Pounds
February 1
range avg.

6-185 85

28-411 188


Per Acre t 101-
May 1
range avg.

9-295 145

93-487 242


June 11
range avg.

164-347 256

137-338 244


I/ Maximum variation among 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969 and 1970 data.


IRFL
No.


Yield
Between
about
Dec. 1
&
Mar. 233/









Table 3. Five-year Average Oven Dry Weight Yields of Various Grasses
Harvested November 4 to June 11/


Grasses
Growth intervals-days--


Gynodon sp. (Bermuda)

Digitaria sp.

Digitaria sp.

Rhodes

Coastcross #1 bermuda

Rhodes

Rhodes


7.

133.

134.

161.

153.

165.

136.

163.

159.

166.

164.

25.

175.

174.


(Stamford)


Rhodes

Rhodes

Pangola

Setaria sphacelata

Setaria sphacelata(Nandi)


IRFL
No.


T


----


Total per
Sept. 9-
June 11


r


1940


L.S.D.--.01


420


1500


660


2220


710


* L.S.D.--.01 among harvest dates


2490

500

equals 330.


2460


1/ Plots were 10 by 15 feet, replicated 4 times; all were staged each year by
cutting on September 9. A rate of 750 Ibs./A of 10-10-10 fertilizer was
applied after cutting in September and after each harvest except in June.
Plots were either left undisturbed or cut once during summer time.
Included 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, and 1970 seasons data.


Rhodes

Rhodes


Ave.*


I


Nov. 4
56

2830

2340

2330

1970

2270

1900

1620

1750

1840

1570

1740

2160

1560

1330


Pounds
Feb. 1
88

213 0

1340

1160

2100

1880

1980

1790

1750

1500

1460

1550

850

620

890


Per Acre
May 1
89

2710

3230

3150

2730

2420

2360

1910

1960

1840

1990

1810

1450

2090

1430


June 11
41

2930

3310

2820

2580

2440

2510

2540

2000

2130

2220

2120

2560

2480

2170


---1....-.-...-,-------------_--.,,.. .,--.---,----if-------


"


10600

10220

9460

9380

9010

8750

7860

7460

7310

7240

7220

7020

6750

5820








Table 4. Five-year Average Oven Dry Matter Y17lds of Various Grasses
Harvest Dates; and Position Ratings-

IRFL Yield Ibs. per day


rGrasss


Nov. 4 Feb. 1 Nay 1 June 11 Ave.


in Pounds Per Day at Different


Yield Position Ratings
Nov. 4 Feb. 1 May 1 June 11 Avg.-


Growth interval-days--

Cynodon sp. (Bermuda)

Digitaria sp.

Digitaria sp.

Rhodes

Coasteross #1 bermuda

Rhodes

Rhodes

Rhodes

Rhodes (Stamford

Rhodes

Rhodes

Pangola

Setaria sphacelata

Setaria sphacelata (Nandi)


Avg. 35 17 25


7.

133.

134.

161.

153.

165.

136.

163.

159.

166.

164.

25.

175.

174.


41

71

81

69

63

60

61

62

49

52

54

52

62

60

53


61


1

2

2

5

3

6

9

8

7

10

8

4

10

11


I/ Plots were 10 by 15 feet, replicated 4 times; all 7I.er staged zch year by cutting on September 9. A rate
of 750 lbs./A of 110-10- fertilizer wTas applied after cutting in ScptcZ.br and after each harvest except
in June. Plots were either left undisturbed or cut once during =z-m=ar times. Included 1966, 1957, 1968,
1969 and 1970 seasons data.


2 2.0

1 2.8

3 3.8

4 3.3

7 4.5

6 4.8

5 6.5

11 7.5

10 7.8

8 7.8

10 8.0

5 7.0

7 8.3

9 9.8


Grse Nov. 4 Feb. 1 Mav 1 June 11 Avz.










Table 5. Two-year Average Oven Dry Weight Yields of Different Grasses


IRFL


Grasses


Yield Ibs. per acre
Nov. 4 Feb. 1 May 1 June 11


Growth interval-days--

Digitaria sp.

Hemarthria altissima

Coastcross #1 bermuda

Tannergrass

Digitaria sp.

Hemarthria altissima

Pangola


56

1900

1220

2070

1980

1540

1420

1760


88

1980

1760

1710

850

1100

640

680


89

1680

2530

1580

1760

1500

2040

900


41

2830

2390

2420

2460

2750

2000

2020


Total per
Sept. 9-
June 11


8380

7900

7780

7050

6890

6100

5360


Avg. 1670 1120 1720 2340


1/ Includes the harvests of November 4,
seasons, 1969-71.


February 1, May 1 and June 11 for 2


133.

263.

153

309.

310

262.

25.


--







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