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Group Title: Research report - Bradenton Agricultural Research & Education Center - GC1980-02
Title: Forage crops adapted to Florida
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE PAGE TEXT
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00067732/00001
 Material Information
Title: Forage crops adapted to Florida
Series Title: Bradenton AREC research report
Physical Description: 11 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Chambliss, C. G ( Carrol Gene )
Agricultural Research & Education Center (Bradenton, Fla.)
Publisher: Agricultural Research & Education Center, IFAS, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Bradenton Fla
Publication Date: 1980
 Subjects
Subject: Forage plants -- Varieties -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: C.G. Chambliss.
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: "January 1980."
Funding: Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00067732
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: oclc - 72836005

Table of Contents
    Copyright
        Copyright
    Contents
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Tables
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
Full Text





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






SAgricultural Research & Education Center
IFAS, University of Florida
SBradenton, Florida ".

Bradenton AREC Research Report GC1980-02 Januay980-
I .. .. i
FORAGE CROPS ADAPTED TO FLORIDA AR 12 1980
C. G. Chambliss1 .f .

Forage is defined as herbaceous plants or plant parts fed to domestic animals.
The use of the term "forage", however, often refers to such material as pasturage,
hay, silage and green chop in contrast to lesser digestible plant material known
as "roughage". There are many forage species adapted to the climate and soils of
Florida, as shown in Table 1. Some are better and more widely adapted in Florida
than others, and some are of much greater economic'importance than others, as
indicated in Table 2.

Climate is the principal factor influencing the adaptation of forage plants.
The type of climate which exists in any region is determined by temperature and
precipitation. Temperature may be the important factor in determining the adapt-
ability of many forage species especially if precipitation is plentiful. Man
has little control over temperature, whereas the effects of limited or excess
precipitation may be modified in some areas by irrigation or drainage.
Systems for classifying climates have been based around precipitation and
temperature. A system developed by Thornthwaite lists five humidity types and
six temperature efficiency provinces. Florida has one overall humidity type,
"humid".

Florida contains two of the temperature provinces: A' Tropical and B'
Mesothermal. Palms or tall buttressed tropical trees characterize A', and
deciduous hardwoods B'. The next most northern province in the U. S. would
be the C' Microthermal where spruce and fir trees are found. Each of the above
climates also has its own characteristic group of adapted forages. Kentucky
bluegrass, tell fescue, timothy, birdsfoot trefoil, and alsike clover are some
of the forages adapted to the C' climate. These forages generally are not
adapted to Florida's climates, although some of them may be grown in the B'
climate as a winter forage. Bermudagrass, dallisgrass and johnsongrass are found
in the B' climates of the humid areas of the U. S. Pangola digitgrass, bahiagrass,
carpetgrass, and Saint Augustinegrass are adapted to the A' area. The A' tropical
temperature province which would apply to lower peninsular Florida is not absolute,
for all of the agricultural areas of Florida are susceptible to frost. Some
prefer to describe the climate of peninsular Florida as subtropical or semi-
tropical. Although temperature often is the primary factor determining the area
of adaptation of a forage crop, a few species such as alfalfa are adapted over
a wide range of temperatures.

Effects of temperature on forage plants in Florida are usually thought of in
terms of low temperature stress on the perennial grasses. Tropical and subtropical
species are damaged by night temperatures of 50 to 59F (10-150c). When night
temperatures drop below 590F, growth of the digitgrasses and bahiagrasses is
severely restricted. Outright killing of digitgrass plants may occur if they are



1Carrol G. Chambliss, Extension Agronomy Specialist, AREC-Bradenton





-2-


subjected to extended periods of subfreezing temperatures. These low temp-
erature effects may be aggravated if plants have been previously weakened by
overgrazing, and in some cases an application of excess nitrogen fertilizer in the
late fall has put plants in a lush state of growth, making them more susceptible
to freeze damage. Temperate forages, those adapted to the C' climate, can
withstand considerable overnight frost exposure without appreciable damage but
tropical and subtropical species cannot.

High temperatures also affect plant adaptation. All plant species have a
maximum temperature at which growth ceases. Temperate species tend to be shorter
and bloom earlier under high summer temperatures. Tropical species, on the other
hand, are better adapted and more productive under hot, humid condition.

Moisture also plays an important role in the adaptation of forage species.
The total amount of rainfall, its seasonal distribution and the evapotranspiration
demands determine whether there will be an excess or deficit of moisture. Also,
the water holding capacity of soils affects the quantity of water available to
plants. Sands have less water holding capacity than clays, peat, and mucks.
Internal drainage characteristics of soils may play a critical role in plant
adaptation, especially in areas that receive excess rainfall. Prolonged water-
logged conditions may occur in such areas. This provides an unfavorable environ-
ment for growth of many forage species (alfalfa). Some forages such as paragrass
or aeschynomone can tolerate waterlogged conditions. Temporary waterlogged con-
ditions are more common and forages vary in their tolerance of such excessive
moisture conditions.

Besides climate, there are other factors which may have a bearing on the
adaptation or use of a forage'crop. Resistance to diseases, insects, and nematodes
that might be prevalent in a region could be the determining factor in whether or
not a forage species is grown. Also the ability to compete with hard to control
weed plants may influence adaptation.

Table 1 lists the forage species that could be grown in Florida. Not all of
the species listed in Table 1 are presently recommended. The crotalaria species
are generally no longer recommended because of their poisonous seed. Some species,
although suitable for use as forage, have limited acreage because other species are
more productive and/or less expensive to grow. For the most recent up-to-date
list of recommended forages and forage varieties, see your county agricultural
extension director.

The following section lists the important forage grasses and legumes with
notes concerning their adaptation:

I. Forage Grasses

a. Winter Annual Grasses

1. Rye Rye is more cold tolerant than oats and generally produces
more forage than either oats or wheat. Avoid planting unadapted
varieties grown in northern states. Normally rye from northern
states will produce little forage in late fall or early winter
and will usually be severely damaged by leaf rust.


2. Oats May be planted and grazed earlier than rye but is more








susceptible to frost injury.

3. Wheat Less susceptible to frost injury than oats.

4. Barley Not recommended for forage.

5. Ryegrass Ryegrass is a valuable winter and spring grazing
crop for use on flatwood soils or the heavier sandy loam soils
in northwest Florida.

b. Summer Annual Grasses for Silage

1. Silage sorghum (Forage sorghum) A tall growing version of grain
sorghum which is best suited for silage production.
2. Grain sorghum Best suited for grain production; can be ensiled.

3. Corn Produces excellent quality silage; capable of producing
more total digestible nutrients per acre than many other crops.

c. Summer Annual Grasses for Grazing

1. Pearlmillet High producing annual that is adapted to well-
drained soils. Usually yields less than sorghum x sudan in south
Florida.

2. Sorghum Sudangrass Usually yields less than pearlmillet in north
Florida. Adapted to drier soils.

d. Summer Perennial Grasses (Permanent Pasture Grasses)

1. Bahiagrasses

Pensacola bahiagrass A widely adapted productive grass that
will tolerate heavy grazing. Frost resistant but grows little
in cool weather.

Argentine bahiagrass Similar to Pensacola in productivity but
is less frost tolerant. Valuable as a sod for lawns.

Paraquay 22 bahia Similar to Argentine in growth, appearance,
palatability and cold tolerance. Valuable as a sod for lawns.

2. Bermudagrasses

Coastal bermudagrass High producing pasture grass that is
well suited for hay production on fertile, well-drained soils.
Less productive than Pangola in south Florida. Coastal has a
high fertility requirement and may be invaded by other grasses
with low fertility requirements if not properly fertilized.

Coastcross-l bermudagrass Less cold tolerant than Coastal and
may be subject to winter-killing in severe winters. Fertility








requirements similar to Coastal. May be adapted to wetter soils
than Coastal.

Suwannee bermudagrass Reported to be better suited for sandy
soils than Coastal.

3. Digitgrasses

Pangola High producing pasture and hay grass for south Florida.
Responds well to heavy nitrogen fertilization. Susceptible to
sugarcane aphid and spittle bug injury.

Slenderstem Adapted to the same geographic area and growing
conditions as Pangola. Produces less total forage but more
during the cool months than Pangola.

Transvala Adapted to same areas as Pangola. Resistant to
certain nematodes and to Pangola stunt virus.

Taiwan Adapted to south Florida (south of Orlando). Pro-
duction is equal to Transvala and greater than Pangola during
the cool season.

4. Stargrass

McCaleb Was released by IFAS of the University of Florida in
1974. It is closely related to bermudagrass and is suggested
for use in areas south of Leesburg. It requires a high
fertility level.

Ona Star Releas-d in 1979. Similar to McCaleb but more pro-
ductive.

(Stargrasses, like sorghums, have the potential to cause hydro-
cyanic acid (HCN) poisoning in cattle.)

5. St. Augustine

Top producing pasture grass on organic soils in the Everglades.
Chinch bug is a serious pest on sandy soils.

6. Paragrass and Caribgrass

Well adapted to extremely wet lands that are subject to
flooding. Has absolutely no frost tolerance.

7. Limpograsses

Bigalta A palatable, high quality pasture and hay grass for
south Florida. Adapted to fertile, high moisture soils.

II. Forage and Cover Crop Legumes


a. Winter "Perennials"








1. White clover Usually a winter annual but may act as a perennial
under optimum fertility and moisture conditions. Adapted to moist
soils throughout the state.

2. Red clover Winter annual under Florida conditions. Will not
tolerate flooding.

3. Alfalfa Usually grown as a winter annual under south Florida con-
ditions. Requires good management and high fertility. Hill not
tolerate flooding or a high water table.

b. Summer Perennials

1. 'Florida' Carpon Desmodium Adapted to south Florida. This heavy
seed producing, long-lived perennial legume may provide higher qua-
lity pastures when grown in mixtures with the commonly used perm-
anent grasses. It should not be grown in soils infested with
root-knot nematodes or in soils subjected to sustained flooding of
more than a week.

c. Winter Annuals

1. Arrowleaf clover Similar to crimson clover in soil adaptation,
management and fertility requirements. Makes more growth in late
spring than crimson.

2. Austrian Winter Peas Best suited to well-drained soils with a
high clay content.

3. Berseem clover Makes early growth but is subject to cold damage.
Requires slightly higher fertility level than most forage legumes.

4. Crimson clover (reseeding) Adapted to fertile, well-drained
soils. Has a relatively short growing season.

5. Lupine Adapted to well-drained soils in north and west Florida.
Excellent cover crop. Only sweet varieties are suitable for
forage.

6. Sweet clover Will grow on slightly drier soils than white clover.
Will not tolerate flooding. Has earlier but shorter grazing season
than white clover. Should be reseeded each year.

7. Vetches Grow best on well-drained, fertile, loamy soils. Have
not generally been highly productive in Florida.

d. Summer Annuals

1. Aeschynomene Tall growing annual legume adapted to southern
Florida. Will tolerate extremely wet conditions.

2. Alyceclover An excellent hay plant that is adapted to well-
drained soils. Highly susceptible to attack by root-knot
nematode.






-6-


3. Cowpeas Produces excellent quality forage on well-drained soils.

4. Hairy Indigo Adapted throughout Florida but will not tolerate
flooding. Provides forage in late summer and early fall.

5. Lespedeza Not well adapted to Florida conditions.

6. S. Humilis Adapted to southern Florida and will tolerate close
grazing. Slow to establish and does not recover rapidly from
grazing.

7. Sesbania A coarse, upright annual legume. Better suited as a cover
crop than forage. Will tolerate extremely wet conditions.

8. Velvetbeans Produces good quality forage but low yields.
Adapted to well-drained soils.








Growth Characteristics and Adaptations of
Forage Crops Grown in Florida*


Legumes


Growth Season of Section of
Common Name Scientific Name Cyclel Maximum State Whhre
Adapted
NW NE C S


Aeschynomene
Alfalfa
Alyceclover

Austrian
winter pea
Beggarweed,
florida
Bur-clover
california
Bur-clover
spotted
Carpon
desmodium
Clover,
arrowleaf
Clover,
berseem
Clover,
crimson
Clover,
hop
Clover, hop
large
Clover, hop
small
Clover,
persian
Clover,
red
Clover,
sub
Clover,
white
Clover, white
ladino
Cowpea
Crotalaria
lance
Crotalaria
showy
Crotalaria
slenderleaf


Aeschynomene spp.
Medicago sativa
Alysicarpus
vaginalis

Pisum arvense
Desmodium
purpureum
Medicago
hispida
Medicago
arabica
Desmodium
heterocarpon
Trifolium
vesiculosum
Trifolium
alexandrinum
Trifolium
incarnatum
Trifolium
agrarium
Trifolium
campestre
Trifolium
dubium
Trifolium
resupinatum
Trifolium
pratense
Trifolium
subterraneum
Trifolium
repens
Trifolium, repens
f. giganteum
Vigna sinensis
Crotalaria
lanceolata
Crotalaria
spectabilis
Crotalaria
intermedia


Summer
Winter

Summer

Winter

Summer

Winter

Winter

Summer

Winter

Ii nter

Winter

Winter

Hi nter

Winter

Winter

Winter

Winter

Hinter

Winter
Summer

Summer

Summer

Summer


* *







***


- *


* **-







f* -


* *


* **

* *

* **


Table 1.


- -


- -






-8-


Table 1 (Continued)


Growth Season of Section of
Common Name Scientific Name Cycle Maximum State Where
Growth Adapted
NW NE C S


Crotalaria
striped
Indigo,
hairy
Kudzu

Lespedeza,
common
Lupine,
blue
Lupine,
yellow
Medic, black

Pea, field
Peanut
Perennial Peanut
Pigeon Pea
Roughpea

S. humilis
Sericea

Sesbania
Sourclover
Soybean
Sweetclover

Velvetbean


Vetch,
Vetch,
Vetch,
Vetch,


common
hairy
monantha
wollypod


Crotalaria
mucronata
Indigofera
hirsuta
Pueraria
thumbergiana
Lespedeza
striata
Lupinus
anaustifolius
Lupinus
luteus
Medicago
lupulina
Pisum arvense
Arachis hypogea
Arachis glabrata
Cajanus cajan
Lathyrus
iirsutus
St!lesarthes humilis
Lespedeza
cuneata
Sesbania exaltata
Melitous indica
Glycine max.
Melitotus alba,
annua
Stizolobium
deeringeanum
Vicia sativa
Vicia villosa
Vicia articulata
Vicia dasycarpa


Summer

Summer

Summer

Summer

Winter

Winter

Winter
Winter
Summer
Summer
Summer

Winter
Summer

Summer
Summer
Winter
Summer

Winter

Summer
Winter
Winter
Winter
Winter


* -*

* -


*k *


* *


Grasses


Bahiagrass
Barley
Bermudagrass
Buffelgrass
Caribgrass

Carpetgrass
Cogongrass
Corn
Dallisgrass


Paspalum notatum
Hordeum vulgare
Cynodon dactylon
Pennisetum ciliare
Eriochloa
polystachya
Axonopus affinis
Imperata cylindrica
Zea mays
Paspalum
dilatatum


Summer
Winter
Summer
Summer

Summer
Summer
Summer
Summer

Summer


* *









Table 1 (Continued)


Growth Season of Section of
Common Name Scientific Name Cycle Maximum State Where
Growth Adapted
NW NE C S


Digitgrass
Fescue, tall

Guineagrass
Limpograss

Johnsongrass
Lovegrass
weeping
Molassesgrass

Napiergrass

Oats
Pangolagrass

Paragrass

Pearl millet

Rescuegrass

Rhodesgrass
Rye
Ryegrass,
italian
St. Augustine
grass
Sorghum
Stargrass

Sudangrass

Torpedograss
Vaseygrass
Wheat


Digitaria species
Festuca,
arundinacea
Panicum maximum
Hemarthria
altissima
Sorghum halepense
Eragrostis
curvula
Melinis
minutiflora
Pennisetum
purpureum
Avena sativa
Digitaria
decumbens
Brachiaria
mutica
Pennisetum
typhoides
Bromus
catharticus
Chloris gayana
Secale cereale
Lolium
Smultiflorum
Stenotaphrum
secundatum
Sorghum bicolor
Cynodon
aethiopicus
Sorghum
bicolor
Panicum repens
Paspalum urvillei
Triticum aestivum


Summer

Winter
Summer

Summer
Summer

Summer

Summer

Summer
Winter

Summer

Summer

Summer

Winter
Summer
Winter

Winter

Summer
Summer

Summer

Summer
Summer
Summer
Winter


_ *


* *


Jr+*


~* ***

*


*


****


* *


***


* *


Other Plant Families


Cyperus esculentus
(Sedge)
Brassica napus
(Mustard)


Summer


B Winter


* *


* *


Chufa

Rape





-10-


Table 1 (Continued)


Growth Season of Section of
Common Name Scientific Name Cycle Maximum State Where
Growth adapted
NW NE C S

Sunflower Helianthus annus
(Thistle) A Summer *


A = Annual; P = Perennial; B = Biennial
2NW = Northwest; NE = Northeast; C = Central; S = South

3Grown as an annual under Florida conditions

4Adapted to dry land only

*Table 1 supplemented and modified, from Florida County Agents Handbook 1976,
:D. W. Jones, and J. R. Henderson.





-11-


Table 2. Acreages of Grasslands


in Florida, 1974*


Items


Acres


Total grasslands
Range pastures
Woodland pastures
Improved permanent grass
pastures
Digitgrasses
Bahiagrasses
Bermudagrasses
Miscellaneous
Grass-legume'


Temporary2


Summer annuals
Millet
Sorghum x sudan
Alyceclover
Indigo
Miscellaneous
Winter annuals
Rye
Wheat
Oats
Ryegrass
Silage
Corn
Sorghum
Hay?


12,167,000
3,969,000
4,698,000

3,125,000
628,000
2,245,000
186,000
66,000
(447,000)

688,000

221,000
65,000
36,000
50,000
50,000
20,000
467,000
101,000
12,000
28,000
326,000
23,000
16,000
7,000
(188,000)


1Most of these acreages included in improved permanent grass
pastures: overseeded with winter growing legumes or harvested
for hay.
2About 50 percent of temporary pasture acreage is double cropped.

*From "Beef Cattle in Florida" Bulletin No. 28, 1976, page 144.


_ __ _~_




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