Title: Bermudagrasses in warm-season perennial pastures of North Florida
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Title: Bermudagrasses in warm-season perennial pastures of North Florida
Physical Description: Book
Creator: Bertrand, J. E.
Publisher: Agricultural Research and Education Center,
Copyright Date: 1985
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Bibliographic ID: UF00091692
Volume ID: VID00001
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Holding Location: University of Florida
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Resource Identifier: 311593396 - OCLC

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/ Agricultural Research and Education Center
Jay, Florida 32565-9524

JAY, AREC RESEARCH REPORT WF-85-1 January, 1985

BERMUDAGRASSES IN WARM-SEASON PERENNIAL PASTURES FOR ORTIiFIORIDAi j ; i

J. E. Bertrand and L. S. Dunavina LD U 1503

SUMMARY '
1.F.A.S.- Univ. of Floridk
Mediumweight feeder steers of British breeding rotationally grazed Tour
warm-season perennial pasture grasses---(1) Pensacola-bahiagrass, (2) Callie
bermudagrass, (3) Tifton hybrid bermudagrass 72-81 (unreleased cultivar), and
(4) Tifton hybrid bermudagrass 72-84 (unreleased cultivar) for three consecutive
seasons (1982, 1983, and 1984). Grazing began each year in May when sufficient
forage was available and was terminated when the forage was essentially grazed
down-in late October-or early November. Callie bermudagrass-was damaged early in
1982 by rust; while Tifton hybrid bermudagrass 72-84, probably because of a
tighter sod and less penetration of sunlight, suffered moderate damage in 1982
and 1983 due to infestations with spittlebugs. The animal performance (average
daily gain and gain per acre) and forage dry matter data resulting from these
studies indicate that the two Tifton hybrid bermudagrasses (72-81 and 72-84) and
Callie bermudagrass need serious consideration as potential warm-season perennial
pasture grasses for north Florida. The bermudagrasses have consistently produced
higher animal gains than Pensacola bahiagrass.

INTRODUCTION

Warm-season perennial grasses, such as Pensacola and Argentine bahiagrasses,
have furnished the base for beef cattle production in north Florida. Promising
new cultivars of bermudagrasses that offer high yields and high quality forage
for beef cattle are now available or are presently being evaluated for release.
These bermudagrasses have potential for improving the gain of beef cattle and
thus reducing the cost of beef production on warm-season perennial pastures.

In 1982, 1983, and 1984, grazing studies were conducted at the Agricultural
Research and Education Center, Jay to evaluate warm-season perennial pasture
grasses (three bermudagrasses and Pensacola bahiagrass) with beef steers from the
standpoint of animal performance and forage characteristics. Relative dry matter
production is the only forage characteristic reported in this paper.

PROCEDURE

In 1982, 1983, and 1984, thirty-two feeder steers of British breeding (Angus
and Angus X Hereford crossbreds) were allotted at random from breed and weight
groups to four experimental groups of eight steers each. Each steer was implanted
in the ear with 36 mg of Ralgro () (zeranol a protein anabolic agent) and tagged
in the other ear with an Ectrin(R) insecticide ear tag. An.experimental group of
steers was assigned to each one of four warm-season perennial pasture grasses---
(1) Pensacola bahiagrass, (2) Callie bermudagrass, (3) Tifton hybrid bermudagrass
72-81 (unreleased cultivar), and (4) Tifton hybrid bermudagrass 72-84 (unreleased
cultivar). Four 1.25-acre plots of each grass were grazed in a rotational system.


aAnimal Scientist and Associate Agronomist, respectively, Agricultural Research
and Education Center, Jay, Florida 32565-9524.









A complete fertilizer (8-24-24) was applied each year during the middle of
March and prior to grazing at the rate of 250 lb. per acre. Four applications of
100 lb. per acre each of ammonium nitrate were made during the grazing season.

Grazing began in May each year when sufficient forage was available and was
terminated when the forage was essentially grazed down in late October or early
November. Each group of steers was rotated between the four plots of the pasture
grass assigned to it. Additional grazer animals of the same type and size were
added and removed as needed to keep the forage uniformly consumed.

Individual animal weights were taken after an overnight shrink (fast from
feed and water) at the beginning and end of the trial periods. Also, each
-experimental group of calves was weighed every 14 days without shrinking during
the interim period for each grass.

Starting on the first day of each trial period and every 14 days thereafter,
forage samples were collected on the pasture'-plots being grazed at that particular
time. The forage was removed from several small areas within the plot to a stubble
of approximately 2 inches. The samples were weighed, dried, ground, and stored in
sealed plastic bags for later analyses. The calves were rotated from the pasture
plot when they had grazed the forage to the-same stubble height.

In order to obtain relative dry matter production for each of the four
grasses, wire cages were placed at random prior to grazing in a plot and removed
after grazing was terminated in the plot. The forage under the cages was clipped
to approximately the same height that the steers had grazed the surrounding
forage. The clipped forage was weighed and a representative sample was weighed,
dried, and reweighed.

A mineral mixture, salt, and clean drinking water were available to the
animals at all times.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Performance data with beef steers grazing warm-season perennial pasture
grasses in 1982 are listed in Table 1. Steers grazing Tifton hybrid bermudagrass
72-81 had a higher gain (1.09 -lb./head/day and 457 Ib./acre), followed by the gain
(0.96 lb./head/day and 346 lb./acre) with steers grazing Tifton hybrid bermudagrass
72-84, the gain (0.90 lb./head/day and 328 lb./acre) with steers grazing Callie
bermudagrass, and the gain (0.84 lb./head/day and 312 lb./acre) with steers grazing
Pensacola bahiagrass. The high stocking rate, high gain, and long grazing period
were responsible for the high beef gain per acre with Tifton hybrid bermudagrass
72-81; whereas, the low beef gain and low stocking rate were responsible for the
low beef gain per acre with Pensacola bahiagrass. However, there were no
statistically significant differences between treatment means for average daily
gain. This was probably due to the large variation in individual observations on
animal gain within treatment groups and the small number of observations.

Callie bermudagrass was damaged early in the 1982 season by rust, while Tifton
hybrid bermudagrass 72-84 suffered moderate damage in September due to infestations
with spittlebugs. Two sprayings, one week apart, with Sevin(R) eliminated the
spittlebug problem.

Performance data with. beef steers grazing warm-season perennial pasture
grasses in 1983 are listed in Table 2. Steers grazing Tifton hybrid bermudagrass
72-84 and Callie bermudagrass gained faster (P<0.01) (1.09 and 1.08 lb./head/day,


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respectively) than those grazing Tifton hybrid bermudagrass 72-81 and Pensacola
bahiagrass (0.64 and 0.56 lb./head/day, respectively) for a grazing period of 144
days. The beef gain per acre was 456 lb. with steers grazing Tifton hybrid
bermudagrass 72-84, 398 lb. with steers grazing Callie bermudagrass, 290 lb. with
steers grazing Tifton hybrid bermudagrass 72-81, and 186 lb. with steers grazing
Pensacola bahiagrass. The high gain and relatively high stocking rate were
responsible for the high beef gain per acre with beef steers grazing Tifton
hybrid bermudagrass 72-84; whereas, the low stocking rate and low gain were
responsible for the low beef gain per acre with beef steers grazing Pensacola
bahiagrass. Tifton hybrid bermudagrass 72-81 had the highest carrying capacity per
acre again in 1983, but for reasons as yet unexplained the daily animal gain was
low.

Callie bermudagrass was not damaged by rust in 1983 and from the standpoint of
animal gain was a very productive warm-season perennial pasture grass. Tifton hybrid
bermudagrass 72-84 suffered moderate damage in late August and early September due
to infestations with spittlebugs. Two sprayings, one week apart with Sevin(R) and
another spraying with Lannate(R) 10 days after the last Sevin(R3 application
eliminated the spittlebug problem.

Performance data with beef steers grazing warm-season perennial pasture
grasses in 1984 are listed in Table 3. Beef steers grazing Callie bermudagrass and
Tifton hybrid bermudagrass 72-84 gained faster (P<0.05) than those grazing Tifton
hybrid bermudagrass 72-81 and Pensacola bahiagrass (1.25 and 1.21 versus 1.01 and
0.99 lb./head/day, respectively) for a period of 160 days. The beef gain per acre
was 483 lb. with steers grazing Callie bermudagrass, 481 lb. with steers grazing
Tifton hybrid bermudagrass 72-81, 467 lb. with steers grazing Tifton hybrid
bermudagrass 72-84, and 449 lb. with steers grazing Pensacola bahiagrass (Table 3).
The high daily gain with steers grazing Callie bermudagrass was responsible for
the high beef gain per acre; whereas, the high stocking rate with steers grazing
Tifton hybrid bermudagrass 72-81 was responsible for the high beef gain per acre.
Because of a higher daily gain, beef steers grazing Tifton hybrid bermudagrass
72-84 had a higher beef gain per acre when compared with that of steers grazing
Pensacola bahiagrass. However, Pensacola bahiagrass had a higher stocking rate
than Tifton hybrid bermudagarss 72-84.

Callie bermudagrass was not damaged by rust in 1984 and from the standpoint of
animal gain was a very productive warm-season perennial pasture grass. Tifton
hybrid bermudagrass 72-81 had the highest carrying capacity per acre as in previous
years, but for some unexplained reason the daily animal gain was again low. Tifton
hybrid bermudagrass 72-84 was not damaged by spittlebug infestations in 1984 and
produced a high daily animal gain. The daily animal gain on Pensacola bahigrass
was low as in previous years.

Relative dry- matter production in 1982 was higher for Tifton hybrid bermuda-
grass 72-81, followed in order by that of Tifton hybrid bermudagrass 72-84, Callie
bermudagrass, and Pensacola bahiagrass (11,600, 9,940, 9,030, and 7,820 lb./acre,
respectively) (Table 4). Relative dry matter production in 1983 was essentially
the same for Tifton hybrid bermudagrass 72-84 and Tifton hybrid bermudagrass 72-81,
followed by that of Callie bermudagrass and Pensacola bahiagrass (10,070, 10,060,
9,040, and 7,830 lb./acre, respectively) (Table 5). Relative dry matter production
in 1984 of the warm-season perennial pastures is presented in Table 6. Tifton
hybrid bermudagrass 72-81 produced 9,920 lb. of dry forage per acre, followed by
8,130 lb. for Tifton hybrid bermudagrass 72-84, 7,980 lb. for Pensacola bahiagrass,
and 7,380 lb. for Callie bermudagrass.


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The animal performance (average daily gain and gain per acre) and forage dry
matter data resulting from studies conducted during three consecutive seasons
indicate that the two Tifton hybrid bermudagrasses (72-81 and 72-84) and Callie
bermudagrass need serious consideration as potential warm-season perennial pasture
grasses for north Florida. The bermudagrasses have consistently produced higher
animal gains than Pensacola bahiagrass.

****** ********* *** * * *** * * * * * *

TABLE 1. PERFORMANCE DATA WITH BEEF STEERS GRAZING WARM-SEASON
PERENNIAL PASTURE GRASSES (1982)a
Pensacola Callie Tifton hybrid bermudagrassesb
Item bahiagrass bermudagrass 72-81 72-84
Initial no. of animals 8 8 8 8
Length of grazing, days 183 168 183 168
Initial wt, lb. 504 546 516 559
Final wt, lb. 658 698 715 720
Gain/animal, lb. 154 152 199 161
Daily gain, lb. 0.84 0.90 1.09 0.96
Animal days/acrec 371 364 419 360
Stocking rate/acrec 2.03 2.17 2.29 2.14
Gain/acre, lb.d 312 328 457 346
Gain/acre/day, lb.d 1.71 1.95 2.50 2.05
Rotational grazing of four 1.25-acre plots for each group initially containing
eight beef steers.
bUnreleased cultivars and not presently available commercially.
cAdditional grazer animals of the same type and size were added and removed as
needed to keep the forage uniformly grazed.
dThe gain with grazer steers was considered at the same rate as that with
experimental steers.



TABLE 2. PERFORMANCE DATA WITH BEEF STEERS GRAZING WARM-SEASON
PERENNIAL PASTURE GRASSES (1983)a
Pensacola Callie Tifton hybrid bermudagrasses
Item bahiagrass bermudagrass 72-81 72-84
Initial no. of animals 8 8 8 8
Length of grazing, days 144 144 144 144
Initial wt, lb. 666 676 688 671
Final wt, lb. 746 831 780 828
Gain/animal, lb. 80 155 92 157
Daily gain, lb. 0.56e 1.08f 0.64e 1.09
Animal days/acrec 332 369 453 418
Stocking rate/acrec 2.31 2.56 3.15 2.90
Gain/acre, lb.d 186 398 290 456
Gain/acre/day, lb.d 1.29 2.76 2.02 3.16
aRotational grazing of four 1.25-acre plots for each group initially containing
eight beef steers.
bUnreleased cultivars and not presently available commercially.
cAdditional grazer animals of the same type and size were added and removed as
needed to keep the forage uniformly grazed.
dThe gain with grazer steers was considered at the same rate as that with
experimental steers.
e, Means in a row with different superscripts differ (P<0.01).


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TABLE 3. PERFORMANCE DATA WITH BEEF STEERS GRAZING WARM-SEASON
PERENNIAL PASTURE GRASSES (1984)a
Pensacola Callie Tifton hybrid bermudagrassesb
Item bahiagrass bermudagrass 72-81 72-84
Initial no. of animals 8 8 8 8
Length of grazing, days 160 160 160 160
Initial wt, lb. 568 557 568 555
Final wt, lb. 726 757 729 748
Gain/animal, Ib. 158 200 161 193
Daily gain, lb. 0.99e 1.25f 1.01 1.21
Animal days/acrec 454 386 476 386
Stocking rate/acrec 2.84 2.41 2.98 2.41
Gain/acre, lb.d 449 483 481 467
Gain/acre/day, Ib.d 2.81 3.01 3.01 2.92
Rotational grazing of four 1.25-acre plots for each group initially containing
eight beef steers.
Unreleased cultivars and not presently available commerically.
CAdditional grazer animals of the same type and size were added and removed as
needed to keep the forage uniformly grazed.
dThe gain with grazer steers was considered at the same rate as that with
experimental steers.
e,fMeans in a row with different superscripts differ (P<0.05).

** ****** ** ** * * * * * *

TABLE 4. RELATIVE DRY MATTER PRODUCTION OF WARM-SEASON
PERENNIAL PASTURE GRASSES (1982)
Pensacola Callie Tifton hybrid bermudagrassesa
Item bahiagrass bermudagrass 72-81 72-84
---------------------------lb./acre----------------------
Dry forageb 7,820 9,030 11,600 9,940
"Unreleased cultivars and not presently available commercially.
Estimated by the use of wire cages placed on pastures being grazed.

**** *** ** ******** ******** ****

TABLE 5. RELATIVE DRY MATTER PRODUCTION OF WARM-SEASON
PERENNIAL PASTURE GRASSES (1983)
Pensacola Callie Tifton hybrid bermudagrassesa
Item bahiagrass bermudagrass .72-81 72-84
b---------------------------lb./acre--------------------------
Dry forage 7,830 9,040 10,060 10,070
aUnreleased cultivars and not presently available commercially.
bEstimated by the use of wire cages placed on pastures being grazed.

** ***** ***** **** ** *********** *

TABLE 6. RELATIVE DRY MATTER PRODUCTION OF WARM-SEASON
PERENNIAL PASTURE GRASSES (1984)
Pensacola Callie Tifton hybrid bermudagrassesa
Item bahiagrass bermudagrass 72-81 72-84
--- ----------------------------lb./acre--------------------------
Dry forageb 7,980 7,380 9,920 8,130
aUnreleased cultivars and not presently available commercially.
bEstimated by use of wire cages placed on pastures being grazed.


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