Historic note

Group Title: Research report - University of Florida Agricultural Research Center ; RC-1983-4
Title: Yield and persistence of perennial grasses at Immokalee Florida, 1981 and 1982
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00074261/00001
 Material Information
Title: Yield and persistence of perennial grasses at Immokalee Florida, 1981 and 1982
Series Title: Research report
Physical Description: 4, 4 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Kalmbacher, R. S
Agricultural Research Center, Ona
Publisher: Agricultural Research Center
Place of Publication: Ona FL
Publication Date: 1983
Subject: Grasses -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Grasses -- Varieties -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: R.S. Kalmbacher ... et al..
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: "July 1983."
Funding: Research report (Agricultural Research Center, Ona) ;
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00074261
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 85835286

Table of Contents
    Historic note
        Historic note
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
Full Text


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

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.

Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida


Agricultural Research Center

Research Report RC-1983-4 July 1983


R.S. Kalmbacher, P.H. Everett, F.G. Martin, K.H. Quesenberry
E.M. Hodges, O.C. Ruelke and S.C. SchankI/

New perennial grass introductions and varieties are continually being
evaluated in Florida. Because of the range of soil and climate within the
state, these grasses need to be tested for yield, quality, and persistence at
several locations. The purpose of this publication is to present the results
from the first two years of a four-year study designed to evaluate twenty
perennial grasses.

Materials and Methods
The study was conducted at the Immmokalee Agricultu alResearch Center (26~
27'N, 810 26'W) near the Everglades. Daily minimum temp ratures dur pQ coal
season (October to March), which limit tropical grass pe siste ce and yield,
averages 560F, and rainfall averages 47.2 in. annually, 7 % of which falls ro
April to September. Soil was an Immokalee fine sand (Are .C..la kiah)
to a pH of 6.6 and having an organic matter content of 1. as not
irrigated, but because the site had been used for vegetable production more than
10 years ago, presence of irrigation ditches around the perimeter reduced the
incidence of standing water in the rainy season.

The following grasses were planted: nine entries of Hemarthria altissima;
three Cynodon dactylon entries (Callie, Tifton 72-81, and Tifton 72-84 bermuda-
grasses); three Cynodon nZemfuensis entries (Cane Patch, Puerto Rico, and Ona
stargrass); three Digitgrass entries (Transvala, D. decumbens; Taiwan, D. penzii;
Survenola, Digitaria x umfoZozi); and two Pennisetum entries (P. purpurem dwarf
hybrid, P. purpurem x P. americanum). All entries, except Bigalta Hemarthria,
Callie bermudagrass, Ona stargrass, Taiwan, Transvala and Survenola digitgrass,
were experimental.

I/ Associate Agronomist, Ona ARC; Soil Chemist, Immokalee ARC; Associate
Statistician, Dept. of Stat., Univ. Fla., Gainesville; Associate Agronomist,
Dept. Agron., Univ. Fla., Gainesville; Professor emeritus, Ona ARC;
Agronomist, Dept. Agron, Univ. Fla., Gainesville, respectively.

All grasses were established vegetatively in four replications of a
randomized, complete block design on 6 August 1980 and 7 August 1981. Soil was
rotavated, weed-free and contained adequate moisture. Planting material was
disked into the seedbed, except for dwarf napiergrass and pearlmillet x
napiergrass hybrids, which were started from 12" stalk cuttings, planted on 3
foot centers. In 1981 the experimental site was over-head irrigated (1 inch),
2 days after planting. Fertilization for establishment and maintenance,
herbicide and insecticide usage are outlined in Table 1.

Forage harvests were scheduled on a calendar-basis (35-day), but during
the cool season was harvested when sufficient forage had accumulated. Stubble
height is described in Table 1. Frequency of harvest was often delayed by
excessive rainfall during the summer 1982.

Results and Discussions

DM Yield

There were significant differences in the dry matter (DM) yields of the
twenty entries tested (Table 2). The three Hemarthria spp (Floralta, PI 349753,
PI 365509) were consistently better (P<0.05) yielding entries in both years
when compared with any other entry. Their two-year average yield was 9.6 t/A
vs 4.6 t/A for all other entries.

There were differences in yield among the other six Hemarthria spp tested
(Table 2), which together averaged 5.1 t/A. Most Hemarthria entries were
consistent in their yield between the two years, but Bigalta yield declined 2.2
t/A in 1982. Bigalta has not been persistent at Immokalee in other trials where
it has been clipped.

Stargrass and bermudagrass yield ranged from 6.7 and 6.1 t/A for Cane
Patch and Puerto Rico stargrass, respectively, to 2.0 t/A with Callie bermuda-
grass. Tifton 72-84 bermudagrass, a very decumbent entry which has the appear-
ance of common bermudagrass, yielded an average 4.8 t/A. Tifton 72-86 was
planted in 1980, but failed completely and was replaced by Tifton 72-81 in 1981.

There were significant differences in the yields of digitgrasses tested
(Table 2). Greatest yield came from Taiwan (5.8 t/A), followed by Transvala and
Survenola (2.2 and 2.3 t/A, respectively).

The two forage-type napiergrasses tested in 1982 were not significantly
different for each other in yield (Table 2), and were not significantly lower
in yield than the best yielding Hemarthria entries. The dwarf napiergrass
averaged 6.7 t/A, and the pearlmillet x napiergrass hybrid averaged 7.8 t/A.

Yield at each of seven harvests of the better yielding Cynodon, Digitaria
and Hemarthria entries are shown in Table 3. Cane Patch and Floralta provided
good early-season growth with an average of 1 t/A in the two harvests between
January and May. Taiwan averaged 0.4 t/A in this 5 month winter-spring period.
Summer yields of all grasses were higher than at other times, especially with
Floralta. Summer yields of Floralta may need to be curtailed with lower N
fertilization, or grazing pressure will need to be increased considerably in
order to utilize Floralta forage.

Percent DM in 1982, when plants were harvested more consistently through-
out the year, seemed to be lower on the napiergrass entries (24%) and digitgrass
entries (28%) as compared to the Hemarthria and Cynodon entries (Table 4).
Disregarding entry 7 and 13, which contained large amounts of common bermuda-
grass, Hemarthria averaged 31% DM. The five Cynodon entries averaged 35% DM.

Establishment and Persistence

All Hemarthria entries were quick to establish. Although there was
competition from annual grasses in the year of planting, they over-came the
competition and were well established in the spring of 1981. Most Hemarthria
entries had good ground cover and little encroachment from common bermudagrass
by the end of the second year. Only PI 364887 and Bigalta appeared to be weak
entries and had 66 and 65% common bermudagrass cover. All other Hemarthria
entries had >87% cover with less than 13% common bermudagrass. Entries 1,2,3,
which were the highest yielding (Table 2), had >98% cover with no common bermuda-
grass. (Table 4).

Hemarthria entries 13 and 14 were not among the highest yielding entries,
but were quick to establish and very persistent. These are quite decumbent
(Table 4) and may have potential for heavy grazing because considerable leaf
area remains close to the soil surface after cutting.

Callie bermudagrass failed to establish in 1980 in three of four replications
and was re-planted in 1981. Stands from the second planting were weak and common
bermudagrass covered 22% of the plot area (Table 4). Other Cynodon entries
were quick to establish and were persistent, especially Cane Patch and Puerto
Rico stargrass (Table 4). These entries spread faster than Ona stargrass, and
plots of Cane Patch and Puerto Rico stargrass contained less common bermudagrass
than Ona stargrass. Tifton 72-84 was quick to establish and is considered
persistent due to its decumbent growth habit. Tifton 72-81 appeared to be a
weak entry with 60% cover one year after planting.

Taiwan digitgrass was quick to establish and proved to be persistent with
92% cover and no common bermudagrass after two years of cutting (Table 4).
Transvala and Survenola were poor entries that required re-planting in 1981.
Annual weeds crowded these entries out in the initial year, but use of herbicide
in 1981 resulted in good establishment.

The napiergrass entries were slower to establish and fill-in plot areas.
After one year plot cover from these plants with a bunch-type habit of growth
was 38% and 52% for the entry 15 and 17, respectively. When cut (or grazed)
no closer than 8 to 12 inches these entries should be persistent, provided they
are given sufficient recovery time (35 to 42 days).

As a group, the Hemarthria entries appeared to be much more efficient in
fertilizer use. Application of 50 Ib/A of N would carry these grasses over to
the next harvest easily, and during the long period between the last harvest in
the fall and the first harvest in the spring these entries maintained good
color and relatively dense stands. On the other extreme, the stargrass entries
(excpet for Puerto Rico) were very pale at harvest, and canopies were open.
The stargrasses appeared to be heavily dependent on nitrogen and were definitely
at a disadvantage with the rates applied.


Summary and Conclusion

Nine Hemarthria spp, six Cynodon spp, three Digitaria spp, and two
Pennisetum spp entries were tested for yield and persistence in 1981 and 1982.
There were significant differences in yield with three Hemarthria entries
among the highest: Floralta (9.8 t/A), PI 349753 (9.6 t/A), and PI 365509
(9.5 t/A). Better yielding Cynodon and Digitaria entries were Cane Patch
stargrass (6.7 t/A) and Taiwan digitgrass (5.8 t/A), respectively. The
Pennisetum hybrids averaged 7.3 t/A (1982 yield).

All Hemarthria spp became established well in 1980, but Bigalta and
PI 364887 did not persist well in 1982. Hemarthria entries, especially the
three which were greater in yield, resisted encroachment from common bermuda-
grass. Three Cynodon spp, Cane Patch, Puerto Rico stargrass, and Tifton 72-84
bermudagrass established quickly and proved to be persistent in the two years
of testing. Only Taiwan digitgrass established well when compared with Transvala
and Survenola digitgrass. The two Pennisetum spp were slower to establish than
most other entries, but seem to be fairly persistent.

Table 1. General cultural information, perennial grass variety trial.
Immokalee, Florida.

A. Planting (vegetative)

1. 6 August 1980, all entries exept Nos. 15, 17, 20. (entry nos. are
on table 2).

2. 7 August 1981, replants entries 12, 16, 18, 19 and plant entries
Nos. 15, 17, 20. (entry nos are on table 2).

B. Fertilization

1. Establishment

a. 5 August 1980. Dolomite at 1 t/A.
b. 29 August 1980. 50-46-92 Ib/A of N-P205-K20, resp. with 10 Ib/A
FTE 503 micronutrients.
c. 6 January 1981. 96-20-20 lb/A of N-P205-K20
d. 10 October 1981. 48-24-24 Ib/A N-P205-K20 on 7 August 1981
planted entries.

2. Maintenance

a. 48-24-24 Ib/A (N-P205-K20) applied after each harvest (24 April,
7 July, 21 October 1981, 10 February 1982, 6 May, 10 June,
3 August, 8 September 14 October, 27 December.

C. Herbicide

1. 6 August 1980 none

2. 7 August 1981 Lasso (R)at 1 lb/A (active)

D. Stubble height: 2" on entry No. 11; 6 to 8" on entry Nos. 15 and 17;
4" on all others.

E. Insecticide: none

F. Harvest: 3 in 1981 and 7 in 1982 (see B-2-a above for dates)

Table 2. Yield (oven dry) of perennial grasses tested at the Immokalee ARC
1981 and 1982.

Entry No.


1981 1982
dry matter
10.5 at 9.0 at
10.0 ab 9.2 a
9.8 a-c 9.2 a
6.7 a-d 6.6 b-
5.3 cd 6.9 a-
5.4 b-d 6.2 c-
6.7 a-d 4.5 d-
4.4 d 6.4 c-
4.7 d 6.1 c-
4.7 d 5.8 c-
3.8 d 5.8 c-
4.4 d 4.5 d-
4.8 d 3.8 f
4.1 d 4.5 d-
t 7.8 a-
0 4.3 ef
+ 6.7 b-
0 4.5 d-
0 3.9 f
+ 1.2 g

Cultivar No./name

Floralta Hemarthria
PI 349753 Hemarthria
PI 365509 Hemarthria
Cane Patch stargrass
PR 2341 Puerto Rico stargrass
Taiwan digitgrass
Bigalta Hemarthria
PI 364884 Hemarthria
PI 364871 Hemarthria .
PI 364869 Hemarthria
Tifton 72-84 bermudagrass
Ona stargrass
PI 364887 Hemarthria
PI 367874 Hemarthria
Pearlmillet x napiergrass hybrid
Transvala digitgrass
Dwarf napiergrass
Survenola digitgrass
Callie bermudagrass
Tifton 72-81 bermudagrass

t Means within columns followed by the same letter are not
different. (Duncans LSD, P<0.05).


# These entries were planted Aug. 1981 and not included in two-year average.

experimental entries.

9.8 a
9.6 a
9.5 a
e 6.7 b
d 6.1 bc
f 5.8 b-d
f 5.6 b-d
e 5.4 b-d
f 5.4 b-d
f 5.3 b-e
f 4.8 b-e
f 4.5 b-e
4.3 b-e
f 4.3 b-e
c #
2.2 c-e
e +
f 2.3 d-f
2.0 ef


Table 3. Yield of better yielding Cynodon, Digitaria and Hemarthria entries
at seven harvests in 1982. Immokalee, Florida.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Grass 10 Feb 6 May 10 June 3 Aug 8 Sept 14 Oct 27 Dec Total
---------------------dry matter (tons/A)------------

Cane Patch (Cynodon) 0.7 1.2 0.7 2.0 0.8 0.7 0.6 6.6 ab
Taiwan (Digitaria) 0.0 0.9 0.9 2.6 0.8 0.6 0.4 6.2 b
Floralta (Hemarthria) 0.4 1.8 0.5 3.7 0.8 1.2 0.6 9.0 a

t means followed by the same letter are not different (Duncan's LSD P<0.05)

Table 4. Average plot cover, dry matter at harvest and height of perennial grasses tested at Immokalee ARC.
1981 and 1982.


Cultivar No./Name

Floralta Hemarthria
PI 349753 Hemarthria
PI 365509 Hemarthria
Cane Patch stargrass
PR 2341 Puerto Rico stargrass
Taiwan digitgrass
Bigalta Hemarthria
PI 364884 Hemarthria
PI 364871 Hemarthria
PI 364869 Hemarthria
Tifton 72-84 bermudagrass
Ona stargrass
PI 364887 Hemarthria
PI 367874 Hemarthria
Pearlmillet x Napiergrass hybrid
Transvala digitgrass
Dwarf napiergrass
Survenola digitgrass
Callie bermudagrass
Tifton 72-81 bermudagrass

Cover .DM

92 33.5
88 33.7
100 30.6
80 39.5
93 38.6
73 35.0
97 31.8
80 35.0
85 31.5
76 33.8
94 45.1
86 37.9
75 37.3
80 33.8

HT Cover DM
inches ------%--


t + +

4 4 4


HT bermudagrass
inches -----%-----


+ Average cover of common bermudagrass on 8 Sept. 1982.

+ planted August 1981

These entries failed to produce a stand in 1980 and were replantedin 1981.

Entry No.

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