GENETIC AND CULTURAL PRACTICE IMPROVEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE COTTON PRODUCTION
Location: Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research
Title: Irrigating Tifton 85 bermudagrass for forage production in the humid Southeast
Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 14, 2011
Publication Date: October 16, 2011
Citation: Bauer, P.J., Stone, K.C., Andrae, J., Busscher, W.J. 2011. Irrigating Tifton 85 bermudagrass for forage production in the humid Southeast [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Society of Agronomy-Crop Science Society of America-Soil Science Society of America International Annual Meetings, October 16-19, 2011, San Antonio, Texas.
Although total acreage and total hay production in South Carolina have increased substantially over the last 30 years, average forage yield has changed little. Nearly all of the production is under rainfed conditions. This research was conducted to investigate how irrigation affects yield and quality of Tifton 85 hybrid bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon Pers. × C. nlemfuensis Vanderyst) grown for forage. The experiment was conducted in 2008 and 2009. Treatments were cutting schedule (4 or 8 wks), N fertilizer rate (224, 448, or 672 kg/ha), and irrigation level (0, 33, 66, or 100% of ET). Irrigation was initiated when tensiometers installed at 30 cm below the soil surface were at -30 kPa. Because of adequate precipitation, irrigation was not applied during much of the growing season in either year. When precipitation was lacking, yield increased linearly with irrigation level (twice in 2008 and once in 2009 for forage cut every four wks and once in both 2008 and 2009 for forage cut every eight wks). No interactions for yield occurred between irrigation level and N rate at any harvest in either year. Yield increased linearly with N rate at most harvests. Even though yield was higher with irrigation at some harvests in both years, total season forage production did not significantly differ among irrigation levels in either year (mean yield across all treatments was 9702 kg/ha in 2008 and 14724 kg/ha in 2009).