Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Meetings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 28, 2000
Publication Date: September 15, 2000
Citation: KRIZEK, D.T., REEVES III, J.B., RITCHIE, J.C., SADEGHI, A.M., FOY, C.E. A THREE-YEAR STUDY ON FORAGE QUALITY AND COMPOSITION OF EASTERN GAMAGRASS STANDS GROWN ON A RESTRICTED SOIL. AMERICAN SOCIETY OF AGRONOMY MEETINGS. 2000.
The objective of this research was to investigate the effect of depth of topsoil and pH on the fiber composition and digestibility of eastern gamagrass grown at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, MD. Samples were collected in 1997, 1998, and 1999 from eastern gamagrass (cv. Pete) plants grown on a slope with decreasing depth of topsoil from bottom to top. It should be noted that in all three years plants experienced severe drought. Samples were dried at 60 C, ground in a 20 mesh Wiley mill, and analyzed in duplicate for neutral and acid detergent fiber (NDF and ADF, respectively), 72% sulfuric acid lignin (ADL), NDF and dry matter (DM) in vitro digestibility, and total crude protein. In 1997, results showed that with decreasing depth of topsoil, resulting plants contained less fiber (NDF and ADF) and were more digestible, as evidenced by increased NDF and DM digestibility. However, in 1998, except for ADF, samples obtained from the same locations, did not show these same trends (drought conditions were even more severe). Data for 1999 are being analyzed and will be presented at the meeting. Soil pH had no significant effect on gamagrass forage composition. Thus, marginal soils do not appear to have any detrimental effects on the forage composition or quality of eastern gamagrass.