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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Biomass Production and Forage Quality of Eastern Gamagrass Grown on An Acid Compact Soil at Beltsville MD [for a Five Year Period from 1997-2001]

item Krizek, Donald
item Ritchie, Jerry
item Reeves Iii, James
item Sadeghi, Ali
item Foy, Charles - USDA, RETIRED
item Rhoden, Errol - TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY
item Davis, John - NRCS ANIMAL HUSB DIV
item Camp, Mary

Submitted to: Eastern Native Grass Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 15, 2002
Publication Date: October 3, 2002
Citation: Krizek, D.T., Ritchie, J.C., Reeves Iii, J.B., Sadeghi, A.M., Foy, C.D., Rhoden, E.G., Davis, J.R., Camp, M.J. 2002. Biomass production and forage quality of eastern gamagrass grown on an acid compact soil at Beltsville Md [for a five year period from 1997-2001][abstract]. The Third Eastern Native Grass Symposium. p. 19.

Technical Abstract: A field study was conducted at BARC from 1997 to 2001 to determine the yield and forage quality of 'Pete' eastern gamagrass [Tripsacum dactyloides (L.) L.] grown on an acid, compact soil. Total yield from two cuttings in 1997, 1998, 2000, and 2001 on unlimed, no-till sites averaged 3801, 4469, 6007, and 3039 kg/ha, respectively. A single cutting in July 1999 averaged 1981 kg/ha. In general, yields varied with position on the slope, bulk density, and thickness of the topsoil, but not with pH. Average yield was generally lowest at the top of the slope where the thickness of the Ap horizon was thinner, the soil was strongly acid (pH 4.3 - 4.4), and the bulk density and penetrometer resistance values were generally greatest. Acid compact soils had little or no effect on forage quality and composition. Time of harvest had a greater effect on forage quality than site. Overall, eastern gamagrass plants had a high fiber content as reflected by high NDF and ADF but were not very high in lignin content. Crude protein and digestibility were relatively high. Despite stress imposed by reduced top soil, low pH, high bulk density, saturated soils in the spring, and deficits in soil moisture in the summer, eastern gamagrass produced relatively high yields with good forage quality. These findings indicate that it is ideally suited for reclamation of acid, compact soils and for producing high yields of forage on marginal lands.

Last Modified: 4/19/2015