Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 20, 2002
Publication Date: November 12, 2002
Citation: SANDERSON, M.A., SKINNER, R.H., KUJAWSKI, J., VANDERGRINTEN, M. ELYMUS VIRGINICUS AND HYSTRIX PATULA AS POTENTIAL NATIVE COOL-SEASON FORAGE GRASSES IN THE NORTHEAST USA. 2002. AGRONOMY ABSTRACTS. Paper No. C06-sanderson074446-poster. 2002 CDROM. Technical Abstract: Nearly all of the highly productive forage grasses used in the northeastern USA are introduced species. The objective of this study was to evaluate several northeastern collections of Elymus virginicus and Hystrix patula for yield, persistence, and forage quality. Fourteen accessions and two commercial sources of E. virginicus and 11 accessions and one commercial source of H. patula were transplanted into single-row field plots during August and September of 2000 at Beltsville, MD, Rock Springs, PA, and Big Flats, NY. Two commercial cultivars of orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) were included as checks. Dry matter yield and plant morphology (leaf width, length, mass; tiller density; plant height) data were collected during 2001 and 2002. There was a wide variation in leaf morphology among accessions of both species. Yields of E. virginicus ranged from 8 to 57 grams of dry matter per plant. Yields of H. patula ranged from 4 to 40 grams of dry matter per plant. Orchardgrass plants were much more productive and yielded an average of 30 to 140 grams of dry matter per plant. Both E. virginicus and H. patula were very sensitive to dry conditions. Hystrix was completely eliminated at Rock Springs by insect damage to growing points and roots. These results indicate that there may be limited potential as productive forage grasses for these native cool-season grasses without significant genetic improvement.