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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: 'chet' Sand Bluestem and 'verl' Eastern Gamagrass: New Cultivars for the Southern Plains and Eastern United States

Author
item Springer, Timothy

Submitted to: American Forage and Grassland Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 16, 2006
Publication Date: March 13, 2006
Citation: Springer, T.L. 2006. 'Chet' sand bluestem and 'Verl' eastern gamagrass: new cultivars for the Southern Plains and eastern United States. American Forage and Grassland Conference Proceedings. 15:159-162. 2006 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary: 'Chet' sand bluestem, Andropogon hallii Hack., and 'Verl' eastern gamagrass, Tripsacum dactyloides (L.) L., were released by the USDA-Agricultural Research Service in cooperation with the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station and the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service. Chet is a medium-stature sand bluestem recommended for pasture, hay, complementary rangeland-forage production systems, soil stabilization, or reclamation of marginal croplands in the central and southern Great Plains of the United States. Chet was derived from a big and sand bluestem collection consisting of 158 accessions received as seed from the USDA-ARS North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station. Chet went through three polycross selection cycles. 'Verl' is unique among commercial eastern gamagrass cultivars in that it is a fertile triploid (2n = 3x = 54) that reproduces predominantly via apomixis. Verl is recommended for pasture or hay in the eastern and southern United States where appropriate management is used to prevent damage to the plant stands. Depending on the length of growing season and the amount of available moisture, Verl can be harvested 2-to-4 times per year on a 45-d harvest interval. Farmers and ranchers will benefit directly from the use of both cultivars through increased production and diversification of their complementary forage-livestock production systems.

Technical Abstract: 'Chet' sand bluestem, Andropogon hallii Hack., and 'Verl' eastern gamagrass, Tripsacum dactyloides (L.) L., were released by the USDA-Agricultural Research Service in cooperation with the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station and the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service. Chet is a medium-stature sand bluestem recommended for pasture, hay, complementary rangeland-forage production systems, soil stabilization, or reclamation of marginal croplands in the central and southern Great Plains of the United States. The forage dry matter yield of Chet (5,700 lbs/acre) was 8.8% greater than that of 'Woodward' sand bluestem (P < 0.03). The seasonal average crude protein (6.4%) and in vitro digestible dry matter (51%) was not significantly different from Woodward in this field trial (P > 0.05). Verl is unique among commercial eastern gamagrass cultivars in that it is a fertile triploid (2n = 3x = 54) that reproduces predominantly via apomixis. Verl is recommended for pasture or hay in the eastern and southern United States where appropriate management is used to prevent damage to the plant stands. The forage dry matter yield of Verl (7,075 lbs/acre) was 11% greater than that of 'Pete' eastern gamagrass (P < 0.05). Depending on the length of growing season and the amount of available moisture, Verl can be harvested 2-to-4 times per year on a 45-d harvest interval. The seasonal average crude protein (9.5%) and in vitro digestible dry matter (52%) was not significantly different from 'Pete' in field trials (P > 0.05). Farmers and ranchers will benefit directly from the use of both cultivars through increased production and diversification of their complementary forage-livestock production systems.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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