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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: GERMPLASM DEVELOPMENT FOR SOUTHERN PLAINS RANGELAND AND PASTURE LANDSCAPES Title: Agronomic performance of eastern gamagrass cultivars and experimental germplasm grown on the Southern Plains

Authors
item Goldman, Jason
item Springer, Timothy

Submitted to: Native Plant Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 9, 2011
Publication Date: July 26, 2011
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/53747
Citation: Goldman, J.J., Springer, T.L. 2011. Agronomic performance of eastern gamagrass cultivars and experimental germplasm grown on the Southern Plains. Native Plants Journal. 12(2):100-106.

Interpretive Summary: Eastern gamagrass is a robust, perennial warm-season bunchgrass native from Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle to the east coast. It has long been recognized as a highly productive and palatable forage grass that begins growing earlier in the spring than most warm-season grasses and produces good re-growth following defoliation. It also has potential as a biofuel and for phytoremediation of certain soil contaminants such as zinc. However, limited information is available on newer cultivars or improved germplasm of eastern gamagrass grown on the Southern Plains. We evaluated the agronomic performance of an assortment of eastern gamagrass cultivars and novel germplasm on the Southern Plains. Four cultivars and three experimental populations were evaluated for forage yield, quality, and seed production. Yield ranged between 13417 and 18015 kg/ha dry matter when harvested three times per year without supplemental irrigation in 2008 and 2009. Seed yield, collected in 2010, ranged from 181 to 436 kg/ha with significant differences among entries. Crude protein did not differ significantly between entries and ranged from 1720 to 2002 kg/ha. In vitro digestibility ranged from 7543 to 9670 kg/ha with only one entry significantly less digestible. Choosing an appropriate eastern gamagrass cultivar may not always be a straightforward decision. These results provide useful information about improved cultivars, however, knowledge from growers in your local region who have established and maintained gamagrass stands will be useful when selecting a cultivar.

Technical Abstract: Eastern gamagrass, [Tripsacum dactyloides (L.) L.] is a robust, perennial warm-season bunchgrass native from Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle to the east coast. It has long been recognized as a highly productive and palatable forage grass that begins growing earlier in the spring than most warm-season grasses and produces good re-growth following defoliation. It also has potential as a biofuel and for phytoremediation of certain soil contaminants such as zinc. Limited information is available on newer cultivars or improved germplasm of eastern gamagrass grown on the Southern Plains. Therefore the objective of this experiment was to evaluate the agronomic performance of an assortment of eastern gamagrass cultivars and novel germplasm on the Southern Plains. In this study, four cultivars and three experimental populations were evaluated for forage yield, quality, and seed production. Yield ranged between 13417 and 18015 kg/ha dry matter when harvested three times per year without supplemental irrigation in 2008 and 2009. Seed yield, collected in 2010 ranged from 181 to 436 kg/ha with significant differences among entries. Crude protein did not differ significantly between entries and ranged from 1720 to 2002 kg/ha. In vitro digestibility ranged from 7543 to 9670 kg/ha, with only one entry significantly less digestible.

Last Modified: 11/22/2014
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