Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Branch Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/17/2004
Publication Date: 6/27/2004
Citation: Burson, B.L., Venuto, B.C., Hussey, M.A. 2004. A new dallisgrass cultivar for the southern United States [abstract]. American Society of Agronomy. Paper No. s-burson243392.
Technical Abstract: Common dallisgrass (Paspalum dilatatum Poir.) is an important pasture grass in the southern United States because of its forage quality, palatability, and ability to grow in association with other forage grasses and legumes on poorly drained soils. However, the grass is susceptible to ergot (Claviceps paspali Stevens & Hall) and produces less forage than other grasses which has reduced its popularity and use. A morphologically different form of dallisgrass was collected in South America in the 1970s and named Uruguayan dallisgrass. Because this grass grows more upright and robust than common dallisgrass, several accessions of this biotype and common dallisgrass were evaluated for forage production, adaptation, and forage quality at multiple locations in Texas and Louisiana. In all tests, the Uruguayan accessions produced significantly more dry matter than common and their forage quality was essentially the same as common. When grown on heavy clay soils in Louisiana, the Uruguayan accessions persisted much better than common. In a 3-year grazing study in south Louisiana, cattle showed no preference between common and the Uruguayan accessions and they grazed the Uruguayan biotype as readily as common. At the end of the study, the Uruguayan accessions persisted much better (75%) than common (33%). The Uruguayan biotype has similar winter-hardiness as common and can be reliably grown as far north as central Arkansas and southern Tennessee. The most persistent Uruguayan accession (88%) produced 2.6 times more forage than common in Louisiana. The USDA-ARS, Louisiana State University AgCenter, and Texas Agricultural Experiment Station are jointly releasing it with the proposed name 'Sabine' dallisgrass. This new cultivar will provide livestock producers in the southeastern United States with a more persistent and productive alternative to common dallisgrass.