Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/15/2007
Publication Date: 1/20/2008
Citation: Burns, J.C., Godshalk, E.B., Timothy, D.H. 2008. Registration of 'Performer' switchgrass. Crop Science. 2:29-30.
Interpretive Summary: The switchgrass cultivar, 'Performer', is a new release that has been selected for improved digestability using in vitro procedures. Laboratory nutritive value assessment and animal response data show that Performer is about 5 percentage units greater in digestibility than either Alamo or Cave-in-Rock cultivars presently on the market. Performer is a lowland ecotype and well adapted to the Mid-Atlantic Region. Its dry matter yield is inferior to Alamo, but digestible dry matter yield per hectare is comparable to Alamo. This cultivar will provide animals a diet with greater energy concentration and should improve animal daily responses. Performer can be managed as pasture or harvested and stored as hay or silage or used as a biomass crop.
Technical Abstract: 'Performer' switchgrass [Panicum virgatum L.] (Reg. no. CV-_____ , PI 644818) was cooperatively developed by the USDA-Agricultural Research Service and the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service, North Carolina State University and released in 2006. Incorporation and preservation of the unique switchgrass germplasm indigenous to the Southeastern U.S. is important in the development of a new cultivar with improved nutritive value and, hence, forage quality (i.e., intake and digestion). Generally, forage quality and dry matter yield are negatively associated. The development of this new cultivar retained acceptable dry matter yield, but with improved nutritive value over existing cultivars, and over other adapted warm-season grasses, which is valuable to the ruminant industry.