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Title: Potential summer leguminous crops for forage in the Southern Great Plains

item BAATH, GURJINDER - Oklahoma State University
item Northup, Brian
item Gowda, Prasanna
item ROCATELI, ALEXANDRE - Oklahoma State University

Submitted to: Grazinglands Research Laboratory Miscellaneous Publication
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/17/2018
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Abstract only

Technical Abstract: Low quality of available warm-season grasses during July through September limits the production of yearling stocker cattle in the Southern Great Plains (SGP). There has been a continual exploration of species with the capacity to provide high quality forage during summer. There is a broad range of potential legume species native to Africa, India, and South and Central America that are grown for grain crops may function as forages for the SGP. The SGP frequently encounters prolonged drought periods, and amount and occurrence of summer rainfall is highly unpredictable. The selection of low water demanding crops seems more appropriate to fit into the system, to put less stress on following winter wheat, a primary crop in SGP. Moth bean (Vigna aconitifolia [Jacq.] Marechal), tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolius), and guar (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba) are promising choices due to their capability of producing biomass on low precipitation. The study involving the evaluation of these species was conducted during the summer of 2017 on an experimental site at the USDA-ARS Grazinglands Research Laboratory, near El Reno, OK. The data collection includes plant height, forage yield, leaf-to-stem ratio, and forage quality parameters such as crude protein, acid detergent fiber, neutral detergent fiber, and in-vitro digestible dry matter. Guar produced forage biomass within a range of 7-8 Mg/acre at 105 days after planting but it possessed high proportion of low quality stems. Moth bean resulted in comparatively high proportion of nutritious leaves within a biomass yield of 2 Mg/acre at its final harvest after 60 days from planting. Yield and nutritive value of tepary bean forage were found to be similar to those of soybean (Glycine max) at 90 days after planting. Overall, bringing these crops into forage-stocker production systems could improve the overall system effectiveness, in addition to providing other ecosystem services (e.g. ground cover, grain crops).