Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #385803

Research Project: Sustainable Intensification of Integrated Crop-Pasture-Livestock Systems in Northeastern Landscapes

Location: Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research

Title: Forage diversity affects rate of maturity and biomass of individual cool-season species

Author
item Billman, Eric
item Jaramillo, David
item Andreen, Danielle (elle)
item Soder, Kathy

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2021
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: No Interpretive Summary is required for this Abstract Only. JLB.

Technical Abstract: Management of species-rich forage productions systems is complicated by the interaction of multiple plant functional groups, morphologies, and growth habits. This study sought to determine the effects of mixing three distinct forage functional groups on time-to-maturity and forage mass across different growing seasons. In fall of 2019 plots were established as a randomized complete block with three replications in State College, PA. Eight treatments consisted of: monocultures of orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.), white clover (Trifolium repens L.), and chicory (Cichorium intybus L.), binary mixtures of all species, an even three-way mix, and a 4:1:1 orchardgrass, white clover, and chicory mix (all mixtures based on seed number). Four harvests occurred during spring (maturity-dependent, April – June), summer (bi-weekly, June – Aug.), and fall (biweekly, Sept. – Oct.) of 2020. For each harvest, maturity ratings were taken 48-hrs in advance, then three 0.1 m2 quadrats were sampled per plot to determine forage mass and botanical composition. Data were analyzed as repeated measures using PROC GLIMMIX with SAS 9.4. Orchardgrass maturity was delayed 1 – 2 stages in mixtures with both clover and chicory during spring harvests, while chicory and clover maturity were not affected during any season. Chicory mixtures produced 500 – 1500 kg DM ha-1 more forage mass than all other treatments during spring and summer, while clover mixtures produced 500 – 1200 kg DM ha-1 more forage mass than those without clover during fall. The proportion of orchardgrass in the botanical composition was 150% greater when mixed with white clover than other mixtures but declined seasonally. Additionally, the proportion of clover was 100% greater and chicory 33% lesser for the 4:1:1 trinary mixture compared to other mixtures, regardless of season. These results indicated that pairing orchardgrass with chicory and white clover can potentially delay time to maturity, thus maintaining orchardgrass vegetative growth and total forage mass.