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Title: EFFECTS OF PLANT DENSITY ON FORAGE PRODUCTION IN FIVE POPULATIONS OF KLEINGRASS

Author
item YOUNG, BRUCE
item Tischler, Charles

Submitted to: African Journal of Range and Forest Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/25/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Research plots for evaluating forage yields in kleingrass are often established from transplants which are planted with tractors and mechanical transplanters. Because of limitations of row spacing and tire width of tractors, the number of plants per unit area is much lower than it would normally be in a pasture. We wanted to determine if populations which were high yielding at low plant densities were also high yielding at high plant densities. We determined yield of five different types of kleingrass at three planting densities (6.1, 10.8, and 24.2 plants per square meter). Although plants were larger at the low planting densities, the five types of kleingrass were ranked the same for yield regardless of planting density. This demonstrates that planting density does not change relative yield rankings in kleingrass. Thus, experiments done in research plots at low planting densities can accurately predict relative yield in a pasture situation.

Technical Abstract: Research plots for the evaluation of forage yield in kleingrass (Panicum coloratum L.) are often established from transplants at a plant density of approximately 6.0 plants m**-2 to facilitate establishment and the use of mechanical harvesting equipment. However, forage crops are usually established from seed at higher plant densities. Experiments were conducted dto determine if populations respond dissimilarly to planting density and i the ability to statistically distinguish among populations is density- dependent. Two, 2-y studies compared the yield of five populations of kleingrass at three plant densities (6.1, 10.8, and 24.2 plants m**-2). Although all populations produced more dry matter per plant with decreasing density, population X density interactions were absent. Populations were ranked the same at all planting densities. In addition, experiments at all three densities had equivalent power to statistically separate populations. .Therefore, kleingrass yield trials can be established from transplants at density which will accommodate mechanical transplanting and harvesting equipment with confidence that the relative differences among populations determined from research plots will be similarly observed in swards.