Submitted to: International Grasslands Congress
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/8/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Buffelgrass is an important drought tolerant forage grass grown in the southwestern US and northern Mexico. Surprisingly, little is known about how forage production in this grass responds to different rates of fertilization and nothing is known about how fertilization influences seed yields. Therefore, an experiment was conducted over a three year period investigating the influence of nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) fertilization on forage and seed yields in buffelgrass. Plants were grown in a soil with low, moderate, and high levels of N, P, and K, respectively. Five rates of N and P were used. It was found that forage production increased with N fertilization but P did not influence production. Neither N nor P fertilization increased seed production during the course of this study; however, time of seed harvest greatly influenced seed yields. Significantly more seed was collected when the plots were harvested in late eMay and June than at August and September.
Technical Abstract: Forage and seed production responses to nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilizer of Common buffelgrass (Cenchrus ciliaris L.) were evaluated for three years (1991-93). An incomplete factorial set of five rates of N and P were applied each year. Seed data were collected by hand stripping mature seed followed by a forage harvest. Seed quality characteristics were determined on each seed sample. No response to N fertilizer was observed in 1991 nor to P in any year. In 1992, there was a linear forage yield response to N fertilizer. In 1993, both the linear and quadratic effects of N fertilizer were significant. There was no consistent fertilizer response for any seed trait. Seed yields were higher in spring than autumn harvests. Mean weight per caryopsis declined with time of the year. Number of caryopsis per 100 involucres was greater in the spring/ early summer than autumn and mid-May was greater than mid-June.