Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Bermudagrass is the major perennial, warm-season grass used in the Piedmont for summer grazing. Although this forage is productive, steer daily gains when grazing bermudagrass are only modest. This study provides information on steer daily gains and potential acre production from Carostan flaccidgrass, Kanlow switchgrass and Coastal bermudagrass. Flaccidgrass was ready for grazing about one month later than tall fescue, 1 to 2 weeks later than switchgrass, but 4 to 6 weeks earlier than bermudagrass. In the early part of the growing season flaccidgrass produced steer daily gains of 2.98 compared with 2.38 for switchgrass and 2.05 for tall fescue. After June 1, flaccidgrass produced daily gains of 1.70 compared with 2.03 for switchgrass and 0.93 for bermudagrass. During the summer bermudagrass could be stocked heavier than flaccidgrass averaging 10.2 vs 3.7 steers/acre. Flaccidgrass pastures were as productive as switchgrass averaging 2,378 pounds per acre of total digestible nutrients (TDN) in the summer and 3,569 pounds of TDN/acre for the season. Bermudagrass was more productive averaging 7,201 pounds of TDN/acre in the summer. Much of the TDN produced by bermudagrass was going to animal maintenance. Flaccidgrass has growth characteristics, nutritive value, and yield potential to make it a valuable forage for high producing ruminants.