Chemical Regulation of Tall Fescue Reproductive Development and Quality with Amidochlor
- C. A. Roberts and
- K. J. Moore
Many studies have shown that the quality of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) forage can be improved by chemically regulating reproductive development. This study was conducted in order to determine whether tall fescue reproductive development and quality could be regulated by amidochlor [N-[(acetylamino)methyl]2-chloro-N-(2,6-diethylphenyl)acetamide], a growth regulating chemical currently used for industrial turf management. In 1985 and 1986, unimproved tall fescue pastures which were located on an Alford silt loam (fine-silty, mixed, mesic Typic Hapludalf) soil at the Dixon Springs Agricultural Research Center, near Simpson, IL, received amidochlor at 0,0.56, and 1.12 kg a.i. ha−1, Initial growth was harvested at 0, 14, 28, and 42 d after boot stage and regrowth harvested at 6 wk after initial cutting. Each year, treatments were replicated four times and plots were randomized in a split-plot design. Because of unusual seedhead production during 1986, data were different between years and were not combined for statistical analysis. In 1985, seedhead formation decreased as amidochlor rate increased. For both initial growth and regrowth, crude protein and in vitro dry matter digestibility increased and cell wall concentration decreased as amidochlor increased. In 1986, however, untreated plots contained only 45 seedheads m−2 and amidochlor did not regulate flowering. The higher quality of forage in 1986 resulted from prevalent vegetative tissue. We concluded that amidochlor can improve forage quality of tall fescue if tillering has not been limited the previous fall.
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