Stubble Management Effects on Three Creeping Red Fescue Cultivars Grown for Seed Production
- Paul D. Meints *a,
- Thomas G. Chastainb,
- William C. Youngb,
- Gary M. Banowetzc and
- Carol J. Garbacikb
Nonthermal management to mechanically remove residue in creeping red fescue (Festuca rubra L.) seed crops has been associated with yield loss when compared with field burning. This 2-yr field study was conducted to investigate the underlying causes for reduced seed yield potential under mechanical residue removal management compared with traditional burning. The effects of two stubble heights, 2.5 and 5.0 cm, complete mechanical stubble removal, and burning were measured on three cultivars of creeping red fescue stands during the first, second, and third year after establishment. Plant reserves for regrowth were reduced by an average of 47% over all cultivars when stubble was completely removed by burning or mechanically below 5.0 cm. Fall regrowth in stubble >2.5 cm in height ranged from 0.6 to 1.9 cm taller compared with treatments where stubble was completely removed. Fall tiller height showed a consistent negative relationship with fertile tiller production in the following spring. Rhizome development in ‘Shademaster’ and ‘Hector’, which produce many rhizomes, was reduced >30% when stubble was removed below 2.5 cm. Fertile tiller production, a major component of creeping red fescue yield potential, increased by >25% when stubble was removed by burning or mechanically to ground level in both Shademaster and Hector but was unaffected in ‘Seabreeze’, which produces few rhizomes. In seed production of creeping red fescue, stubble removal to the plant crown, particularly in cultivars producing many rhizomes, is crucial for maximizing seed yield potential.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
Copyright © 2001. Published in Agron. J.93:1276–1281.