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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 31 No. 2, p. 373-379
     
    Received: May 22, 1989
    Published: Mar, 1991


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doi:10.2135/cropsci1991.0011183X003100020030x

Potential of Creeping Bluestem for Improvement of Grazing on Florida Range

  1. R. S. Kalmbacher ,
  2. W. F. Brown,
  3. F. G. Martin and
  4. S. W. West
  1. Univ. of Florida, Agric. Res. and Education Ctr., Ona, FL 33865
    Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611

Abstract

Abstract

Improvement in forage quality through management of Florida range is limited, but could come from seeding better quality forages. To this end, the potential of creeping bluestem [Schizachyrium scoparium (Michx.) Nash var. polycladus (Scribner & Ball) Braner (Syn. S. stoloniferum Nash)] to improve Florida range was evaluated. Two hundred plants were collected from Florida in 1982 and established in an unfertilized, replicated nursery at Ona. Soil samples taken at each collection site were analyzed for P, K, Ca, Mg, pH, and organic matter (OM) content. Entries were evaluated for in vitro organic matter digestion (IVOMD) in 1984 and 1985 and caryopsis production, germination, and dry matter (DM) yield 1984 to 1986. Creeping binestem grew on a wide range of soil P (x̄ = 12 mg kg−l), K (x̄ = 13 mg kg−1), Ca (x̄ = 450 mg kg−l), Mg (x̄ = 30 mg kg−1), pH (x̄ = 5.5), and OM contents (x̄ = 25 g kg−1). Differences (P < 0.001) existed in caryopsis production, with 153 and 145 entries out of 200 producing caryopses in 1984 and 1985, respectively. Spikelets with caryopses averaged 28 and 26% in 1984 and 1985, respectively, with highest values of 90 and 70%, respectively. Caryopsis yield in 37 entries that demonstrated consistently high potential from 1984 to 1986 ranged from 0.34 to 6.80 g m−2 and averaged 1.06 g m−2. Germination varied with year, and differences were found in 2 of 3 yr (x̄ = 46%, 30%, and 76% in 1984 to 1986, respectively). Differences (P > 0.001) in vegetative plant IVOMD (x̄ = 530 g kg−1, range = 380 to 640 g kg−1) and DM yield (P > 0.01) were found (x̄ = 120, 647, and 2360 kg−1 in 1984, 1985, and 1986, respectively). There is potential for breeders to develop a creeping binestem cultivar for seeding Florida and perhaps Southeastern range for improved cattle production.

Contribution from the Univ. of Florida Agric. Exp. Stn. Journal Series no. 9974.

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