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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Grazing management of Eastern Gamagrass in southwest Georgia
Year: 2002
Author(s): Owsley, M., Kirkland, M., Brantley, S., Surrency, D.
Source Title: Proceedings of the Third Eastern Native Grass Symposium
Source Type: Proceedings
pages: 229-230
Original Publication:  
Abstract: Grazing management of Eastern gamagrass is being demonstrated at the Jimmy Carter Plant Materials Center at Americus, Georgia. This USDA NRCS Plant Materials Center is located on the upper coastal plains region of southwest Georgia. Livestock producers in this part of the country often disregard native forages in deference to introduced forage species. One reason for utilization of introduced species is the higher level of grazing management required for persistence of native plants in the face of high grazing pressures. This demonstration attempts to show how management of the frequency and severity of defoliation by growing cattle can result in persistence of Eastern gamagrass while providing forage in adequate quantity and quality to justify utilization of this native plant in livestock operations. Eastern gamagrass was established on 2.02 ha in spring 1993 and subsequently divided into 10 uniform paddocks. In the summers of 1999 through 2001 a rotational grazing system was utilized that provided a maximum grazing period of 3.5 days per cycle and a minimum plant stubble height of 25 cm. Near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) analysis of fecal samples indicated an average forage crude protein of 10 to 14% and digestible organic matter of 62% to 67%. Average daily gains of 0.72 kg per animal were realized on the demonstration.
Publisher: The North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, NC, October 1-3, 2002. Omnipress, Madison, WI
Editor(s): J. Randall