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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Quality of stockpiled Eastern Gamagrass at two Southeast location
Year: 2002
Author(s): Rhoden, E. G., Ritchie, J. G., Smith, R. J., Krizek, D. T., McIntyre, M.
Source Title: Proceedings of the Third Eastern Native Grass Symposium
Source Type: Proceedings
pages: 309
Original Publication:  
Abstract: Adequate forage quantity and quality, especially during the cool season, are limiting factors to cattle production in the southeastern United States. Eastern gamagrass is being considered as a forage with potential to overcome some of these concerns. A two-year study to determine the quality of stockpiled eastern gamagrass was conducted at Beltsville, MD and Tuskegge, AL in 1999-2000. Eleven clippings, based on dormancy period, were taken at Beltsville, MD (11/19-4/29) and eight were collected at Tuskegge, AL (11/29-2/29). Eastern gamagrass plots were fertilized with 25-25-25 kg/ha N-P-K and were unfertilized at Beltsville. Acid detergent fiber (ADF), neutral degergent fiber (NDF), and crude protein (CP) content, as well as concentrations of Calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), and iron (Fe) were evaluated as quality factors. Acid detergent fiber content increased as NDF and CP decreased with the length of time eastern gamagrass was stockpiled. Calcium levels were highest in November/December and then declined at both locations (6.14 vs 8.15 g/kg for Beltsville and Tuskegee, respectively) as stockpiling period progressed. Iron levels in the stockpiled forage were highest at Beltsville in April (42.4 mg/kg) and in February for Tuskegee (45.9 mg/kg). The data also show that P, K, and Fe were below the NRC ranges recommended for lactating beef cattle and therefore would require a supplementation if fed forage from either location. Ca:P and K:Ca + Mg ratios were maintained through the stockpiled period and the levels were conducive for beef cattle production.
Publisher: The North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, NC, October 1-3, 2002. Omnipress, Madison, WI
Editor(s): J. Randall