||Managing ‘Highlander’ Eastern Gamagrass for Sustainable Forage in the Upper Southeastern United States
|| Jackson, W. J., Douglas, J. L., Edwards, S. D., Lang, D. J.
||Proceedings of the 4th Eastern Native Grass Symposium
||‘Highlander’ eastern gamagrass [Tripsacum dactyloides (L.) L.] is a native warm-season perennial bunchgrass with potential for use as a forage crop in the southeastern United States. Sustainable production and stand longevity are influenced by cutting management and N
fertilization. The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Jamie L. Whitten Plant Materials Center, and Mississippi State University conducted studies to determine management recommendations for long-term sustainable production of ‘Highlander’ eastern gamagrass in the upper southeastern United States. A 45-day clipping frequency produced higher yields with similar quality as a 30-day clipping frequency. Stands declined significantly under a 30-day clipping frequency, while stands of a 45-day clipping frequency persisted and produced a three year average yield of 6 tons/acre. Nitrogen fertilization experiments on silt loam and clay soils in
northern Mississippi found 120 and 240 lb N/acre/season, applied in three equal applications of 40 and 80 lb/acre, produced season total yields of 4 and 6 tons/acre, respectively. Crude protein
(CP) ranged from 6 to 10% with 40 lb/acre/application and 7 to 12% with 80 lb/acre/application. ‘Highlander’ harvested on a 45-day harvest frequency produced higher yields and similar quality
as a ‘Tifton 44’ bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] harvested on a 30-day frequency. Silage yields of ‘Highlander’ exceeded those of corn (Zea mays L.) varieties by 61% (tons/acre = 23 vs.14), but digestibility of corn was 16 percentage units higher (in vitro true digestible = 75 vs. 59).
||The University of Kentucky Department of Forestry, Lexington, Kentucky
||T. G. Barnes