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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Growing legumes in mixtures with warm-season grasses
Year: 2000
Author(s): George, J. R., Blanchet, K. M., Gettle, R. M.
Source Title: Native warm-season grasses: Research trends and issues
Source Type: Book
pages: 67-82
Original Publication: http://  
Abstract: Native warm-season grasses have the potential to provide a large supply of high quality forage during the hot and often dry mid summer months of June, July, and August. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii Vitman) were two major components of the original tall-grass prairie in North America. Although present throughout most of the USA except the far western states, these two grasses were most prominent in this tall-grass prairie region, with big bluestem accounting for up to 80% of the vegetation in some sites. Both have been seeded for summer pasture and hay use, but switchgrass seems to have been more popular during recent years because of lower seed cost and smooth seed characteristics that makes seeding and uniform stand establishment much easier to accomplish. Roundtree et al. (1974) reported that 75 to 80% of switchgrass dry matter yield is produced from June through August in Missouri, compared with only 40 to 45% of yield for tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.). This is a time when many cool-season grasses are normally less productive. During this period, switchgrass can produce greater yields than most cool-season grasses, and greater average daily gains in beef steers (Bos taurus).
Publisher: Crop Science of America and American Society of Agronomy, Madison, WI
Editor(s): B. E. Anderson