Skip to Main Content

The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Cutting frequency and nitrogen fertilization effects on yield and nitrogen concentration of switchgrass in a short season area
Year: 1999
Author(s): Madakadze, I. C., Stewart, K. A., Peterson, P. R., Coulman, B. E., Smith, D. L.
Source Title: Crop Science
Source Type: Journal
pages: 552-557
Original Publication: http://  
Abstract: Adapted warm season grasses have potential for both summer forage and biomass production in eastern Canada. A field study was conducted in 1995 and 1996 to determine the response of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) cv, Cave-in-Rock, Pathfinder, and Sunburst to nitrogen (N) fertilization at 0, 75, or 150 kg ha(-1) and three harvest schedules in a short season area. The grass was harvested at 4- or 6-wk intervals or left uncut until the end of the season, These treatments were combined in a split-plot design in each of three blocks on a St. Bernard sandy clay loam (Typic Hapludalf). Herbage yield and herbage N concentration were determined at each harvest for the cutting schedules. Herbage yields revealed a cultivar x N x harvest schedule interaction in 1996, while in 1995 only the two-way interactions between cultivar x harvest schedule and N x harvest schedule were evident (P < 0.05), Total yield ranking for the harvest regimes was uncut > 6-wk > 4-wk with their respective mean yields being 11, 10, and 8 Mg ha(-1) for Cave-in-Rock; 10, 8, and 6 Mg ha(-1) fur Pathfinder and 11, 8, and 7 Mg ha(-1) for Sunburst. Nitrogen concentrations increased with fertilization and varied with harvest and year but not with cultivar, Mean N concentrations were 12.41 13.9, and 15.4 g kg(-1) dry matter (DM) for the 0, 75, and 150 kg ha(-1) N levels, respectively, under the 4-wk system. Corresponding values were 10.1, 11.6, and 12.9 g kg(-1) for the 6-wk system, End of season N concentrations for the uncut regime averaged 5.4, 6.0, and 7.6 g kg(-1) DM In increasing order of N fertilization, The results indicate that switchgrass has potential in both grazed or hay Forage systems in eastern Canada.