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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Winter Establishment of Eastern Gamagrass in the Southern Piedmont
Year: 2000
Author(s): Mueller, J. P., Hall, T. S., Spears, J. F., Penny, B. T.
Source Title: Agronomy Journal
Source Type: Journal
pages: 1184–1188
Original Publication: http://  
Abstract: Eastern gamagrass [Tripsacum dactyloides (L.)] has the potential to contribute as a warm-season component in grazing systems and conservation plantings, but its seeds exhibit a strong dormancy that reduce germination and successful stand establishment. A 3-yr study was conducted on Typic Hapudult soils to determine the influence of fungicide seed treatment [Captan (N-trichloromethylthio-4-cyclohexene-1,2-dicarboximide), 5.6 g a.i. kg-1 seed] and winter planting date (November–February) on germination, stand establishment, and herbage mass of eastern gamagrass. Eastern gamagrass was planted with and without fungicide seed treatment at monthly intervals between November and May. The May plantings (stratified and nonstratified seeds) served as controls. Fungicide seed treatment had no effect on initial or subsequent stands of eastern gamagrass. Winter plantings resulted in initial stands that were equal or superior to stands established from planting stratified seeds in May (5.9 vs. 3.4 plants m-2, respectively). Significant seed carry-over effects were observed from spring (April and May) plantings, with an average of 8.8 seedlings m-2 germinating in spring of the second year compared with 1.7 seedlings m-2 for winter treatments. Herbage mass for spring plantings (March, April, and May) was depressed up to 75% compared with winter plantings. Planting in November, December, or January is an effective alternative to planting stratified seeds in May in the southern Piedmont.