REDUCTION IN TEFF (Eragrostis tef) LODGING IS EFFECTED BY RATE OF APOGEE® PLANT GROWTH REGULATOR AND PLANT GROWTH STAGE
Farm Advisor - Crop Production and Entomology
University of California Cooperative Extension
Teff (Eragrostis tef) is a warm season grass that is gaining in popularity due to its high forage and hay quality combined with its annual seasonality and ability to do well in hot, dry conditions. There is an increasing need for seed for planting an annual crop as well as a human food market which uses the gluten free seed as the grain ingredient in injura. Growers in the Palo Verde Valley have been growing teff for seed for the past 8 years, but have found that the fine stems which contribute to high hay quality are highly susceptible to lodging when a seed crop is being produced. Two rates (3.5 and 7.0 oz./acre) of Apogee® plant growth regulator (active ingredient = 27.5% prohexadione calcium) were applied to fall teff seed crop when distance to top leaf collar was approximately 4.7 inches. While treatments resulted in highly significant height differences and reduced initial lodging soon after application, they did not prevent extensive lodging when seed heads started to form. These data were utilized the following spring in decisions to both increase rates and initiate applications earlier in teff growth. As interactions of higher rates with growth stage were unknown, single applications of Apogee® at rates 7.25 and 14.5 oz./acre applied when top collared leaf distance from soil was 2.75 inches. These were compared with applications made 10 days later when top collared leaf distance was 7 inches. The 7.25 oz./acre rate was also applied twice. Lodging data at harvest indicated that the best treatment was the 14.5 oz./acre rate applied when top leaf collar was at 7 inches (only 10.8% lodging) followed by the two applications of 7.25 oz. (28.8%). These were easily notable in the field, as almost 85% of untreated teff was lodged. Field trials with the two treatments which resulted in least lodging are needed to verify that treatments do not have a detrimental effect on seed yields.
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Authors: Michael Rethwisch, Nathan Tribby
Rethwisch, M. Farm Advisor - Crop Production and Entomology, University of California Cooperative Extension - Riverside County, California, 92225
Tribby , N. Student Assistant 3, University of California Cooperative Extension - Riverside County, California, 92225-1649