Performance of Teff Grass Cultivars for Biomass Yield and Nutritive Value Under Fall Planting Conditions
Volume 15, Issue 2 - December 2022
Editor: Linda Chalker-Scott
Teff grass [Eragrostis tef (Zuccagni) Trotter] is a warm-season annual grass not typically produced in Mississippi. The objective of the study was to determine the biomass production and nutritive value of seven cultivars planted in the fall of 2021. The experimental design was a randomized complete block replicated four times. The cultivars included ‘Bonus,’ ‘Charger,’ ‘Corvallis,’ ‘Dessie,’ ‘Moxie,’ ‘Oasis,’ and ‘Tiffany.’ Teff grass was established in a prepared seedbed at a rate of 10 lbs PLS (pure live seed) ac-1. Nitrogen was applied at 100 lbs N ac-1 using urea ammonium sulfate (33-0-0-18S) in split applications. Percentage of green canopy cover (GCC), Leaf Area Index (LAI), and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) measurements were taken before each harvest. Plots were harvested on Oct 14 and Nov 8 and forage sub-samples were collected for dry matter determination and nutritive analysis. Samples were analyzed for CP, ADF, NDF, IVTDMD, WSC, and starch using a Foss DS2500 NIR instrument and using the 2021 grass hay equation developed by the NIRS Forage and Feed Testing Consortium. Cultivars Corvallis, Bonus, Tiffany, and Charger yielded 16 to 23% more compared to the other cultivars. There was a 40% yield decrease between the first and second harvests (P = 0.0021). LAI decreased by 41% between the first and second harvests. NDVI (P<0.0001) decreased by 10% between harvests. There was a harvest by cultivar interaction for GCC (P = 0.0260). Nutritive values were influenced by harvest with CP (P<0.0001) increased by 5% and starch (P<0.0001) decreased by 70%.
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