Establishment of Bahiagrass and Bermudagrass with Annual Warm-Season Grasses as Companion Crops
Volume 15, Issue 2 - December 2022
Editor: Linda Chalker-Scott
Bahiagrass (BH, Paspalum notatum) and bermudagrass (BG, Cynodon dactylon) are warm-season perennial grasses (PWSG) commonly grown in the southern United States. The objective of the study was to determine the establishment of PWSG using warm-season annual forages as a nursery crop. The study was a split-plot design replicated three times. The main plots were BH, and BG established at seeding rates of 20 and 10 lb of pure live seed (PLS) per acre, respectively. The subplots were three-annual warm-season annual grasses (AWSG) [‘AF7401’forage sorghum (FS), ‘Prime 180’ pearl millet (PM), ‘Green Grazer V’ sorghum-sudan hybrid (SS)], established at 10, 15, and 20 lb PLS/ac, respectively, and monocultures of BH and BG. All treatments received 100 lb N/ac in split applications after AWSG germination and following the first AWSG harvest. Treatments were harvested using a Wintersteiger Cibus F harvester (Wintersteiger AG, Austria) when plants reached 48 in height. Biomass subsamples were analyzed for nutritive value using a Foss DS2500 NIR instrument (Foss North America, Eden Prairie, MN) and the 2021 mixed grass hay equation from the NIRS Forage and Feed Testing Consortium (Berea, KY). Data were analyzed in the PROC GLIMMIX of SAS at α = 0.05. Bahiagrass and BG establishment and productivity were not affected by WSAG. Total biomass production was 18% greater for the BH treatments compared to BG. The yield index of adding FS, PM, and SS were 108, 38, and 25%, respectively, when compared to PWSG monocultures. During the first harvest in 2020, CP, WSC, and IVTDMD concentrations were not different among AWSG treatments.
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