African Journal of Range and Forage Science

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Standing crop dry matter accumulation and quality patterns of certain subtropical pasture species.

Grunow J.O., Rabie J.W., Grattarola L.


Nine-week production curves and quality values of eight subtropical pasture species were studied under supplemental spray irrigation to characterize their productive capacity, periodicity and quality.All species exhibited a slow dry matter regrowth rate for two to three weeks after defoliation to 7,5 or 10 cm height. Thereafter, there was an ever increasing rate of production up to nine weeks with the exception of certain species in certain seasons, which reached the point of inflection in production rate after a shorter regrowth period. When dry matter accumulation is most rapid, quality is unsatisfactory.Bushman Mine and Sabi panicums gave their highest dry matter production in the late season; Pennisetum clandestinum, Eragrostis curvula and Anthephora pubescens in the early season; whereas, Cenchrus ciliaris, Cynodon nlemfuensis and Medicago sativa differed little in early and late season.All species lost quality fairly suddenly, or steadily, after 4,5 to 6 weeks regrowth without moisture stress.

Keywords: accumulation; anthephora pubescens; cenchrus ciliaris; cynodon nlemfuensis; defoliation; dry matter; eragrostis curvula; legumes; medicago sativa; moisture stress; pastures; pennisetum clandestinum; regrowth; south africa; standing crop

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