Master of Science (MS)
Animal Science (Animal, Dairy, and Poultry Sciences)
Rapid growth of warm-season grasses such as bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) and bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum) is associated with a decline in their nutritional value. This study was initiated to provide production and composition data with different cultivars of bermudagrass (common, Russell, Jiggs) and bahiagrass (Tifton-9, Pensacola, Argentina). Dry matter (DM), ash, crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), and acid detergent fiber (ADF) composition and production were evaluated every two weeks for a ten-week period on six different cultivars. Also, Russell bermudagrass was evaluated in a second trial very similar to the first trial for composition and production but was started at three different harvest times. Bermudagrass cultivars had higher DM (P < 0.05) than bahiagrass at all stages of maturity except for d 14. Dry matter production was less than 2000 kg/ha at the 14-d harvest for all of the cultivars. Jiggs produced more DM (P < 0.05) than the other grasses at 42-d harvest. Ash (%) decreased at a constant rate from day 14 until day 70. There was no significant difference (P > 0.05) among the three bermudagrasses and Argentina bahiagrass CP (%) at the 14-d harvest. Russell produced the least amount (P < 0.05) of CP at d 14, while Argentina produced the most CP. Russell, common, and Pensacola CP production (kg/ha) were similar (P > 0.05) and each were higher than Tifton-9 and Argentina after 42 days of growth. Bahiagrass NDF (%) was similar (P > 0.05) across the three cultivars at each of the different harvest times except for the 42-day harvest where Argentina had higher NDF levels (P < 0.05) than either Tifton-9 or Pensacola. The bahiagrass cultivars were similar (P > 0.05) in NDF production at 42 days. Jiggs produced more (P < 0.05) NDF than the other grasses at 56 and 70-d of growth. Common had the least amount of ADF at 56 and 70-d harvest (P < 0.05). ADF production was the highest (P < 0.05) in Jiggs from d 28 to d 70 of growth. Russell early- and mid-season harvest had greater (P < 0.05) DM (%) and production than in the late season. Crude protein was the highest (P < 0.05) in both the early and mid season harvested Russell. The late season harvested Russell produced the least amount (P < 0.05) of DM and the least amount (P < 0.05) of CP. It was predicted that the late season harvested Russell would maintain DM and CP production at a constant rate for a longer period of time. This means that it would allow a producer a wider range of time to make hay or even graze this forage at that time of the year.
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Dore', Ryan Thomas, "Comparing bermudagrass and bahiagrass cultivars at different stages of harvest for dry matter yield and nutrient content" (2006). LSU Master's Theses. 420.