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A method for forage yield and quality assessment of tall fescue cultivars in the spring


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Cherney, JH, Parsons, D and Cherney, DJR 2011 , 'A method for forage yield and quality assessment of tall fescue cultivars in the spring' , Crop Science, vol. 51, no. 6 , pp. 2878-2885 , doi: 10.2135/cropsci2011.01.0047.

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Comparative evaluation of cultivars for yield and quality is confounded with cultivar maturity differences if all cultivars are harvested on the same day; harvesting on different days at a similar morphological stage confounds quality with day-to-day environmental fluctuations. Our goal was to develop a system to adjust yield and quality of each cultivar to the date of optimum neutral detergent fiber (NDF) content for harvest. Tall fescue cultivars were sampled on five to eight dates during late spring growth for five trials in New York State. Rates of change per day for yield and neutral detergent fiber digestibility (NDFD) were used to adjust these parameters to the date of optimum NDF content. Rates of change in yield and quality among cultivars were similar within an environment, but were not similar across environments. Harvesting cultivars on a single date that was near optimum NDF for the average of the group biased the yields of both early and late maturing cultivars. Cultivar heading dates were not well correlated with NDF and NDFD, indicating that heading date was not useful for ranking forage quality of cultivars. Adjustment of yield and NDFD to the optimum spring harvest date for each cultivar in a trial significantly changed the ranking of a group of cultivars. This method should be feasible for evaluating cultivars of any cool-season grass species, but requires further testing for other species.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Cherney, JH and Parsons, D and Cherney, DJR
Journal or Publication Title: Crop Science
DOI / ID Number: 10.2135/cropsci2011.01.0047
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