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Dry matter yield, forage quality and persistence of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) cultivars compared with perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) in a subtropical environment

Callow, M.N. and Lowe, K.F. and Bowdler, T.M. and Lowe, S.A. and Gobius, N.R. (2003) Dry matter yield, forage quality and persistence of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) cultivars compared with perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) in a subtropical environment. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 43 (9). pp. 1093-1099.

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/EA02001

Publisher URL: http://www.publish.csiro.au

Abstract

The dry matter (DM) yield, plant persistence and forage quality of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) were compared in the subtropical environment of southern Queensland, Australia. The field study was conducted under irrigation with pure, nitrogen fertilised stands of 10 commercial tall fescue cultivars (Advance, AU Triumph, Bombina, Cajun, Dovey, Maximise, Midwin, Torpedo, Quantum and Vulcan), 3 experimental cultivars (ITF 97010, ITF 97020 and PWF 29) and Dobson perennial ryegrass. From July 1997, plots were defoliated at 4-week intervals for 3 years. Changes in crude protein content and in vitro DM digestibility (IVDMD) were determined at 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8 weeks post-defoliation in October (spring) 1997, January (summer), March (autumn), June (winter) and September (spring) 1998.

Some cultivars of irrigated tall fescue were shown to be better adapted to a subtropical environment than perennial ryegrass. After 3 years, cumulative DM yields were in excess of 30 t/ha for Dovey, Quantum, ITF 97010, AU Triumph and Cajun tall fescue compared with 12 t/ha from Dobson perennial ryegrass swards.

Plant development had a considerable influence on crude protein content and IVDMD of tall fescue and perennial ryegrass, more so than the length of the regrowth period. As plant tissue matured, the forage quality during spring declined linearly for crude protein content and for IVDMD (1998 only), and declined exponentially for IVDMD during spring (1997), summer, autumn and winter (1998). Quality losses may be minimised if tall fescue cultivars are defoliated every 2–3 weeks during spring and summer and every 3–4 weeks during autumn and winter.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Reproduced with permission from © CSIRO Publishing. Access to published version may be available via Publisher’s website.
Keywords:Tall fescue; Festuca arundinacea; perennial ryegrass; Lolium perenne; dry matter yield; forage quality.
Subjects:Plant culture > Field crops > Forage crops. Feed crops
Deposited On:23 Jan 2004
Last Modified:08 Jun 2015 15:49

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