Nutritional Parameters of Seven Improved Grasses on the Texas High Plains

Kay L. Marietta, Carlton M. Britton, Paul F. Cotter


Seven Improved grass species were evaluated for nutritional parameters of new growth at 30 day intervals and regrowth 30 days after initial harvest. The species were Blackwell switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), EI Reno sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula), Morpa weeping lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula), and four old world bluestem selections including Caucasian (Bothriochloa caucasica), WW517 (B. intermedia var. indica), Ganada (B. ischaemum var. ischaemum), and WWspar (B. ischaemum var. ischaemum). Established stands located in Garza county (Post) on a fine sand and in Lubbock (Lubbock) and Terry counties (Brownfield) on sandy loam soils were sampled monthly Irom May to September and in December. Samples were analyzed for crude protein and in vitro digestible organic matter (IVDOM). Crude protein declined through the season with no single species consistently different from the others. However, sideoats grama did not decline as rapidly as other species during July and August. The IVDOM for all species declined through the season but not as rapidly as did crude protein. The decrease averaged about 20 percentage points from May to December for standing phytomass and 10 percentage points for 30-day regrowth. Regardless of nutritional parameter, quantities measured were below maintenance requirements for 500 lb steers by July.


Texas High Plains; Blackwell switchgrass; El Reno sideoats grama; Morpa weeping lovegrass; old world bluestem

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