Date of this Version
Online. Forage and Grazinglands, January 18, 2008; doi:10.1094/FG-2008-0118-01-RS.
Stockpiled bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. ‘Midland’] as a standing forage may meet nutritional needs of beef cows during winter. Our objective was to evaluate accumulation and nutritive value of fall stockpiled bermudagrass in response to N fertilization rate, N application date, and harvest date. Research was conducted near Burneyville, OK from 2000 to 2003. Fertilization rates included 0, 50, 100, and 150 lb N per acre applied on 15 August, 1 September, 15 September, 1 October, and 15 October. Forage accumulation was measured 10 days after the first killing frost; thereafter, crude protein (CP), acid detergent fiber (ADF), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), and total digestible nutrients (TDN) were assessed biweekly from 6 December to 20 February. An exceptionally hot and dry summer resulted in negligible forage production and unrepresentative forage quality in 2000. Forage accumulated linearly in 2001 and 2002 and quadratically in 2003 with N fertilization rate (P ≤ 0.05). The dry matter averaged 56% TDN and 6.0, 6.9, 7.9, and 8.7% CP when N was applied at 0, 50, 100, and 150 lb/acre, respectively. The fertilized bermudagrass stands would have met CP and TDN requirements of mid-gestation beef cows had they been maintained on this forage.