Texas bluegrass (Poa arachnifera Torr.) has shown potential for use as a cool-season perennial pasture grass in the southern Great Plains, where it occurs as a natural component of rangeland plant communities, and into the western Coastal Plain. Responsiveness of this grass to nitrogen (N) fertilization appeared to be limited to the spring growing period in initial evaluations in Louisiana. A field plot experiment was conducted to assess forage production and quality responses to season of N fertilization on the Syn-1 population of Texas bluegrass. Winter forage production responses to 50 kg N ha-1 were obtained in the 1997-98 growing season but not in 1998-99 after stands had been depleted by summer drought. Greatest yield increases resulted from spring N application, however, fall plus winter fertilization provided the most uniform distribution of forage through the cool season. Forage fiber fractions, in vitro digestibility, and crude protein were not affected by N fertilization. Both amount and distribution of Texas bluegrass forage, but not forage quality, can be manipulated by time of N fertilization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agronomy and Crop Science