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PERFORMANCE OF ORCHARDGRASS AND TALL FESCUE IN INDIANA, 1994-1996

BULLETIN NO. B741, Department of Agronomy
Purdue University , W. Lafayette, IN 47907-1150
Authors: Miles E. Kuhn and Keith D. Johnson

Introduction
Orchardgrass data
Tall Fescue data
Maturity stage
Variety and marketer information

Introduction

This bulletin summarizes the results of 1994 - 1996 yield performance tests of orchardgrass and tall fescue in Indiana. This information, protected by copyright by the Purdue Research Foundation, is presented under authority granted the Purdue Agricultural Research Programs to conduct performance trials, including interpretation of the data to the public, and does not imply endorsement or recommendation by Purdue University. Permission is granted to reproduce the tables only in their entirety provided the source is referenced and the data are not rearranged, manipulated, or reinterpreted. A conspicuous disclaimer which states "endorsement or recommendation by Purdue University is not implied" must accompany any information reproduced.

Additional copies of this publication are available to Indiana residents from their local Purdue Cooperative Extension Offices or by writing:

Media Distribution Center
301 South 2nd Street
Lafayette, IN 47905-1092

This document can also be accessed electronically by sending email to almanac@ecn.purdue.edu and in the body of the message type:
send acsonline B-741Top of Page

The 1994 - 1996 Growing Season

Precipitation and temperature were favorable for the production of cool-season grasses in 1994. Three harvests of both grasses were taken. The studies were in excellent condition going into the fall.

The 1995 growing season was variable. Early season rain in 1995 resulted in excellent first harvest yields. Lack of mid-summer moisture and excessive heat limited grass growth. Orchardgrass regrowth following the second harvest was infected with anthracnose and flea beetle feeding was also diagnosed; these stresses prevented a third harvest from being taken. Tall fescue withstood the drought better and no anthracnose or flea beetle feeding was evident; therefore, a third harvest of tall fescue was taken. Both studies entered the winter in good condition.

Cool and moist conditions in the spring of 1996 made favorable weather for cool-season grass growth and delayed first harvest. Dry weather and cool temperatures toward the end of the summer resulted in low third harvest yields for both grasses.

Experimental Methods

Participating seed companies selected entries to be tested. Seed was sent to Purdue University for planting and evaluation.

Best management practices were administered to all studies. Optimum pH and fertility were provided and maintained. Hand weeding and herbicides were used as necessary to accomplish weed control. A flail-type forage harvester was used to harvest the plots. Hand samples were utilized for dry matter determination.

No yield data was taken in the establishment year of 1993; three harvests were removed in 1994.Top of Page

Presentation and Interpretation of Results

Yields are reported as dry matter yield in tons per acre (T/A). Tables 1 and 2 summarize results of 1994 - 1996 yield trials conducted at West Lafayette. Table 3 describes primary growth stages referenced in Table 1 and 2.

In each table, varieties are listed in order of total yield to date. Within a column, varieties differing from each other by less than the respective LSD (least significant difference) were not significantly (probability > 0.05) different. Yields followed by an asterisk (*) are not significantly different from the highest value in the column.

The CV (coefficient of variability) is the ratio of the standard deviation to the grand mean. It is used as a measure of the precision of the experiment. Lower CV indicates lower experimental error in the trial.

Number of harvests within a year is listed at the bottom of each yield column.

Table 4 contains a listing of commercially available entries, along with marketer, address, phone number, and contact person as provided by the entrant company.

How to Use Performance Information

Information presented in the bulletin should be useful in selecting cool-season grass seed for forage production in Indiana. When selecting an orchardgrass variety, a decision needs to be made if the seeding will be a pure stand or include a legume. We would suggest, based on observations from this study, that Potomac is too early in maturity to be a good variety to choose when a grass-legume mixture is desired. Jay and Shawnee conversely, head after legumes begin to flower and a sacrifice in dry matter yield of the mixture may result.

In past years, tall fescue has had a poor reputation due to the presence of an endophytic fungus that results in less than desirable animal performance. Publications about the endophytic fungus and the problems that may be encountered can be obtained from your local Purdue Cooperative Extension Service Office or from the Media Distribution Center. Release of tall fescue varieties that are low-endophyte (certified to be less than 5 % infection) have improved animal performance expectations from tall fescue. Early releases of low-endophyte varieties were criticized for being low in vigor and yield ( e.g. Johnstone). This study indicates that yield does not have to be sacrificed with the selection of low-endophyte varieties. Stargrazer, a low-endophyte variety, and infected Kentucky 31 had similar yield when data for the three years were statistically analyzed.Top of Page

Tables

Table 1.   1994-1996 orchardgrass variety yields at the Agronomy 
Research Center, West Lafayette, IN
Seeding date:  May 8, 1993; no data reported in 1993.
==========================================================================
                                                        Maturity stage
                 Dry Matter Yield (T/A)               at first harvest
Entry           1994     1995     1996     94-96   5/27/94  5/31/95  6/05/96
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Warrior         6.48 *   5.41 *   6.74 *   18.63 *   R3.25   R2.5     R2.5
Haymate         6.33 *   5.47 *   6.73 *   18.53 *   R2.5    R2       R1.75
OG 90132        6.30 *   5.25 *   6.47 *   18.02 *   R2.75   R1.75    R1.5
Condor          6.36 *   5.36 *   6.16 *   17.89 *   R2.25   R1.75    R1.75
Potomac         6.43 *   5.02 *   6.42 *   17.87 *   R4      R4       R4
DS8             5.70     5.09 *   6.78 *   17.58 *   R2      R1.5     R1.5
Elsie           5.64     5.01 *   5.85 *   16.50     R2.5    R2       R2
Jay             5.24     4.60     6.66 *   16.49     E3.75   E3.75    E3.75
Shawnee         5.03     4.43     6.04 *   15.51     R1      R1       R1
                ----     ----     ----     -----
Grand mean      5.95     5.07     6.43     17.45
LSD (5%)        0.62     0.61     0.94      1.40
C.V. (%)        7.17     8.29     9.98      5.48
No. of harvests 3        2        3         8
=========================================================================
Yields followed by an asterisk (*) are not significantly different from 
    the highest yield in the column.
Location: West Lafayette, IN
Design: Randomized block, 4 replications, 9 entries
Soil Type: Chalmers silt loam
Plots: Five rows, 2.5' x 20', (harvested 2.5' x 15')
Seeded: May 8, 1993, with 10 lb. live seed / acre.
Fertilizer: 100, 50 and 50 lb. of N / acre applied in March and after
    the 1st and 2nd harvests, respectively; 
    60 lb. P2O5 and 250 lb. K2O / acre
    applied after first harvest.
(Copyright 1996 Purdue Research Foundation)

Table 2.   1994-1996 tall fescue variety yields at the Agronomy 
Research Center, West Lafayette, IN  
Seeding date:  May 8, 1993; no data reported in 1993.
===================================================
                Dry Matter Yield (T/A)
Entry           1994     1995     1996     94-96
---------------------------------------------------
Stargrazer      8.14 *   8.98 *   8.16 *   25.27 *
Kentucky 31-I   7.86 *   8.93 *   7.65 *   24.44 *
FTF 8873        7.23     8.68 *   7.59 *   23.51
Kentucky 31-NI  7.60 *   8.29     7.33 *   23.22
Maximize        6.71     8.39 *   7.65 *   22.74
Johnstone       6.26     7.78     6.66     20.69
                ----     ----     ----     -----
Grand mean      7.30     8.51     7.51     23.31
LSD (5%)        0.57     0.68     1.02      1.66
C.V. (%)        5.20     5.28     8.99      4.72
No. of harvests 3        3        3         9
==================================================
Maturity at first harvest: All entries approximately
    R2 (see Table 3).
Yields followed by an asterisk (*) are not 
    significantly different from the highest 
    yield in the column.
"Kentucky 31-I" used as an endophyte infected
    comparison (refer to AY-275 for more information).
Location: West Lafayette, IN
Design: Randomized block, 4 replications, 6 entries
Soil Type: Chalmers silt loam
Plots: Five rows, 2.5' x 20', (harvested 2.5' x 15')
Seeded: May 8, 1993, with 15 lb. live seed / acre.
Fertilizer: 100, 50 and 50 lb. of N / acre applied
    in March and after the 1st and 2nd
    harvests, respectively; 60 lb. P2O5 and 
    250 lb. K2O / acre applied after first harvest. 
(Copyright 1996 Purdue Research Foundation)

Table 3.  Terms used in Tables 1 and 2 in reporting primary growth stages 
of perennial grasses.  

Elongation
 E3      Third  node palpable / visible
 E4      Fourth node palpable / visible

Reproductive
 R0      Boot stage
 R1      Inflorescence (seed head) emergence / first spikelet visible
 R2      Spikelets fully emerged / peduncle 
	(portion of stem directly below seed head) not emerged
 R3      Inflorescence emerged / peduncle fully emerged
 R4      Anther emergence / anthesis (pollen shedding)

Table 4.  List of marketers for the varieties tested. 
=====================================================
Species / Variety    Marketer
-----------------------------------------------------
Orchardgrass
Condor               George W. Hill of Indiana, Inc.
DS8                  Research Seeds, Inc.
Elsie                Indiana Seed Co.
Haymate              Countrymark Cooperative
OG 90132             No marketer
Jay                  Parsons Seeds Limited
Potomac              Public
Shawnee              Indiana Seed Co.
Warrior              George W. Hill of Indiana, Inc.
Tall Fescue
FTF 8873             CISCO
Johnstone            Public
Kentucky 31-I        Public
Kentucky 31-NI       No marketer
Maximize             Indiana Seed Co.
Stargrazer           Countrymark Cooperative

Marketer AddressesTop of Page

CISCO
3610 Shelby St.
Indianapolis, IN 46227-3359
317-788-7013
Dave Pearl

Countrymark Cooperative
950 N. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204-3909
317-685-5078
Steve Williams

George W. Hill of Indiana, Inc.
9331 Castlegate Dr.
Indianapolis, IN 46256
1-800-886-3043
Steve Houghton

Indiana Seed Co.
P.O. Box 1745
Noblesville, IN 46060
317-733-5813
Stan Morris

Parsons Seeds Limited
P.O. Box 280
Beeton, Canada, LOG IAO
905-729-2202
Robert Thom

Research Seeds
PO Box 1393
St. Joseph, MO 64502
1-800-821-7666
Gary Timm

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Last modified: March 09, 2000