Track 1-07

Description

Limpograss (Hemarthria altissima (Poir.) Stapf et C.E. Hubb.) is a stoloniferous, warm-season perennial grass from South Africa. It is frequently used to extend the grazing season in poorly drained soils of subtropical regions (Quesenberry et al. 2004). The cold tolerance of limpograss allows it to grow at temperatures below which other commonly used warm-season grasses (e.g. bermudagrass) remain productive. Use of limpograss has helped to reduce forage shortfall during winter, therefore, reducing feeding costs. In the past 30 years, the area planted to limpograss in Florida, USA has grown faster than that of any other forage grass species. It is estimated that over 0.2 million ha are planted to limpograss (Quesenberry et al. 2004). Recent University of Florida research with limpograss has focused on developing new hybrids which incorporate the persistence of the most widely used cultivar ‘Floralta’ with the digestibility of ‘Bigalta’. Preliminary clipping and grazing trials evaluated 50 breeding lines and identified 5 lines (designated 1, 4F, 10, 32 and 34) with superior performance. With an overall program goal of identifying the best limpograsses for cultivar release, the specific objective of this experiment was to investigate the forage productivity and sward canopy characteristics of these 5 breeding lines, compared to Floralta, in response to different grazing management strategies.

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Evaluation of Limpograss (Hemarthria altissima) Breeding Lines under Different Grazing Managements

Limpograss (Hemarthria altissima (Poir.) Stapf et C.E. Hubb.) is a stoloniferous, warm-season perennial grass from South Africa. It is frequently used to extend the grazing season in poorly drained soils of subtropical regions (Quesenberry et al. 2004). The cold tolerance of limpograss allows it to grow at temperatures below which other commonly used warm-season grasses (e.g. bermudagrass) remain productive. Use of limpograss has helped to reduce forage shortfall during winter, therefore, reducing feeding costs. In the past 30 years, the area planted to limpograss in Florida, USA has grown faster than that of any other forage grass species. It is estimated that over 0.2 million ha are planted to limpograss (Quesenberry et al. 2004). Recent University of Florida research with limpograss has focused on developing new hybrids which incorporate the persistence of the most widely used cultivar ‘Floralta’ with the digestibility of ‘Bigalta’. Preliminary clipping and grazing trials evaluated 50 breeding lines and identified 5 lines (designated 1, 4F, 10, 32 and 34) with superior performance. With an overall program goal of identifying the best limpograsses for cultivar release, the specific objective of this experiment was to investigate the forage productivity and sward canopy characteristics of these 5 breeding lines, compared to Floralta, in response to different grazing management strategies.