• Influence of Clipping Frequency on Herbage Yield and Nutrient Content of Tall Wheatgrass

      Undersander, D. J.; Naylor, C. H. (Society for Range Management, 1987-01-01)
      Grazing or cutting frequency has been shown to affect yield and quality of many grasses, but similar data are lacking for tall wheatgrass [Agropyron elongatum (Host) Beauv. 'Jose']. The objective of the research was to determine the effect of frequency of clipping on tall wheatgrass. The study was conducted at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station at Bushland, Texas, in 1979, 1980, 1981, and 1984 on a Pullman clay loam soil. Plots were irrigated as needed from February to the end of the growing season and fertilized with 112kg N/ha every 2 months for maximum yield and clipped either every week, 2 weeks, of 4 weeks at a 5-cm stubble height. Herbage yield was highest from spring harvests and declined over summer as is typical of cool-season grasses. The plots that were clipped every 4 weeks produced greater herbage yields than plots that were clipped 1 or 2 weeks, suggesting that rotational grazing would increase productivity. The nutrient content of the herbage was highest during summer when herbage yield was lowest. Plants clipped less frequently had the highest concentrations of phosphorus and potassium and the lowest concentrations of calcium and magnesium. The greatest differences in nutrient content occurred among years, which emphasizes the importance of continual herbage analysis to optimize mineral supplementation of grazing cattle.