Browsing Journal of Range Management, Volume 38, Number 3 (May 1985) by Authors
Evaluation and Management of Grasses for Dual Livestock and Game Bird UseHolt, E. C.; Cain, J. R.; Hendler, R. J. (Society for Range Management, 1985-07-01)Kleingrass 75 and Verde kleingrass (Panicum coloratum L.), PI 217229 and PMT 4022 plains bristlegrass (Setaria macrostachya H.B.K.) Nees), and commercial green sprangletop (Leptochloa dubia (H.B.K.), were studied for forage and seed production. Acceptability of seed was studied using caged bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus). Defoliation management practices had relatively little influence on forage yield. Forage digestibility declined rapidly when defoliation was delayed, and the species responded differently in the rate and pattern of decline. Seed yields were as high or higher with 30-day interval harvesting as with deferred harvesting except that spring deferment increased kleingrass and summer deferment increased green sprangletop seed yields. Green sprangletop also produced more seed by leaving a 20-cm stubble than a 10-cm stubble. These indeterminate species apparently mature seed in approximately 30 days, indicating that a management system that leaves some tillers intact for 30 days or longer will result in some seed formation. Seed production decreases to nil in 2 to 3 months following first maturity in an undefoliated stand. Bobwhite quail readily consumed kleingrass seed as a significant portion of their diet even in the presence of a high quality game bird diet. They subsisted for short periods on an all grass seed diet, but consumed little plains bristlegrass or green sprangletop when game bird diet, pearl millet, or kleingrass were present. Thus, kleingrass has the most potential of the species studied for dual use.