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CitationVoigt, P. W., Croy, L. I., & Horn, F. P. (1986). Forage quality of winterhardy lovegrasses. Journal of Range Management, 39(3), 276-280.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractGermplasm of Eragrostis curvula and E. lehmanniana was evaluated for in vitro dry matter disappearance (IVDMD), palatability (animal preference among genotypes), and forage vigor (weight/-plant). Our objective was to determine if sufficient genetic variation was present among relatively winterhardy genotypes to develop new lovegrass varieties with improved forage quality. The germplasm was divided into 4 types: curvula, conferta, short chloromelas (SC), and cold-hardy lehmann (CLE). Differences among types were significant for all characteristics studied. Differences within types were found also. The average IVDMD of the more stemmy CLE and SC types was higher than that of the more leafy curvula and conferta types. However, both CLE and SC types were less productive generally than curvula and conferta types and the palatability of CLE types was frequently lower than that of the other types. The more vigorous CLE types tended to be lower in IVDMD and palatability than less productive selections of that type. Chances of selecting an improved lovegrass variety directly from this germplasm are unlikely because few selections were superior to the weeping lovegrass controls. The best CLE and SC selections might be useful in a breeding program for improved forage quality if stemmyness can be decreased in their offspring while IVDMD is increased. Selections of the CLE type should not be widely planted until grazing evaluation proves them to be useful for animal production.