Herbage Dynamics and Forage Quality of Texas Cupgrass (Eriochloa sericea)
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CitationShaw, R. B., & Smeins, F. E. (1983). Herbage dynamics and forage quality of Texas cupgrass (Eriochloa sericea). Journal of Range Management, 36(5), 668-672.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractHerbage dynamics and forage quality of Texas cupgrass (Eriochloa sericea) were monitored during the 1977 and 1978 growing seasons on the Edwards Plateau, Texas. This species was dominant on a shallow rocky range site which had been excluded from grazing for 30 years. Average herbage production was low (527 kg/ha), and mulch constituted 85% of the total biomass. Peak live standing crop was only 145 kg/ha during the study. Green herbage production reflected the ability of this taxon to adjust phenological stage in response to precipitation. Litterbag studies showed decomposition rates of herbage held flat on the soil surface to be twice as rapid as herbage held upright in clumps of Texas cupgrass. This difference in decomposition illustrated the necessity for herbage removal to prevent dead centers and degradation of the stand. Crude protein content of live material averaged 9.8 and 10.7% during 1977 and 1978, respectively. Digestible energy of live herbage averaged 2300 kcal/kg and never went below 2,100 kcal/kg during the study. Forage quality parameters also reflected phenological stage of development.