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Utilising leaf number as an indicator for defoliation to resost stem growth in rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) cv Callide


Pembleton, KG and Lowe, KF and Bahnisch, LM, Utilising leaf number as an indicator for defoliation to resost stem growth in rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) cv Callide, Tropical Grasslands, 43, (2) pp. 79-85. ISSN 0049-4763 (2009) [Refereed Article]


A plot experiment examined the yield response of a nitrogen-fertilised rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) sward to defoliation using the production of a set number of leaves after the last defoliation, as the indication, for defoliation harvesting. Two factors, defoliation frequency and nitrogen, fertiliser rate, were imposed on the rain-grown sward in south-east Queensland over 2 defoliation cycles. Defoliations occurred when an average of 2, 4, 6 and 8 leaves were produced on tillers, and the rates of nitrogen fertiliser were 150 and 300 kg/ha N. Total and leaf yields of rhodes grass were unaffected by defoliation frequency (P>0.05). Stem yield increased only once 4 leaves had been regrown; hence, leaf: stem ratio was highest at the 2- and 4-leaf defoliation intervals. This response was most pronounced when coupled with the higher rate of nitrogen fertiliser. The results suggest leaf number per tiller can be used as an indication of time to harvest rhodes grass pastures to limit the production of stem and increase the leaf: stem ratio. Further studies are required to examine this principle under grazing.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Crop and pasture production
Research Field:Agronomy
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Pasture, browse and fodder crops
Objective Field:Sown pastures (excl. lucerne)
UTAS Author:Pembleton, KG (Dr Keith Pembleton)
ID Code:52279
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:Agricultural Science
Deposited On:2008-06-15
Last Modified:2014-11-24

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