106191 Evaluating Teff Grass As a Summer Forage Crop.
Poster Number 712
Monday, October 23, 2017
Tampa Convention Center, East Exhibit Hall
Finding a more water-efficient crop to produce forage for livestock is becoming increasingly important as producers adapt to drought conditions. The objectives of this research were to determine the forage yield, nutritive values, and water use efficiency (WUE) of teff grass (Eragrostis tef) under field conditions when compared to sorghum sudangrass (S. x drummondii) and pearl millet (P. glaucum). WUE was determined by regressing aboveground biomass on cumulative water use (CWU) between sampling periods. Forage quality was determined using wet chemical analysis on samples obtained by quadrat area clippings of aboveground biomass, which were also used to calculate yield. Aboveground biomass and WUE demonstrated significant differences at specific days after planting (DAP) and among varieties. Optimum average yield of all teff varieties was 4.5 Mg ha-1 at 48 DAP with a CWU of 142mm. For sorghum sudangrass, an optimum yield of 5.8 Mg ha-1 was achieved at 54 DAP with a CWU of 165 mm. Pearl millet reached an optimum yield of 7.1 Mg ha-1 at 58 DAP with a CWU of 217 mm. Teff grass demonstrated potential to provide producers with a quick and competitive forage crop by reaching optimum yields at an earlier date than other commonly grown forages.