James K. Rogers, Research, Noble Research Institute, LLC, Ardmore, OK and Jagadeesh Mosali, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, OK
In the Southern Plains of the USA, introduced and native warm-season perennial grasses are the major forages. Bermudagrass [Cynodondactylon (L.) Pers.] is one of the most important warm-season perennial introduced forages. Bermudagrass goes dormant at the occurrence of the first killing frost in the fall and remains dormant until after the last spring frost. This creates a deficit in bermudagrass forage availability for grazing livestock. This gap in forage availability for livestock can be filled by establishing cool-season annual grasses as monocultures or interseeding them into bermudagrass pastures, hay feeding or a combination of all. Reliable cool-season, perennial forages to help fill this deficit are lacking. Chicory (Cichorium intybusL.) a deep rooted, herbaceous cool-season perennial (5-7 years) herb. In Oklahoma, chicory has produced grazeable early fall forage (September-October) over a two year study. Our objectives were to determine species compatibility, yield, seasonal productivity, nutritive value, and nitrogen (N) response of no-till chicory-bermudagrass mixtures compared to no-till annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorumLam.) bermudagrass mixtures. Treatments were interseeded October, 2010 and September, 2011 at two locations. Seeding rates were: chicory 5 lb/acre PLS and ryegrass 20 lb/ac. Seeding depth was 1/4-1/2”. Chicory stand counts at one location never exceeded 25%. At the second location, chicory stands failed both years of the study.