Title

Establishing Eastern Gamagrass (Tripsacum Dactyloides L.) via Transplantation into Texas Blackland Prairie Soils

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Ag Science and Natural Resources

Date of Award

Fall 2020

Abstract

Eastern Gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides) is a warm-season, perennial bunch grass, native from northeastern United States as far south as Bolivia and Paraguay. Eastern Gamagrass has excellent forage characteristics but strong seed dormancy has limited its use as a forage crop. Rapid, uniform establishment of a stand is possibly the most critical aspect of stand establishment. Eastern Gamagrass was successfully transplanted in Virginia. This study looked for differences in transplantation success between three registered cultivars of Eastern Gamagrass (“Pete”, “Iuka”, and “Medina”) to assess whether transplanting is a viable method to establish stands or enhance existing stands in the Blackland Prairie soils of Texas. Locations were harvested the following year to compare cultivars based on dry matter production per acre. Seed was germinated in a laboratory, transplanted into tree cones, and grown in a greenhouse. After 8 to 12 weeks, the seedlings were transplanted into a randomized complete block design at two different locations within the Blackland Prairie (Commerce, TX and Greenville, TX). Plant survival was assessed on a weekly basis for four weeks by counting the number of live plants per plot. Eastern Gamagrass survival rate by week averaged across varieties in Commerce, TX was significantly better (P =.0084) from Greenville, TX. “Medina” survival rate was significantly better (P = .0078) from “Pete” and “Iuka” when averaged across location and weeks. At Commerce, there were no differences between cultivars, harvest date or cultivars by harvest date for kilograms of dry matter per hectare. At Greenville, there were no differences between cultivars for kilograms of dry matter per hectare. Commerce and Greenville yields were not compared. May 2, 2020 harvest was significantly different from July 24, 2020 harvest at for crude protein (P = <.0001), acid detergent fiber (P = .0417), and neutral detergent fiber (P = .0052).

Advisor

Curtis Jones

Subject Categories

Agriculture | Life Sciences | Plant Sciences

Share

COinS