Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Second Floor
Weeping lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula) is a perennial C4 grass spread over tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. In Argentina, this forage crop covers 800,000 has; however it has potential to colonize marginal production areas due to its low input costs, fast growth and high biomass production in poor soils and semidesertic environments. Nowadays, there are no weeping lovegrass breeding programs in our country. Thus, it is necessary to evaluate weeping lovegrass potential as forage and bioenergy crop not only looking at quality and yield traits from those commercially available cultivars but also to newly developed cultivars. Therefore, we evaluated forage quality and yield of seven cultivars of weeping lovegrass planted in a experimental field located at ACA Cabildo during the growing season 2008-2009. This experiment was done using a completely randomized block design including seven germplasm sources (five cultivars: Tanganyika, Morpa, Don Pablo, Don Juan, Don Eduardo, and two new accessions generated by biotechnological tools: 9355 and 9446), three blocks (B1, B2, B3) and eight plants per experimental unit. Morphological traits including fresh weight, dry weight and leaf length, and forage quality traits including crude protein, in vitro dry matter digestibility, neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber and lignin content were registered during two cuttings (November 20th , 2008 and May 6th 2009). Data will be analyzed and results on forage quality and yield will be presented.