Master of Science (MS)


Animal Science (Animal, Dairy, and Poultry Sciences)

Document Type



Rapid growth of warm-season grasses such as bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) and bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum) is associated with a decline in their nutritional value. This study was initiated to provide production and composition data with different cultivars of bermudagrass (common, Russell, Jiggs) and bahiagrass (Tifton-9, Pensacola, Argentina). Dry matter (DM), ash, crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), and acid detergent fiber (ADF) composition and production were evaluated every two weeks for a ten-week period on six different cultivars. Also, Russell bermudagrass was evaluated in a second trial very similar to the first trial for composition and production but was started at three different harvest times. Bermudagrass cultivars had higher DM (P < 0.05) than bahiagrass at all stages of maturity except for d 14. Dry matter production was less than 2000 kg/ha at the 14-d harvest for all of the cultivars. Jiggs produced more DM (P < 0.05) than the other grasses at 42-d harvest. Ash (%) decreased at a constant rate from day 14 until day 70. There was no significant difference (P > 0.05) among the three bermudagrasses and Argentina bahiagrass CP (%) at the 14-d harvest. Russell produced the least amount (P < 0.05) of CP at d 14, while Argentina produced the most CP. Russell, common, and Pensacola CP production (kg/ha) were similar (P > 0.05) and each were higher than Tifton-9 and Argentina after 42 days of growth. Bahiagrass NDF (%) was similar (P > 0.05) across the three cultivars at each of the different harvest times except for the 42-day harvest where Argentina had higher NDF levels (P < 0.05) than either Tifton-9 or Pensacola. The bahiagrass cultivars were similar (P > 0.05) in NDF production at 42 days. Jiggs produced more (P < 0.05) NDF than the other grasses at 56 and 70-d of growth. Common had the least amount of ADF at 56 and 70-d harvest (P < 0.05). ADF production was the highest (P < 0.05) in Jiggs from d 28 to d 70 of growth. Russell early- and mid-season harvest had greater (P < 0.05) DM (%) and production than in the late season. Crude protein was the highest (P < 0.05) in both the early and mid season harvested Russell. The late season harvested Russell produced the least amount (P < 0.05) of DM and the least amount (P < 0.05) of CP. It was predicted that the late season harvested Russell would maintain DM and CP production at a constant rate for a longer period of time. This means that it would allow a producer a wider range of time to make hay or even graze this forage at that time of the year.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

David Sanson