AS  Vol.7 No.10 , October 2016
Optimizing Eastern Gamagrass Forage Harvests Using Growing Degree Days
Tripsacum dactyloides (L.) L., commonly known as eastern gamagrass, is useful for grazing, stored forage, soil amelioration and conservation, and as a biofuel feedstock. Our goal was to calculate accumulated growing degree days (GDD) from existing datasets collected for eastern gamagrass forage production experiments in northwestern Oklahoma, and discuss the use of GDD, instead of calendar harvest dates, in the production of eastern gamagrass forage. Growing degree days were calculated from 1 January each year using the “optimum day method”. For 10 harvest years, the first eastern gamagrass harvest required 690 ± 26 cumulative GDD. Based on long-term weather data from Woodward, Oklahoma, this would place the first harvest on or near 1 June. The second harvest required 635 ± 27 cumulative GDD which would place the second harvest on or near 15 July and the third harvest required 690 ± 23 cumulative GDD placing it on or near 30 August. Each of the 30 harvest required an average of 670 ± 15 cumulative GDD. Using GDD to predict harvest events is a useful tool that forage producer can use in the production of eastern gamagrass forage in the USA and possibly elsewhere.
Cite this paper: Springer, T. , Gunter, S. , Goldman, J. and Moffet, C. (2016) Optimizing Eastern Gamagrass Forage Harvests Using Growing Degree Days. Agricultural Sciences, 7, 710-715. doi: 10.4236/as.2016.710066.

[1]   Barkworth, M.E., Anderson, L.K., Carpels, K.M., Long, S. and Piep, M.B. (2007) Manual of Grasses of North America. Utah State University Press, Logan.

[2]   Springer, T.L. and Dewald, C.L. (2004) Eastern Gamagrass and Other Tripsacum Species. In: Moser, L.E., Sollenberger, L.E. and Burson, B.L., Eds., C4 [Warm-Season Grasses]. ASA, CSSA, and SSSA, Madison, 955-973.

[3]   Dewald, C.L. (1990) Discussion: Planting and Using Eastern Gamagrass. In: Eastern Gamagrass Conference Proceedings, Poteau, 23-25 January 1989, 61.

[4]   Douglas, J.L., Adams, F.M., Young, J.L. and Bell, T.L. (1993) Effects of Clipping Frequency and Nitrogen Rates on Yield and Quality of Eastern Gamagrass. In: Eastern Gamagrass Workshop Proceedings, Manhattan, Kansas, 13-14 October 1993, 38.

[5]   Brejda, J.J., Brown, J.R., Lorenz, T.E., Henry, J., Reid, J.L. and Lowry, S.R. (1996) Eastern Gamagrass Responses to Different Harvest Intervals and Nitrogen Rates in Northern Missouri. Journal of Production Agriculture, 9, 130-135.

[6]   Cherney, J.H. and Volenec, J.J. (1992) Forage Evaluation as Influenced by Environmental Replication: A Review. Crop Science, 32, 841-846.

[7]   Springer, T.L., Dewald, C.L, Sims, P.L. and Gillen, R.L. (2003) How Does Plant Population Density Affect the Forage Yield of Eastern Gamagrass? Crop Science, 43, 2206-2211.

[8]   Weimer, P.J. and Springer, T.L. (2007) Fermentability of Eastern Gamagrass, Big Bluestem and Sand Bluestem Grown Across a Wide Variety of Environments. Bioresource Technology, 98, 1615-1621.

[9]   Fine, G.L., Barnett, F.L., Anderson, K.L., Lippert, R.D. and Jacobson, E.T. (1990) Registration of “Pete” Eastern Gamagrass. Crop Science, 30, 741-742.

[10]   Dewald, C.L., Taliaferro, C.M. and Dunfield, P.C. (1992) Registration of Four Fertile Triploid Germplasm Lines of Eastern Gamagrass. Crop Science, 32, 504.

[11]   Springer, T.L., Dewald, C.L., Sims, P.L., Gillen, R.L., Louthan, V.H., Cooper, W.J., Taliaferro, C.M., Maura Jr., C., Pfaff, S., Wynia, R.L., Douglas, J.L., Henry, J., Bruckerhoff, S.B., Van Der Grinten, M., Salon, P.R., Houck Jr., M.J. and Esquivel, R.G. (2006) Registration of “Verl” Eastern Gamagrass. Crop Science, 46, 477-478.

[12]   Dewald, C.L. and Kindiger, B. (1996) Registration of FGT-1 Eastern Gamagrass Germplasm. Crop Science, 36, 219.

[13]   Goldman, J.J. and Springer, T.L. (2011) Agronomic Performance of Eastern Gamagrass Cultivars and Experimental Germplasm Grown on the Southern Plains. Native Plants Journal, 12, 1-7.

[14]   USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service (2006) Notice of Release of “Bumpers” Eastern Gamagrass.

[15]   Grabowski, J.M., Douglas, J.L., Lang, D.J. and Edwards, S.D. (2005) Registration of “Highlander” Eastern Gamagrass. Crop Science, 45, 412-413.

[16]   Barger, G.L. (1969) Total Growing Degree Days. Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin, 56, 10.

[17]   SAS Institute Inc. (2010) SAS/STAT® User’s Guide. Version 9.22, Cary, NC.

[18]   Kincer, J.B. (1941) Climate and Weather Data for the United States. In: Climate and Man, 1941 Yearbook of Agriculture, US Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 685-1228.

[19]   Wang, L.M. (1960) A Critique of the Heat Unit Approach to Plant Response Studies. Ecology, 41, 785-790.

[20]   Knutson, A.E., Jackson, J.A., Cronholm, G.B., Ng, S.-S., Davis, F.M. and Morrison, W.P. (1989) Temperature-Dependent Model for Predicting Emergence of Adult Southwestern Corn Borer (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in Texas. Journal of Economic Entomology, 82, 1230-1236.

[21]   Carlson, J.D. and Gage, S.H. (1989) Influence of Temperature upon Crop and Insect Pest Phenologies for Field Corn and the Role of Planting Date upon Their Interrelationships. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 45, 313-324.

[22]   Springer, T.L., Puterka, G.J., Maas, D.L. and Thacker, E.T. (2011) The Southern Cornstalk Borer (Diatraea crambidoides (Grote), Lepidoptera: Crambidae) a New Pest of Eastern Gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides (L.) L., Poaceae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, 84, 209-216.

[23]   Solis, M.A., Metz, M.A., Scheffer, S.J., Lewis, M.L., Kula, R.R. and Springer, T.L. (2015) A New Cryptic Species of Diatraea (Lepidoptera: Crambidae: Crambinae) Feeding on Eastern Gama Grass and a Novel Host Association with a Braconid (Hymenoptera) in the United States. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 108, 648-659.