The University of Arizona

Achievements in management and utilization of southern grasslands.

C.S. Hoveland


Grasslands in the humid southern USA are utilized primarily for grazing on improved pastures, most of which were developed since the 1930s and 1940s. Virtually all of these grasslands were developed from species introduced from other areas of the world. Major achievements in successful developing these grasslands, often on eroded cropland, were: (a) introduction of Kentucky 31 tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.); (b) introduction of Pensacola bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flugge); (c) breeding of Coastal bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.]; (d) fertilizer and lime use along with availability of low-cost N; (e) no-till planting of winter annual grasses; (f) pasture renovation with legumes; (g) herbicides for weed control; (h) recycling of agricultural wastes in forage production; (i) development of round hay baler; (j) controlled grazing; (k) discovery of the tall fescue fungal endophyte and its effect on livestock and the grass plant; (1) development of grazing-tolerant alfalfa; (m) improved cool season annual grasses and legumes for winter grazing; and (n) near infrared reflectance spectroscopy for rapid and low-cost forage analysis. Future areas of emphasis in improvement of these grasslands may include: (a) greater use of grazing-tolerant grasses and legumes; (b) stress-tolerant tall fescue with "friendly" non-toxic endophytes; (c) feed antidotes to the toxins of endophyte-infected tall fescue; (d) use of herbicide-and pest-resistant biotechnology genes in forage plants; (e) use of gypsum to alleviate subsoil acidity and improve rooting depth of aluminum-sensitive forage cultivars; (f) greater use of computers in information access and decision making by livestock producers; (g) greater use of forages for wildlife food; (h) breeding of pasture plants with greater winter productivity; (i) development of a perennial grass biomass energy industry for electrical generation and liquid fuel production.



humid zones;Neotyphodium coenophialum;transgenic plants;Southeastern United States;gypsum;Festuca;Festuca arundinacea;sown grasslands;plant breeding;Paspalum notatum;agricultural research;grazing;beef cattle

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