Potential for perennial grasses as an organic dual forage-grain crop in Michigan

Tinsley, S., S.S. Snapp, S. Culman, S. Utsumi, N. Jaikumar and J. Green

Presented at the All Scientist Meeting (2012-03-15 to 2012-03-16 )

The adoption of perennial grains presents farmers with environmental, economic, and agronomic opportunities and risks. If these plants can be used as dual-purpose forage-grain crops, many risks will be alleviated. In order to evaluate potential for perennial wheat (Triticum aestivum x Thinopyrum elongatum; pwheat) and intermediate wheatgrass (Thinopyrum intermedium; IWG), two novel perennial grain species, to thrive as dual-purpose crops, a field experiment is in progress at Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) in which robustness of plant growth and perennial regrowth, as well as quality and quantity of harvested grain and forage is under investigation for two planting dates and two cutting regimes. Preliminary data presented here indicate apparent tradeoffs between high first-year yields and ability to initiate late-season regrowth.

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