AbstractThe annual total yields of green forage, dry matter and protein per acre were determined for 16 Panicums under irrigation at the Gurabo Substation, Gurabo, Puerto Rico, for a period of 2 years. The grasses were harvested at 60-day intervals. Selection 15, USDA P.I. 259553 (USDA Plant Introduction Number) was the highest yielder. It produced 95.60 tons of green forage and 23.84 tons of dry matter, per acre yearly. This selection outyielded the remaining 15 Panicums at the 5-percent level. The second highest dry-matter yielder was selection 11, USDA P.I. 259565 which produced 21.12 tons of dry matter per acre yearly. Prior to each 60-day cutting all forage plots were evaluated as to the following plant characters: tillering ability, rooting at the nodes, forage volume, resistance to ergot, resistance to a leafspot caused by Cercospora fusimaculans, flowering percentage and greenness; these character values were correlated with yields of total green forage, total dry matter and total protein. The ratings were from 1 to 9, 9 representing the best condition. The best correlations obtained were those of tillering ability and forage volume with total yield. Other significant correlations, with yield, although low, were greenness (positive) and rooting at the nodes (negative). It is concluded that the plant characters of forage volume and tillering ability can be of potential value in a selection program in the genus Panicum. On the other hand, the characters of rooting at the nodes, resistance to ergot, resistance to leafspot attacks, flowering and greenness apparently are of little value as compared to forage volume and tillering ability. The excellent yielding ability, resistance to disease attack and many other desirable morphological plant characteristics of selection 15 are indications that a Guineagrass superior to the present type is available in Puerto Rico. It warrants further testing under managed grazing conditions for a final-type evaluation.
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