Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) is widely grown in the Pacific coast and in the southern states of the United States. In the south, its greatest value is to provide winter grazing. During summer months, it either goes dormant, dies out or cannot compete with adapted warm season species. However, tall fescue is considered to have a wide adaptation. One variety of tall fescue with a large acreage is Kentucky 31, which comes into prominence because of its ability to make considerable growth and provide pasturage during the winter and early spring. Ladino clover (Trifolium repens var. Ladino) is one of the most important pasture legumes in the United States. It is a highly palatable and nutritious forage for livestock and poultry. When grown in association with pasture grasses, ladino supplies nitrogen to the grasses. This usually results in increased yield and improved quality of forage. In the lower part of the southern states, it is generally looked upon as a winter annual, though a few plants may live through the summer without making much growth. The reason for the disappearance of stands is not clearly known. The bloat hazard from grazing ladino clover alone has brought about the more general use of grass-ladino pastures. Tall fescue is widely used with ladino clover because in fescue-clover pastures, quality of forage is much higher than fescue alone. Therefore, maintaining the clover is an important management practice but has proved to be difficult for most farmers. The main weakness of ladino clover as a forage is the short life stands in pastures. Failure of stands may be the result of several environmental factors associated with weather. The effects of weather are most critical during the period of germination and in the early seedling stage. Perhaps the greatest losses, in an effort and substance, are sustained through a failure “to get a stand” of the seeded grass or legume than through any subsequent steps in a forage crop program (1, 14, 19). Thus, it seems advisable to determine what environmental conditions are necessary to obtain a satisfactory stand. The environmental conditions are necessary to obtain a satisfactory stand. The environmental conditions investigated were temperature and photoperiods. The purpose of this preliminary study, therefore, was to try to determine the effects of photoperiods and temperatures upon early growth of tall fescue and ladino clover seedlings at various lengths of growing period.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Plants, Effects of light on
Plants, Effect of temperture on




South Dakota State University