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Manzoor Akbar

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Plant Science

First Advisor

Arvid A. Boe


Many of the perennial grasses and legumes grown for hay or pasture in South Dakota produce only limited amounts of forage in July and August, particularly in dry years. Solutions to forage shortages during the summer have traditionally included the use of perennial and annual warm-season species for pasture, hay, or silage (Boe et al., 1991). These supplemental forages can help to maintain a high level of forage production during the summer months when unfavorable climatic conditions often bring about a decrease in quality and production of cool-season perennials (Broyles and Fribourg, 1959). Forage quality must be considered along with total dry matter yield in designing forage management systems for livestock production. Low quality forage, even if abundant, may be associated with low intake and poor livestock performance (Ellis, 1978). Cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.] has excellent potential for supplying high-quality forage in the midwestern United States (Marsh et al.,1987). Livestock fed cowpea forage have shown weight gains comparable to those from other legumes (Pope et al., 1953). No palatability or antiquality problems have been reported for cowpea silage (Boe et al., 1991). Annual warm-season-grasses commonly used for supplemental forage include various Sorghum and Setaria species. While these crops are usually productive, they have inferior forage quality relative to alfalfa (Perry, 1980). When harvested at the soft- dough maturity stage, Siberian foxtail millet [(Setaria italica(L.) Beauv.) produced a forage yield of 7256 kg ha-1 and had a crude protein concentration of 110 g kg-1 (Casper and Boe, 1990). A potential advantage of cowpeas and millets is that they can be sown as late as June, and hence may produce a satisfactory forage yield during the time when forage is in short supply in the northern Great Plains (Boe et al.,1991.; Twidwell et al., 1992). If the nutritive value of these species are comparable to other species such as alfalfa and perennial warm-season grasses, this could be an additional source of feed during the shortage period of the year. Previous work at South Dakota State University (Boe et al.,1991; Twidwell et al.,1992) indicated that cowpea and foxtail millet could a be viable alternative forage for producers, and may help to reduce forage supply deficit problems in mid-to-late summer. Preliminary work has already been done on cultural practices of cowpea and millet (Boe et al.,1991) but information is still lacking on the effect of harvest date on the forage production and quality of these annual forages. My objectives were: (1) to determine the effects of harvest date on dry matter yield and forage quality of five cowpea cultivars and two millet species, and (2) to determine the effect of planting depth on seedling emergence of five cowpea cultivars differing in seed size.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Forage plants -- Yield -- South Dakota
Forage plants -- Quality -- South Dakota
Cowpea -- Yield -- South Dakota
Cowpea -- Quality -- South Dakota
Millets -- Yield -- South Dakota
Millets -- Quality -- South Dakota




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