Nitrogen Rate and Mowing Height Effects on Turf-Type Buffalograss

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Crop Science






Crop Science Society of America

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Buffalograss [Buchloë dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.] is a turfgrass species with reduced irrigation and fertilization requirements, relative to traditional turfgrasses. Interest in reducing the amount of chemicals and water applied to turfgrass has resulted in increased efforts to improve buffalograss as a turfgrass. As interest in using the new turf-type buffalograss cultivars has increased, the need for nitrogen rate and mowing height recommendations supported by research have become necessary. ‘Cody’, ‘Texoka’, ‘378’, and ‘NE 91-118’ buffalograss cultivars were planted at sites located in Nebraska, Kansas, and Utah to determine nitrogen rate and mowing height effects on buffalograss quality, color, density, and clipping yield. There were significant cultivar × nitrogen rate interactions at all sites for quality, color, and density. Regardless of cultivar, nitrogen rate × year interactions at all sites revealed that the 98 kg N ha−1 rate sustained quality, color, and density over the 3-yr evaluation period, while lower nitrogen rates had decreased quality, color, and density. The 195 kg N ha−1 rate improved quality over the 3-yr period but also had the highest clipping yields. Regardless of the cultivar selected, the data support the general mowing height recommendation for turf-type buffalograss of 5.0 to 7.5 cm. For golf course fairways maintained at a mowing height of 2.5 cm, the vegetatively established cultivars (NE 91-118 and 378) are the best choice to achieve high turfgrass quality.