Date of Award:

8-2021

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Plants, Soils, and Climate

Committee Chair(s)

J. Earl Creech

Committee

J. Earl Creech

Committee

Grant E. Cardon

Committee

Kevin B. Jensen

Abstract

Teff [Eragostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter] is a relatively new forage gaining popularity in the United States; however, information regarding agronomic production practices is lacking. This study was conducted to determine the combination of seeding rate, fertilization, and harvest timing to optimize teff dry-matter yield (DMY) and nutritive value. Four seeding rates (2, 5, 8, and 11 lb/acre), four nitrogen (N) fertilizer rates (0, 25, 50, and 100 lb/acre), and two harvest strategies [boot stage (2-cut) and full seed-head stage (1-cut; stockpiled)] were evaluated in 2010 and 2011 in Kaysville, UT and Yerington, NV. The effects of harvest (1- vs 2-cuts), seeding rate, N level, location, and year had a significant (P < 0.05) effect on teff dry-matter yield (DMY). Two-cut management produced 22% more DMY compared to stockpiled teff. Only at a seeding rate of 2 lb/acre was a significant (P < 0.05) decrease in teff DMY observed. Teff DMY responded significantly (P < 0.05) to each N treatment ranging from 4,457 lb/acre with no N applied to 8,394 lb/acre at 100 lb N applied. On average, the Kaysville, UT site produced 10% more DMY than Yerington, NV at 6,008 lb/acre. A 33% reduction (P < 0.05) in DMY was observed from 2010 to 2011. Responses to increased N fertilizer and DMY under stockpiled forage were not consistent across locations. Only at the UT site was there an associated increase in DMY (P < 0.05) with increased N. Under a 2-cut management, there were observed increases in DMY with increased N levels at both locations. Levels of crude protein (CP) and in-vitro true digestibility (IVTD48) were not affected by seeding rate, while acid detergent fiber (ADF) values remained constant regardless of location. Variation in locations and years had no effect on digestible neutral detergent fiber (dNDF48) values. Regardless of management or location, CP concentrations were greater when 100 lb N/acre was applied, while CP concentrations were similar among lower N levels. The results of this experiment suggest that under a 2-cut management system, teff economics will be optimized with a fertilizer application of 100 lb N/acre at a seeding rate of 5 lb/acre.

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