Herbage productivity of brome grass (Bromus carinatus)


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Herbage production and quality of swards of brome grass (Bromus carinatus. Hook and Am) were compared with other commonly sown grasses at two sites in Scotland. At Ayr, the comparison was with perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata L.) and timothy (Phleum pratense L.) under 6‐cut (experiment 1) and 4‐cut (experiment 2) regimes over 3 years with 360 kg ha−1 fertilizer N applied annually in each experiment. At Edinburgh, brome grass was compared over 3 years with perennial ryegrass and cocksfoot under a 7‐cut system given 3(X)‐35O kg N ha−1 year−1 (experiment 3) and with perennial ryegrass, cocksfoot and Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) under a 4‐cut system given 250–325 kg N ha−1 annually (experiment 4). Over the 3 years, brome grass gave 1.18, 6.19 and 1.3% less dry matter (DM) production than the other grasses in experiments 1, 2 and 3 respectively; in experiment 4, it was 1 % less productive than Italian ryegrass but 1.2% more productive than the other grasses. The organic matter digestibility (OMD) of brome grass was lower than that of perennial ryegrass but higher than timothy at Ayr, similar to perennial and Italian ryegrasses at Edinburgh but markedly superior to cocksfoot at both sites. N concentrations in brome grass were higher than in the ryegrasses but lower than in cocksfoot. Mineral composition data showed brome grass to be high in P and K, low in Ca and Mg and very low in Na compared with corresponding concentrations in the other grasses. The variable performance of this brome grass species (B. carinatus) against commonly used grasses in the reported experiments, together with similar evidence from the literature, leads to the conclusion that it is unlikely to be suitable for widespread use in the UK; nevertheless, it has shown some promise in drought‐prone situations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-392
Number of pages10
JournalGrass and Forage Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPrint publication - Dec 1990


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