Rough fescue response to season and intensity of defoliation

McLean, A., S. Wikeem
Publication Year: 
Clipping treatments were used to determine how different intensities (stubble heights), frequencies (number of clipping treatments), and seasons of grazing would affect vigor and survival of rough fescue (Festuca scabrella) plants. Defoliation treatments that included clipping from mid-May to late June had the greatest negative impacts on survival and mortality because this was the period of rapid plant growth. Reduced injury occurred when clipping ceased in May or when 10 or 15-cm of herbage was retained. Season long defoliation to 20-cm or clipping only in the fall caused no apparent damage. The results of this study show that cutting in the fall plus spring resulted in greater injury than spring clipping alone on plants clipped from mid May to late June, but a fall clipping effect was not observed consistently on plants clipped in May plus fall.
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Montana State University

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