Forage Quality of "Matua" Prairie Grass
Research on the nutritive quality of Matua grass (Bromus willdenowii) is limited in south central Kentucky-Due to the hot summers, mild winters and a 200-day long growing season in Kentucky, herbage quality as well as management practices may differ from those reported in research from other climates. The objective of this study was to evaluate the nutritive quality of five forages (Matua, Gala, Smooth bromegrass, Tall fescue and Orchardgrass). The experiment was conducted on a Pembroke silt loam (fine-silty, mixed, mesic mollic Paleudalfs) in south central Kentucky as well as in the greenhouse. Four harvests each were obtained from the field and greenhouse studies. The nutritive content as crude protein(CP), acid detergent fiber(ADF), neutral detergent fiber(NDF) and relative feed value(RFV) were determined by analysis with the Near-Infrared Reflectance Spectrophotometer(NIRS). Matua and the other Bromus species were very comparable to the tall fescue and orchardgrass for theses analyses. Matua produced a higher quality forage during the fall of the year.