Kentucky Bluegrass Management and Variety Evaluation for Sustainable Seed Production in Western Nebraska
Alternative crops may not only provide additional income, they can also serve to control erosion and break weed and insect cycles.
Objective: To evaluate a number of Kentucky Bluegrass varieties grown under the climate and soil conditions of the high plains of western Nebraska.
Methods: The coordinator installed a one tower irrigation pivot covering approximately 2.5 acres for test plots and seeded 17 varieties from seven different companies for evaluation. The varieties were planted on 10 by 160 foot plots and replicated three times. Data was collected and compiled by the University of Nebraska Panhandle Extension Center to show growth characteristics and yield.
Results: When plotted on a bar graph, varieties with the best sod forming characteristics produced the lowest yields of seed with the highest value per pound, while the cultivars with the highest yields of seed exhibited the poorest sod forming characteristics and the lowest value per pound of seed. The varieties in the middle provided very acceptable sod forming characteristics and yield with a contract price from $1.20 to $1.50 per pound. In addition to erosion control, an added bonus is that the residue, when properly managed, provides an excellent forage for livestock. The project introduced area producers to a water and soil conserving crop, which resulted in more than 1,000 acres contracted for 1999.
North Central Region SARE 1998 Annual Report.