Simulated Bermudagrass Production and Nitrate Leaching Affected by El Niño‐Southern Oscillation, Soil, and Clipping Frequency
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© 2017 American Society of Agronomy. Coastal bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] is the basis for many forage production systems in the southern United States. The agro-environmental studies on this grass, however, are limited for this region. This study, using the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) crop model, assessed the bermudagrass dry matter (DM) yield and N-leaching responses to clipping interval, soil type, and El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in the Pineywoods region of Texas. The response variables were simulated for various scenarios including two soil types, five clipping intervals, and 74 yr of weather data. The simulation results showed that with an increase in clipping interval, DM yield increased, whereas N leaching decreased, each at a diminishing rate. Bermudagrass DM yields were less, whereas N leaching was greater over a soil with high runoff potential, compared with a soil whose runoff potential was moderate. Of the three ENSO phases, El Nino had the lowest DM yields and the greatest N leaching. The bermudagrass model tended to overestimate N leaching and underestimate DM yields by a larger magnitude for a longer clipping interval and for a soil with higher runoff potential and higher wilting points. The results suggested that using clipping intervals shorter than 4 wk on any soil in any year might not be beneficial from both agronomic and environmental perspectives. The findings of this study might be helpful to Coastal bermudagrass producers in this region in identifying soil- and weather-specific clipping frequencies for optimizing forage production while minimizing the nitrate contamination of ground water.
author list (cited authors)
Woli, P., Rouquette, F. M., Long, C. R., Gowda, P., & Pequeno, D.