Germination in Cool-Season Forage Grasses under a Range of Temperatures Academic Article uri icon


  • Temperature plays a primary role in seed germination, and germination under a wide range of temperatures can promote early seedling emergence and stand establishment. The objective of this growth chamber experiment was to determine the effects of temperature (535C) on the germination of eight species using 6 annual and 14 perennial coolseason grass lots. The greatest germination of annual and perennial coolseason grasses occurred at 20 and 15C, respectively. Germination of oat (Avena sativa L.) was typically greatest at 10 to 20C, whereas rye (Secale cereale L.) germination was generally greatest at 5 to 20C and annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) germination was greatest at 10 to 30C. Germination of orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) and hardinggrass (Phalaris aquatica L.) was greatest at 15 to 20C. Germination of tall fescue [Schedonorus arundinaceus (Schreb.) Dumort.] varied by type: summeractive tall fescue had optimal germination between 15 and 25C but summerdormant tall fescue had optimal germination between 10 and 20C, except for NFTF 1800E, which was more sensitive to high temperatures (> 5C). On the basis of these findings, the seeding rates of rye, oat, orchardgrass, hardinggrass, and tall fescue should be increased by 30% if planted in early September rather than late September to account for the reduction in germination; summerdormant tall fescue should be planted 2 to 3 wk later (115 October) than summeractive types (early September) in the southern Great Plains.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Butler, T. J., Celen, A. E., Webb, S. L., Krstic, D. B., & Interrante, S. M.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Butler, Twain J||Celen, Ahmet E||Webb, Stephen L||Krstic, Djordje B||Interrante, Sindy M

publication date

  • May 2017