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Agronomy 2018, 8(9), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy8090177

Adaptability and Forage Characterization of Finger Millet Accessions in U.S. Southern Great Plains

1
Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Oklahoma State University, 371 Agricultural Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA
2
Grazinglands Research Laboratory, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), 7207 West Cheyenne St., El Reno, OK 73036, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 August 2018 / Revised: 7 September 2018 / Accepted: 7 September 2018 / Published: 10 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forage and Bioenergy Crops)
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Abstract

Low forage quality of available perennial warm-season grasses during mid-summer through late summer affects the production of stocker cattle in the U.S. Southern Great Plains (SGP). Finger millet (Eleusine coracana Gaertn L.), which is a drought tolerant annual grass, could be a promising forage for the SGP. This field study assessed the adaptability and forage characteristics of 11 finger millet accessions originally sourced (1964–1981) from different parts of the world. Results of this study suggested that finger millet can generate forage yields ranging from 5.0 to 12.3 Mg ha−1 165 days after planting. Finger millet forage contained 105 to 156 g kg−1 crude protein, 598 to 734 g kg−1 neutral detergent fiber, 268 to 382 g kg−1 acid detergent fiber, 597 to 730 g kg−1 in vitro true digestibility, and 387 to 552 g kg−1 neutral detergent fiber digestibility. Ten of the 11 accessions flowered and produced grains with yields varying from 60 to 1636 kg ha−1. Overall, finger millet has the potential to serve as an alternative crop for the production of forage and possibly grain in the SGP. Further research needs to be focused on developing strategies for agronomic management and evaluating the capacity of finger millet under different grazing and hay production settings in the SGP. View Full-Text
Keywords: drought tolerance; forage quality; forage yield; grain production; stocker cattle drought tolerance; forage quality; forage yield; grain production; stocker cattle
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Baath, G.S.; Northup, B.K.; Gowda, P.H.; Rocateli, A.C.; Turner, K.E. Adaptability and Forage Characterization of Finger Millet Accessions in U.S. Southern Great Plains. Agronomy 2018, 8, 177.

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