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    Warm season wear-tolerant turfgrasses, such as those used on golf courses and athletic fields, may be valuable forages on equine operations because of their potential to remain viable during heavy hoof traffic. Crabgrass may also be suitable as it thrives in conditions where other grasses have limited success. The objective of this study was to assess the relative traffic tolerance and nutritional composition of five warm-season (WS) turfgrass cultivars of bermudagrass and zoysiagrass and one WS forage-type crabgrass. All cultivars were established by seed in replicated monoculture plots. Simulated hoof traffic treatments consisted of either none, one, or two passes of a Baldree Traffic Simulator. Traffic was applied weekly for 6 weeks in the summer of 2016 and 2017, with each treatment period followed by a 4-week rest period. Plots were assessed for compaction, biomass, and persistence before and after treatment and rest periods. Nutritional composition was assessed throughout the growing seasons. Soil compaction increased as treatment level increased for all cultivars (P < .0001). There was no effect of treatment on cultivar persistence. Biomass available for grazing was increased in year 1 by the application of LOW traffic treatment (P = .0193). Both bermudagrass and zoysiagrass cultivars showed promise for use in areas of heavy traffic on equine operations, however, zoysiagrass cultivars were more suitable as they were highest ranking in relative traffic tolerance, moderate in yield, and low nonstructural carbohydrates (<12% NSC). Future on-farm studies evaluating bermudagrass and zoysiagrass to determine ideal stocking rate, management methods, and persistence under grazing are warranted. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Aubrey L Jaqueth, Thomas R Turner, Marie E Iwaniuk, Bridgett J McIntosh, Amy O Burk. Relative Traffic Tolerance of Warm-Season Grasses and Suitability for Grazing by Equine. Journal of equine veterinary science. 2021 Aug;103:103244

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    PMID: 34281644

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