Trinexapac-ethyl and open-field burning in creeping red fescue (Festuca rubra L.) seed production in the Willamette Valley Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/wm117r23f

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  • Open-field burning has been an effective, economical, and widespread method of post-harvest residue management in creeping red fescue seed production in the Willamette Valley since the late 1940s. However, the use of field burning has been legislatively restricted due to air quality and safety issues. The foliar-applied plant growth regulator trinexapac-ethyl (TE), commercialized in the USA as Palisade, has been accepted by producers as a yield enhancing agent and is considered here as an alternative to open-field burning over a four-year period. The effects of open-field burning versus mechanical removal (flailing) of post-harvest residue, and spring versus fall applications of TE on seed yield, dry matter partitioning, and seed yield components were evaluated in a split-plot design. The response to the different treatment combinations differed across years. The young stand responded with a seed yield increase to spring TE applications, regardless of residue management treatment. However, as the stand aged, field burning became critical for maintaining high yields and, in 2003 and 2004, only spring TE applications resulted in seed yield increases in burned plots. The higher potential seed yield achieved in burned plots over flailed plots, as a result of a higher number of panicles per unit area and spikelets per panicle, was critical for maintaining high seed yields as the stand aged. Spring applications of TE, further increased seed yield over the untreated check by increasing the number of florets per spikelet, reducing fertile tiller height and lodging and consequently, favoring pollination and fertilization of the florets. Late spring TE applications also increased 1000-seed weight in 2003 and 2004. Although spring applications of TE were a promising alternative to open-field burning early during the life of the stand, as the stand aged they did not increase seed yield on flailed plots. Fall TE applications did not have a consistent effect on seed yield, dry matter partitioning or seed yield components, and were found not to be a viable management practice.
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