Tekapo Orchardgrass

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Heat/cold tolerant

Digestible/palatable

Drought/disease resistant

Low crown/dense growth

Excellent persistence

High yield/feed value

Description

Tekapo is very unique among orchard grasses in that it has a very low crown and a dense, prostrate growth habit. This allows Tekapo to be grazed to near ground level; therefore ideal for sheep and horse grazing. Its long, soft leaves also make it highly palatable.

Tekapo will produce a very thick and dense stand that is able to persist even under hard, continuous grazing. The dense, prostrate growth of Tekapo also helps it to out-compete many invasive weeds. Tekapo is tolerant of heat, moderate drought, low fertility, and most foliar diseases, including rust. Its aggressive tillers also help utilize soil nutrients.

Tekapo is an abundant producer under irrigation and high fertility. With excellent digestibility and good feed value, Tekapo can be combined with high yielding grasses to make an excellent hay/grazing pasture. Tekapo has outperformed many other orchard grasses in feed value, palatability and digestibility.

Animals Prefer Tekapo...again!

Other Info

Establishment & Management:
Plant in early Autumn or in the Spring in a prepared, firm seedbed, seeding with a Brillion-type seeder, or by broadcast and cultipack. A planting depth of 1/8-1/4 inch is best. No-till is only recommended when an herbicide is used to sufficiently kill or retard the existing stand. A minimum pH of 6.0 is best.

Seeding Rate:
A seeding rate of 12 lbs per acre for 100% Tekapo pasture is recommended. Seed with other grasses at the rate of 5-6 lbs per acre. Plant with white clover, alfalfa, tetraploid perennial, and other appropriate grazing grasses. An application of Nitrogen, 25-30 units/acre 4-6 weeks after sowing promotes tillering without damage to the young stand. Once established, Tekapo should be grazed or cut leaving a 3-4” residual.

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Tekapo   Tekapo

Tekapo   Tekapo   Tekapo

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Seedling vigor, grazing performance and stand persistence of orchardgrass varieties sown September 22, 2005 in a cattle grazing tolerance study at Lexington, Kentucky (rotational grazing).

Variety Seedling Vigor1 Nov 7, 2005 Grazing Preference2 Percent Stand
2006 2007 2008
May 25, 2007 Apr 17 Oct 20 Mar 30 Oct 16 Apr 9 Oct 15

Commercial Varieties-Available for Farm Use

Benchmark Plus

3.3 2.8 95 97 96 88 93 93*

Persist

3.0 2.5 96 98 98 91 95 93*

Athos

3.0 5.7 94 98 94 94 93 92*

Tekapo

3.0 5.3 92 95 86 87 87 87

Experimental Varieties

IS-OG28

2.7 3.0 94 97 98 93 93 94*

AGRDG101

3.3 8.5 67 85 28 38 25 23
 

Mean

3.1 4.6 89.6 94.7 83.2 81.8 80.7 80.1

CV,%

21.2 23.1 8.6 4.0 11.6 12.9 9.3 7.8

LSD,0.05

0.8 1.3 9.2 4.5 11.4 12.5 9.0 7.5

1Vigor score based on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most vigorous seedling growth.
2Preference score based on a scale of 1 to 9 with 9 indicating all forage was grazed.
*Not significantly different from the highest numerical value in the column, based on the 0.05 LSD.