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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Plant Biology

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Summers are expected to continue to increase in heat/dryness in the Northeast, causing issues pertaining to forage production during the summer to worsen. Many pastures grow cool season grasses, even during the summer. These grasses enter a dormant period and slowdown in production during the months of July and August, leading to what is referred to as “summer slump”. Some farms grow corn silage during the summer, and while corn silage is a valuable crop, its cultivation often does not support soil biology. This research addresses solutions for both summer slump foraging and more sustainable silage. Summer annuals grow more efficiently during the summer and can produce better quality forage compared to winter grasses. Pearl Millet and Sudangrass were evaluated at seed percentages 0-100%. Biomass of each grass was evaluated by cutting a 2x3 ft section on a bi-weekly basis to establish how the treatments vary over time by seeding ratio and type of warm-season grass. Two separate cuts evaluated yield, quality, and regrowth. Another cut looked at ensiling success and quality of Pearl millet and Sudangrass. Results showed both forage species had similar and comparable quality to cool-season grasses. With how much more Sudangrass produces in yield and the little difference in forage quality compared to Pearl millet, Sudangrass would make a good replacement for cool-season grasses. Pearl millet and Sudangrass can be ensiled successfully and have competitive forage quality compared to corn silage.


First Advisor

Masoud Hashemi

Second Advisor

Michelle DaCosta

Third Advisor

Sam Hazen