Row spacings of 30 to 60 cm are commonly used, although an Oregon study with turf tall fescue reported no difference in seed yield the first 2 yr of production among four row spacings (Table 23-7) ranging from 15 to 60 cm (Chastain et al., 2000). Crops established in narrow rows often become "sod bound" by the third year, and decline in yield as they become older. This observation is supported by more recent Oregon data collected during the 6-yr life of a tall fescue stand (Chastain et al., 2002). The average seed yield of 15-cm rows of ‘Velocity' tall fescue was about 12% (average 150 kg/ha/yr) lower than for crops sown in 30-, 45-, or 60-cm rows, which all had similar seed yields averaged over the life of the stand (Fig. 23-1).

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Table 23-7. Effect of row spacing on tall fescue seed yield in Oregon (Chastain et al., 2000).




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Fig. 23-1. Effect of row spacing on the average seed yield of 'Velocity' tall fescue over 6 yr (adapted from Chastain et al., 2002).


In New Zealand, forage tall fescue sown in 30-cm rows (Table 23-8) had an average seed yield that was 25% higher (580 kg/ha) than that measured in 60-cm rows (425 kg/ha) (Hickey, 1990).


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Table 23-8. Effect of row spacing on seed yield of forage tall fescue (Hickey, 1990).




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