The small amount of viable seed that can be harvested from tropical ley grasses such as Chloris gayana, Setaria sphacelata and Panicum spp. is largely due to the wide range in maturity between different heads and in maturity between seeds in any head. Ripe seed is also liable to shed. Adequate and timely top dressing with nitrogen, close row width and careful choice of harvest date increased seed yield either directly or by synchronizing ripening. There was considerable variation within and between varieties in seed yield characteristics: heading date, head number and seed setting, which all displayed high heritability. Heading date and head number were closely correlated with vigour of regrowth. Varieties could well be improved simultaneously for seed and herbage productivity.
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