Green leaf proportion is an important factor affecting nutritive value, ingestive behavior and forage intake. Determination
of green leaf proportion by hand separation of plant samples is time consuming and expensive. The aim of this work was to
establish whether a stable relationship exists between the proportion of green leaf blade and total mass of harvestable forage
in ungrazed kleingrass ( Panicum coloratum
L.) cv. Verde. The study was carried out during four consecutive growing
seasons in an established pasture of kleingrass. During two growing seasons, 90 kg N ha-1
was applied. Forage samples
were collected at biweekly intervals and separated into leaf blades, stems (inclusive of leaf sheaths), and senescent material.
Regression analysis indicated a consistent relationship (y = 0.70x-0.41
= 0.84, P< 0.001, n = 180) between the proportion
of green leaf blade and total mass of harvestable forage in ungrazed kleingrass, even under varying environmental conditions
of rainfall and N availability. Thus, total harvestable forage might be used to predict the green leaf proportion of kleingrass
in contrasting environments, and used as an easy-to-measure indicator of green leaf proportion that would permit a balance
of forage quality and quantity in kleingrass.