Seed yield reduction due to variation in genotype, management, and incidence of diseases is common and well documented in grass seed crops. Two New Zealand cultivars (Grasslands Wana, Grasslands Kara) and two Japanese (Akimidori Makibamidori) cocksfoot cultivars from a three year old stand (sown in September 1991) at Grassland Aorangi Research Farm in the Manawatu were evaluated for their seed yielding capacity. In addition these cultivars were evaluated to determine the effectiveness of bactericide (Streptomycin), nematicide (Vydate/Oxamyl) or a combinations of bactericide and nematicide to determine their effect on seed yield with traditional Fungicide (Folicur) application being used as a control. The unit plot size was 1.2 X 3.0 m2, with each plot containing 4 rows. randomized block design
with two factors (cultivar and pesticide) was utilized with 4 replications. In each cultivar pesticide were sprayed in four replicates from each block. The New Zealand cultivar Wana outyielded the other three cultivar and produced about 23%, 32%, and 70% higher pure seed/unit area than that cvs Kara, Makibamidori and Akimidori respectively. The ability of cv Wana to outyield other cultivar was largely due to its ability to produce a greater numbers of fertile tillers and higher number of florets/head. Seed yields in the New Zealand cultivar Kara and the Japanese cultivar Makibamidori were similar but significantly higher than cv Akimidori. The significantly higher seed yield of cv Kara was due largely to its significantly higher seed weight than the other cultivars. Similarly the higher seed yield in cv Makibamidori compared to Akimidori was mainly due to higher seed weight. The lower pure seed yield in cv Akimidori was apparently due to lack of proper photoperiodic effect or cold temperature during anthesis and its earlier seed developing resulted in more empty florets than the New Zealand cultivar and cv Makibamidori. Fertile tiller numbers spikelets/ head and florets/ head were significantly higher in cv Wana compared to the other 3 cultivars. However, the TSW was low. The TSW was highest in cv Kara. Highest recovery of pure seed was obtained from cv Wana in screen and blown fraction. Highest pure seed was obtained from cv Makibamidori in clean seed fractions. Foliar disease intensity in all the four cultivars was found to be similar at all 3 stages of plant growth although disease levels were generally low. Percentage purity in clean seed as well as in different cleaning fractions varied depending on cultivar but cv Akimidori was always ranked lowest. Seed germination percentage in single and in multiple florets was higher in cv Akimidori compared to the other 3 cultivars. Different cultivars reacted differently to the application of pesticide. Cultivar Wana produced the highest yield 103 g pure seed/m2 in the Fungicide (Folicur)
treatment compared to 55, 38 and 22 g/m2 in cv. Kara, Makibamidori and Akimidori respectively.
However all cultivars produced lower yields following the application of Streptomycin. Seed yield in cv Akimidori was not affected by any pesticide application. The lower yield in Streptomycin treatments was mainly due its phytotoxic effect on leaf tissue. Seed yield in Fungicide, Vydate and in V+S treated plots was similar but significantly better than in Streptomycin treated plots. Fertile tiller numbers were also similar in these treatments but spikelet and total floret numbers were higher in the V+S treatment than in the Fungicide treatment. TSW and florets/ spikelets was not affected by pesticide application. The recovery of pure seed was always lowest in the Streptomycin treatment in all fractions of machine cleaning of seed but was higher in V+S than Fungicide treatment, particularly in the machine clean fraction. However, the recovery of pure seed from the screen fraction did not vary significantly. Over all the foliar disease severity was low in Fungicide and V+S treatment and highest in Vydate treatment at maturity but no difference during vegetative growth or at peak flowering. The percent purity varied only in the air screen fraction but was high in the Vydate treatment. Seed germination was high in all pesticide treatments and being above 90% in term of single florets and 85% in multiple florets with minor improvement in V+S treatment both in single and multiple florets and in Fungicide treatment with multiple florets only. The second trial involved only one cultivar (cv Tekapo) and involved 4 plots from each block with 3 different types of fungicide Alto (cyproconazole), Bavistin (carbendazim), and Bravo (chlorothalonil) applied from flower initiation to harvest maturity at intervals of 14 to 21 day. No effect of fungicide occurred in seed yield or in yield components. Disease severity varied significantly only at harvest maturity and was lowest in Alto treated plots (2.75) compared to the control (4.25). However, no difference occurred in assessment at the vegetative stages or at peak flowering. No significant effect of fungicide was observed in terms of seed cleaning. The percentage purity was found higher in Alto and Bravo treated plots. Germination results were well above accepted levels (90%) in all fungicide treatments with Bavistin treatments being particularly useful.