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Effects of forage legumes on yield and nitrogen uptake by a succeeding barley crop



Effects of forage legumes on yield and nitrogen uptake by a succeeding barley crop



Applied Agricultural Research 2(2): 97-102



The effect of spring-planted alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), Austrian winter peas (Pisum sativum spp. arvense (L.) Poir), hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth), and sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia Scop.) on the growth and nitrogen (N) uptake of a succeeding barley (Hordeum vulgare L. cv. Steptoe) crop was compared with and without a legume forage harvest. The study was conducted for 3 location years in Wyoming [USA] at elevations greater than 1,280 m (4,160 ft) with growing seasons of less than 148 days. Sainfoin was generally detrimental to barley growth, resulting in reduced biomass and grain yield when compared to a fallowed control treatment. Soil nitrate-N levels following sainfoin were lower than those following hairy vetch at one location and alfalfa at the other location. However, additional effects of sainfoin on barley growth could not be eliminated. Legume forage harvest had no effect on barley total biomass, grain yield, grain N content, or above ground barley N uptake at one location, although there was a significant effect at the other location. The forage harvest effect was reduced barley productivity following the harvest of the annual legumes, Austrian winter peas, and hairy vetch. Without a forage harvest, Austrian peas and hairy vetch increased barley aboveground biomass and grain yield over a fallowed control plot equal or greater than the increase provided by 100 kg/ha (89 lb/A) N fertilization for 2 of the 3 location-years. Alfalfa, with or without a forage harvest, produced a similar response for 2 of the 3 location-years.

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Accession: 001580942

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