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Intercropping berseem clover with barley and oat cultivars for forage

Intercropping berseem clover with barley and oat cultivars for forage

Agronomy Journal 96(6): 1719-1729

Intercrops of berseem clover (Trifolium alexandrinum L.) and silage cereals offer potential for high quality forage and partitioning of yield between silage harvest and fall grazing. Forage yield and quality of cereal-berseem clover intercrops may differ among oat (Avena sativa L.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) cultivars and with semidwarf or early maturing cereal cultivars. Berseem clover was intercropped with five oat and four barley cultivars at Edmonton, Alberta, in 2000 and 2001 on orthic black chernozem (Typic Cryoboroll) soil. Forage yield, composition, and quality were measured with a two-cut harvest. Silage-stage yield (Cut 1) averaged 9.9 Mg ha(-1) of dry matter (DM) with 18% berseem clover by dry weight. Berseem clover regrowth (Cut 2) averaged 2.8 Mg ha(-1) DM with crude protein (CP) of 215 g kg(-1). Intercrops with oat cultivars had greater Cut 1 DM yield, and intercrops with barley had greater yields of Cut 2 DM and total CP. The earlier maturity of barley provided for longer periods of berseem clover regrowth. Intercrops with semidwarf barley had equal yields of total DM and CP and greater Cut 2 DM yield than those with conventional-stature barley. Intercrops with early maturing oat cultivars had equal total DM yield and greater yields of Cut 2 DM and total CP than those with late-maturing oat cultivars. Forage quality indicators suggested that intercrops with barley were superior to those with oat. To maximize fall forage and increase the legume component of silage harvest, early maturing and shorter-stature cultivars of oat and barley are recommended for cereal-berseem clover intercrops.

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Accession: 004210377

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