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Performance of tropical pasture legumes grown in southwestern islands of japan xvi. dry matter and nitrogen yields of nine tropical legumes grown in pure stands or in mixtures with rhodesgrass chloris gayana in the northern parts of the islands



Performance of tropical pasture legumes grown in southwestern islands of japan xvi. dry matter and nitrogen yields of nine tropical legumes grown in pure stands or in mixtures with rhodesgrass chloris gayana in the northern parts of the islands



Grassland Science 33(1): 21-31



To evaluate the potential of the tropical pasture legumes for increasing pasture productivity in the Northen parts of South-Western Islands of Japan, dry matter yields of nine tropical legumes were compared in relation to the prevailing temperature and rainfall conditions under forty days clipping interval for the last two years of the four year's experimental periods. Also N yields and N concentrations of the tops in pures or in mixtures with Rhodesgrass were compared each other or with pure Rhodesgrass applied with four levels of N fertilizer. The legume species used in the experiment were; Desmodium intortum cv. Greenleaf, D. uncinatum cv. Silverleaf, Neonotonia wightii cvs. Cooper and Tinaroo, Trifolium semipilosum cv. Safari, Macroptilium atropurpureum cv. Siratro, Centrosema pubescens, and Stylosanthes guianensis cvs. Schofield and Endeavour. Annual dry matter yield of each legume was as follows: Greenleaf 1141 kg, Siratro 895 kg, Tinaroo 844 kg, Cooper 807 kg, Silverleaf 638 kg, Safari clover 462 kg/10a in pures and Siratro 1271 kg, Cooper 1223 g, Greenleaf 1173 kg, Tinaroo 1084 kg, Silverleaf 1021 kg, Centoro 1017 kg, Safari clover 960 kg/10a in mixtures. These results with higher percent legume in the mixtures suggested that Greenleaf, Cooper, Tinaroo and Siratro were promising for growing in the northern parts of South-Western Islands of Japan. The reasons for the increased dry matter yield of Siratro seemed to be in its wide range of optimal growing temperature and higher drought tolerance, resulting in higher growth rate both in cool and hot/dry seasons. Sirato has shown either higher nitrogen concentrations in the plant tops or enhanced mixture effects for increasing N yields, amounting to 33 kg/10a per annum. N yield of Greenleaf was higher in pure than in mixture mainly due to the increased dry matter yield. Those yields were higher than those of Tinaroo and Cooper which dry matter production decreased during hot and dry seasons.

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