Seedling Year Management of Alfalfa-Grass Mixtures Established without a Companion Crop

Hume, D.J.; Fulkerson, R.S.; Tossell, W.E.

Canadian Journal of Plant Science 49(4): 477-481


ISSN/ISBN: 0008-4220
DOI: 10.4141/cjps69-078
Accession: 068493784

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Alfalfa–grass mixtures established without a companion crop yielded as much as 6900 kg/ha during the seedling year. Two harvests produced higher dry matter yields than three harvests in all mixtures. Mixtures containing Du Puits alfalfa outyielded those containing Vernal. Grass species, which included bromegrass, orchardgrass or timothy, had very little effect on yields. Brome-grass consistently produced lowest alfalfa–grass ratios in the forage. Harvesting at low stubble heights resulted in highest seedling-year yields and a large percentage of alfalfa in the first-cut forage one year after establishment. Alfalfa–bromegrass mixtures yielded more than other mixtures in the year after establishment. Cutting frequency during the year of seeding had little effect on total yield the following year. Establishing alfalfa–grass mixtures using herbicides appeared to be a feasible alternative to establishment under a cereal grain companion crop.