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Forage soybeans (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) in the United Kingdom: test of new cultivars


Forage soybeans (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) in the United Kingdom: test of new cultivars



Agronomie 23(4): 287-291



ISSN/ISBN: 0249-5627

Traditionally the soybean was used as a forage crop. Recently several cultivars and experimental lines have been bred for forage production. This coincides with the banning of meat and bone meal as a source of protein in ruminant diets in the European Union, which has led to a greater demand for high protein crops. Two USA bred cultivars, Derry and Donegal, were grown in a trial at the Royal Agricultural College in 2000 and 2001 to assess the viability of soybeans as a forage crop in the UK. In 2001 six experimental lines were added to the study. In 2000 dry matter yields ranged from 5.91 to 6.09 t.ha(-1) ( Derry and Donegal, respectively) for the early harvest and 7.68 to 7.95 t.ha(-1) DM (Derry and Donegal, respectively) for the late harvest. In the second season Donegal was the highest yielding at the early harvest with 12.1 t.ha(-1) and SG13#169 had 12.1 t.ha(-1) at the late harvest. The proportion of leaf was not consistently associated with protein content. Across the two years the pod component did not exceed 110 g.kg(-1). The experimental line SG13#169 had the highest CP, 153 g.kg(-1), and a yield of 8.51 t.ha(-1) (at the first cut), and at the second harvest the CP fell to 146 g.kg(-1), while the yield rose to 12.1 t.ha(-1). This more than offsetting the dilution of nutritional quality, by offering more CP.ha(-1) from the late harvest. Additional testing is required for more conclusive evaluation of these experimental lines.

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