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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 104 No. 2, p. 353-362
     
    Received: Mar 23, 2011


    * Corresponding author(s): Heathcliffe.Riday@ars.usda.gov
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doi:10.2134/agronj2011.0088

Combining Kura Clover with Forage Legumes and Grasses to Optimize Pasture Forage Legume Content

  1. Heathcliffe Riday *a and
  2. Kenneth A. Albrechtb
  1. a U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, USDA-ARS, Madison, WI 53706
    b University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture

Abstract

Kura clover (Trifolium ambiguum M. Bieb) is an underutilized forage legume with great potential as a durable forage legume in permanent pastures and in living mulch management systems. A major impediment to the widespread use of kura clover is establishment difficulty. Several studies have examined practices for establishing kura clover in pure stands, with companion crops, with pasture grasses, or seeded into existing pastures. The objective of this research was to determine optimal seeding rates for mixtures of kura clover grown with a grass species and a fast-establishing forage legume. The goal was to produce pastures with the greatest and most consistent forage legume content during the lifespan of the pasture. Varying seed ratios of kura clover/red clover (T. pratense L.) or kura clover/birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.) were used in combination with orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.), reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea L.), and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.). In kura clover/birdsfoot trefoil mixtures with a grass companion, optimal seeding ratios by weight between forage legumes were 75:25 and 50:50 kura clover/birdsfoot trefoil. In kura clover/red clover mixtures with a grass companion, the optimal seeding ratios between forage legumes were 75:25 kura clover/red clover. Mixtures containing kura clover and red clover had the greatest percentage forage legume dry matter (above 50%). This study demonstrates that pasture forage legume content can be increased by seeding with binary mixture of kura clover and a fast-establishing forage legume.

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