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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 104 No. 6, p. 1517-1522
     
    Received: Apr 10, 2012
    Published: October 25, 2012


    * Corresponding author(s): mpopp@uark.edu
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doi:10.2134/agronj2012.0117

Seedling Survival and Establishment Costs: Crimson and White Clover in Bermudagrass Pastures

  1. S. Aaron Smitha,
  2. Michael Popp *a and
  3. Dirk Philippb
  1. a Dep. of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, 72701
    b Dep. of Animal Science, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, 72701

Abstract

Improving existing pastures with legumes has the potential to reduce fertilizer costs, distribute forage growth throughout the year, and improve forage quality for cow–calf operations in the transition zone of the southeastern United States. A study was conducted at the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture’s Watershed Research and Education Center located in Fayetteville, AR, to estimate costs for three establishment factors on existing bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] pasture (no-till vs. broadcast planting, grazing before vs. after planting, and seeding at standard vs. low rates). Standard seed rates were 18.8 kg ha−1 for crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum L.) and 5.0 kg ha−1 for white clover (Trifolium repens L.), with low rates at half the standard seed rate. The study revealed that no-till drill seeding and seeding at the lower rates resulted in higher rates of survival. Survival rates were also statistically significantly different across crops. Grazing before or after planting to enhance seed soil contact, especially for broadcast plantings, did not have a statistically significant impact. Finally, cost per established plant analysis revealed that standard seeding rates led to lower average costs than the low seeding rate, a result that was driven to a large extent by a lower likelihood of stand failure with the higher seeding rate. On the basis of this trial, broadcast seeding can be recommended for crimson clover, whereas the no-till drill led to superior performance with white clover.

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