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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Performance of Four Pasture Mixtures Defoliated by Mowing or Grazing with Cattle or Sheep1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 60 No. 3, p. 281-285
    Received: Nov 20, 1967

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  1. Arthur G. Matches2



Evaluation of pasture mixtures in small-plot clipping trials may be criticized since plant responses after mowing may not be the same as those after grazing. In this investigation, four pasture mixtures (tall fescue-ladino clover, orchardgrass-ladino clover, smooth bromegrass-alfalfa, and Kentucky bluegrass-birdsfoot trefoil) were evaluated under mower, sheep, and cattle defoliation. Only yields of orchardgrass-ladino clover were significantly influenced by method of defoliation; and a significant defoliation method ✕ mixture interaction was due largely to the response of this mixture. Yields of orchardgrass-ladino clover under mowing were significantly less than yields under animal defoliation. Botanical composition of the bromegrass-alfalfa and bluegrass-trefoil mixtures did not appear to be influenced by method of defoliation. Stands of ladino clover were lost early in the investigation. Tall rescue and orchardgrass appeared to be more competitive with weeds under cattle defoliation than when defoliated by mowing or grazing with sheep. Yield rankings of the four pasture mixtures were similar within the three methods of defoliation. It appears that herbage yields obtained in small plot clipping trials are reliable for predicting performance of forages under grazing conditions.

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