Management of Land Diverted from Crop Production. I. Perennial Forages1
- R. G. Robinson2
Alaflfa (Medicago sativa L.), alfalfa-brome (Bromus inermis Leyss.), red clover (Trifolium pratense L.), red clover-timothy (Phleum pratense L.), sweetclover (Melilotus alba Desr.), and sweetclover-timothy were maintained at Rosemount, Minn, under three management systems— removal of forage from the plots, mowing and leaving forage, and chopping and leaving forage. Within each management system, comparisons were made of one, two, and three cuttings per year. Uncut plots were included in each replicate. After 2 to 5 years of the management and cutting treatments, corn (Zea mays, L.) was grown for 2 years to determine residual effect of treatments on corn production using seven methods of land preparation.
Comparison of forage removal with nonremoval—Removal reduced stands of timothy but not those of other forages, slightly increased weed control, reduced soil fertility, and reduced grain production 636 to 1168 kg/ha in the first 2 years of corn.
Comparison of mowing with chopping—Mowing and chopping effects were similar on forage stand, forage growth, weed control, and corn yield except that chopping sweetclover resulted in higher corn yields than mowing.
Comparison of cutting treatments—Cutting favored growth of alfalfa, red clover, and foxtail (Setaria glauca (L.) Beauv. and viridis (L.) Beauv.) and injured bromegrass, timothy, and quackgrass (Agropyron repens (L.) Beauv.). Uncut bromegrass-alfalfa gave the densest ground cover and best weed control. Without bromegrass or timothy present, cutting was essential for weed control, and two cuttings were best.
Comparison of herbicide-tillage methods of land preparation for corn—Plowing in July and spraying in September gave best weed control.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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