Permanent Pastures Improved with Sod-seeding and Fertilization1
- A. M. Decker,
- H. J. Retzer,
- M. L. Sarna and
- H. D. Kerr2
‘Emerald’ crownvetch (Cornilla varia L.) and ‘Viking’ birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.) were sod-seeded into permanent bluegrass pastures. Three types of sod openers were evaluated along with the use of paraquat sprayed in a 15-cm band over the seeded row to reduce competition from the existing sod. Forage production from these sod-seeded treatments was compared with complete renovation and seeding to a mixture of orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.), ladino clover (Trifolium repens L.) and red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) and to three rates of nitrogen topdressing on the undisturbed sward.
All of the treatments significantly increased forage yields with annual applications of N at 448 kg/ha being the highest. However, such a practice is not economically practical at present. Sod-seeding with crownvetch was as good as either complete renovation or 140 kg N/ha annually. Sod-seeded trefoil was less productive but in the third year of the study it was higher yielding than complete renovation.
Based on dry matter yields, birdsfoot trefoil and crownvetch offer good possibilities for improving permanent pastures production at minimum cost. These legumes can be seeded and the pasture fertilized in one trip over the field. Crownvetch is especially well suited to this type of seeding because of its spreading growth habit.
The disk and disk-spear openers were generally superior to the spear only. However, with crownvetch the spear plus paraquat was also satisfactory.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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