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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 64 No. 4, p. 463-467
    Received: Oct 8, 1971

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Influence of Three Cutting Systems on the Yield, Water Use Efficiency, and Forage Quality of Sainfoin1

  1. D. W. Koch,
  2. A. D. Dotzenko and
  3. G. O. Hinze2



Yield, water use efficiency, and forage quality of ‘Eski’ sainfoin (Onobrychis viciaefolia Scop.) were examined at the Central Great Plains Field Station, Akron, Colo. to determine its potential as a forage crop under dryland conditions. Despite below-average rainfall during both years of the experiment, average seasonal forage yields over all treatments were 3,494 and 2,383 kg/ha dry matter for 1969 and 1970, respectively. Most of the forage yield was produced by the first cutting. Water use efficiency was high for the first cutting, but was low for the second cutting due to the slow regrowth. A prolonged late-season drought stress occurred during both years and plants were dormant during this time. Roots extracted soil moisture from depths of 180 cm. Survival rate over the 2-year period was slightly lower for plants harvested consistently at the early bloom stage of maturity. Forage quality, in terms of leaf, protein, and mineral percentages, cell wall components, and in vitro dry matter digestibility decreased little from early to late-bloom maturity. This could be attributed to the high retention of leaves and rapid rate of maturation. Leaves had higher percentages of protein, in vitro digestibility, Ca, and Mg and had lower percentages of cellulose, hemicelinlose, lignin, cellwall constituents, and K than stems.

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