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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 64 No. 4, p. 481-483
    Received: Nov 5, 1971

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Inoculum Rate and Pelleting of Arrowleaf Clover Seed1

  1. R. H. Wade,
  2. C. S. Hoveland and
  3. A. E. Hiltbold2



Poor nodulation and low winter forage production often result when arrowleaf clover (Trifolium vesiculosum Savi) is seeded for the first time. Indigenous rhizobia in the soil may be more competitive than the normally limited number of seed-applied rhizobia. Field and growth chamber experiments were carried out to determine the effects of inoculum rate and seed pelleting on nodulation and yield of arrowleaf clover in soils with intact microbial populations and where modified by soil fumigation.

Doubling the inoculum rate, CaCO3 pelleting, or soil fumigation increased annual dry forage yields 1,200 to 2,000 kg/ha over that of the normal rate of inoculum. These treatments improved both nodulation and seedling growth. Winter forage yields were increased 200% by pelleting inoculated seeds with CaCO3. Seed pelleting was beneficial in nonfumigated soil, but not in fumigated soil, suggesting that pelleting made conditions more favorable for seed-borne rhizobia to compete with native soil microorganisms. The presently recommended rate and method of application of inoculum are not satisfactory for rapid nodulation and maximum winter forage production of arrowleaf clover. Increasing the inoculum rate or pelleting the inoculated seeds should result in rapid nodulation and furnish more whiter forage.

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