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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 72 No. 5, p. 776-780
    Received: May 21, 1979

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Yield, Legume Introduction, and Persistence in Permanent Pastures1

  1. Barton S. Baker2



Permanent pasture in hill land is frequently on steep and/or rough land unsuited to frequent travel with ground equipment. Ways are needed to introduce and maintain legumes on such land. This study involved 18 treatments using P (208 kg/ha), Mo (2.2 kg/ha), lime (6.5 metric ton/ha), rototilling and white clover, Trifolium repens L. seed (2.2 kg/ha) in various combinations on two permanent pastures in central West Virginia to investigate ways of increasing yields and introducing legumes, and to determine persistence of introduced legumes. A limestone soil (Typic Hapludalf) produced higher yields when treated than a sandstone soil (Typic Dystrochrept) but the reverse was true when no treatments were applied. Legume introduction was more successful on limestone soil than sandstone soil. Phosphorus application was the most critical aspect of treatment on the limestone soil relative to legume introduction and yield increase, whereas liming was the most critical aspect of treatment on the sandstone soil.

Legumes on the limestone soil accounted for over 75% of the total forage produced on some plots the year following treatment. Total legume content decreased after the 2nd year and reached a low of near 10% during the 4th year. Volunteer legumes, mostly white clover and red clover (Trifolium pratense L.), accounted for as high a percentage of the total yield as the seeded kgume during the 4th and 5th years. On the sandstone soil none of the treatments resulted in enough legumes to account for more than 20% of the forage. Introduction of legumes increased yield and skewed the seasonal distribution pattern toward a higher percentage of total yields early in the season. Molybdenum did not influence legume introduction, yield, or persistence.

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