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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Vetch and Clover Overseeded on a Bahiagrass Sod1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 74 No. 5, p. 793-796
    Received: Nov 3, 1980

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  1. L. S. Dunavin2



Crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum L.) and arrowleaf clover (T. vesiculosum Savi) have been used rather widely for cool-season pastures including overseeding on warm-season perennial grass sods. It would be advantageous, in the event of a shortage of seed of the two clovers, to have alternate legumes which could extend the grazing period or increase the quality of the succeeding grass forage. The release of four new vetch (Vicia sativa L.) cultivars has provided new sources of legumes with potential for use as cool-season forages overseeded on warm-season grass sods. This study compares these new vetches with ‘Dixie’ crimson clover and with ‘Yuchi’ arrowleaf clover in a 2-year field experiment on a 12-year-old established ‘Tifhi-I’ bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flugge) sod on a Fuquay fine sandy loam (Plinthic Paleudult). Yields of dry forage, crude protein (CP) from grass and legumes, and digestible organic matter (DOM) from grass were determined. Crimson clover yielded significantly more legume forage than arrowleaf clover and both clovers outproduced the vetches over the 2-year period. ‘Cahaba White’ vetch and ‘Vantage’ vetch produced higher yields than ‘Nova 11’ vetch while legume yields of ‘Vanguard’ vetch were intermediate. The yield of bahiagrass forage was generally 0.8 to 1.7 metric tons/ha greater following any legume than where no legume was grown. Bahiagrass yields over the 2-year period following Vantage, Cahaba White and Nova I1 vetch were equal to that following Dixie crimson clover. The total combined yield of grass and legume forage was greatest where crimson clover was grown and least where no legume was grown.

The yield of DOM from bahiagrass for the 2-year total was greatest following either Dixie crimson clover, Vantage vetch, or Cahaba White vetch and lowest where no legume was grown. Dixie crimson clover and Yuchi arrowleaf clover produced similar and significantly greater yields of CP from legume forage than did any of the vetches over the 2-year study period. Consequently, the combined total yield of CP from legume and bahiagrass forage for the 2-year period was greatest where either Dixie crimson clover or Yuchi arrowleaf clover was grown

This study shows that while the four vetches studied may be reasonable substitutes for crimson or arrowleaf clover for overseeding on bahiagrass sod, combined forage dry matter yields are likely to be somewhat lower and CP yields significantly lower compared to that obtained with the clover. In general, Vantage and Cahaba White vetch appear to be better substitutes than either Nova I1 or Vanguard vetch.

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