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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 82 No. 6, p. 1074-1079
    Received: Jan 8, 1990

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Yield and Botanical Composition of Alfalfa-Bermudagrass Mixtures

  1. R. H. Brown  and
  2. G. T. Byrd
  1. Dep. of Agron., Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.



The regions of adaptation of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.) overlap in the southeastern USA, but the compatibility of these species in a mixture has not been described. Two field experiments were conducted to compare the yield and botanical composition of alfalfa-bermudagrass mixtures with each species grown alone. In the first experiment ‘Apollo’ alfalfa was grown alone and in mixtures with ‘Tifton 44’ bermudagrass fertilized with 0 and 100 kg N ha−1, and compared with bermudagrass fertilized with N at rates of 100, 300, and 500 kg ha−1. In a second experiment Apollo alfalfa was grown alone in 15-cm rows and in 15- and 30-cm rows in mixtures with ‘Coastal’ bermudagrass. Bermudagrass was also grown alone and fertilized with 100, 200, and 300 kg of N ha−1. Yields of the alfalfa-bermudagrass mixtures averaged 9.7 Mg ha1 over both experiments and were similar to alfalfa alone (9.2 Mg ha−1). The mixtures also were similar in yield to bermudagrass fertilized with 200 kg N ha ' in the second experiment (11.2 Mg ha−1) and between yields of bermudagrass receiving 100 and 300 kg N ha−1 in the first experiment. Alfalfa dominated the mixture in both experiments comprising 100% of the forage in the spring harvests, except for the establishment year in the first experiment. The lowest percentage of alfalfa was in August when in 1 yr it reached 53%. Neither N fertilization nor row spacing of the alfalfa affected yield or botanical composition of the mixture.

Supported by State and Hatch funds allocated to the Georgia Agric. Exp. Stn.

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