Productivity and Quality of Annual and Perennial Clover-Tall Fescue Mixtures
- G. A. Pederson and
- G. E. Brink
Winter annual legumes seeded in perennial clover-tall fescue pastures could increase early spring herbage production without N fertilizer. This study determined the productivity and forage quality of ‘Regal’ white (Trifolium repens L.) and ‘Kenland’ red clover (T. pratense L.)/tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) mixtures grown with and without ‘Yuchi’ arrowleaf (T. vesiculosum Savi.), ‘Tibbee’ crimson (T. incarnatum L.), and ‘Meteora’ subterranean clover (T. subterruneum L. var. yanninicum [Katzn. & Morley] Zoh.). The experimental design was a split plot with four replicates. Whole plots were red, white, red + white, and no perennial clover. Subplots were arrowleaf, crimson, subterranean, and no annual clover. All species were broadcast seeded on a Catalpa silty clay (fine, moutmorillonitic, thermic Fluvaquentic Hapludoll) at Mississippi State, MS, in October 1984. The annual clovers were reseeded in September 1985 and 1986. Arrowleaf and crimson clover competition resulted in 11% less total dry matter and 16% less clover yield compared to no annual clover in perennial clover plots during the first 2 yr of the study. The only yield advantage for perennial clover/tall fescue mixtures with arrowleaf or crimson clovers was in the third year when perennial clover stands declincd (mainly due to dry weather conditions) and annual clover overseeding gave 114% greater clover yields. Subterranean clover had little effect on yield or forage quality when grown with perennial clovers. Crude protein and in vitro digestible dry matter concentrations were increased in early spring 1985 and 1987 by the addition of mowleaf or crimson clovers to perennial clover plots.
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