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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Responses of Kura Clover to Sheep Grazing and Clipping: I. Yield and Forage Quality


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 86 No. 4, p. 655-660
    Received: Sept 16, 1993

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. Paul R. Peterson ,
  2. Craig C. Sheaffer,
  3. Robert M. Jordan and
  4. Charles J. Christians
  1. F orage Systems Res. Ctr., Univ. of Missouri, Linneus, MO 64653;
    D ep. of Agronomy and Plant Genetics



Few perennial legume shave dependable long-term productivity under grazing in the northern USA. Our objective waste to determine the effects of frequent clipping and sheep(Ovis spp.) grazing on forage yield and quality of kura clover (Trifolium ambiguum. Bieb.), a rhizomatous perennial legume. Clipping and grazing trials were initiated on a 5-yr-old stand of ‘Rhizo’ kura clover on a Waukegan silt loam and conducted for 3 yr. Total season yield (mean of 8.6 Mg ha −1) was unaffected by clipping frequency until the third year, when five and six cuttings per season produced 80 and 70% as much forage, respectively, as either three or four cuttings. In the second and third years of sheep grazing treatments, kura clover rotationally stocked with 14-d rest periods produced 28 and 16 less forage, respectively, than that under rotational stocking with 28-d rest periods. In contrast to total season forage yield, spring yield following 3 yr of clipping and grazing did not differ among treatments. As, crude protein (CP) and in vitro digestible dry matter (IVDDM) concentrations increased from 222 to 254 and from 854 to 880g kg ‘1 DM, respectively, and neutral-detergent fiber (NDF) concentration decreased from 326 to 295 g kg ‘1 DM. Forage was of high quality, because leaf concentration always exceeded 850 g kg ‘1 of forage dry matter. Established kura clover is tolerant of frequent and close defoliation and warrants pasture use because of its long-term productivity and high forage quality

Contribution of the Minnesota Agric. Exp. Stn. Publ. No. 20,806

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