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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 92 No. 4, p. 698-705
    Received: Feb 12, 1999

    * Corresponding author(s): kaalbrec@facstaff.wisc.edu
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Corn Production with Kura Clover as a Living Mulch

  1. Robert A. Zemenchik,
  2. Kenneth A. Albrecht *,
  3. Chris M. Boerboom and
  4. Joseph G. Lauer
  1. Dep. of Agronomy, 1575 Linden Dr., Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 USA


Cropping systems that improve soil conservation are needed for mixed grain and forage enterprises in the upper Midwest. Our objective was to determine whether established kura clover (Trifolium ambiguum M. Bieb.) stands could serve as a living mulch for no-till corn (Zea mays L.) production, followed by a return to clover without replanting. Treatments included corn sown into established kura clover that was: (1) killed and sidedressed with N, (2) killed, (3) band-killed, leaving 15 cm of untreated kura clover between rows, (4) suppressed and sidedressed with N, and (5) suppressed and (6) untreated kura clover without corn. Corn whole-plant yield in 1996 ranged from 14.0 to 15.7 Mg ha−1 and was greatest in Treatments 2 and 4 and least in Treatment 5. Corn whole-plant yield in 1997 ranged from 9.5 to16.9 Mg ha−1 and was greatest in Treatments 1 and 2 and least in Treatment 5. Grain yields in 1996 were not different among treatments, while in 1997 yields ranged from 7.2 to 11.1 Mg ha−1 and were greatest in Treatments 1 and 2 and least in Treatment 5. Clover yield in 1997 following 1996 corn production was greatest in the untreated control, but there was no clover yield difference in 1998 following either 1996 or 1997 corn production. Kura clover can be managed as a living mulch in corn with little or no corn whole-plant or grain yield reduction and clover will recover to full production within 12 mo without replanting.

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