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Agronomy Journal Abstract - PRODUCTION AGRICULTURE

Weed Suppression by Seven Clover Species


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 93 No. 4, p. 820-827
    Received: May 19, 2000

    * Corresponding author(s): jking@afns.ualberta.ca
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  1. Shirley M. Rossa,
  2. Jane R. King *a,
  3. R.César Izaurraldeb and
  4. John T. O'Donovanc
  1. a Dep. of Agric. Food and Nutritional Sci., 410 Agric.–Forestry Cent., Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2P5 Canada
    b Battelle Pacific Natl. Lab., Washington, DC 20024-2115
    c Northern Agric. Res. Cent., Agric. and Agri-Food Canada, Beaverlodge, AB, T0H 0C0 Canada


Used as cover crops, clover species may differ in their ability to suppress weed growth. Field trials were conducted in Alberta, Canada to measure the growth of brown mustard [Brassica juncea (L.) Czern.], in mowed and nonmowed production, as influenced by alsike (Trifolium hybridum L.), balansa [T. michelianum Savi var. balansae (Boiss.) Azn.], berseem (T alexandrinum L.), crimson (T incarnatum L.), Persian (T resupinatum L.), red (T pratense L.), and white Dutch (T repens L.) clover and fall rye (Secale cereale L.). In 1997, clovers reduced mustard biomass in nonmowed treatments by 29% on a high-fertility soil (Typic Cryoboroll) at Edmonton and by 57% on a low-fertility soil (Typic Cryoboralf) at Breton. At Edmonton, nonmowed mustard biomass was reduced by alsike and berseem clover in 1996 and by alsike, balansa, berseem, and crimson clover in 1997. At Breton, all seven clover species suppressed weed biomass. A negative correlation was noted among clover and mustard biomass at Edmonton but not at Breton. The effects of mowing varied with location, timing, and species. Mowing was beneficial to crop/weed proportion at Edmonton but not at Breton. Mowing at early flowering of mustard produced greater benefit than mowing at late flowering. With early mowing, all clover species suppressed mustard growth at Edmonton. Clovers reduced mustard regrowth (g plant−1) and the number of mustard plants producing regrowth. The characteristics of berseem clover (upright growth, long stems, high biomass, and late flowering) would support its use as a cover crop or forage in north-central Alberta.

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Copyright © 2001. American Society of AgronomyPublished in Agron. J.93:820–827.