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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 98 No. 2, p. 265-269
    Received: Feb 1, 2005

    * Corresponding author(s): singer@nstl.gov


Wheat Effect on Frost-Seeded Red Clover Cultivar Establishment and Yield

  1. Jeremy W. Singer *a,
  2. Michael D. Caslerb and
  3. Keith A. Kohlera
  1. a USDA-ARS, National Soil Tilth Laboratory, Ames, IA 50011
    b USDA-ARS, U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, Madison, WI 53706


Frost-seeding red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) into winter cereals is a cost effective establishment method. Abiotic effects on seedling establishment have been reported, but information on cultivar differences is lacking. The objectives of this study were to quantify the effect of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) on the establishment, persistence, and forage dry matter (DM) production of 15 red clover cultivars of diverse origin. Cultivars were frost-seeded near Ames, IA in March of 2003 and 2004 and Prairie du Sac, WI in 2004. Presence of the wheat crop caused 19 and 23% mortality in 2003 and 2004 compared with the no-wheat treatment in Iowa and 51% mortality in 2004 in Wisconsin. Dry matter yield of diploid cultivars exceeded tetraploids in all environments (439 vs. 559 g m−2). Favorable conditions for germination and emergence in 2003 resulted in high plant densities and no relationship between post-wheat red clover density and DM yield. In 2004, unfavorable environmental conditions reduced plant densities, creating a relationship between red clover density (x) and DM yield (y) (y = 305 + 8.86x, R 2 = 0.65 in Iowa; y = 382 + 3.83x, R 2 = 0.22 in Wisconsin). The southern cultivar Cherokee generally had greater performance than the average northern cultivar. Differences across years and locations were inconsistent for elite and land races. Within different origins and selection histories, large variability exists in cultivar performance. More data are needed to determine if the cultivar-by-wheat interaction is important for screening cultivars for dual grain/forage systems.

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