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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 13 No. 5, p. 553-556
    Received: Mar 18, 1973

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Persistence of Several Temperate Grasses Grown with Alfalfa and Harvested Two, Three, or Four Times Annually at Two Stubble Heights1

  1. Dale Smith,
  2. A. V. A. Jacques and
  3. J. A. Balasko2



Six grass species were established in 1968 in rows within a seeding of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) at Arlington, Wisconsin. The mixtures were harvested two, three, or four times annually at two stubble heights, 4 and 10 cm, during 1969 and 1970. Alfalfa was eliminated by spraying with a selective herbicide during autumn of 1970. Grasses were then evaluated for stand persistence and dry matter yields during the first growth of 1971.

Orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.), reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea L.), and meadow fox,all (Alopecurus pratensis L.) persisted well with alfalfa under all cutting schedules and stubble heights. Tall rescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) was nearly eliminated by cutting twice at the short stubble height, but persisted well in other treatments. Stands of timothy (Phleum pratense L.) and bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss.) were affected most by the cutting practices. Stands of both grasses were reduced more by three than four cuts annually and were significantly lower with both cutting schedules at the short than at tall stubble height; stands were nearly eliminated with three cuts at the short stubble height. With two cuts annually, cutting height had no significant effect on stand persistence, but timothy stands were poor at both stubble heights.

Survival of the grasses as related to stage of development at time of cutting and to tillering pattern is discussed, especially with regard to their persistence with alfalfa under the three-cutting schedule used widely in the northern Great Lakes States. Of the grasses studied, orchardgrass and reed canarygrass showed wide adaptability to all cutting practices used and were most amenable for use in mixture with alfalfa harvested three times aunually.

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