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Crop Science Abstract -

Effect of Long-Term Subfreezing Storage of Seed on Legume Forage Production1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 20 No. 5, p. 574-577
    Received: Mar 20, 1980

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  1. Clarence M. Rincker2



Information is not available on the effect of long-term subfreezing storage of seed on legume forage yields. A field study was conducted in 1978 in which two forage harvests were made in the year of establishment with fresh (3-year) and old- (14- to 18-year) seed of one cultivar of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), and two cultivars each of red clover (Trifolium pratense L.), alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum L.), and birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.). The 14- to 18-year-old seed had been stored at about −15 C and 60% relative humidity since the year of harvest. Fresh seed of each cultivar was produced in 1975 from the same stock seed used to produce the older seed. Seed age had no effect on forage yields of alfalfa, red clover, birdsfoot trefoil, and one cultivar of alsike clover. Sixteen-year-old seed of ‘Iso’ tetraploid alsike clover, with 22% current germination, produced significantly less forage than the fresh Iso seed. One sample of 18-year-old ‘Dollard’ red clover seed thawed for 24-hour periods at weekly intervals (over 900 times in 18 years) produced as much forage as fresh seed. It was concluded that forage yields would not be affected by long-term subfreezing storage of seed if the seed had good germinability after storage.

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