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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 27 No. 5, p. 1029-1034
    Received: Dec 29, 1986

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Alfalfa Growth Response to a Zone-Production System. I. Forage Production Characteristics1

  1. E. A. Rechel,
  2. L. M. Carter and
  3. W. R. De Tar2



In extant agricultural systems there is no long-term predisposition to discriminate between trafficked and nontrafficked areas. The zoneproduction system, where all tractor traffic is confined to specific tracks or zones, offers a plausible alternative for improving crop productivity. This study was undertaken to compare how these two agricultural systems affect basic growth parameters of alfalfa (Medicago saliva L.). For two harvest cycles examined in 1984, final dry matter production in the zone-production system was 687 g m−2, compared with 38S to 329 g m−2 for alfalfa subjected to various degrees of tractor traffic. In 1985 final dry matter production was 396 g m−2 in the zone-production system, and 353 to 282 g m−2 when subjected to traffic. Maximum growth rate was 38.8 g m−2 day−1 in the zone-production system and 26.6 to 16.0 g m−2 day−1 when subjected to traffic. The results from 1985 were similar with 27.1 g m−2 day−1 compared with 25.0 to 4.5 g m−1 day−1. The effect of traffic on alfalfa growth was not transitory, but it altered crop growth parameters for the whole harvest cycle. The zone-production system created an environment more conducive to greater crop productivity by reducing alfalfa crown and shoot regrowth damage and soil compaction caused by traffic.

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Copyright © 1987. Crop Science Society of America, Inc.Copyright © 1987 by the Crop Science Society of America, Inc.