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Crop Science Abstract -

Establishment of Red Fescue Seed Crops with Cereal Companion Crops. II. Seed Production and Economic Implications


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 28 No. 2, p. 313-316
    Received: Mar 4, 1987

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. T. G. Chastain  and
  2. D. F. Grabe
  1. D ep. of Agronomy and Soils, Washington State Univ., Pullman, WA 99164;
    D ep. of Crop Science, Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR 97331.



The influence of companion crops on red fescue (Festuca rubra L.) seed production and net income over a 3-yr period was investigated. ‘Pennlawn’ red fescue was interplanted in 1982 and 1983 with cereal companion crops near Corvallis, OR, on Woodburn silt loam (fine-silty, mixed, mesic Aquultic Argixeroll) soil. ‘Yamhill’ and ‘Hill 81’ winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), and ‘Hesk’ and ‘Scio’ winter barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) were planted in 15-, 30-, 45- and 60-cm rows at right angles to red fescue rows. Although companion crops adversely affected red fescue growth during establishment, first-year seed yield in the first experiment was not significantly reduced. Red fescue seed yields ranged from 490 kg ha−1 when planted with Hill 81 wheat to 654 kg ha−1 with Scio barley, whereas yield without a companion crop was 589 kg ha−1. First-year seed yield was somewhat depressed in the second experiment by the wheat cultivars and Hesk barley, but not by Scio barley. Yields ranged from 908 kg ha−1 for red fescue planted with Hill 81 to 1008 kg ha−1 with Scio, whereas 1177 kg ha−1 was obtained with no companion crop. Second-year seed yield was not affected by companion crops in either experiment. Establishment with Yamhill wheat increased net income over a 3-yr period by U.S. $508 ha−1 over red fescue established alone, whereas planting with Hesk barley produced the lowest increase in net economic returns, $211 ha−1. Red fescue seed production was most profitable when wheat companion crops were planted in 15-cm rows. This study demonstrates the potential for profitable and reliable establishment of red fescue seed crops with cereal companion crops in Oregon.

Contribution of Oregon Agric. Exp. Stn. Technical Paper no. 8136.

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