Enhanced Survival and Animal Performance from Ecotype Derived White Clover Cultivars
- J. H. Bouton *a,
- D. R. Woodfieldc,
- C. S. Hovelandb,
- M. A. McCanne and
- J. R. Caradusd
- a Forage Imp. Div., Noble Foundation, 2150 Sam Noble Parkway, Ardmore, OK 73402
c AgResearch Grassl., Palmerston North, New Zealand
b Dep. of Crop and Soil Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602
e Dep. of Animal Science, Virginia Tech University, Blackburg, VA
d Dexcel Ltd, Hamilton, New Zealand
Most U.S. white clover (Trifolium repens L.) breeding projects have concentrated on developing ladino (T. repens var giganteum Lagr-Foss) cultivars. Ecotypes collected from grazed, grass dominant pastures in Georgia are exclusively stolon dense, intermediate leaf types (T. repens f hollandicum Erith ex Jav. & Soo) rather than ladinos. These ecotypes formed the parental base for the Durana (ecotypes only) and Patriot (an ecotype × ladino hybrid) cultivars. Our objective was to compare morphological characteristics and agronomic production and animal performance of Durana and Patriot against the ladino cultivar Regal and other appropriate checks. Durana and Patriot were distinct morphologically from Regal, but no differences were seen among these same entries for dry matter yield in small plots. Both cultivars possessed greater small plot stand survival than Regal under grazing with grass competition. In endophyte [Neotyphodium coenophialum (Morgan-Jones and Gams) Glenn, Bacon, and Hanlin] infected (E+) and endophyte-free (E−) tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) paddocks, Durana maintained a clover percentage of 43% by weight while Regal deteriorated to less than 5% by Year 2. Beef cattle (Bos spp.) gains on E+ paddocks with Durana, Regal, or grass alone check (fertilized with 65 kg N ha−1 grazing season−1) treatments during Year 2 were 0.95, 0.49, and 0.43 kg head−1 d−1, respectively, while gains on E− paddocks with Durana, Regal, and grass alone were 1.14, 0.75, and 0.99 kg head−1 d−1, respectively. Similar trends were found for Patriot in a separate trial. The superior performance of these cultivars highlights the importance of f. hollandicum ecotypes to develop more persistent white clover cultivars.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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