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The Benefit of Legumes in a Pasture Michael D. Peel USDA-ARS Forage and Range Research Lab. Pasture Workshop May 13, 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "The Benefit of Legumes in a Pasture Michael D. Peel USDA-ARS Forage and Range Research Lab. Pasture Workshop May 13, 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Benefit of Legumes in a Pasture Michael D. Peel USDA-ARS Forage and Range Research Lab. Pasture Workshop May 13, 2005

2 Introduction Develop legumes primarily for range –Spreading & falcata (yellow flowered) alfalfa

3 Broad deep spreading crowns less likely to suffer injury during grazing traffic Broad spreading crown Rhizome spread as viewed by a worm Ideal plant type

4 Introduction Develop legumes primarily for range –Spreading & falcata (yellow flowered) alfalfa –Sainfoin –Cicer Milkvetch –Utah Sweetvetch –Globemallow –Small Burnet Legumes for irrigated pastures –Birdsfoot Trefoil –Kura Clover

5 Legume/Grass Study Nearing Completion Utilizes a line-source irrigation system 1234554321

6 Purpose of study Test multiple types of alfalfa, birdsfoot trefoil, and grasses in monocultures and in mixtures. Do they perform differently at high irrigation down to no irrigation.

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8 Materials tested Alfalfa –Ladak –Spreader III –Amerigraze –P53V08 –Diploid falcata Empire Birdsfoot Trefoil Grasses –Cache Meadowbrome –Martin Tallfescue –Perennial Ryegrass

9 Management Fertility –Sufficient P 2 0 5 applied to supply legumes –20lbs/A nitrogen: establishment, fall & after harv. 1 Average harvest dates: May 19 th, June 25 th, July 29 th, Sept. 5 th. Irrigation –WL1 23.6” –WL2 15.2” –WL3 13.2” –WL4 9.3” –WL5 4.8”

10 Forage Production of meadow brome, tall fescue and perennial ryegrass, 2003-2004.

11 Seasonal production of meadow brome, tall fescue and perennial RG, 2003-2004.

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13 Forage production of alfalfa and birdsfoot trefoil at five levels of irrigation, 2003-2004.

14 Seasonal production of birdsfoot trefoil and alfalfa at water level one, 2003-2004.

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16 Forage production of alfalfa, tall fescue and an alfalfa-tall fescue mixture, 2003-2004.

17 Seasonal production of alfalfa, tall fescue and an alfalfa-tall fescue mixture, 2003-2004.

18 Forage production of alfalfa, meadow brome and an alfalfa- meadow brome mixture, 2003-2004.

19 Seasonal production of alfalfa, meadow brome and an alfalfa-meadow brome mixture, 2003-2004.

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22 Forage production of diploid falcata alfalfa, the average of tall fescue/meadow brome and the mean of the two falcata- grass mixtures, 2003-2004.

23 Seasonal production of diploid falcata alfalfa, the average of tall fescue/meadow brome and the mean of the two falcata-grass mixtures, 2003-2004.

24 Meadow brome/Ladak Meadow brome/Diploid falcata

25 Forage production of birdsfoot trefoil, meadow brome and a birdsfoot trefoil-meadow brome mixture, 2003-2004.

26 Seasonal production of birdsfoot trefoil, meadow brome and a birdsfoot trefoil-meadow brome mixture, 2003-2004.

27 Seasonal production at water level one of birdsfoot trefoil, meadow brome and a birdsfoot trefoil-meadow brome mixture, 2003-2004.

28 Forage production of birdsfoot trefoil, tall fescue and a birdsfoot trefoil-tall fescue mixture, 2003-2004.

29 Seasonal production of birdsfoot trefoil, tall fescue and a birdsfoot trefoil-tall fescue mixture, 2003-2004.

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31 Summary The grass/alfalfa mixtures averaged 63 % higher production than the grass monocultures The grass/falcata mixtures averaged 47 % higher production than the grass monocultures The grass/trefoil mixtures averaged 33% higher production than the grass monocultures –The largest benefit realized under irrigation I wouldn’t use perennial ryegrass The production distribution of trefoil vs alfalfa should be considered

32 Questions?

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