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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

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 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,

11 Seasonal production of meadow brome, tall fescue and perennial RG,

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13 Forage production of alfalfa and birdsfoot trefoil at five levels of irrigation,

14 Seasonal production of birdsfoot trefoil and alfalfa at water level one,

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

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

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

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

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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,

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

24 Meadow brome/Ladak Meadow brome/Diploid falcata

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

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

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

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

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

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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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