Establishment of Cicer Milkvetch with Four Cool-Season Grasses
- H. Kenno,
- M. A. Brick and
- C. E. Townsend
Cicer milkvetch (Astragalus cicer L.), a promising, nonbloat inducing legume, has relatively poor seedling vigor and is more difficult to establish than most species of forage legumes. The objectives of this study were to compare three methods of seeding cicer milkvetch with four cool-season grasses to determine establishment success and forage yield in the seedling year under irrigated conditions. The three planting methods were: (i) legume and grass as a mixture in the same rows, (ii) legume and grass seeded alone in alternate rows, and (iii) legume and grass seeded alone in rows perpendicular to each other. The four grass species were smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss.), meadow bromegrass (B. biebersteinii Roem. and Schult.), orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.), and intermediate wheatgrass [Elytrigia intermedia (Host) Nevski]. Total forage yield, legume content, and height of the legume were measured. Forage yields were not affected by seeding methods during the establishment year. Alternate-seeded rows produced forage with a greater proportion of cicer milkvetch than mixed- or cross-seeded rows. Height of the legume at harvest also was greatest in alternate-seeded rows. The smooth bromegrass-cicer milkvetch mixture produced more forage than other mixtures. Cicer milkvetch-grass mixtures should be seeded in alternate rows with smooth bromegrass, meadow bromegrass, orchardgrass, or intermediate wheatgrass. Establishment of the legume component in the alternate planting arrangement was enhanced because there was less competition from the grass species.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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