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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Wheat Effect on Frost-Seeded Red Clover Cultivar Establishment and Yield

Authors
item Singer, Jeremy
item Casler, Michael
item Kohler, Keith

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 14, 2005
Publication Date: February 7, 2006
Citation: Singer, J.W., Casler, M.D., Kohler, K.A. 2006. Wheat effect on frost-seeded red clover cultivar establishment and yield. Agronomy Journal. 98:265-269.

Interpretive Summary: Frost-seeding red clover into winter cereals is a cost effective establishment method. The objectives of this study were to quantify the effect of winter wheat on the establishment, persistence, and dry matter production of 15 red clover cultivars of diverse origin. Cultivars were frost-seeded near Ames, IA in March of 2003 and 2004 and Prairie du Sac, WI in 2004. Presence of the wheat crop caused 19, 23, and 51% mortality, respectively, compared to the no wheat treatment in 2003 and 2004 in Iowa and 2004 in Wisconsin. Dry matter yield of diploid cultivars exceeded tetraploids in all environments. Favorable germination and emergence conditions in 2003 resulted in high plant densities with no relationship between post-wheat red clover density and dry matter yield. In 2004, unfavorable environmental conditions reduced plant densities, creating a relationship between red clover density and dry matter yield. The southern cultivar 'Cherokee' generally had higher performance than the average northern cultivar. Differences across years, locations, and variables were inconsistent for elite and land races. Within different origins and selection histories, large variability exists in cultivar performance. Cost effective methodology to screen different red clover cultivars for dual winter cereal/forage systems can improve forage establishment and yield for producers growing winter cereals and red clover.

Technical Abstract: Frost-seeding red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) into winter cereals is a cost effective establishment method. Abiotic effects on seedling establishment have been reported, but information on cultivar differences is lacking. The objectives of this study were to quantify the effect of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) on the establishment, persistence, and forage dry matter (DM) production of 15 red clover cultivars of diverse origin. Cultivars were frost-seeded near Ames, IA in March of 2003 and 2004 and Prairie du Sac, WI in 2004. Presence of the wheat crop caused 19 and 23% mortality in 2003 and 2004 compared to the no-wheat treatment in Iowa and 51% mortality in 2004 in Wisconsin. Dry matter yield of diploid cultivars exceeded tetraploids in all environments (439 vs. 559 g m-2). Favorable conditions for germination and emergence in 2003 resulted in high plant densities and no relationship between post-wheat red clover density and DM yield. In 2004, unfavorable environmental conditions reduced plant densities, creating a relationship between red clover density (x) and DM yield (y) (y = 305 + 8.86x, R2 = 0.65 in Iowa; y = 382 + 3.83x, R2 = 0.22 in Wisconsin). The southern cultivar 'Cherokee' generally had greater performance than the average northern cultivar. Differences across years and locations were inconsistent for elite and land races. Within different origins and selection histories, large variability exists in cultivar performance. More data are needed to determine if the cultivar x wheat interaction is important for screening cultivars for dual grain/forage systems.

Last Modified: 10/24/2014
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