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item Bauchan, Gary

Submitted to: Medicago Workshop
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/7/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Medicago truncatula is an annual Medicago species commonly known as barrel medic. There are 60 recognized species of annual medics of which 12 are a cultivated crop in Mediterranean climates. Annual medics are excellent forage crops because they grow rapidly, produce large amounts of biomass with many pods, supply nitrogen through nitrogen fixing bacteria, are adapted to a wide range of soil types, and have hard seeds that remain viable in the soil which will grow the when favorable conditions occur. The agronomic potential of the medics in the U.S. has been investigated and several different agricultural systems have been developed. 1) The medics can be used as permanent pasture. 2) Medics can be used as a green manure crop or cover crop to prevent soil erosion. 3) Annual medics can be used as a companion crop to control weeds, add organic matter, lower soil temperatures and provide fall residue after harvest. 4) Vineyards and fruit orchards have used annual medics in the alleyways. 5) Use of annual medics as wildlife habitat for deer, quail and water fowl have been initiated. Medics, such as M. truncatula, have potential uses in U.S. agriculture systems and with the help of basic molecular and applied research their utility may be discovered.