Submitted to: Agronomie Agriculture Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/7/2002
Publication Date: 10/1/2003
Citation: Koivisto, J.M., Devine, T.E., Lane, G.P., Sawyer, C.A., Brown, H.J. 2003. Forage soybeans (glycine max (l.) merr.) in the united kingdom. Agronomie Agriculture Environment. 23:287-291. Interpretive Summary: The USDA recently released soybean cultivars bred for use as livestock forage to provide high protein feed for livestock. This report provides information on the performance of two of these cultivars over two growing seasons and six advanced experimental lines during one season in southern England. The cultivar Donegal was especially productive of forage yield in this environment. Protein level of the forage was also high. This information suggests that the use of Donegal for forage legume production in England may be a valuable option for livestock producers. The opportunity for US seed producers to provide seed of this cultivar in an expanded European market would be beneficial to US seed producers as well as the livestock industry in Europe.
Technical Abstract: Although soybeans are used principally for grain and vegetable production, they have also been used as a forage crop. Recently several cultivars and experimental lines have been bred for forage production. This coincides with the banning of meat and bone meal as a source of protein in ruminant diets in the European Union, which has led to a greater demand for high protein crops. Two USA bred cultivars, Derry and Donegal, were grown in a trial at the Royal Agricultural College in 2000 and 2001 to assess the viability of soybeans as a forage crop in the UK. In 2001 six experimental lines were added to the study. In 2000, the dry matter (DM) yields for Derry and Donegal ranged from 5.91 to 6.09 t ha-1, respectively, for the early harvest and 7.68 to 7.95 t ha-1 DM, respectively, for the late harvest. In the second season, Donegal was the highest yielding line at the early harvest with 12.1 t ha-1, and SG13#169 had 12.1 t ha-1 at the late harvest. The proportion of leaf was not consistently associated with protein content. Across the two years, the pod component did not exceed 110 g kg-1. The experimental line SG13#169 had the highest Crude Protein (CP), 153 g kg-1, and a first cut yield of 8.51 t ha-1. At the second harvest CP fell to 146 g kg-1, but yield rose to 12.1 t ha-1, more than offsetting the change in quality. Additional testing is required for more conclusive evaluation of these experimental lines.