Submitted to: World Agroforestry Congress
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/7/2002
Publication Date: 9/20/2003
Citation: BURNER, D.M. 2003. INFLUENCE OF ALLEY CROP ENVIRONMENT ON ORCHARDGRASS AND TALL FESCUE HERBAGE. WORLD AGROFORESTRY CONGRESS. 95:1163-1171.
Technical Abstract: The design of agroforestry systems requires a thorough understanding of biological interactions that might complement or constrain production. The objective of this study was to examine effects of alley crop environment on persistence, herbage yield, and nutritive value of two shade tolerant herbage grasses. The experiment was conducted for 3 yr in orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.), tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.), and a 1:1 binary mixture (tall fescue and orchardgrass) in 4.9 m-wide alleys of 10-yr-old loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) and shortleaf pine (P. echinata Mill.), and the unshaded control at Booneville, AR. Loblolly pine was 1.5 m taller and had twice the canopy cover as shortleaf pine (52 and 25% canopy cover, respectively). Averaged across harvests, orchardgrass persisted better in loblolly pine alleys (72% stand) than in the control (44% stand), while tall fescue persisted better in the control (30% stand) than in loblolly pine (13% stand). Persistence in shortleaf pine alleys was intermediate for both herbage treatments. Yields of orchardgrass and the binary mixture did not differ in pine alleys (1300 kg/ha-1), and were usually greater than tall fescue yields (< 700 kg/ha-1). Crude protein was higher in loblolly pine alleys (172 g/kg-1) than in the control (141 g/kg-1). Producers should consider using orchardgrass monocultures or binary mixtures with tall fescue for pine alleys in the mid-south USA.