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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #184311


item Riday, Heathcliffe

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2005
Publication Date: 11/6/2005
Citation: Riday, H. 2005. Maize tropical vine legume intercropping for silage in temperate climates [abstract]. In: ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meeting. Paper No. 67-1.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Maize silage (Zea mays) comprises an increasing proportion of US Midwestern dairy cow rations. A weakness of maize silage is its lower protein levels; however, maize silage protein and biomass yield might be enhanced by intercropping with legumes. This study measured forage quality and dry matter per hectare of tropical vine legumes intercropped with maize for silage in the temperate climate of Wisconsin, USA. Five legume species-maize mixtures were grown: common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), lablab (Lablab purpureus), scarlet runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus), sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea), and velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens). Highest legume fraction was observed in intercropped common bean-maize silage. Common bean was followed by lablab, scarlet runner bean, velvet bean, and sunn hemp, respectively, for highest legume fraction in intercropped silage mixture. Increased legume silage fractions resulted in increased crude protein but decreased maize grain. No significant differences were determined for total dry matter yields or NDF between these five mixtures and the pure maize control. Additionally, moisture levels were acceptable for ensiling. In conjunction with this study, improved scarlet runner bean and lablab germplasm from the national plant germplasm system were selected for increased vigor in a temperate maize silage intercropping system.